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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
913 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 913 |  Reviews: 442
Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of MEsquandoles
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought at a bottle shop in Brussels in May. Wish I had bought more than one.

Gorgeous foam and lacing, excellent head retention.

Smells of brett and some other funk. Lots of different fruit and spice flavours, but hard to distinguish specifics. Nice hop presence - grassy and floral. Dry. Lingering bitterness.

Lots of flavor for only 5.8%

The only thing wrong with this beer is it's small size and lack of availability!

Def. worth seeking out. I think I prefer this to the Quad.

 484 characters

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

Thank you harrymel for bringing this one back from Belgium for me. You rock dude!

19-10-11 (whatever that means?)

A: It was almost as if a bright, unfiltered orange was infused with Alka-Seltzer. Cloudy as hell, and the head was both frothily white and glorious!

S: Weird how it contains a mild bit of fruity sourness, along with a fresh yeasty quality that was a great substitute for the hop bombs that we (Americans) often produce and pass off as a Begian PA.

T: Completely devoid of sugar and has sort of a "chalky" finish. Slightly mothball-esque in its disposition, slightly hoppy and citrusy (but the Belgian-y character wins out overall).

M: The more I drank of this, I got a great bit of white pepper added to the soft citrus, and the yeast wasn't like anything found in America. The lacing was splotchy.

O: This is the "anti-American" Belgian PA for sure... and, to my mind and tastes, it's infinitely more drinkable than anything that American produces also.

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Photo of stormywaters
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with this beer was at In De Vrede. I, like any self respecting quad lover, ordered the westy 12, whilst my wife ordered the Blonde, after all I was driving...

It had a very light look, but almost a sediment type look to it, a little cloudy.

The taste of this was just really great. Even after my palate was quote unquote tainted by my 12, it was very smooth and crisp. Definitely a beer i would crave after a long day of work, very refreshing.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours murky straw-colored - almost like a Witbier. The enormous white head is thick at first then airy. Dissipation takes some time and leaves fantastic lacings.

S: Dry malt and perhaps some wheat. Kind of sour and yeasty (almost like the Brett in Orval). Lots of citric notes. Spicy.

T: Dry and sour. Malty and yeasty, even here the Brett-like yeast is dominating. Peppery and citirc. A faint tone of wheat as well.

M: Long sour lovely aftertaste - reminds me of a Gueuze but stays longer. Body is smooth and medium. Carbonation very moderate. DRY!

O: My expectations were high, and still not high enough...

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4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at Beer Temple in Brussels for 8 euros. Drunk on 10/25/11 at 11:30pm in Paris, France out of a Rochefort chalice for the glass's christening.

A - Light golden color. Slightly hazy. Short, creamy head.

S - Citrus, refreshing, subtle.

T - Imagine a salad of fresh hops with lemon drizzled over top. The citrus flavors grab your attention up front, but the hops are there. As the citrus fades, the hops come out and leave a wonderfully dry, hoppy aftertaste that isn't abrasively overdone like with most American IPAs. This is what I've been looking for all these years, but have never found with all the IPAs and BPAs I've had.

M - Smooth as a baby's bottom. Light, but not too. Great for any occasion.

O - What more can one say? Never had a better beer. American Pale Ales are either too sweet or too abrasively hopped - or not interesting enough. Belgians are too boozy or also too sweet. I don't like sweet things, so the citrus provides a perfect refreshing replacement for sugariness. I love hops, but have never had a beer this light, refreshing, and balanced with enough hoppiness. Drinking this made my eyes water like when I read a great poem or see one of my favorite paintings in person. I doubt I'll ever have another blonde this good. Well worth every penny. Overhyped due to its rarity? Of course. Deserving of its fame? You bet.

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Photo of tenaciousp65
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had the pleasure of traveling to the Westvletern brewery and had a glass of this at In Dre Verde, the monk's tiny restaurant and bar. This was by far the sexiest blonde i've ever seen in a glass. It was very cloudy and had a beautiful head and just from looking at it I could tell that it would be delicious. Not only was this beer rich and complex but it was smooth as hell too. It really flowed down my throat and i was pleasently surprised by the least known of the three offerings from this magical brewery. can't wait to try the bottle i brought home

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this recently, review from written notes. BBD: 19.10.11

Into a tulip glass it pours a pastel gold, bright clarity, rising trails of carbonation visible. Over time it forms uniform rows of spotty lace, and cascading tiny rivulets.

Wet hay, wildflowers, weeds, dried hops, rustic and floral aromatics.

Dry and herbal bitterness to the aftertaste, some pale malt sweetness at first, with more wet hay and herbs in the middle. A light barnyard funk, more subdued taste than the nose suggests. Creamy feel, well carbed, bright, crisp, and refreshing on a warm day. Flavor was focused more on subtlety and simple rustic elements, thankfully not sweet, as many BPA's tend to be.

Thanks to Denise for the surprise box from Belgium!

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

Bottle into signature Westy glass

Golden straw color, creamy white head leaves minimal lacing.

Lemon zest, banana, and spice shine. Earthy almost musty brett like on the nose, and of course, that distinct Belgian yeast smell (saison like).

Heavily spiced, peppery, lemon, and banana up front. Very earthy. Sweet hops on the back end finish it out into clean, crisp, dry finish.

Clean dry finish, high carbonation, spicy on the palate.

What a treat! Very clean, crisp dry ale. Refreshing if nothing else. Unfortunately that was the last of the Westy Blondes, onto the 8's and 12's I guess.

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

Poured into a Rochefort goblet with two bottles split among a few friends.

The color is a hazy golden yellow with a small amount of head and decent lacing.

The smell definitely has a little bit of a Belgian characteristic funk to it. Very earthy and grassy with some slight hop tones and spice.

The taste has some good citric notes to it that compliment the earthy body very well. Other spices come through in a smaller way as well as a pretty heavy hop bitterness at the end.

A very nice mouthfeel might even be the standout characteristic of this beer. The body and carbonation are perfect for the style and it's a real pleasure to drink.

This beer isn't the best I've ever tried, but I have the 8 and 12 waiting so it's a great first taste of Westvleteren.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, yeasty dryness. In the taste, quite yeasty and refreshing, with a small dry hop in the end. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hop in the aftertaste. Nice hops in a blonde, and nice body too.

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Photo of seanyfo
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with Erzengel, cheers mate!

33cl bottle poured into Grimbergen chalice

BBE 18 June 2011

A- Straw blonde body with slight haze, 2 finger creamy head has excellent retention and lacing.

S- Lemon zest and brett horse blanket quality. Reminds me of Orval. Hint of grain

T- Lemon zest and brett come through strong again, has a delicate creamy quality which prevents it having an astringent quality. Semi dry finish.

M- Medium/high carbonation and medium body, semi dry finish.

D- Great depth of character in nose and palate than expected. Smooth creaminess with a solid refreshing semi dry finish makes it very refreshing. Overall, a superb complexity. Age has definitely not harmed it, excellent cellaring no doubt aided this.

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Photo of aficionado
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Old tasting notes from last year...

Served in a Duvel Tulip.

Golden light body. Moderately high lacing. Moderately low white lingering head.

Smells like a BSPA mixed with a Saison. Yeast, banana, clove spice, barnyard funk, straw hay, wet dog.

This beer probably tastes better when very fresh. The taste is much like the aroma. Not too sweet, which gives it some points because I hate sweet beers. A tiny bit of bitterness on the aftertaste. Achel Blond shits all over this.

Silky medium body with perfect carbonation.

A decent balanced beer, but it's nothing special. I've had better American interpretations of the style.

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Photo of azorie
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes from 2008 visit to cafe or the source as they say. Going to add all beers I have tasted and have good notes on. and I hope this web/cloud saves them better than I have on paper so far.

A: I order 6 of these @ 1 time, for the gang as the first beer of many. Golden cloudy beer with a nice head of about 1.5 inches.
the lacing is excellent. Perfect.

S: I get cereal and malt, Flowery herb like hops notes, reminds me of Orval without the brett. Also Saison like but more hoppy.
Its very complex and I am getting more but lacks words to describe it, its sweet and good. Perfect.

T: ahh well I drank a good half of it in 1 pass. Heaven. Of course @ the source you get crazy emotion at times. anyway.
malty rich flavors, pale ale yeast mixed with fruit like esters.
Hops and malt perfect balance, so much to taste here, so little time to want to linger on it, I will get another is the thought.

M: Medium carbonation, and medium body. Dry finish. Perfect.

O: perfect beer what is there to say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Eric at jackie o's latest release

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

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

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

M-light body and smooth

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

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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 Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ComposerZero
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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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 dasenebler
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of rinhaak
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into Westvleteren goblet.

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

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

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

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

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 913 ratings
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