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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel 9.5%

Westmalle, considered a benchmark in the Belgium Trappist style Ale's was once described by recently deceased whisky expert, Michael Jackson, as a "world classic".  In one sentence I would describe it by calling it brilliant in it's simplicity.

Westmalle is an ode to the Westmalle Abbey of Malle, Belgium.  One of my favorite parts of opening a beer with a wire frame and cork is that you are immediately rewarded with an intense and distinctive aroma.  One you can always remember.  With the Westmalle Tripel, the second that cork pops, you are rewarded with huge aromas that are very distinct.  This bottle rewards you with oranges, lemons and coriander.  Pouring into my usual goblet, the tripel arrives into my vessel with a copper orange and almost toffee color with a strikingly soft and near perfectly white head.  Clearly unfilitered with a foggy hue and sprinkles of cinnamon flaked sediment floating around the glass, that smell of citrus and coriander are grouped with aromas of vanilla and subtle herbacious notes.  A very quiet sweetness is also present, strangley reminiscent to pink bubble gum.

You would have no idea that you are drinking a beer of 9.5% ABV!  A slightly bitter and sharp finish on the palate.  Dry caramel maltiness is accompanying cilantro, fruits, salt and acid.  The head dissipated from the body rather quickly opening the drink up to quick and easy consumption.  I had mine with dutch cheese and nuts.  At the finish I would've much rather had the beer with grapes and a sharp cheddar or spicy mexican food.  I read somewhere that it goes really well with asparagus.

I'm definitely drinking something that is not neccesarily adapt to the winter.  This is more of a spring or summer concoction in my opinion.  Again, a well produced trappist ale that delivers in brilliance simply off the easy consumption backed with a definitive citrusy, earthly spiced ensemble.  I would definitely go back and have another one.


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