Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,725 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,725
Ratings:
4,473
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.05%
 
 
Wants:
424
Gots:
839
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,725 | Ratings: 4,473
Photo of ZagZagg
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle Poured into a Westmalle goblet

A: An excellent golden hue with plenty of visible carbonation, not a considerable head with little lacing. Only remotely opaque, but not completely translucent, bit of a haze

S: Yeasty notes combined with a pungent malty punch some citrus blend with a bit of a spicy loveliness.

T: Develops quickly with an initial bitterness that fades to a subtle sweetness. Complicated but not over the top. Strong potent flavor for a tripel, aggressive spice with a lingering honey warmth departs with a nice alcohol after taste

M: Light body, mouth filling with the tingling of the carbonation. Watery and smooth, rests on the tongue nicely

O: Not exactly a beer you can really put down, not something I would recommend for ‘game day’; but a powerful and delectable tasting beer with ABV to boot. It is obvious that this beer was brewed with intense dedication. Anyone seeking a rewarding tripel will be more than impressed.

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Photo of DanOLeary
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Ripe pear skin. That's the first thing that comes to mind when you hold a glass of this beer to your nose. There is a light sense of brown sugar and sweet bread dough. Not bread crust mind you. Dark grapes are also noted in the aroma. No hop aroma and only a hint of alcohol despite the 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: A deep yellow to light golden amber with a yeast haze. Effervesant carbonation bubbles can be seen rapidly rising to the top that produce a frothy billow of pure white head. Excellent retention and very good lacing.

Flavor: Light spices of coriander, clove, and alcohol combine evenly on the palate with a very gentle presence. The alcohol lingers the most through the middle where you'll find an almost peppery spice. This seems to come from a combination of the alcohol and yeast. While the flavors are light, there's a lasting sensation of color on your tongue into the clean finish. If there's a hop presence it's only found at the back of the throat and with an earthy/noble presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation. Alcohol presence is certainly noted with a warming presence in the mouth and through the finish. This beer warms you up as it goes down. The carbonation is high and seems to renew the flavor if you hold the beer in your mouth.

Overall: Since there is a fair amount of yeast in the bottle, a careful pour will yield a brighter and more clear beer. But I poured this into two glasses, and the second glass got much more yeast than the first. If you don't care for yeast in your beer, pour slowly. Personally I call small bits of yeast "flavor crystals" in my beer. The same goes for hop flakes, though you won't find those here. There is nothing overpowering about this beer and the flavors blend together surprisingly evenly, with the alcohol winning out only slightly. Hop presence is minimal while the beer exhibits a noble spice given off by the Wesmalle yeast.

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Photo of TerryMills
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth , one of the best trappist ive had so far..

Like hazy golden color , 1 finger pure white head.

Smell is sweet and yeasty as with most of the belgian tripel.

Taste is sweetness followed by yeast and then a little funk on the end.

Feel is medium body with some heavy carbonation fizzy burn.

Overall a damn good beer and i will buy it again .

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Photo of ddarden
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a Westmalle chalice and it had a foamy white head and what appears to be nice carbonation. The color is a slightly hazy, pale copper. As I take a nice deep inhale, there is an immediate smell of yeast, alcohol, and citrius.
The first sip of the beer yields very a yeasty, dry taste with an aftertaste of a slight lemon hoppiness. The mouthfeel is medium and very nice. By now, the head is a very thin layer with light lacing still left on the glass and the alcohol is little more apparent as it warms. The aftertaste last for a while with a nice hoppy, dry feel. This is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of uawildcat
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Bordeaux wine glass. Had a nice inch, inch and a half head. Nice cloudiness from yeast.

S: Smells fruity like apricots, pears, and other fruitiness behind a malty veil.

T: Tastes similar to it smells. Upfront very acidic, tastes of pears, lemony, and like there is a peppery spiciness somewhere in there too. It ends with a floral honey sweetness and leaves an aftertaste of bread.

M: Too acidic and overly carbonated for my tastes. This is my third triple and they all have a similar mouthfeel (Unibrow Fin de Monde and Deschutes The Stoic). Personally I don't like it, but seems to be average for the style.

O: This is the best tasting triple that I have had, also probably the best looking. Favorite of this style so far.

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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

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Photo of MoohMooh
3.05/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi-opaque light gold that astonishingly appears to get more opaque after a while, with a huge head, not much lacing. Smells of grain/corn, citrus, apple cider, and orange, with a grassy, boozy feel. Taste is bitter and slightly spicy/peppery, with once again grain, stale bread(?), some apple, and banana. It feels warm and smooth, with medium carbonation, but a light body for a triple. Kinda harsh.

I feel it doesn't really hide its ABV all that well. That makes it a bit hard to get through and kinda mutes the various aromas. Pretty disappointed.

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Photo of guild337
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is on a different playing field from all the other Trappists. It still has all the complexity, and flavor that the others have, but the experience is somehow deeper, and I love it for that little bit extra. The monks of Westmalle have created something special here (or continue to create something special that has been around for ages).

A - Beautiful, yet lightly golden coloring. An extremely frothy and rich, thick head. I let that dissipate as I enjoyed the aroma.

S - Very flowery, and fragrant. Lots of flavors here, but nice and slightly sweet citrus smell.

T - A welcome difference in this beer is that it is not too sweet at all, like some Belgians can be. Beautifully dry, and just a hint of tartness make this brew as complex and delicious as any classic wine could ever hope to be.

M - Again I emphasize the dryness of this beer. It is just a great, and uniquely different experience for me, and I love it.

D- This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly, and paired with some food. Not so much a session beer (for price, and alcohol content). But I would have some every week, if I could afford that. A world class beer, no doubt.

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Photo of jenitivecase
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 0,33L bottle retrieved from Paris, France, of all places.

A: Dark yellow, very hazy, with an amber cast. Ridiculous amount of head upon pouring with excellent retention and thick lacing. Carbonation continues to stream up from the bottom of the glass long after pouring, almost like champagne.

S: Very yeasty with strong citrus notes. The alcohol tang is also present.

T: Wow, this has a hell of a kick. It took a little bit of drinking to get my tongue to really get into the flavor. It's pretty spicy (coriander, nutmeg?), with all of the citrus undertones promised by the smell. Good yeast character rounds out a ridiculously complex taste.

M: Creamy and perfect. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: The alcohol bite and the intensity of the taste would make it difficult to drink this in quantity, but I'm going to enjoy the rest of the beer I've got in front of me for sure.

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Photo of Redteketed
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A golden good heading appearance. Fruity, malty smell, even a little hoppines and isn't that coriander in the background. Nicely in balance conforming style.
Light sweet/bitter taste, including the sence of fruit and malt. Full body. Dry sticky mouthfeel and a nice hoppy, spicy aftertaste.

Yes, according style a nice beer, but I prefer Westmalle dubbel.

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Photo of HopBacchus
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange gold with a large pillowy head and impressive lacing

Nose is complex with pale malts, pepper and a surprisingly strong presence of spirits

Spirity pepper and pale malts are up front, the flavor becomes more complex with citrus notes and coriander present finishes surprisingly dry

medium bodied and creamy, very drinkable if not for the spirity presence body had deffinetly been thinned by the alcohol

Overall a very good Tripel

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

Came in a 750 mL corked bottle with a two dates stamped on the back: 11/02/09 and 11/02/11. Very confusing because I bought until my roommate suggested the dates were printed euro-style. After wrestling with the cork for some time, we were ready start drinking.

Appearance- A beautiful, cloudy light orange, almost but not quite amber hue. A small white head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a lot lacing. The bubbles making up the head vary in size quite considerably, but for the most part are very small.

Smell- Complex and incredibly rich, very wine like. The smell is dominated by malt, with highlights of pepper, citrus, and banana. The alcohol is somewhat present, but in a classy, refined way.

Taste- Wow. This was my first tripel and it tasted absolutely nothing like I expected. Completely blew my mind (and palate). An incredibly complex flavor that comes at you in waves. The main taste is a spicy, peppery alcohol with a mix of complementing flavors that I find hard to describe. Kind of fruity with some mellow hop bitterness. Leaves a taste in your mouth reminiscent of homemade yeasty bread.

Mouthfeel- Very, very smooth with a subtle carbonation that complements the taste very well. Not too light or heavy but very warming. I could see myself sitting in a castle and drinking it.

Drinkability- Fantastic! One of my favorite beers to date. Hard to set down. A little too on the alcoholic side, though. Leaves a warm, happy feeling inside of you.

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Photo of timjr2500
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very thick but light white head on top of a golden-yellow body. The head does persist longer than on most beers but looks about average for a Trappist, a bit on the light side actually.

It smells very fruity, my premonition is apricot, and a lingering spice of cinnamon or nutmeg surrounding the nose.

Its taste is cunning, like a traditional belgian, but it lacks the same power of certain Trappists. The more I drink though the better it gets, but I think where this beer is lacking for me is the yeast. I like the crispness that the tight carbonation provides but I think it could go further to exploit the Belgiam yeast that makes the Trappist so special. Although it may just need a few more years in the bottle before it lives up to the expectations of beers like Rochefort.

Its a nice beer but I do think it is a bit overpriced. Maybe I'm paying for tradition or something but I do believe that its more than I would expect to pay for something unaged and a bit rough around the edges, but overall and above average beer.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from single-serve bottle

Look--Pours a classic hazy gold with excellent rocky head and persistent lacing throughout. As pretty a tripel as you will ever see.

Smell--Floral notes forward with dried fruit and apricot notes close behind. Excellent and inviting.

Taste--One notch below the aroma but still darn good. Excellent balance of malty sweetness, yeast, and a touch of bitterness at the end.

Feel--Outstanding carbonation and crispness makes this a very refreshing take.

Overall--Underrated versus the "big boys" of Belgium. Outstanding and highly recommended.

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Photo of oldhippie247
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium-gold with a very slight haze, topped with a stark white, billowy head that lingers all the way down.

Aromas are bright and fruity with a hint of herbal spiciness.

First sip is immediately crisp, spicy, acidic, and fruity--not sweet. Alcohol warmth shows just a touch more than I generally care for, but so much as to be over the top. A very fine, intense carbonation keeps this strong beer feeling light.

Overall still the classic go-to Tripel for me.

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Photo of Brianjames16
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a vibrant two finger frothy off white head. Amber/orange color. Hazy with good carbonation in the glass.

S- Welcoming floral and fruity aromas in the nose. I get some orange peel, citrus, flowery esters and pine. Some breads from the yeast.

T- Taste is precisely balanced with good bitterness and dark fruits. Good warmth in throat from the alcohol.

M- Smooth and silky with good carbonation. Delicious !

D- As far a Belgians go, this is second best for me and would have no problem drinking a few. Drinkabillity is fantastic !

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Photo of DannyHartman
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I pour an 11.2 oz. bottle into a room temperature pint glass, a massive 2-3 inch head (with good retention) appears atop a hazy and beautiful yellowish/orangish/gold brew.... There's very visible sediment floating throughout the drink due to the Belgian yeast in the bottle.... Plentiful lacing is left behind during the drink.

I take a whiff and immediately get funky Belgian yeast.... Following that, I get fruitiness like that of banana and a hint of apple.... There's even lemon citrus in the nose.... Sweet and spicy.... I love it.

As I'm sipping, spicy Belgian yeast hits the taste buds first.... There's also banana, lemon, a touch of honey sweetness, and a spicy apple cider flavor.... Delicious.

Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation to release all the flavors and spice on the palate.... Nice, smooth, and crisp with every sip.... Leaves a delicious lingering aftertaste.

Overall, I'm partial to Belgians.... I love them !!.... This is a truly perfect representation of perfectly balanced complexity that the Belgians are known for.... I love this beer, and will continue to enjoy it like I have for years past.

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Photo of jayb
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
pours a orangish, light amberish, but clear, plenty of yeast sediment floating in the bottle. Two fingers of light tan head which settles down pretty quick. A second poor produce more of a cloudy brew. still attractive

Smell
citrusy, sour, tangy. Smells very much like a strong white ale. peppery, stings a little as i inhale.

Taste
Mmm. Look out! Tangy, sweet, fruity. Lingering mild bitterness. A spicy mother. There seems to be a lot going on here but the alcohol, spiciness and mild citrus tang are most apparent to me.

Mouthfeel
Smoothish. Very engaging as it is velvety at first, then the carbonation kicks in, giving it some zest and really bringing out the alcohol warmth.

Drinkability
Short of the spicy warmth that whacks you in the nose and mouth, its easy to keep after. The hop bitterness compounds as you continue which slows one down a bit, but be sure it will not stop you from finishing this glass slowly and enjoyably. A bold brew to be sure. I am working on this 1 pint, 9 oz bottle and enjoying it, although a smaller portion would be plenty for anyone. Enjoy!
Cheers.

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

This beer really blows my mind when you combine its appearance with the rest of the characteristics.

There is so much flavor in a beer this light. It has the appearance of an MGD, but the similarities stop there. The body is rich. Taste hides the abv. so well, I find it hard to believe the facts (which I suppose come from monks, so you gotta believe them, huh?).

I find this to be a killer brew. woowed me from the pour. Cheers.

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Photo of Reed415
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky dark orange color with a very large head

S - Sweet and fruity in the nose

T - Taste is very fruity with some mild hops, semi acidic,

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation

D - Very good Belgian with complex flavors with well hidden alcohol

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Photo of rkinsella
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden orange, cloudy. I left the yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle. I decided not to drink it separately. Head was amazing! Thick like meringue, hung on the whole time. Great Guinness like lacing that left a nice pattern. 10 out of 10 for head and lacing. The total appearance was stellar!

Smell - Grass field, hops, a little earthy, doughy, bit of floral from the hops, definite alcohol whiff.

Taste - Smacks your forehead...hard! Spice and alcohol kick, followed by bitter hop finish. So intense I didn't taste much of anything else, maybe just a little lemon zest. Although the taste is very complex, it's hidden behind the alcohol and hops. But it is there. Tastes a little like a super strong Czech Pilsner. Dry finish as well.

Mouthfeel - Huge! Full, round and sparkles on the tongue.

Drinkability - Can't imagine having another because of the high ABV, but the flavor and mouthfeel suggests it.

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Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'West-mail Trap-pissed Triple' up next!

Settling into becoming a beer advocate, I've learned that the Tripel is becoming a fast favorite for me. The sweet, crisp bitterness, the high alcohol %, the alluring fumes...it's all just great stuff. So, does this Belgian Trip deliver another swell wallop of brew goodness?

Yep!

Pours almost soda-like with nice foamy bubbles which settle into a skimming layer of white bubblies. Cloudy orange/mandarin color with some solid, sticky lace as well.

Pungent and wonderful smell that hits like a brick; a brick dunked in potpourri, sprayed with tart fruit and hand-washed in a barrel of spices.

Like the smell we got here a strong sipping Trip that puts an instant smile on that face o' yers. Sweet, spicy, slight citric feel that goes down smooth and creamy, but leaves a warming feel of booze in the back of your gullet.

Drinkability is through the damn roof here. At 9.5% and it being hidden as a motherfucker, you'd be careful to take heed here. I could play beer pong with this beer and be loaded by the end of the first game. It's goood.

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Photo of pinkano
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - gold yellow color
S - starts with grapefruit and continues with a smell of citruses
T - smooth taste with tones of citruses, apricot, banana with light bready finish.
M - medium to low body with high carbonation
D - pretty drinkable one, however you're not "forced" to drink another one

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Photo of brushpig
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a 330ml bottle at the Uncommon Ground Cafe in Chicago, served in a Westmalle triple goblet.

Cloudy golden appearance w/ a big thick creamy white head that did not diminish very much at all.

Sweet malts with a powerful hop scent with fruity notes as well.

Initial flavors are sweet bread malts, some citrus, A alcohol feel but not too much. Temperature is important, don't drink one too cold, when it got to about 50F the flavors popped out.

Great beer and very drinkable.

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Photo of FACEMEAT
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a mildly hazy golden amber with a few flecks of sediment that snuck past my careful pour. Two fingers of beautifully fluffy white head dissipated into a nice cap that left beautiful lacing.

S: The mild smell does not do this brew justice. I get bitter lemon peel and malt.

T: Wow. Apples, nuts, citrus and yeasty malts dominate the palate. I get some pleasant grassy flavors on the finish. What a pleasure.

M: Highly carbonated, medium mouthfeel. The fine, delicate, almost champagne-like bubbles cleanse the palate and leave it beckoning for another sip.

D: At 9.50% ABV, I could easily drink too many of these. In fact, I plan on doing just that.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,473 ratings.
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