1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

698 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 698
Reviews: 409
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 395
Gots: 92 | FT: 0
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:
(Green Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren Blonde Alström Bros
Ratings: 698 | Reviews: 409 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks kindly to Jeffo for the Westvleteren trade and bottles. Poured into an official Westvleteren chalice glass from the bottle. Dated on cap 17.03.12

Out of the bottle this thing pours exceptionaly. An incredibly rich and creamy head of white that forms so uniform. A texture that looks so whipped up and creamy, giving to peaks all over if you move the pour. I literally want to go skiing on this. Body color is a golden amber yellow, cloudy but orb glowing somewhat, giving to orange hues on the edge of the glass. Once again another example of a glass that shows off a beer tremendously. Lacing stickiness for a head that barely quits, with creamy thick foam that clings all over the glass. This looks amazing, just flat out stunning.

Nose is interesting but very unexpected to me. I am going to keep repeating pilsner it feels like an earth grassy hopped pilsner, with dry ripping grain. The smell is just noticeable even as you pop the cap open, and certainly more so just on the pour. It feels like Saaz sense, just a wild guess but that's what it feels like. Pleasant and solid. I would rate it higher but the unexpectedness threw me a bit.

As for taste, it's the texture that really becomes noticeable first. An absolutely creamy smooth texture, mixing in a hint of Belgian malt density, but still a taste of ripping grain and grass hop pilsner sense. The smoothness makes me think something sweet is coming but that doesn't happen it is unreal. I know I am going to be saying Pilsner over and over but it keeps jumping up, but with a twist. Finish brings a great hop bitter, but tolerable. Grass mutes and also gives a sense to Belgian IPA style but not as big.

Overall this is one of the most interesting Belgian beers I have had so far. I am shocked what the 8 and 12 taste like and can't wait to experience them. The listed 5.8 abv seems small as the beer feels much bigger. This is one incredibly impressive piece of work.

smakawhat, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of sfprint
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

exp 12/13/11

A: 2 finger creamy head, beautiful hazy apricot/golden yellow color, fair amount of sediment, no visible rising carbonation.
S: Two layers, a chemically one that hits you immediately which has a certain plastic quality to it, and beneath that, a yeasty, tripel like flavor. seaweed. I would have to rate them separately, 1.5 and 4.5.
T: The chemical/plastic smell (phenol?) is retained in the flavor and is fairly strong. It's both there initially and then in the aftertaste. But again the middle is quite nice. Though the warmer the beer gets, the more these flavors blend and the harshness of the chemical edge mellows down. Or maybe my tastebuds sensors are just used to it. The aftertaste is starting to register as bitterness. I really hate to dis a beer when it's actually good but there's one particular characteristic that really sticks out and borderline ruins it. It's also sad and frustrating. I can now understand why some people don't like hefeweizens because there's one particular thing that just ruins it for them. For me this is almost the same. But also this flavor is very familiar to me. I swear I've had an nearly identical one. It actually gets better and better the warmer it becomes. It's nearly room temperature now and it's tasting the best now. Actually now it's pretty good. Chemicalliness mellows down. Important to drink warmer than you would guess it should be. Citrus and apricot and yeast.
M: The head is very soft and creamy as is the body. Very nice.
O: Not worth the 8 Euros I paid for it, but I'm glad I tried it. Curious about the other two.

sfprint, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Eric at jackie o's latest release

A- hazy yellow with a nice amount of head on it

S-nice lemony zest to it. Some yeast comes out as well

T-light and follows the nose. Earthy yeast makes a nice compliment

M-light body and smooth

O- pretty epic for the style. Will see how it holds up with age

brew3crew, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.1/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

nhindian, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Eric for cracking this at Jackie O's
Pours a hazy pale yellow. Some nice frothy white head. Looks pretty solid if overcarbonated.

Smells a bitter bitter and lightly fruity. There is a lemon or perhaps citrus peel aroma that is a bit harsh but the nice yeasty grassy earthiness typical of a belgian is there.

Tastes light, almost flavourless. The yeast is notable. Some light lemon and citrus flavours. Not the fruit but rather tastes like the peels. a bit rough and bitter. Carbonation level is high and I think that hurts the beer IMHO. Haven't had MANY Belgian pales but this is certainly one of the best I've had. I think its just a style I find hard to enjoy

Urbancaver, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Westvlereten Goblet . Another true Abbey Trappist Ale from the Holy Grail of Belgian Brewers.
Pours a pale cloudy golden with a rocky snow white and lots of sticky lacing.
A yeasty Brett smell rises, but is soon overtaken by smells of green wood, sweet malt, resinous hops and a hint of banana and distant barn.
The flavors are complex and separately distinct at first gulp, then begins the harmonious blending and mingling. Resinous Belgian hoppiness, citrus rind, caramel malt and spiced rum form as one and invite large gulps and noisy lip-smacking. The candi sugar sweetness is the unifying factor here. It’s central in all the outward flavors. By the time the initial effervescence wears down and the ale mellows, it’s gone! And you wish you had another!

BeerResearcher, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of ComposerZero
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale straw color, slightly cloudy, with a nice little head that starts out full but recedes rather quickly.

The nose reminds me of an Orval with obvious Brettanomyces and sophisticated Belgium yeasts. But here the nose has even more Brett, is more subdued, yet has more subtlety and sophistication than Orval. Nice whiffs of barnyard funk, tangy lemon curd, eucalyptus, and nutmeg lead the way. The smell is rather complex but is overwhelmed by the Brett.

The palate really shines here. Huge attack of yeast, sweet light malt, and Belgian hops. Like on the nose, there is a lot of Brett taste. I am not always a fan of Brett, and loathe it in wine, but here the flavors of the beer frame it well and give it an exotic quality. Tons of that Belgian Blonde nutmeg thing supported by a fine spritz with a slightly hoppy finish. The beer carries through seamlessly from attack to mid-palate and all the way through the long finish. Exceptionally graceful. Definitely the longest Blonde I have had. Come to think of it, can't say I've had a better Blonde than this.

Blondus Supremus. . . Keith, I'm indebted to you for picking me up this.

ComposerZero, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of Squelch
3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Squelch, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of dasenebler
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl, cap date of 10/19/11.

Pours a hazy gold with some small sediment floaties. The eggshell head is ample, and the lacing is solid.

The aroma is very interesting, with a lightly funky, acidic character reminiscent of Gueuze. Grassy and earthy hops.

The flavor is pretty bitter and dry, with a light malt graininess. Less complex than the aroma, though an additional herbal quality comes through. Hops are lemony and grassy. Yeasty, but not so fruity. Finish is dry, with a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is nearly perfect, with ample but soft carbonation.

This is an awesome Blonde ale. 3/3 of the non-retired Westvleteren beers: complete.

dasenebler, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of rinhaak
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into Westvleteren goblet.

Pours a rich honey gold with a thick head. Though the head fades fairly quickly, it leaves behind a nice lace.

Nose is mild, but aromas of cloves, banana, and bubblegum shine through.

Mouth is bright with lots of carbonation. Hoppy with a lingering bitterness, flavors of honey, cloves, butter, bread, and biscuits all blend together in perfect harmony. Hints of copper and a slight acidity tickle the sides of the tongue, and as it warms, the taste of cinnamon becomes more prevalent. There is a gorgeous finish that lingers seemingly forever, and my mouth danced with happiness the entire time.

Without a doubt, this is my absolute favorite summer beer, and my favorite representative of the Belgian Blond style. It couldn't be better better balanced, and with a low ABV and crisp carbonation, it stays tremendously refreshing. I could easily drink one after the other.

rinhaak, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of my Westvleteren beers purchased in Brussels. It still feels a little like cheating to buy them from somewhere other than the monastery, even if it was in Belgium.

Pours a cloudy, hazed deep blond, quite light in hue. Head is as fine as I've come to expect from the Westvleteren beers. As far as I'm concerned, it's almost their trademark. Carbonation is streaming like crazy. Head is white and bright, and leaves full, solid lacing. Looks pretty great.

Nose is peppery and spiced and rather delicious. Big Belgian yeast esters, characters of spicy preserved orange, and a pleasant dryness. Such a gorgeously classic and spicy Belgian nose. The pinnacle of the style for me.

Taste is a lot lighter, with a very pronounced dryness through most of the palate. Yeasty notes come through with a tingling rustic quality. Still a twinge of that spicy orange, and the feel is creamy, with that lovely creamy Westvleteren carbonation.

A wonderful Belgian blond. One of the best Belgian pale ales I've ever had. While it doesn't have the complexity and depth of flavour of the other Westys, this would easily be my pick to drink regularly. Lovely.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of HopBacchus
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow gold with a big white head and sticky lacing the head subsides throughout the drinking experience, bubbles are of varied size

sweet malts and trappist yeast also coriander and citrus

follows the nose, however there are other elements present here as well pear and apple as well as a faint trace of pepper

fantastic, crisp with effervescent carbonation without biting too hard, slightly chewy and creamy

this is the best Pale ale I've ever had so drinkable so refreshing

HopBacchus, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of atomeyes
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 1 of my 4 bottles tonight. It was nicely chilled. I expected it to warm up after being open for 20+ minutes and evolve, but it didn't.

The most noticeable traits of this beer:

-very strong barnyard/stable smell. Smells like a horse's stable, no 2 ways around it. That doesn't really sell the beer, I know, but its a unique smell and it plays on your senses in an interesting manner. I would not say the smell is a bad smell. It is what it is.

-its taste can be best described as a trappist tasting beer without the darkness or high alcohol content (or sweetness) that you associate with trappist beer. Its an incredibly drinkable beer and its hops do the speaking for it. I wouldn't say that it has much complexity to it other than the distinct trappist taste to it.

Personally, I would put it in the same category as saissons, which I am not a huge lover of but I appreciate their crispness and drinkability. I would much rather have Westvleteren's other offerings over the Blonde and would go as far to say that other Belgian blondes offer more palate-wise than Westvleteren's did.

atomeyes, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

stakem, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  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.

Slatetank, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from the abbey.
Look: pours a pale golden-yellow color with a nice white head.
Smell: Belgian yeast, freshly cut grass and hay, lightly floral, grainy malts and some sweet hints of honey
Taste: Crisp, full of Belgium hops, herbal, grain malts, citrus fruits, grass and a nice spicy dry finish. perfect balance
Mouthfeel: High carbonation with a medium body
Overall: Great beer, when consumed fresh, it humiliates all others in the style!

rvdoorn, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of GilGarp
4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Green cap stamped 17.12.10

Served slightly cooler than cellar temp, around 45 degrees F, into a goblet.

The Westy blonde is a pale golden yellow color with great clarity. The head is really spectacular though, continuing to build long after I stop pouring. As it eventually settles, sticky sparkling lace lines the inside of the glass.

Aroma is mild but full of subtle character. Slightly floral with a little bit of spice and lemon. The yeast is probably the one thing that makes these Westvleteren beers so special.

The flavor is exceptional as well but that shouldn't come as any surprise. So light in body but so full of flavor. It's not strongly flavored but it has so much depth, just like it's big brothers. Lemon, grass, tropical fruit, mint, pepper, clove, yeast, etc. Just amazing.

Mouthfeel is light in body, like I said, but so full of flavor and so perfectly balanced. Carbonation is on point as well.

What a beer! Everything is how it should be.

GilGarp, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of impending
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy somewhat dingy golden yellow. Towering dense pure white head, superb lacing.

Aroma is bright and lively. Yeasty sweetness atop spicy citrus and quiet floral notes. Clean and expressive.

Taste is yeasty as well but lacks the complexity of the nose. Just mildly sweet. Hints of cedar, ginger and apricot. Finish begins slightly dry before a bitterness takes over for the remainder. The bitter is not so much of hops but of phenolic tree bark. Thin soft mouthfeel. Needs warmth to fully reveal itself.
cheers
jd

impending, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased and consumed in brussels.
Bottle date: 19.10.11

A: pours a golden ale with near brilliant clarity. Single finger of creamy foam falls to a thick quilt of the same which wraps the entire course of the drink. Cobweb lacing.

S: grain, yeast, sweet Belgian sugar, rice, some really nice floral tones. I like.

T: more bitter than anticipated. Very clean, fresh grain flavors. A hint of peppercorn on the finish for me. Like a tea, quite refreshing.

M: spot on creamy feel with light body and slick finish.

O: I really think this might be my favorite westy. Really simple, strait forwardly crafted beer with high quality and with hi drinkability. Now if only they increased their market...

harrymel, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of ajcobb24
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - An exquisite looking Belgian Pale Ale. The appearance is exactly what you would expect a blonde to be. There is an orange-yellow look to this beer with a white head (about 1/4 of a finger of head with this beer on a fairly aggressive pour). Color is very reminiscent of champagne with carbonation trailing up the sides of the snifter glass.

S - a very complex smell that you would usually find with other brands' quadrupels. You can really smell dark fruits in this one. Some yeast and cellar funk (other's will call this barnyard funk, but I have had occasion to smell this particular scent before and it was in a cellar). Faintly sweet smelling as well.

T - Very good for a belgian pale ale. If I was going for a pale ale, this would be my choice (although this style of beer isn't my overall favorite). Around 40 degrees drinking temperature, the dark fruits dominate the taste. You can also taste the yeast in there as well. A slight tinge of sweetness, but nothing you wouldn't notice without really looking for it. As the beer warms up, the dark fruits come forward even more and the beer becomes even smoother. A real pleasant surprise.

M - very smooth mouthfeel to this beer. Wow, is this smooth. You can feel the carbonation as you swish it around your mouth and cannot really feel the booziness of this beer until you let it sit your stomach for a while.

O - While the not the overall best beer that I have ever had, this beer is near the top. Top in its style that I have had. It's just very smooth overall and very drinkable. I was very pleasantly surprised to note some dark fruits in this beer as I would with quadrupels. Just a testament to the genius of the monks of the St. Sixtus Abbey.

ajcobb24, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my chalice, this brew pours a murky straw colored yellow with a fluffy white capped head.

S: Typical notes from a BPA are present. The nose reveals a very musty natural aroma. Herbal spicy yeast notes round out the nose.

T: The flavor is light, fresh, and natural. Straw like barnyard tones. Hops are evident for a Belgium of this nature. There is a yummy underlying sweetness to this brew.

MF: Mouthfeel is nothing short of perfect. The carbonation is perfect, body fills your mouth, but maintains it's light refreshing qualities. The best of all the Belgium's I've had.

Overall, this is a great beer. An excellent table beer for this time of year, I just wish I had more. A huge thanks to my best friend Ryan for sherpa-ing this beer back to the USA!

TKEbeerman, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a chalice

Finally got around to dusting this one off; had this in the cellar for just under a year.

Pours an extremely hazy golden color with a deep orange through the middle of the glass. A thin, one finger beige cap rose to fill the glass perfectly and settled to form a thin layer of foam. Little to no lacing.

The nose is quite zesty. Tangy yeast, citrus peel, undercooked dough, banana, clove, and even some ginger. Extremely broad and complex.

Yeast dominates the palate just as it did with the nose. Tangy, tart yeast hanging over everything else. Banana, clove, ginger up front before lemon peel and doughy bread take over. The finish is of lemons and oranges and some spice.

Sweet and creamy, very rich and lush. Light body with a high drinkability. Crisp, lightly tart and dry in the finish.

Overall, this is probably my least favorite of the three and I definitely enjoyed this one. To pack this much complexity into a blonde is incredible. My nose and mouth were all over the place trying to figure everything out.

ColForbinBC, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of illidurit
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the May Santa Cruz tasting. Pours a hazy straw color with a lacy white ring of foam. Aroma is phenolic and ashy with accents of pale malts and yeast. Kinda cigarettey in a way. Flavor is much better. Dry pale malts provide a nice background for the ludicrous hop bitterness. I've had less bitter IPAs. This is awesome. Perfect hoppiness for a Belgian golden ale. So so dry but quenching and fulfilling. Bitter, pale and delicious.

illidurit, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

kojevergas, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of trevorjn06
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a blond/pilsner color with a fluffy white head that recedes slowly and leaves lacing down the glass.
Aroma is amazing, lots of yeast esters with citrus, stone fruits and mild spice, plus bready/light malt. Very complex nose.
Taste follows the nose, very yeast forward, balanced. Fruity with orange, lemon, peach and light apple. Dry finish that is crisp.
Mouthfeel is light bodied with lively carbonation. very smooth and incredibly easy drinking.
This is the underdog of Westvleteren beers in most peoples minds but I had all three side by side and this one impressed me most with its complexity, ease of drinkability and all-round deliciousness. I will be seeking this beer out over Westy 12 from now on.

trevorjn06, May 29, 2011
Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
95 out of 100 based on 698 ratings.