Westmalle Trappist Dubbel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,210 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium
trappistwestmalle.be

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,210
Ratings:
2,686
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.36%
 
 
Wants:
216
Gots:
492
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 1,210 | Ratings: 2,686
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

not sure why it took me so long to get to this legendary brew. i do not think it is as good or distinct as the tripel they do, which stands as one of the greatest old school belgian beers around. this is still really good, technically near perfect, and quite complex. classic dubbel, dark reddish brown in color, a little thick, with a pretty airy soda sort of head in the goblet. a little yeasty, but mostly cleaned up looking. aroma of fruity belgian yeast, almost german hefe elements here, esters of banana and apple and raisin all over it, with some nice sweet caramelized grain sugars and a toasted warmness about it. the yeast drives the flavor, pretty classic belgian strain, fermented warmer and allowed to show its true colors. less spice to this than other belgians, cleaner maybe, despite it being on the sweeter side. i think its amazing that the alcohol is a little lower here than we usually see in the style, its almost a session belgian for what it is. awesome richness and depth of flavor, some dried cherry notes as it moves along, vanilla, tobacco leaf, raisin, date, rustic but highly refined. often copied, but very rarely does anyone come close to making a dubbel this good.

 1,197 characters

Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, M and S, Bristol - Pours dark brown with a medium light tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - sweet bready/yeasty feel, ripened stoned fruits. Taste - bready/yeasty notes, caramel feel, but felt a little like notes of Dr Pepper which I couldn't get out of my head.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very nice head forms after a careful pour (which is generally required for this style). Brownish in color with a tad of ruby. Nice caramel-like aroma. Taste, however, is a little too subtle. After having had a St. B dubbel the night before, vibrancy of the taste seemed underwhelming. It is smooth in the finish, and solid overall. But again, taste leaves a tiny bit to be desired.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 01/17/17:

On back of bottle it says best before 12/03/16. I won’t deny I neglected it for a while because I figured it would be basically the same for a year or two, given the higher ABV, although at 7%, this is on the lower end of the ages-well spectrum. What I am not sure of, is whether I should interpret that as March 12th (assuming European dating methods, it is a European beer after all) or December 3rd (assuming American dating methods, it is an imported beer after all). It is either almost a year past its best-by date or basically still fresh (a month and a half past “best”). If I had to guess, given that I purchased it in August of 2016, probably it is still relatively fresh, as opposed to it being fairly old when I bought it.

Deep copper appearance, darker than brandy, lighter than dark rum. Fairly clear but in this glass at least seems slightly metallic. That’s the first pour into this smaller goblet. Second pour contains an abundance of chunk and haze, it is almost entirely opaque, and brown. Head is loose and rocky on the sides, but on the surface and I suspect towards the center, considerably tighter and finer and more uniform, bubbly to frothy with only moderate retention. Smell is moderately roasty/toasty, with subdued phenols and suggestions of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, nuts, even banana. Not a very strong nose for what it is, and with just moderate warmth not even particularly boozy, but still makes me thinks it will be absolutely delicious. One of the most overtly and distinctly toasty beers I have ever had, straying neither too far into toasty nor caramelized sugar territory. Some of this is clearly from the malt, but there is little doubt the phenols come into play here as well. Apart from this we have some mild dark fruit tartness, some apple or pear, brewing spice, and a semi-bitter metallic/phenolic finish. I do prefer this style to be sweeter, heavier, boozier, but this is still very interesting and tasty. Medium-bodied I suppose, hard to tell with how effervescent and velvety it is. A tiny bit of warmth. I paid great attention to detail here, and as much as I hate to sound plebeian, I have to say the American versions of this style I have had have overall been better, so far. There are certainly other Belgians that the Belgians themselves seem to do better.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured bottle into tulip glass, Big Belgian head, long retention. A deep murky brown.

Strong nose of dark grapejuice, berries, creamy malts.

Taste: dark bready malts, stunning but sutble hop profile not unlike dark chocolate wine.

Mouth, for all its darkness, is not really boozy. Light sour, bitter finish.

Good bready dubbel, less of the citrus seen in other varieties, almost Germanic. It's deliciousness, however, is unquestionable.

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Photo of 911CROFT
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into the appropriate Westmalle branded chalice. Paid £2.30 for a single.

Pours a cloudy, dark mahogany body, which displays some ruby garnets when held to the light and allows plenty of fine carbonation to be observed against the edges of the glass. A two-finger in height, thick, foamy, light tan coloured head slowly reduces to a dense cap, leaving behind only minuscule specs of lace.

The dark, rich and well-balanced nose predominantly consists of fruity yeast esters. Banana and raisin initially lead above impressions of stewed apple and woody poached pears. Tart red berries, red currants and clove spices follow, while traces of dark roast, lightly bitter chocolate malt and musty, earthy, woody hop profiles become perceptible towards the back-end. Taste follows in much the same way. Estery notes of banana, stewed apple and pears poached in spiced red wine lead above a host of red, dark and dried fruits. Raisins, currants, figs, plums, prunes, red grapes, berries and overripe cherry are joined by hints of lemony citrus, warming clove and faint traces of lightly roasted malts to form the bulk of the lengthy mid-palate. Towards the back-end, phenolic spice and roasted malt characters gently build, replacing well-defined individual fruits with a rich fruitcake-like combination. In the mouth, a light body paired with plenty of lively, expansive carbonation gives a feel that’s reasonably smooth and crisp, despite being just a little too thin and spritzy. After the swallow, rich fruitcake profiles gentle fade, while traces of musty and woody hops join hints of lingering clove to provide mild drying bitterness and a suggestion of vinous astringency.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Rich, robust and incredibly well balanced, it’s hugely complex but remains ridiculously easy to drink. Perhaps carbonation could be slightly less assertive, but ultimately it still smells and tastes delicious, is readily available and is excellent value for money. It’s my go-to Belgian Dubbel. Recommended.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours hazy dark maroon red, almost black with a dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like black and red grapes, ripe plum, black cherry, dark toasted bready malts, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, apple, mild spice, some funky tobacco, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like vinous juicy grapes, dark toasted bready malts, black cherry, plum, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, apple, mild spice, some funky tobacco, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice dubbel.

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Photo of hman43
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours dark amber with reddish hues. There is a large head that is tannish in color. It has good head retention.

Smell: There are aromas of dried caramel, toast, cherries and plums. There are hints of rose and spices in the nose as well.

Taste: The flavors are highlighted by the raisin and dried cherry flavors with wonderful interplay from the caramel and toast. The balance is towards the malt with a low spicy hop flavor and low bitterness.

Feel: It has a medium-full body that has a slight alcohol warming to it. It has a smooth texture to it with a dry finish.

Overall the beer is highlighted by the complex interplay between the malts and fruity esters. There are pleasant spicy notes and bitterness from the hops.

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Photo of rex_4539
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Jet black color, two finger tan colored head, thick lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Oak, raisins, wine, grapes.

T: Doesn't taste much like a beer but you get oak and malts.

F: Very carbonated mouthfeel, light bodied.

O: Strange "beer". Would not seek again.

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Photo of OlaB
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: pour a murky dark brown color, gives a nice top of head that disolves almost immediately.

S: Cheeries,plums,raisins, figues,caramel,bread,honey ,candied sugar

T&F: Dark fruits from the start with sugary sweetness, get more malty in the middle with bready and caramel notes .Finish of dry with some hints of spices, good lenght on the aftertaste. Mouhtfeel is quite creamy with medium carbonation. the alchol are well masked, and i think the flavours are nicely balanced and nothing get to dominant.

O: This was a nice and delicious dubble. A great beer from a great brewery.I sure would drink this again

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Beautiful dark brown with a good head, but dissipated quickly and became lacing around the glass, still very beautiful.
Smell: Surprisingly not that much, dark fruit, maltiness.
Taste: Like how a dubbel should be. Full of sweet dark fruit and Belgium candi sugar. A strong malty backbone. However, a bit strong hoppiness at the end too.
Feel: Somehow a bit bland, not that much aftertaste.

Overall: A great brew though, even though the feel is less than perfect.

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Photo of schavuytje
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

red brown malts almost full lots of esters but sweetened with caramelized sugar and pleasantly bitter nice balance me personally something on the sweet side

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Photo of dabeerbuddha
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty grand.
Big abbey depth. All around well brewed beer. Just what you would come to expect from monks making beer in the name of a higher power!
Recommended.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Starts out with a wonderful two finger head that does dissipate quickly...But with a lot of lacing. The high carbonation sizzles at the roof of the mouth and flows to the back of the finish. Wow, nice sizzle. Wonderful notes of malty-figs and raisins that finishes with a tartness. There is a hint of roasted malty nuttiness about this one at the beginning that introduces itself in the front and middle--with just a smidge of bitterness that quickly gets tackled by the fruit and fig tartness. This one is just fantastic. I could drink two of these a day!

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Photo of Cburnette23
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a Newcastle 'Werewolf' Tulip - which, by the way, these tear-drop shaped tulip glasses I firmly believe are the ab-so-LUTE best way to drink Belgian and Trappist beers, especially the fruit-noted subtle quads and the lighter-bodied and very subtle dubbels. they bring everything down to a singular point, meaning all those beautiful bright flavors and scents rise up brilliantly and perfectly, via the trademark 'Belgian' bright-active, cheerful, and classy (as well as celebratory) carbonation to meet it's beholder in a manner that can not come close to equal when repeated from some other random glassware.

Seeing as I decided upon this over the higher-rated tripel offered by the same monastary-brewers (and by the way - I LOVE my tripels...) and also a smokier, coffee/chocolate Belgian dark from Kasteel ('Winter') I have high hopes for this beauty. I couldn't decide against the more pronounced prunes and fig accents I had heard reported, as it will push an otherwise great beer to the realm of absolute LEGEND - 'hall of fame' by my own personal experience. That intangible, unforgettable combination of just the right body, just the right spritzy dance upon the tongue of fig, prune and subtle hues of deep flavor, and just the right ABV to slam the door on a unique and incomparable experience. That my friends is what it's all about, and that's why I went with this one over the others. It's that unforgettable 'WOW!!!' that has many of us 'chasing' our great lust, bottle-by-bottle for the same original spark that can't be compared to any other. After you have it, you never forget, and you're infected with a passion to have it again and again and again....

Now for the faithful verdict. Will it hold its own with another absolute favorite of mine - the Trappiste Rochfort 10 Belgian Quad Ale? Or will it fall short by way of some unforeseen imbalance in... 'THE FORCE'? Well - strap into the Millennium Falcon, because we're about to kick this baby into hyper-drive, Chewy.

So, how about the Westmalle Dubbel? Does it add up, to the standard of the famed Belgian Trappist ales, in my
opinion the finest beers anywhere in the world (that I am aware of, at least, although I know there are
many more than I could ever comprehend). The answer to that is of course relative and subjective. Let me just begin by saying that the only negative I can find with a beer like this, is that there just isn't enough. No, it's not that one serving won't satisfy - it will most certainly accomplish that. It's just that you want two more of these puppies to stash for later
and revisit the way you would a dear old friend, because parting is just such sweet sorrow.

Anyway, first the pour. A lovely amber/copper color greets you, and as you sniff the head the fruit scents rise to meet you with depth and mystery. The head is a sandy tan color, perhaps one of the finest heads I have seen (easily, in fact) a full three fingers and tight, beautiful bubbles. The head remains for awhile before slightly receding to half it's size and
a moderate lacing on the glass. The color is nothing amazing, perhaps a dark, polished mahogany color toward the bottom and much darker (nearly black, very dark) in the center toward the body of the glass.

The taste is pleasant and subtle, not overwhelming. This I find good, as it gives you SPACE to relax and ENJOY
the drink, rather than be flooded with a 'niche' flavor as with so many other beers, whether they be hoppy, coffee,
chocolate or so on. This is a balanced beer, with plenty to offer, but enjoyable at the leisure of the drinker. The fruit is definitely there and the thing you notice right away. It has a light, citrus and yeast impression that I get from it, a rather light texture and body to the beer.

Much bright figgy goodness happening on the palette, with bright prunes certainly making an appearance, a bit of bitter dryness to the drink as well that seems to be characteristic of this one. Hints of raisin and PRONOUNCED fig with a yeast backdrop. Dry, balanced, well-carbonated, and a nice ABV. These are the high points of this one. Not outstanding flavor really, but nothing not to like. Lots of subtlety and simplicity to keep things interesting. All in all I'd say another winner, and a fantastic example of a dubbel. Drink this one slowly and sip, that's for sure. The dryness of this one brings to bear ONE word if you expect to enjoy this - sophistication. This is all about the essence. It actually brings a serenity and contemplative peace if enjoyed correctly.

That's because it's so dry and unimposing, yet so incredibly balanced and subtly tart (with definite fig) at the same time. Great if you like to sketch or paint or enjoy nature from your deck I suppose. Maybe wouldn't do as well at a social event out on the town or during a sporting event. Unless it's golf or something, perhaps.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this one in a store close by. And then poured the beer in her proper westmalle glass for a better experience, just as exceptional than Westmalle. Buy this one!

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Photo of Vader444
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour into tulip.

As dark brown as it's possible to be without being black. Smells and tastes divine; lightly spiced but complex with dark fruits and a touch of chocolate. Mouthfeel is close to perfection and the creamy white head lasted until the last drop. This is truly excellent stuff. Yum.

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Photo of Skaterdude97
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - 5 | Dark brown almost black, medium head that lasts slight lacing

Smell - 4.75 | bread, plums, cherries, cloves, lemon peal, honey caramel, roasted malts

Taste - 4.5 | lemon, clove, orange, toffee, caramel, plum, cherry, raisin

Feel - 4.5 | medium-plus body, medium carbonation, dry finnish

Overall - 4.75

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a dark brown colour with a small white head that disapates to a small ring. Aroma prune, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, fruity. Taste toffee, caramel, sweet, dark fruit. Very nice.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This legendary dubbel pours an opaque, dark brown color with a slight red tint. The carbonation is fairly high and there is a somewhat thin white head. The smell is fruity, but fairly subtle with notes of banana and date as well as a slight alcohol aroma. The flavor is well rounded and not as fruity as I imagined it would be. There are banana notes and some spices, but they are actually fairly mild compared to many other dubbels that I’ve tried. The malts are quite robust for this style though and impart some caramel and molasses flavors as well as a body that is on the upper end of medium. The alcohol is noticeable on the aftertaste. I have to give this props for being a pretty rugged dubbel. I have to say I was expecting something more elegant, but I may actually like this more. Dubbels are not my favorite Belgian style, but this is pretty damn good.

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Photo of FBarber
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark and rich, the color of dried prunes. Thin khaki head quickly dissipated levying no lacing and no head to speak of.

Smell is a rich array of aromas of brown sugar, prunes, raisins, dark stone fruits, caramel and booze. Absolutely incredible robust aroma.

Taste is initially carbonated up front providing an initial tingle on the tongue and mouth. As that dissipates you get this incredible array of flavors including brown sugar, prunes, raisins, dried cherries, caramel. Finish is boozy, with a real nice almost bourbon-esque character. Slight bitterness on the finish cuts any sweetness. Even though its only a 7% ABV, there is a nice warming sensation in the cheeks as you sip it.

Feel, as mentioned has medium carbonation, noticeable on the tongue initially. Very smooth, pretty drinkable.

I'll be honest, this is one of my all time favorite beers. Just everything I love in a beer. If I had to pick one beer as the only beer I could drink again, this would be on the short list of possibilities (and maybe even be my pick).

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Photo of kitch
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 24th July 2016 and poured into a Chimay goblet glass.

Appearance: It poured a dark brown colour with a slight reddish hue and a two finger beige head that slowly settles to a nice thin but creamy puffy layer while leaving nice curtain lacing.

Aroma: Strong dark fruits with cherry, plum, prune, raisin, grape and a hint of banana, toffee and caramel in the background.

Taste: Some toffee and caramel before a blast of lightly sweet dark stone fruits, cherry, plum, grape, fig and raisin.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium to full bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Excellent Dubbel, excellent beer. Nice complexity and balance in the aromas and taste and is definitely a must buy beer for me.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish/mahogany brown with a big two finger head of light tan foam that dissipates into a thin layer.

Raisins, sour cherry, mild Belgian yeast spice, banana, clove, and caramel and honey sweetness.

Raisins and dark fruit, banana, yeast spiciness, slight tartness, and clove.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Overall, a solid and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Westmalle Dubbel is very good but their Tripel is even better in my opinion.

(L) It is dark almost black with a very thin off white head.

(A) Bready and fruity aroma.

(T) Bready, dark fruit, tart, very nice.

(F) Tart, sweet quite fizzy but easy drinking.

 258 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark, rich copper/red colour. Smells fruity and sweet, with hints of cranberry. Thicker mouthfeel, very mild taste overall; fruity and slightly sweet, with almost an almond taste at the end. Very classic and session-able.

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,686 ratings.
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