Trappist Westvleteren Blonde - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

771 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 771
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 432
Gots: 120 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2002

(Green Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 771 | Reviews: 425
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yeast and malt that is consistent in a medium grainy but smooth mouthfeel. If only I could have this all night. Very fresh from Belgium and worth the shipping. Some floral and yeast aroma.
Five and a half years later, second bottle aged for the same amount of time, either 2003 and 2004. Beautiful blond, creamy, delicate.A little yeast in sediment.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Cap is dated 29.04.07.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, honey, grape juice, and lots of fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with an earthy spice finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and some very nice flavors.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light, creamy blonde with a nice white head. Smell is quite complex with notes of light fruits, citrus peel, hops, and a bit of bready dough. Taste is quite similar, with some of the drier, white stone fruits taking over a little bit and fading into a nice, hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite light and well carbonated with a nice dry finish. Excellent drinkability. Can only dream of sitting in Belgium drinking a few of these.

Photo of brentk56
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy pale honey color with an extraordinary cap that sticks lacing all over the chalice

Smell: Baryard funk, yeast and herbal grassiness

Taste: Bready up front, with a developing herbal bitterness arriving by mid-palate; some serious almost medicinal hop elements arrive with the swallow, with the yeasty flavors taking over the parade to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and incredibly creamy; light but assertive carbonation

Drinkability: As others have said, this is a complex but almost sessionable beer

Thank, unholy2, for the opportunity to complete the Westvleteren trifecta

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a pleasure to sit down with legendary beers like these. This Blonde displays what's best about beer.

Beginning with a glowing and hazy hue, the Blonde has deep straw, light golden colors and with a lively efforvescent appearance. Bright white foam settles on the beer in very sturdy and structured fashion while leaving an ordinate amount of lacing behind. A near-perfect look for anything Wibier, Hefeweizen, or Belgian Pale.

Solid aromas of lemons, pepper, spice, earthy hops, light must, and light vinous notes (white wine). The phenolic-fruity blend balances the nose while the surprise of aromatic hops add even more decoration for the olfactory senses.

Soft sweetness of pilsner malts coat the mouth with a creamy, fresh bread tastes. White pepper, oranze zest, and corriander make a quick transition towards the earthy and pungent hop flavors. The bitterness of hops weaves beautifully in and out of the lemon and vinous tastes, making for a very complex buffer to the malts. As the beer warms, the musty, sweaty, salty notes grow, giving even more variety to the beer. I am quite surprised at the bright hop flavor and bitterness- didn't see that one comming.

Medium bodied and creamy up front but the malt character fades very quickly into a bitter, dry, and evaporative finish. Decidedly spicy and dry in the end but the aftertaste returns to the lemon and vinous flavors. Very palatable and sessionable.

Ya know, I think this Westvletern brewery has gotten the brewing thing all figured out. Thanks Pwoody, you're a world class trader!

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a world class belgian blond, entirely yeast driven and absolutely delicious. had the pleasure of drinking the 12 and 8 in the same session, which is sort of a once in a lifetime experience. this is hazy pale blond in color with over an inch of just off white head and prickly carbonation. the nose is all yeast, just a little pale malt sweetness, but i get pollen and cut hay and ancient harvest vibes from the yeast. its got a touch of spice in the flavor, bitterness too, and is one of the most balanced light beers ive seen. the way the yeast has so completely fermented all the sugar in this is impressive, and the resulting dry snappy mouthfeel gives this beer unrivaled drinkability. full flavored for the color, i would love to get my hands on some of this yeast for my own brewing pursuits. top quality brew here, the americans still have a long way to go before we consistently make beer this good in this style.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a beautiful lightly hazy blonde with a huge bubbly head with perfect retention. Aroma is floral with some light spices in the undertone. Taste is very refreshing with the malts coming out first followed by some hard to distinguish spices followed by a sweet ending. Body is medium with great carbonation and alcohol is not detectable. Wow! This is one great light Belgian ale. Too bad I cannot get my hand on this stuff more regularly.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Straw-colored, hazy and bright. A gentle pour produced a soft 1/2 inch head with solid retention.

Smell - Yeasty and phenolic. Hay, fresh grass, clove and piquant hops.

Taste - Lemon rind bitterness meets banana and clove. Extremely dry and refreshing. Lots of hoppy and husky bitterness in the finish. Quite unlike any other Belgian ale I've had - the only thing I can liken it to is Orval minus the funk.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp and drying to the palate. High carbonation gives an almost champagne-like mouthfeel.

Notes - Excellent stuff. A beer I could drink frequently if not for the rarity and cost.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Haystack gold with multiple fine bubble streams leading up to one of the best looking caps that I've seen in quite some time. The foam is lustery pearl in color, has a creamy texture and is wonderously stickilicious. A masterpiece in lace is beginning to appear on the upper reaches of the glass. What a great way to start.

Although this offering doesn't get much love compared to its bigger brothers, the nose is outstanding. It's grassy and musky and herbal and spicy, all at once. The bottle must be pretty fresh because a lot of those qualities have to coming from the hops. I'm sure the yeast strain is world-class as well.

For some reason, I was shocked upon discovering that Trappist Westvleteren Blonde is the highest ranking BPA on this site. Truthfully, I haven't paid it much attention until now. Any doubts that I may have had about the beer's true worthiness disappeared after the first mouthful. This may not be the best Belgian ale that I've ever imbibed, but it is the best Belgian pale ale.

Beer of this style isn't usually this mind-blowingly complex. I wonder if the Trappist monks at Brouwerij Westvletern brew any other complex ale? Hops and estery yeast combine in remarkable fashion. The final result is a beautifully bitter, splendidly spicy melange that is disappearing at an alarming rate. Too bad I don't have another bottle. Or twenty-four.

Flavors include French bread crust, grassy hops, new-mown hay and a perfect amount of yeasty spiciness that provides generous sprinklings of clove, cardamom and white pepper. Okay, I'll say it: there has *never* been a more complex 5.8% ale in the history of beer. As for drinkability, I am rarely almost through with an entire bottle at this point in the review. One last ounce will have to suffice for assessing the mouthfeel.

Like everything else about this stupendous beer, the mouthfeel oozes quality. It's at least medium-full for the style and is as creamy as they come. The carbonation is spot-on, which is the key to the whole shootin' match.

Never in a million years did I think that this beer would be this good. Try this on for size... Trappist Westvletern Blonde is a better Belgian pale ale than Trappist Westvleteren 12 is a quadrupel. Find a fresh (hoppy) bottle and prepare to enter beer heaven.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge white head the stayed till the end. A very nice pale amber color, that was nice and cloudy, mostly due to the carbonation. This was the most insanely carbonated brew I have ever seen! Huge chains and streams of bubble, unreal. So active and lively looking, easily a top 5 best looking beer I have ever scene, could not have made it look better!

Smell was off the hook! Tons of fruits. Predominate pears, apricots, figs. Hints of apples, bread and grains, grass. Smell was almost too complex to describe, incredible again.

The taste was a bit of a let down after the look and smell from the start, but still very very good! Taste dances around the palate with pear and apple fruit hints the biggest players. Nice smooth maltiness with the bread and grain tastes coming through again. Slight taste of alcohol but only slight. Nice well rounded and complex taste, just not as powerful as I thought.

Mouthfeel was again superb, very light and frothy with lots of carbonation. Easy to drink and wonderfully complex and alive on the tongue.

Iverall this was a great beer, hugely enjoyable, but the price really cuts the drinkabilty down for me. Awesome nonetheless and glad to have had some, off to the rest of the westy!

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this recently, review from written notes. BBD: 19.10.11

Into a tulip glass it pours a pastel gold, bright clarity, rising trails of carbonation visible. Over time it forms uniform rows of spotty lace, and cascading tiny rivulets.

Wet hay, wildflowers, weeds, dried hops, rustic and floral aromatics.

Dry and herbal bitterness to the aftertaste, some pale malt sweetness at first, with more wet hay and herbs in the middle. A light barnyard funk, more subdued taste than the nose suggests. Creamy feel, well carbed, bright, crisp, and refreshing on a warm day. Flavor was focused more on subtlety and simple rustic elements, thankfully not sweet, as many BPA's tend to be.

Thanks to Denise for the surprise box from Belgium.

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cap dated xx.09.05, so, this is a 6 year old bottle. Have had this one fresh before, but tasting an aged one should be interesting. Thanks for a great extra, Greg!

A: The pour is the typical hazy golden straw color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is very floral and sweet, very honey-like to be frank. A nice orange note to it as well. A bit of yeast and perhaps some light fruit and spice esters.

T: Honey is definitely the primary flavor here, which is a stark contrast to a fresh bottle. Great honey, orange, and floral sweetness that is quite refreshing, actually.

M: The body is light with a crisp carbonation to it. Quite light on the tongue like you would expect.

D: I think I might actually like this aged version better than the fresh ones that I have tried. A really big difference in terms of flavor, and a beer that you generally would not recommend cellaring for this long, but I think it worked very nicely.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a beaming straw-colored body with a bright white, head.

Smell: Aroma is chock full of vibrant fruity esters as well as some faintly grassy, citrus notes.

Taste: Skillfully crafted, this beer is rich and full of flavor. Initial tartness gives way to a light malty, slightly bready sweetness. Also there is the pronounced taste of peaches and oranges - like an albariño, but with a more pronounced, sharper carbonation. Finishes dry with just a touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and is quite crisp, marked by a constant, but fine champange-like carbonation.

Drinkability: Outstanding. This beer is the greatest invention since wood.

Photo of oline73
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at the cafe across the street from St. Sixtus. Poured into a Westvleteren goblet.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a finger of cloudy like white head. The head fades, but leaves a nice layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some candy sugar and spices. I'm getting some banana notes and mild citrus.

Taste: Light and crisp. Belgian yeast spice notes. The beer is a bit herbal with some banana and a touch of sweetness. The finish is crisp and just a little bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a super dry finish. Very nice.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. Pours from the bottle beautifully and stays wonderful from there. Big fan.

Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stakem for sharing this as I have wanted to try it for awhile! Poured into the appropriate Westvleteren goblet chilled slighly.

A resplendent brilliant golden straw color with great clarity and semi-fast moving visible carbonation with a thick cap of white which is about 1/2 inch in depth. The lace sticks well and the bead is tiny, this is a very beautiful brew I wish I had a pic of it,but my camera is broken and the cell battery is on the fritz. The smell is odd, funky barnyard musty earthy and slightly mineral. Odd but in a good way like hay with malt coming off dry in the nose and lots of Belgian yeastiness. The feel is very dry, very earthy and highly carbonated which is delightful with some nice hop bitterness in the vein of a spicy saison.

The flavor is malty with some light dry cracker-like tinges with some herbal almost bitter flavored with strong yeastiness and minty element from the hops which gives a nice contrast to the grassy and slight fruity yeast. The malt doesn't taste like the smell leads you to believe it will, just basically dry and the yeast adds a minor pear accent to the mild tannic tinge the hops create. The yeast and hop cohesion is very pleasant and the dry essence makes this a nice sipper, welcoming additional tastes. I enjoyed this a lot, but overall it was not what I expected. I found it to be saison-like in a good way and the very dry malt is what I was not expecting. This is not the best of what this brewery offers but it has a high drinkability quotient so do try it if you enjoy saisons or hoppy belgian pale ales.

Photo of Jason
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl slender brown bottle with a freshness date of 17.10.03 (Oct 17th 2003), no label. Just the cap denotes what brew this is

Appearance: A lace worthy of no other, cloaked within the glass it sits there and forces respect. Its pale colour shows a light haze but a very active carbonation.

Smell: Sweet grassy herbal aroma, hints of honey and faint tobacco come to mind.

Taste: Lightly coarse hop rakes across the tongue as well as some herbal phenols, fresh grain flows deep even into the eternal dryness. Bitterness and dryness are most of the traits but do not overwhelm, small burst of hop leaf flavour in the end.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly complexly layered smoothness, crispness need only to clean the palate for the next sip but goes even further by invigorating the taste buds as well. Moderate body.

Drinkability & Notes: This one is off the charts as far as a session brew for me, I simply could drink this all night. By far one of the best beers I have run into and would travel (and have) far for.

Photo of kojevergas
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle served into a Westvleteren goblet in Cafe In Da Vrede, Westvleteren, Belgium. Reviewed from notes. Come on now, beeradvocate, this is a Belgian blonde. Let's reform the categorization system, eh?

A: Pours a two finger head of lovely cream and thickness. Very good retention, but not as good as Westy's other offerings, a notable fact on account of their higher ABV. This is a bit puzzling. Quite appealing any way you look at it. Gold colour.

Sm: I wish me nose wasn't broken, but I do get some light fruit ester hop notes. Some subtle citrus. No nuts are present as in Westy's other two offerings.

T: Fecking gorgeous, as we say in Ireland. Perfectly balanced barley and hops, with ever-so-subtle notes of fruit. Divine. An excellent beer for the style. Fuck me that's fanciful. Blondes are never this complex or subtle.

Mf: Amazing. Creamy soft silky but powerful; perfectly coarse. A mastery of mouthfeel. So soft yet so supportive of the body.

Dr: Excellent. The best blonde I've ever had, period. There's all this craic about "ooh westvleteren" and I was skeptical - but believe you me, it's truly as good as they say. So truly as good I ordered two crates of blonde (48 bottles) by having three people with four phones spend thirty seven minutes trying to get through repeatedly. When you taste it, you'll know. The most flavour of any 5.8% beer I've ever had. It's worth it. Very cheap at the abbey. To hell with the ebayers.

---

Revisited on July 5th, 2013. Bottle is a couple years old; I got it during my initial visit to the monastery (one of the 48 bottles mentioned in my above review). I've heard the Blonde doesn't age well, but I'm fixing to find out.

Bottle served into a Trappist Westvleteren goblet in me gaff in low altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Served chilled, straight from the fridge, and side-poured gently.

A: Pours a gorgeous three finger head. Beautifully soft and fluffy. Light and delicate looking. Superb lacing is even and consistent as the head slowly recedes; retention is incredible - about 12+ minutes.

Body colour is a clear vibrant yellow. Translucent; transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Looks right on the money for the style, and the head is damned impressive.

Sm: Straw, hay. Clean, pleasant, and crisp. Full-bodied barley. Complementary floral hops. Lemon zest. Light funkiness and biscuity yeast. Quite appealing. An aroma of mild strength. Healthy.

No alcohol is detectable.

T: Straw, hay. Complementary floral hops. Extremely refreshing. Lemon zest. Clean malts. Clean and pleasant, with a full body. A kiss of lemongrass. Subtle spicing - definitely some cilantro/coriander in there. Fleeting buried hints of white grape. Pilsner malts. Wine must. Lightly bready. A light tartness and a hint of sourness.

Perfectly balanced. Great build. About as complex as a beer in the style can be. Nice subtlety too. I really like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Light and refreshing. Delicate. Wonderfully soft. Complements the flavour profile very well. Grows a bit more musty and dry towards the finish.

Dr: Extremely drinkable; an excellent table beer that would pair well with any food. Drinks just fine with age on it, but I do think I enjoyed it a bit more fresh. I'd definitely get this again and I'd buy it again by the case. This Westvleteren offering is so often overlooked, but I don't know that any beer fan wouldn't enjoy it. A masterfully brewed Belgian blonde with interesting subtlety.

B+

---

The rating I gave it reflects my review of this beer fresh, not aged. I think it's meant to be consumed fresh, but I did enjoy it with 2 years of age on it.

Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up in Belgium in summer 2009. No obvious date on the cap. Served in my Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a finger of soapy white foam that slowly dissipates to a thin cap and a ton of lace. Nearly opaque hazed golden peach color. Excellent looking brew.

S - Smells like an abbey single. Lemony citrus, grassy hops, graham cracker pale malt backbone, a touch of honey and banana, and some Belgian-style yeast. As it warms there are some slight medicinal notes.

T - The taste is a little more smoothed out, with a good amount of bread, light pepper, some hay and floral hoppiness, and a tiny touch of sourness in the finish. The near 6% is imperceptible.

M - Soft tingly carbonation, light-medium body that is quite smooth. Dry finish, with only light residual stickiness. Quite refreshing!

D - It's the session beer of the Westvleteren monks - if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. I'll always have fond memories of sipping this with Urbain, Bryna, and Dave Schuster at Cafe In De Vrede.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Label-less bottle, brought over from Belgium by da Bum...bless you, good sir!
Lovely pale orange hue, cloudy, resting under a thick, tapioca-ish, creamy crown of foam...angelic aroma, a zesty, spicy, but still mellow blend, soft and slightly citric, bits of lemon rind and ginger flit about...good stuff.
Sweetness on the tongue, too, rich and creamy mouthfeel, wondrous texture, really fills the mouth, and stays long on the palate. Light bodied, exquisite drinkability, a beer any good monk (and I'm tryin' to be one, lord, I am!) should surely deserve to luxuriate with throughout the remainder of a well-won day.
Probably the finest session ale ever brewed...no stretch here!
A superb little beer, absolutely delightful!

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into my Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulip. Cap is dated 17.12.10.

a - Pours a crisp, very clear golden color with 2 fingers of fluffy white head that lasts for 3-4 minutes, and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, Belgian yeast, apples, citrus, bananas, light fruity malts, and maybe a hint of cloves. Smell is really enjoyable and complex.

t - Tastes of spices, pepper, light fruity malts, bready malts, and light citrus. Also some yeast. Not getting any alcohol.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Nice and crisp.

d - Overall I thought this was a very good pale ale. While not usually my favorite style, I thought this beer smelt great and was very complex. I also felt like it was very easy to drink; I felt like I could definitely put a few of these down, and would actually want to. Taste was good but pretty standard, heavy on the spices. Would definitely have again and glad I got to try a bottle.

Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer with a 10 and 12. Served from a bottle into a Delirium Tremens glass. Thick white head that dominates the beer. The beer is yellow and cloudy. The aroma is subtle but good. Smells like a blonde ale. Some alcohol, mostly malt no hop character. The taste is sour. Mouthfeel is full and good. The beer fills your mouth. It is incredible. The head falls away as you drink and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. My tour of trappist ales should result in me being able to rank them, right now this one is the in the lead. I wish this was more readily available in the US, or available at all. We'll see how the others hold up.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pour a rather hazy light yellow/peach color with a very thick one finger head, one of the whitest I have ever seen. Great head retention with lacing forming all around the entire glass.

S: Right away there is some lemon and lemon zest mixed with some light spice, mostly pepper. It is rather fruity overall with some grassy hops and a bit of graham cracker malt.

T: Grassy/herbal hops mixed with some more lemon, a bit of apple, and some bready malt. There is some orange zest and spice underneath, mostly pepper and a little coriander.

M: Medium bodied with surprisingly creamy, slightly dry finish.

O: Great flavor profile and incredibly drinkable, could sit back and relax with this beer all night.

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with Slatetank and poured into a pair of Westy goblets. The cap is stamped with the date of 3/12/11 putting this offering at just over 3 years old. The brew appears a beautiful golden yellow color with some tiny particulate stuck in suspension. A white frothy head holds along the top of the brew and gravitates towards the edge of the glassware. Some patches of lace hang across the top and on the wall.

The smell of this brew is lightly reminiscent of candy sugar. Sweet smelling fresh grain character mixed with sulfur and some herbal to grassy hops. Some fruited quality is noted across the back. A little spicy with yeast that increases in character as the brew warms.

The taste is grainy with a flavoring somewhat like straw, lightly grassy with herbal bitter hops. There is a mild backing of sweetness of fresh grains. Candy-like in the aftertaste without much residual sweetness. Mildly spicy with yeast as the brew comes up to room temperature.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking with the abv hidden exceptionally well. Much more hoppy than I anticipated, this is among the most hoppy belgian pales I have had. An interesting and enjoyable experience but I dont think it is worth the hassle of trying to secure this unless the opportunity is presented to you within reason.

Photo of GClarkage
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/30/07- Had at a tasting at BA member Talisker's apt.

Presentation- 11.2oz no labeled bottle. A best by '09 on the cap. Does that mean a 2002 bottling date or 2004? I forget if it's 5 or 7 years from the date. Poured into my Westvleteren chalice.

Appearance- Deep blonde in color, almost looks like liquid honey. Light bubbled creamy white 1/2 inch head. Lovely stream of bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass. Light traces of lace remain at the finish of the brew.

Smell- Really had to sniff to bring out the nose. Lightly yeasty with a bit of lemon peel and some caramel notes.

Taste- A nice wide array of flavors here. Wonderful bready yeast notes with a subtle caramel malt flavor. Lightly spiced with corriander and citrus peel. Almost a tea like herb flavor as well.

Mouthfeel- Perfect middle range carbonation level. Seems just a touch watery, but very smooth and creamy going down on the swallow.

Drinkability- Damn, this would be one hell of a session beer, wouldn't it? Don't see that happening anytime soon though. Great mild tasting beer, but with very nice flavors. Very drinkable.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best By Date February 2009, Bottled February of 2006; Sampled November 2008
I didn't even have a slight chance of getting a clear pour. The full bottle looked quite clear when held up to the light, but as soon as I popped the cap the yeast started to get mixed in to the beer, it even foamed up a bit. The beer, as it sits in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip, has a fat two-finger thick, light cream / off-white colored head. The head is fairly dense and takes quite some time to subside, it forms a varied surface as it does and also leaves some fat lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a muddy, murky, really down-right ugly, pale tan / amber color, that shows a deeply hazed (can't see through it), more orangish color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite nice though, vibrant fermentation character, a touch of hops and a solid pale malt / grain character comes through quite nicely in the nose. Aromatic notes of hay, lemon grass, Meyer lemon zest, a light green-herbal note, distinct star-fruit, a hint of ripe melon, pear, spicy clove, white pepper, a hint of ginger, whole wheat dough, sweet wheat, a touch of honey-like malt, soda crackers, . The nose is quite vibrant and has me quite pleased to taste the beer.

The beer has a peppery note to it that is a combination of the suspended yeast, the carbonation and the fermentation character. Soft and doughy feeling up front (can I actually feel the yeast or am I just imagining it), the beer picks up texture from the carbonation as it rolls across the tongue. The beer finishes with a green hop bitterness and a bit of yeasty astringency. As the beer warms a bit fruity notes of honeydew, a touch of pear and perhaps some apple start to become noticeable under the more dominant hop and spicy-fermentation notes. This beer is actually fairly hoppy (despite being two and a half years old) with lots of herbal notes, a substantial bitterness throughout the flavor profile and a touch of soft lemon zest citrus character. Nice and light bodied, makes this quite easy to drink, in fact I wouldn't mind having a couple bottles of this over an afternoon / evening; it is not thin though as it has some texture and body to it. The malt character, while more supporting, contributes nice bread-like notes, a touch of sweet whole grain, as well as a touch of toasty cracker-like flavors.

The aroma of this beer is quite fantastic, but it needs to really be warmed up for the flavor to start to open up (It started out at 50°F / 10°C so wasn't really cold even). This is still quite hoppy, and I would really like to try a fresh bottle to really get the most of the hop character.

December 2006 cap date; Sampled April 2008
Rating: 4/4/4/4/4, Total 4.00
A fairly soft pour summons forth a full three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that recedes with a dense textured surface all the while leaving some nice Belgian lace on the sides of my glass. The beer is a honey color, but shows a lightly hazed, bright gold color when held up to the light. Aromas of sweet, honey-infused grain with a backdrop of fruit aromatics like pear, apple, ripe-melon and sweet grape greet my nose. Some sharp spice and phenolics provide a bit of structure with aromas of black pepper, ginger, sweet clove and maybe a hint of anise. There is a light grassy note as well as some crushed malt, cracker-like aromas. I really like the mix of sweet malt, with the fermentation driven esters & phenolics; this is an awfully appetizing balanced beer in the nose.

Only lightly sweet & it has a soft hop character that provides a bit of herbal & hay-like notes that provides an easy balance to the sweetness. The sweetness accents fruit-like notes of ripe pears, a touch of lemon zest and some white-wine grape character. The beer finishes with a sharpness that is a combination of hop bitterness and spicy fermentation character; reminds me a bit of white pepper, ginger and tongue-tickling clove. A zippy carbonation provides a tickle to the tongue and makes this quaffable beer seem a touch lighter on the tongue; this has enough body for sweet, grassy grain notes to stick to the palate after the beer has left my mouth, but nothing so much that this beer ever feels heavy. The beer shows a touch of age around the edges with some light sherry notes and some dusty malt flavors. As the beer warms some honey flavors become a bit more evident, though of a herbal varietal.

Nothing bombastic about this brew, but it is quite solid, eminently quaffable and a beer that is quite enjoyable.

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
94 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.