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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: 4.25
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 413
Gots: 111 | 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 PartyHatjo
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled In De Vrede across from the Sint-Sixtusabdij...right after its "big brother", Westvleteren 12.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow color, catching the light shining through the windows nicely, topped with a fluffy, half inch head that retains better than its brother and laces all the way down the glass.

Aroma: Definite yeast character (clove, slight banana ester), some malt as well as a grassy, spicey hop aroma. Some baked bread character as well.

Flavor & Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a balanced bitterness. Highly effervescent. Citrus flavor (moreso lemon than your typical hoppy grapefruit). Clove character blends well with the grassy hoppiness and the biscuit/bread flavor.

Drinkability: Easy to quaff, the glass went by too quickly for me. If only I lived in West Flanders, I'd be stopping by every day.

Photo of joepais
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes out to leftmindedrighty for this opportunity to sample such a fine brew
The classic Westvleteren bottle poured into my chalice produced a good fingers worth of white fluffy head that turns into a thick lace that last till the end. The body on it is a hazy (I swirled the yeast) apricot color with fine yeast particles floating through out

The aromas of bananas, yeast, grass and hops come through wonderfully. There is also some spice to it cloves and pepper

Flavors of yeast and pepper, along with its almost earthiness of the other spices hit me first. Then other flavors, sweetness of fruit and a dryness of some hops in the end. Yes complex is a good word for this beer.

Light and smooth mouthfeel with a light crispness due to the carbonation would sum this up

Now let me say it is very drinkable. And I love to have it again . Due to its rarity and price I don't think I'll be having many more though. If I lived in close to the monastery it would be a great session beer. So I guess I'll stick with my Orval the next time I need a fix
Thanks again Aaron

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 pwoods
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2oz. brown bottle, green cap - no label, poured into a tulip. Best before 13.12.08

A: Pours a very light apricot color with some chill hazy. A big 2 finger pearly white tight head forms after a gentle pour and has excellent retention. The head leaves nice lacing while it's up and continues with decent lacing once it dies.

S: Very fruity. Green apples and bananas play a big role with a pleasant coriander and clove background. Plenty of yeast and a touch of floral hops.

T/M: More of the green apples and bananas but the yeast plays a much larger role; peppery and tart. Some earthy hops add a nice freshness to everything and maybe a bit of enhancement to the yeast with a little spiciness. Body is nice and light and carbonation helps with that.

D: Tasty and extremely drinkable. One down, two to go.

Photo of wingman14
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to my brother in law for bringing this one back from Belgium.

Pours a straw yellow with a large white head that left some lacing. The smell is yeasty and doughy, with some sweet fruit and spice notes, maybe some hops. The taste is great, I cannot believe how much flavor they packed in this beer. It is different because the flavor is not super intense or overpowering, but has multiple layers. A bit of hops, some malt and yeasty characters and a bitter aftertaste that comes on slow. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium/light body. This one is very drinkable and very tasty. If you have the rare opportunity to try one, I highly suggest it. Enjoy.

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 TheSarge
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After reading the article in December 2007's BeerAdvocate mag, written by the Bros concerning the hype of this brewery, I had to try it for myself.

Appearance wise this has the characteristics typical of Belgian pale ale: Nice sticky white foam and the body is somewhat whitish tan in color.

The Blonde gives of honey like aromas, with yeasty undertones. There are citrusy characteristics here too.

The hops are what come through initially to me. I'm surprised at how bitter this brew is, and I'm quite happy with that. There is a sense of pine and grassiness as well.

At first the oily hops was what I detected, but I can sense a coarse dryness to this brew as well. This beer gives off a nice warming effect too, which is surprising for as little ABV there is.

Overall I'm impressed. This is one of the most complex beers I've had in about the six months I've been back in Germany. It is definitely worth making a trip to the Westvleteren monastery for.

Photo of JBogan
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a slightly cloudy medium golden color with a foamy two finger head. Left a good amount of lacing in the St Sixtus glass.

Smelled of fresh wheat and grains with a grassy scent as well

Fresh tasting citrus and wheat. Not really very complex but still a solid tasting brew.

Good mouthfeel with enough carbonation to keep it interesting. Light body and fairly smooth.

This was a very refreshing beer, one of the best of it's kind I've ever had. No sign ofalcohol present so it would be easy to drink more than a few, if only they were a bit easier to come by.

Photo of ggaughan
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my first bottle from 2 crates I recently picked up at the abbay. The beer poured a hazy golden color, straw like color. The pour produced a one inch thick head that later gave way to a thick, sticky ring on the edge of the glass. The aroma was pleasing to my nose with a balance of citrus and spice along with a good wheat character and yeast as well. The taste was a very nice mix of the sweet with a good dose of citrus but also a good backbone of hop bitterness. The beer produces a very solid wheat character that is refreshing but makes for a medium bodied beer.

Photo of brdc
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small capped bottle, poured very slowly into a goblet, keeping the yeats in the bottle.

Beautiful, pale golden and clear, with a thick, fluffy white head that lasts forever, with nice lacing.
Aroma is earthy, herbal and spicy, some citric notes.
Light bodied, but still firm and smooth, lively carbonated, brings herbal and yeasty notes, a hoppy, dry finish. As an appetizer or a session beer, it is an amazing brew.

Photo of MurphysIrish
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So what does a twelve-euro beer taste like? Surely I paid a premium at Beer Mania in Brussels this summer when I picked up a bottle each of Westy Blonde plus an 8 and a 12, but what the hell? I may never get back there and there are no channels for purchasing it here in Boston that I know of, though the Publick House (Brookline, MA) teasingly lists it on their beer menu. ("We're out," the barkeep said with a slight smile on his face. "We're always out.").

It has been cellared ever since August, but I was advised (again tip o' the cap to Publick) to drink the Blonde sooner rather than later. Hopefully I haven't waited too long.

Pouring into a tulip, head came right up more quickly than I had expected and I had to put my mouth on the lip of the glass to stop overflow, but once it settled down, the color was light straw, almost a "light beer" (no offense) color but that is fine for the style, if I'm not mistaken. The lacing is dense down the sides of the tulip. Looks nice.

Absolute earthy bouquet with a strong lemony presence and almost iodine sharpness. So far, so good.

Hit with some sourness at first taste and some metallic notes. The metallic taste doesn't sit well with me. Hops show up to the party a bit late, but make up for tardiness by lingering a bit. Good body. Mouthfeel seems to push all the flavors into every corner of the ol' piehole.

I like this beer a lot, but more of a fan of darker Beglians. Still, I would seek this out if get the opportunity.

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

i drank this over the weekend out of a nice christmas wine glass.

the beer poured a cloudy yellow with about a quarter inch of head. the beer is highly carbonated with little to no lacing.

the smell is large on the cereal and citrus end with some fruity and floral undertones.

the taste is a bit bitter, but the bitterness fades fast. i taste a bit of spice and floweriness as well. i notice it also to be a bit peppery. overall, the balance of this beer is nice.

the mouthfeel of this beer is highly carbonated and fluffy, like rose petals.

this beer is lighter tasting that i expected. it's a very drinkable beer. would be awesome to have it just laying around to session.

Photo of bashiba
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep hazy yellow with a touch of orange. Just a touch of off white head.

Smell has a light touch of wheat and yeast with a bit of lemony zest.

Flavor is very wheaty with a bit of light citrus flavors, some nice clean light malt comes through with a very crisp dry citrus hop quality.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a superb dry finish.

Very easy to drink, nice clean easy to drink balanced belgian pale.

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

This beer poured a cloudy yellow color with a decent head that quickly dissipated. The aroma is cereal, citrus, floral and spicy. Hops are noticeable. The smell is intense and complex. The taste is as complex as the aroma. Cereal and bitterness are accented with floral and citrus flavors. The bitterness hits intensely at onset, but fades to a nice lingering quickly. The mouthfeel is medium and seems quite appropriate for this beer. Overall, this is a very smooth but complex beer that lends itself to drinking.

Photo of lilbigbudy
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow-Orange color.

Smell: Sweet, flowery aroma

Taste: Smooth sweet taste, a hint of hops to start, finishing with a mellow malty feel.

Mouthfeel: Light feel...no heaviness at all.

Drinkability: Would sip these all night long (if it was possible to get more often, instead...I'll enjoy the one I have).

Not as "spectacular" as its big-brother (the 12), but great none-the-less.

Photo of basica
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This's my second ever Westvleteren Blond... with an interesting difference. It's freshness date is 24 Nov 2007! I am 2 days away from it's so called expiration. :) But anyway, it's like I am just done with a whole load of academic crap and I was deciding what to drink for the night; posted something on BA to poll for opinions and in the end thought I would chill out with a light one.. away from all the big beers for today. :) On to the beer, This one smells citrusy, grassy, malty and yeasty; the yeasts took a stronger stand after the pour but before the pour, off the opening I had nice sweetness admist the malts and minimal yeast. The pour again yielded one of the best lookers though I am pretty sure this one is murkier than my previous Westy Blond (probably due to the age and dark sediments) but I just love the way the creamy head develops; very nice... It comes up nice and after the pour it continues to grow in a very nice way leaving a smooth looking creamy head that you almost feel like touching it to feel it. The entry was a refreshing scent of yeast mixed with malts and grassiness and as we move towads the finish the malts take over. There was a slight malt sweetness throughout which made it pretty pleasant. The finish was dry and slightly bitter leaving a nice bready nose and a very lasting after taste made up of malts and grapes. There was also some breadiness in the after taste as well. Interesting that after sitting around for a good 5+ minutes, the after taste feels like pears. :) Body is somewhere between medium to thin and the carbonation goes in strong and its smoothness is water like with a slight creamy touch; not fantastic on the smoothness as illustrated in my last tasting. Perhaps the carbonation was a little too high on this one though it is wierd as this one's older. Nonetheless, a great blond for someone like me who ain't really into blonds. This one ranks up there with Duvel if not going beyond the Duvel. I think I enjoyed it more the last time but I can't be too sure. Perhaps fresher is better for this one. :)

Photo of lpayette
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a light and slightly hazy straw yellow with an exceptional head. It's composed of tiny bright white champagne-like bubbles. The retention is ridiculously good and there's plenty of lacing to make its way around the entire circumference of the glass.

Smell- Very light on the nose, with everything being quite subtle and pleasant. Floral with notes of honey and some very faint grass and earthy tones.

Taste- Just slightly fruity at times. Pouring the yeast in gives it some interesting characteristics including more of the previously mentioned earthy and grassy qualities found in the smell. I found a couple of sips to have a very small hint of sourness. Very low bitterness.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability- Very very light, and very very clean. Probably the cleanest tasting beer I've ever had. If it was more widely available, this would be a great session beer on a hot summer day- though perhaps that would be frowned upon by the monks of Westvleteren.

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

Had this from a shared bottle at plan b in Copenhagen. The owner has this as his session beer whenever he's in the mood for a nice, light beer (US light beer drinkers, take note), and was nice enough to let me in on one.

With the expectations thrust upon the Westvleteren series, this is good, but very understated. It is light in color and on the palate, with a hint of farmhouse ale character, although not nearly the strong flavors or spices associated with Saisons or Lamics. I was surprised at how light it actually was. It was extraordinarily clear and very dry. Final gravity must be REALLY low in this beer. And even more surprising, the flavor was reminiscent of a pilsner. It sounds like heresy, but that's what I got.

Overall, this beer is very refreshing and clean tasting. Some complexity, but it almost begs to be left alone and enjoyed without pomp or attention. Spendy for what it is, but worth a try when you are wanting a light-er beer and can get one.

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

A little early b-day present I decided to treat myself tonight. For my b-day I decided to drink and rate the three more common Westvleteren beers: blonde, 8, and 12. I will start with the blonde tonight and finish the other two tomorrow (Nov. 6); acquired through a trade with northyorksammy, thanks!

Date of 11.08.0 on the cap.

Pours a straw yellow with a tinge of gold color. A slightly vigorous pour produces about half an inch of foam, great retention. Decided to leave most of the yeast in the bottle to appreciate its clarity.

Aroma is zesty, a little bit of peppery coriander, apricot, sweet malt, some orange, not so ripe bananas and some earthy yeast and or hops in there as well. There’s also a touch of honey. Pretty broad aroma; some more sweet aromas break through as the beer warms up.

The taste is very well balanced and a bit complex I would say. Again some lemony zest with some yeast flavors and slightly peppery. A bit of fruits like pears, dried apricots, and bitter nectarine.

The mouthfeel is very good, with some great carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste, minimal really. Goes down very smooth; it is crisp and refreshes the palate. This beer would be good at the end of a long hot day.

Can’t say I’m impressed but c’mon I knew I was drinking a Belgian Pale Ale, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by this one. It’s a very good beer in itself but don’t know if it’s worth the price or hassle to obtain more.

Photo of Pegasus
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy light golden in color, with a moderate white head, which retains quite well, thick glass-coating lace, and moderate carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, spicy aroma, of coriander and cloves, prominent light fruit, pears and bananas.

Taste: Mildly spicy at the open, with cloves notably on display, earthy yeast notes and herbal hops as the taste progresses. The finish is quite dry, almost champagne-like.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and quite full.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-made, and quite prone to inspire passions among craft beer connoisseurs.

Many thanks to HardTarget for graciously sharing this rare example.

Photo of kmo1030
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy gold with a thick white head resting on top, sticks around and laces well.
soft floral yeast is the most dominant aroma, but that isn't a good word. soft creamy lightly tropical notes of pineapple, mango, orange and faint banana. grassy, flaoral hops are present in more quantity than i would have thought, they're welcome though.
the taste contains the soft yeastiness from the aroma, coupled with a (as in the aroma) stronger dose of sort of mmm... musty(?) noble hops. sometimes faint vegetal and vanilla notes weave in and out. little bit of corriander... mango and banana are present in the finish. creamy yet crisp and clean, which the slightly light body and active, bubbly carbonation only lend to. it seems to cleanse itself right off the palate. the word zesty comes to mind.
drinkability is very high, all aspects of it create a beer that begs you to have more than one.
a masterfully crafted beer for what it is and not overrated a bit. take any opportunity you can to get your hands on some, though i'm sure you would anyway.

Photo of jtrockchalk
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Westvleteren. I've got a couple more of these and 5 each of the 8 and 12, so I'm working my way up the ladder.

A - Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Westy chalice fresh from Global Beer. Pours beautiful color of spun gold or Rapunzel's long golden locks with a thick quickly receding head that's leaves more lace with each sip.

S - Not as spicy (clove, nutmeg, etc.) as many Belgian Pales, but the herbal smell from the hops is something you don't get from most other beers of its type either.

T - Perfectly balanced hops that are often forgotten in other beers of this style, followed by the spice that is much more pronounced in the taste and finally a whisper of lemon peel on the finish...Yum!

M - Excellent carbonation. In fact, I probably should have scored it higher here, but for some reason (probably the Westvleteren name) I expected it to be more full bodied. I'm sure that will come with the Dubble and Quad.

D - Less than 6% alcohol....This is my new favorite drinker. Too bad it ain't readily available. Nearly as flavorful as La Fin Du Monde with half (approx.) the liquor...Nice job Monks.

I've heard many people complain that this is an inferior beer to the other Westy offerings and because it costs the same its not worth you time. If I could afford the shipping cost on a regular basis, I'd buy this by the case for weekend kick starts. I haven't tried the others (yet) but I am greatly looking forward to it based upon the quality of this "inferior" offering.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.41/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At last, review #1000. This one goes out to all the people who have shared great beers with me over the years. Massive thanks to biegaman for bringing back this treasure from Belgium, as well as Westy 8 and 12.

Pours a cloudy straw yellow, thick white head, nice lacing on the glass, great retention, this stuff really sticks. Smell is nice, sweet and malty, honey, bread, floral, grassy hops, some spice, wheat, noble hoppy goodness. Taste is similar, nice malts, bread and biscuits, floral and grassy hops, wheat, bit of spice, sweet tea finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, very refreshing. Nice example of a blond, very happy I could try this one. Thanks Jan!!

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

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for this one.

Hmm, there's some brown stuff (mold?) under the cap, but hey, it's a Belgian. First aroma is of light farmhouse aroma, roasted driftwood (yeah, go figure) and herbs. The flavor follows up with the wood flavor transforming into an earthy biscuit taste, along with a nice bit of saaz hops, wheat malt, and lemon zest. Very drinkable, the overall feel makes me think of a lighter version of Duvel, even though the flavor is fairly different.

So is it overrated? Yeah, probably a little. But it's something different for the Belgian pale category (props!), it has a wonderful mouthfeel, and its so easy-drinking, it's hard to savor. I just want to drink it all.

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