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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Westmalle Trappist Tripel


Westmalle Trappist Tripel
Style: Tripel
Purchased at Tacoma Boys

Aroma: Ripe pear skin. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hold a glass of this beer to your nose. There is a light sense of brown sugar and sweet bread dough. Not bread crust mind you. Dark grapes are also noted in the aroma. No hop aroma and only a hint of alcohol despite the 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: A deep yellow to light golden amber with a yeast haze. Effervesant carbonation bubbles can be seen rapidly rising to the top that produce a frothy billow of pure white head. Excellent retention and very good lacing.

Flavor: Light spices of coriander, clove, and alcohol combine evenly on the palate with a very gentle presence. The alcohol lingers the most through the middle where you’ll find an almost peppery spice. This seems to come from a combination of the alcohol and yeast. While the flavors are light, there’s a lasting sensation of color on your tongue into the clean finish. If there’s a hop presence it’s only found at the back of the throat and with an earthy/noble presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation. Alcohol presence is certainly noted with a warming presence in the mouth and through the finish. This beer warms you up as it goes down. The carbonation is high and seems to renew the flavor if you hold the beer in your mouth.

Overall: Since there is a fair amount of yeast in the bottle, a careful pour will yield a brighter and more clear beer. But I poured this into two glasses, and the second glass got much more yeast than the first. If you don’t care for yeast in your beer, pour slowly. Personally I call small bits of yeast “flavor crystals” in my beer. The same goes for hop flakes, though you won’t find those here. There is nothing overpowering about this beer and the flavors blend together surprisingly evenly, with the alcohol winning out only slightly. Hop presence is minimal while the beer exhibits a noble spice given off by the Wesmalle yeast.

Enjoy this beer in quiet appreciation. You owe it to yourself, and the Monks.

I rated this beer an “A+” on BeerAdvocate.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.