Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
4,631 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

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Ratings: 4,631 |  Reviews: 1,775
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From some notes of mine which I thought I lost.
Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A Pours a nice caramel brown with a two finger head that had good retention and left a lot of lacing.

S the nose on this one was sweet with notes of apples, some spicy yeast and a hint of alcohol.

T the taste of this one was sublime. First you get sweet fruit mostly apples followed by a bit of yeast, with the malts taking center stage with a caramel like finish that stays on your tounge.

M The mouthfeel was nice and full bodied with good carbonation and a bit of a dry finish.

Overall I loved this one. To me this is how a tripel should be. It smells great, tastes heavenly, and you can't even tell that it is well over 9% abv. My favorite tripel and possibly one of my all time favorite beers.

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Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I actually had to give all fives. I loved this brew. The carbonation surprised me so yes I sinned and lost some but I have apologized to the beer gods and will carry on. This brew was tart at times but a joy to drink. the alcohol is upfront and lingers but in a good way. This brew is top of the line tripels and the dubbel is awesome also. Fruity aroma, high in carbonation and alcohol but yet a brew that can easily be enjoyed day in and out, hot or cold. Grab one or a few and share. Or just keep them to yourself and tell people how good they are.

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Photo of alamere
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled dated 01-2011... not sure if that's the importation date or the actual bottling date... but seeing as how I'm drinking this on the West Coast in the USA.. that seems pretty recent!

poured from a bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A - It's hard not to gush madly about this particular beer to be perfectly honest... and why wouldn't you? This is what God himself intended beer to look like (probably?) It's not quite only straw colored... it's like straw with a darker orange-ish presence and as crystal clear as beer gets. I can see reflections of my life and the ghost of my past inside of this beer.. that's how clear it is. Pours a magnificent head and leaves a lacing that doesn't go away for the entire glass.. . actually.. I've been drinking this for 20+ minutes and there is still a foam across the top with a spiderweb pulling down the interior of my glass. Perfect, with tiny, tight, champaigne-like bubbles.

S - It's got a sweet smell with an herby, peppery hop presence that I don't actually recall the last time I tried this beer. I'd say some apple and pear in the smell as well.

T - It's hard not to give all 5's. This beer is one of the Kings of all beer for good reason in my opinion. It tastes fresh, with a sweetness at first and then an obvious malt presence, but not a super strong malt showing either but a cleanness that helps this beer go down VERY easily. It's got no hot alcohol notes at all and for an ABV of 9% goes down like a 5% beer. It's dry, but with an aftertaste that lingers in the best of ways.. Lastly, 12 seconds after you drink it, you get a warming alcohol splash in your esophagus. Again, this is exactly what God intended beer to taste like in my opinion.

M - What's not to like?? It's a dry beer, but feels light on the palette and isn't too heavy and cloying.

Overall - I almost feel bad as I've wanted to review some beers on beer advocate for awhile.. and I started with a bunch of the best beers in the world. It's been like a labor of love so far!! ha! Soon enough I'll get to the "Bud Light limes" of the world. ;)

This, however, is as good as beer gets in my opinion... this is one of the reasons that I even started drinking beers. I tried a few beers like this (after drinking a lot of bud light, etc) and thought to myself "Well, maybe I do LOVE beer?!!"

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Photo of projectflam86
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a chalice.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a thick white foam head. Nice lacing left behind and lots of carbonation bubbles rising.

S- Aromas of bread and yeast with lots of spice and a bit of citrus.

T- Slightly tart upfront with a fair amount of alcohol. Some musty hops and pepper with some light fruit flavors as well.

M- Medium bodied and dry with a good bit of carbonation.

O- Overall this is a very solid Tripel but I think I built it up a bit too much in my head. Good, maybe even great, but not quite exceptional.

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Photo of bsp77
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip. Best by May 26, 2012.

Appearance: Hazy straw yellow with billowing, foamy white head and great lacing.

Smell: Earthy, dry and clove-like. Slightly tart. Light banana and other fruits.

Taste: A little sweeter than the aroma, with a heavier banana and fruit profile. Some light mustiness with a dry, slightly tart, snap at the end that leaves a strong clove aftertaste.

Feel: High carbonation with a medium body that is slightly more syrupy than expected or preferred. Mostly dry finish, but not as effervescent as hoped for.

Overall: Great tasting Tripel that does not quite have the refreshing and effervescent feel that I love in regards to all Pale Belgians, whether Tripels, BSPAs or Saisons. Still, one of the best Tripels that I have had.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(11.2oz bottle) pours dark golden color with chunky white head. Very active carbonation. Aroma has belgian yeast, vinous fruit (grape?) And some spice. Taste is sweet malt with spice and a hoppy bitter finish. Thin to medium bodied and creamy texture. Finish is bitter and dry. The original and ultimate tripel

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Photo of JoeyV
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass chalice

A: Cloudy golden with a substantial, persistent head

S: Mostly yeast and grain, slightly sweet

T: Quite sweet, but not overbearingly so - initial overtones of banana and kiwi followed by a number of spices, nutmeg in particular. I can definitely taste the high alcohol content.

M: Relatively thin compared to other similar beers I've tried in the past. Pairs nicely with the flavor.

O: It has the complexity of flavor that I've come to expect from Trappist beers, but it doesn't feel overly intense - instead it's quite refreshing and drinkable. Definitely one of my favorites from Belgium so far.

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

Poured into a pint glass

A - Slightly cloudy golden-yellow body. Thin white bubbly head with decent retention.

S - Honey and bread.

T - Lots of alcohol and lemon peel, especially on the finish.

M - Intense bite with fierce carbonation on the front followed by a medium alcoholic finish.

O - Had fun drinking this one. Certainly one of the best tripels I've tried.

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Photo of philbe311
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge three fingers worth of big fluffy pillow like slightly rocky pure white head... Settles slightly and shows solid retention at around one fingers worth which could also be a very airy and full lacing... A tiny bit of lacing clings to the glass... A slightly hazy muted golden orange color... A limited bit of sporadic, but mostly moderated paced carbonation...

S - Textbook Tripel... Belgian yeast... Some candied sugars... Apple... A slight spice kick... Some orange zest... Slightly floral... Very nice...

T - Belgian yeasts... Wheat... Apples... Pear... Faint candied sugars... Some spicy notes that pack a little bit of a punch... A bit boozy as well... Perhaps even a very faint hop component... There are some floral notes on the finish...

M - Medium bodied... Interesting carbonation which is slightly muted, but lively still at the same time... Slightly dense... Slightly sticky...

D - A very nice offering... A bit to harsh in terms of taste and mouthfeel to be mentioned with my favorite Tripels, but a very very good beer none the less... Recommended and something I would gladly drink again in the future...

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured in two separate glasses, shared with wife

Appearance - Foggy golden yellow body with small white soapy head. Sticky soapy lacing.

Smell - Slight musky grain. Light alcohol. Apple. Almost citrusy.

Taste - Complex and smooth. Plenty alcoholic but not offbalanced or overpowering. No off flavors. Very very slight bitterness. May develop due to oxidization? Wasn't getting it so much at the beginning.

Mouthfeel - Smooth full bodied feel with medium light effervescence that works well with the alcoholic bite.

Overall Drinkability - Best Tripel I've had. Better than the Chimay.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks fantastic! Sort of a hazy golden apricot colour with a finger of foamy head that sticks around. Lots of carbonation streaming to the top.

Very sweet fruit... like light citrus. Slightly floral with some faint grainy smell as well. The aroma is not overpowering, but very pleasant.

Wow! Lots going on here! This is quite a complex beer indeed. Sweet and slightly bitter, like grapefruit peel. Also some apple-like flavours floating around. Some nice hop flavour towards the end and slight bitterness in the back of the throat. I'm left with a somewhat dry finish.

Overall, this is a delicious Tripel. I'd gladly have one of these any time.

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Photo of Spica66
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with gwuilliums on Friday night. Poured from bottle in tulips.

A: Slightly hazy gold color. Excellent head formation and persistent ring of carbonation and good lacing.

S: Smells at the same time sweet and slightly funky. Like sweet pear with Belgian yeast funkiness. Smells very fresh, though. No stale or musty aromas.

T: Pretty much just what the nose tells you is coming. Slightly sweet. Very complex medium-dark fruits. Definitely Belgian yeast on the finish. Very, very nice.

M: Medium body and excellent carbonation. The 9.5% is nowhere to be found.

O: Good complexity. Excellent olfactory stimulation. At $5 for an 11.2 oz bottle, this will be a rare treat for me.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured chilled in snifter

A: cloudy, pear-juice colored; beautiful head; v. nice carb streams; excellent lacing
S: light but persistent aroma of pear, ester
T: white grape, pear, v. heavy in alcohol, but detectable only well into the aftertaste; bottle fermentation is pronounced but not cloying.
M: spritely, buoyant

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice gold/orange with a white, rocky head.

Smells sweet with hints of clove and spice, fruity yet not overtly estery.

Tastes sweet and spicy...a perfect combination of esters that create a unique flavor.

High carbonation with a dry finish make this been quite drinkable...fantastic.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a glass chalice.

L - hazy yellow color with a foamy white head that left waves of lacing behind.

S - light fruits with a trace of spice in the background.

T - upfront fruit flavors of apple, white grape and pear with some spiced yeastiness leading up to a dry and slightly tart finish.

F - medium bodied with lively carbonation.

O - a good example of a traditional trappist tripel.

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

Aroma: Alcohol, medium spiciness, carbonation is high, effervescent.

Appearance: Clean golden color, persistent white head, large energetic bubble

Flavor: A clean and spicy beer, alcohol is noticeable but not huge, dry spicy finish (carbonation assists with dryness)

Mouth feel: Medium-Full

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Photo of dcloeren
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into my Duvel Tulip Glass

A: Poured a slightly hazy golden yellow with 3 fingers of FROTHY white head... Almost looks like theres a bubble bath in my glass. The head is being fed by an abundant amount of carbonation that just keeps on coming. Getting some great lacing

S: Catching subtle hints of sweet fruit(pear, maybe some apple, grape and lemon zest), spice and bread with some serious boozy notes

T: Follows the nose quite nicely. Biscuity, sweet fruit, spice and booze. This beer gets a tad bit sweeter as it warms up along the way. Complex, tasty and very drinkable

M: Medium bodied and very effervescent due to the ample amount of carbonation. Boozy tones coat the mouth on the aftertaste

O: A very tasty triple. A very complex yet subtle beer at the same time. Wont pass this up next time I see it on the shelf

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Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed golden yellow color, nice cap of small dense bubbles, long lasting and some sticky lacing. Scent starts light and bready with a touch of peppery spice, kiss of lemon zest, sweet watery pear and fresh malted grain. Taste is lighter than expected, but components of scent come together nicely. The yeast is more muted than in other beers of the style and the alcohol is well hidden. Lots of nice sweet watery fruit flaors, floral touches and nice zing of lemon zest with some bitterness behind it. Medium bodied, quite dry with active carbonation. A nice Tripel with unique components, well hidden ABVs and a toned down "belgian" profile (yeast, sugar, spice).

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Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Westmalle Chalice glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a lightly hazed bright yellow gold color with a 1 ¼" fluffy white head that persists and persists and persists, fed by the ample carbonation. As the head slowly recedes there are patches and other irregular patterns of lacing on the sides of the glass. Throughout the beer sipping leaves lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and clean and fruity and spicy, with some pear, apple and citrus zest mingled in with a touch of pepper and something that seems a lot like ginger.

Taste: The flavors are predicted fairly well from the nose, there is some a tart pear and green apple. This mingles pleasantly with the citrus zest (lemon?). Underneath all there is some sweetness from the malt that mingles in with but doesn't conflict with any of the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is full to medium bodied with a smooth creamy consistency from the persistent active carbonation. The finish is medium to long and runs from the initial malt sweetness through the touches of fruit and on into the lightly spicy dryness that invites yet another sip.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a nicely drinkable beer which goes down a bit too easily for the ABV. I'll certainly be having this one again. My overall impression is that this is a first rate tripel which everyone should try. Well made and a good example of the style (although it is dryer overall than most).

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Photo of MufflnMan
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous cloudy yellow body with a foamy white head that disappears and comes back to life with a swirl.

Smells of citrus and hops - grapefruits, oranges... maybe some clove, oh yes... and alcohol. Very complex.

Taste is even more complex. Each sip makes me pucker with the bitter hops, flowers, oranges, lemons, more grapefruit, bit of banana. Teeniest bit of alcohol burn at the end, feels like cough syrup on the back of my tongue.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and silky.

NOTE: This is one complex brew which has obliterated my palate from tasting anything else for the night. I can appreciate all the complexities as noted in my grading, but must also note that this is toooo bitter/pungent for my buds, Tripels are not my style. I made the mistake of having it with Manchego which ended up tasting like string cheese.

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Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally reviewing this classic Belgian.

A- Crystal clear golden hue with a very nice fluffy white head. Retention is pretty much endless and reminds me of any great Belgian. Carbonation bubbles swirl up rapidly. Tons of thick lace patterns exist on the glass.

S- Bready yeast with a slight raisin fruit feel. Certainly a bit of spice and clove to it. Banana, caramel and citrus.

T- Dominant Belgian yeast profile of bread, spices, cloves, esters and slight alcohol. Has a grassy/floral/straw feel along with some banana and a good deal of hoppy bitterness, lemon zest and citrus.

MF- Creamy body with silky carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth and a heavy bitterness in the finish.

I like this overall but it does get a bit abrasive with the bitterness, spice and alcohol combined. However, I sort of expect this in Tripels and this is still one of the better ones I have had taking that into account.

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Photo of Meerkey
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy honey colored, thick white head. Lots of bubbles.

S: Hops and citrus. Spicy. Yeast. Sweet. Floral. Very good.

T: Oh my goodness. Even better than I remembered. Citrusy hops, sweet honey malts. Floral.

M: Light, bubbly. Tart. Dry at finish.

O: Delicious. This is a great tripel. Have one. Now.

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Photo of AEK
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown bottle poured into a Westmalle chalice.

A. A yellow coloured beer?? What happened to the orange coloured ale of a few years back? The bubbly, white head rapidly shrank to a thin foam.

S. Very citrusy dominated by lemon notes.

T. Lemons, oranges, sherbet bon bons, juicy fruit chewing gum. Some sweet bread notes too.

M. Medium.

D. Not as good as I remember having it a about 7 or 8 years ago. Has the recipe changed somewhat to coincide with the label design change? If I had reviewed this when I last had it, it would have scored 5 across the board with ease.

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Photo of timobkg
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip, the beer was a clear golden color beneath a thick white head.

The aroma was a mix of bananas, cloves, and other spices, with a slightly sweetness.

The taste mirrors the aroma, providing a mix of bananas and spices, slight sweetness, along with the great complexity and depth that comes from the Belgian yeast.

The mouthfeel was effervescent and vibrant, the carbonation feeling playful on my tongue.

Tripels are not my favorite of the Belgian styles, but this beer completely blows me away each and every time I have it. It is the epitome of world class, and the absolute best Tripel I've had.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL brown bottle fittingly purchased at Pere Marquette Expeditions in Ludington, MI. Best before 9/28/12. I love the old-school looking label. I popped the top and poured into a goblet. A moderate pour yielded a ridiculous head with the ratio of head to beer being 2-1. The head was bone-white and retention was really good. The brew is golden with a lot of active carbonation and enough suspended yeast to make it a little hazy. A lot of lacing sticks to the glass.

This is my first Westmalle Tripel and I was a little surprised by the aroma, which reminded me of a cross between a Belgian dubbel and a can of Steel Reserve. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised as this brew clocks in at 9.5% ABV. Sweet esters compose a large portion of the smell. There is a solvent-like quality that tickles the nose hair and makes me think of racing fuel. Bubble gum aromas emerge, as do some grassy notes and a lingering woody character.

The flavor is much mellower than the aroma would suggest. Not that it isn't flavorful, but based on the scent I was expecting a booze bomb. Sweet bubble gum yumminess rolls on the tongue. Mild diacetyl flavors emerge but blend nicely into the malt, prompting me for the first time to describe a flavor as "biscuity". There is a biting bitterness on the back end, which appears to be the alcohol coming into play. Still, it is incredible how well the alcohol is hidden. If I had not read the label I would have no clue how alcoholic this actually is.

The beer is medium bodied but it still feels pretty light as it is aided by a healthy amount of carbonation. I simply cannot believe how smoothly this drinks. It's 9.5% alcohol, but there is absolutely no burn, and really no barbs of any kind. It's somewhat creamy and drinks dangerously easy. At this point I have to wonder how one goes about signing up to be a Trappist monk. I think I've discovered my calling.


The Two-Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz for this outstanding religious experience of a beer.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 4,631 ratings