Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

1,722 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle

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: 1,722 | Ratings: 4,458
Photo of WetCoaster
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: In its Westmalle challace (which I forgot I had until I realized I was pouring the beer into it), a slightly cloudy, slightly chalky piss gold (it is, what can I say?) with a huge, pillowy, pure white head. Medium retention; a bit on the quick side for a tripel. Thick lace curtains on the glass. Dozens of streams of tiny bubbles race to the top.

Smell: On the rich side for a trip, with a sweet, bready cakelike spiceiness, yeasty white pepper/clove, and a definite citrus tang, though more sweet orange than sharp lemon. An undercurrent of honeyed malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The champ. Hands down. Period. Sweet nectar tangerine hits the palette first, followed by a swirling spiced bread flavor. There's a lemon-lime soda floating on top, with a creamy honey--and even a hint of sugar cookie--resting on the floor. It's a touch boozy (sort of like a Tom Collins), but the finish is a Middle Eastern combo of lime leaf, exotic spice and honey. It's as good as it gets; it's hard to describe how truly amazing this is. The mouthfeel is stellar as well, rich, smooth, creamy and a bit chewy.

Drinkability: I have to shave a half off for it's 9+ abv and $4.50+ price tag. But if I were Bill Gates, I'd have a walk-in fridge full of it; I could literally drink only this forever and be happy. IMHO, certainly the best tripel, and one of the best beers, this mortal coil has to offer. Divine inspiration, indeed.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle to give it a try. Pours foamy, with a head that quickly subsides. Aroma is of pears and other fruits. Taste is hard to get a finger on, as it's blow away quickly by the alcohol warmth and aggressive carbonation. Slighty spicy too, and warming. Could use more malt and body to stand up to everything else going on. Seems vinous and thin.

Not bad, but I don't think I'll look for this again.

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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 cncbofh
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color.

Small head which quickly falls away - probably due to such a high alcohol content.

Smells of sugary pilsener. Alcohol warms the nose.

Tastes of sweet malt and a clovelike spiciness. Ends with a dry stinging bite. Very tasty and warming. Excellent as a nightcap (although I'm drinking mine at 9 in the morning).

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Photo of palma
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice hazy yellow body. Hefty white head leaves a good Belgian lace.

Immediate fruit essence mainly consisting of pear and orange. Very malty nose. I caught some pungent whiffs of grain alcohol. Faint aroma of tomatoes?? Can't say I didn't like it, however. This brew woke my ass up in a good way. Aroma warns you this is a no-BS-brew, at 9.5% ABV.

Fruit punch-like flavor. Tropical fruit? Underlying chocolate, toffee, and maybe even light coffee notes. Bitter citrus flavors dominate throughout. An intriguing tartness towards the end. Finishes semi-dry/dry. The bitter citrus sticks around in the aftertaste. Raw alcohol flavor present big time. You can't miss it.

Nice delicate bubbly mouthfeel. Full in the mouth yet, refreshing.

One of the better Tripels I've tried. Much better than St. Bernardus IMO.

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Photo of cooter
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruddy yellow-ochre with lively carbonation, cloudy/billowy white head. Nose is heavily citrus. Taste is alcoholic, with grapefruit, lemon, bread, and some nice malts. A surprising amount of hop character and balance--fascinating with such strong malt. Very floral. My call? Delightful, beautiful, comfortable.

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Photo of Quaffer
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Appearance: This beer appeared a hazy pale yellow while it was being poured. However, once it was collected in the glass, it was a strong, amber-orange color. The white head rose up to about one finger and then disappeared quickly. A thick patch of foam remained in the center of the glass for the entire drink because it was being fed from a strong column of bubbles rising from the bottom. There was a light sprinkling of lace left behind on the side of the glass.

Smell: Grapes, white wine, green apples, and yeast were the first smells to jump out at me. Further investigation revealed light spicy alcohol and a thin layer of roasted malts underneath. There was a spicy, almost peppery, bite on the nose, though it was very subdued. Overall, the aroma was okay, but it lacked depth. Kind of thin and airy.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth on the tip of the tongue, with the carbonation developing strongly as the beer moved back in the mouth. It became very spongy feeling. Almost medium bodied.

Taste: Strongly vinuous and alcoholic. White wine and alcohol hit hard right from the start and continue to overpower all the other flavors through the finish and well into the aftertaste. Hints of yeast and sweet apple peak through from the background, as well as a hint of malt on the finish.

I've tried the beer quite a few times before and it has never impressed me. This is definitely one of my least favorite Trappist brews.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer. Best before 15/07/06 on bottle. Bottle has rings from recycling, based on that; it gives a good indication that people enjoy this beer. Beer poured nicely into a wide-rimmed glass, pale orange and ripe pear color sit underneath a nicely formed head. That dissipated to an eight of an inch and remained pretty much throughout its life. Smell is loaded with fruits, green grapes, grapefruit, and fresh cut something. When you have a beer that tastes as it smells you’re in good company-taste are full and lasting, does varies from start to finish. High alcohol content that is fused that fuses nicely with the senses. A definite must.

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Photo of foamer
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 18/08/06

Pours a slightly hazy light orange with absolutely no head. Barely even some bubbles on the surface. This is not what I expected at all. Musty acidic nose. I think this bottle might have gone off. Taste is similar. Sour and tart, almost like lemon juice. There is some malt in the finish and some alcohol. Not great though. I'm becoming more and more sure this is a bad bottle. Mouthfeel is good, mostly because it has little to do with taste. Not very drinkable at all - I'm going to have to get another one and rereview this. This can't be right.

Drain. Sorry guys.


The guys at the store were kind enough to replace the bottle free of charge. So here we go. Pours the same slightly hazy light orange. No head at all at first and my heart sank. Then all of a sudden, whosh! There is was. Nothing to 1.5" of thick bubbly white head in a flash. This is a good sign. Nose is of malt and spices. Very nice taste. Spices and malt with some warming alcohol in the finish. The alcohol is well-hidden overall. A very nice ber. A shame the first one was off.

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Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled a small bottle of this sublime nectar of the gods @ the Petite Abeille in NYC. Pours light straw, lemony and cloudy. Puffy white head, leaving the anticipated world class lacing. Nose is musty,nutty and yeasty. Spice, yeast and more nuttyness up front. Very pleasant soft mouthfeel. My kind of beer, spice, fruit, complexity. Intoxicating blend of flavors, smells, and textures. I'll take this to that desserted island and be satisfied beer wise for a long time.

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Photo of guinnessman
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this one in a wesmalle Trappist chalice. It poured with a frothy white head and a golden yellow huge.
With smells of citrus, vanilla, and a musty barn like aroma made it intriguing to me. The alcohol does prevail but does not overpower. There is also a hint of mint that I noticed after a few sips. The mouthfeel is a pleasant texture and a very smooth. A faint tickle as it flows over the palate.
A fine Tripel!

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.53/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: Pours an incrdedibly clear light orange with a huge, creamy, frothy, mountainous white head that stays forever.

Smell: The smell is fruity and spicy, with a suprising amount of yeast and wood notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow. This tastes like crap. No fruitiness at all, no good spices, just a strong alcoholic flavor mixed with a crappy, yeasty adjucnt flavor. The aftertaste is the only saving grace. While it's mostly dominated by alcohol, there's also a tiny bit of fruitness. The mouthfeel is thin.

Drinkbaility and Overall: This is one of the more dissapointed beers I've had lately. Maybe it was just a bad bottle, but nothing about it really tasted good. It's pretty, and smells nice, but goes downhill from there. Not one I'd really like to have again.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle
Pours cloudy orangy/yellow with large chunks of yeast floating about.
I had this bottle sitting undisturbed for three days and poured carefully, yet I still ended up with a lot of yeast.
Head was a decent size but it was short lived.
Aroma was fruity and yeasty and spicy. A little orange peel.
Flavor is spicy, with some floral hop and some citrus zest in the finish.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yeah, I finally got me some Westmalle!!!
This triple pours from the 12 oz bottle a faintly hazy brew, the color of clover honey. An impressive white head quickly rises to a peak, where it remains for quite some time before crawling back into my goblet, etching it with thick lace as it goes.

The aromas, ahhh. A transcendant perfume of harvest fruits, honey, orange blossems, lemon, spicy yeast, phenolic banana funk, and grassy herbals. Candy sweetness covered by a blanket of funky spice. Love those Monks!

Every characteristic of the nose is amplified in the tasting. There are absolute layers of flavors to pull apart here. No one flavor is dominant, rather a perfect harmony is achieved. This is the epitomy of a triple. Sweet, never cloying, fruity, spicy, and oh so complex.

Body is medium, playfully fizzy, and smoother than silk. Finish is dry, lemony, with a lasting impression of spicy, peppery hops. This is Heaven, in 12 oz servings!

Thanks to Gabe for sharing this treat!

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Photo of GreatLeo
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Came in a 33cl bottle with best before date 06/2006. I have been hearing nothing but great things about this beer for some time now so I decided to check it out to see what all the hype is all about and now I can definately see! This is a wonderful beer with so many different layers and characteristics to it. Not too bitter in taste considering its strength (9,5%) which doesnt taste like it at all so its very masked indeed. Gave a very nice bittersweet aftertaste though I believe with a little cellaring would do this beer great things (that is if I can keep my hands off of it) Extremely complex triple that totally lives up to the trappist name!!! HIGHLY recommended to all I say!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a hazy lighter-orange color, sizable frothy white head, lots of little bubbles rushing to the top. Fair amount of lace. Flaky chunks after the second pour. Sweet candy nose, some hints of lemon. Active feel on the tounge, Light and fruity, sweet malts, hops active. Hint of alcohol, but it is well blended, dry finish. Quite a nice brew, well worth a try.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with cloudy, hazy amber body, almost like honey. More yeasty particles than the population of china. Beautiful white creamy head, very good retention. Some lacing

Smell, apples and pears, zesty lemon, reminds me of lemon sorbet. Whiff of alcohol

Taste, sweet alcoholic fruity esters, lasting hop bitterness on the finish. Alcohol and yeast also, very fruity, dry and crisp

....mmm....is it better than tripel karmelit? probably. would i buy it again? definatly. This is a genre defining beer, if you want to know what a tripel should be, this is it

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a giant frothy spumescent thick vanilla cake like head cap displaying excellent retention and leaving latticed lace in the glass.

Rummy scents revealing bold awl-kee-hawl contents and a yeasty hint in the background added to a delicate orange fruit aroma.

First swigs: Yeasty flour & dry flavor of orangey citrous finish. Some perceived awl-kee-hawl & floral esters on the palate. Sherbert notes. Becomes quite hot in the warmed finish.

Taunt crisp medium body.

Last swigs: Peach liquor-ish and yeasty chardonnay. Tasted in a self imposed side-by-side with the formidable St. Bernardus tripel to get a feel for the similariteis and differences, just like good ole English class essays. Westmalle is fruitier in comparrison. $7.50 for a 11.2 mL 9.5% ABV with a freshness stamp of "19 11 05."

Beer is good. Happy tripel beering.

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

11.2 oz. bottle, pretty neat one at that. Back label has numbers and months for a brewed on date, but they aren't notched.

Pours a hazy light copper with a monstrous head, almost looked like soap suds, with crazy large bubbles. As the head went down the froth clinged to the edges of my DT glass.

I can smell this beer from 2 feet away! Complex and fruity esters, vanilla extract, alcohol. When I first opened it I got a strong spiciness, very herbal. That went away quickly. The alcohol smell is really strong with this brew.

The alcohol is also strong in the taste. I can feel it burning its way down my to my gut. If I were to judge from the alcohol characteristics alone, I would guess this is the strongest beer I've drank, although I can think of quite a few I've tried with a higher listed ABV. This stuff hits my gut like a shot of whiskey. Super slick mouthfeel, with ample carbonation. After a few drinks I decided to pour the yeast, hoping for a rescue from the big booziness of this beast, all I got was a touch of nutty flavor. Lots of fruity green-apple-peel-tasting esters. Malt and hop flavors are present, but just get lost in a vat of pure alcohol dominance.

This is a first for me. I love tripels, and the other trappist beers I've tried have been top notch. There are some balance issues for me with this brew, way too much of a booze vibe going on. For $5 for a single 11.2 oz. bottle, this wasn't near as good as it should have been, unless you're just dying to drink really expensive, boozy beer.

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Photo of Wonka
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 fl. oz.
9.5% Alc. Vol.
Purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley, MD

Appearance – a bit murky orange-yellow body; nice thick white head early that goes away early; reasonable lace

Smell – grainy; orangey astringent; some light apricot

Taste – Yeasty; spicy; good tone of apricot; a bit of vodka alcohol and a bit of orange and grains

Mouthfeel – smoother as it warms; crisp carbonation; alcohol evaporates and dries at the end as it teams with bitterness

Drinkability – champagne-like burps are emitted; the crispness knocks back the drinkability a bit

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

Poured my Westmalle Tripel into my Rochefort Chalice (oh the sacrilege!), there was barely any head, just a white dusting, but that's probably due to my pouring skillz. The body looks to be a yellow golden haze with some orange highlights.
The aroma that comes wafting to my nostrils as I dip my schnauz into the chalice is that of esters, mainly of the banana variety.
Taste: a complex estery masterpiece. It's a spicy, but balanced, great blend of the esters and yeast, with a sustantially body for a light golden ale.
Feels very carbonated on the tongue, lots of bubbly action which lends to a dry finish. At 9.5% it even leaves me craving for more! I love the Westmalle Tripel, a true classic.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer in the DBF for quite a few months and tonight's blustery and damn chilly weather seemed the perfect match for this lovely brew.

Poured a wonderful-looking cloudy grapefruit juice in color, but it's not about the color, it's about the pillowy, immensely thick, long-lasting, glass-coating, lip-saturating (I picture an ad in a beer magazine with someone drinking a glass of this with a thick moustache of head asking "Got Westmalle?") head that sits atop the beer. Dare I say...breathtaking. Aromas are quite yeasty, mixed with orange peels, bubble gum, a can of pineapple juice, and a dash of earthy funk. What was more surprising for me was how different the taste was from the smell. There was a pervasive "perfume" flavor to this beer. Not overpowering or unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but a very distinct flavor that mixes with the other flavors: fruit juices, peppery spice, malty sweetness. Finishes on the dry side, with a dose of bitter hoppiness arriving on the scene. ABV is up there at 9.5%, but is cloaked nicely by the rest of what's going on here. Not as thick or chewy as expected. Not as good as other tripels I've had, but it's very good.

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Photo of amicar
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Really a wonderful golden- orange color with a beautiful white head that stays fluffy and full. The smell is nice and complex- delicate esters and slight spice. The taste is wonderful; well, actually a little better than that. Spicy alcohol bite (not too overdone), with a silky, smooth, full character; really womderful mouthfeel. Taste of wonderful pepper, a bit of citrus, complex malts. Easy to knock back one of these- but respect the ABV.

Overall, very nice. Getting a bit up there in the price to taste ratio, but still worthwhile.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, honey gold with steady streams of bubbles travelling upward toward a thin but viscous, eggshell head.

Smelled somewhat skunky and farmy at first. As it warmed, some sweeter flavors exposed themselves... some honeysuckle, freshly cut apple, a hint of pineapple.

Tasted of crisp pears, sour apples, and sweet bananas up front. Prickly on the tongue and extremely smooth on the tongue. Finish is bitter, drying and consumes the entire mouth. Interestingly enough, this tripel's is more dry than sweet. It's tasty and highly drinkable. Even with the high ABV, it's hard to control yourself while drinking. Good stuff.

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Photo of horndecker
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this on tap in Antwerp years ago. I loved it then, but wasn't taking notes. So this review is based upon the bottles one gets here in the States.

I poured it into a Westmalle chalice, happily, and I got a gorgeous golden orange, peachy, glowing liquid; slightly cloudy with a fine luxurious head that had staying power and a lingering lace.
The nose is very clean and spicy; citric, yeasty and intense.
The taste is subtle malts, oranges, bread dough, spices, an herbal bitter finish that I want to call peppery, but that would be too specific. All with a juicy and concentrated mouthfeel - it's fabulous. How do they do this? Everything is perfect!

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,458 ratings.
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