Westmalle Trappist Dubbel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,723 Ratings
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
Ratings:
2,723
Reviews:
1,225
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.36%
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
510
For Trade:
1
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Ratings: 2,723 |  Reviews: 1,225
Reviews by basica:
Photo of basica
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westmalle Dubbel (AGED: circa 1980s) (Rating 9.5/10) - 6.5 ABV - 16 August 2007

2 days ago I had a Westmalle Dubbel which appears to be from the 90s and I felt that it was past its prime but perhaps that may not be the case. More important would be how the beer had aged over time. This Dubbel from the 80s (or maybe 90s?) had no label on the bottle;
in place was a extrusion of the "ABDU WESTMALLE" text. There was also no sludge and no sediments during the pour at all. The only sign of age is the little "ring" on the bottle neck where the beer level is before pouring. The underside of the cap was intact; the one I had 2 days ago had slight rust though not in the main area of the cap but still it was not looking too good. This aged Westmalle poured out dark ruby brown like any Westmalle Dubbel but without any head; all that was present was a nice ring lacing; no sediments at all. It smells of strong fruits (mainly plums and raisins) and also the typical Westmalle smell. It tasted strongly of plums, raisins and very subtle yeastiness and very slight bitterness on the finish. The entry had a certain alcohol strength which I could fully appreciate and it was backed with a strong dark fruity entry as well. The body was not as thick as I would have liked but this entry
strength as well as the very apt level of carbonation topped things out and it is not thin nor even the slightest watered down which was what I felt about the 1990s vintage which I tried 2 days ago. It was very smooth as well and I really enjoyed it. The after taste was lasting; way more lasting than the one I had 2 days ago and the fruits involved are again typical of the Westmalle Dubbel: Plums, dark grapes, Raisins and maybe other dark fruits like dates, etc; very fruity and tasty. Of course the entire package is all mellow and pleasant but not detracting from the strength and character that is of essence for a trappist ale. I think this
beer held up very well over the years and I can really appreciate it. Proper aging is of essence; seems to me the 90s vintage I had 2 days ago was badly aged.


Westmalle Dubbel (AGED: circa 1990s) (Rating 9/10) - 6.5 ABV - 14 August 2007

This is an aged Westmalle Dubbel, with the older cap as well; this is probably my first old beer. I estimate that it is from the 90s but I am not too sure. The bottle was a little hard to crack and when I got it off I immediately smell a strong fruity aroma comprising of dark fruits like plums, grapes, etc. The pour left a slightly less than 1 finger stable creamy head which stayed for quite a bit. The smell was a very strong fruity smell and so was the taste but it was not as strong as I would expect it to be. Fruity notes like plums and grapes are definitely more pronounced with its age and the yeasty notes on the finish were really light and subtle. The taste is very mellow and soothing and generally very identifiable as the Westmalle taste from my previous experiences with the Westmalle Dubbel. I think the fruitiness may be a little stronger than the 2003 or 2004 vintage version that I had but in terms of mouthfeel it seems to be falling short as the body has became thin and is probably between medium to light body which makes it feel a little watered down. Had the body been thicker, it would probably have been lovely but I guess at this age, this Westmalle may be a little past its prime but I
am not really sure, to be honest. The after taste was strong and fairly lasting but not as lasting as I would like it to be. Something that made me feel a little uncomfortable was the sludge that formed in the bottle itself along with the sediment flakes. I had the flakes scooped up before I drank the beer. I guess it is normal to have these flakes around specially at that age but I guess I would do without it. :)

 3,817 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of simoen
2.06/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

ruikt niet echt lekker en de smaakkan me niet bekoren

53 characters

Photo of darkisland
4.81/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this at the same time my wife had ommegang's double, and this was far superior.

83 characters

Photo of sjdevel
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look:
3-Finger head when poured from a 750ml bottle. It is a cloudy dark brown with a deep tan foam. Quite energetic after pour.

Smell:
Sweet fruit and caramel. Quite rich with chocolate and nutty scents. Very yeasty smelling.

Taste:
Some upfront bitterness that quickly fades to sweet fruit. Fruit flavors are very intense: apple, grape, and a faint peach. As soon as the fruity flavors back off, the chocolate, caramel, coffee, and nut flavors make their appearance. There is a really nice roasted malt flavor that isn't overpowering. The finish is surprisingly dry because the first 2/3 is very sweet. It goes from very sweet at first and just plummets downward to dryness.

Feel:
Full bodied and very fizzy. There is a lot of interesting senses: fizzy, slick and syrupy, and then a dry tug on the taste buds.

Overall:
Very good. It is quite well balanced between bitterness, sweetness, fruitiness, and maltiness. Enjoyed this one immensely and will purchase more in the future. One of the better Dubbels that I have had.

 1,043 characters

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 Phigg1102
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany color with an inch of off white foam and fair amount of sediment. The nose is incredible, a truly remarkable blend of chocolate and stone fruit with touch of earthy woodiness. The taste is considerably more mellow in the flavor though most of the same notes are there as well as a touch of anise. One thing really surprises me about the taste, and that's the hop presence on the back end. The stated best by date on this is within a month so picking up hop bitterness seems a bit strange to me but it is pretty noticeable. Very smooth feel to this beer. I honestly think this may be better than the tripel.

 620 characters

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.

 161 characters

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.

 2,036 characters

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker shade of brown with a nice fluffy/sticky head you can tell this well made by the pour alone.Anyways I get a deep brown sugar aroma a red wine hint almost like a port wine.Taste of spiced cake and raisins,very rich tasting.A little harsh in the mouth though wasnt as smooth and creamy as expected.Aroma and flavor wise a real top notch brew but in drinkability and mouthfeel it lacks in my opinion.

 412 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Nice, deep cloudy brown color with a decent tan head that shrank rather quickly without a trace.

Smell – Rich malt aroma with some spice and the classic burnt caramel tones.

Taste – Big malt, complimented nicely with banana, some kind of dark fruit (maybe plums, dates, or even tobacco – I like ADR’S, “raisins, grapes, and currents,” comment), and light chocolate undertones. This is a complex, well-balanced brew.

Mouthfeel – Excellent! The carbonation is just right, IMO, and the body is exceptionally smooth. Personally, I think that this is the beer’s strongest quality.

Drinkability – Something this smooth and this complex is awesome. It goes down easy and keeps one entertained.

Comments – I tend to enjoy beers that are smooth yet complex, so this one suited me just fine.

Update – This was the 14th beer that I reviewed on the site so figured it might be worthwhile to re-review in 2004.

I read one review that described it as, “bananas foster” and that hit the nail on the head for me. There are some light alcohol notes and burnt malt, but the chocolate and banana are in perfect harmony with this beer and cannot be ignored. This really is a terrific ale.

I stand by my ratings from the initial taste and didn’t actually change the score of this beer, but I will say after trying over 200 Belgian Ales since the first review it really is one of the best offerings of the style on the market.

 1,455 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/25/05 on label. Pours a bubbly raison brown. Aroma is like a Fig Newten and some raisins. Lots of dark brown particulate matter suspended amongst the aggressive carbonation. Taste is less sweet then most other well known dubbels but less complicated and interesting as well. It’s rather underwhelming but one strong point is the lively carbonation. That in combination with the moderated sweetness makes this one very drinkable.

 432 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ricke
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving date: 2009-02-19. Served in tulip.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with the trappist collar around the neck. Freshness date (best before 2010-11-12) and glassware recommendations printed on the label.

Appearance: A very deep ruby color. It looks fantastic when held to a light. Develops a huge, 3 finger light brown head that sticks around for a good while. Some lacings and plenty of foam linger on.

Smell: Lovely smell of fresh fruit. Some yeast aromas, going towards the smell of banana, as well. Plenty of sweet notes from malts and chocolate.

Taste: Plenty of sweet malts and fruit - mostly redcurrants and banana. Then, a tarter fruitiness - like red apples just a little unripe, or just apple peel - appears. A gentle spiciness and soothing chocolate flavors round things off. The finish has a very mild bitterness and a restrained hop character, is somewhat spicy and slightly tart (but by no means sours). The alcohol is warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Plenty of carbonation. Slightly coarse and crisp, but still rather smooth.

Drinkability: The fruit character in this one is just amazing, great balance between sweetness and tartness - very refreshing. Truly complex and well balanced. Perhaps, I would have liked just a little more bite in the finish.

 1,275 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MadScientist
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A copper colored beer with a light haze. The head is low but persistent, made of light tan, creamy bubbles.

S: A strong raisin aroma with a decent amount of caramel malt aroma. There is a light vinous, wine-like character. There is a light bit of fruitiness, enough to let you know that Belgian yeast is part of the mix but not much in the way of spice; the fruit is a low banana note. No hop aroma. There is a light floral alcohol aroma as well.

T: A complex malty sweetness that part toffee, caramel and raisin with a bit of cocoa. The raisin flavor is moderately-strong with a bit of other dried fruits as well. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness. The balance is about even and the finish is towards the dry with a fruity and malty aftertaste.

M: A soft mouthfeel having a medium-full bodied with moderately-high carbonation and a light alcohol warmth.

O: A complex, malty beer.

 898 characters

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of nuggetnectar01
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a fluffy two finger head that fades away rather slowly leaving lacing all throughout the glass.

Smells of sweet candy sugar, fruity esters, spices, slight alcohol warmness,brown bread pulled out of the oven.

Slight spicy upfront with a hint of sweetness and finishes off with a tad bit of dryness. Amazing how you can always tell when your drinking a belgian beer.

Medium bodied, smooth and velvet like with right amount of carbonation.

Nice drinkability on this one.

 501 characters

Photo of JMD71
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Huge 3 fingers of tannish head. Very carbonated. There's a nice bubbly texture on the head when poured which draws back after a few minutes leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Rich caramel & malt strong in the aroma. Hints of earthy fruits such as dates, raisins, & prunes. Slight cherry aroma somewhere?

Taste: Like the aroma, the flavor is rich with raisins & dates. Warming with a slight alcohol touch in the finish. Very subtle. Very well balanced. Finishes crisp...

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick & cloying, but not in a bad way. Expected in this style. Very warming, but carbonation lends a criso, clean feeling.

Drinkability: This is VERY drinkable from my point of view! I could live on this. It is well balances between maltiness, fruitiness, & alcohol. Not overpoweringly rich or sweet.

Comments: I truly enjoyed this all the way through the glass. Each sip seemed to be better than the last. By the first true Belgain dubbel I've reviewed, this was everything I had expected.

 1,013 characters

Photo of steelerguy
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark mahogany with an epic just off-white head, somewhat rocky in the middle but very frothy on top and where the head meets the beer. Amber tones around the outside of the glass, quite attractive. Lasting head, lots of lace, great looking beer.

S - Caramel malt mostly with some dark fruit smell, slightly sweet, but overall kind of muted.

T - A lot of the smell, caramel malt, raisins, and a tart cherry flavor. A little more bitterness in the finish than I was expecting but I like hops. No very complex, but pleasant and refreshing with the cherry tang, a little bite from the carbonation, and some cleansing hop bitterness.

M - Dry, crisp beer that is quite refreshing for a 7%. The carbonation is high on this one and you will notice it.

D - Has a little punch at 7% but you could drink quite a few of these without it becoming overwhelming.

 864 characters

Photo of skybluewater
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky cherry-brown color. Very odd foamy head that recedes and leaves some lacing. Smell is fruity, almost winey, with a bit of cherry. Cherries pop up again in the taste, along with hints of shaved chocolate and clove. Alcohol is apparent, but not obtrusive

Overall, a darn good dubbel here. I'm definitely going to revisit this one in the near future, although the price, while not too high, isn't exactly cheap either...

 435 characters

Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,723 ratings.
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