Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,709
Ratings:
4,412
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
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Reviews: 1,709 | Ratings: 4,412
Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

A – A pale roasted malt colour of very pale amber meets the eye. A single finger of busy head erupts in the glass but this dissipates very quickly to a thin cover and leaves minimal lace. I know some on here have said it leaves large head but this is a fresh bottle poured into a chalice in Holland and it has a sensible head so I feel confident this is the way it is meant to be.

S – The first thing I notice is plum followed by some mild citrus notes possible lemon grass. There is also a good smell of candy sugar pale malts and apricot.

T – The apricot and plum are very evident here. There are some sweet pale malts as expected from the appearance but there is also more complex depth such as spicy booze flavours, some grassy/leafy flavours with a crisp bite.

MF – Medium body with great boozy tingle but really very smooth.

O – A very drinkable number. This is the best triple I have come across by far and although I was once not a fan of the style this has converted me.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a Brandy snifter to prevent the head from overflowing any other type of glass. Thick foamy inch head with tons of bubbling carbonation. Head became thicker like Vanilla ice cream as it reduced leaving very thick lacing. Exceptional color and head. Beautiful apple cider-like color with a slight haze. Yeast aroma with a sweet malt note. Aroma is a bit weak and is the only thing preventing me from giving this Tripel all 5's. Absolutely Superb mouthfeel in every respect. It is a bit more bitter than most Tripel's I've tried, but I like it. Slight Phenolic taste on the finish. Creamy with a rolling texture. Due to high ABV I cannot give it a 5 for Drinkability. Although the alcohol is well-hidden it is definately there and makes me wonder how I am going to finish this whole 750Ml bottle by myself, but I'm sure I'll manage. Bitterness is most distinguishable towards the end of your glass. A touch of spice and vanilla adds to the medium body. Overall absolutely exceptional. I'd bring a bottle of this to a nice dinner over a bottle of wine anyday. TRY IT!

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Photo of Chrysostom
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As always, I review to style (ala BJCP) modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), or else certain beers, excellent exemplars of styles I do not prefer, would receive worse marks than poor examples of my favourite styles.

As always, this review is live, not from notes. Trendy. Hipster-approved.

This, Westmalle, is the original Tripel. All other Tripels derive from this. Now, without further ado, a review.

Presentation: 750mL corked and caged bottle, served at 50ºF, corked with Westmalle's notoriously hard-to-remove plastic/rubber cork. Poured in to Chimay chalice/goblet. This beer was aged for about one year before drinking.

A: Crystal-clear (after a year of aging) straw yellow colour, like unto an American Lager, with a two-finger, foamy head on a moderate pour which surprisingly slowly recedes in to a cap and ring, and which leaveth little lacing. Two The clarity is surprising, but to be expected after such aging. Trappist are just /supposed/ to be cloudy. Looks like a clear Duvel. Or, for that matter, a Budweiser. On second and third pours, has a slight cloudiness (rating increased), very similar to Duvel, with some white lees in the glass.

S: Citrus, apricot, apple, white wine (Chardonnay, this time), some wet dog or farm, some typical Belgian spice. Very minor alcohol. Sweet, malt, and hops come through all at once. Quite malty. Some noticeable Belgian funk. Mild alcohol.

T: Citrus, sour apple, Chardonnay (including the alcohol), fresh-cut grass and subdued Belgian funk. No spice apparent. No hops up front - malts dominate with a breadiness - but citrus-y hops hit pretty strongly on the mid-palate and finish. Clean finish, coats the mouth mildly, but there's obviously some hopping going on. Some crackers in the finish. Similar to the Chimay White but a bit bolder. Crisp.

M: Loose, spritzy carbonation with a bite. Pulls the beer together well.

D: High.

O: The quintessential Tripel. Try it.

To style: 98/100
To taste: 90/100

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Photo of MrMichael
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Golden color that was slightly cloudy when poured. Lots of foam on top

Smell
The smell was great. There was a nice mix of fruit and hops.

Taste
This beer tasted light, clean, and had a nice fruitiness to it. I could happily sip it all evening

Mouthfeel
Effervescent and crisp with lots of tiny bubbles

Overall
Outstanding. My bottle came from a Belgian sampler case and I will probably buy an entire case of this the next time I go in.

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Photo of bum732
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow, some yeast floaties, nice creamy head leaving tons of lacing. Smells of medicinal phenols, a nice earthy grassiness, touch of clove, soft sweet breadiness, honey, touch of vanilla, absolutely blissful. Tastes of creamy clove like malt with lots of phenolic layers throughout. Some grainy sweetness that is immediately followed by a clean bitterness. Finishes fairly dry with an earthy note. Alcohol is present, but not overwealming. Nice full creamy mouthfeel, just enough carbonation to make it pop.

I still find it amazing such a full bodied beer can be dry at the same time, just unbelievable. An amazing brew, truly the standard for all Tripels and by far the best i've ever had.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received a 750ml bottle along with a very nice Westmalle chalice glass as a gift. The glass is very heavy, has a 33cl line with ample room to spare for the head. Best chalice I own.

The bottle was marked with a bottled date of 11/4/11. It was caged and corked. I served it at 40 degrees.

Poured it into the chalice a pale golden color with medium haze and a thin white head. There were many streams of carbonation rising in the glass along with some yeast settling in the glass.

S- biscuit, citrus, some savory spice.
F- Very complex with several varieties of citrus, grains, and spice. The flavors were consistent through the taste rather than certain flavors appearing only on the finish.
M- moderate to high carbonation kept the mouthfeel clean and crisp. The 9.5%ABV was well integrated.
O- Outstanding with great complexity, classic Belgian yeast. I recommend serving it warmer - 50 degrees or above as this is when the flavors and aromas emerged more fully.

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Photo of bosco7
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought I should review a classic/style-defining beer to mark my 200th review.

Pale orange color with a luscious velvety head that leaves quality sticky lacing. A little hazy.

Orange peel, lemon pulp, green apple skin, rose petal, earthy hops, spicy pepper. Very perfumey with less banana than I remember. The bottle is about a year or so old.

Sweet start with some orange zest, slight banana, sugary, and light caramel flavors. Perfumey, green apple, rose, some vanilla, and minty flavors towards the middle of the sip. Spiciness is most pronounced in the finish white pepper comes to mind. Some warming alcohol notes in the finish as well. Assertive bitterness and a dry ending.

This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink. Complex as hell(especially with a couple months in the cellar) and very drinkable despite the ABV. Simply exceptional.

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Photo of drperm
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I knew I was in for a winner when I saw it swirling in my Chimay goblet. Nice and unfiltered, like a dark witbier.

Aroma: It's like candy in the glass. Cotton candy, white chocolate, light caramel, raspberry, vanilla, lemon, wheat, homemade bread dough rising.

Taste: This beer explodes with flavour. Citrus, candy (but thankfully not too sweet!!), nice light hopping, toffee, caramel, allspice, bubblegum, nutmeg, a tart finish. It's a hair thin (but at 9.5% ABV it can be as thin as it wants!).

Palate: SO smooth, it's dangerous. I can taste the warming alcohol on the way down, but it is not at all harsh or unpleasant.

Overall: It definitely smells sweeter than it tastes. This is an all-around winner and underscores the qualities that make Trappist beers so special.

It is *excellent* with dhal. It proved a seamless match with the pear and chive chutney (loved those chives), and would be stellar with mango chutney as well. The sweet + curry equation is key. It was one of those times that I had the meal first and needed to pick a brew -- I took a chance and it worked!

This was a fairly fresh bottle. I've got another one of those that I purchased at the same time. I'm going to cellar it and see how the difference stacks up in a couple of years.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a cloudy semi-transparent pale orange color. The one-finger head is white and creamy. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is huge, juicy orange peel, spices. The taste is full and juicy. Orange peel dominates the sip leading into a tangy finish, and onto a warm alcoholic aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth. Overall, this is a very good tripel; one of the better ones I have had.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before on bottle is May 19, 2012.

Pours a light golden colour with a full, frothy white head that settles down but stays present throughout. Lots of carbonation is visible.

I can smell belgian yeast, banana, and maybe a faint whiff of strawberry. Light fruits generally are very present. Very nice.

Taste is moderately sweet and quite fruity. A bit of spice, and some bitterness is also present. Alcohol is noticeable at the end. No particular fruit sticks out for me- the flavours are well balanced and it is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- full bodied, and very well carbonated. Looking at the beer, I thought the carbonation would be too much for me, but I guess the appearance was deceiving. Feels great.

Quite drinkable, given how enjoyable it is, but the 9.5% is not exactly hidden. I wouldn't try (or want) to drink this quickly.

A very very good tripel!

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible tripel of 9.5% ABV, of an opaque ocher color and a big and persistant whitey foam.
Smell and taste are characterized by delicious and unexpected sweet tones; they're also full of grainy tones and it's easy to feel the yeast.
Body, carbonation and bitterness are at perfect level, I believe this beer has the best feel of all I've tasted.

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Photo of Radome
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a goblet.

A - I had a gusher of foam immediately upon opening the bottle. This is probably because of shaking in my car, since I bought it out of a store cooler and immediately took it home and opened it. Color is golden with an orange tinge. The foam is thick and fluffy and off-white in color. My sample had yeast particles suspended in it, but I blame that on the car shaking again.

S - Wonderful aroma that is a mix of cotton candy sweetness, fruitiness (apple?), alcohol and subtle spices. Around the edge I get hints of musty old barrels or corks, like walking through a wine aging cellar.

T - Very complex taste. Has a hop bitterness foundation, but its not the focus of the beer. Malt and fruitiness is up front, then alcohol and candi sugar sweetness in the middle. There are low hops flavors and subtle spices in the end. Outstanding.

M - Medium body, some alcohol burn appropriate for the style and the alcohol level. Carbonation is very high, but the bubbles are small and it gives the beer a creamy, fluffy feel. Just a bit of a mouthcoating feel, but it fades quickly without being cloying.

D - Overall a beautiful, masterfully made beer. Complex aromas and flavors without being cloying or heavy. This beer works well with food or on its own as a night cap.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a Westmalle chalice.
Pours a cloudy yellow orange color with visible yeast particles. The head starts of really big but becomes thin and patchy quickly, lacing is rather subdued. The aroma is of citrus fruits, perfumey malts, and herbal hops. The taste is sweet and spicey. Malts and kandy sugar mingle with a tangy citrus quality and very clear apple notes, its almost cidery. Theres great hop definition and a subtle phenolic character as well. Alcohol is evident but, like all good Belgium brews, definitely masks its full girth. The mouthfeel is smooth and luscious from a massive amount of fine carbonation bubble. This is a classic Belgium beer.

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Photo of puckjer
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, best belgian tripel i have ever had. beautiful golden orange color with a tight white head that laced all the way to the bottom of the glass. the complexity of flavors in this beer are truly remarkable. there is definitely something to be said about old world beers like this that have been superiorly perfected over time. like one of the other posters said, drink this in solitude and slowly to truly enjoy all that it has to offer.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Attractive cloudy golden hue with a solid two fingers worth of bubbly stark white foam head. Very good retention and good lacing.

S: Strong orchard fruits (pear & apple) in addition to tropical fruits (banana & pineapple), yeast, spices (pepper & cloves), and an underlying buttered bread aroma. Also picking up a gummy candy-like scent. Can't believe how much fruit is in the aroma, and both tropical and orchard varieties. Wonderful and diverse smell.

T: Sweet pear, tangy and tart pineapple, bitter pepper, floral elements, and a bread-like malt backbone. Fantastic contrast between sugars and bitters with a great equilibrium reached. Alcohol hardly evident.

M: Full bodied with a moderate carbonation for the style. Incredibly oily and viscous with a slight chewy texture and lingering dryness that works.

D: An exceptional tripel. The balanced quality of this coupled with the potent fruit elements makes this a winner for me.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from an 11.2oz bottle into my Watou chalice. Poured cloudy orange-yellow, with yeast clumps included, and sticky white head which formed into islands within several minutes.

The smell is awesome, bready yeasty tripel aroma. Of course this is the original, so you'd expect this to fit the profile...

Taste is out of this world. Fruity esters and some very mild alcohol bite compete with the bready aroma.

This is very easy to find in Northwest Columbus, but on the expensive side (generally $4-$5 per bottle). Even so, very good and I will not hesitate to buy more. If I ever get to Belgium, I'll try to taste some fresh bottles.

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Photo of santa109
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 52 degrees. Best before date on the bottle is 15/10/2009.

A: Poured a nice golden color with a finger of thick foamy head into a chalice. Head retention is really good thanks to a healthy supply of bubbles. It leaves lacing throughout.

S: Wow, this is the quintessential tripel aroma for me, oozes with citrus. Pale malts are also noticeable and Belgian yeast is also very apparent.

T: Delicious citrus twang accompanied by a hint of spices. Yeast is apparent and there is also a slight medicinal character. Quite the interesting brew. When it warms up a little, the medicinal character becomes even more apparent and this beer truly becomes something special.

M: Slightly crisp at first and then it feels much more creamy and mellow. The thick head accentuates this creamy effect.

D: Alcohol is barely noticeable and the incredibly addictive taste make this a very drinkable beer. It's a good thing that the label states the alcohol volume because it's very well hidden.

Overall, this beer defines what a tripel should be. It goes down so smoothly and each sip is more enjoyable than the previous one. I'm so glad to have 10 of these left.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours into the goblet a darker gold than most tripels, a white head with fairly low retenention for a belgian ale, but laces very nicely

S- citrusy sweetness, spicey, crisp, classic tripel smell

T- a little bitter, sweet, spicey, goes more or less hand in hand with smell

M- very dry, very carbonated, taste remains in mouth for a good amount of time

D- A great brew, problaby my favorite tripel, something I would recomend and have bought repeatedly

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Photo of smilingPolitely
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such an enjoyable brew!
Pours with a nice creamy head, and deep yellow color - slightly cloudy. Nice mellow aroma, and amazingly smooth taste with sweet undertones and even balance all the way through. Silky mouthfeel but not too heavy at all.
A great drink for a relaxing evening.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy golden with hints of beige and grey. A creamy white head that has real staying power

S - Blueberry, grapes, candi sugar, pears, papaya, vanilla, biscuits, taffy, currant, some malt, caramel, toffee, sponge

T - Slight fruity sweetness which is followed by a surprising bitter that carries through til the end accompanied by malt tones and caramel. Spices and booze are predominant with subtle caraway and anise. Yeasty breadiness comes out under the fruit and provides a hearty base.

M - Velvety carbonation and a wonderful mouthcoating.

O - An excellent brew. Given that its relatively dry and pretty bitter, this one definitely goes to the top of the list for Belgain Tripels.

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Photo of Skaterdude97
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - 4.5 | cloudy golden colour, white medium sized head that decreases quickly but not fully

Smell - 4 | bread, orange, banana, lemon, clove, allspice

Taste - 5 | banana, clove, grapefruit, orange, lemon, cinnamon, honey

Feel - 5 | medium body with creamy mouthfeel, high, effervescent carbonation

Overall - 4.75

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Photo of drcarver
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a hazy yellow with a large fluffy head sitting on top. Head last through the entire beer and lacing clings to the sides on the way down. Perfect.

S - spicy with bits of citrus exactly what is expected.

T - starts with sweet fruitiness followed by the spicy peppery and clove overtones. Finish with a combination of alcohol and medicine. A bit of breadiness but not nearly as heavy as in other brews.

M - clean and dry. carbonation is lively on a palate. aftertaste sticks on the sides of the tongue, but more of a feeling than a flavor.

D - yeah... if I could afford it.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clean but much lighter in color than I would expect from a tripel trappist. Poured with about a 1 -1/2 finger head that dissipated rather quickly. No sediment or residue in my bottle.

S- Clover and some orange and spice. My sense of smell is not the best but it definitely smelled of citrus/orange.

T- Surprisingly clean as I have grown used to St. Bernadous 12 which is far heavier (but an awesome beer). I am pleasantly surprised by the lightness of this. Completely satisfying and a great body to it but not overwhelming. Orange and clove taste with the alcohol being covered over for the most part. Delicious and refreshing. I will have to check out more trippels as I have become accustomed to quads.

M- Don't really know how to rate this. Very nice. No lingering aftertaste. Clean but with substance. Do yourself a favor and try it.

D- Absolutely!! One of the top 5 beers I have ever tried (and I have tried a lot). Would definitely recommend this to everyone I know and will be picking up more tomorrow. I bought 25 or so singles to give them a whirl and this is my third on and the best so far.

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Photo of elmore
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Trois Pistoles chalice. Slow pour yielded a creamy, thick pale head. Glowing golden orange color with a good amount of fine yeast sediment. Great retention with plentiful foamy lace left on the sides of the glass - this is definitely a Trappist ale.

Nose is of bready belgian malts and pungent yeast.

Tastes of biscuity light malts, coriander, apricots, lemongrass. A nice mild bitter stale grassy hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth. Carbonation is champagne-like. This is very drinkable for the alcohol content. Every sip left me wanting more. This high ABV drink went down very fast.

Absolutely sublime tripel.

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Photo of rjlemos
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What am I supposed to say about a Belgian Trappist Tripel ? That's awesome. Really awesome. Something totally singular, unique. Well, let's try to be technical...

A- Superb. It pours dark gold, but muddy. Great head, dense, that lasts forever.
S- Complexity !
T- Delicious. It goes realy nice and well, complex, but it starts to get goddamned strong in the end. The alcohol reveals itself and the aftertaste is really intense !
M- Great. It fills up your mouth and shows how strong it is !
D- It's not a beer to drink liters. In fact, it's really hard to drink quite much considering the amount of alcohol in it. It's a gourmet beer, not a six pack lousy soapy lager... but it goes really well. It's not a beer for sissies, you really have to be able to handle that !

Really great and unique ! We can say this is one of a kind, for sure.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,709 ratings.
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