These are dark, malty, yeasty strong ales in the Trappist tradition, but produced (mainly) by secular brewers. Dubbels range between 6.5-8% abv, and have a dark brown, cloudy colour, and a palate mixing malt, a lush fruitiness, and yeast. They are typically bottle-conditioned.
Like other abbey ales, Tripels are strong, yeasty-malty beers. But they are also pale, and have a notable hop profile. Hop bitterness may be higher than a typical abbey ale, up to 45IBUs. But the finish is where the hops really shine, as tripels should finish fairly dry. Otherwise, maltiness is still essential to the style, and the assertive yeast note typical of all abbey ales will be more apparent in tripels, since they do not have the rich dark malts to distract the palate. Alcohol flavours feature more prominently in Tripels that in just about any other style.
Belgian Strong Ale
Belgian Strong Ales can vary from pale to dark brown in color, darker ales may be colored with dark candy sugar. Hop flavor can range from low to high, while hop aroma is low. The beers are medium to full-bodied and have a high alcoholic character. Types of beers included here include tripels, dubbels and ultra-strong abbey ales.
Abt, or quadrupel, is the name given to ultra-strong Trappist and abbey ales. The name Abt was pioneered to describe Westvleteren and the beer that would become St. Bernardus. Quadrupel was pioneered by La Trappe. Abts are the darker of the two, with more rich, deep fruity notes. Quads are paler, with corresponding peachy notes. Neither have much in the way of hop, and both are very strong and malty. Though both are bottle-conditioned, abts trend more towards yeastiness. Alcohol is very high (10+% abv) for both.
Belgian-style ales seldom fit neatly into classic beer styles, but this category represents those ales under approximately 7% abv that do not fit other categories. Colour ranges from golden to deep amber, with the occasional example coming in darker. Body tends to be light to medium, with a wide range of hop and malt levels. Yeastiness and acidity may also be present.