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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,716 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:
1,716
Ratings:
4,442
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
415
Gots:
808
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,716 | Ratings: 4,442
Photo of Vader444
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour into tulip.

Quite a vibrant orange colour. Long lasting head. Smells really good; lots of spice and peach/apricot. Tastes as it smells with the addition of a fair hit of booze. Really pleasant stuff but the ABV kind of limits you to one or two of these.

Recommended. Cheers!

 289 characters

Photo of tcfishler
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, honeyed orange with a huge white head that leaves gorgeous tiered lacing.

Aromas are dry, yeasty, and malty, but not terribly expressive.

Subtly fruity (peach/berry) as it enters the mouth, but the flavor profile develops and becomes high-toned, somewhat raw, dry but not bitter, finishing long, with a tannin-like impression and a tiny bit of tartness. Chewing the beer brings out a little spice, mainly pepper. Alcohol is masked, and the mouthfeel is medium.

A subtle, dry classic.

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Photo of KevinSP
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first enjoyed this at the Bier Market in Toronto and not a week later was stunned to see it actually stocked at my local LCBO. There are a number of excellent reviews on this beer and I'm not sure I can add any more what has already been said about this spectacular brew. Complex and yet incredibly accessible. It is truly a treat for all senses - visually beautiful, tickles the nose with tempting sensations and finally it stuns the palette. Suffice to say that is truly one of the best beers available.

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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 Lambstrong
2.68/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is a golden copper color. This is one foamy beer and creates a huge head. There is a subtle spicy aroma and I picked up coriander spice with a slight orange zest. There is definatley upfront spice with a peppery bitter aftertaste that I found a little disagreable. It's the aftertaste that ruins this beer for me. As for mouthfeel, this is a highly carbonated Belgian ale.

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Photo of jnezda
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer from the 750 ml Bottle with Synthetic cork and it lived up to the brewery's reputation. I keep being drawn to the Belgium beers so this was a good choice.

Appearance: Poors much lighter than once it settled into my favorite snifter. Head was full and tight with little to no lacing. The beer settling into a cloudy amber with slight cling of the head to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fruity, honey sweet nectar. Not as heavily scented as some of the other trippels but very pleasant with appealing refreshing smell.

Taste: Good trippel with enough yeast to leave the fulfilling aftertaste in many of the Trappist Beers.

Mouthfeel: Sweet with a close knit carbonation that sits forward on the tongue and leaves your taste buds yearning for more. The sour of the beer almost makes the drinker thirsty so each sip sort of gains on you in more ways than one.

Drinkablity: Good beer overall but does come across as being too light for a trippel. The murky amber color seems like it would be more filling but the flavor is quite nice.

Overall I recommend this trippel.

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Photo of Onceeven
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a honey gold, with a huge billowy head. Enjoyed this world class beer in my Duvel tulip glass, which is a treat in itself. The bubbles attached themselves to the etching in the bottom of the glass, creating an amazing stream of carbonation. There are particles of some sort floating all through the beer. Doesn't appear to be yeast sediment.
This beer smells amazing. Spicy alcoholic and fruity. Exactly what I'd expect from a tripel.
Hugely complex flavor.. apricots come to mind, but that is only the beginning. It's wine-like in its dryness. Seems to reduce the drinkability a bit for me.. but I can't seem to set this drink down! Stellar.

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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 PhillyB
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Not at all what I was expecting. After letting the sediment settle at the bottom of the bottle, the resulting pour was a crystal clear and gold in color. A solid 2-3 finger head that dissipated rather quickly.

Smell: Sweet banana, malted grain, slight hop, and a funk on the tail end.

Taste: Banana, bitter hop, malted grain, and a slightly funky finish.

Feel: Starts out light, but the middle to finish coats mouth with a buttery slickness.

Overall: One of the better Trappist beers I've had, not to mention one of the more affordable ones.

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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.

 555 characters

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.

 968 characters

Photo of horshamguy
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice glass.

A--Hazy gold with a bit of an orange tint. Large, creamy head that lasts forever and leaves perfect lacing. As good a head as I've ever seen.

S--Sweet & yeasty. Some fruits, like apricot. Mild but still complex with a lot going on.

T--Sweet & malty. Apricot & yeasts are the upfront tastes to me. A little bit of hops follow to balance it out. Damn near perfection.

M--Wow, creamy & mouthfilling. Plenty of carbonation to spread out the flavors. I'd have to call the mouthfeel perfect, at least to my tastes.

O--This one is awesome. I've tried countless American Belgian style tripels. This is the one that they're all trying to be when they grow up. Absolutely as good as it gets.

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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 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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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,442 ratings.
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