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- Brewery: Westmalle Trappist
- Website: trappistwestmalle.be
- Country: Belgium
- Style: Tripel
- ABV: 9.5%
- Tasting Notes: White Pepper, Lemon Zest, Apple, Floral
- Preferred Glass: Chalice, Goblet
- Food Pairing: Spicy Dishes, Fish, Chicken
- PHM Grade: A
Westmalle Trappist Tripel
Written by Team
Matt: Mine poured a hazy, golden color, as much foam as you want – plenty of dense head. Highly carbonated-but not overly so. Smells like dried fruit- maybe apricot, slight caramelized sugar smell but definitely fruity- slight apple note.
Exceptional mouthfeel- velvety but still dry- smooth. Balance is right on, any drier and you’d know its 9.5% ABV. As is, the ingredients cloak the abv very well.
Properly cloying- with tastes again of apple, hints of lemon and butterscotch. Very smooth going down, can feel the alcohol in my stomach, but its pleasant, not like hard liquor that burns, this ale warms and soothes. Overall a great beer and a great style. Something I would like to have around for the right occasion, which tonight was just hanging out around the house with my wife, sitting in front of the fireplace.
I’m slowly getting in to this arena of beer more and more recently. What’s been said before but what still amazes me is that among prayer, meditation, community and work, these monks make beer. Check out this brewery’s website for info not only about the beer, but about everything surrounding their lifestyle and purpose.
Tom: Known as the epitome of what a Tripel should embody, this beer has received countless praises. Until now, March 2012, I had only sampled their Dubbel which is a fine brew in and of itself. However, I wanted to see what all the rage was over this tripel (a style that has been harder for me to embrace). Having acquired a brewery labeled chalice the beer poured freely without concern for a quickly rising head. This is partly due to the fact that the glass gets wider at the top to support a the frothy, fluffy, eggshell white bubbles. They very delicate and dense as the beer is extremely effervescent. The color of the beer was a hazy bright yellow-gold hue. Make sure you decant off the sediment at the bottom so get the clearest glass you can. However, a little yeast makes for a flavorful session.
The nose is outright amazing. Hoppy, spicy, fruity, lively, and light would sum up my initial smell. It easily has one of the best yeast qualities I’ve experienced. There are the banana and clove qualities of a Hefe, the lemon grass character of a Saison, and of course the higher complexity of spice found in tripels. All of those components are here along with a great hop profile. Floral, dry, and herbal it reminds me of a great Czech Pils along with the light bready malt base. As it warmed hints of bubblegum came to the forefront of the aroma which really boosted the fruity aspect.
What you smell is what you get and then some! While it was very dry, as Matt mentioned, the hop and spicy yeast flavors dominated this beer. The only break was right in the middle where a bready malt quality was evident. Otherwise, it was a huge herbal, floral, spicy, fruity experience from front to back. The mouthfeel is smooth towards the end, but lively because of the consistent carbonation. I’ve had Chimay’s Tripel and this tops it. Matt is right, the abv is very well hidden. However, I believe it adds to that drying effect. Despite the dry finish this beer is rather refreshing. I standard to live up to for sure.