Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,715 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,715 | Ratings: 4,434
Photo of SickBrew
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: This confirms my new found love of Belgians! Just a few wifs and my mouth is watering. I loved the fruity aromas which are complicated with some peppery tones.

Appearance: I'll just say...effervescent, and with a beauty of a head and long lasting. Viagra?

Flavor: It tastes like it smells! It's definitely complex and sooo nice. I think I'll need another bottle.

Mouthfeel: Crazy. There something awesome going on in there.

Overall: Great! This is what Belgians are all about.

 487 characters

Photo of malty
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 7/15/06 but it's been stored on the cement floor of my unlit cellar.

Brilliantly clear golden orange color with a bright white dense head that sits 2" atop my Abbaye du Val-Dieu chalice. Fine visible moderately racing carbonation. Thick sticky sheets of white lace from top to bottom.

After a few brisk swirls around the rim of my glass I smell fresh clover honey, Madagascar vanilla, mango & apricot and baked sweet bread. After a few more swirls, I detect white pepper and a dash of white chocolate liqueur. I can't help but to be reminded of a fantastic wedding cake from this past summer from the wafts of vanilla crème dancing in my nostrils.

Rich and blossoming enticing flavors of practically everything I described in the nose. A nice counterbalance of prickly spicy hops to contrast the sweetness of this Triple. The warming effect in my sternum area makes for a nice finish.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and luxuriously silky and well crafted. Fluffy and finely carbonated makes this ale quite a textural treat on the tongue.

Drinkability is through the roof. Although this beer is to be savored and not pounded, it would be hard to resist if fund$ weren't a major factor.

Overall a classic monastic triple to set the bar by. I do wish I could try an ultra fresh bottle, as I believe the hoppiness and crisp texture would have showcased much brighter. I've had the pleasure of tasting this beer a few times since 5 or 6 years ago, but never took the time to formally review it. And the reviews here pretty much reflect the unmistakable perfection of this ale

 1,603 characters

Photo of bigflatsbeerman
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -Brownish yellow not light in appearance more to middle dark tint. Poured from 750 ml corked bottle into my Chimay chalice. Half a finger head (abv being 9.5% means less thick head).
Smell - What hits me the most is a sweet white grape smell.
Taste - Very nice sweeter taste similar to scent (white grapes). Nice dry finish. This is an exceptional well crafted beer. I can smell and taste the alcohol, but in a good way.
Mouthfeel - Medium fair amount of carbonation.
Overall - World class beer (period).

 516 characters

Photo of allboutbierge
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer and benchmark for the style.

Huge well rounded bubbles.
Slightly dry but well rounded in the nose. Not boozy in the least. Sourness is minimal, but noticeable and the normal notes of dried pears and fizziness are just the base here. I made sure to get as much yeast as possible out of the bottle and pleasurable breadiness comes through. I could drink this for days on end.

 394 characters

Photo of nomad
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of those beers I've relished in a few times without bothering to piece together a review. So here are some thoughts after varying results from different bottles. Dedication and much thanks to BA foxylady on this one...

Pours a gorgeous gold color with uber-abundant carbonation that keeps coming up all over the place. Has the softest looking thin head ever. Some great chunky lace and some soft lace, too.

Smell includes yeasty, light banana, and clove scents. Just through my nose I could pick up the very complex blend of malt, hops, and yeast. The younger the bottle (a problem with imports) the more fruity, fresh, warm, and appealing the scents will be.

The taste is an amazing cream and biscuit flavor, like a liquid bread from god. Has a succinct hops tinge that is superbly executed, it lies in the background and is very fresh. Has little earthy and herby notes, too. Warming from the alcohol, but ticks up the bits of sugary sweet swimming around in the flavors. A truly phenomenal taste, for me the definition of a tripel.

Has a long and pleasantly dry finish, a nice soft mouthfeel with small stabs at the tongue from the carbonation; both complement the cream, biscuit, herby, and sugar flavors so well.

 1,236 characters

Photo of rousee
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a fabulous beer. Pours a beautiful murky gold with a lush velvetty head. Some nice lace remains on the sides.The smell is floral and malty with some alcohol esters and kind of a dandelion, heather combination in the floral aspect. Strong effervescence in the mouthfeel provides an excellent finishing sensation to a great beer. Drinkability is excellent for a beer of this potency. Outstanding!!!

 401 characters

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

A – A pale roasted malt colour of very pale amber meets the eye. A single finger of busy head erupts in the glass but this dissipates very quickly to a thin cover and leaves minimal lace. I know some on here have said it leaves large head but this is a fresh bottle poured into a chalice in Holland and it has a sensible head so I feel confident this is the way it is meant to be.

S – The first thing I notice is plum followed by some mild citrus notes possible lemon grass. There is also a good smell of candy sugar pale malts and apricot.

T – The apricot and plum are very evident here. There are some sweet pale malts as expected from the appearance but there is also more complex depth such as spicy booze flavours, some grassy/leafy flavours with a crisp bite.

MF – Medium body with great boozy tingle but really very smooth.

O – A very drinkable number. This is the best triple I have come across by far and although I was once not a fan of the style this has converted me.

 993 characters

Photo of kelticblood
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a Brandy snifter to prevent the head from overflowing any other type of glass. Thick foamy inch head with tons of bubbling carbonation. Head became thicker like Vanilla ice cream as it reduced leaving very thick lacing. Exceptional color and head. Beautiful apple cider-like color with a slight haze. Yeast aroma with a sweet malt note. Aroma is a bit weak and is the only thing preventing me from giving this Tripel all 5's. Absolutely Superb mouthfeel in every respect. It is a bit more bitter than most Tripel's I've tried, but I like it. Slight Phenolic taste on the finish. Creamy with a rolling texture. Due to high ABV I cannot give it a 5 for Drinkability. Although the alcohol is well-hidden it is definately there and makes me wonder how I am going to finish this whole 750Ml bottle by myself, but I'm sure I'll manage. Bitterness is most distinguishable towards the end of your glass. A touch of spice and vanilla adds to the medium body. Overall absolutely exceptional. I'd bring a bottle of this to a nice dinner over a bottle of wine anyday. TRY IT!

 1,073 characters

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

 1,970 characters

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

Golden color that was slightly cloudy when poured. Lots of foam on top

The smell was great. There was a nice mix of fruit and hops.

This beer tasted light, clean, and had a nice fruitiness to it. I could happily sip it all evening

Effervescent and crisp with lots of tiny bubbles

Outstanding. My bottle came from a Belgian sampler case and I will probably buy an entire case of this the next time I go in.

 450 characters

Photo of bum732
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow, some yeast floaties, nice creamy head leaving tons of lacing. Smells of medicinal phenols, a nice earthy grassiness, touch of clove, soft sweet breadiness, honey, touch of vanilla, absolutely blissful. Tastes of creamy clove like malt with lots of phenolic layers throughout. Some grainy sweetness that is immediately followed by a clean bitterness. Finishes fairly dry with an earthy note. Alcohol is present, but not overwealming. Nice full creamy mouthfeel, just enough carbonation to make it pop.

I still find it amazing such a full bodied beer can be dry at the same time, just unbelievable. An amazing brew, truly the standard for all Tripels and by far the best i've ever had.

 707 characters

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

I received a 750ml bottle along with a very nice Westmalle chalice glass as a gift. The glass is very heavy, has a 33cl line with ample room to spare for the head. Best chalice I own.

The bottle was marked with a bottled date of 11/4/11. It was caged and corked. I served it at 40 degrees.

Poured it into the chalice a pale golden color with medium haze and a thin white head. There were many streams of carbonation rising in the glass along with some yeast settling in the glass.

S- biscuit, citrus, some savory spice.
F- Very complex with several varieties of citrus, grains, and spice. The flavors were consistent through the taste rather than certain flavors appearing only on the finish.
M- moderate to high carbonation kept the mouthfeel clean and crisp. The 9.5%ABV was well integrated.
O- Outstanding with great complexity, classic Belgian yeast. I recommend serving it warmer - 50 degrees or above as this is when the flavors and aromas emerged more fully.

 968 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought I should review a classic/style-defining beer to mark my 200th review.

Pale orange color with a luscious velvety head that leaves quality sticky lacing. A little hazy.

Orange peel, lemon pulp, green apple skin, rose petal, earthy hops, spicy pepper. Very perfumey with less banana than I remember. The bottle is about a year or so old.

Sweet start with some orange zest, slight banana, sugary, and light caramel flavors. Perfumey, green apple, rose, some vanilla, and minty flavors towards the middle of the sip. Spiciness is most pronounced in the finish white pepper comes to mind. Some warming alcohol notes in the finish as well. Assertive bitterness and a dry ending.

This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink. Complex as hell(especially with a couple months in the cellar) and very drinkable despite the ABV. Simply exceptional.

 851 characters

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

Appearance: I knew I was in for a winner when I saw it swirling in my Chimay goblet. Nice and unfiltered, like a dark witbier.

Aroma: It's like candy in the glass. Cotton candy, white chocolate, light caramel, raspberry, vanilla, lemon, wheat, homemade bread dough rising.

Taste: This beer explodes with flavour. Citrus, candy (but thankfully not too sweet!!), nice light hopping, toffee, caramel, allspice, bubblegum, nutmeg, a tart finish. It's a hair thin (but at 9.5% ABV it can be as thin as it wants!).

Palate: SO smooth, it's dangerous. I can taste the warming alcohol on the way down, but it is not at all harsh or unpleasant.

Overall: It definitely smells sweeter than it tastes. This is an all-around winner and underscores the qualities that make Trappist beers so special.

It is *excellent* with dhal. It proved a seamless match with the pear and chive chutney (loved those chives), and would be stellar with mango chutney as well. The sweet + curry equation is key. It was one of those times that I had the meal first and needed to pick a brew -- I took a chance and it worked!

This was a fairly fresh bottle. I've got another one of those that I purchased at the same time. I'm going to cellar it and see how the difference stacks up in a couple of years.

 1,275 characters

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

This brew pours a cloudy semi-transparent pale orange color. The one-finger head is white and creamy. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is huge, juicy orange peel, spices. The taste is full and juicy. Orange peel dominates the sip leading into a tangy finish, and onto a warm alcoholic aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth. Overall, this is a very good tripel; one of the better ones I have had.

 415 characters

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

Best before on bottle is May 19, 2012.

Pours a light golden colour with a full, frothy white head that settles down but stays present throughout. Lots of carbonation is visible.

I can smell belgian yeast, banana, and maybe a faint whiff of strawberry. Light fruits generally are very present. Very nice.

Taste is moderately sweet and quite fruity. A bit of spice, and some bitterness is also present. Alcohol is noticeable at the end. No particular fruit sticks out for me- the flavours are well balanced and it is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- full bodied, and very well carbonated. Looking at the beer, I thought the carbonation would be too much for me, but I guess the appearance was deceiving. Feels great.

Quite drinkable, given how enjoyable it is, but the 9.5% is not exactly hidden. I wouldn't try (or want) to drink this quickly.

A very very good tripel!

 867 characters

Photo of JaimeLondon
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible tripel of 9.5% ABV, of an opaque ocher color and a big and persistant whitey foam.
Smell and taste are characterized by delicious and unexpected sweet tones; they're also full of grainy tones and it's easy to feel the yeast.
Body, carbonation and bitterness are at perfect level, I believe this beer has the best feel of all I've tasted.

 348 characters

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.

 1,301 characters

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

Sampled in a Westmalle chalice.
Pours a cloudy yellow orange color with visible yeast particles. The head starts of really big but becomes thin and patchy quickly, lacing is rather subdued. The aroma is of citrus fruits, perfumey malts, and herbal hops. The taste is sweet and spicey. Malts and kandy sugar mingle with a tangy citrus quality and very clear apple notes, its almost cidery. Theres great hop definition and a subtle phenolic character as well. Alcohol is evident but, like all good Belgium brews, definitely masks its full girth. The mouthfeel is smooth and luscious from a massive amount of fine carbonation bubble. This is a classic Belgium beer.

 664 characters

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

wow, best belgian tripel i have ever had. beautiful golden orange color with a tight white head that laced all the way to the bottom of the glass. the complexity of flavors in this beer are truly remarkable. there is definitely something to be said about old world beers like this that have been superiorly perfected over time. like one of the other posters said, drink this in solitude and slowly to truly enjoy all that it has to offer.

 438 characters

Photo of Digimaika2
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Attractive cloudy golden hue with a solid two fingers worth of bubbly stark white foam head. Very good retention and good lacing.

S: Strong orchard fruits (pear & apple) in addition to tropical fruits (banana & pineapple), yeast, spices (pepper & cloves), and an underlying buttered bread aroma. Also picking up a gummy candy-like scent. Can't believe how much fruit is in the aroma, and both tropical and orchard varieties. Wonderful and diverse smell.

T: Sweet pear, tangy and tart pineapple, bitter pepper, floral elements, and a bread-like malt backbone. Fantastic contrast between sugars and bitters with a great equilibrium reached. Alcohol hardly evident.

M: Full bodied with a moderate carbonation for the style. Incredibly oily and viscous with a slight chewy texture and lingering dryness that works.

D: An exceptional tripel. The balanced quality of this coupled with the potent fruit elements makes this a winner for me.

 942 characters

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

Poured this from an 11.2oz bottle into my Watou chalice. Poured cloudy orange-yellow, with yeast clumps included, and sticky white head which formed into islands within several minutes.

The smell is awesome, bready yeasty tripel aroma. Of course this is the original, so you'd expect this to fit the profile...

Taste is out of this world. Fruity esters and some very mild alcohol bite compete with the bready aroma.

This is very easy to find in Northwest Columbus, but on the expensive side (generally $4-$5 per bottle). Even so, very good and I will not hesitate to buy more. If I ever get to Belgium, I'll try to taste some fresh bottles.

 649 characters

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.

 1,156 characters

Photo of gonzo138
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours into the goblet a darker gold than most tripels, a white head with fairly low retenention for a belgian ale, but laces very nicely

S- citrusy sweetness, spicey, crisp, classic tripel smell

T- a little bitter, sweet, spicey, goes more or less hand in hand with smell

M- very dry, very carbonated, taste remains in mouth for a good amount of time

D- A great brew, problaby my favorite tripel, something I would recomend and have bought repeatedly

 465 characters

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

Such an enjoyable brew!
Pours with a nice creamy head, and deep yellow color - slightly cloudy. Nice mellow aroma, and amazingly smooth taste with sweet undertones and even balance all the way through. Silky mouthfeel but not too heavy at all.
A great drink for a relaxing evening.

 281 characters

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,434 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!