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 a bit fuller-bodied, with more emphasis on phenols, less on esters, and fewer late hops. Usually has a more rounded malt flavour but should never be sweet.


  • Colour^ = Light gold to gold
  • Clarity = Good

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet, honey-like
  • Hops = None to low; spicy, floral, perfumy, if present
  • Yeast = Moderate; fruity esters (orange, lemon, banana) / moderate to high; spicy phenols (peppery, clove-like) / low; soft, spicy alcohol note
  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet, honey-like
  • Hops = Low to moderate; spicy, floral, perfumy
  • Yeast = Low to moderate; fruity esters (orange, lemon, banana) / low to moderate; spicy phenols (peppery, clove-like) / low; soft, spicy alcohol note
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Moderate
  • Balance = Towards the spicy-fruity yeast character, with hops and malt in support

Dry finish. Moderate bitterness in the 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
  • Hops = Continental hop varietals
  • Yeast = Belgian ale yeast
  • Other = Spice additions are generally not traditional; if used, should be a background character only
  • Process = Traditionally bottle conditioned (ie. refermented in the bottle)

Historical Development:

Popularised by the Trappist monastery at Westmalle, first brewed in 1934.

Commercial Examples:

Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Tripel, St. Bernardus Tripel

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines.

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

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