Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,723 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium
trappistwestmalle.be

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,723
Ratings:
4,461
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.05%
 
 
Wants:
423
Gots:
828
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,723 | Ratings: 4,461
Photo of westweasel
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from an 11.2 ounce bottle from Family Liquors in Homewood, IL.

Appearance: Hazy, bright tan/yellow color. Huge white head. Tons of Belgian lace.

Smell: Scents of floral, spice, clove, and orange.

Taste: It has flavors of orange and spice with very low bitterness or hop taste.
It has a very dry finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable which is scary. This beer has a high alcohol content (9.5 ABV) that is not apparent when drinking. It would be very easy to drink two or three of these before you realize what's happening.

 609 characters

Photo of PBBC
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow with a ample head...

Smells bready, yeasty, and tart.

Taste is surprisingly simple... but opens up after a few sips... light, bready, highly carbonated. Tart, with tinges of apple, and sweet, buttery, candied pear... light hop bitterness paired with interesting yeast flavor tones make for a great beer.

Goes down smooth, the high level of carbonation plays the flavors off the tongue in a very sporadic way... the beer is simple, but never boring... doesn't feel 9.5% until you are most of the way through the bottle. Great drinkability, not overwhelming.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into a snifter. Pours a golden apricot color with a nice size frothy head...although the head dissapates pretty quickly to a thin ring. Light, yet sticky lacing.

Aroma is full of fruit. I'm picking up apple and grapefruit, and musty like a lot of Belgian Tripels. Booze is also detectable slightly.

Semi-carbonated and great fruit flavor. Light, crisp, and refreshing. Although most Belgian style beers are better as they warm, this one is the opposite. As it warms, the booze gets a bit heavy and a dryness takes over. There's also a slightly sour aftertaste. Bottle was only aged about 6 months...atleast from purchase.

 665 characters

Photo of oggg
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a bottle from Plumbjack in SF. Best before date 12/05

This beer pours with high carbonation, and the white head foams up nicely, but retreats quickly to about half a centimeter and holds for a bit before receding more. The lace is pretty weak, and I handwashed/rinsed my wine glass. The beer initially pours a crystal clear, orange/peach color, which gets cloudy at the end from the yeast. Really a beautiful color.

The aroma is ephemeral, and gives me, surprisingly, a soft hop floral aroma and some honey. The taste has a surprising amount of hop bitterness for what I was expecting; it's mild but it's definitely a part of this brew. Michael Jackson says it's Saaz hops, and I can sense the lingering spiciness of it. I get a lot of fruit -- orange, plum, and raisin. There is a nice malt taste that has more honey than sugar with it. I almost get some chocolate, but that can't be right, can it? The finish is a bit syrupy and medicinal. The alcohol is muted. Full bodied.

Overall, I don't think this one is worth the price of admission at 6 or 7 bucks. It just doesn't give me that sense that I'm really being indulgent.

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Photo of Beersignal
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden yellow with peach highlights capped with a ferociously thick and lasting head. Firm aromas of green apples and citrus fruits dominate hints of cereal and yeast finishing on notes of vanilla and hops. A respectable bead rises from the glass and expresses itself in the first sip. Round and heady body gives the impression of thickness in the mouth. Butterscotch and vanilla combine with powerful malt flavours to usher in a sweetness that is eventually overpowered by a drying and long bitterness. Long finish to this beer. Looking forward to having an older bottle.

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Photo of rec
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Immediately I recognised a distinct difference between the Leffe Tripel and this, specifically a positive difference. Straight off the bat, it was just better. It poured better, looked better, smelt better and tasted better than the Leffe Tripel.

After pour, the head of this brassy-coloured beer sticks to the glass and leaves a beautiful lacing as you continue to drink, which adds nicely to the presentation.

You can clearly taste some fruity undertones which I recognised as pear and apricot. At 9.5%, the alcohol is definitely not disguised, but does nothing to distract from floral scent and taste with hints of clove that work deliciously well with the high carbonation and the dry yeasty finish.

It’s definitely one to drink at cellar temperature, as it proved far less enjoyable while colder and is easily the nicest Tripel I’ve had… although I still wish I had found the Dubbel, as I must admit that despite the complexity and near perfection of this brew, I did prefer the Leffe Brune I had prior to it, and am generally a sucker for the malts present in Belgian dark ale brews.

 1,101 characters

Photo of Chapter40z
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Slightly pale hazy (even after the beer settled it seemed there was still suspended sediment) yellow, very little head that dissipated rather quickly.

S. A very upfront alcohol smell, also an acidic citrus smell.

T. First taste had a strong sharpness with a light fruity profile and a light hoppy finish.

M. Crisp, light almost a creamy delicate beer with some body.

D. It was a good beer not extremely drinkable not something you have to force down. I'd personally drink 2 or 3 of these and enjoy every moment.

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Photo of beeragent
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a bottle. The beer pours a light gold, forming a massive fluffy 1 inch white head that slowly fades. Medium lacing remains on the glass. The aroma is a mix of sweet malt, fruit and sugar. Taste begins with the malts, followed by dark fruit flavors and candy sugar sweetness, and ending with a hint of alcohol. Medium bodied beer and smooth medium finish. Highly drinkable. Overall, nice full flavor. Good but not the best triple that I've experienced.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

excited to try this one have been meaning to pick up a bottle for a while.

poured from bottle into my tulip glass. one of the most beautiful pours i've seen in a long time. golden haze with a billowing amazing overflowing pillow of white foam. waiting for the beer to warm up to the temperature i want and there is still a massive pillow of head guarding the beer.

smell is spice and a unique menthol smell like i have never got from a tripel, let alone a beer. not sure i like this nose.

taste is a bit different than the smell and a bit better. nice hint of funk with a clean bittering coming through. spice is there too. nutmeg and pepper.

mouthfeel is interesting on this one...i dont say this often about beers, but there was a bit more carbonation than i would like. tingles on the tongue. medium bodied.

overall a very clean drinkable tripel. the large amount of carbonation hurts my ratings for drinkablity.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh my beautiful full and thick head. frothy and lush with tightness, this is what a head should look like! over an almost clear light golden body. Great attractiveness.

Aroma seems subdued, really just faint belgian yeasts and bready pre-baked doughs with faint fruits.

Ah the flavor picks up the aromas slack and comes full force with a spicy kick! Pepper and salt on crisp baked bread with light oils from olives come though and leave with a qucik dry finish, its a very refreshing tripel and leaves you reaching for the glass again. Some lemon and orange notes come through with a light zestyness also.

Chad

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Photo of masikon
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Orval goblet, this was a hazy lemon juice color with plenty of bits floating around. Nose was pleasant, soft and fruity with a bit of alcohol sting on the sinus' as well. Hits the palate with a distinct belgian crispness, tingly and somewhat medicinal but extremely complex...a hard beer to review really due to the different flavors mixing with each sip, it's hard to pick things out. Definite fruitiness with apples/pears along with some herbal and floral accents as well. A really nice beer to crack after the Seahawks NFC Championship win tonight.

 566 characters

Photo of BGDrock
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: yeast particles create a haze; pale gold colour; thick head has length

Aroma: white grapes; floral; boozy

Taste: fruity, lightly spiced yeast curls around the tongue and alcohol level plainly evident in sting that gathers in the back of the throat; finishes with pleasant and fairly strong spiced hops; some apple, grapes; overall the indiscernible combination of fruity and spicy yeast, hops, malt is not incredibly complex, but nonetheless enjoyable

Overall: a great balance of elements, but not quite as exciting as had hoped for

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Photo of kpantz
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: After hearing so much about this beer, I finally decided to pick one up for myself. I'm very glad I did. It's a great tripel, and begins to convince me that the US tripel brewers can't really hit this with any authenticity (not that they need to try, of course).

Appearance: Pours a beautiful hazy golden color into my chalice. Bright white head hangs tough, but eventually reduces to a solid coating. Lacing is wonderful - almost reminds me of how some DIPAs hug the glass.

Smell: Bananas, even some tartness (apple, pineapple) and a slight estery aroma.

Taste: Sweet malt to start and finishes with a spicy alcohol flavor coupled with hop bitterness that follows down the throat. It's strange, but the flavor almost completely disappears just before the spiciness hits at the end. I'm going to guess that's an indication that there aren't many flavoring hops here, but I'm no expert.

Mouthfeel: Spot on for the style. Slightly sticky, but it doesn't linger. Carbonation is light to moderate - doesn't distract from the nature of this beer.

Drinkability: It's no session brew, that's for sure, but for something over the 9% plateau, this goes down very nicely.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle, best before end: 09/04/11. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cloudy golden/orange color with about an inch and half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is bready malt, yeast, orange peel, and some fruit and spice (it just smells fruity and spicy in general, I couldn't pick out any one particular fruit or spice). Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also a bit of pear and an earthy taste noticable in the brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth but has a little too much carbonation for me. Drinkability is decent, but would be better if the carbonation was lower. But overall, I liked this beer. I'd buy it again in the future.

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Photo of djura
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Found it here in Serbia, bottle 0,33l

A - Dark orange with decent white head. Medium carbonation. Very Trappist :)
S - Weak biscuit aroma, with some warm alcohol in the back.
T/M - As expected, highly carbonated, natural, warm pleasant finish. Creamy and aromatic.

O - Trappist, try it.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted this on 03.03.06, a 330ml bottle best before 04/07/07. 9.5% ABV. I have had this several times over the last few years, but never got around to reviewing it.
Poured into a Chimay goblet, a nice amber brew with some haze and a good white head. Head diminished, but easily returned with a swirl of the glass.
Without going into too much detail (this is a well described beer on this database), I would say that this is a fine beer and an excellent tripel, though not my all time favourite one. It is very consistent and ages well.

 537 characters

Photo of PoisonOakAdam
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Honey brown with small amounts of noticeable carbonation. a good amount of head at pour with a nice frothiness. Sediments are present.

Smell: Caramelized grain. Sharp dried fruit and alcohol smell that I find my nose to identify with most Belgian tripels and even dubbels.

Taste: Very little bitterness much more balanced with an almost light molasses taste. Finish is relatively dry but leaves my tongue with most of the small amounts of bitterness I taste.

Mouth Feel: Like a light naturally sweetened syrup. Heavier body then I expect while looking at it, but ends up being satisfying. It lingers on my taste buds for quite a while.

Drinkability: Totally drinkable, it seems like every sip makes me want to sip it again and again.

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured an 11.2 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Hazy golden orange with a one finger white head that dissapated quickly. Light lacing throughout.

S- A little fruit, lemon, and a touch of malt

T- Lemon and spice. A little yeast. A little sugar. Hint of malt.

M- Medium carbonation. Dry and crisp.

O- Enjoyable. Easy to drink, but did not "wow" me. Potent. Expected so much more. Having bought it 7-8 months ago...perhaps I should have had it much sooner??!! Had a best before 01/03/12 date on it.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: purchased from Leura Cellars. A stylish and incredibly thick embossed 330mL brown bottle with a nice trappist label. Simple but elegant.

Appearance: pours a fairly viscous vibrant honey yellow with champagne-like fine carbonation. A big fluffing head bursts up to three-fingers even with a gentle pour (mind you my snifter is draining so I am using a tulip so fair enough) and settles to a half-finger thick white head. Not much lacing.

Aroma: quite muted on the nose, but what is there is a clean and fresh combination of Belgian yeasts and sour dough, orchard fruits and some spices. Some alcohol over the top but is not distracting.

Taste: more sour than your usual tripel - plenty of alcohol and Belgian yeasts, with some wheat, cloves, orchard fruits and a touch of malt. Not my favourite tripel flavour, but still pretty outstanding.

Aftertaste: the flavours last a good long while - quite dry all the way through thanks to the alcohol and the sourness.

Mouth feel: a thick body that really works quite well. Moderate in carbonation with a smooth yet dry feel.

Overall: quite a drinkable tripel, but probably not the best I have had, particularly since it is one of the dearest. It is more sour and tart than most which I like, but it lacks some complexity. That said, it does have a wonderful orchard fruit and spice flavour that pokes its head out between the alcohol and sour dough.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a turbid mustard with a thin, foamy head. Great retention.

The aroma is fruity with a highly subdued toffee apple aspect. Some brown sugar. A hint of something grainy.

The taste is fruity and tart, nicely phenolic and spicy in a way that hides the alcohol well. Dry and yeasty in the finish. Good bready malt sweetness underneath.

Medium-light body, good carbonation.

Very drinkable, highly enjoyable.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 350ml brown bottle into a tulip glass. The head produced by my pour was about 1" of loose off-white foam that shrunk quickly to a clumpy cap. The liquid was a honey color with some cloudiness due to some spent yeast in the bottle.

The aroma, was similar to a Hefewiesen ... in that there was a fruity sweetness. Although, there was a clear alcohol aroma too.

The taste was good... I think I'm getting used to these Belgian Ales. For me, most of these Belgian Ales have a taste like a robust Hefeweisen. This one had the yeasty/buscuit taste with some dried fruit followed by a pronounced alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Good for a Tripel. This one is still quite fizzy (seems to be common for the Tripels)... but not overly done. The body is rather thin and the clear alcohol presence make this one rather refreshing. It complimented my egg salad sandwich and fruit cup quite well (I wonder if this is an appropriate food pairing?).

Drinkability: This one is recommended... I've had some "Tripels" that I didn't like at all.... but this one is quite good. I couldn't see anyone pounding 4-5 of these, but this is a good, rich example for sipping.

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Photo of amneziak
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The Westmalle Tripel pours a slightly hazy golden color - very similar to what you'd see from a wheat beer. As with most of the other Trappist beers, this comes with about three to four solid fingers of light head with minimal lacing that disappears pretty quickly. You can tell this has a lot of effervescence by the onslaught of small bubbles swimming swiftly to the top of the glass.

Smell: Just as I had imagined, there is a lot of spice going on in the glass. There is an immediate blast of beautiful honeycomb that hits you first, and then it is quickly followed by banana and clove components on the back end. For me, the real joy comes out of feeling like I've just stuck my nose in the middle of a fresh honeycomb. On top of what is immediately noticeable, there is a very faint amount of funk that sits way in the back of the nose. This becomes more evident as the beer begins to warm.

Taste: I guess one of the best things a beer can do is taste like it smells, and this certainly does just that. Surprisingly enough the honeycomb component I get on the nose translates into the taste very well. I also taste the yeast along with the banana and cloves. In terms of the alcohol, I don't taste it as much as I thought I would but I certainly feel it about halfway through the bottle. And it's a small bottle.

Mouthfeel: Overall this is an extremely well-balanced beer in the mouth. Because of the style, the Westmalle has a lot of bite due to the sparkling qualities and the enormous amount of head. There is a perfect amount of bitterness, too, which is paired with a vigorous amount of acidity. Normally a beer like this would lean more toward the lighter side, but this one is easily approaching medium body.

Overall: Let's be honest, this isn't a mind-melting beer. However, it is classic in just about every way. I really love the honeycomb component the most and really like the way this baby smells. I am also a really big fan of the bitterness levels that I get from the Westmalle. It's not as unique as the Orval (which is still my favorite Trappist ale), but it is definitely a staple and quite enjoyable. It's proof that consistency is a very good thing.

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Photo of krberg
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Almost forgot about the giant belgian head phenomenon. Golden with a pure white head. Lots of CO2.

Smells pretty standard for a tripel. I love 'em, but they all smell about the same.

Light, tart, sweet, grainy. Hints of alcohol fade to the back of my mouth and coat my tongue with a spreading warmth. The sweetness hovers on my tongue and the roof of my mouth - very strange. I actually get a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Certainly a first for me. Standard yeast characters.

Smooth, creamy and the bite of CO2. Par for the tripel course.

Very easy to drink. I find tripels to be very comforting and this is no exception. I think I could get very comfortable with this beer.

A great tripel. Nice sweet to grain balance that I find sometimes lacking in American versions. Not particularly challenging, but just right. For a bunch of bible-thumpers, they make a pretty damn good beer.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 3, 2014

25.4 oz bottle, tulip

A – Dark yellow with orange tint, extremely high carbonation with tons of bubbles in the beer itself. Four inches of craggy, rocky white foam that seems to last forever. About ½ inch left when all is said and done.

S – Citrus, reminiscent of nectarine, orange peel, curacao. Peppery and tangy. Some alcohol warmth in the background. Maybe some banana, bubble gum.

T – Foamy, dense, orangey and slightly peppery. Some earthiness, mushroominess. Very mild, floral hop flavor, just a touch of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. A lot more banana, some bubble gum.

M – Foamy and effervescent. Somewhat thin, but the bubbles coat the tongue and leave a sweet finish. Thinness seems to be from the alcohol, is not a flaw. Slightly syrupy on the finish.

O – Not quite the knockout tripel I was expecting based on the reputation, but a very good example of the style.

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Photo of rkinsella
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden orange, cloudy. I left the yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle. I decided not to drink it separately. Head was amazing! Thick like meringue, hung on the whole time. Great Guinness like lacing that left a nice pattern. 10 out of 10 for head and lacing. The total appearance was stellar!

Smell - Grass field, hops, a little earthy, doughy, bit of floral from the hops, definite alcohol whiff.

Taste - Smacks your forehead...hard! Spice and alcohol kick, followed by bitter hop finish. So intense I didn't taste much of anything else, maybe just a little lemon zest. Although the taste is very complex, it's hidden behind the alcohol and hops. But it is there. Tastes a little like a super strong Czech Pilsner. Dry finish as well.

Mouthfeel - Huge! Full, round and sparkles on the tongue.

Drinkability - Can't imagine having another because of the high ABV, but the flavor and mouthfeel suggests it.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,461 ratings.
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