Belgian Tripel

Glassware: Tulip
  • Belgium
  • Ale
  • ABV = 7.5 – 9.5% (High)^
  • IBU = 20-40
  • SRM = 4.5-7
A strong, gold-coloured Belgian ale with spicy, fruity, and light alcohol notes, supportive grainy-sweet malt and a dry finish.

Similar to a Belgian Golden Strong Ale but slightly darker and somewhat fuller-bodied, with more emphasis on phenolics and less on esters. Usually has a more rounded malt flavour but should never be sweet.


  • Colour^ = Straw to gold
  • Clarity = Good

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet, honey-like
  • Yeast = Moderate; fruity esters (orange, banana) / moderate to high; spicy, peppery, clove-like phenols / low; soft, spicy alcohol
  • Hops = Low; spicy, floral, sometimes perfumy
  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet, may be honey-like
  • Yeast = Low to moderate; fruity esters (orange, lemon) / low to moderate; peppery phenols / low; soft, spicy alcohol
  • Hops = Low to moderate; spicy
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Moderate
  • Balance = Towards the fruity, spicy, alcohol flavours; bitterness (from hops and yeast-produced phenolics) does not overwhelm these flavours, as malt is there in support

Substantial carbonation and bitterness lends a dry finish with a moderately bitter aftertaste with substantial spicy-fruity yeast character


  • Body = Medium
  • Carbonation = High; effervescent
  • Alcohol warmth = The alcohol content is deceptive and has little to no obvious warming sensation

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pilsner malt, plus pale sugar syrup
  • Yeast = Belgian ale yeast
  • Hops = Continental or English hop varietals (Saazer-type or Styrian Goldings hops are traditional)
  • Process = Traditionally bottle conditioned (ie. refermented in the bottle)

Historical Development:

Originally popularized by the Trappist monastery at Westmalle.

Commercial Examples:

Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Cinq Cents, St. Bernardus Tripel

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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