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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Green Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2002

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Reviews: 440 | Ratings: 892
Photo of BeerAdvocate
1.73/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

The least sought-after of the Trappist Westvleteren beers. This bottle was purchased in 2003 at Café in de Vrede--which is across the street from the monastery--and has been cellared since. Poured into a silver-rimmed Westvleteren chalice, the beer pours a dirty blonde, tainted by a bit of chill haze. Head is very tight and creamy, settling to an eternal milky-colored, ringed lace. Surprisingly malty in the nose, with a unique honey-on-toast aroma, and undertones of toffee and grass. Palate is insanely creamy, with a light body and silky mouth feel. A quick and sharp citric acid enlivens things, fading into a soft rind character. Faint honey notes pull through a pale sweetness of malted milk. Finish is bone-dry, with a lingering wet, husky, tannin flavor, some medicinal phenols, and notes of wet paper oxidation coming forth as the beer warms.

After having a 3-year-old bottle, and a 25-year-old bottle a couple of years back, we don't recommend aging this beer at all. Everyone, please stop. It's obvious that much of the hop character has been muted, with oxidation taking over the beer and creating new and unwanted flavors. Drink it fresh, with its clean bitterness and thirst-quenching bliss intact.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.1/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Paid $27.99 for an 11.2oz bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a snifter to review.

Leaves a very light and pillowey head of about an inch and a half. Nice retention, thick lacing. So cloudy it is opaque. Well carbonated, but this certainly was not a gusher. Light golden straw color.

Smells of mild Belgian yeast and some spice. Light, refreshing and clean. Sweet malts backing the wheat base. The light breadiness and yeast appeals to me as these dominating elements to the style are usually a turnoff for me. Light fruit tones of white grape and banana.

I begin to taste at 51°F. Taste is similar in character to the nose yet much more subdued.

Light-bodied, rather fizzy and somewhat watery feel for a Belgian of this apparent caliber. Short, crisp finish. The mouthfeel really is what turned me off of this beer.

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Photo of nhindian
3.11/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of sacfly
3.12/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.21/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

White head. Splattered lace. Golden yellow.

Belgiany. Yeasty. A little banana and spice. Not a huge fan of this one. Kind of bland and boring.

It has a corn like off flavor to it.

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Photo of capra12
3.21/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this shipped from Amsterdam to my front door and crack it open today.
Served out of a wide mouthed chalice.
Reviewed with the help of wheatman106 and Jimmy

Appearance - The first thing about this beer is its carbonation, it seemed endless. The head formation was thick and frothy. It lingered for at least 25 minutes and stayed tight leaving a magnificent head of about 1 finger. The color is a slightly cloudy, golden and yellow leaving a web-like lacing which was quite pleasing.

Smell - This brew gave me hints of Belgium yeast, citrus, slight traces of hops and malt.

Taste - Surprisingly, as opposed to the hints of malt the initial taste that came though was the Belgium yeast and hops, but the hops were not over bearing. I would say this brew is balanced but in a sense bland from start to finish.

Mouthfeel - Upon entry this brew is very light in body and leaves a nice beer mustache. Although contrary to the carbonation it flattens and mellows out and leave no after taste.

Drinkability - The drinkability of this beer is average to high but the mellow flavors and the availability make me seek other blonds to satiate my palates desires.

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Photo of Squelch
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
3.28/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Multiple bottles, this one was a gusher. Pours with a large creamy white head and good lacing left by the collapsing head. Clear golden body speckled with small yeasties. Aroma of corn, corn nuts, astringent malt, alcohol, citrus zest, spices and pepper. Taste is astringent malt and spices, corn nuts, with a lot of barely. Fizzy and astringent mouthfeel. Not very impressed to be perfectly honest.

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Photo of Floydster
3.38/5  rDev -20.5%
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

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Photo of guildencrantz
3.39/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I just don't care for many blonde ales: This is better than many, but it's not great. The lack of malty depth let the esters play a little too much. The lacy head was pleasant (though, still spicier than I care for).

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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.

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Photo of gdogalishus
3.42/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of Mar02x
3.44/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - By poring this beer in my Struise glass I am doing sacrilege. I know, but don't really care. As long as it tastes good. By the looks of it; it will deliver. What a feast is going on in my glass, a nice happy yellow fluid, with tiny yeast snow whirling down, carbonation bubbles racing up, nice white head which slowly turns to fluffy and leaves a thick lacing against the glass.

S - A good hoppy aroma with a little sour twist along with some malt odor.

T - A strong taste of bitter hop and a tiny sweetness upfront, rather dry. The bitterness lingers around for quite some time.

M - A pleasant carbonation tickles my palate. The finish is dry and bitter.

O - A good and easy to drink blonde, but not my favorite though.

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Photo of jhtipton
3.44/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my favorite of the Trappiste but fortunately I have tried others from W. split one with my battle buddy in pint glasses. Loved the immense milky white head and the large amount of floating sediment and the golden color. The smell was okay but not really spectacular. I really didn't smell much from it a bit grassy and fruity but nothing overly compelling. Taste was somewhat sour and citrusy. Unfortunately we compared it to drinking orange juice in a milk glass. The bitterness was fine but something was not quite right. This was purchased from a specialty shop and could not find a best before date and that could be the problem. Not a bad experience but I was hoping for better fr this buxom blonde. Overall not my best Trappiste experience but might try againsithsome assurance of freshness as I see better opinions by others.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.44/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Over rated. The house yeast works better with darker malts. Decent appearance, lack luster aroma, mediocre taste, good mouthfeel. However, I recommend the 12.

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Photo of elvisnj
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this along with both the 8 and the 12 for some website work done for a Belgian beer shop.

Bottle poured into a generic Belgian beer goblet.

Straw colored beer. Looks slightly darker than a typical pale ale. Nice tight head with lacing happening from beginning to end.

Nose is distantly reminiscent of the Westy 8 but not as full. Scent of banana and sarsaparilla. Almost reminds me of a Heineken. This was strike 1.

It has some hops in the nose and some small hint in the taste. Too much carbonation for the style in my opinion. Subsequently it is a bit acidic going down. Not even a hint of the smoothness of its bigger brother, the Westy 8. Its taste has hints of banana, and clove.

Also a mild cidery thing going on along with some apricot on the tongue. It left an aftertaste of mild bitterness that was a bit unpleasant.

I would not say its a bad beer. I have only tried the 8 previously and I absolutely loved it. Subsequently, I expected sooo much more of this. It did not even come close to what I had hoped.

I am sure that I will be much happier in a week or 2 with the Westy 12 that is sitting in my basement.

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Photo of maximum12
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerisheaven & the Minnesota Twins for my second bottle of a Westvleteren on this planet. My Twins beat the Phillies & I don't know if this was the bottle I won or not, but I'm going to call it! Thanks Brian (& Pavano).

Pours a golden sunset color with hazy, high clouds, I can almost see the water glistening underneath it. Smell comes down a notch, too much yeast, weird clay that makes me think of that scene in that movie (you know that one).

Westy Blonde tastes like a laundry list of tastes in my mouth. Lemon, citrus, wet/musty spices, touch of hops, yeast. The lemon comes out a bit as it warms & gives it a better profile. Plenty of things going on here but it's like someone hit the mute button.

Good beer. Nothing like Westy 12, this is a good pale & solidly reps the style.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.47/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from Prufrock in No-BS BIF. Pale/dull yellow color with high clarity and light wispy foam. The aroma is mild with notes of citrus melon, and coriander spice all with a lightly sweet bready character.

More bready malt in the taste with a hint of lemon zest and a faint sourness. Finishes with a light dryness, mildly bitter, with a touch of oxidation. The light body is softly carbonated, very average.

I wasn't too impressed by this Trappist Ale. Worth a try, but doesn't live up to the name expectations...

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.48/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
DATE ON CAP: 17.09.09 (I think, anyway. It was hard to read.)

This pours up a hazy, to the point of being opaque, golden yellowish orange color. The color makes me think of straw, or wheat. A little more than two-fingers worth of creamy white foam make the head. It recedes to about half a fingers worth, fairly quickly, but then it sticks around to the end. Lacing is thick and sticky.
So far, this is starting out very well.

Wonderful balance of wheat and begian yeast notes. Light hints of bananas and white grapes, along with mild hints of other orchard fruits. Wonderful spice presence that is in so many belgian brews. Mild notes of candi sugar. While it's not powerful, you can tell that there is a nice malt presence, here, also.

Huge presence of wheat dominance, combined with a big yeastiness. This really kind of throws the flavor profile out-of-balance, for me. Yes, it's good, but it's almost all dryness, and just not much sweetness to balance it out. Light spice notes add to this feeling. The drying, biting, hops notes aren't really helping much, either. I can tell that there are some fruit notes in here, but they are buried so deep, they don't really affect the flavor profile.
Sadly, after that wonderful nose, this one turns out to be fairly lackluster.

This is smooth and mildly creamy. Medium bodied. Probably overly carbonated, for the style.

Would I drink this again? Yes. Would I reach for some other brewerys blond/belgian pale before this one? Yes.
Fairly unimpressive, overall. It started out great and full of promise, but failed to deliver.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very hazy dark yellow with plenty of suspended yeasty chunks. Head is brilliantly white, initially thick but quickly becoming a thin sheen leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is earthy and citrusy, but still holds and underlying yeasty musty quality.

Taste is mild caramel and pale malt sweetness balanced with an orange rind bitterness. Finishes with a dry musty quality, and a touch of herbal character.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Worth a try. Very mellow and musty.

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Photo of sfprint
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to JeffKrenner for this beer

A: Dull lemon meringue color with hay aspects. Lots of laxadazical bubbles meander too and fro. Head is good ½ inch of snowy white creamy bubbles.

S: Pear, red apple, grass clippings, bone dry biscuits and coriander.

T: Begins with gentle green fruit sweetness and mild honeycomb. Green apple is the primary player here but under ripe pear and green grapes aid to the balance. A very floral and spicy hop variety with moments of dry hay, dandelions and pollen. Surprising bitterness begins to take shape and frolics near the back of the tongue. Overall a sense of mineral lasted water adds a limestone dimension. Finishes with creamed corn and sugar snap peas.

M: Medium body, slight hard across the palate with some carbo sting.

D: This was good but fairly standard. Over rated for sure.

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Photo of DARIVA
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice bright yellow beer with a good head.

S: The smells of hops, nothing else to recognize.

T: The taste of hops and some light sour. A bitter aftertaste.

M: Good carbonation and foam a good feeling.

O: Good drinking beer and a very refreshing beer.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.57/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.25 out of 5 based on 892 ratings.
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