Monday, February 16, 2009

Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel review

Westmalle Trappist Ale TripelBask in January 2009, I participated in an event called "Twitter Taste Live", a tasting session for Trappist ales. Two of the beers being tasted that night were from the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in Malle, Belgium. I had opened up a bottle of Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel for the tasting that night and liked it so much I decided to try it again. However, I had forgotten to take good notes during that #ttl session so this week I bought another bottle of Westmalle Tripel and made sure I had pen and paper ready.

I had a big surprise opening this bottle. Just as soon as I removed the cap that a huge rush of beer foam started oozing out of the bottle. The near pure white foam just kept coming and coming out over the top. Apparently the pressure inside the bottle had gotten so great that the sudden release of pressure caused a huge carbonation explosion. By the time I had things under control I had lost nearly 1/4th of the bottle. The rest managed to make it into my goblet.

Appearance: The Westmalle Tripel poured a hazy copper-orange color with a generous 2+ finger near-white head. The head lasted quite a while and left a nice lacing along the insides of the glass. It was apparent that there was a huge amount of carbonation in this ale as the bubbled seemed to stream up from the bottom at a constant rate.

Aroma: The aroma was filled with citrus and several other scents. I picked up a whiff of peaches, coriander and a hint of bubble gum as well as some light caramel malts. It was a very pleasant smell, one that I enjoyed sampling throughout the entire session.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this beer was quite tingling. I got a rush of bubbles dissipating across my tongue as it moved to the back of my throat. It was a full bodied feel, somewhat creamy with a dry bittering finish that lingered after the beer was down.

Taste: Westmalle Tripel was a bit spicy at first. It was semi-sweet from the caramel malts and a tad on the funky side from the yeast. The Belgian yeast gave this ale a real earthy feel and flavor. It was just shy of the tart side but held onto the sweeter side.

This brew was served nice and cold out of the cooler and I really liked it on the cold side. The taste remained the same throughout the entire session but I liked it better on the cold side rather than after it warmed up a bit.

The Trappist monks of Belgium sure know how to make some good beer. It was highly enjoyable and I was left wishing I had another one. I didn't want that session to end. I was sorry that I lost some of it prior to tasting. With this ale weighing in at a hefty 9.5% ABV I was feeling quite a warm glow from this beer early on in the tasting.

I believe I liked this beer better than the Westmalle Dubbel, a darker brew, that I had late in the summer last year.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Westmalle Tripel. I'm giving this a big Thumbs Up and am definitely going to get another bottle of this soon. Creamy good!

Related articles:
- St. Bernardus Abt 12 review.
- Orval Trappist Ale review .
- Chimay (Blue) Premiere Ale review.

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