Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel | Brouwerij Westmalle

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,194 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:
1,194
Ratings:
2,653
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
15.66%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
481
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,194 | Ratings: 2,653
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!

 556 characters

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.

 4,885 characters

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.

 301 characters

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

 317 characters

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.

 199 characters

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.

 866 characters

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).

 1,046 characters

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.

 744 characters

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.

 380 characters

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.

 237 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Belgian style stemmed glass

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with a tan colored full, creamy, frothy head, good amount of carbonation, some light comes through around the edges when held up to the light, some head retention, slight lacing.

A: Classic Belgian aromas, honey, bananas, yeast, bread, biscuit, raisin, figs, no alcohol on the nose, very nice aroma.

T: Taste follows the nose, honey, banana, dark fruits, moderate amount of bitterness, finish has cloves and fruits lingering into the aftertaste, not as smooth and drinkable as other dubbel beers.

M: Medium bodied with a semidry finish, lots of carbonation.

O: Great appearance and aroma, but there is a bitterness that seems out of place, mellows out as the beer warms, overall a solid dubbel.

 780 characters

Photo of thebeers
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ruddy brown with a paper thin, but lasting tan head when poured into a chalice. Full, complex aroma of fig, raisins, plum, almond, red wine and caramel. Similar taste as the nose, with a bit of vanilla shining through mid-palate, and a short-lived, figgy/raisin aftertaste. Full-bodied mouthfeel, a little creamy, a little sticky, with strong carbonation cutting through. A masterpiece.

 392 characters

Photo of workhorse8581
1.87/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Unsure if I got a bad batch, but my first Westmalle Dubbel was atrocious. The nose had a moderate acid smell followed by typical sweet/bready belgian smell.

The taste was strongly overpowered by an overbearing acid taste. Caused me to dump this very expensive beer down the drain after 3 sips. Disappointed in the waste of money.

 335 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

In my book, more fruity than sweet (meaning the malt-sugar balance works well throughout) and only enough hops to keep the fruity-sweet in balance at its-hard-to-understand dry finish. (How do they do that?)
Anyway, a very well put-together dubbel. (I wish I was this balanced.)

While stating that Westmalle's water suits the pale ales, MJ's "Great Beers" writes that the Dubbel "has a soft body and a palate that is malty and coffee-ish, with hints of anise and passion-fruit toward a dry finish."
MJ's 1999 guide gives the Dubbel only 2 of 4 stars, alluding its dryness hurt his rating.

Reviewed also in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

I think it is interesting to consider why of the best brewers in the world makes only three brews. Stick to your knitting. (but great yeast helps.)

 819 characters

Photo of Ant777uk
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look, head goes down a bit too fast. Nice colour.

Aroma a bit uninspiring.

Taste - The aftertaste is one of the best ever.Amazingly complex. Quite heavy though. This is not as smooth as some of the best ones.

Feel is good, quite thick

For me this is too heavy, even one glass seems too much.

 295 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a rich thick head that kept to the bottom of the glass. Rich malt and characteristic Belgium yeast taste. Great rounded mouthfeel. Very enjoyable beer and a classic of its style.

 190 characters

Photo of aleigator
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazelnut brown color with a beautiful, huge, fluffy head, which maintains a solid coating even after a couple of minutes.

Smells of ripe red apples, a hint of honey, toffee and dusty wood. A subtle earth addition mingles into the profound apple sweetness, evoking apple pith qualities, perfectly complimented by the honey.

Has a higher carbonation with a still enjoyable smooth, soft mouthfeel to it.

Tastes of earth and toffee coated red apples, together with a raisins quality and a hint of bakers chocolate. Produces a leafy dryness, evoking more earth and a mix of honey and caramel sweetness, creating an intriguing balance. Apple pith, plack peppers and cardamom spiced up hops build the finish of this surprisingly hoppy beer, creating a clean, enjoyable ending.

Extremely well put together, creating a great drinking experience full of fruits, honey and a rustic malt character. Its sweetness is far away from dominating the taste, as for its herbal dryness, blending perfectly into the rich, earthen malts.

 1,029 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown with a low creamy head that leaves a ring. Nose is full of esters and roasty malts. Flavor is classic dubbel, but not as rich as expected. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh due to high carbonation. Overall, a great beer, but I just want it to be even more.

 270 characters

Photo of EMH73
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown with a well retained one and a half inch head. Aroma is yeasty, sweet fruits, spices and alcohol. Taste is that of sweet fruits, malts, yeasty, a bit of bitterness that fades quickly and just a hint of nuts.
Smooth, clean mouth feel, well carbonated, a bit dry. Excellent beer.

 299 characters

Photo of tone77
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, prunes in particular, malts. Taste is fruits, malts, alcohol, somewhat bready and sweet. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good, but not great beer.

 276 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From elcervecero. In La Trappe chalice. Watching Sons of Anarchy 7x13. Good aspect and smell. Taste is not bad but it It has a subtle sourness that makes me not fully enjoy it.

 176 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice all around, this pours a hazy, very dark mahogany with massive pillow of tan foam that grows for several minutes following the pour. Aromas are yeasty, slightly sweet ripened fruits, and some bread malt. Flavor is similar though less sweet than expected. Very balanced with an earthiness in the middle and a slightly dry finish. Great dubbel, but didn't blow me away in any particular regard.

 402 characters

Photo of Zet
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown colour with a decent head of foam. Full smell of caramel, malts, hops and some alcohol. The taste is where this beer excels: Initially sweet in the mouth, which flavours of chocolate, plums, caramel and roasted malts. When swallowing, the taste gets more bitter and surprisingly dry in the back of the throat, with roasted malts, coffee, nuts and hops being prevalent here. Some hints of caramel and vanilla make their way back into the mouth after the swallow and the dryness lingers well on the pallate. A very rich, full and complex beer: I simply love this dubbel.

 579 characters

Photo of mjpoole
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This was a pretty damn good beer with a decent balance between sweet fruity flavors and notes of coffee and roasted malts. There was the tiniest bit of alcohol on the aftertaste, just enough to let you know it was there. Overall, a fine beer. It tells me I need to try more Dubbels!

 282 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,653 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe