Westmalle Trappist Dubbel | Brouwerij Westmalle

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,203 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:
1,203
Ratings:
2,668
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.6%
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
485
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 1,203 | Ratings: 2,668
Photo of jhu1995
2.41/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a chalice and had a nice dark brown, slightly reddish color, with a decent off-white head. Smell was mostly caramel with hints of alcohol. Smell was a sign of trouble ahead. Did not care for the taste at all. Caramel flavor was overpowering and did not mask the alcohol taste. Needs a bit more body and complexity. Felt harsh on the mouth and actually struggled to finish it. I just may not be a fan of dubbels so take this for what it is worth.

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

Date on bottle: 31/01/06

Poured in a pint glass (cause that's all I have atm). Poured a dark hazelnut color with a tight two finger head. Finished with yeast in the head, which doesn't bother me.

Smell was figs and heavy malts.

Taste was heavy but the ABV was hidden well. Hints of prunes were throughout the first few sips, than subtled down once reaching towards room temp.

Mouthfeel left a bitter feel in the back of the throat, well played.

Overall a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ABV, brewed date, and serving temperature all listed on the bottle.

Appearance: A cloudy iced tea colored pour with a tight and perfect two finger head.

Smell: Figs, raisins, yeast, and dark bread notes. Delicious!

Taste: Alcohol, rum soaked raisins, figs, toffee, grapes, and a slight astringency on the back of the palate (not a bad thing...helps leave a long, lingering finish).

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and crispness noted due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol punch is not hidden well. This inhibits the drinkability a tad and this is one to savor. Nicely done.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a bottle and poured into a tulip glass, it pours a rich dark brown color with 3 cm of tan spongy head; very condensed head w/ decent retention.

Lots of brown malty aromas with some nut and oak on the nose. Some grains come through as well of oatmeal and some slight spice (cinammon) and maybe even some grapes.

Taste is very tart and rich. Lots of yeast flavor along with some fruit (grapes) on my palate w/ a very grainy finish. Aftertaste is a bit of sour grapes. Decent.

Carbonation twangs my tongue up front but then becomes a bit creamy before almost evaporating into a fizzy soft drink feeling.

Decent belgian; not as tasty as I hoped but rather easy to drink.

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

Served with a pint glass. Not especially excited about the server bringing me that... anyway.

Poured very dark with a tall, white head. The glass had something to do with that. I had to let it dissipate for a bit before smelling. It was ice cold, so letting it sit a few minutes was no biggy.

Smells of raisin and fruit. A touch of alcohol and a lot of malt.

Taste is on target. Thick and juicy... some fig and lots of sweet.
Molasses and sugary.

I'd buy this in a store, but probably not at a bar again as it set me back eight bucks. Worth it once!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery dark orange that takes on a blood orange hue when backlit. Multiple, active streams of bubbles hurry upward to a fabulous looking head that's toasted khaki in color, has a majestic nature and resembles a desert rock formation that has been smoothed and shaped by millennia of unceasing wind that... sorry, where was I? I'm disappointed that there isn't more lace. A few vertical fingers of thin, sudsy foam is about it.

The nose is malt-dominant, but lacks other distinguishing characteristics. I can appreciate dark fruit (overripe, bruised apples and pears) and a little mild spiciness. It isn't very deep, complex or aromatic. While above average is an easy call, it's a disappointment for such a well-regarded beer.

We're back on track. Westmalle Trappist Dubbel seems a little light in the flavor and mouthfeel departments, but then I'm still trying to get my mouth and my brain around the style. The flavor profile favors dark caramel-toffee more than chocolate or cocoa. It's still fruity (now figs and raisins) and is spicy (cinnamon and nutmeg). While alcohol is noted, it's part of the beer's DNA and is essential to making the flavor as appealing as it is.

The finish is the best part of the entire mouthful. It's there that the various members of the flavor profile separate, come into stark relief and are better able to be appreciated. I love the fact that the beer is getting better and better as the ounces pass. I'm finding new and varied flavor combinations as it warms. Dubbel is so damned composed and so Old World complex that I've been won over in spite of myself.

The mouthfeel is a perfect match for the flavor. By that I mean that it feels light on first blush, but is actually substantive. At bottom, it's medium in heft with a wispy silkiness and active carbonation. Like the flavor, the mouthfeel has grown on me over the course of the bottle.

Westmalle Dubbel oozes quality. Patience and focus is required to plump the depths of its beer soul, but the effort will be rewarded. This is a more than worthy member of the canon of great Belgian dubbels.

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Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mohogany in appearance; light tan head; some retention, very little lace.

Malt-fruity aroma with some spicyness from the Belgian yeast.

Belgian yeast products are up front (spicy), floral hops come up next (particularly when it's fresh), and there's a variety of malty flavours in the background. Tastes of cloves, molases, raisins, plums, toast, slightly burnt caramel, with a bit of chocolate and cider. Bitter-sweet aftertaste with slightly warming alcohol.

Light to moderate mouthfeel that defines this style (really well-attenuated). Moderately high carbonation.

Very approachable. Drinkability only suffers because there is so much flavour!

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

Pours a brown with lighter brown showing thru around the edges a nice tan head falls slowly to foam cap very little lace left.

Aroma is very nice rich malt molasses and caramel inter mingle dark fruit plums and raisins with light hints of alcohol. Very nice and inviting.

Taste is good but a little of a let down when compared to the smell. Malty caramel and molasses roll thru the mouth imparting mellow sweetness. Carbonation builds and as it mellows fruit comes out mixed with grassy hay like hop hints and earthy yeast flavors. Overall a decent dubbel.

Mouthfeel is medium nice body some chalky earthy like texture at the end.

Drinkability is good a nice enough dubbel, the smell is wonderful and the flavor doesn't quite live up the the expectations set by the nose on this one.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pured a dark brown color, with a very thick foamy head. Had a really good dark fruity (raisin/plum), matly, sugar and a little alcohol smell. Was expecting more from the taste after how good it smelled, but it was still pretty good. Had a very nice creamy mouthfeel. Worth trying atleast once.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely brown brew with a fluffy white head that fades to a foam that never fades away. Not much in the way of lacing. Smells pretty good but other dubbels have had more striking aromas, in my experience, for the style.
Has a solid dubbel taste with the dark fruit profile and is very enjoyable from start to finish. Light to medium-light in mouthfeel.
I have to say that I was anticipating a little bit better or a little bit more after having loved Westmalle's tripel. I generally prefer dubbels to tripels but the Westmalle tripel is a much better brew relative to style and I feel is better overall.
Still!
This is good.

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Photo of weeare138
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a murky reddish dark brown with a 2 finger beige head that drops after a moment. Little bits of spotty lacing has some trouble sticking. Lots of yeast in the bottom of the glass.
Smell is of bready, candy sugar with a hint of raisins and warming alcohol.
Taste is of fresh baked bread with lots of raisins and candy sugar and dark brown sugar. A nice, yeasty sensation sticks to the roof of the mouth, dropping towards the back.
Mouthfeel is good. Slightly overcarbonated but still decent. Fizzy and filling in the mouth, the sweet maltiness and breadiness touch and tickle the inside of the cheeks.
Drinkability is good as well. There is some noticable alchohol but this is a rare treat that will get the job done of fulfilling the craving for a dubbel.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An inch of bubbly, tan, sticky head caps a nice, dark brown beer with red edges. Holy smokes! What a complex nose: sweet, malty, yeasty, bubblegum, bready goodness. Delicious before I've even tasted it. The front is a buttery, spicy, yeast-o-rama. Fruity in the middle, with bubblegum, vanilla icing and dark caramel. Yeasty, bready, fruity finish. The aftertaste is slightly woody with alcohol... quite red wine-like. Absolutely delicious: sweet (but not cloying) bubblegum, malty, yeasty, vanilla icing. Wow again.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a regular beer of mine, but I probably pass it up abit too based upon the fact that it is one of the more common of the trappist products.

This pours fantastically into the trappist chalice style glass.Pours colds and opens up as it swirls warmly around your glass. This is big and hefty and dark brown, but not overly carbonated or sediment laden on the other extreme.

The smell is of yeast and sweet malt and caramel and toffee. There is not extreme complexity, but enough to keep the drinker interested. The inital taste is of sweet dark chocolate coffee and honey. The finish is dry and the aftertaste Is superb. There is absolutely no hint of alcohol here. This is simply amazing. As you swirl this around your chalice, you think to yourself, why is God so cruel that this does not come in pints? Perhaps in heaven.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is inviting, Big frothy tan head nice deep rich color. It looks like it will be a meal of a beer. Brown body and not much lace.

Tastes like caramel/malty but very complex with some lively esters. Touch of tobacco in the nose. Some dark fruits but once again I come back to a tobacco batch that is earthy. For a rich beer like this its very drinkable because it finishes light. Heavy in the middle and a light cleansing finish that invites more gobblage.

the only con for me was the carbonation was a bit biting in the middle, but hardly a complaint. highly reccomended.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown with clear ruby highlights under duress of light. super foamy, billowing head showing signs of carbonation. activity in the body is visible under said light. standard dubbel appearance with the extra kick of crazy foam. heavy lacing.

smell is absolutely delicious in its exploitation of candi sugar and sweet-scented malts. mild cherry and some woody age complement the malt nicely. some raisin even..

very light and crisp, approaching metallic cleanliness. froth coats my lip and the beer goes down quick. second sip is more savoury of strong malts and alcohol heat. licorice and candied figs. complex and maybe a bit too light in the mouthfeel.. too much dunkel-like cleanliness. very traditionally trappist. caramel and wood barrel shine through the finish.

a delicate yet strong beer, one to enjoy during a quiet, focused time.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown glass bottle that has a very noticeable thick raised ring around the collar which has the words Trappistenbier in molded into it. Dark brown classic looking Westmalle obverse label lists the Dubbel at 7% ABV; the crown cap is a matching color coded affair. Reverse label indicates that this is a part of the new batch of Westmalle now being imported by Merchant Du Vin, the Best Before date is 20/07/06. Accounts for 40% of production at Westmalle and is also available on draft as well.

Appearance: Served into a Chimay goblet as I broke my Westmalle one a long ago. Middling deep polished chestnut brown body with a light milky haze that tends to disappear given time. A smooth uniform creamy beige head readily forms into a super looking head but settles to a rather thin covering from the bottle (quicker than on draft I recall). Finely dissolved carbonation forms slick uni-bubbled sheets of lacing as the goblet is poured towards the mouth.

Nose: Lovely rich fresh malts abound, so good to get a fresh sample of this again. The aromas are a mixture of dark malts and toasted malts with some light spicy hints and a flash of caramel with burnt Devon toffee.

Taste: A fantastic mix of a variety of malty aspects melds together extremely well. It can tend to taste more complex than it actually is - I find it to be a rather ‘simple’ brew that somehow projects a finely attenuated smooth front that is supported by many complex tastes such as malt, plums, dates, raisins and chocolate with flashes of coconut, banana and red grapes at times. Needs a little warmth, but not too much, to reveal all of its best characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Fresh and straight from the bottle, it has a rich creamy feel, that archetypal smooth silky mouth so often associated wit Belgian Ales. The carbonation is the key here. I find that the Dubbel is by far at its best when fresh.

Drinkability: It is rumored that the Dubbel and Tripel styles evolved from Westmalle. I do always tend to think of the Westmalle Dubbel as the guardian of the style, particularly because of its sociable quaffability. Equally satisfying on its own, or with food. And to think I see drinkers as for a splash of grenadine to be added to this brew when I am Belgium <shudder>.

Overall: At Last!!! Fresh Westmalle is now available in the USA, I had experienced way too many old bottles in the past over here; old, musty, aged, mishandled and poorly transported – this alone has the been the single reason why I never submitted a Beer Review for either the Westmalle Dubbel or Tripel since joining BA - simply because I knew how good this could be. I find Merchant Du Vin are a little pricey at times, but that said I had no problems paying a little extra for a good fresh bottle. In short, in the US, if it doesn’t say MdV on the reverse label, my advice would be to put it back on the shelf, if it *does* say Imported by MdV on the reverse label – pick it up and remind yourself how good this one is. I think I’ll pick up another Westmalle Goblet when I see one to celebrate the return of fresh Westmalle.

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

Deep maroon color. Foggy, foamy, and slighty slick residue.
Smelled chocolate, slight cherry, and yeast.
Smooth and creamy with a small crispy bite from the carbonation. Chocolate, dates and hints of spice collaborate to engorge the toungue. Hidden underneath is the alcohol. Sweet beer with a decent amount of alcohol underneath. Overall one of my favorite Belgiums. Great offering from the monks at Trappist.

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Photo of dgallina
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 7/6/2005 from a bottle dated best-before 6/2006.

Pours a well-carbonated clear mahogany with a thin off-white head. Leaves a small film and good lace considering the ABV. Smells sweetly malty. Raisins and bananas on a grainy and spicy base. A nice progression of flavors ride strong carbonation and a very crisp mouth-feel. Starts sweet and slightly sticky, with plenty of chocolate and raisins. Builds into a drier and more grainy middle. Notable spicy hops and alcohol in the finish; extremely dry and crisp. Much drier, more strongly hopped, and more quenching than I remember from previous samples.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've not had much success with doubles, so I'm pleasently surpised by this.

Looks dark brown amber with decent light tan/off white head. Smells of malts and light cocoa with a bit of cherry. Tastes almost like it smells with a bit of bitterness and carbonation to remind you what you're drinking.

Excellent brew, too bad it cost me 5 bucks for 330 ml. bottle.

 366 characters

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

Tasted on 26th June 2005, Best by date: 22.06.06.
Batch 1-131605.

Cap off, and immediately some bubbles formed at the mouth of the bottle (It is a beautiful bottle!).

Poured a lovely red-brown cloudy brew with a one inch tan head.

Releasing lovely smells with a slight rustiness to it.

Taste: complex malty taste with many different sensations on the tongue and lips. Also lots of tang as an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel good, but it is the overall combination that makes this one of my favourite brews. The cloudy appearence, smell, taste make this a "Soup of Life". It's just great!

Incidentally, one of the 2 bottles I drank had a raised relief writing over which the label was applied. Think it's probably an earlier bottle, so I hung on to it! Sad, I know.

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Photo of packetknife
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark cherry brown body with a tan head that faded but laced. A bit of sediment that looks like coffee grinds even. A stronge and somewhat surprising baker's chocolate on the nose, the ABV came through too but not nearly as strong as some other trappists I've had. Very pleasant on the nose. A mix of black cherry, bits of chocolate, cane sugar, and a very light sensation of lemon zest on the tongue. No acidity to speak of but a creamy and thick feeling with a slight oily aftertaste/feel. Very drinkable for the alcohol.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 11.2 oz bottle with a 11/25/05 best by date into a tulip. Pours a deep dark brown with tinges of purple and a mammoth beige head. Moderate amount of lacing. Aroma is of bubblegum, plums, apples, hay, and of musty yeast. Taste is very sweet and malty, reminded me of cherry flavored gum, with a bit of spiciness towards the finish. Alcohol is more evident than it needs to be for 7%. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and effervescent--it hardly feels like your drinking anything. Not a bad beer my any stretch, but for the high price of a Trappist, I have to say this is one of the few I tried that just isn't worth it.

 631 characters

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

06/01/05- Purchased at Jackson's Wine and Spirit's in Lafayette, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by 08/05. Poured into my Westmalle chalice.

Appearance- Deep, dark cherry colored pour with a larger bubbled head and average lacing.

Smell- Mostly some sweet fruit aspects. Raisins and plums primarily.

Taste- A bit sweet in the beginning, which then turns to a tad bitter malty flavor. Raisins and plums and maybe prunes plus a tad bit of a roasted flavor. Coffee?

Mouthfeel- Leaves mouth a tad dry with above average carbonation level.

Drinkability- Not a bad beer at all, but I was expecting a bit more. More sweetness and bursting flavors. Still worthy of some praise.

 699 characters

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

Best by date of July 18, 2005. I am pretty excited being that today is May 22, 2005...

Cascading from its distinctively shaped Westmalle bottle, this Dubbel sits before me enticing me to learn its secrets. Hazy deep amber brown is its hue, and it is filled with free floating solid matter. Khaki colored head crops up huge and then dies down to a manangeable level. The head is composed of small and distinct tightly knit bubbles. Malty aroma hints at dark fruit and apples below the bread surface. At first, I am taken aback by the huge, crisp carbonation. Concentrating on this ethereal tasting experience, I am confronted by a metric ton of bready malt at the beginning of the taste. Going deeper, sweet toffee and caramel are revealed to me, leading into luscious ripe fruits. Some nuttiness graces my palate, all of this amid streaks of a woody smokiness. Herbal and earthy notes frolic about, setting the stage for some spicy and biting citrous hops that boldy make a stand. Finish is toasty malt mixed with very bitter lemon and orange peel hop glory. There is a pronounced acidity in the finish as well, lending a vinous quality. As stated before, the mouthfeel is very crisp, moving this taste along with brisk carbonation. Fantastically complex, this brew is meant to be sipped and analyzed, not quaffed. As I reflect upon the greatness that is Westmalle I am content with a single glass of this liquid alchemy.

 1,424 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Medium amber in color, small, but quite persistent off-white head, hazy, with slight carbonation, and superb lacing.

Aroma: Dark fruit, apple peel, cloves, bananas, hints of vanilla, and vinuous alcohol.

Taste: Profound malt taste, rich and slightly sweet throughout, with hints of spice, and a slight medicinal bitterness at the finish.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, soft, and very full, with slight carbonation, and a touch dry.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, a very much to style.

Thanks to HardTarget for generously sharing this fine beer.

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,668 ratings.
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