Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,705 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,705
Ratings:
4,392
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
402
Gots:
774
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,392
Photo of descartes
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Murky light orange color with half finger of head.
Smell: Rich malty aroma, hints of apple and a whiff of alcohol.
Taste: Slight fruitness in the middle, otherwise the hop/carbination combo overpowers anythinge else.
Mouthfeel: Feels thin and wattery.
Drinkabitlity: Not my thing, could tone down the hops and have a slightly thicker body.

 384 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big white head that takes up half a tulip glass, then settles to a half inch of meringue. Body is dark yellow with some wit-like cloudiness. Smell is "clean," with a citrus and yeasty highlight. Alcohol is very upfront in the taste, and low level carbonation gives it an asti spumanti feel. Sweetness is vinous rather than malty. As others have suggested on the forums, this may be a hard style to understand. I certainly like it, but I keep expecting more of a "big beer" taste. But with this, I finally got to celebrate Easter with some beer made by monks (Oooh... I coulda had a Salvator, too!)

 605 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a very cloudy yellow orange with a tons of bright white head, while big peices yeast can be seen floating freely about and settling to the bottom. Takes a long while to pour and for the head to settle.

The scent is very sweet and lemony, but not particularly strong.

The taste is a great combination of Sweet and Bitter both showing up in high doses. You can taste some citrus, honey, butterscotch, and some minor alcohol notes. The taste seems very complex and lingers nicely on your tongue.

It has a very nice crisp and satisfying mouthfeel, even a little almost tingles a little. Very nice.

This is a very drinkable beer as long as you plan on enjoying it, very much a sipping beer, almost like a fine scotch or whiskey. I could drink this all night and probably find several nuances in the flavor I'm missing.
Great stuff.

 858 characters

Photo of goz
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy medium golden/orange, large white head which laces decently. Aroma is vinous, lot's of grape, sugar cookie dough, and honey. Flavor is sweet (candied sugar?), doughie, and vinous, with alcohol also playing a decent part in the flavor front. Medium-full bodied, too much alcohol present, IMO.

 306 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A very aggressive head on this one, took me 3 stages to get it all out of the 330 ml brown bottle. The result is a merrengue-like ethereal head, and as it slowly drops I was rewarded with a half-moon shape embossed in it. Aw shucks... Almost a creamy-like lacing left over. The body is a hazy apricot with lazy eddies of carbonation and a bit of suspended particles, since I gave the bottle a quick swish before I poured out the remaining contents.

A bit of sugary sweetness greets the nose first, along with citrus rind, before the spice really hits. Difficult to dissect the spice profile at this point though, it tends to play cat and mouse.

The alcohol steps forward quickly to shake my hand upon the first sip. It warms the mouth while everything else in the flavour subtely slips by, and then its all over. Some grains and spice in the middle, and a hoppy, rind-ish finish. Balanced and subtle, but overwhelmed by the alcohol content. Seems to me at times more like a high-octane English Bitter than a tripel.

The mouthfeel is light, but smooth and velvety, it compliments the aesthetics of the head. It's a small pleasure to roll over the tongue.

However the mouthfeel alone isn't enough to bring me back for another one of these any time soon. A lower abv% may have helped to compliment the subtlety of the flavour profile more, as the two aren't jiving particularly well for now, since I'd much rather be dancing with the wallflower rather than the boozy partner that keeps rubbing up against me every time I turn around and take a sip.

 1,559 characters

Photo of DeanWormer
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's probably not for me to review this beer. I respect the Westmalle Trappist monks, I really do. They have made their own proprietary yeast for centuries, and I've come to love it through Lagunitas' seasonal "Little Sumpin' Wild" offering - an American DIPA paired with a distinctive Belgian yeast. The two come together IMO, to make magic.

So when I found a $6 bottle of the Westmalle Trippel at (of all places) a Kroger, I thought "this is a life experience that I should have." And then, OK, I had it.

The good news is that I can tell that this is a masterful concoction. It's sort of in the same way that I can tell that an operatic soprano is magnificent, though I really just don't care to listen to her. The fact is - I'm a hops guy. I'm an IBU guy. Westmalle Trippel is surely magnificent also, but it's just not me. My wife would like it - it compares more favorably in taste, color and mouthfeel to a champagne than most ales - but there's no bitter and malty interplay, less complexity. It's light, sweet, refreshing, and very, very fizzy.

So I struggled to give fair ratings to an ale that I don't happen to like, but whose achievements are just lost on me due to my own limitations. Nevertheless, I figure that there are probably some IPA aficionados out there who would be intrigued at the opportunity to try a world-class ale and are wondering if they'd like it. My advice - if you like champagne, you'll love this ale. If you love hops, probably not.

 1,471 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Cafe Trappisten across from the abbey. Pours a great-looking, slightly cloudy gold with a thick white head that gradually recedes into a film. Very nice lacing.

Smells of sugar, hops, light fruits, malt, and alcohol. This carries on to the taste, but the sugar ends up dominating, closely followed by the fruits (peaches, apples, apricots) and the alcohol, which is not masked very well at all. A bit of malt helps to balance it a bit, but it is still weighted heavilly towards a heady, sweet, alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is good and thick, with a creamy head. Slight carbonation and a bit of alcoholic bite--very interesting.

Overall a good beer, but too sweet to be anything other than an occasional sipper.

 727 characters

Photo of WeedKing4
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sep 26, 2009
small bottle. pours a cloudy orange colour. definately a sipper, not a bad alc.% taste, but you can feel it running through you with each drink, it made me shiver, in a good way. Pretty solid beer overall. Definately worth another try if I come across it again.

 275 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 vhiggins
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I brought this beer to a sunday family dinner. Thanksgiving day style foods.
Even some family members who said " i don't like beer that much" enjoyed it very much! It was a great compliment to the food as well a nice lubricant to loosen everyone up.

We drank from pints (only beer glasses my mom had) and it poured very nice
a deep deep golden yellow orange with a few phases. It started darker then lightened up a bit. The head was white and light and I was pouring a little aggressively

The mouthfeel was normal but the the taste is what did it for me. Very good tasting beer especially with food. I am going to try this beer on it's own one day but it's a great dinner beer in my opinion

Taste was great. Strong alcohol presence (in a good way) with zest and spice. Dinner was great and after an hour an a few bottles my 86 year old grandfather was telling dirty jokes! We ALL enjoyed it!

 904 characters

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

Date:14/01/12
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 midworken
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an extremely large, feather-light head. A hazy, straw colored body presents itself once the head dissipates.
The astringency and hoppiness present themselves in the aroma as onions and paint. It is such a lovely smell (sarcasm), and it is hard to get past it. There is a malt backbone, as well, but it is overwhelmed by the astringency and smell of alcohol.
Thank God you don't taste whats in the aroma. Alcohol is still there, but it isn't paint or onions. There is, however, a great balance between the hops and malts.
Mouthfeel is a bit syrapy, but still very good. The taste lasts just long enough on the tongue, without leaving any weird aftertastes. It is a good beer, but doesn't make you yearn to take another sip that great beers will do.

 755 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Westmalle Tripel

Best By 05/09/14. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a straw-golden color with a finger of fluffy, airy, bright white head. The head slowly deflates, leaving behind a wall of intricate lacing. Very good retention, some champagne-like effervescence, but average clarity.

S: Fruity esters, candied stone fruit, floral and clove, a bit of smoke (?), honey-coated apple, and tasty sweetish malt.

T: Slightly fruity malt, floral and spice notes again, a Diet Coke-like flavor or sweetness that is beyond me. This has a muddled finish, with a sharp graphite/pencil off-taste (maybe the yeast) with some sugar.

M: High carbonation, soft, medium body. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

O: I'm not sure what's going on with the flavor in this, but it's not really doing it for me. The aroma is quite appealing, though muted. I'm a little let down since this is supposed to be somewhat of a classic.

 896 characters

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

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a medium murky yellow almost gold in color with a huge (3 to 4 fingers) white frothy head that was fully lasting and had excellent lacing.

The aroma was of light grain malts, a piney hop and a mild soapy yeast with notes of dried fruit, banana, clove and a mild dose of alcohol.

It tasted a bitter-sour with hints of banana and clove throughout then had a mild fruity flavor with a slight pepper note and a rather heavy alcohol tinge at the end. The flavor stayed with you for nice long time allowing one to enjoy this brew well after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and had a dry texture with a mild to medium carbonation.

Overall this Tripel was kind of fruity with a nice spice note and had a good kick to it at the end. Very Tasty!!!

 806 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this just a few minutes ago watching poker. Poured a hazy orange with frothy white head that left almost no lacing, with plenty of sediment floating around. Smelled pretty hoppy and of fruity yeast. Tasted of fruity yeast, malt, and light hops. Somewhat smooth, but overcarbed. Could drink a few.

 300 characters

Photo of 7ways
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I don't know if I have ever seen a head like this. Poured 10+ minutes ago and there is still a 2 inch head that looks like an arctic landscape. The beer is a pale, pilsneresque yellow. Smells like sweet and spicy citrus, some pear in there too. Quite yeasty.

First sip, I noticed all the fruit from the smell plus a hint of banana. Spicy and herbal, verging on antiseptic. It's a little too bitter for my experience of the style. Or maybe it is just too bitter for me without a massive hop presence to back it up. Also, the alcohol is way too noticeable, but apparently not too much, because I can't stop sipping it.
Wow. After drinking a little more than half, there is still thick foam sticking to the top of the glass. Ridiculous.
It's thicker, but less effervescent, than what I'd expect from a Trappist or any other Belgian.

I don't want another right now, but I'm still going to buy another one. Something tells me that a couple years in the dark will do wonders for this beer. But fresh, I'd go for Orval.

 1,020 characters

Photo of maxpower
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy brownish orange color with floating yeast particles, has a foamy off white head that clings to my glass. Bready yeasty aroma of bananas. Sweet and malty fruity flavors with a slight bubblegum yeasty taste. Medium-full body with a dry finish, alcohol taste comes out as it warms, I like the Dubbel a little better, a bit more balanced.

 341 characters

Photo of MisterClean
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At homebrewing meeting, part of style of the month.

A - Poured a golden-yellow color, with a 2 fingered head, dissipated slow and left some nice lacing.

S/T - Bread and spicy hops. Surprised no candi sugars.

M - Well balanced, but a little too hop dominated. Made the feel slightly thin.

D - Would not say no to this beer, it is good, but could improve on the mouthfeel and with some added taste.

 400 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a medium-thick looking fluffy 1 finger white head. Colour is a golden yellow with almost zero carbonation evident. Lots of little floaties as well. Head fades to a decent film and leaves some lacing. A thin film stays to the end but leaves minimal lace down the glass. I'd call this pretty average for the stle.

SMELL: A decently strong nose of toasted malt, biscuit and lemon peel. Some spicy notes in there as well and a strong trace of yeast. An underbelly of alcohol ties it all together nicely. Probably the best part of the beer.

TASTE: Sweet malt up front with some raw honey and lemon peel again. Some biscuit again and a touch of hop bitterness as well. This soon give way to a burst of spicy and medicinal alcohol at the end. The mild long lasting aftertaste is bitter-sweet with some spicy alcohol as well. Enjoyable, but the alcohol is a little too present for my liking.

PALATE: Thin and lighter body with high end carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down surprisingly smooth but ends with a little alcohol bite and burns down the throat. Finishes rather dry on the palate.

OVERALL: An enjoyable triple, but in my view it is not as enjoyable a triple as their dubbel is a dubbel. This is a very aggressive triple, and the alcohol burst might be overwhelming for some. I'm more of a fan of the milder Chimay and St. Bernardus triples, but this one is interesting in its own right. Recommended for those interested in the style.

 1,559 characters

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A-Hazed, golden beer, some floaties (not in a bad way). Hube white head, indicative of its high carbonation, with strong retention and thick lacing.

S-Peach-fruit esters, bready-sweet malts, yeasty undertone.

T-Bready-sweet maltiness dominates with an assertive spicy character. Quite enjoyable. Fruitiness is not widespread, but definately present. Drying alcohol appears near the middle-end, yet still smooth and not overpowering, but instead mixing nicely with the bread and biscuit sweetness.

M-High, but very creamy carbonation, very characteristic. Medium-full body is very luxurious and enjoyable, providing an exciting interplay with the carbonation.

D- Pretty comlplex, but perhaps lacking something in smoothness. Drinkable, but not exceptionally so.

 788 characters

Photo of danielharper
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Strong Bros. Liquor, Fayetteville, TN.

(Beer consumed on 4/12/06. Verbatim notes follow.)

A: Orange-yellow body, thick white foamy head.

S: Strong citrus (oranges?) aroma, slightly yeasty.

T: Yeasty off-tasting Belgian flavor, some oranges.

M: Foamy and astringent mouthfeel, leaves warm alcoholic aftertaste.

D: Drinkable, good beer.

 369 characters

Photo of hardy008
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale yellow with a 3 finger white head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma has lemon, Belgian yeast, green apple, and pepper.

The taste is exactly like the aroma. Lemon, Belgian yeast, green apple and pepper. The sweetness, is held in check by the pepper flavor and the hops. Not as sweet as most Tripels. Very close to being a Saison.

Light to medium bodied, with high carbonation. Finishes dry. Not my favorite Trappist Ale, but still good.

 460 characters

Photo of shapudding
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a full champagne-like eggshell colored head that stayed along for the ride! A+ for head retention. Very effervescent. Cloudy and golden, unfiltered cider appearance. Noted the interesting shaping of the bottle which is intreiging. Label all in german, so no knowlege to be gained there about this triple... Vineous scent, apple juice. First taste is more alcohol than anything else. Extremely high in carbination, but still smooth. Sweet apples and chardonay, but bitter background. Reminds me of when playing with food and peeling grapes and just eating the skin off of them. With such a high carbination I cannot see having more than one of these, and I am not one for high sugar flavors, I find the sweetness here to be a bit cloying. Decent with bread and cheeses though.

 787 characters

Photo of geetlord
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured clear and golden with a tall foamy head, it smaeeld tart and hoppy.
The flavor was slightly smoky with crisp bitterness and hops, there as some mild tartness in the finish. As a tripel its characteristics in general supprised me more bitter and lighter in collor most specificaly. it wasnt a bad beer, but ertainly not my favorite.

 349 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a hazy honey-citrus orange with a huge, billowing, dense, white collar head that kept increasing in size after I finished pouring my glass. The top of the head became firm like meringue and stayed as a dollop of cream on top of the beer the whole bottle through. A ton of very sticky lacing was left down the glass as well.
S: Smells of sweet golden fruits and peppery Belgian spices. I pick up notes of pear and doughy yeast as well.
T: Medicinal notes of both dark and golden fruits along with some subtle pepper, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, and other spices. Yeast has a touch of banana. Finish is warm with alcohol and slightly cough-syrup like, which is a bit off-putting to me. Aftertaste is bitter, almost sour, and lightly sweet.
M: Ultra creamy and silky mouthfeel over a full, rich body. Like I said, the alcohol is noticeable, but well integrated. Definitely bolder than other tripels. Finish is dryer than most.
D: It's no La Fin Du Monde, which is my favorite, but this is an excellent, well crafted beer. It could be a little sweeter and fruitier, and maybe less boozy and medicinal, but who am I to argue with a world class beer. I'm glad I tried it, but I'd probably drink La Fin, Chimay or St. Bernardus before this.

 1,276 characters

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,705 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe