Trappist Westvleteren Blonde - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 683 | Reviews: 407 | Display Reviews Only:
1.7/5 rDev -60.2%
Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.
The least sought-after of the Trappist Westvleteren beers. This bottle was purchased in 2003 at Café in de Vrede--which is across the street from the monastery--and has been cellared since. Poured into a silver-rimmed Westvleteren chalice, the beer pours a dirty blonde, tainted by a bit of chill haze. Head is very tight and creamy, settling to an eternal milky-colored, ringed lace. Surprisingly malty in the nose, with a unique honey-on-toast aroma, and undertones of toffee and grass. Palate is insanely creamy, with a light body and silky mouth feel. A quick and sharp citric acid enlivens things, fading into a soft rind character. Faint honey notes pull through a pale sweetness of malted milk. Finish is bone-dry, with a lingering wet, husky, tannin ﬂavor, some medicinal phenols, and notes of wet paper oxidation coming forth as the beer warms.
After having a 3-year-old bottle, and a 25-year-old bottle a couple of years back, we don't recommend aging this beer at all. Everyone, please stop. It's obvious that much of the hop character has been muted, with oxidation taking over the beer and creating new and unwanted ﬂavors. Drink it fresh, with its clean bitterness and thirst-quenching bliss intact.
07-24-2008 18:28:46 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.05/5 rDev -28.6%
Paid $27.99 for an 11.2oz bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a snifter to review.
Leaves a very light and pillowey head of about an inch and a half. Nice retention, thick lacing. So cloudy it is opaque. Well carbonated, but this certainly was not a gusher. Light golden straw color.
Smells of mild Belgian yeast and some spice. Light, refreshing and clean. Sweet malts backing the wheat base. The light breadiness and yeast appeals to me as these dominating elements to the style are usually a turnoff for me. Light fruit tones of white grape and banana.
I begin to taste at 51°F. Taste is similar in character to the nose yet much more subdued.
Light-bodied, rather fizzy and somewhat watery feel for a Belgian of this apparent caliber. Short, crisp finish. The mouthfeel really is what turned me off of this beer.
06-09-2009 02:04:57 | More by ibbjamin
3.1/5 rDev -27.4%
11.2oz bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Big thanks to Brabander for this bottle through a very complicated chain of events... cheers!
My last of three current Westvleteren offerings.
A - Pours a very faint yellow, almost completely straw-colored. Nearly see-through, there is just a bit of haze that keeps it from being fully transparent. About a finger of cream-colored head with nice retention. Lots of carbonation activity can be seen through the glass. Lacing is pretty good as well, as it finally starts to stick as the beer is consumed, leaving a nice slant pattern.
S - The aroma is quite subtle compared to the rather boisterous noses on the Westvleteren 12 and 8, but it doesn't go without notice. A bit more bready than I was expecting, before jumping into the more traditional Belgian qualities in a slight spice and bubblegum smell. A hint of banana at the end.
T - The flavor is bolstered at the start again with a big breadiness that lasts throughout the beer. As in the nose, the middle gives way to a somewhat fruity note, bringing bubblegum, lemon, and even a slight skunkiness to it as well. Finishes with that skunk, bread, and a dash of pepper.
M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Surprisingly full-bodied given the style thanks to the bready malts in here. The head lends some creaminess to start. Relatively dry finish.
D/O - Drinkability is moderate. This is a tricky one. It certainly is very easy to drink, but that could be more in part due to the surprisingly lack of boldness in the nose and flavor rather than an eagerness to quaff it on my end. Just a bit too bready for my liking and certainly doesn't resonate on the same level as the 12 and 8 by Westvleteren. Those beers are world class and unique, while I feel this beer is rather pedestrian, and even moreso considering the pedigree behind the name. I'm not slamming the beer's score just based on who brews it, but I can't help but feel it is in a separate realm compared to the 12 and 8. Maybe a fresher bottle would preserve some of those flavors better, but as it stands, I will stick to the other two Westvleteren beers.
08-31-2011 03:00:29 | More by nhindian
3.1/5 rDev -27.4%
Thanks to gdogalishus for splitting this with me.
Pours a hazy yellow/straw color. Plenty of yeast visible in suspension. Large white head of medium bubbles. Aroma was well Hefeweizen. Mild clove and banana mixed with a grassy undertone. The taste was a hybrid Belgian pale/hefe Odd. Dry and grassy, yeasty. Strange astringency set in as I drank, especially noticeable in the aftertaste.
Not what I expected or wanted in a Belgian pale ale. Ill still keep my eyes out for the Westy 8 and 12, but I would skip this one in the future.
03-20-2006 22:02:23 | More by sacfly
3.18/5 rDev -25.5%
Had this shipped from Amsterdam to my front door and crack it open today.
Served out of a wide mouthed chalice.
Reviewed with the help of wheatman106 and Jimmy
Appearance - The first thing about this beer is its carbonation, it seemed endless. The head formation was thick and frothy. It lingered for at least 25 minutes and stayed tight leaving a magnificent head of about 1 finger. The color is a slightly cloudy, golden and yellow leaving a web-like lacing which was quite pleasing.
Smell - This brew gave me hints of Belgium yeast, citrus, slight traces of hops and malt.
Taste - Surprisingly, as opposed to the hints of malt the initial taste that came though was the Belgium yeast and hops, but the hops were not over bearing. I would say this brew is balanced but in a sense bland from start to finish.
Mouthfeel - Upon entry this brew is very light in body and leaves a nice beer mustache. Although contrary to the carbonation it flattens and mellows out and leave no after taste.
Drinkability - The drinkability of this beer is average to high but the mellow flavors and the availability make me seek other blonds to satiate my palates desires.
06-16-2009 02:49:05 | More by capra12
3.25/5 rDev -23.9%
Multiple bottles, this one was a gusher. Pours with a large creamy white head and good lacing left by the collapsing head. Clear golden body speckled with small yeasties. Aroma of corn, corn nuts, astringent malt, alcohol, citrus zest, spices and pepper. Taste is astringent malt and spices, corn nuts, with a lot of barely. Fizzy and astringent mouthfeel. Not very impressed to be perfectly honest.
09-09-2010 21:42:24 | More by BMan1113VR
United Kingdom (England)
3.33/5 rDev -22%
10/19/2011 date on the bottle
Appearance: Cloudy pale straw colored. No head. Flat looking
Smell: Awkward smells here. Doesn't really fit the style. May be to age
Taste: Best part of this beer. Good but not great.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied. again nothing special here.
Overall: I think I may have a bottle past its prime. These seemed so much better when I drank it at In De Vrede. I'll try another and update my review when I get a chance.
08-02-2011 17:10:36 | More by Squelch
3.35/5 rDev -21.5%
My first westy. I'm very excited. Poured into my chimay glass.
Very cloudy appearance. Nice head and retention.
Good strong initial smell. Banana phenol and cloves. Nicely spiced on the nose.
Dry hopped bitterness comes out, but spiciness does not really hold up. Some sweetness comes up on the front with a dry hopped bitterness. This beer is really over rated, there are a little out of whack tannins on it too.
I'm really disappointed in this beer, but I'm glad I tried it.
Decent mouthfeel. Clings fair, but no crispness. Carbonation could be better.
10-09-2007 05:46:18 | More by jasonjlewis
3.35/5 rDev -21.5%
33 cl bottle purchased from Cracked Kettle for about ten dollars, poured into my Westvleteren chalice, consumed 12/29/08, reviewed from notes, color is a golden yellow with some orange tint, one inch fluffy white head with great retention and lacing, aroma is lots of Belgian yeast, lemon and other citrus, grapefruit rind, bread, straw, and mild floral notes, taste is dry at first, chewy in the middle with lots of biscuit-like malts, sweet Belgian yeast and citrus make up the finish and balance things out, I was expecting a stronger flavor overall but it is a little light on the palate, mouthfeel is yeasty, slightly sweet, and dry at times, thinner body than you would think, taste did not linger long, could drink a lot of this as alcohol is hidden almost completely, light on the stomach, just missing something that makes it really stand out like the other beer this brewery makes, would drink again but expensive for what it is, worth trying
02-05-2009 03:34:19 | More by Floydster
3.4/5 rDev -20.4%
Served from chilled bottle into a snifter glass. In the bottle, the beer appeared a hazy deep yellow to straw color with a light dusting of yeast on the bottom. The yeast were not chunky, but reminded me of grains of salt. It poured a similar deep straw color, very hazy with a robust head of medium sized bubbles that stuck to the side of the glass. This beer changed significantly in both aroma and flavor as I drank it.
The first aroma was of bitter lemon zest. This quickly dissipated into an extremely familiar aroma... I brewed a hefe weizen that smelled EXACTLY like this. The yeasts aroma was unmistakable, it was Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast.
The flavor was more of a banana and mild clove with hop bitterness way in the background. This also changed and the second sip gave way to more hops. The third sip to even more. It was a dry grassy type of hop flavor, but there was something else there. A strange sensation that I have never tasted in another beer. Not that it was a good sensation, it was numbing the back of my tongue. I continued to have this sensation throughout the beer and it was kind of upsetting. I didn't want my senses numbed since I will have a hard time ever locating another bottle of this.
I liked the hefe I brewed better... same banana/yeasty aroma and flavor without the concerning numbing characteristic.
03-06-2006 21:05:39 | More by gdogalishus
3.4/5 rDev -20.4%
Received this along with both the 8 and the 12 for some website work done for a Belgian beer shop.
Bottle poured into a generic Belgian beer goblet.
Straw colored beer. Looks slightly darker than a typical pale ale. Nice tight head with lacing happening from beginning to end.
Nose is distantly reminiscent of the Westy 8 but not as full. Scent of banana and sarsaparilla. Almost reminds me of a Heineken. This was strike 1.
It has some hops in the nose and some small hint in the taste. Too much carbonation for the style in my opinion. Subsequently it is a bit acidic going down. Not even a hint of the smoothness of its bigger brother, the Westy 8. Its taste has hints of banana, and clove.
Also a mild cidery thing going on along with some apricot on the tongue. It left an aftertaste of mild bitterness that was a bit unpleasant.
I would not say its a bad beer. I have only tried the 8 previously and I absolutely loved it. Subsequently, I expected sooo much more of this. It did not even come close to what I had hoped.
I am sure that I will be much happier in a week or 2 with the Westy 12 that is sitting in my basement.
04-27-2010 05:40:48 | More by elvisnj
3.43/5 rDev -19.7%
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
DATE ON CAP: 17.09.09 (I think, anyway. It was hard to read.)
This pours up a hazy, to the point of being opaque, golden yellowish orange color. The color makes me think of straw, or wheat. A little more than two-fingers worth of creamy white foam make the head. It recedes to about half a fingers worth, fairly quickly, but then it sticks around to the end. Lacing is thick and sticky.
So far, this is starting out very well.
Wonderful balance of wheat and begian yeast notes. Light hints of bananas and white grapes, along with mild hints of other orchard fruits. Wonderful spice presence that is in so many belgian brews. Mild notes of candi sugar. While it's not powerful, you can tell that there is a nice malt presence, here, also.
Huge presence of wheat dominance, combined with a big yeastiness. This really kind of throws the flavor profile out-of-balance, for me. Yes, it's good, but it's almost all dryness, and just not much sweetness to balance it out. Light spice notes add to this feeling. The drying, biting, hops notes aren't really helping much, either. I can tell that there are some fruit notes in here, but they are buried so deep, they don't really affect the flavor profile.
Sadly, after that wonderful nose, this one turns out to be fairly lackluster.
This is smooth and mildly creamy. Medium bodied. Probably overly carbonated, for the style.
Would I drink this again? Yes. Would I reach for some other brewerys blond/belgian pale before this one? Yes.
Fairly unimpressive, overall. It started out great and full of promise, but failed to deliver.
07-01-2009 15:13:35 | More by coldmeat23
3.45/5 rDev -19.2%
A - By poring this beer in my Struise glass I am doing sacrilege. I know, but don't really care. As long as it tastes good. By the looks of it; it will deliver. What a feast is going on in my glass, a nice happy yellow fluid, with tiny yeast snow whirling down, carbonation bubbles racing up, nice white head which slowly turns to fluffy and leaves a thick lacing against the glass.
S - A good hoppy aroma with a little sour twist along with some malt odor.
T - A strong taste of bitter hop and a tiny sweetness upfront, rather dry. The bitterness lingers around for quite some time.
M - A pleasant carbonation tickles my palate. The finish is dry and bitter.
O - A good and easy to drink blonde, but not my favorite though.
02-09-2012 15:37:07 | More by Mar02x
3.45/5 rDev -19.2%
Not my favorite of the Trappiste but fortunately I have tried others from W. split one with my battle buddy in pint glasses. Loved the immense milky white head and the large amount of floating sediment and the golden color. The smell was okay but not really spectacular. I really didn't smell much from it a bit grassy and fruity but nothing overly compelling. Taste was somewhat sour and citrusy. Unfortunately we compared it to drinking orange juice in a milk glass. The bitterness was fine but something was not quite right. This was purchased from a specialty shop and could not find a best before date and that could be the problem. Not a bad experience but I was hoping for better fr this buxom blonde. Overall not my best Trappiste experience but might try againsithsome assurance of freshness as I see better opinions by others.
02-11-2012 16:14:52 | More by jhtipton
3.48/5 rDev -18.5%
Thanks to beerisheaven & the Minnesota Twins for my second bottle of a Westvleteren on this planet. My Twins beat the Phillies & I don't know if this was the bottle I won or not, but I'm going to call it! Thanks Brian (& Pavano).
Pours a golden sunset color with hazy, high clouds, I can almost see the water glistening underneath it. Smell comes down a notch, too much yeast, weird clay that makes me think of that scene in that movie (you know that one).
Westy Blonde tastes like a laundry list of tastes in my mouth. Lemon, citrus, wet/musty spices, touch of hops, yeast. The lemon comes out a bit as it warms & gives it a better profile. Plenty of things going on here but it's like someone hit the mute button.
Good beer. Nothing like Westy 12, this is a good pale & solidly reps the style.
08-25-2010 02:43:27 | More by maximum12
3.48/5 rDev -18.5%
Received from Prufrock in No-BS BIF. Pale/dull yellow color with high clarity and light wispy foam. The aroma is mild with notes of citrus melon, and coriander spice all with a lightly sweet bready character.
More bready malt in the taste with a hint of lemon zest and a faint sourness. Finishes with a light dryness, mildly bitter, with a touch of oxidation. The light body is softly carbonated, very average.
I wasn't too impressed by this Trappist Ale. Worth a try, but doesn't live up to the name expectations...
03-22-2007 02:54:12 | More by bennetj17
3.5/5 rDev -18%
13.12.08 on the cap
A- clear straw pale yellow, streams of bubbles, lively. Foamy white head.
S- has similarities to macro lager type beers from around the world, but also has some light fruit, and a very light earthiness. Really liked the fruit notes here.
T- very pale in taste, lagerish, moderate bitterness with minimal earthy Belgian yeast character.
M - very light, effervescent (fizzy), dry
Not bad for the style, but not very interesting to me either.
12-01-2008 05:20:47 | More by MiScusi
Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
95 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.