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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde

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738 Ratings

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Ratings: 738
Reviews: 416
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 412
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

(Green Cap)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 738 | Reviews: 416 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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 Jablonski
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: This beer was not fresh, and was aged about 11 months.

This beer pours an opaque deep golden color with a small head. There lacing on the side of the glass is above average. It smells a bit sour, but there are spices and pear aromas as well. This is one of the best tasting blondes I've had, and my biggest regret is that I wasn't able to get a fresh bottle. The spices were notable in this beer in the taste, and the base taste in this beer seemed to be like a sour apple. Overall, this beer was mild, but it tasted great. The mouthfeel was near perfect, but maybe a bit undercarbonated. This was one of the most drinkable beers I have ever had, and I wish I had regular access to this.

Photo of jjanega08
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= Pours a hazy golden color that's almost pushing orange with a huge three finger head that has small bubbles and great retention and lacing is beautiful. Damn fine looking Belgian
S= The dominating odor I think is a spicy yeasty green apple odor. A little barnyardy. The yeast comes through a little doughy.
T= The hoppiest Belgian I have ever had! The hops come through up front big with delicious green apple and spice to follow. The finish is a doughy taste.
M= Great feeling. High carbonation and dry finish.
D= High. This is the best Belgian I have had to date. Really smooth and solid. Not too complex but just right. Also very hoppy.

Photo of Nickls
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes - can't resist reviewing even though my input is negligible with so many reviews already)

A - Light hazy, straw yellow with a fizzier looking frothy white head. Decent head retention.

S - Very mild yeastiness, a bit of sour fruit aromas, and some hay-like aromas. Very mild touch of hop bitterness toward the end.

T - Pretty representative of the style in that there is a wheaty yeastiness, very muted touch of hops, lightish malt presence. Didn't get the sour that was present in the nose. Actually, not overly complex but very nice and refreshing.

M - Ligther/thinner body and a bit of carbonation that tends to be a bit snappier for the style, but still ok IMO.

D - Really drinkable and refreshing, but since it wasn't overly complex I wasn't coming back expecting my palate to be intrigued with every sip.

Overall, this is certainly more than a solid brew, but I have to say not one of the best Belgian Pales that I've had. I am still more than happy to have tried the ever elusive Westvleteren's take on the style. Really good stuff, but I wouldn't recommend anyone jumping over a cliff to obtain this.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2002.

Appearance : golden clear color with abundant foamy head clear and tight.
Smell : excellent nose and intense hopped herbaceous, spicy, licorice caramel smell pretty sweet.
Taste and mouthfeel : malty body, mild bitterness well hoped, mouth finely spicy.
Drinkability : very good beer in the style Trappist, despite it's relative lightness.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very nice wit beer color with a nice frothy head that lasts the duration of the beers life. Nice lacing.

Smell is not strong. It smells just like a good wit beer or pilsner.

Taste is awesome. If I ever had somewhere I could go to drink several bottles of this or on tap, I would drink it all night every day. It's so easy to drink yet has so much great flavor. Nice light pilsner bready flavor is most apparent and the Belgian yeast strain is nice and fruity in the finish. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Very nice malt to carbonation ratio

Man I could drink this all day. It is truely a wonderful light beer.

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at Cafe In De Vrede (Westvleteren Cafe) and many bottles at Cambrinus in Brugge.

The beer poured a hazy blond with a foamy white head.

The aroma of the beer was bright and lively with floral hops, mildly phenolic yeast, and light pilsner malt. I'm a big fan of the Westy/Westmalle yeast... yum...

The flavor of the beer had an assertive floral hoppy bite up front. This was followed by a light pilsner malt base with a faint huskiness in the finish, which actually worked well in this beer and accentuated it's dry finish. There were some crushed mineral notes in there as well. The fruitiness of the beer was relatively low.

The mouthfeel and body were light and refreshing. The carbonation was prickly and perfectly matched to the flavors. While there may not have been any wheat in the grain bill, there seemed to be a slight creaminess in the beer. The finish was very dry, making this beer incredibly drinkable and refreshing. This was a masterfully crafted hoppy blond ale.

Photo of Cresant
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 33 cL bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Dated 04.07.08. The body was a golden "blond" with a light haze. A careful pour created three fingers of white, tight foam that eventually sank to a film.

Smell was rich and spritzy. Fruity. Peppery. Pears and earth.

Taste was lightly bitter and spicy. Beautifully balanced. There was a softness to the flavors and very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel was full and prickly. All of the element of this beer fit together well.

Photo of wl0307
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased from the Belgium-based "Belgian Shop", at whopping US$20! BB 17/05/09, served lightly chilled in Orval's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a slightly murky, dark yellow-ish honey hue, coming with a thin fluffy white head with pretty decent retention on top of a semi-lively carbonated body.
S: the aroma shows a beautiful blend of honey-ish malts, fragrant "Sweet Osmanthus" as well as tangy zesty citrus like hoppiness, and lightly savoury+sulphurous yeastiness with a mild funky edge and touches of spices, almost like Orval in a sense. Neither too yeasty nor candy-ish sweet - all's in a nice balance here, with a deep imprint of a bucketful of hops.
T: a truly refreshing swallow of yellow-grapefruit's fruit-bits & peels and mild honey-water-like maltiness has lots and lots of delicious floral-tea flavour to boot (exactly like "Sweet Osmanthus"-tea that people enjoy in the Chinese culture), then slowly it turns slightly tangy, with a commendable level of hop bitterness to intertwine with the much lighter undertones of spicy yeasts. Overall, this is very much like a potent, hoppy and sulphurous English Pale Bitter with all the floral hoppiness and tangy bitterness to offer, while the yeastiness provides a salty-spicy twist and a chewy palate that refuse to budge well into the finish.
M&D: very soothing on the carbonation, full of spongey-soft bubbles to caress the taste buds, the body is medium at most, against a superbly balanced flavour profile, this ale overall is simply a bliss. I don't think it would do this ale any justice to compare it with any other Belgian Pale Ales I've had, as this is truly unique; but in some apartments it does strike a chord more with the hoppier ones like De Ranke XX Bitter than with harshly-estery counterparts like Orval.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my Secret Santa Raznug for sending this to me! Very excited to try this! Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

A- Body is a very cloudy, translucent golden yellow. Pours with a beautiful creamy 1/2 finger white head that has perfect retention. A white film is left all the way down the glass. When held up to the light one can see that the cloudiness is thick and dynamic with some dark yeast sediment lingering throughout as billowing bubbles rise from the center of the glass.

S- A soft fruity presence is the first thing detected in the nose. The fruitiness is mellow but offers hints of pear, white grape, and exotic fruit. This is accented by a peppery spice and soft floral hops.

T-The flavor upfront is very mild with peppery spice, bubblegum, pear, and exotic fruit all mixing together wonderfully and there is a slight earthy, musty background. A distinctive soft floral hop flavor comes through for the finish along with a mild bready yeast sweetness. The finish is pretty dry and all that lingers is a mild to moderate floral hop bitterness in the back of the palate.

M- Medium to high carbonation and wonderful light to medium weight, smooth, yeasty body.

D- This is a wonderful blonde ale that has a very soft character. Well put together and very drinkable. I would love to try this fresh and would definitely have it again. Now the search is on for Trappist Westvleteren 8. Too bad these are so expensive...

Photo of brendanos
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy straw/orange (bottle disturbed in transit) with a thin but very persistant fine white head.
Aroma is quite muted, with a chalky, soft malt note dominating. A slightly herbal hop presence.
Flavours are light, with fine malt (german pils?) and a subtle fruitiness, finishing very dry with a light but discernable bitterness. Light - med carbonation with a med-full creamy mouthfeel.

Not as funky and exciting as the last bottle I had (exp 10/08, tasted 1/09) but showing very good balance and drinkability.

Expiry 18/12/08

Photo of thekanna
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at Cafe "In de Vrede" near the Sint-Sixtusabdij in Westvleteren, Belgium.

A: Poured a radiant cloudy gold with a nice, white head resembling the cream on a lemon meringue pie.

S: Nice light floral aroma with an overall lemon zest. Refreshing.

T: Subtle, yet delicate balance of fresh cut grass, citrus fruits, pepper, and yeast. Hops first arise in the background and then crescendo into a memorable, dry bitterness.

M: Light and crisp. Mouthfeel is more reminiscent of a good hefeweizen than a Belgian blonde, which sometimes tend to be on the heavier side.

D: Goes down wonderfully well. I could kick back with a couple of these... if only I lived near the abbey.

Photo of Floydster
3.35/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Photo of atigerlife
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Westy chalice. Have had this in my cellar for a couple years.

Pours a cloudy, light golden/brown [like light apple cider]. 1 finger amazingly creamy white head. Very good retention. Good lacing.

Aroma is rather grassy, some tart green apples and light citrus.

Taste is hay, yeast, malt and some pepper. Light citrus and hops in there also. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is medium/light and nicely cleansing.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. Definitely sessionable. Good social beer.

Photo of LittleCreature
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 5.0
A thick, frothy thumbs thickness of white head sits above an almost luminous golden yellow body with a tinge of orange. The head reduced to a thin layer that left consistent lace.

Smell - 4.0
Slightly musky with light spice lingering in the background. Honey is the main aroma, although it does not smell very sweet. A little herbal hops give balance to a very subtle aroma.

Taste - 4.0
Again subtelty is the key. Much drier and more bitter than a typical blonde ale, but well balanced from the bready pilsener malt. A little honey and spice, then finishes dry and crisp with little noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Very light and crisp, carbonation is fine and persistent.

Drinkability - 4.5
This would be highly sessionable for just about any beer drinker. Especially me.

OVERALL - 4.35
This highly enjoyable Belgian pale ale stands head and shoulders above most beers of its style. Having sampled a two-year-old bottle, I would suggest that it gains complexity from a short stay in the cellar (the aroma in particular was more powerful and complex).

Photo of craytonic
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Perfect head and lace down my Westvleteren chalice. An angelic golden haze.

Smell: Sweet Grass, honey, tobacco, pear, honey suckle, golden apples. Amazing zesty (but mellow) yeast funky spice. Some quality grain aromas, pepper, ginger, everything!

Taste: The perfectly hopped beer. Amazing, cloying complexity. There is so, so much going on. All the smells plus fresh cookie dough.

Mouthfeel: Perfect; fills the mouth and hangs, tempting another sip. The zippy carbonation is perfect as well.

Drinkability: Ultimate session beer, and an amazing beer. Great fermentation character. A great argument for becoming a monk!

Photo of tburkhart
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with BA raznug.

Pours a straw golden with very nice carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Very nice Beligan head with big bubbles. Nice lacing as well.

Smells of sweet malt with a slight citrus. Couldn't quite place the smell but I've had it before.

Tastes a bit bitter/sour with a citrus bite.

Slightly thin on the mouthfeel, but not bad at all.

I could drink a few of these in a night if they were easier to obtain.

Photo of MacDomer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second Westy Blonde - thanks, Flup. Poured into my Westy chalise from the standard non-descript brown 33cl bottle.

A - Great frothy, white head. It lasts literally until the last sip. Staw/golden color. Decent, but not outstanding lacing. A bit hazy. Looks refreshing.

S - A bit spicy, like a triple, with ripe pear, candied lemon, herbal hops, and some nice yeastiness.

T - Very tasty. Very refreshing. Mild spices, light fruits including pears and lemon, some herbal hops. A bit of that Belgian yeast/wheat flavor on the finish. Quite delicious.

M - Very smooth, nice level of carbonation. Light to medium body.

D - Very drinkable, and with great flavor and mouthfeel, it's a pleasure to drink. Nice time I'm in Belgium I'll seek this out and bring several more home.

Photo of Greggy
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Murky blond color with a nice lacing

S- Grainy, medicinal, slight peppermint, floral and graham cracker notes.

T- A bit of melon right off the bat then some buttery notes, and then a finish of graphite. Very reminiscent of Orval in the finish.

M- Low carbonation is nice. Smooth.

D- Drinkable! A trappist monks lawnmower beer.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to isubsmith for hooking up his fellow Rochester BAs with this rare beer. The color is a clear shinny blonde. The head is a firm white cap of foam, that recedes slowly leaving wonderful lacing all over the glass. The aroma is yeast, leathery, breay, and barnyard funky. The taste is like the aroma, but more in depth. There is a nice mild sourness that reminds me a lot of Orval but with a more malty tone. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and lively, fine carbonation. Overall, this is a great Belgian Pale Ale. I would love for this beer to be a regular in my drinking rotation.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

0.33L bottle

A: Pours a murky golden yellow under a large, chunky white head. Very nice lace and retention.

S: Sweet, fruity, a bit of banana and bubble gum, a hint of hay, earthy yeast. Relatively simple yet very pleasing.

T: A bit more funky than the nose. A bit sweet up front with some fruitiness but those two quickly take a back seat to a nice earthy yeast and a bit of hay. Mildly bitter, more than I expected, with the fruity aspects returning a bit after the finish. Very nice.

M/D: Light bodied, carbonation is near perfect level. Drinability is as good as it gets. Easy to go down, not so easy to get your hands on. A great beer, through and through.

Photo of midaszero
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date on cap is 18.10.08

A - Hazy golden straw with two finger with fluffy white head and good lacing

S - Lemon and yeast with a little funk to it. Kinda faint

T - Lemon and yeast just like the nose. Also some spice and light malt flavors

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Pretty enjoyable and easy to drink. An interesting try but I don't think I'd try to get another bottle.

Photo of MiScusi
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of spointon
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip snifter glass. Thanks to fellow BA roadhouse for sharing this one!

A= When I held the bottle up to the light, this beer appeared to be extremely clear with a small amount of sediment on the bottom. Upon opening and pouring, this ale was a pleasantly hazy pale golden color (almost like a chill haze). The white head started at about 3/4" and quickly dropped to a skim.

S= Aromas were fairly soft and comprised of malty sweetness, orchard fruits, candi sugar, and a funky yeastiness. Some alcohol near the end, but nothing overpowering.

T= Much like the aroma, I found bakery malt sweetness, sugars, green apples, pears, and the tiniest bit of spiciness. The yeast added quite a bit to the flavor profile with a nice musty funkiness. Mildly dry alcohol finish.

MF= Medium bodied. Feel was soft despite a moderate amount of carbonation.

D= Though not as well reviewed or thought of as the Westy 8 and 12 here on BA, I thought this was a great beer (albeit hard to get and thus way overpriced).

Photo of beckje01
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice gold color with light on the edges darker in the middle, nice creamy white head tons of lacing.

S- Lots of hops in the nose very big beer from the nose, it's very exciting.

T- It's very good malty taste with a kick of hops not overpowering very smooth going down with a touch of hop after taste.

M- Creamy texture fills mouth with small tingle very good.

D- Very drinkable which is bad considering how hard it is to get.

Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
95 out of 100 based on 738 ratings.