Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
95
world-class
4,522 Ratings
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
Ratings:
4,522
Reviews:
1,740
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.05%
 
 
Wants:
431
Gots:
862
For Trade:
5
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Ratings: 4,522 |  Reviews: 1,740
Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy pale gold into a Duvel tulip. Fluffy white head shot up to the brim and slowly receded, leaving some sticky lacing.

Fairly strong, sweet aroma of banana and yeast. Higher ABV is hard to detect. Moderate level of carbonation and a very full, smooth mouthfeel with sweet caramel, banana, and a long finish that transitions from bready malts to some distinct hoppy bitterness. Very drinkable, as the initial sweetness is well balanced with the hops on the finish.

 477 characters

Photo of ZorPrime
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one was received from BBrianBoogie during CanBIF6. Cheers man!

Pale yellow color beer with a nice white head. The beer is veiled and the head looks like a cloud. The head sticks well to the glass. In the nose, its fruity and sugary. Not much yeast here too. Very well balanced... lets dive in! Taste wise, wow! Fruity at the start and then I get some very smooth bitterness if I might say. Very nice beer. Its starts very smooth and then finishes with a very good bitterness that leaves you to want some more. Superb taste... Well balanced, complex, easy drinkability...

The best tripel I've tasted so far.

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Photo of MortNoire
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westmalle Tripel is one of my old buddies, from my student era, 35 years ago (yeah I'm an ole sod) at then I used to drink it mostly on tap(test forthcoming). Reviewed here is my experience (as I type) with a glass from a bottle.
As always the Tripel pours a clear, yellow golden (looks a but like pilsener) with a clean white frothy foam. A=5
The scent of the beer is not overpowering in alcohol promises, but sweet, with a hint of hay and lemon S=4.5. The taste is familiar to me, but even after all these years and many many glasses, it still makes me dream of golden fields of corn and barly on a warm sunny day, with hints of lime and barley, exquisite and brilliant. T=4.5. The mouthfeel is in tune with the taste, not too carbonated, almost gentle. M=4.5. The drinakbility is excellent, though Westmalle Tripel will hit you like a hammer if you get in your 3rd bottle or so, and from tap its even "worse". Basically the best triple trappist there is, at least IMO. D=5
I prefer to drink the Westmalle triple not too 'warm', a 9 max 10c (48 to 50F), it can appear like an entirly different beer at pe. 13C (55.5F)... experiment and enjoy

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

A friend of mine sent this over while in Belgium. Good friend.
A--It has a gold like straw color to it. There's lot of bubbles, big bubbles. Nice look to it.
S--Has a...generic?...lagery scent to it.
T--This is a good wheat-tasting beer. It has a nice spiciness that provides some balance to the starch. It's very crisp.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip at around 45 degrees.

Can't imagine a more picturesque beer. I want to get out my camera and start snapping photos. A nice pale orange hue that's a bit hazy. a fistfull of bright white head with moderately sized bubbles. Head consistency is stiff as Arbitrator's man-parts while drinking a Black Xantus. Foam sticks around for days, coating the entire inside of the glass. Oh, lots of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom too!

Pretty complex aromas coming out of this one. Banana, pineapple, apricot, clove, black pepper, lemon zest. Very nice.

Taste starts out with some sweet candi sugar and strong banana. Love this combination, almost reminds me of a sweet dessert. Lots of pineapple dominates the mid-range, with some other stoney fruits in the background. Finishes with some spice, definite black pepper. Almost reminds me of a Saison like finish.

Feels great, medium thickness with a velvety texture. Not too much abrasiveness despite the great carbonation.

Drinks really well, especially when paired with some food. It even stands up to spicy thai food quite well. This time I just drank it by itself though. The only knock I have on it is that it finishes pretty damn warm if you're not carefully savoring it over a longer period of time, but for 9.5%, it's not too surprising there is some heat. Likely one of the best tripel's in the world, it's definitely my favorite.

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

Served from bottle into a goblet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with fizzy head.
Smell: Fruity and pleasant aroma (dark fruits). Also detect the presence of candi sugars. The aroma gradually builds as the beer warms. Very enticing.
Taste: Fruity and even a little bitter to a degree. There is a bready backbone in the malts. A mildly bitter aftertaste at the finish with a clean end. The alcohol presence is warming but well-hidden.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and effervescent.
Drinkability: A good sipper to savor. ABV will limit mass consumption.

Overall- A top tripel. Well-crafted.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy straw color with a nice white head and some pretty good lacing.

S: Nice yeasty spiciness atop some slightly-sweet malt character. A bit of alcohol.

T: Beautiful spicy character with plenty of powerful fruit coming through as well. Vague hop character in the background.

M: Nice and quite crisp. Excellent carbonation and feel overall.

D: The classic of the style, and something I'd always like to have a little bit of lying around.

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Photo of jbowers56
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pale golden colour - cloudy. Fancy puffy head which leaves reasonable lacing.

Sweet malty fruits dominate the nose. Maybe dried apricots, pear, banana and some others. There is also a phenolic note, presenting cloves and some medicinal qualities. Alcohol is just barely noticeable.

Amazing. So much fruit, mostly the fruits I got in the nose. Sweetness is there but kept in check by a mild hop bitterness which blends very well with the spicy/phenolic qualities of the yeast.

So full in the mouth but never overly heavy. A beautiful beer to drink.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden body with nice streams of bubbles. On top sits a big soft pillowy head, with outstanding retention. Aroma is very sublte with a soft noble hop aroma with a touch of spiciness. A hint of peach aroma. Taste - Crisp pilsner maltiness with noticable alcohol. Enough bitterness to keep everything in perfect balance. A tiny bit of hop flavor right up front before it vanishes. Finish is malty slightly sweet, but always crisp, and pretty clean throughout. A bit spicy - more so as it warms. Spicy on the tongue as well, but other than that, the mouthfeel is pretty creamy. Dangerous how easy this is to drink. Refreshing, even at 9.5%.

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Photo of argock
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best by date reads 09/04/11. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Truly appealing in every way. Barely hazy yellow-orange with meringue 1-2 finger foamy white head with exceptional pile of lace down one side of the glass.

S: Pear and peach are most prominent but alcohol and pepper are also strong and fight it out. Hops are not readily present.

T: The flavors are subtle but alcohol unfortunately plays a very strong role in the flavor. Pepper and light fruits come through, but everything is bounded by the boozy alcohol flavor.

M: The feel is very dry and smoothly creamy. It does all of the little things very weel to make it easy to drink.

D: The progenitor of every other tripel but the flavor is not as rounded and full as some others.

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

A: Yellow, straw hues, slightly hazy, enormous whipped meringue head, long lasting retention, nice lacing. Hard to ask for more.

S: Very distinctive Belgian yeast character, slight alcohol, spices, fruits.

T: Fluffy and light. I always look forward to drinking any trappist ale. Fruity and spicy, Westmalle Tripel is well balanced and very flavorful.

M: Light body, slight warming alcohol finish.

D: A great beer that I'd certainly drink again.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured hazy golden yellow into a snifter glass with a huge, foamy white head. There's a medium level of carbonation and a good amount of head retention.
S: Aromas of alcohol are present in the nose, along with smells of spices and yeast.
T: The taste is very complex, well balanced and includes some bitterness from the hops, sweetness in the form of candi sugars, yeastiness, and spices.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and rather strong. The finish feels both dry and sweet and the carbonation lends a good degree of smoothness.
D: This beer is a definite sipper (but in a good way).

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

A-pours a golden hay color with a respectable head, solid two fingers at least. lots of yeast solids floating about, still clear otherwise.

S-trappist funkiness, subliminal spiciness bombards my nose. slight old banana bread notes in there as well.

T-Complex and deceptive. Occasionally the alcohol reminds you its there, but mostly it is masked by the perfectly balanced malt and hop profile. The Belgian yeast really shines through on this one, gloriously engaging both the nose and taste buds each sip. Mildly sweet, funky, yet not very bitter. I'm sure the hops must be there though to balance the high gravity of this brew.

M-Smooth and silky. This brew coats the entire mouth and really feels nice. You could even possibly extend this to include "throatfeel", because the smoothness really continues even after each swallow.

D-Like all big belgian pales, this is way too drinkable. I want a sixer, and I want to drink this classy beer in the most unclassy way possible.

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Photo of ericj551
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Westmalle Tripel pours a hazy slightly orange gold with a fluffy head. The aroma is sweet, fruity, almost candy like esters and light malt. Some phenolic alcohol and powdery yeastiness comes through. The beer is quite sweet upfront but the estery sweetness and fruitiness gives way to a drier phenolic finish. Tons of complex flavors going on here, too much to pick out individually. Some alcohol comes through in the finish espeically as it warms, but it is quite light for almost 10% abv.

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

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Quite a luxurious appearance! Even with a gentle pour, a magnificent 3 inch white head formed in my tulip. A small dark brown dab of sentiment came out and rests delicately on top. The bright, full golden color is nearly transparent, and the re-energizing carbonation from the bottom dances with the small yeast particles, creating a snow globe effect. Great head retention and tons of sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Pale malt, crisp green apples, along with some mild spiciness. Alcohol is definitely present, more so as it warms.

Taste: Crisp green apples and white grape skin create a slightly tart first impression. Pale malt, honey, and a warming alcohol presence arrive next, bringing a complex spice mixture as well. Dextrin sweetness is unable to mask a slightly medicinal / alcohol flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, with above average carbonation. Slight tartness inspires salivation, furthering the desire for the next sip. Finishes dry.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. In my opinion, the taste improves as it warms, but I do not really want to wait for it to breathe and warm up. A few of these will send me into a blissful state.

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

A: Pours a transparent golden straw color with a massive fluffy, rocky, and billowy head. Retention is excellent, leaving lots of foam along the sides of the Westmalle snifter

S: Not too complex...Dry, fruity, spicy, lots of yeast, almost like a fine champagne. Alcohol is definitely intense.

T: Similar to the nose. Bone dry, light fruits, bubblegum, spicy, lots of yeast, and a huge dose of alcohol. I don't really see all the fuss about this one. Pretty plain and somewhat boring. Semi-sweet as well, but not as sugary as some others.

MF/D: Completely dry feel, medium in body, light flavors in general. Good but not amazing...again, kind of boring

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Photo of jbertsch
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, this greeted me with a big white head.

The brew is hazy gold in color. The head sticks like hell to the sides and stays with you through the whole session.

Aroma is of lemon tea, a little bready, and floral.

It's taste is quintessential abbey style. Faint flavors of fruits (bright fruits in this case). Leafy and tart. A little boozy. The taste really matures by the minute as this warms...more so than any other beer I've had.

Mouthfeel is on the crisp side, but smoothes out (obviously) as it warms.

This not only is tastier at room temperature, but its drinkability also improves at higher temperatures.

This went well with a hard Italian cheese and some pistachios that I had. I bet it would also go well with some crusty bread and oil (possibly sprinkled with basil).

Amazing how much its character changed and improved with every passing minute. It left me really wanting another, even though at first I thought the drinkability was on the low side.

Definitely a fantastic tripel.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 33 cL bottle with best by date April 9th, 2011 into a red wine glass.
A: Pale golden and clear. It poured with a spritzy puffy carbonation that died from a strong head to a film with constant bubbles running up the glass.
S: Musty pineapple and bread with leafy ("green") hops, mildly tart apple, and some cinnamon.
T: Mild cinnamon bread with a tart bitter mustyness. There are some mild apples and a cleansing "mouthwash" alcohol.
M: Thin and spritzy, but relatively smooth.
D: Very good for the 9.5% ABV.

I know this is the definitive tripel--the origin of the style--but it never is as exciting as I expect it to be.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Westmalle Tripel 33cl into wide chalice

Pours clear yellow with a dense white head that lingers and leaves
dense patchy lace.

Aroma is all over. Bananas, tropical fruits, earthy hops, powdery
yeast, a soft candi sweetness.

Palette is soft and sweet with a lingering earthy/herbal bitterness.
Phenolic and alcoholic, white pepper, pears and papaya. Dry, powdery
yeast finish.

Soft and bubbly on the palette, nicely carbonated on a medium palette.
Candi keeps the body from having to much heft.

Great drinking, the bitterness keeps it from being consumed too
quickly, which is a good thing considering the 9.5% ABV. Great beer,
the original Tripel.

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

From notes.

Served in a really nice looking Westmalle chalice. Man... I want that glass. Some dude insisted on pouring it for me so I guess I looked like a newb. That dude later told me he was a D'Achouffe brewer. Fun experience.

A- Straight pour yielded a pretty quarter of an inch head which went down to an attractive 2mm layer. A true gold but not incredible. Lovely. Not much lacing. Could be the glass because this beer really seems to have some lacing potential. Yes, the second pour in the very same glass leaves goopy, spotty lacing. I guess it was the glass.

S- Strong fresh apple juice ride with alcohol in the sidecar. Nice. Smells a bit like a yeasty Goldschlager. Some ripe pineapple too. This would be a great smell for a cider and even a white wine. A little unexpected.

T- Slight clove is the first thing I detect. You can get whatever you found in the smell but grainier, more bitter, bubblegummy and metallic. Hops are here but I just don't have enough sips left to really call out all the flavors they're bringing (bummer eh?). A bit of a hard liquor finish.

M- full. Very foamy in mouth with highly fine and enjoyable carbonation. Don't know what to say other than this is great.

D- Maybe this is just my beerloving self speaking but I think a white wine drinker could really like this. Easy to drink but there is a weird bitterness that induces a half second reflexion before swallowing.

Drinking this for the first time in a packed bar was a bit overwhelming so I would like to try it again alone and at home.
As of yet I don't own a real chalice. This confirms my need for one.
Drinking this whenever you want, all day, is being spoiled.
This is the type of beer that helps you ''understand'' beer better. I'm sure (positive actually) there's lots better out there.

 1,799 characters

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

Poured into an Orval goblet. Beer is yellow, dark, and hazy Forms a head of medium and small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation steady and moderate. Looks fine.

Aroma is a little odd. I hope this isn't skunked. Some yeast, some spice, some sulfur.

Medium body, lots of carbonation in the mouth, slightly bitter at the end, nice yeast character, pepper and spice in the midpalate. Second taste, drinkability is high, this beer is definitely not skunked. Its drinks nice, finishes slightly dry, overall a great tripel.

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

Cloudy golden pour with hints of orange and a big fluffy white head. Has a dry, fruity aroma. Banana, lemon, yeast, and hints of spice. Unlike the Golden Monkey I had earlier, the alcohol in this is extremely hidden. This just has a light airy feeling to it in the flavors. Has a pretty dry finish and leaves some lingering vanilla on your palate. I found it to be very smooth, aided somewhat by the slightly viscous feel. I haven't had a lot of Tripels, but this is one of the best thus far.

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

A: hazy golden color, big fluffy bleach white head that lasted and left nice lacing.

S: clean, restrained bright citrus fruits and grain.

T: much like the smell, very clean and refined. Nothing jumps out at you in a big way, but the level of flavor refinement is much appreciated and respected.

M: well carbonated, very light and refreshing on the palate. Hard to hold back on this one!

D: Need to be careful with this one, beyond drinkable. Alcohol was nearly undetectable, so light and refreshing. Really easily could get in too deep with this trappist. Will be seeking this guy out again, thats for sure.

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Photo of manahansf
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear shining bright straw color with a creamy two-finger white head. The visibly high carbonation pushes an aroma of sweet malt and spicy phenols out of the brew. The taste is very dry and malty with more phenolic spice and a touch of Belgian sourness. The body is light and allows the drink to flow quickly and the finish also flows rather quickly and ends leaving a bitter and sour taste to linger off. Great brew that packs an undetectable punch!

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,522 ratings.
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