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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
914 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:
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Ratings: 914 |  Reviews: 442
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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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of my Westvleteren beers purchased in Brussels. It still feels a little like cheating to buy them from somewhere other than the monastery, even if it was in Belgium.

Pours a cloudy, hazed deep blond, quite light in hue. Head is as fine as I've come to expect from the Westvleteren beers. As far as I'm concerned, it's almost their trademark. Carbonation is streaming like crazy. Head is white and bright, and leaves full, solid lacing. Looks pretty great.

Nose is peppery and spiced and rather delicious. Big Belgian yeast esters, characters of spicy preserved orange, and a pleasant dryness. Such a gorgeously classic and spicy Belgian nose. The pinnacle of the style for me.

Taste is a lot lighter, with a very pronounced dryness through most of the palate. Yeasty notes come through with a tingling rustic quality. Still a twinge of that spicy orange, and the feel is creamy, with that lovely creamy Westvleteren carbonation.

A wonderful Belgian blond. One of the best Belgian pale ales I've ever had. While it doesn't have the complexity and depth of flavour of the other Westys, this would easily be my pick to drink regularly. Lovely.

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Photo of HopBacchus
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow gold with a big white head and sticky lacing the head subsides throughout the drinking experience, bubbles are of varied size

sweet malts and trappist yeast also coriander and citrus

follows the nose, however there are other elements present here as well pear and apple as well as a faint trace of pepper

fantastic, crisp with effervescent carbonation without biting too hard, slightly chewy and creamy

this is the best Pale ale I've ever had so drinkable so refreshing

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Photo of atomeyes
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 1 of my 4 bottles tonight. It was nicely chilled. I expected it to warm up after being open for 20+ minutes and evolve, but it didn't.

The most noticeable traits of this beer:

-very strong barnyard/stable smell. Smells like a horse's stable, no 2 ways around it. That doesn't really sell the beer, I know, but its a unique smell and it plays on your senses in an interesting manner. I would not say the smell is a bad smell. It is what it is.

-its taste can be best described as a trappist tasting beer without the darkness or high alcohol content (or sweetness) that you associate with trappist beer. Its an incredibly drinkable beer and its hops do the speaking for it. I wouldn't say that it has much complexity to it other than the distinct trappist taste to it.

Personally, I would put it in the same category as saissons, which I am not a huge lover of but I appreciate their crispness and drinkability. I would much rather have Westvleteren's other offerings over the Blonde and would go as far to say that other Belgian blondes offer more palate-wise than Westvleteren's did.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with Slatetank and poured into a pair of Westy goblets. The cap is stamped with the date of 3/12/11 putting this offering at just over 3 years old. The brew appears a beautiful golden yellow color with some tiny particulate stuck in suspension. A white frothy head holds along the top of the brew and gravitates towards the edge of the glassware. Some patches of lace hang across the top and on the wall.

The smell of this brew is lightly reminiscent of candy sugar. Sweet smelling fresh grain character mixed with sulfur and some herbal to grassy hops. Some fruited quality is noted across the back. A little spicy with yeast that increases in character as the brew warms.

The taste is grainy with a flavoring somewhat like straw, lightly grassy with herbal bitter hops. There is a mild backing of sweetness of fresh grains. Candy-like in the aftertaste without much residual sweetness. Mildly spicy with yeast as the brew comes up to room temperature.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking with the abv hidden exceptionally well. Much more hoppy than I anticipated, this is among the most hoppy belgian pales I have had. An interesting and enjoyable experience but I dont think it is worth the hassle of trying to secure this unless the opportunity is presented to you within reason.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stakem for sharing this as I have wanted to try it for awhile! Poured into the appropriate Westvleteren goblet chilled slighly.

A resplendent brilliant golden straw color with great clarity and semi-fast moving visible carbonation with a thick cap of white which is about 1/2 inch in depth. The lace sticks well and the bead is tiny, this is a very beautiful brew I wish I had a pic of it,but my camera is broken and the cell battery is on the fritz. The smell is odd, funky barnyard musty earthy and slightly mineral. Odd but in a good way like hay with malt coming off dry in the nose and lots of Belgian yeastiness. The feel is very dry, very earthy and highly carbonated which is delightful with some nice hop bitterness in the vein of a spicy saison.

The flavor is malty with some light dry cracker-like tinges with some herbal almost bitter flavored with strong yeastiness and minty element from the hops which gives a nice contrast to the grassy and slight fruity yeast. The malt doesn't taste like the smell leads you to believe it will, just basically dry and the yeast adds a minor pear accent to the mild tannic tinge the hops create. The yeast and hop cohesion is very pleasant and the dry essence makes this a nice sipper, welcoming additional tastes. I enjoyed this a lot, but overall it was not what I expected. I found it to be saison-like in a good way and the very dry malt is what I was not expecting. This is not the best of what this brewery offers but it has a high drinkability quotient so do try it if you enjoy saisons or hoppy belgian pale ales.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from the abbey.
Look: pours a pale golden-yellow color with a nice white head.
Smell: Belgian yeast, freshly cut grass and hay, lightly floral, grainy malts and some sweet hints of honey
Taste: Crisp, full of Belgium hops, herbal, grain malts, citrus fruits, grass and a nice spicy dry finish. perfect balance
Mouthfeel: High carbonation with a medium body
Overall: Great beer, when consumed fresh, it humiliates all others in the style!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Green cap stamped 17.12.10

Served slightly cooler than cellar temp, around 45 degrees F, into a goblet.

The Westy blonde is a pale golden yellow color with great clarity. The head is really spectacular though, continuing to build long after I stop pouring. As it eventually settles, sticky sparkling lace lines the inside of the glass.

Aroma is mild but full of subtle character. Slightly floral with a little bit of spice and lemon. The yeast is probably the one thing that makes these Westvleteren beers so special.

The flavor is exceptional as well but that shouldn't come as any surprise. So light in body but so full of flavor. It's not strongly flavored but it has so much depth, just like it's big brothers. Lemon, grass, tropical fruit, mint, pepper, clove, yeast, etc. Just amazing.

Mouthfeel is light in body, like I said, but so full of flavor and so perfectly balanced. Carbonation is on point as well.

What a beer! Everything is how it should be.

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Photo of impending
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy somewhat dingy golden yellow. Towering dense pure white head, superb lacing.

Aroma is bright and lively. Yeasty sweetness atop spicy citrus and quiet floral notes. Clean and expressive.

Taste is yeasty as well but lacks the complexity of the nose. Just mildly sweet. Hints of cedar, ginger and apricot. Finish begins slightly dry before a bitterness takes over for the remainder. The bitter is not so much of hops but of phenolic tree bark. Thin soft mouthfeel. Needs warmth to fully reveal itself.

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Photo of harrymel
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased and consumed in brussels.
Bottle date: 19.10.11

A: pours a golden ale with near brilliant clarity. Single finger of creamy foam falls to a thick quilt of the same which wraps the entire course of the drink. Cobweb lacing.

S: grain, yeast, sweet Belgian sugar, rice, some really nice floral tones. I like.

T: more bitter than anticipated. Very clean, fresh grain flavors. A hint of peppercorn on the finish for me. Like a tea, quite refreshing.

M: spot on creamy feel with light body and slick finish.

O: I really think this might be my favorite westy. Really simple, strait forwardly crafted beer with high quality and with hi drinkability. Now if only they increased their market...

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Photo of ajcobb24
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - An exquisite looking Belgian Pale Ale. The appearance is exactly what you would expect a blonde to be. There is an orange-yellow look to this beer with a white head (about 1/4 of a finger of head with this beer on a fairly aggressive pour). Color is very reminiscent of champagne with carbonation trailing up the sides of the snifter glass.

S - a very complex smell that you would usually find with other brands' quadrupels. You can really smell dark fruits in this one. Some yeast and cellar funk (other's will call this barnyard funk, but I have had occasion to smell this particular scent before and it was in a cellar). Faintly sweet smelling as well.

T - Very good for a belgian pale ale. If I was going for a pale ale, this would be my choice (although this style of beer isn't my overall favorite). Around 40 degrees drinking temperature, the dark fruits dominate the taste. You can also taste the yeast in there as well. A slight tinge of sweetness, but nothing you wouldn't notice without really looking for it. As the beer warms up, the dark fruits come forward even more and the beer becomes even smoother. A real pleasant surprise.

M - very smooth mouthfeel to this beer. Wow, is this smooth. You can feel the carbonation as you swish it around your mouth and cannot really feel the booziness of this beer until you let it sit your stomach for a while.

O - While the not the overall best beer that I have ever had, this beer is near the top. Top in its style that I have had. It's just very smooth overall and very drinkable. I was very pleasantly surprised to note some dark fruits in this beer as I would with quadrupels. Just a testament to the genius of the monks of the St. Sixtus Abbey.

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

A: Poured into my chalice, this brew pours a murky straw colored yellow with a fluffy white capped head.

S: Typical notes from a BPA are present. The nose reveals a very musty natural aroma. Herbal spicy yeast notes round out the nose.

T: The flavor is light, fresh, and natural. Straw like barnyard tones. Hops are evident for a Belgium of this nature. There is a yummy underlying sweetness to this brew.

MF: Mouthfeel is nothing short of perfect. The carbonation is perfect, body fills your mouth, but maintains it's light refreshing qualities. The best of all the Belgium's I've had.

Overall, this is a great beer. An excellent table beer for this time of year, I just wish I had more. A huge thanks to my best friend Ryan for sherpa-ing this beer back to the USA!

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

Bottle poured into a chalice

Finally got around to dusting this one off; had this in the cellar for just under a year.

Pours an extremely hazy golden color with a deep orange through the middle of the glass. A thin, one finger beige cap rose to fill the glass perfectly and settled to form a thin layer of foam. Little to no lacing.

The nose is quite zesty. Tangy yeast, citrus peel, undercooked dough, banana, clove, and even some ginger. Extremely broad and complex.

Yeast dominates the palate just as it did with the nose. Tangy, tart yeast hanging over everything else. Banana, clove, ginger up front before lemon peel and doughy bread take over. The finish is of lemons and oranges and some spice.

Sweet and creamy, very rich and lush. Light body with a high drinkability. Crisp, lightly tart and dry in the finish.

Overall, this is probably my least favorite of the three and I definitely enjoyed this one. To pack this much complexity into a blonde is incredible. My nose and mouth were all over the place trying to figure everything out.

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Photo of illidurit
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the May Santa Cruz tasting. Pours a hazy straw color with a lacy white ring of foam. Aroma is phenolic and ashy with accents of pale malts and yeast. Kinda cigarettey in a way. Flavor is much better. Dry pale malts provide a nice background for the ludicrous hop bitterness. I've had less bitter IPAs. This is awesome. Perfect hoppiness for a Belgian golden ale. So so dry but quenching and fulfilling. Bitter, pale and delicious.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle served into a Westvleteren goblet in Cafe In Da Vrede, Westvleteren, Belgium. Reviewed from notes. Come on now, beeradvocate, this is a Belgian blonde. Let's reform the categorization system, eh?

A: Pours a two finger head of lovely cream and thickness. Very good retention, but not as good as Westy's other offerings, a notable fact on account of their higher ABV. This is a bit puzzling. Quite appealing any way you look at it. Gold colour.

Sm: I wish me nose wasn't broken, but I do get some light fruit ester hop notes. Some subtle citrus. No nuts are present as in Westy's other two offerings.

T: Fecking gorgeous, as we say in Ireland. Perfectly balanced barley and hops, with ever-so-subtle notes of fruit. Divine. An excellent beer for the style. Fuck me that's fanciful. Blondes are never this complex or subtle.

Mf: Amazing. Creamy soft silky but powerful; perfectly coarse. A mastery of mouthfeel. So soft yet so supportive of the body.

Dr: Excellent. The best blonde I've ever had, period. There's all this craic about "ooh westvleteren" and I was skeptical - but believe you me, it's truly as good as they say. So truly as good I ordered two crates of blonde (48 bottles) by having three people with four phones spend thirty seven minutes trying to get through repeatedly. When you taste it, you'll know. The most flavour of any 5.8% beer I've ever had. It's worth it. Very cheap at the abbey. To hell with the ebayers.


Revisited on July 5th, 2013. Bottle is a couple years old; I got it during my initial visit to the monastery (one of the 48 bottles mentioned in my above review). I've heard the Blonde doesn't age well, but I'm fixing to find out.

Bottle served into a Trappist Westvleteren goblet in me gaff in low altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Served chilled, straight from the fridge, and side-poured gently.

A: Pours a gorgeous three finger head. Beautifully soft and fluffy. Light and delicate looking. Superb lacing is even and consistent as the head slowly recedes; retention is incredible - about 12+ minutes.

Body colour is a clear vibrant yellow. Translucent; transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Looks right on the money for the style, and the head is damned impressive.

Sm: Straw, hay. Clean, pleasant, and crisp. Full-bodied barley. Complementary floral hops. Lemon zest. Light funkiness and biscuity yeast. Quite appealing. An aroma of mild strength. Healthy.

No alcohol is detectable.

T: Straw, hay. Complementary floral hops. Extremely refreshing. Lemon zest. Clean malts. Clean and pleasant, with a full body. A kiss of lemongrass. Subtle spicing - definitely some cilantro/coriander in there. Fleeting buried hints of white grape. Pilsner malts. Wine must. Lightly bready. A light tartness and a hint of sourness.

Perfectly balanced. Great build. About as complex as a beer in the style can be. Nice subtlety too. I really like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Light and refreshing. Delicate. Wonderfully soft. Complements the flavour profile very well. Grows a bit more musty and dry towards the finish.

Dr: Extremely drinkable; an excellent table beer that would pair well with any food. Drinks just fine with age on it, but I do think I enjoyed it a bit more fresh. I'd definitely get this again and I'd buy it again by the case. This Westvleteren offering is so often overlooked, but I don't know that any beer fan wouldn't enjoy it. A masterfully brewed Belgian blonde with interesting subtlety.



The rating I gave it reflects my review of this beer fresh, not aged. I think it's meant to be consumed fresh, but I did enjoy it with 2 years of age on it.

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a blond/pilsner color with a fluffy white head that recedes slowly and leaves lacing down the glass.
Aroma is amazing, lots of yeast esters with citrus, stone fruits and mild spice, plus bready/light malt. Very complex nose.
Taste follows the nose, very yeast forward, balanced. Fruity with orange, lemon, peach and light apple. Dry finish that is crisp.
Mouthfeel is light bodied with lively carbonation. very smooth and incredibly easy drinking.
This is the underdog of Westvleteren beers in most peoples minds but I had all three side by side and this one impressed me most with its complexity, ease of drinkability and all-round deliciousness. I will be seeking this beer out over Westy 12 from now on.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a very light but hazy yellow with good carbonation and a nice white cap

S: Some lemon, other lighter fruits.

T: Definitely got the citrus and grapefruits. Tad bit of malts, minute amount of hops. Has a dry, sordove bitterness on the end

M: Nice carbonation and good feel on the palate

O: Pretty good overall

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

Poured into a goblet. Cloudy golden beer with a 1 cm head that settled into a thin layer on the top. Almost some pink hues in there.

Bready aromas dominate, some banana.

When cold, bitterness nearly overwhelmed the yeasty characteristics of this beer. As it warmed and worked its way into the palate, it became incredibly well balanced, if not overly complex. Good yeast flavor with a little sweetness, backed perfectly by a straight bittering hops. Quite dry.

Excellent and refreshing mouthfeel. Substantial body but tight and bright carbonation keeps it from bogging down throughout the bottle.

Fine beer.

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

A - Pours a huge fluffy/foamy white head. Hazy ruby-orange body.

S - Sweet and malty. Reminds me of tamarindo with hints of honey.

T - Dry front that rounds out nicely. Notes of oak and hops in the middle with a slightly less dry finish.

M - Very light bodied, almost foamy. Really amazing. Quite refreshing with a slightly dry, alcoholic finish.

O - Such a stand out in its category. It seriously goes above and beyond any blonde I've ever tried.

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

Purchased from http://shop.belgianshop.com/ $30+shipping

Bottle stamped 19.10.11

Appearance: light amber. 2 bottle were shared among 3 people.

Smell: A floral malt smell.

Taste: smooth dry beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Nice dry finish

Overall:. Only downside was price. Worth it for the experience.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle stamped 19.10.11, poured into a wine glass. Thanks to Chris for this one, you're an awesome guy!

Appearance - Big silky white head with decent retention. The head is gorgeous. Hazy light amber body.

Smell - Slightly cardboardy at first. Corn as it warms in the mouth. A bit of malt. Not much hop. Somewhat floral.

Taste - No off flavors. Great balanced. Light and refreshing. Lightly grassy body with a honey finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body. Silky smooth. Considerably foamy.

Overall Drinkability - Great balance. Best blonde I've ever had. No offense, Emily.

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


I have noticed that Westvleteren beers seem to score, perhaps, a little higher than I would rate them. I was astonished, however, to see that this beer scored significantly lower than I would rate it.

This is the absolute gold standard in the Belgian Blonde. It does not offer anything that you have not had before, it just offers it at a higher quality.

I maintain that high alcohol beers are comparatively easier to make than low alcohol beers. At 5.8, this is a very low alcohol Belgian beer, but it has a fantastic nose, great mouthfeel, and the closest thing to a perfect flavor that I have had from a textbook blonde. For the style, I think that this is the best of the Westvleteren beers. It was by far the highlight of the trip to Sint Sixtus.

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Photo of Trizzle
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw yellow body, a tad murky. A generous head that retains beautifully and leaves a good slather of chunky lace.

Not much to be had on the nose, a light lemon and ginger with some bretanomyces-esque barnyard funk.

Sweet and straw like malts with subtle lemon and ginger notes, nice dry hop, more bretanomyces hints and some other bread like yeastie goodness.

Medium-light bodied thickened up with a good level of champagne like tight bubbly carbonation.

Good stuff. I quite like it. Comparable to an Orval, but not quite the complexity.

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

Poured from a bottle into a Delirium tulip glass at low altitude.

A: Dark wheat color with a one finger white head. Good lacing as well.

S: Really fruity and citrusy. It smells most like a pomelo to me.

T: The fruitiness comes through really strongly up front with some nice citrus. Wheat follows up, with bitterness from the hops to round it out.

M: I felt that this was dry all the way through, with a refreshing amount of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable considering the low alcohol content, but I think this would be a bit dry to drink over and over. Not to mention it's not the easiest beer in the world to come by.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Date: 04/10/2011
Type: 11.2oz. Trappist Bottle
Vintage: 18.06.11 Best By Date On Cap
Glass: Chimay Chalice

Poured a light golden straw in color w/ a 1/4 finger bubbly white head that left nice lacing. Aromas of banana, clove, orange peel, and breadiness. Tasted of refreshing banana and citrus fruits up front, and backed by breadiness and sufficient hop bite. Thin bodied and clean w/ spot on carbonation. Easy as hell to drink and makes for a great summer brew.

Overall, I am into big beers, so this is really not my thing, but for what it is it is tremendous! Would never turn down a glass.

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 914 ratings
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