Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
4,623 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
Ranking:
#553
Reviews:
1,772
Ratings:
4,623
pDev:
10%
Bros Score:
4.86
 
 
Wants:
440
Gots:
907
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,623 |  Reviews: 1,772
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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Photo of andrenaline
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice hazy orange colour, finger of bright fluffy egg white head with decent retention and no lacing.

S - Fruity yeast esters, cloves, bananas and a touch of caramel.

T - Bready yeast esters come across quite strong, though surprisingly bitter with some leafy green hops having a definite presence. Caramel and toffee notes come through on the finish with a bit of a peppery clove flavour.

M - Quite light on the tongue, heavy carbonation, goes down smooth, with a perplexing finish that starts off dry, but finishes wet.

O - A tasty tripel and definitely worth taking for a spin. The high ABV goes completely unnoticed, and the flavours are uniquely balanced between spices, caramel malts and leafy hops.

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Photo of ivanwatling
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Moderate head, reduces to froth after a couple of minutes. Yellow golden colour

Smell: wheat beer, active

Taste: rich, sweet, undeetones of bitterness, warming , floral aftertones, complex

Mouthfeel: Well balanced carbonation, floral aftertaste, delicate hoppiness

Overall: Very pleasant drink, lots to discover and savour

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

11.2 oz bottle. Best by 7/28/2012

Westmalle Tripel pours a hazy, light orange color with a full white head and loads of side-of-the-glass lacing.

Smell begins with a crisp light malt presence, followed by wafts of pepper, clove, and other spices; complemented well with a strong fruity pull-mostly orange, with perhaps a bit of apricot or pear as well--and a candied sugar finish. Pretty complex.

Initial taste is very fresh and crisp with a bit of bite. Soon followed by sugary sweetness, peppery sharpness, and fruity balance; finished with a burning alcoholic sting. I can specifically tasete pepper, clove, orange, honey, and a tiny bit of funk. Quite a bit going on here.

Sharp and crisp on the palate. Medium carbonation and dry finish. Quite a bit of bite.

On the whole, this is a very nice representation of the style. I can see why it's a classic beer. That being said, I think there are better tripels out there. Still, this is a fine, complex, and tasty brew. It is worth savoring.

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Photo of JLeege
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle - poured into a chalice
From notes.

Appearance- Slightly hazy yellow orange color, fluffy white head. Decent retention and a little lace.

Smell- Aromas of banana, clove, peppery spice with a little citrus fruits as well.

Taste- Spicy Belgian yeast starts things off, notes of clove, pepper, slightly ester-y. Banana and citrus notes show up again. Crisp drying finish. A touch of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation. Smooth drink, drying finish.

Overall- A very solid tripel, maybe not the very best, but it is up there. I will be drinking it again.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pale golden, fluffy white head lasts forever, leaving a great amount of lacing. Can't imagine any beer looking better. Word to the wise: do a cautious pour.
S- A touch fruity, like pear/apricot, but I would say that I got more spice in the aroma. Clove, allspice, and something very close to white pepper.
T- Definitely spice heavy here. While the fruit notes are definitely there this beer leans much more one way than the other. Starts spicy, fruity mid sip, and finishes spicy with a bit of a boozy kick that, honestly, I did not much care for.
M- Slightly full body, amazingly smooth carbonation.
O- Not my favorite in the style, as I tend to like mine more fruit heavy than spice heavy, and that the boozyness was just a bit offputting for me. That said, it's a worthwhile example of the style. Would drink again, but price point was a little high.

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Photo of goalie33
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Chimay chalice. Best by 5/19/12.
A) Hazy gold in color with a large, pilllowy white head. Huge amounts of carbonation. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass.
in this beer. Any transparency that there was is obscured when the sediment from the bottom is poured in.
S) Light fruits, a bit of spiciness, including pepper and clove, and bready malts in the nose. The nose becomes breadier when the yeats is added.
T) Very nice blend of citrus, spice and sweet malts. Flavors are incredibly well blended and difficult to pick out. A bit of sourness in the finish and aftertaste. When the sediment is added, that distinct Belgian yeast flavor is added to the previous mix.
M) Medium to full body, very soft mouthfeel with an ever so slight prickle of carbonation on the tongue.

This is one of the best Tripels I have had. It is right up there with St. Bernardus and Chimay. Wonderful flavors blended together seamlessly.

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

A - A burnt golden yellow body. It has a large pearl white head with incredible lacing.
S - Beautiful fruity aroma with soem floral notes. It is rounded out with a slight pepper and alchohol warmth. Very light complex and refreshing on the nose.
T & M & D - Incredibly crisp on the front and opens into fruits galor. I will let you explore this one for individual fruits because there are a ton there. For being so crisp on the front it is medium bodied and suprisingly creamy in the mouth. The finish in very clean and warming with the ABV.

I love this beer. I am glad I waited to have it during a special occasion. It was pleasant, the definition of drinkability (in my mind), and complex. I enjoyed every sip.

-Cheers

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

Intro: 11.2 oz. bottle served in a tulip stemmed glass

Appearance: Thick (almost excessive) dry head that stays throughout. Pours a golden opaque color. Carbonation is prevalent. Lacing is dry and abundant.

Smell: Bright citrus aroma. Alcohol is somewhat subdued.

Taste: Crisp, clean with no after taste. Kind of hoppy. Reminds me of an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with no oiliness. Can feel the carbonation and leaves the palette dry.

Overall: Good not great. A sipper, alcohol is hidden well with a mild complexity for which the Trappist style ales are known for.

Conclusion: Not one of my favorites but it is a must try. I tend to like the Trappist quads better, but this is a very respectable offering in its class

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 4,623 ratings