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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

1,705 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium | website

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

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Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,394
Photo of mjaskula
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass.

Appearance: Golden and hazy with a huge thick soapy head.

Smell: Sweet and fruity with a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and malty well balanced with hops, with some yeast banana and alcohol flavors at the end.

Mouthfeel: A bit too much carbonated and dry at the end.

Drinkability: very good.

 349 characters

Photo of goatherder
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pale golden with some yeast haze and a classic Belgian head which just won't quit. First impression on the nose is pepper, followed by malts and fruits which are different on every sniff. Complex, peppery malt flavours are followed by some warm alcoholic notes. The bitterness is crisp and leaves a dry finish, yet with a full mouthfeel. Yum.

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Photo of Macca
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a hazy light orange colour with a very generous head and great retention. That would be from the very visible carbonation. Lots of lacing.

Spicy alcohol aroma.

That is so well balanced! I was expecting an OTT whack of alcohol but it is beautifully integrated. A lovely persistent warmth. Some sweetness in there.

Mouth coating type stuff this.

It is a very well made beer but I didn't get a lot more out of it than the respect of it being well made.

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Photo of Dope
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 28/09/10, best by 28/09/12. Almost too late!

A: Pours a hazy medium orange with a huge fluffy white head. Fades slowly leaving minimal lacing behind but excellent head retention. Lacing may be a result of bottle age.

S: Lots of yeast with a bit of citrus - lemon mainly. Refreshing grainy bread.

T: Super sharp and strong yeasty, grainy bread. Wow, overpowering really. Funky, I suppose. Finishes with a bit of tart apple, lemon, grass and a metallic twang at the very end which lingers between sips.

M: Fairly heavy but feels medium bodied with high carbonation. Fluffy, crisp flavor.

O: Very strong flavors in this tripel with good balance. However, fairly simplistic having said that. I think bottle age might have something to do with it, perhaps it's past its prime. Will have to revisit someday.

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Photo of Vancer
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great fresh bottle, best by 7/15/06 stamped on the back. The pour produced a dense, foamy white head that laced the snifter the whole way down – impressive.

Aroma of phenolics, raisins and sugar cane candy. The taste noted these, along with a strong sugar cane rum suggestion and malt vigor.

Mouth went downhill a tad, too highly carbonated, resulting in a foamy feel, along with a strong presence of alcohol. I could still sip one bottle for an hour, but the foamy mouthfeel was annoying.

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Photo of kmacphail
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled a bottle purchased from a Trappist ale mixed case.

The beer poured a straw colour with a haze and a white head that settled at 2mm. The scents were initially dominated by hops and wheat with a hint of bitter citrus as an afternote.

The taste is dominate by hops, a very bitter beer. With an afternote of wheat and citrus fruit, but the taste of bitter hops continues. This beer has plenty of body, you know that this is a beer, not a lager.

The 3 for drinkability is due to the 9.5% this is way too much to drink all night, It is very pleasant, a worthwhile brew.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a case to split with friends, from one of the importers here in beijing.

330ml bottle, poured into tulip. "best by" of july 2009 (importer's label says bottled in july 2007)

deep straw and honey color with slight haze. to avoid yeast clumps, you will have to pour carefully, and leave a couple sips in the bottle. lovely 3-finger head that slowly fades to a constant one-ring. solid, demarcated lacing.

complex esters and phenols in the nose, with slight buttery note. fruits include apple, pear, and maybe golden raisins. hint of spice, bread and yeast.

flavor is strongly phenolic, but not completely distractingly so. manages to meld with a bready malt note and moderately strong hop bitterness, which in turn contributes to a mildly bitter finish. some white wine, especially on exhale.

moderate body that isn't thin, decently smooth. carbonation might be a tad on the prickly side. slightly astringent finish with touch of alcohol presence.

good, but i'm finding i prefer other tripels with less phenols.

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Photo of rarbring
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light golden beer, cloudy, a firm white head, leaving nearly no lacing.

The smell is mainly sour, lemon and sour milk, fruity - bananas and pears. Some yeast,

The taste has a rather clean sweetness, a rhubarb sourness, some alcohol and a good bitter finish.

High carbonation, almost foamy, complex body, a bit oily.

A good beer, warm and refreshing!

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love those Belgians but am a little confused with this one. First of all this is an amazing looking beer. A nice pale orange, hazy, with a huge rocky white head. Great retention and that Belgian lace that I love. Smell I didnt much care for. Although there was some yeast, sweet fruits, and bit of bread I thought the alochol was overpowering, this I didnt not expect. When it was first a little cooler, and as it warmed, I couldnt get away from the alcohol. I expected it to be present, but I thought it dominated. The taste was pleasant. Very good Tripel flavor, some fruits and spices, that sweet candi sugar, a bit of grassy hops and that bite of alcohol at the end. Mouthfeel was a little fuller than I expected but still pleasant and overall it was a good, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Bouncingsoul1682
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite St. Bernadus goblet....rich golden color with a creamy head

Smelled of fruit and definite malt as well as a strong than expected alcohol odor

Although the alcohol was strong in the taste as well it was quite delicious, the strong maltiness was a addition to the flavor.

Excellent mouthfeel, not quite as bubbly as Duvel or the like

I would definitely have it again and again

A true compliment to the the style

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Photo of Ralphus
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Westmalle Tripel, the most famous of all triples and one that you won't likely forget. The look and smell have you thinking of perhaps a Duvel or maybe even a mild mannered pilsner, but within lies something much stronger. The strongest beer of the house indeed and one that, by all reports, will age well for 50 years or more.

My samples comes from an LCBO gift pack with a customary glass. It poured with some heavy carbonation and lots of activity but settled quickly leaving no trace behind. Smell-wise the fruity yeast tends to dominate.. pears, lemon and citrus fruits w/ cinnamon spice. But the taste, well it can hit you like a bombshell if you aren't prepared. The volume is turned up by 20dB and so is the alcohol content. However once your senses recalibrate you'll find there's some of the fruitiness up front, plenty of body and a very pronounced hoppy and alcoholic kick towards the end.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the carbonation, sharp on the tip of your tongue and dampening on the back. Drink-ability wise I'm suprised to see the high scores given out in the past. This is not a session beer, and drinking more than one or two is going to be out of the question for most.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light golden color, very cloudy, with three fingers of creamy white head that, sadly, leaves minimal lacing. There are a few yeast floaties in there, just a bit of bubbling.

S- Mead-like honey sweetness initially, with notes of pepper and spicy phenols, some alcohol and a hint of sour belgian yeast.

T- The sour comes out a little more, and indeed dominates the malt sweetness. Slight piney hops come in but are muted by a strong fusel alcohol and more sour belgian yeast. A hint of grapefruit and sourdough along with a touch of clove, but largely yeasty and alcoholic. The taste does not do the nose justice.

M- Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Initially smooth, but then the alcohol and sourness leave an intense dryness and astringency at the back of the throat, but with little warming.

D- The dryness makes you want to take another sip, but this beer is better to enjoy with the nose than the palate. Had the flavor matched the aroma, it would have been a first-rate tripel. Still, an excellent beer and well worth a try, if not a trip to Belgium.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit that Westmalle is usually the Trappist that I pass on most often. After tasting the Dubbel the other night though, and being thoroughly intrigued, I decided it was time to give the Tripel another go. Poured in to my Westmalle chalice (thanks Julios) an inviting slightly dark golden color. Heading was awesome, big, white and fluffy, with many tiny air bubbles racing toward the head. Aroma is surprisingly clean, almost pilsner like in its dryness. I guess I was expecting a little bit more fruit or spice from the smell. Taste starts off with a big splash of hop bitterness, with traces of pineapple, pear and pepper in the back. It leaves the palate slightly numb after swallowing. Body is medium, and drinkability is high. Having said that though, this beer is incredibly complex, so I would advise drinkers to take their time with this one. I still can't say that Tripel is a style that I am overly fond of, but this stuff deserves respect. Like I said before, complex.

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Photo of nickfl
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Large rocky head, hazy saffron color.

S - Phenolic spyciness and herbal hops. Earthy and a bit fruity.

T - Grainy and spicy with solid hop bitterness on the back of the tougue. Long, medicinal/ herbal finish.

M - Quite dry with high carbonation. Fairly astringent as well.

D - The carbonation helps the drinkability, but I have a hard time wanting more than one of these. Much spicer and less fruity than other beers of a similar style and it is very medicinal, which I can't say I enjoy.

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Photo of Chizoad
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle, well before the drink by date.

Clear golden pour with a stupendous foamy head that eventually dissipated completely. I snuck a little yeast in there after the foam settled a bit.

Fairly strong alcohol smell wafting out of the glass. Not particularly inviting.

Similar taste, with a bit of funkiness to boot. Got better as it warmed, but the alcohol wasn't well hidden in this. Mild bitterness up front with a malt backing.

Good mouthfeel with medium body and carbonation. Somehow really drinkable and satisfying. Probably fulfills the "digestible" requirement better than any beer I've had.

 609 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful hazy orange hue yields a tall fizzy bright white head. Tons of carbonation and an almost unfiltered appearance this is a gorgeous brew.

Hints of pear, apple, clove, wine and honey are found in the nose. The wine like smell gives a Chardonnay like scent.

The taste is tangy, sour and almost vinegar like. Some citrus or fruitiness but the tanginess is overbearing. A bit acidic and metallic there's hints of pear in the backdrop. Just too tangy for my palate, perhaps this is not my cup of tea, but I must say I'm disappointed in this Tripel.

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Photo of joecast
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

large fluffy white head sits above a slightly cloudy, deep gold colored beer. plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the top.
full yeasty, banana aroma.
very strong flavor contributions from yeast, and alcohol. heavy maltiness thought not sweet. has a good level of bitterness, but cant tell if its coming from hops as there is no real obvious hop flavor, or if its coming from the high abv.
mouthfeel seems rather harsh which may be helped from some aging. this bottle is dated BB 8/06.
so this is what those monks spend all their time on. not a bad line of work if you can find it. myself, i would need time to get accustomed to a beer like this. it doesnt make any appologies for being as strong as it is, and possibly because of its youth, came off a bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of ewpgolf2
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

29/08/09 bottle stamp date (2nd). Chose a goblet with this Tripel. I sampled this beer twice and used the second for this review. I store all my Belgians (Strong Darks, Dubbels & Tripels) @ 57*F and allow them to warm slightly before consuming. however, I should have paid heed to the suggested temp. on the bottle-45-50*F>>>they should know! This is the temp. used for this review. I think the alcohol starts to overtake the unique flavors if it warms too much.
This pours a slight hazy yellow/gold hue with a good and consistent thick head. The smell was not what I expected from a Tripel-fresh apricot & a little citrus. The taste was also a surprise. Crisp w/ over-the-top carbonation and a definite backdrop of the 9.5% ABV. This is a great beer but it seems to better exemplify a different style.
Mouthfeel was refreshing and clean & almost served as its own palate cleanser. I could drink more than one of these at a sitting (as I did with this review) and would consider this to be a 4 days/week beverage. Again, a great beer but I liked the Dubbel better.

 1,075 characters

Photo of revdrjbob
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another beer sampled at the Little Brussels Brasserie, Canberra.
Poured into it's dish like glass, a pale hazy yellow, with a big white, clingy head. Lotsa lace, that clung to the glass.
An interesting beer to say the least.
Aroma: Yeasty, spice, citrus(?), and a slight sourness.
Flavour: A slight malt, a hint of horsey sourness, plums, sweetness, very complex.
This was my last beer of the sampling, so my notes aren't as good as they could have been.
A great beer none the less.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - Pours a hazy yellow with orange/brown tint. Lots of sediment. Thick head with great retention and good lacing.

Smell - Citrusy all the way through

Taste - Citrus flavor is not as pronounced as the smell. Hints of caramel. However there is a nasty bite of some off flavor, tastes old.

Feel - Smooth, slightly chalky, slightly chewy, and a bit savory at the finish. Great masking of the ABV too. Very quaffable.

Overall - The flavor didn't really do it for me. I am thinking that I possibly got an old beer or that it wasn't shipped/stored properly since the best by date was 6/8/15. The beer was also very highly carbonated, as it started to foam over the bottle's lip upon opening (I have heard this can be a symptom of a bad beer).

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 silkscreened bottle with plastic cork.. wtf?!

murky golden peachy color with lots of bubbles and random yeast sediment particles despite a careful pour. velvety pillowy white head, hilly and littered with bubbles. nice crusty lacing. smell is also rather yeasty. hot with alcohol and light, citrus spikes full of lemon and orange (nosewise). candi sugar and ginger snaps.

taste starts smooth and vanilla, kicks into an alcoholic coma and exits with a pleasant hop bitterness. like a trappist rollercoaster. monk-made tripels are not anything extraordinary in my opinion, since there isnt much room to maneuver above the abv. ranks up there with unibroues but no uitzet. as a matter of fact, slap a unibroue label on this and i wouldn't think twice about it.

good beer though, and especially nice in 95 degree weather.

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Photo of TheEremite
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow. Tiny bubbles cascade to the top to make a big white frothy head. It's very carbonated and makes for a very pretty beer. There's quite a bit of yeast in the bottle, so pour with caution. Smells yeasty/bready and of some malt sweetness. Tastes extremely dry and very carbonated. Lively mouthfeel creates a prickly sensation on the tongue. Somewhat champagne-esque, but not fruity at all. It drinks very dry and quaffable. The yeast character is kept very low, no extreme belgian phenols or esthers, just a lively golden ale and it's done very well

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Photo of argock
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best by date reads 09/04/11. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Truly appealing in every way. Barely hazy yellow-orange with meringue 1-2 finger foamy white head with exceptional pile of lace down one side of the glass.

S: Pear and peach are most prominent but alcohol and pepper are also strong and fight it out. Hops are not readily present.

T: The flavors are subtle but alcohol unfortunately plays a very strong role in the flavor. Pepper and light fruits come through, but everything is bounded by the boozy alcohol flavor.

M: The feel is very dry and smoothly creamy. It does all of the little things very weel to make it easy to drink.

D: The progenitor of every other tripel but the flavor is not as rounded and full as some others.

 836 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dry tripel. Pours gold with a big foamy head. Some cloudiness with yeast that quickly settled. Aroma is yeasty with some spice and mild fruit. The taste is sharp up front with strong malts, then eases into the sweet sugary finish, but ends dry. I've never had anything like it before.

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Photo of BeerCheese
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear medium straw color with HUGE white head. Had to stop pouring so I didn't waste any! Nice hoppy citrusy aroma. Good balance, actually a little weaker on the taste than I expected for a tripel, but still tasty. Good warming due to the high ABV. I'd prefer a little more hops than malt, but seemed right for the style. Medium carbonation also seemed a bit weak, but nothing to make me dislike the beer. All in all a pretty drinkable beer.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,705 ratings.
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