Westmalle Trappist Dubbel
Brouwerij Westmalle

Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel
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Style:
Belgian Dubbel
Ranked #3
ABV:
7%
Score:
93
Ranked #1,594
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 10%
Reviews:
1,278
Ratings:
2,902
From:
Brouwerij Westmalle
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  233
Gots
  584
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel
Notes: Westmalle Dubbel (7%) is a dark red-brown beer with a rich, complex taste thanks to re-fermentation in the bottle. You pick up touches of caramel, malt and fruity esters reminiscent of ripe banana. The beer pearls beneath a covering of dense, cream-coloured froth. A lovely lace pattern forms on the inside of the glass once emptied. The long, dry finish of this balanced, mild Trappist beer will stay with you.
Trappist or Dubbel?

In 1865 the monks of Westmalle started brewing a dark Trappist beer in addition to their table beer. They adjusted the recipe in 1926, doubling the amounts of raw ingredients to produce a new, stronger beer. Dubbel is a logical name for this doubled beer, though it is more often simply called ‘Trappist’. To this day, the 1926 recipe is the basis for Westmalle Dubbel.
Westmalle Dubbel: bottle and tap

We are all familiar with Westmalle Dubbel in 33 cl bottles. But around 150 carefully selected Belgian cafés and restaurants serve this beer on tap from barrels containing 20, 30 and 50 litres. In the barrel, this living beer evolves differently to emerge with a slightly sweeter taste.

Westmalle Dubbel can also be purchased in 75 cl bottles. The beer matures in a different way in a larger bottle to produce a noticeably milder finish.
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Reviews: 1,278 | Ratings: 2,902 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MNAle
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is sweet bread, plums and raisins, spice.

Color is dark brown from the front, murky ruby red with a back light. 1/3 inch tan head from a careful pour into the chalice, thick, creamy, uneven top, excellent retention. Thick sheets of lacing on the opposite side. Upward showers of bubbles.

Taste is somewhat bitter in the beginning, and this remains in the background throughout. Dark fruits, raisins, mild spiciness. The taste is fairly complex, with the interplay of fruit, spice, and a dry bitterness that borders on astringency. The bitterness is more like bitter coffee (albeit with no coffee taste) rather than bitter hops. The finish is surprisingly toward dry, given the sweetness of the aroma.

Feel is smooth and a bit thin.

Overall, a very good traditional dubbel.

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Photo of sjrider
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle - dark opaque mahogany/brown color with short frothy khaki head leaving quite a bit of frosty/bubbly lacing. Nose is dark stone fruit ,sweet malt and yeast. Taste follows with some banana , candy sugar and hints of spice. Finishes on the dry side.

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Photo of Vyacheslav
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

One of the smoothest and most balanced Belgian beers I've tried.
Not too sweet but hints at dark chocolate, without the bitter aftertaste, like someone said before the aftertaste is actually one of the best I've ever tried, almost like you did eat expensive dark chocolate without actually eating it.
Feels great and looks classy.
Something you could drink at a restaurant instead of wine.

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Photo of retry4z
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Moderate high malt aroma of rich caramel, chocolate, and toast. Moderate fruity esters of plums and dried cherries. Low clove spice. Soft perfume alcohol. Low floral-herbal hop aroma.

Dark amber with moderate haze and an off-white head that dissipates quickly and has medium-sized bubbles. No lace.

Rich and sweet malty aroma with medium high burnt sugar, caramel, chocolate, and toast flavor. Moderate esters of plums and raisins. Medium low spicy phenolic clove and pepper, perfume character. Low hop bitterness. Malt is most prominent in the balance, with esters following next. Finishes dry. Bitterness is too high, making the malt not as pleasant.

Medium full body with moderately high carbonation. Light alcoholic warmth. Smooth. The carbonation contributes to a lightly prickly sensation.

Overall a malty, deep-amber, moderately-strong beer with a complex malt, ester, and phenolic characters. Has a complex yeast character. The carbonation is a little light, and can be increased by adding more malt and using a different, highly-attenuating yeast.

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Photo of Lanas
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most serious beers i have drink in my life.. All here is good and very balance..
First of all this beer is really strong.. The alcohol is very noticeable but not over exceed.. That make your taste more complete with a lot of explosion.. Also the taste remind you beer.. Not coffe or something different.. It taste like a real beer.. And the after taste is amazing too..
Overall this beer has anything i want.. Nothing can be annoying here. It is strong, delicious with insane explosion and taste like a beer in the end..

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Photo of CTHomer
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; cola brown with crimson highlights if held to the light; 1 finger finely pored light brown head that receded to a skim cap; very nice lacing;

S: oddly, the aroma reminded me of the bubblegum you got with Topps baseball cards;

T: up front, I got mostly marachino cherry; in the middle, it's back to Topps bubblegum; on the finish, it reverts back to marachino cherry; the beer is sweet throughout, but not cloying;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbvonation: lightly dry finish;

O: a flavor profile unlike any beer I've ever tasted; I expected a much dryer finish than I got;

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle produced 5/17/2018. Pours a dark brown color with a thick layer of beige head. Smells of roasted malt, dried fruit, and brown sugar. Medium to heavy feel. Tastes of roasted malt and raisins with some peppery hops. Very smooth.

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Photo of Barettes
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, thick head sticks around briefly without lacing the glass.
Scent and flavors are raisin, prune, malt, banana, nut, caramel, maybe cherry, bready.
Excellent feel. Just a great Trappist beer all around.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Tan head. Lace. Dark brown color, nearing black.

Caramel, molasses, figs, plums, dried red apple skins. Dark dried fruits galore and malts. This is a beautiful beer.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best before 5/31/20"; drank 6/26/19 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown/purple appearance.

An even pour yielded a HUGE khaki head (careful pouring); a thick curtain of lace.

Clove, cream & mild fresh earth notes in the nose.

Creamy medium mouthfeel.

Cream, clove & mild caramel flavors up front; faint fresh earth notes on the finish.

An earthy, ester-y brew that's not up my alley, but is enjoyable.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep plum, ample foamy head. Aroma & palate are classic dubbel - lots of raisin bread, dark fruit phenols (dates, plums), alcohol esters are a bit strong but otherwise very good

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Photo of Jimmy_Kneecaps
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best by date is 12/27/19. Appearance is a dark misty opaque reddish brown, mahogany? color with some sediment visible. Tons of reddish brown head fills the glass and it took 3 pours to empty the bottle. The aroma is dark fruits, roasted malts, and a sweet bready aspect, maybe rye bread? Some of the sweetness comes from the dark fruit but some is also coming from the back end with the bready scent. Taste follows the nose, with some vinous like dark fruits up front. I was surprised not at the dark fruits but at the wine like characteristic it took on. I was expecting sweeter, but this is not unpleasant and I really like it as i get used to it. Malty backbone and bready malts show up on the finish with what I’m picking up as that rye bread like flavor. Mouthfeel is very smooth, a little sticky, silky, medium. It’s crazy that all that carbonation from the head doesn’t show up at all in the mouthfeel, again not complaining at all. Overall this beer is fantastic, and one where the sum is greater than the individual parts. Everything I could have hoped for in a dubbel.

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Photo of beergoot
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tawny brown body capped with a thick, lusciously fluffy head; sticky sheets of foam coat the inside of the glass. Candi sugar sweetness; herbal earthiness; mild suggestion of brown sugar. Slightly malty, slightly caramel flavor with a relatively strong alcohol taste; low-key bitterness; rustic and earthy; slight malt sweetness. Medium-heavy body; some boozy heat and dryness.

This is an interesting beer, fairly rich and malty with a somewhat strong alcohol heat presence. It has great eye appeal and warms the innards with a malt-forward quality. My bottle has the following dating info -- BEST BEFORE END: 2020/10/31 and BOTTLED ON: 2018/10/31 with additional numbering of 04 01480.

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Photo of TheGent
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

The Westmalle Dubbel pours an opaque dark brown at the bottom of my goblet to a translucent light brown color at the top when held to the light. About half way through it’s entirely transparent and has tones of amber and orange as well. The head is beige and forms a thin layer across the top of my glass, a thick ring around the edge and a lot of lacing as I drink. Tight streams of minute bubbles rise up along the curvature of the goblet.

The aroma is sweet breadlines, dried stone fruit like apricot, prune and then raisin. There is some earthiness as well, followed by a “brightness” that I describe as some acidity that you might expect from stone fruit. It is fruity on the aroma, as well as woody and nutty.

Up front is a nice malt sweetness characterized by raisins, burnt sugar, caramel, honey. Black tea-like qualities. The finish is rather dry, with very mild bitterness and some woody and nutty notes.

The feel is amazingly light and airy on the palate. Pillowy soft.

Overall, this is an excellent beer that is a very easy drinking at 7%. I love this style and beer because it present many of the Belgian beer characteristics that I love but it’s not overly sweet and it’s super light on the palate. Really excellent stuff, and one of those beers that’s great on its own but can be paired up with food too. This is just an excellent drinking beer.

Cheers, and I look forward to coming back with an American example and drawing some parallels.

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Photo of SABERG
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with BB date of 9/19/2020 into the goblet.
A - Dark mahogany color, pillowy off white froth is fed by constant barrage of carbonation.
S - Threads of raisin, tobacco, candi sugar, Birch syrup, toasted malts
T - Rich elements include, dark fruits,fig, raisin, pumpernickel toast, light molasses kiss.
M - Medium in body, semi sweet start then a crashing dry finish, linger is a bit sweet with a yeast touch.
O - A very good offering, deserving of the praise it is bestowed, that dry almost young cigar finish is something to behold.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque, deep, dark mahogany coloration with a large, foamy/creamy head. Smells of sweet, bready, caramel malt, dark fruits and fruity and slightly spicy estery yeast notes of banana and clove. Taste is great balance of slightly toasted, bready, caramel malt, and fruity/spicy estery yeast notes, with almost no hop presence whatsover except for a light bitterness and perhaps some light herbal accents, with notes of pumpernickel bread, toffee, dark fruit: fig, raisins, banana, clove and just a hint of apple and licorice. Finishes bittersweet, with a light bitterness and some pumpernickel bread and fruity/spicy yeast esters lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

I quite enjoyed this, mainly because it never gets too sweet, being balanced nicely by some spicy and bitter notes. It also has quite a distinct pumpernickel bread character that is somewhat reminiscent of rye malt. I don't think this is brewed with rye though, probably a combination of the sweet, dark, bready malt and estery spice and I do like that spiciness. Quite a complex beer that still doesn't feel too heavy at the same time.

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Photo of Reef
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, Best by 1/3/19, drunk from a Westmalle Trappist chalice

Opaque reddish brown hue, one finger of tan head quickly reduced to a partial cap, full curtains of lacing.
Fig, raisin, molasses, yeast scents
Raisin, cherry, dark bread, walnut flavors
Medium bodied, some bitterness at first, low carbonation
This bottle may have been diminished by age, like so many imports. Will try again.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed on May, 5th 2019. Best buy May 19, 2018. Yeah, a year off.

Pours a nice dark reddish color. Thick 2 finger off white head. The retention is decent, but no lacing on the glass as the head dissipates.
The nose is more of a fruity aroma, but not too strong. Somewhat of a bread aroma also, probably from the malts.
Taste - It has a crisp flavor up front that makes me think of a cider at first. That lasts for a fraction of a second. It then turns into a nice malty flavor. I get some dark fruit flavors mixed in to it.
It is crisp feeling up front. I get a pop from the carbonation. It is a decent bodied beer.
A solid dubbel. It may be past the BB date on the bottle, but it does taste quite good.

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Photo of jkblr
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle bb June 27, 2020 poured into a Westmalle goblet at just above fridge temp 7% ABV. The beer pours light to medium brown with chestnut highlights and khaki head. The head recedes to a thin film and ring. The aroma is dark sugar, sweet bread, raisin and moderately spicy yeast. The taste is semisweet bread with mild clove, dark fruit, cola and burnt sugar all getting in the mix. The finish offers barely perceptible bitterness, yet ends up dry with absolutely no sweetness left. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively natural carbonation and a tingly feel on the tongue. Overall, outstanding. World class dubbel.

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Photo of Daniel473
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Good taste, for a red-brown beer, original Trappist product. It is of high quality and has pleasant aroma and taste, tastes light for a double.

Update: I have come to appreciate this beer as one of the best in its kind, i can feel the experience flourish in brewing tradition and for its price, it is truly one of the best beers in the world

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Photo of KooVee
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle, bb in 6m.

Dark/ruby-tinted brown. Fluffy foam that leaves a lace.

Aroma is most of all molasses.. that metallic edge to it that comes after a certain amount. Also candied dark fruits. Less complex than the iconic status would lead one to expect.

Taste continues the metallic molasses / dark fruit theme, one can think of sour cherries, just a little bit of pear, fruity yeast overtones and a backbone of coriander seed type astringency. Quite watery actually, more than I remembered, but as the beer warms the astringency compensates somewhat. Definitely to be drunk quite warm so as not to appear thin.

Overall, a classic of course, but I now remember how badly this fared in a blind tasting among modern competition. And the aroma and metallic, thin body are to me the inevitable outcome of too much dark sugar. I once brewed a historical WWII mild that was a weaker replica of this. The dark fruits were even more prevalent in it but my point is that this is a very narrow range of taste that really isn't the outcome of some magical skill or recipe, it's the dark sugar. Good, but in a very limited fashion.

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Photo of Martin194
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Cloudy, rich dark brown with a tan head.

Smell: Booze, sweetness (it actually smells a bit like Coca Cola to me), sweet dark fruits, port wine.

Taste: Red wine, dark fruits, dates, nutmeg, some bitterness (similar to coffee, but not quite that), as well as some booze.

Feel: Full body, normal carbonation. Leaves a dry but refreshing mouthfeel.

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Photo of JonnyGoldsbrough
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

4.25 Fantastic head retention, deep reddish brown, no cloud
S3.5
T3.5 Not to my taste. Interesting flavours too subtle for my palate. Overpowered by strength for me. Slight sourness.
F4.5 Superb, velvety.
O3.5 very interesting beer. Style not my favourite.

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Photo of stortore
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a goblet. Bottled 6/10/16, had 6/8/18. Replacing an old rating-only of 4.25.

Pours a cloudy, dark brown amber, with a two inch foamy head with good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of grapes, malt, dates, light red wine, some toffee and caramel, light plums. The taste is somewhat similar- malt and grapes lead, then some caramel, dates and plums. A hint of chocolate, a light bitterness midway. Smooth, creamy, a very good medium to full body, well carbonated.

Had a bottle previously, and it seemed better then. This was bumping the best by date, so maybe it didn’t age well. Still very good, more grape forward than others of the style with less dark fruit. Enjoyable and well worth a purchase. Out of deference to my old rating, I’ve bumped the overall rating up by .25.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 1 pint, 9.4 fl. oz bottle into a Westmalle chalice. Was in the fridge for a while, so let it warm up a bit before opening and pouring. Dark brown with reddish tint, big head that recedes quickly, leaving good lacing. Nose: More muted than I was expecting, but I get some slightly bitter powdery chocolate, some plum, a little baking spice, and some herbal bitterness. Taste follows the nose, but on the finish I also get a little metallic aftertaste that I'm going to choose to ignore while focusing on the good, of which there is plenty. Mouthful is nice and smooth, with a touch of bitterness, though a little thin/watery.

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 2902 ratings