Blind tasting review
Westmalle Tripel
Westmalle Tripel

Family Belgian Ale Style Pale Belgian Ale
Country Belgium ABV 9.5%
Price $$$$$ Packaging 11.2oz/330ml, 25.4oz/750ml bottle
Characteristics Bitter, malty, strong, unusual, yeasty

Overview Many times, we’ve heard the legend of Trappist ales: ancient brews bubbling out of the depths of hoary cellars. Said cellars can be found in Belgium, sure, but the iconic Trappist style—the tripel— was created at Westmalle in 1934.

Flavors and aromas Half our tasters fairly loved this beer, and half were unenthusiastic. The notes of the latter group suggest that the high alcohol content, which was more present than in other tripels we tasted, may be the culprit. But there are also intriguing spices—cinnamon, clove, nutmeg—along with fruity esters, and the sweetness on the palate is cleaned up into a long finish by dry bitterness, good carbonation, and alcohol. Complex but, perhaps, challenging.
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