Overview for the Trappist Single

The modern iteration of the Trappist Single is actually relatively new. The current style was first brewed by the monks at Westvleteren in 1999. Its color ranges from straw to gold with excellent clarity. Tends to be crisp and dry with high attenuation. Its palate is hoppier than a Belgian Pale Ale with a similar bite of a German Pilsener. Floral and spicy hops mix with a light malt backbone of cracker or biscuit. Pronounced Belgian yeast character with fruity esters imparting citrus or stone fruit flavors. Like a top-fermented Belgian/Trappist interpretation of a German Pils—pale, hoppy, and well-attenuated, but showing prototypical Belgian yeast character. Has less sweetness, higher attenuation, less character malt, and is more hop-centered than a Belgian Pale Ale. More like a much smaller, more highly hopped tripel than a smaller Belgian Blond Ale.

Style Expectations

A pale, bitter, highly attenuated and well carbonated Trappist ale, showing a fruity-spicy Trappist yeast character, a spicy-floral hop profile, and a soft, supportive grainy-sweet malt palate.


Pale yellow to medium gold color. Generally good clarity, with a moderate-sized, persistent, billowy white head with characteristic lacing.


Medium-low to medium-high Trappist yeast character, showing a fruity-spicy character along with medium-low to medium spicy or floral hops, occasionally enhanced by light herbal/citrusy spice additions. Low to medium-low grainy-sweet malt backdrop, which may have a light honey or sugar quality. Fruit expression can vary widely (citrus, pome fruit, stone fruit). Light spicy, yeast-driven phenolics found in the best examples. Bubblegum inappropriate.


Fruity, hoppy, bitter, and dry. Initial malty-sweet impression, with a grainy-sweet soft malt palate, and a dry, hoppy finish. The malt may have a light honeyed biscuit or cracker impression. Moderate spicy or floral hop flavor. Esters can be citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), pome fruit (apple, pear), or stone fruit (apricot, peach). Light to moderate spicy, peppery, or clove phenolics. Bitterness rises towards the crisp, dry finish, with an aftertaste of light malt, moderate hops and yeast character.


Medium-light to medium body. Smooth. Medium-high to high carbonation, can be somewhat prickly. Should not have noticeable alcohol warmth.


Single In The Sun

Single  •  Barrel of Monks Brewing

Single In The Sun is a Belgian-style Single by Barrel of Monks Brewing that blends tart grapefruit and lemon spiced with pepper and clove atop a base of biscuit and honey. Read More


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