Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

4,523 Ratings
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,523 |  Reviews: 1,741
Photo of Chaney
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a bottle in Occoquan, Virginia at a new Belgian restaurant call "Cock and Bull." Belgian beer and waffles - gotta love it!

A: After pouring into a Westmalle chalice, I noticed intense bubbles right away. The color was a cloudy, burnt orange with about 1/2 inch head.

S: Fruity, with mild caramel notes. I detected the characteristic Belgian yeast with plum and citrus.

T: VERY smooth, with a slight but comfortable alcohol burn. Dark fruit a plenty in this one!

M: Carbonation is bubbly, almost champagne-like. There is no offensive sticky residue in the mouth and I would definitely describe this as a very "clean" beer.

D: I am simply in love with the mouthfeel in particular with this one! Also,the nutty and fruity taste of the Westmalle is addictive. Amazing stuff!

 789 characters

Photo of assmasterson
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just by the luck of the draw, I picked this one out of a long beer list last night.

Pours out with a slightly burnt orange color and has a modest, light head. The smell and taste have some strong fruit flavors and the carbonation is tight enough to leave it with a clean finish. The amount of alcohol in this brew is pretty high, but does not overpower the senses.

Overall, one of the finest beers I have come across. Given the chance, I would pick this one again in a second.

 478 characters

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

Opened and it started to flow out of the bottle, but I was ready with an Ommegang Chalice. Pours a realy nice orange hue with some yellow in there as well. Nice head retention and some yeast at the bottom. Smell is very understated, you really have to work for it, yeasty bread, orange, lemon and some banana in here as well, with some belgian funk as well. Taste is interesting, i'm getting orange cream soda, yeast and some bitterness towards the end. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth with a lingering bitterness afterwords. I like to have this on occasion when I'm in the mood for triples.

 586 characters

Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that shows excellent retention, sticky to the sides of the glass and leaving a patchwork of lacing.

The aroma is nice combination of light fruity esters, grassy notes and spices. There are apples, dough, and a hint of alcohol burn in the nose as well.

The taste is a little less sweet with the spices really coming out - peppery. The alcohol presence is noticeable but not off-putting with the fruits lingering in the background with the light bready malts. The finish is very dry and peppery.

The mouthfeel is lively with strong carbonation and dry effervescent finish.

An excellent and very drinkable tripel that leans more on the dry and spicy side of things, which I like. Highly recommended.

 756 characters

Photo of beerpirates
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle poured into my tripel karmeliet glass

A - Poured cloudy yellow with tons of head that quickly dissipated leaving Nice lacing around the glass.

S - hmmm very Nice , lots of floral scents and bready yeast with hints of spices.

T - Slightly sweet upfront with the malts followed by slight citrus bitterness and spiciness. Has a dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - very smooth , Nice brew , even with the high abv , this Beer goes down very easy

 481 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle (best by 01/03/12) poured into a Rochefort Chalice.

Appearance: Slightly hazy bright gold color with plenty of bubbles coming up the beer. I suspect my careful pour to keep the sediment in the bottle resulted in a thin white foam across the top. This foam died back to a ring at the edge with a thin island of foam in the middle. Some little strands of lacing here and there. I'm beginning to suspect that a Tulip would be a better glass for this beer than the chalice to maintain a better head. Still, the color and bubbles are nice to look at. The lacing sparkles in the light which makes this a very good beer in the appearance department.

Smell: White grapes, pears, mild yeast, and an underlying sweetness to it all. On deep inhales you can get some definite boozy/alcohol smells. Again, nice.

Taste: Malt up front, and then immediately blending with a peppery/sour flavor, then a crisp dry taste and finally a lingering hoppy/grassy flavor. My nose is smelling one thing but my tongue is tasting another. I do not detect the alcohol despite smelling it. It's a complex brew.

Moutfeel: Nicely carbonated - cleanses the palate, but it goes away quick and does not linger. The carbonation is just right really. Too much and it scours the tongue. This brings a nice level of spicy sensation and then its gone.

Drinkability: I've had this before, and I think I still have yet to find the right meal with this beer. It went okay with fish and asparagus (too strong of a flavor clash) and before it didn't really match with a beef stew. I think this beer may be best alone. I would not mind a bigger glass to tease out all the smells and flavors, but I'm okay with just having one in an evening as well.

 1,725 characters

Photo of eclaycamp
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottled poured into my Chimay Trappist glass. I'm rating a pair of Tripels tonight, this is my second. This one pours a bright golden color that's hazy in appearance. Better head than I was expecting, with about a quarter inch of soap suds around the glass. Some pear and pineapple notes in the nose. Smells brighter than I thought it would, if that makes sense. First taste is dry, very dry, with a light mouthfeel and a huge alcohol-infused finish. As my palate acclimates I get more citrus, specifically lemon and orange, flavors. Theres' some nice things going on with the malt in this beer - it's almost sweet, kind of like French bread. Aside from the obvious alcohol - there's no where for it to hide, after all - there's a nice bright finish to this beer that's somewhat citrusy and grassy. It's hoppier than I expected, but that's not necessarily a criticism, as I feel it's very well balanced. Some Belgian beers have a tendency to be overly sweet however that is not the case with Westmalle. Indeed, it's dry but not overly so. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy but not too watery. This is one balanced beer, and really well done. Maybe one of the best Tripels I've had, and that's saying something.

 1,220 characters

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

Always around on nearly every shelf I see I decided to finally grab one and give it a proper try, after all, I have to. Poured into a which birch chalice and consumed on 08/13/2010.

The pour was a nice and cloudy golden yellow with a firm head of white perched on top for good measure. Settling quickly it left a decent amount of lace and a small puff on top.

Aroma is full of pears, apples, hints of light grasses and grains. Classic triple with a bit more fruit thrown in. Warming brings about alot more grassy notes and hints of light citrus which carry over well into the flavor. Smooth, loaded with light fruits that pop as it comes up near room temperature. Nice touches of light grains and a smooth, even feel hide the alcohol almost completely.

Overall not the best triple I have ever had, but it is very good. Very smooth and maybe one of the easiest to drink I have seen. Certainly worth a try.

 908 characters

Photo of Long813
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Pale yellow-orange body boasting three fingers of fluffy white head. Retention is great and leaves loads of lacing.

S: Light citrus fruits, spices and yeast. Quite plain.

T: Mild notes of spices, citrus, yeast and some sweet maltiness.

M: Light bodied and high carbonation. Very frothy texture and leaves a sweet spicy finish. Alcohol shows up on the way down, but it's not that noticeable.

D: Decent over all, but to mild and plain for my liking.

 503 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Seen this on shelves for years. Never bothered to buy a bottle (not a big fan of Tripels). But, suddenly ... for no reason whatsoever ... I felt the need to grab a bottle. Must be a weird planetary alignment.

Pours a hazy, lemony golden yellow. Quarter inch of soapy foam. Gobs of white stuff cling to the glass. Hurm.

Smells like sweet sweetness with a bit of yeast zest. Eh. Boring. Maybe a hint of honey to it.

Taste is honey-ed malt with a sweet malt base, some yeast, a tad bit of grassy zest, and a smattering of mineral crackers. A bit of lemon ... maybe some other citrus in there, kind of like an orange rind. It's okay. Kind of grew on me after awhile, but really not my cup o' tea.

Nicely carbonated. Pleasant enough, I suppose.

 745 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rating transcribed from a RB rating from awhile back. Must review this now that it's on the top 100.

On tap at Rose & Crown in Palo Alto.

Hazy golden-yellow color with a thick white head.

Yeasty aroma with a little citrus and spiced notes.

Flavor is yeasty as hell with fruit notes, sweet malt, spices, and well-disguised but noticeable alcohol.

Excellent palate - medium bodied with extremely lively carbonation, as I like in this style.

A solid, refreshing, and potent tripel.

 484 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is a little sour at first, but soon turns to a milder, Duvel-like aroma of creamy pale malts. The flavor is sweeter and maltier than the other big Trappist tripel, Chimay White. There's a bit of farmhouse funk in the malt, and drop of candy and caramel. It finishes with an obscured hops flavor that's grapefruit-y, but buried under the malt. Overall, I don't think the flavor is that amazing. Yes, it is quite nice, but not my favorite tripel. The carbonation is spot on, but a hint of alcohol detracts from it.

 522 characters

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

Had this atHerberg Vlissinghe in Bruges.

33 cL poured into a Westmalle Goblet.

A- Poured a slightly hazy crisp golden yellow, kind of a combination of lemon peel and hay, with a THICK creamy white head, that then quickly faded into some pretty intricate lace. Color is

S- Strong yeast followed by some nice straw malts and citrus fruits: lemon, pineapple. Bits of pepper in the smell as well.

T- Yeasty straw malt with a slightly bitter finish. Hints of lemon and a slight amount of funk.

M- Mouthfeel was the real star in this beer. It was really chewy with a perfect amount of carbonation and a really refreshing bite. The mouthfeel was so, well, fun.

D- The gold standard of Tripels. You can never go wrong with this beer, but if you want, you can find some that have expanded on this baseline.

 808 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chalice. Half beer, half head with a pretty timid pour. The off-white head surprised me as I was expecting pure-white. Not a problem, very thick and rocky, with ample lacing. Beer itself is a beautiful shade of gold, and is very clear with some floaties.

Aroma is that of light fruit...apple and pear. Some tutti frutti sweetness and some underlying bready yeasty notes. Taste is alcohol laced fruit...bready sweet malts and an initial hop spice that turns nicely bitter. Lovely blend of flavors. Alcohol stays strong throughout, warming the heart and soul.

Big bodied yet crisp and smooth in the mouth. Not at all a heavy or filling beer. A nice one to sip on a hot summer day.
I don't venture into the Belgians as often as I used to but glad to try this one.

 777 characters

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

Pale and opaque with an aggressively foamy head that leaves sticky lacing.

Aromas of honey and spice.

Rich and tangy but still lush and sweet yam and pie spice flavors.

Reasonably aggressive hops and a bitter finish.

Going in, I understood that this was iconic for the style and I can see why. A very stately beer with ripe but balanced flavor and one that masks its relatively high alcohol.

 397 characters

Photo of jar2574
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one again. Rated it in late 2007, but I thought I may have had a bad sample that time.

Poured from a bottle into a large tulip glass. Nice head over golden-honey colored beer. Smells amazing. An explosion of fruit, banana. It's got an extremely lively mouthfeel and a flavor of banana, cloves and some hops. There is a lot of carbonation here, it's a really lively beer.

It's not the most drinkable beer, unfortunately. It's really enjoyable upfront, but it leaves a little aftertaste at the back of the throat. Like last time, I noticed some soapiness/residue that hung around between drinks.

Enjoy it with a meal though, and you've got no worries. Glad to have tried it again.

 693 characters

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

Read a thread about tripels and had a sudden craving. Picked up this 330 ml bottle at Green's for $4.49.

Poured into a tulip glass, golden and clear with a thick egg-shell head of fat bubbles that settle out to a nice raft of foam. Beads of bubbles continue to run up the sides in a perfect line, like something out of commercial. Why can't American brewers get this sophisticated carbonation?

Aroma of sweet pilsner malt, flour-dusted biscuits, and spicy-floral hops. Not much in the way of fruity esters, but a distinct yeasty note.

Dry and balanced right out of the gate. Every time a bit of sweet malt starts to come through, the spices and minerally tang beat it back. Some apple esters start to peek through gradually, along with white grape. Tannin-like bitterness lingers pleasantly.

Mouthfeel is where the monks seem to have a direct line to God. Spritzy and champagne-like, with a slightly chaulky, but not grainy note. Dry, bright, clean and refreshing. Fills the mouth, but light in body. Totally alive on the tongue.

Truly world class beer. Perfect for summer food or most any time you want to indulge yourself. Give this to your wine-loving friends and see what they think.

 1,192 characters

Photo of Liverpool08
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle reads Best before 1/19/12

Pours a cloudy pale orange with a giant foamy head. The head lingers and adds to taste. Aroma is funk, with cloves and white grapes. Good carbonation gives this a nice kick in the mouth. Flavors include white grapes, yeast, and a hint of bananas and bubblegum. Flavors are very clean and refreshing. This is a good summertime Tripel.
Very little notice of the alchohol, just crisp clean Belgian goodness. Wish I could sip on some of these at Fenway.

 483 characters

Photo of ectomorph
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle that I'm just now noticing was best by 2-10-10...

A - Cloudy orange and dark mustard body hides the massive carbonation that close inspection reveals. Large white head fades slowly in patches leaving a marshmallow in the middle.

S - Lemon, orange, apricot, fresh cut grass, and wildflowers. Smells like it's fresh, though the date states otherwise...

T - Apricot, plum, white raisins, combine with a subtle alcohol warmth on the palate. As it warms it presents a biscuit maltiness that almost balances the fruit and floral notes. There is a distinct bubblegum finish to this brew and I like it.

M - The fluffy head gets a mention here. Every sip along the way, the head leaves a nice mustache... Typical Belgian hypercarb is always good for a tingle.

D - Medium to low. Great brew, but @ almost 10% ABV this is a 1 and done for me unless we're partying... ;)

 879 characters

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a brandy snifter.
After all the hype, I had to try it and now I can say I did.
Appearance is good enough. Head retains well. Very effervescent with many flavors and feels to the palate. A citricy aftertaste. I'm a relative novice at appreciating complex beers so I may change my rating in the future, but so far, it's good, but not worth the very premium price.

 388 characters

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.

 1,919 characters

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

Appearance: Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a large wine glass. This beer has one of the most out-of-control heads I have seen! It's about 3 fingers high, creamy, white, and very slow in its retreat from whence it came. Color is what I would call a hazy golden/straw. Some carbonation present, as well as a good deal of yeasty goodies at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is incredibly complex and refreshing. Up front you get that Belgian spicy yeast character, but I'm also detecting some tart fruits like apricot, orange, and maybe some grape in there as well. There is some alcohol detectable and some underlying dark fruit presence that gives the smell some serious depth.

Taste: Dryer than I expected right off the bat, but as you drink, the flavor opens up a bit into something more complex. Very citrusy and refreshing, with some lingering sweetness and yeast to add to the complexity. The alcohol is there, but not to the degree one would expect given the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance between crispness and alcoholic warmth. Very refreshing and complex. Finishes clean.

Drinkability: Sneaky ABV on this one. So crisp and refreshing, you might think you were drinking a beer with half the actual alcohol present.

 1,234 characters

Photo of Kala1073
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tripels are one of my favorite styles and this one goes right up there with the best of them! It poures a golden wheat color with a nice thick white head. The aroma consisted of sweet malts, some floral aspects, and a little spice to it. The taste was just as good as the aroma. Although at 9.5%, the drinkability was scarily eeasy to consume. This is one of the best tripels I have had and will be having again!

 412 characters

Photo of pedrito
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: This is the most beautiful beer in the room. Perfect golden color. Outstanding head - big and lasting.

Smell: Modest but alluring.

Taste: Citrus, metallic. Aftertaste of pear. Amazingly, not very sweet for the ABV.

Mouthfeel: crisp and tingling at the beginning. Gets a little flat if you don't drink it quickly.

Drinkability: I can't quit you.

 357 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle, best before a year from now.

Pours a bright, light golden color with a fluffy white head and lots of carbonation. Some lacing left behind.

Aroma of Belgian ale, sweet fruits and yeast.

Tastes of malts and yeast first, which leads to a fruity sweetness, possibly citrus. Alcohol comes in strong once beer warms past fridge temp.

Nice mouthfeel, lively and a little oily.

It's a very tasty tripel, no doubt, but the apparent alcohol in the flavor hinders the drinkability.

 490 characters

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,523 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.