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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
BA SCORE
4.25/5
Outstanding
929 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium
sintsixtus.be

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#913
Reviews:
450
Ratings:
929
pDev:
9.88%
Bros Score:
3.53
 
 
Wants:
484
Gots:
171
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 929 |  Reviews: 450
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.

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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.

B+

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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

Bottle.

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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Photo of drtth
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass from a bottle with a best by date of 06.08.11. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a bright, very lightly hazed, golden yellow color with a ¾” white head that soon recedes to a ring around the glass and a thin layer of foam on the surface. Sipping leaves a ring and some thick patchy legs of lacing that slide back down the glass into the ring of foam.

Smell: The aroma has traces of citrus and hints of the Belgian yeast. It seems a bit more hoppy than the typical Belgian Pale Ale. It is definitely grassy and herbal in character.

Taste: The flavors are dominated by a slightly earthy and grassy character that adds some bitterness but doesn’t conceal a bit of citric character of the beer, nor does it completely conceal some bready sweetness from the malts.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and the carbonation is adequate but soft and gentle giving the beer a nice creamy smoothness. The finish is medium to long, beginning in the front of the mouth with the faint bready sweetness from the malts and then moving back across the palate as it becomes a bit more citric, a wee bit funky, grassy, and dryer. Eventually it ends with a light dry bitterness that invites another sip.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: Each sip follows the last quite naturally and I’m more than happy to have more. I certainly would drink more of these if I were able and I could imagine being quite happy if this were the daily beer that went with my meals. My overall impression is of a first rate pale ale with just enough Belgian yeast character to differentiate it from other styles of pale ale.

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Photo of khumbard
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer poured into my new Westy chalice. Thanks Matt for the beer and the glass!

Pours a pale yellow with a one inch white fluffy head, looks very refreshing. Smell is full of belgian yeast, earthy, a little funky, and maybe a slight hop character. Taste is great: a light spice character, earthy yeast, a lemon fruitiness but without the sour, and finishes with a small hoppy bite. Mouthfeel is excellent for such a light beer. It is creamy, carbonation is perfect, and finishes crisp and clean. Overall this beer really impresses me for such a light beer. It is so well crafted it's ridiculous. If it was easy to find, I could easily go through a sixer in a session during the summer. Bravo St. Sixtus!

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ccm414 for this amazing beer! Enjoy the KBS!

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Pretty much a perfect representation of what a Belgian pale ale should look like...very aesthetically pleasing. Extremely modest bottle with no label, merely "Trappistenbier" engraved in the glass...mysterious...and a sweet logo on the cap. Completely opaque yellowish golden hue with a 1/2" of white head. Very good retention and moderate speckled lacing.

S - Pure Belgian yeast...mmmm...unparalleled. Earthy and woody scents with a slight hint of citrus and perhaps pine from the hops.

T - This is just awesome. The Belgian yeast dominates as in the aroma with a slight citrusy taste. Very complex spiciness that only Belgian trappist beers are capable of...go monks! Very earthy tones take over the background.

M - This is where the Belgian spices really steal the show. The natural spices are present immediately, through the experience, and in the aftertaste. The unique yeast strain plays a role here as well...it seems as though it's still fermenting in my mouth.

O - Overall I believe that this beer is the pioneer of the style. Not my favorite style, but the leader nonetheless. It is the perfect spring beer and I wish I had more than one to drink! Thanks again ccm414!

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Photo of ccm414
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 10 oz bottle...

A- Pours with about a 3 finger head that lingers for a while. The lacing it leaves is not uniform around the glass, but almost leaves "clumps" of foam around the majority of the glass. It is a hazy golden/straw color.

S- The smells tend to be rather fruity and yeasty, pleasant on the nose. Seems to be well balanced.

T- A little spicy with much of the yeast characteristics coming through. A grapefruit bitterness is also noticeable.

M- A rather lighter feel to this beer, very crisp feeling. Nothing too overpowering with the carbonation, either.

D- I would love to be able to reach into my fridge and grab one of these over and over again. Very drinkable with the mouthfeel and flavor offerings.

Cheers!

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

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Body is a hazy blond color, with a white head that lasts awhile, dissipating to a cap and ring, leaving lots of lacing. A little yeast sediment escaped from the bottle into the glass.

Nose is bready malty with hints of fruit, candi sugar, and green hops.

Starts with a bready malty taste, pretty hoppy in the mid-palate with some tropical fruit undertones, ends with a long dry hoppy finish. This is a pretty hoppy beer--actually tongue-numbingly so--and is quite delicious.

Body is light and carbonation is crisp and refreshing but also provides a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

This is a delightful belgian blond ale that is very drinkable at 5.8%.

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

Poured into a Stone snifter, Bottle date says 19/06/10

A: Pours a pretty light golden-yellow, with a minimal amount of white foam that quickly dissipates.

S: The nose has a rich malt characteristic that gives way to some hops in it. There are some fruits in there too, perhaps lemon and grapefruit. The ever present, belgian yeast comes through on the end.

T: The front end of the beer has a noticeable malt flavor a little on the grainy side as well, there is a hint of lemon, but a fair amount of grapefruit flavor in this. The back end of the beer has a pretty strong hop profile to it, which surprised me.

M/D: This is a very light bodied, but crisp beer. The flavors on this were really surprising to me, especially the hops, but my bottle was pretty recent, so I assume that with some age it would balance out a little more, but I loved it. I wish I could get this more often.

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Photo of mattdev
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a dense white head that lasted the entire glass. Aroma- lots of citrus, grapefruit, dust, pine, and slight funk. Intense hallertauer(?) hop aroma. Taste- Light to medium body with HUGE funk and citrusy fruits. Finish - beautiful hop bitterness, crisp, clean, dry and wonderful funk on the back of the tongue. A nearly flawless beer.

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Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always a pleasure to try anything from Westvleteren. Truly a world class brewery. Pours from a 330ml bottle into a chalice at cellar temp.

Pours a hazy straw with a thin cream colored head. Nose has light fruity malts, spicy yeast and perhaps a bit of sourness. Taste definately a bit tart. This was an older bottle that doesn't seem to have aged very well.

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Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split, as part of Westy Wednesday at Volo. Served in a flute.

Poured a pale yellow, with a finger of head. Dense head with some sticky lace, filtered. Nose of light sugar candy, pale fruits and a touch of spice. Taste is of the pale malts, dry leafy hops, light spicing and a long dry (almost parching finish), leaving one longing for the next sip. Low carbonation, great body and mouthfeel. Drinks exceptionally, subtle and sophisticated.

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Photo of n2185
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a lovely hazy gold with about two fingers of dense, white head. The head gradually recedes into a solid white cap with good lacing.

S: Smells of sweet candy sugar and a spicy Belgian yeast. There's also a bit of skunk to it as well. Fairly simple, but it smells quite appetizing and refreshing.

T: There is a nice, malty sweetness up front that is quickly followed by the spicy Belgian yeast flavors. There is a touch of the skunk flavor as well, but it goes well with this beer. The finish is very dry with some lightly bitter hop and yeasty notes to it.

M: Light body with high carbonation. The beer is very dry and crisp--very refreshing.

D: With the light body, tasty flavors, crispness, and low abv, this is a very drinkable beer. I only wish it were a bit easier to obtain because I would love to have a sixer of this to put back on a hot summer afternoon around the grill. Not a very complex beer, but delicious and very drinkable!

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