Brew Review

Beer Review – Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel

Looking for something new, I ventured to Kress Liquors’ wall of imports and looked for something from Merchant du Vin that I hadn’t tried yet. I picked up a Westmalle Tripel as a part of a mixed six. Usually, I would have picked up a heavier bottle from Samuel Smith but I was looking for a lighter summer beer. From the Westmalle site:

“Westmalle Tripel is a clear, golden yellow Trappist beer that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle (9.5% alcohol). It is a complex beer with a fruity aroma and a nice nuanced hop scent. It is soft and creamy in the mouth, with a bitter touch carried by the fruity aroma. An exceptional beer, with a great deal of finesse and elegance. And with a splendid long aftertaste.

The Westmalle Tripel is indeed called the “mother of all tripels”. This type of beer was first brewed in Westmalle abbey in 1934 when the new brewing hall came into use. The current formula has stayed practically unchanged since 1956, thus more than 50 years.

I found the Westmalle Tripel to have the following characteristics:

  • Appearance: Golden yellow and a little cloudy with a lot of foam and lacing.
  • Aroma: Citrus and spice.
  • Taste: A little citrusy but then full of spices (nutmeg, allspice, clover cinnamon). Overall, very smooth with a nice finish.
  • ABV: 9.5%

This was a very good beer. Crisp, refreshing, flavorful. This was just a real drinkable beer, so much so that the 9.5% ABV could be problematic if you tried to make this a session beer.

4 replies »

  1. I had this beer at St. Andrews Bar during Anniversary Weekend in NYC. You are 100% correct! This is an incredibly drinkable and highly potent brew. Those Monks know what they’re doing!


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