Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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1,708 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: 1,708 | Ratings: 4,408
Photo of californiakulak
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had many of these beers on a recent trip to Belgium and I think it might be my favorite beer from the whole trip.

Poured into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Pours a hazy, light red color. A huge fluffy head with big bubbles. Simply beautiful.

S. A very fruity smell. Also a yeasty aroma. Malty scents as well. Maybe some corriander.

T. Great. This is just a great beer. Friuty and spicy malt flavors. Pear and the usual belgian yeast flavors.

M. Full bodied beer. Warming alcohol and lots of carbonation.

D. Goes down like water but very high in ABV so beware.

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Photo of kbanks13
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. into a tulip

A: Pours a clear golden/honey color with a three finger pillowy and rocky white head. Dissipates to a constant half-finger head with great lacing after every sip.

S: Lemon, clove, booze, flowers, pears, apricots/peaches, apples and caramel all make up the complex and wonderful nose.

T: The taste starts with the fruits smelled in the nose. Next layer of flavor is the booze punch followed immediately by the cloves. Oily lemon zest and flowers follow and then the buttery/biscuity malts that linger on my palate. A very faint hint of the caramel or honey can be found in the aftertaste as well.

M: Thick and filmy with high carbonation, perfect for this style. Sweet taste with a crisp dry finish.

D: Incredible beer with tons of flavor and character. Not by any means a sessionable beer, but one that could be enjoyed day after day with no problem. A truly great beer.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

when i opened it, the first thing i thought was, did i open a cider by mistake? the smell was overwhelmingly tart apple and apple skin. even once poured into my ommegang goblet i detected a lot of sweet and tangy green apple as well as herbal and flower smells.

color was a slightly hazy but perfect hay color. nice head that fell to a slight lace as i drank.

first taste was a knockout--from cider it seemed to have morphed into a super strong ESB. the first taste was strongly english aley-- very bready and earthy. then came a sharp pepper bite mixed with some sour/sweet apple flavor and a bitter herbal aftertaste.

i find this an amazing beer. highly drinkable, imminently complex with flavor profiles from different styles and a strong 9.5 abv, its quite a beer. i only wish i could afford it more often.

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Photo of Allpe45
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle
Best before end: 13/10/12
Served in a chalice

Appears bright yellowish gold, with a dense creamy head. Great retention and lacing. Smell is dominated by estery fruit. Some yeast, spice, and pale malts. Taste is incredibly balanced. Not much alcohol presence. Estery fruit and spicy phenols, followed by yeasty funk and malty sweetness. Light bitterness. Quick, dry finish with some residual sweetness. Medium bodied for the style, carbonation right on point. I would expect nothing less from a Trappist Tripel

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Photo of Stopper
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a waxy blonde, with a crisp white giant fluffy head. The aroma is spicy and a bit musty over a smooth, clean malt base. The mouthfeel is full and viscous and there's an initial noticeable sweetness, but this is definitely balanced by a very spicy hop bitterness. This spice comes forward as the flavor and by the finish is a slightly peppery and very sharp, rough bitter flavor. Though leaving a slight musty malty coat on the tongue, this significantly dries the pallet, inviting me for another smooth sip.

The interplay of the big body, the overriding hop spice, and the musty earthiness make this a really interesting and inviting brew.

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Photo of JonMich13
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Deep, hazy gold with pieces of sediment floating. Giant fist sized head that stayed strong throughout. Moderate lacing. Gorgeous beer.

S = Smells of light fruit and alcohol, with the usual Belgian yeast.

T = Very complex taste that evolves as it warms. Initial sweet fruity burst (banana, apple, hint of orange?) with some honey and candy sweetness as well. A spicy gear kicks in right after with warming alcohol and some bitterness finishing off. The spicy and alcohol presence blossoms as it warms. A great, sweet, complex brew. The overly present alcohol prevents a 5 here, but that's nitpicky.

M = A nice almost syrupy honey feel, but the carbonation is just a tiny bit overdone.

D = Drinkable in its deliciousness but not in a sessionable sense. When I reached the bottom of the glass, I was truly impressed and satisfied, but one was enough for the night.

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Photo of mnesporov
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: An 11.2 fl oz bottle with no freshness to be found and an Alc. Vol of 9.5%

Appearance: A very shady orange with a spectacularly nice head, that lasted almost through the whole brew and quivered off into a very creamy swirl of a lace.

Smell: A lemony and pepper taste with pale malts and apricot overtures this smells great!

Taste: It starts of with a fruity taste of apricots and a little bit of alcohol then switches over to a more honey and yeast flavor but to tell the truth there is just a lot going on here in flavor but nothing bad at all!

Mouth-Feel: A crisp and smooth mouth-feel with a very thirst quenching finish.

Drink-Ability: Highly recommend this one!

Notes: Warning Remember to let the yeast settle and pour slowly!!!!

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Photo of BarryNL
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Golden with a lacy white head which lasts well and produces some lacing. The beer is, like many tripels and strong golden Belgian ales, rather hazy.

S: Musty, cellar like yeasty aromas. Mild grassy, floral notes.

T: Some sweetness from the malt, which balances but doesn't obscure the alcohol. More bitterness than many Belgian beers, nicely balances the malts.

M: High carbonation, big fluffy beer. Slightly sticky. Good body - not too thin unlike some tripels.

D: Excellent - considering the strength you could really get into trouble with this one!

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Photo of Beelzebeer
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best-before date of 16/02/13, 331ml bottle, young bottle

A - Generous amount of thick-in-places head, cloudy golden colour with perfect amount of carbonation. High amount of lacing and great head retention.

S - Apricot and peach, with a hint of alcohol. Sweeter, sharper wheat, light malts.

T - Medium-high carbonation. More round, less sweet wheat than in the wheat, hiding the high ABV quite well. Apricot and mild yeast. The ideal Trappist Tripel.

M - Medium body, very drinkable. Smooth with alot of flavour, and a well-hidden amount of alcohol.

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Photo of BVukelich
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy, golden color with a creamy, thick head. Nothing unique in the aroma, typical (or maybe this one sets the standard) for Belgian Tripels. Personally, I thought the alcohol came across stronger than the 9.5% stated but it was still smooth and balanced. Viscosity was a bit thicker leaving an obvious coating on the roof of my mouth. It didn't last long and the aftertaste was earthy and a bit fruity. I love Belgian Tripels so it is rare that I can score one average or lower.

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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 DanOLeary
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Ripe pear skin. That's the first thing that comes to mind when you hold a glass of this beer to your nose. There is a light sense of brown sugar and sweet bread dough. Not bread crust mind you. Dark grapes are also noted in the aroma. No hop aroma and only a hint of alcohol despite the 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: A deep yellow to light golden amber with a yeast haze. Effervesant carbonation bubbles can be seen rapidly rising to the top that produce a frothy billow of pure white head. Excellent retention and very good lacing.

Flavor: Light spices of coriander, clove, and alcohol combine evenly on the palate with a very gentle presence. The alcohol lingers the most through the middle where you'll find an almost peppery spice. This seems to come from a combination of the alcohol and yeast. While the flavors are light, there's a lasting sensation of color on your tongue into the clean finish. If there's a hop presence it's only found at the back of the throat and with an earthy/noble presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation. Alcohol presence is certainly noted with a warming presence in the mouth and through the finish. This beer warms you up as it goes down. The carbonation is high and seems to renew the flavor if you hold the beer in your mouth.

Overall: Since there is a fair amount of yeast in the bottle, a careful pour will yield a brighter and more clear beer. But I poured this into two glasses, and the second glass got much more yeast than the first. If you don't care for yeast in your beer, pour slowly. Personally I call small bits of yeast "flavor crystals" in my beer. The same goes for hop flakes, though you won't find those here. There is nothing overpowering about this beer and the flavors blend together surprisingly evenly, with the alcohol winning out only slightly. Hop presence is minimal while the beer exhibits a noble spice given off by the Wesmalle yeast.

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Photo of ddarden
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a Westmalle chalice and it had a foamy white head and what appears to be nice carbonation. The color is a slightly hazy, pale copper. As I take a nice deep inhale, there is an immediate smell of yeast, alcohol, and citrius.
The first sip of the beer yields very a yeasty, dry taste with an aftertaste of a slight lemon hoppiness. The mouthfeel is medium and very nice. By now, the head is a very thin layer with light lacing still left on the glass and the alcohol is little more apparent as it warms. The aftertaste last for a while with a nice hoppy, dry feel. This is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle Poured into a Westmalle goblet

A: An excellent golden hue with plenty of visible carbonation, not a considerable head with little lacing. Only remotely opaque, but not completely translucent, bit of a haze

S: Yeasty notes combined with a pungent malty punch some citrus blend with a bit of a spicy loveliness.

T: Develops quickly with an initial bitterness that fades to a subtle sweetness. Complicated but not over the top. Strong potent flavor for a tripel, aggressive spice with a lingering honey warmth departs with a nice alcohol after taste

M: Light body, mouth filling with the tingling of the carbonation. Watery and smooth, rests on the tongue nicely

O: Not exactly a beer you can really put down, not something I would recommend for ‘game day’; but a powerful and delectable tasting beer with ABV to boot. It is obvious that this beer was brewed with intense dedication. Anyone seeking a rewarding tripel will be more than impressed.

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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 guild337
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is on a different playing field from all the other Trappists. It still has all the complexity, and flavor that the others have, but the experience is somehow deeper, and I love it for that little bit extra. The monks of Westmalle have created something special here (or continue to create something special that has been around for ages).

A - Beautiful, yet lightly golden coloring. An extremely frothy and rich, thick head. I let that dissipate as I enjoyed the aroma.

S - Very flowery, and fragrant. Lots of flavors here, but nice and slightly sweet citrus smell.

T - A welcome difference in this beer is that it is not too sweet at all, like some Belgians can be. Beautifully dry, and just a hint of tartness make this brew as complex and delicious as any classic wine could ever hope to be.

M - Again I emphasize the dryness of this beer. It is just a great, and uniquely different experience for me, and I love it.

D- This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly, and paired with some food. Not so much a session beer (for price, and alcohol content). But I would have some every week, if I could afford that. A world class beer, no doubt.

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Photo of jenitivecase
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 0,33L bottle retrieved from Paris, France, of all places.

A: Dark yellow, very hazy, with an amber cast. Ridiculous amount of head upon pouring with excellent retention and thick lacing. Carbonation continues to stream up from the bottom of the glass long after pouring, almost like champagne.

S: Very yeasty with strong citrus notes. The alcohol tang is also present.

T: Wow, this has a hell of a kick. It took a little bit of drinking to get my tongue to really get into the flavor. It's pretty spicy (coriander, nutmeg?), with all of the citrus undertones promised by the smell. Good yeast character rounds out a ridiculously complex taste.

M: Creamy and perfect. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: The alcohol bite and the intensity of the taste would make it difficult to drink this in quantity, but I'm going to enjoy the rest of the beer I've got in front of me for sure.

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Photo of uawildcat
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Bordeaux wine glass. Had a nice inch, inch and a half head. Nice cloudiness from yeast.

S: Smells fruity like apricots, pears, and other fruitiness behind a malty veil.

T: Tastes similar to it smells. Upfront very acidic, tastes of pears, lemony, and like there is a peppery spiciness somewhere in there too. It ends with a floral honey sweetness and leaves an aftertaste of bread.

M: Too acidic and overly carbonated for my tastes. This is my third triple and they all have a similar mouthfeel (Unibrow Fin de Monde and Deschutes The Stoic). Personally I don't like it, but seems to be average for the style.

O: This is the best tasting triple that I have had, also probably the best looking. Favorite of this style so far.

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Photo of Redteketed
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A golden good heading appearance. Fruity, malty smell, even a little hoppines and isn't that coriander in the background. Nicely in balance conforming style.
Light sweet/bitter taste, including the sence of fruit and malt. Full body. Dry sticky mouthfeel and a nice hoppy, spicy aftertaste.

Yes, according style a nice beer, but I prefer Westmalle dubbel.

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Photo of HopBacchus
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange gold with a large pillowy head and impressive lacing

Nose is complex with pale malts, pepper and a surprisingly strong presence of spirits

Spirity pepper and pale malts are up front, the flavor becomes more complex with citrus notes and coriander present finishes surprisingly dry

medium bodied and creamy, very drinkable if not for the spirity presence body had deffinetly been thinned by the alcohol

Overall a very good Tripel

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Photo of heissebier
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came in a 750 mL corked bottle with a two dates stamped on the back: 11/02/09 and 11/02/11. Very confusing because I bought until my roommate suggested the dates were printed euro-style. After wrestling with the cork for some time, we were ready start drinking.

Appearance- A beautiful, cloudy light orange, almost but not quite amber hue. A small white head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a lot lacing. The bubbles making up the head vary in size quite considerably, but for the most part are very small.

Smell- Complex and incredibly rich, very wine like. The smell is dominated by malt, with highlights of pepper, citrus, and banana. The alcohol is somewhat present, but in a classy, refined way.

Taste- Wow. This was my first tripel and it tasted absolutely nothing like I expected. Completely blew my mind (and palate). An incredibly complex flavor that comes at you in waves. The main taste is a spicy, peppery alcohol with a mix of complementing flavors that I find hard to describe. Kind of fruity with some mellow hop bitterness. Leaves a taste in your mouth reminiscent of homemade yeasty bread.

Mouthfeel- Very, very smooth with a subtle carbonation that complements the taste very well. Not too light or heavy but very warming. I could see myself sitting in a castle and drinking it.

Drinkability- Fantastic! One of my favorite beers to date. Hard to set down. A little too on the alcoholic side, though. Leaves a warm, happy feeling inside of you.

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Photo of timjr2500
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very thick but light white head on top of a golden-yellow body. The head does persist longer than on most beers but looks about average for a Trappist, a bit on the light side actually.

It smells very fruity, my premonition is apricot, and a lingering spice of cinnamon or nutmeg surrounding the nose.

Its taste is cunning, like a traditional belgian, but it lacks the same power of certain Trappists. The more I drink though the better it gets, but I think where this beer is lacking for me is the yeast. I like the crispness that the tight carbonation provides but I think it could go further to exploit the Belgiam yeast that makes the Trappist so special. Although it may just need a few more years in the bottle before it lives up to the expectations of beers like Rochefort.

Its a nice beer but I do think it is a bit overpriced. Maybe I'm paying for tradition or something but I do believe that its more than I would expect to pay for something unaged and a bit rough around the edges, but overall and above average beer.

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Photo of oldhippie247
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium-gold with a very slight haze, topped with a stark white, billowy head that lingers all the way down.

Aromas are bright and fruity with a hint of herbal spiciness.

First sip is immediately crisp, spicy, acidic, and fruity--not sweet. Alcohol warmth shows just a touch more than I generally care for, but so much as to be over the top. A very fine, intense carbonation keeps this strong beer feeling light.

Overall still the classic go-to Tripel for me.

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Photo of Brianjames16
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a vibrant two finger frothy off white head. Amber/orange color. Hazy with good carbonation in the glass.

S- Welcoming floral and fruity aromas in the nose. I get some orange peel, citrus, flowery esters and pine. Some breads from the yeast.

T- Taste is precisely balanced with good bitterness and dark fruits. Good warmth in throat from the alcohol.

M- Smooth and silky with good carbonation. Delicious !

D- As far a Belgians go, this is second best for me and would have no problem drinking a few. Drinkabillity is fantastic !

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Photo of DannyHartman
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I pour an 11.2 oz. bottle into a room temperature pint glass, a massive 2-3 inch head (with good retention) appears atop a hazy and beautiful yellowish/orangish/gold brew.... There's very visible sediment floating throughout the drink due to the Belgian yeast in the bottle.... Plentiful lacing is left behind during the drink.

I take a whiff and immediately get funky Belgian yeast.... Following that, I get fruitiness like that of banana and a hint of apple.... There's even lemon citrus in the nose.... Sweet and spicy.... I love it.

As I'm sipping, spicy Belgian yeast hits the taste buds first.... There's also banana, lemon, a touch of honey sweetness, and a spicy apple cider flavor.... Delicious.

Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation to release all the flavors and spice on the palate.... Nice, smooth, and crisp with every sip.... Leaves a delicious lingering aftertaste.

Overall, I'm partial to Belgians.... I love them !!.... This is a truly perfect representation of perfectly balanced complexity that the Belgians are known for.... I love this beer, and will continue to enjoy it like I have for years past.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,708 ratings.
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