Sunday, June 24, 2018

Westmalle Tripel (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)


Best before date: 2/15/19

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26C Belgian Tripel

AROMA: Fairly strong Belgian yeast character with a moderate banana and orange fruitiness and a subtle clove-like spiciness. Malt presence is quite strong with a honey/caramel note, though beer does not smell sweet or under-attenuated. Hops are difficult to distinguish from the phenolics, but would seem to add some spicy/floral character. Alcohol is present, but clean and subtle. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Slightly hazy amber/pale orange hue (5-7 SRM). Moderate white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Spicy, fruity and dry throughout. Classic Trappist yeast character throughout with an initial spicy/floral/perfume sensation at first. Dry and bitter with an orangepeel-like character becomes somewhat rich a honey and orange proper taste on the back end. Slight bready malt base, though brew is clearly highly attenuated so there isn't much in the way of sugary sweetness. Phenols and hops add a firm bitterness to off-set the maltiness and lead to a dry, clean finish. Alcohol is present, albeit subtle, and enhances the drying sensation. Bottle seems a little aged and oxidized, though. Would probably be perfect if fresh. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium-high carbonation. Smooth, comfortable texture with an extremely gentle warmth from the 9.5% ABV. Slightly refreshing while in the mouth, though aftertaste is a bit spicy. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This brew essentially birthed the style and is definitely one of the best examples all these years later. If only I could get it fresh. 10/10

TOTAL SCORE: 46/50

NOTE: See my 2014 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2014/11/westmalle-tripel.html

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