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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
929 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: 929 |  Reviews: 450
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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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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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 929 ratings