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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
896 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
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
Ratings:
896
Reviews:
440
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
9.88%
 
 
Wants:
477
Gots:
159
For Trade:
5
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Ratings: 896 |  Reviews: 440
Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up in Belgium in summer 2009. No obvious date on the cap. Served in my Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a finger of soapy white foam that slowly dissipates to a thin cap and a ton of lace. Nearly opaque hazed golden peach color. Excellent looking brew.

S - Smells like an abbey single. Lemony citrus, grassy hops, graham cracker pale malt backbone, a touch of honey and banana, and some Belgian-style yeast. As it warms there are some slight medicinal notes.

T - The taste is a little more smoothed out, with a good amount of bread, light pepper, some hay and floral hoppiness, and a tiny touch of sourness in the finish. The near 6% is imperceptible.

M - Soft tingly carbonation, light-medium body that is quite smooth. Dry finish, with only light residual stickiness. Quite refreshing!

D - It's the session beer of the Westvleteren monks - if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. I'll always have fond memories of sipping this with Urbain, Bryna, and Dave Schuster at Cafe In De Vrede.

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Photo of devilben02
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy, soft yellow color with a thick and foamy white head on top. The aroma is a bit understated, but prominent notes of yeast and citrus are still easy to notice. The flavor is bright and cheerful, yet earthy. The lemony citrus is the first thing to hit the tongue, followed by a mild undercurrent of yeasty twang, and a finale of dry sweetness. The texture is the star more than anything, though, with an initial effervescent punch to the tip of the tongue that somehow seems to disappear into an unexpected smoothness as the liquid explored my mouth. It finishes dry and clean, but the result is light-and-airy rather than crisp-and-refreshing. Certainly not the most flavorful selection, but a terrific drinking experience.

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

The starter beer of our winter tasting which is strange in itself given its profile. Decided to climb the ladder so we started off with this belgian pale ale as a starter beer.

A - Pours a hazy blonde color into our Westveltern goblets. Puffy white head following a slight gusher on opening.

S - Very delightful. Picks up corriander and a nice touch of lemon and honey.

T - Really pleasant. I very much enjoyed this one and would love to have this as a spring/summer staple if it were not a Westy which makes it so hard to obtain. Really good. A couple of my friends said it had the taste of a honey lemon cough drop, a pleasant mix of the typcial Belg profile but with an undercurrent of sweetness which produces a nice mix and contrast.

M - Crisp and delicious. Really nice. Again, just about perfect and what you would want and expect out of this beer.

D - Tremendous. Again, a beer that you could have over and over again on a warm spring/summer day. Really enjoyable.

Given the demand of the 8 & 12, I would suggest you don't overlook this one. I really liked it and everyone thought this one was great. I will definitely pick this one up and not as an after-thought to the 12. It stands on its own.

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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale hazy gold color with a one finger head which leaves a nice looking lace. Smells of yeast, lemons, apples, hay, and cloves. The taste is mostly lemon, yeast, and grass. Mildly sweet, with a lot of carbonation. Very effervescent. A crisp beer which finishes dry. An absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz label-less bottle into my Koningshoeven chalice. Pours a golden amber hazy color with a medium size white head that slowely disapates to a nice surface froth. Lacing isn't what I ecpected, but still there.

Aroma is pretty strong, inviting...sweet. Fruit notes of citrus...apple maybe. Booze isn't detectable at all, not a surprise at just above 5%. Toasted malts noticeable too.

Toasted malts are obvious up front. Fruit is lighter than I expected...apple again, grapefruit maybe. Picking up a sweetness like honey. Of course the common Belgian yeasts...finally finishing on the slightly bitter side. Very well balanced and crisp.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another paper review... Inflatablechair provided this for a pre-dinner treat a long while back. Thanks again Sam!!

Pale gold.. a bit hazy... crazy great lacing.

nose is grainy pale malts with a near perfect amount of yeasty phenols... spicy and some mild pear

Flavor mirrors the nose but is surprisingly rich given the ABV.. malts come as a lite biscuity element that carry the Belgian qualities... are hops there? A bit of grassy hops come in my mind's palate... medium/lite body with a effervescent carbonation that somehow still has a sorta creamy mouthfeel... This brew went away waaay too quickly. Amazingly complex.. I wish I took better notes. Love it.

4/4/4.5/4/4.5

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

I'm excited to try the forgotten brother of the Westy family. A real gusher on opening.

Appearance- A cloudy apple cider color. A very dull gold. More like old hay. Half inch of soapy head. Laces very nicely.

Smell- Wet hay. Sour apple. A hint of lemon citrus. Lots of yeast. A real musky smell.

Taste- The herbal, citrusness comes through. It's bready, with a nice citrus bitterness. A little spicy. Real grassy hops are noticeable. It's nice.

Mouthfeel- Nice and light, without being watery. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability- Excellent. I'd love to have more. Smooth and easy without being boring.

This is a very nice beer. Interesting, quite tasty. A little more herbal/grass than I'd prefer. Very glad I had it. Probably not going to the measures necessary to have too many more. Still, absolutely worth having.

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Photo of parkeak0
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I adore this beer. It was, for better or for worse, the only beer that the shop across from the abbey in Westvleteren had for retail the last time I was there. This is, in my opinion, a quintessential belgian pale ale. Yeasty funk, dry, bitterness and tartness, hoppy - but in proportion ,and oh-so-refreshing. I would drink this very frequently if I could get my hands on it this side of the pond. Not a common brew, but if you get a chance to sample this gem, I highly recommend you do so.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mikesgroove for the bottle.

A: Poured a hazy golden color with quite a bit of visible carbonation. A quarter finger of white head with some lacing.

S: The yeast jumps out at you then you get the nice fresh grain smell. Grassy hop aromas as well.

T: Quite fruity. Got a bit of apples and pears. A little bit of faded hops as well. Still fairly bright. The grains tastes really fresh and the yeast adds quite a bit. The carbonation is almost part of the taste in this beer.

M: Prickly carbonation. Very light and refreshing.

D: I would love to have a keg of this for the summer. Just a really great beer all around. Thanks again mikesgroove.

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Photo of bmanning
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed 11/02/2009.
A: Pours cloudy light brown/dark gold with thin white head.
S: Apples, cloves, nutmeg, pineapple
T: If you were to give me this beer in a blilnd taste test, I would swear it is part Belgian Blonde, part French Cider. The apple and clove flavors really come through strong and it tastes wonderful! This is a very unique and well crafted beer - I would expect nothing less of Westvleteren. I could drink this beer every day and not get tired of it - it's so tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I seem to come across the other two Westys at least a couple times a year in the states but I have never seen the Blonde here so when I had the chance to go to Belgium, the Blonde came in very near the top of my list of 20 beers I must try while in country. It didn't disappoint. Bottle purchased at Beer Mania at the beginning of my trip. I must say that I was happy that I made that purchase because it turns out that the Blonde is almost as rare in Belgium as it is in America. The 8 and 12 can be found in most tourist trap liquor stores if you're willing to pay enough and they're pretty common in good beer bars too, but the Blonde...I only saw it sold at two or three places my entire trip and I was looking.

Though not quite a gusher, the bottle popped a bit when I removed the cap and the beer poured with a very healthy white head and large carbonation streams. The body was opaque golden straw, not the best looker but not terrible either - just very yeasty.

Aroma had a strong corn flake malt presence and contained some expected fruit notes of pear, honey-dew melon, lemon zest, star fruit, and honey and some surprisingly nice spicy hop character that smelled distinctly of white pepper and tobacco smoke. This smoke would come through in the finish of the flavor as well. The majority of the body tastes of fruity yeast - pear and apricot mostly and some sweet bready grain. Doughy feel from all the yeast sediment but the carbonation does add some levity. Certainly drinkable.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer pours a light to medium cloudy gold. The head is white rises about a finger but is gone quickly. The lacing is light, not much there.

The aroma is outstanding. It is honey and tart and with hops. Its really nice and crisp and brings you in right away.

The taste is really good, but a notch below the flavor as it doesn't carry over the same flavors. Its little sweet with some hops, reminds me a tripel but a better version.

The mouthfeel is surprsing good and this is very drinkable.

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Photo of Travlr
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy golden yellow. Thick white head. Malt aroma with lemon and white pepper. Lightly spiced (maybe coriander? maybe orange peel?) with sourness, and a slightly bitter finish. Nicely balanced and very complex. Start with this one before heading to the 12. A unique brew.

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Photo of ricke
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear golden color with an enormous ivory-colored rocky head. Good head retention and nice chunky lacings.

S: A fresh and balanced smell. Malts, wheat crackers, hints of grass, sweet Belgian yeast and mild herbal hop notes.

T: The taste is actually very full considering the style and level of ABV. Plenty of herbal and spicy notes of hops and yeast on top of a biscuity malts. Grass and some citric notes. It's rather sweet with some complementary bitterness. The finish is surprisingly bitter with a noticeable taste of sweet alcohol. Hints of phenols and white pepper. Refreshing and very easy to drink.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Somewhat oily texture.

D: A first class easygoing beer. Very flavorful considering the style and strength.

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Photo of srroos
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330mL bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip-type glass:

A: Hazy, bright straw in color with an impressive white head.

S: Light and floral, hard to place just like smelling a bunch of wildflowers. Simply pleasant and mild with a belgian yeasty background.

T: Light malty sweetness up front with a big hit of bitterness in the finish.

MF: Light bodied with loads of carbonation.

D: Would be easy to drink except for the extreme bitterness. Good to sip slowly, which is unexpected from this style.

Reminds me a lot of Duvel only less sweet, still super smooth, but just a bitter. Excellent brew!

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

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: highly opaque straw color with an enormous foamy white head.

Smell: malty but with a very nice and distinct floral hop aroma. Delicate but very pleasing.

Taste: very interesting. Nice malt character with a hint of crisp apples. Slight bitterness concomitant with light but tasty floral hops. This is an eminently tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: exactly what I'm looking for in this style: medium body which is satisfactory but not overbearing; well-integrated carbonation which gives a highly pleasing creamy texture.

Drinkability: but for the difficulty of acquiring this beer, it would be monstrously sessionable. I love it.

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

I poured a West Blond, then 12 then 8 in that order to compare. While the Blond is not as highly regarded, I highly suggest it and think it may be under rated.

A - Huge white head that delivered a lot of lacing. You could really see the carbonation bubbles going on here. This was a light golden yellow color.

S - A sharp smell with some funk.

T - This yeast delivered very fruity flavors in this lighter brew. The sharp taste was grassy bittering hops with funk like characteristics.

M - Very carbonated and light. Delivered all of the flavors that way.

D - This would be a great session beer.

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

Bottle Top-12 10 06
Cloudy light yellow body with a small but pleasant pure white head. Beautiful lacing.
Yeast and lemon are the dominating characters of this beers smell.With some subtle spice, possibly coriander and clove.
A light citric snap along with a pleasant malt body. Yeast contributes a light biscuit character. Light spice character reminiscient of a witbier. Hops are almost unperceptable but find a way to contribute.After first experiencing the beer I poured the lees into my glass and the beer became noticably more bitter;I do not recommend this.
Mouthfeel is extremelly creamy with a silk like character. Carbonation is perfect.
Although not as complex as I had expected, the mouthfeel was incredible. This is one of the most drinkable beers I have ever had.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer with a 10 and 12. Served from a bottle into a Delirium Tremens glass. Thick white head that dominates the beer. The beer is yellow and cloudy. The aroma is subtle but good. Smells like a blonde ale. Some alcohol, mostly malt no hop character. The taste is sour. Mouthfeel is full and good. The beer fills your mouth. It is incredible. The head falls away as you drink and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. My tour of trappist ales should result in me being able to rank them, right now this one is the in the lead. I wish this was more readily available in the US, or available at all. We'll see how the others hold up.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly pale yellow with about 1/2-inch of head. Very well carbonated with traces of yeast.

Smell is that oh so famous Belgian yeast..slightly peppery and spicy as well.

Taste is somewhat subdued however. Starts off relatively watery and finishes peppery, spicy, and a little dry. Oddly, a taste a little bit of alcohol as well, which is different for 5.80%.

Overall, yes this is a good beer. Yes, it's Westvleteren. But, I don't know if I would seek this out.

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Photo of erz316
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

date on cap 31.03.10, poured into leffe glass.

A - big sound when I take the cap off. dark straw colour, hazy, bordering on a shade of yellow. head is big, fluffy, and bright white; retains very well. the top of the head is smooth, but bumpy with big popped bubbles in the middle. abundant lacing. maybe i disturbed the yeast when i poured it, but the only thing keeping the beer back from a heavenly perfect score is the darkness of the body.

S - grassy hops, slight twangy fruit, sweet malt, slight spiciness. undeniably one of the best smelling beers, but each one of the notes is extremely evasive and the whole aroma is not very powerful. the hops are quite amazing in their versatility, grassy and slightly floral, while the sweetness of the malt invites this dried apricot flavour to come out. despite this, it needs to be a lot more powerful to really have that wow factor in the nose.

T - this is one of the most apricot like beers i've ever had. the initial tastes are apricot, yeast, and malts. one can sense the hop bitterness but there is no discernible flavour. wow, the apricot thing is quite good; this yeast strain is quite amazing. the finish is more citrusy than apricot: grapefruit and lightly floral hops. the hops are much more delicate in this stage than any other. the aftertaste is bitter from the hops and just as equally sweet from the malts, a masterful blend. this apricot flavour comes out with the malts when one chooses to switch back from taking in the hops. this beer is a very delicate customer, and should not be expected to knock out your tastebuds, but despite that it still gets a high rating because of the sheer variety of flavours and complexity to the flavor.

MF&D - the feel is absolutely amazing: the head is thick and creamy like a nitro head; the body itself is a bit too thick, and the carbonation is almost crisp enough. the carbonation is ample, it just doesnt bite through hard enough for me. needless to say, i would gladly have another, or a whole sixer by myself.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very murky, pale yellow with a towering 3 finger head that camps out for a while in all of its fluffy goodness. Smell is clove, light tropical fruit, and a light graininess. Taste is dominated by spices but they aren't very bold on the palate...subtle and inviting. Unfortunately it is a tad watery, but still flavorful enough to make it interesting. Medium bodied with a stinging carbonation. This is a solid, session type beer but it is not worth the price tag that it takes to get it in America.

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Photo of adamette
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My 500th review, Review from notes as I drank and took review notes on this beer 6 9 09 after flying to Brussels and renting a car, driving straight to Westvleteren specifically to try this and all three of the available Westvleteren beers. Poured by the bartender at In De Vrede in the shadow of St. Sixtus, Westvleteren, the only "bar" where you can honestly buy this stuff. It was poured from the bottle into a silver rimmed Westvleteren goblet (just like mine back home). I think that it was 4 Euros or about 6 USD.

A Cloudy yellow body under an enormous white fluffy head that sticks around for a while, about 5 minutes. The head, in fact, lasted throughout my repeated sips. Great look. How can it be improved? 5.0

S Nice citrus softness, some malt and nearly no hops to my nose. Really inviting and my memory of the other Westvleteren beers made smelling it (and not simply drinking it) difficult indeed. 4.5

T Smooth citrus (lemon mostly) malt dominate as the hops are in the background. This is the essential blonde in my mind. 5.0

M The most distinctive aspect of this beer as it is ultimately soooo smoooth. It reminds me of the feel of silk in its smoothness. I don't know if it is from the correct carbonation or other factors but the feel cannot be improved. 5.0

D Great, especially with its manageable ABV. 5.0

Notes: Of course I looked forward to having this beer (I was able to purchase 12 and 8 online but this one was "not available" at the time of my purchase) at, or near the brewery but to actually try it was sublime. As I repeated my sips I thought to myself that God himself must have had a hand in the decisions that went into these beers as they are divine. I strongly believe that the Blonde is underrated.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

Into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 2 finger medium looking white head with decent retention. A nice amber orange colour, is pretty cloudy with no real carbonation evident after the yeast has been poured in. Head slowly fades to a decent film cap. A thin cap remains until the end but leaves minimal lacing.

SMELL: Decent nose of toasted malts and lots of fruity notes. Some apple, peach, and citrus lemons make an appearance. A hint of honey in the background is a nice touch.

TASTE: Toasted malt up front with a hint of apples and honey in there as well. Surprisingly the fruit is not as prevalent here, but a burst of spices, clove and pepper, and lots of Belgian yeast carry through the middle and end, finishing off with a dose of bitterness to balance everything out. A spicy and bitter aftertaste is pretty strong and long lasting. Tells a story, with nice balance overall.

PALATE: A little disappointed here. Lighter and thinner body with higher end carbonation. Big and airy light on the palate, goes down smooth enough and ends with a bit of stickiness. Get the burps from this one. Could be a little creamier and thicker for my liking. This hurts its drinkability, unfortunately.

OVERALL: A good brew. Everything was very much to my tastes for a blond, except for the thinner and weaker palate. Unfortunately this one doesn't quite live up to the superior and outer-worldly Westvleteren 8, but one worth checking out in its own right. Though, with the hefty price tag this one accompanies, I don't think I'll be picking this one up again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.25 out of 5 based on 896 ratings.
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