Belgian Ale beers have a pale gold colour an ABV between 8% and 5.5% and a medium bitterness.
Belgian Ale characteristics
A Belgian Ale is a moderately malty, fruity and easy-drinking, amber-colored ale that is less aggressive in flavor profile than many other Belgian beers. They are quite balanced and smooth, and they have the lowest alcoholic character in the Belgian traditional styles. Fairly similar to pale ales from England, and with less yeast character than many other Belgian beers.
Abbey Dubbel or just Dubbel was the name by Westmalle brewery to their first brown highly alcoholic beer. Its appearance is reddish-copper, with a sweet malty aroma, sometimes with hints of chocolate, caramel or toast, dried fruits or spices. Alcohol is present in the flavour, but never too prominent. Malt tends to predominate, and there is a slight bitterness that doesn't get to the aftertaste. Dubbel beers are not as malty as other styles as Bock, but on the other hand they have a richer malt profile than a Belgian Ale
Tripel is a term coined in Belgium in order to describe a strong pale ale inspired in the Tripel from Westmalle—who used the word tripel in 1956 to rename their strongest beer. It is a spicy, dry and strong Trappist ale with a rounded malt flavour. Aromas are complex with spiciness and fruity notes.
Flavour tend to be spicy and fruity too, with malt sweetness in the background and sometimes a honey touch. Tripel use to be high in alcohol, but they don't strongly taste as alcohol which is usually well hidden. Tripels can be compared with a slightly strong version of a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.
Belgian Strong Ale
Belgian Strong Ale is a style that comprises from pale to bitter beers, with stronger yeast character than malt flavours, and higher alcohol than standard Belgian Ales. Colors tend to be light, and flavours smooth with some fruity and spicy notes.
Quadrupels or Belgian Dark Strong Ales are very complex Belgian ales, sometimes connected with an Abbey or a Trappist monastery. Its appearance range from deep amber to reddish brown. Aromas are rich, with spiciness and malt presence, and hints of fruits. Flavors are as complex as aromas, with malt presence, fruits and some alcohol, and a dry finish. It is more malty than a Dubbel and not as bitter as a Tripel.