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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

699 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 409
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 396
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
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Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 409 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drewbage
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a set of bottles carried back from a quick weekend trip to Belgium in March 2006. Cap is dated 17-12-06 (aka Dec. 17th 2006 in US format)

Poured and sampled from a Westy chalice the beer pours with a shallow white crispy head that holds throughout the brew. Hazy and strong gold, CO2 continues bubbling strongly for the length of the brew

Strong mineral character shapes the appearance of a grassy hop character in the palate. A subtle Belgian spiciness runs through the beer in a pleasant fashion without a strong "funk". Behind the hops exists a crisp malt character with large toasty note.

A fine sessionable beer. Worth the sweat carrying back from the Abbey.

drewbage, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at a special sour beer tasting with some close friends. This beer came out pretty late, but certainly welcome as a slight departure from the tart.

The beer poured light golden colored that was somewhat hazy with a small 1/4" head of white bubbles. The head stuck around for at least 30 seconds.

The aroma was sweet and citrusy with a really noticeable dry and wheat-like edge to it. There are lemons in here in particular.

The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely with the wheat and lemons that reminds me of a subtle lemon cookie. There are other citrus fruit here, but the lemon wins. There is a slight oxidation in this example, but the dryness seems like I may be misinterpreting it from the wheat. There is some alcohol noticeable in the flavor and late in the finish on the back of the throat. There is also a bit of warming in the gullet.

I really enjoyed this beer, and I would certainly partake quite a bit in it if it were readily available in the area...or in the US for that matter. Thumbs up!

SkeeterHawk, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of rarevos
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice.

A: Opaque golden yellow with a tinge of orange. Thick white head that has terrific staying power.

S: Citrus (lemon, orange), unmistakable whiff of Belgian yeast (banana, clove) and a hint of honey. Bit of a rustic-type aroma, like a robust saison.

T/M: Totally different than the aroma. The initial taste is a bit of dry grain, with a wheat and corn presence. Spices are very subdued, but there's a touch of pepper. Finish is crisp, dry and lightly hoppy. Long, bitter tail.

D: This is much drier than I was expecting, and that was a really pleasant surprise. I was almost expecting to be blown away by this beer; I wasn't, but that's not the beer's fault. It's still a very good beer, and I'm glad to have tried it, but it's not so awesomely awesome that I'll be looking to go all Mission:Impossible again to track another bottle down on the cheap. Drier and less fruity than many of the more widely available blondes, and that was a nice change of pace.

rarevos, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with an off-white head that is ample ... leaving gorgeous lacing patterns in the oversized wine glass. A worderful picture. Nose is of sweet malts, confectioner's sugar, Belgian yeast, and spices - clove and black pepper. I could smell this alone and be happy. Palate is complex and encompassing, with sweet malt and some terrific citrus notes. A perfect hop balance keeps this beer from being cloying in a masterful way. Relatively dry finish and the taste gains complexity as it warms. Spiciness lingers on long after you swallow. This beer has an absolutely incredible mouthfeel that is thick, but not heavy. Substantial but not overwhelming in any way. A sublime blonde from the Brothers at Westvleteren. I could drink this one at any time ... if only I had more than two bottles. Terrific.

beerphilosopher, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dogfooddog for this sample. This was the last in the line of the Rochefort vs Westy challenge. Not so much of a direct comparison between this and the Rochefort 6, however. More of a congratulatory drink. In retrospect I probably should have gone from weak to strong, but I also wouldn't say that my experience has been dampered.

The beer pours to a light golden color. Still very hazy even though I managed to keep most of the sediment in the bottle. A little bit flat, but still produced a little centimeter head in my broudmouthed St. Bernardus chalice.

The smell is very grainy with a feint bit of hops. Almost has a bit of a corny aroma. Definitely a bit past its prime, though I haven't had a fresher sample. No problems, however, as it was advertised as such. A bit of light candy sugar in the aroma as well.

The taste is also very grainy and also has a bit of a corn syrup flavor. I suspect it is much better fresher, but it was still good enough. I preferred the 3 year old version of Rochefort 6 to this 2 year old Westy, though as I mentioned it is not a direct comparison.

neonbrown82, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of roblowther
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy blonde with a myriad of microscopic bubbles clinging to the sides of the chalice & eventually working their way up to join the dense, rocky head that sits atop. Smells of apricot and peaches with a hint of banana. Even too cold (which this is because I'm too impatient to wait it to warm from fridge temp), the aroma is warm and inviting. The head settles down to a thin, though still persistent, lace which clings to the sides of the glass. The taste...fruit followed by an earthy undertone from the yeast, with a hint of a metallic aftertaste that is just enough to counterbalance the initial sweetness. Suprisingly dry finish given the fruit upfront. Mouthfeel is silky and just a whisper too thin if I'm splitting hairs. Drinkability is only limited by the rareness of this gem. I've had their other two current offerings and would rate this the lowest of the three but that's like trying to select a date from Selma Hayak her other two triplet sisters. If you can try this beer, do so.

roblowther, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of brewandbbq
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1997

Pours clear, pale gold, with a dense, whipped head.
Fine bubbles ascend the body continually, allowing exceptional retention.
Lacework is remarkable as well, leaving behind broken sheets of white.
Aromatics are crisp and fruity.
Green apple, pear pulp, dried pineapple, with hints of orange pith and vanilla.
A suggestion of mint gum finishes the nose with a slight peppery note.
Light to medium body, crisp, smooth, and creamy.
The pallet falls a bit short and shows some age.
Some pilsner- like maltiness and peppery bitterness is overshadowed by a quanine note and wet paper.
Finishes with a husky graininess, some drying bitterness and stale vanilla.

brewandbbq, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey gold with a tight whitecap head.

The nose dances with gossamer fruit and light belgian malt. No real intense yeast complexities or alcohol zing.

More light and flimsy fruit in the mouth. A lot like a Sprite, only with a big bite of spice and white pepper in the back.

Delightfully crisp and wonderfully drinkable, but hardly the kind of show stealer that are its older siblings.

mynie, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was looking forward to my first Westy.
I had a 6 at the Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

Nearly crystal clear straw colow with a beautiful white, fluffy head.
Smell is unique. Grassy and hoppy. It actually smells similar to marijuana. Quite nice. Taste is sweet but balanced. Is that apple or pear that I taste? Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Wow. Tiny, tiny bubbles. How do they do that? Drinkability is awesome. So inviting.

DaveFL1976, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting offering from the Trappist Monks at Westvleteren. Into a chalice; pours a golden yellow color with high carbonation yeilding a large pillow of white foam. Bubbles stream upwards from the bottom of the glass. Aromas of grassy spices and the trademark yeasty and malty note that only Trappist brews have. Nice. Taste is quite complex; dry notes of malts and wheat blend with a grassy hay note, followed by light apple flavors and a pinch of spice. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and accenuates the the nuances and qualities of this brew. Very crisp on the tongue, and goes down like satin. Drinkability is good. Special thanks goes out to Boolshot for providing the sample.

Frozensoul327, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of shroompod
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

best before 29.05.07
poured cold into Orval chalice. Very pale , cloudy white . Good carbonation present. Head sticks around.

Smell has a faint grassiness to it , not much else.

Taste is tart , hops dominate, dry malty finish.

Mouthfeel is light , very well carbonated.

Drinkability is high , very refreshing.

shroompod, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for this '04 vintage...
Appears a light yellow with a small white head that fades into a mild cap and thin collar. Streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light fruit, mild yeast, white bread, light caramel malt with some pilsner-esque aromas, along with an tiny herbal spiceyness.
Taste is of the above mentioned aromas...perhaps a slight drop from the anticipated flavor not quite living up to the smell.
Mouthfeel is crisp, dry, with a very subdued sugar taste in the swallow.

weeare138, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from onlyfinebeer.co.uk.... best before date of 2003... poured into a Westvleteren glass...

Poured a nice, slightly hazy, golden yellow colour... White head poured quite foamy faded to very thin layer... little to no lacing...

Aroma - Big fruity aroma hits you as soon as its poured... strong oranges, lemons, grapefruit and pineapple. Floral honey sweetness, nice light toffee and bready malts, light spicy hops, some faint salty notes, vanilla hints...

Taste – Strong floral honey notes, spicy fruits (definite pineapple and oranges), light caramel malts, faint hop bitterness, some musty traces, creamy. Considering the aroma the taste is a slight let down...

Feel - Quite smooth - light carbonation.. Light body.... Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent beer.... Highly recommended... Not quite as good as the 8 or the 12 but still pretty damn good...

mdagnew, May 02, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shipped straight from Belgium. I let it age for 2 whole weeks before giving in to its lure, so this is a very fresh bottle.

Pour yielded a rocky head with good thickness and decent retention. Golden blonde color with healthy effervesence.

Scent is marvelous: fresh juicy red apples, floral spices that waft cool and mellow, sweet malts, and a yeasty presence in the background that brings to mind--I kid you not--wet dog.

All aromas come through in the flavor, with a toasty wheat sharpness surrounding all. Spices seem a little more aggressive than the floral lightness of the aromas. Hops follow through in the end with a bit of a nip.

There's a softness in the mouth offset and enhanced with lots of light fizzy activity. Nice dry finish.

It's very good, and would be a regular quaff in this household if it weren't so damn scarce. Even though I wish the flavor measured up with the more buoyant and refreshing aroma, it's hard to dislike anything about this.

Metalmonk, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I let this chill briefly and served in my new Westvleteren chalice

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden-straw color with a foamy white head that fades to a persistent thin layer. Lace clings to the glass relentlessly.

Smell: Notes of peppery spice, sweet fruitiness, light earthy yeast and maltiness.

Taste: Lightly sweet and fruity notes appear up front. These fade into drier toasty malts in the center. Finished with a tart spiciness and warmth, with a pronounced but balanced firm bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Mildly carbonated, smooth, medium bodied with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Probably one of the most drinkable beers that I've had. It's refreshing and crisp with flavors that don't overpower.

EPICAC, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of sacfly
3.1/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to gdogalishus for splitting this with me.

Pours a hazy yellow/straw color. Plenty of yeast visible in suspension. Large white head of medium bubbles. Aroma was… well… Hefeweizen. Mild clove and banana mixed with a grassy undertone. The taste was a hybrid Belgian pale/hefe… Odd. Dry and grassy, yeasty. Strange astringency set in as I drank, especially noticeable in the aftertaste.

Not what I expected or wanted in a Belgian pale ale. I’ll still keep my eyes out for the Westy 8 and 12, but I would skip this one in the future.

sacfly, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this at In de Vrede in Westvleteren. Unfortunately I had it side-by-side with the 8 and the 12, so this review is slightly biased against the blond.

The appearance was very nice, with a thick pillowy head transforming into nice Belgian lace on the glass. The liquid itself was clear golden color, looked like any pale ale. I didn't notice much if any yeasties in this fresh (1 month old) sample.

The flavor was mild, more malty than hoppy, and couldn't compare with the symphony-in-a-glass next to it. I drank this beer only out of commitment to a plan, because the 12 was so damn inviting next door.

I think this would be a good session beer if it was easier to find. Since it's not, I don't mind drinking any number of pale ales in its place.

TurdFurgison, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Westvleteren Blonde comes in an unlabeled 33cl brown bottle with a date of 12.08.05 printed on the cap. It pours into my tulip glass a wonderful sunshine/goldenrod color with a creamy frothy two finger head that lingers with massive active carbonation. Very nice. Aromas of fruity sun dried grains with a lovely floral, spicy, herbal green hoppiness about it. Lots of light fruity character with hints of apple, lemon and orange. Hay with some earthy, peppery yeastiness coming across as well. An wonderful aroma to be had here.

First sip brings a nice fruity, sun washed grainy maltiness accentuated by a hint of clove and pepper and plenty of earthy yeast tones throughout. Mildly spicy, floral herbal hops poke in midway through each sip. Apple, lemon and light citrus tones with a touch of fresh baled hay. Finishes clean with a lingering fruitiness. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Goes down really smooth and refreshing. A delight on a nice sunny day like today. Truly a tasty blonde ale and one that I would imbibe much more often given the chance. One day I will get to Belgium and sample this at the source, that much is for certain. Ev, thanks again for giving me the chance to try this one!

orbitalr0x, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of gdogalishus
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served from chilled bottle into a snifter glass. In the bottle, the beer appeared a hazy deep yellow to straw color with a light dusting of yeast on the bottom. The yeast were not chunky, but reminded me of grains of salt. It poured a similar deep straw color, very hazy with a robust head of medium sized bubbles that stuck to the side of the glass. This beer changed significantly in both aroma and flavor as I drank it.

The first aroma was of bitter lemon zest. This quickly dissipated into an extremely familiar aroma... I brewed a hefe weizen that smelled EXACTLY like this. The yeasts aroma was unmistakable, it was Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast.

The flavor was more of a banana and mild clove with hop bitterness way in the background. This also changed and the second sip gave way to more hops. The third sip to even more. It was a dry grassy type of hop flavor, but there was something else there. A strange sensation that I have never tasted in another beer. Not that it was a good sensation, it was numbing the back of my tongue. I continued to have this sensation throughout the beer and it was kind of upsetting. I didn't want my senses numbed since I will have a hard time ever locating another bottle of this.

I liked the hefe I brewed better... same banana/yeasty aroma and flavor without the concerning numbing characteristic.

gdogalishus, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking the final Westy 6 from my Father's Day 2005 case. I am drinking it from a Three Philosophers goblet.

Appearance: The ale is a nice yellow color, similar to that of applejuice, with a hazy body that contains a small amount of sediment.

Smell: Unfortunately, the beer does not give off much aroma. There is a light hop smell, but nothing significant.

Taste: The ale has an interesting taste that I can't quite taste. It is a yeasty flavor, possibly influenced by the water used in brewing. Either way, it add a peculiar kick to the ale. On top of that, there is a light hop presence to add a hint of counterpunch. The overall effect is a drying of the mouth that requires another sip.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well on the tongue and the relatively low alcohol content makes this the closest Trappist ale to a session beer.

Drinkability: Drinkable enough. It's not my first choice when I reach for a Trappist, but it is not a bad ale overall.

akorsak, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

cap dated xx.11.04, so brewed in nov 2003. this beer is 2 1/4 years old. has been stored in mostly dark (incandescent only) and temp-controlled enviroment since being shipped from belgium.

large head poured in chalice glass. this beer has distinct odor of the westvleteren yeast, sort of odd without the other backing odors in the 8 and 12. yeast is very compact on bottom of bottle and does not get in glass.

very pleasant smell. much fresher than the taste itself.

I do not find this beer as easily drinkable as it should be at this alcohol level. IT is curious to taste the westvleteren yeast without the stronger elements in their other beers.

aftertaste typical westvleteren, if i didnt' know better might think it was the darker beers.

dogfooddog, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy blonde. Head is ok, but the remaining lace is very good and lasting.

Tastes is reminiscent of Orval. Notes that remind me of bret, but not as funky (or as good) as Orval. That funky edge is what makes you go back for more.

Reminds me of the wild ale Russian River made from a blonde (Redemption?), but RR's is better as well. Probably from the bret or bret-like funky tastes.

Many thanks to blitheringidiot for hooking me up with this fine and hard-to-find brew.

GeoffFromSJ, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of kmcnair
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle about 3 years ago, time to clear some of the cellar.

Pours a hazy straw color and makes a dense white head, head retention is very good, lacing is quite nice. Aroma is rather faint, there is a bit of caramel and alot of yeasty esters. Really nice nutty caramel flavor, slightly sweet honey, light spices and light fruit, hint of bittering in the finish. Mouthfeel is superb, very rich and creamy, gently coating the palate and then closes with a clean, dry finish. There's nothing overrated about a Westy, even the little Blonde with quite a bit of aging, very enjoyable. Oh, if I could only session this!

kmcnair, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: This beer has been aged for 2 years.

This beer pours a cloudy, yeast filled dirty blonde. It leaves a thick white head that drips down the side of the glass. The aroma of this beer is sweet, lime, honey, plum, fruit cake. As I taste this beer the flavors previously mentioned come out. The lemon rind, honey, bitterness, all are enhanced by the crisp carbonation of this brew. This belgian is delicious one that satisfies with complex flavors and crisp taste.

Franchise, Dec 19, 2005
Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
95 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.