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

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Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
921 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: 921 |  Reviews: 447
Photo of jlmarshall
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slighty cloudy and gold with two fingers of head which reduces to about a half and sticks around. The top smell is the hops with the yeast underneath. After that, I can smell some type of spice that I cannot describe but reminds me of clove. The mouthfeel is nice with slight carbonation and slight foam and very little trace of alcohol. The first taste is very similar and clean. The second is the same but I remember the hops and I'm very impressed. I wish I could better describe what I taste, but this beer is very easy to drink. I could drink this everyday.

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

Appearance: Robust head, very creamy and its really sticks to the glass.
Smell: you get a nice malt aroma coupled with almost a woodiness that really combines with subtle notes of almost a bitterness.
Taste: A very flavorful malt flavor with a nice fruity tanginess. Almost like a peach but not as sweet. Very substantial, full flavor from the malt helps to make this a balanced sensation.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Very good carbonation that tickles the tongue and helps to bring out the sweetness of the beer. Very good blond that is more on the heavy side.

It was a hard birthday present to get but worth it.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks MANY times to my good friend Jo for schleppin' this back from the brewery for me!

11.2 oz brown glass proprietary bottle. Cap dated 31.03.11.

Appearance: Wow. Beautiful golden hay colored with huge fluffy white head that fills up the Westy glass that she brought me too! Head fades down over a minute. Hazy.

Nose: Luscious apricot, fresh cut hay, a little stone-fruit nuttiness, cream, lightly toasted white oak (hand-hewn boards)

Palate: Oh goody! Acidity! I was hoping that the apricot/nuttiness in the nose was brett and it is (I'm pretty sure)! It's just like Christmas in my mouth! Puckery and woody on the texture, but crisp and clean on the finish. Flavors persist of stone-in apricot, white oak, white peach, a little alcohol prickle, wet grass, peach fuzz. Carbonation level is rather high and explosive when sipped. Nicely bitter too.

Notes: Really not what I was expecting, but pleasantly surprised. This is one of those beers that I knew absolutely nothing about before reviewing it so I wouldn't be tainted by others' opinions. Brett is awesome in blondes and so is this high level of hopping. Amazing.

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

Shared this with my wife over lunch at the cafe Inn de Vrede in Westvleteren.

33 cL poured into a Westvleteren goblet.

A- Poured a bright orange gold, completely hazy with a billowy white head. The head was velvety yet creamy, yet airy. Impressive. Head faded into an encompassing lace that stayed until all the way until the end, leaving a nice lace in the bottom of the glass.

S- Spicy bready malt with hints cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, banana, pineapple, and yeast with the slightest tinge of herbaceous hops. Not as much citrus in the aroma as I've come to know and love in the style.

T- A great bready start, combining with lemon peel, pepper and a cinnamon/nutmeg mix, finished off with a green hop bitterness. Amazingly complex. The only thing I'll say is that the bitter ending is a little uncharacteristic of the style.

M- Thick, chewy, and carbonated. It explodes in your mouth and has the body to stick around. A really great bite, yet amazingly refreshing.

D- Very unique but incredible. It shares so many components of the style with other beers, yet does so much with them. With so much love going to Westy 12, I think this beer gets overlooked. If you love Belgian Pale Ales you'll definitely not want to pass this by if you get the chance.

Reviewing my notes prompted me to check airlines know, just in case...

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

Cap dated xx.09.05, so, this is a 6 year old bottle. Have had this one fresh before, but tasting an aged one should be interesting. Thanks for a great extra, Greg!

A: The pour is the typical hazy golden straw color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is very floral and sweet, very honey-like to be frank. A nice orange note to it as well. A bit of yeast and perhaps some light fruit and spice esters.

T: Honey is definitely the primary flavor here, which is a stark contrast to a fresh bottle. Great honey, orange, and floral sweetness that is quite refreshing, actually.

M: The body is light with a crisp carbonation to it. Quite light on the tongue like you would expect.

D: I think I might actually like this aged version better than the fresh ones that I have tried. A really big difference in terms of flavor, and a beer that you generally would not recommend cellaring for this long, but I think it worked very nicely.

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

poured in to a westvleteren glass
fresh 33 cl bottel

Appearance : golden clear color with abundant foamy head clear and tight.
Smell : excellent nose and intense hopped , spicy, licorice caramel smell pretty sweet.
Taste and mouthfeel : malty body, mild bitterness well hoped, mouth finely spicy.
Drinkability : very good beer in the style Trappist, despite it's relative lightness.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to sweemzander for hooking me and beerFMAndy with this bottle.

Poured into my tulip the beer is a hazy golden yellow. Full three fingers of stark white head. Solid retention. A nice amount of lace left behind.

The aroma is lightly spiced with hints of lemon and banana. Lots of belgian yeast with a dry tart hop profile. Swirling the glass brings out just a touch of barnyard funk. BPA for sure.

The flaovr is a touch muted. I can pick out yeast, dry dusty wood and a definite hop bite. There are light hints of clove, cinnamon, lemon and banana as well.

Light crisp body with a solid dose of carbonation.

Overall a very good beer from a legendary brewery. I will admit BPA's are not my favorite but this one is a drinkable example.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. 5,8% ABV, Date 17.12.10 printed on the cap.

Big thanks to Sweemzander for giving me this bottle to share with Beerwolf77!

A - Hazy pale yellow straw isn't all that carbonated but it sure releases a large head! Tall cloud-white foam sinks slowly and leaves some patchy lace on the glass.

S - Awesome aroma if very light and very crisp Belgian yeast with a superb boquet of deep nuances. Lemony citrus, floral hops, light earthy clay all makes up a deep, simply awesome and completely inviting nose. A faint spice on the finish completes the package.

T - Light pale malts back up a fantastic blend of spicy Belgian yeast and a low earthy notes. Floral hops give the flavor a nice balance and end with a lemony citrusy burst.

M - Light-bodied and crisp with a citrusy finish and spritzy carbonation finish. Smooth and easy going.

D - This would be a brilliant summemr beer if it wouldn't be for how damn hard it is to get. Perfectly drinkable!

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

330ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Translucent pineapple yellow, good even color throughout, with a large billowy white head.

S = Lots of citrus, lemon and orange juices and light zest, some spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, even some banana hiding in there. A very refreshing and yet complex smell.

T = Fresh grass, hay, lemon-orange juice and marmalade, nice light bitterness from front of tongue through to finish, but a good sweetness found at mid-palate.

M = Medium to light body, definite and pleasing carbonation with just a little bite but mostly smooth, good mouthcoating. Mouth dries out quickly after swallowing inviting another drink and contributing to drinkability.

D = This is a great Summer beer. It would be wonderful for breakfast with steamed mussels, too. Goes down easily and begs to be drank.

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

Busted this one out at our private hotel tasting after Flossmoor Friday on 4/23/10. Review from notes.

A - Crystal clear golden yellow with a nice white head and lacing all around. Very good retention too. 4.5

S - Extremely funky and earthy with a slightly horseblanketish aroma going on here. Lemongrass, pepper too. Very interesting especially for the style. 4.0

T - Nice grainy backbone, nice lemonpepper finish, light Brett funkiness. Everything from the aroma as well. Very nice. 4.5

M - Light bubbly and refreshing. 3.5

D - Highly. No question about that. 4.5

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Photo of BobZ
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml 11.2 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel Tulip. Thanks to Peter at Struise

Appearance: Really rich billowy head, and a nice cloudy yellow, very nice lacing which remains on the glass even once the beer is completely gone.

Smell: Gentle but with both some zest and sweetness.

Taste: Incredibly rich for a light Belgian Blonde, extraordinary in fact, sweet but yeasty, some spice and a hint of citrus. My god this is a great beer and what a surprise given that it is the step-child of much widely praised siblings.

Mouth feel: This is where the Westvleteren Monks seem to have found the hidden secret. These beers are so smooth, so creamy, unlike any other beer, a sheer pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: If I could easily get this beer, it would be my "every-day" beer.

If you can get a bottle this beer is worth it, it's both unique and incredible!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into a tulip. 17-12-10 printed on the cap.

(A)- Pours a hazy goldenrod color that produced a huge & beautiful brilliant white foamy & fluffy head with superb retention behind it; it stuck around until I was almost done with the whole bottle! It left behind giant clumps of lacing all over the place. A beautiful sight to see in my unibroue tulip.

(S)- A dry spicy wheat/clove/banana thing going on. Very dry with a light bitter, citrus thing. A significant dryness from both wheat and hops.

(T)- Almost just like the smell. A lightly spiced wheat, clove, lemon, banana profile up front. Finishes dry with a light citrus-like bitter kick.

(M)- A lively carbonation level that dances to life on the tongue. Crisp, with a dry spicy wheat. Bitter, but not overly so; right at pale ale strength. A nice but light citrus finish.

(D)- A great example of the style. Was a great summer refresher after a hot day out under the sun. A tad hoppier than expected, but by no means a complaint. Great stuff. I am glad I was finally able to try this!

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

A - Just slightly clouded golden honey color with an average foamy, sudsy very white head with good retention that settles into a nice foamy layer of lacing that sticks to the glass.

S - Nice mix of some grassy and herbal aroma with a vibrant fruity esters aroma, featuring apple, lemon, a touch of orange and pear. Also has a nice spiced aroma in the background with some clove, coriander and a hint of pepperiness. Yeast aromas are also wafting in the background. Very enticing armoa just begging me to take a sip.

T - Didn't quite live up to the smell unfortunately. Good malty and bready taste serves as a base for a nice mix of fruits and grassy/herbal hops. Plenty of apple and pear along with lemon and a touch of orange like citrus. Mixed in with these and really coming out mid-sip is a good spiced flavor with spices similar to the nose. The hop flavors wax and wane throughout the sip, but never get too powerful and only provide a touch of bitterness. Sweet maltiness comes up a bit at the finish. Nice balanced flavors that are just a touch too light for me.

M - Somewhere between medium and light body with a large amount of carbonation. A bit of a spritzy kind of feel with a touch of drying on toward the end. Fairly creamy while drinking it though.

D - Exceptionally drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is very refreshing and easy to drink and the flavors are enjoyable and make me want to drink more (as does the aroma). Could easily drink this anytime and want another one.

Notes: Best before 06/08/10. Enjoyable beer that was light and refreshing. The taste was a touch too thin/light for my liking, but I think some of that may have been due to the age, which wasn't the freshest but it wasn't too old either (I would really like to try one of these really fresh). Overall a solid beer and very good example of the style. Wonderful smelling and very easy to drink, and refreshing. It gets overshadowed by the other two, but if you have a chance to get this one definitely give it a try.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle shared by Overlord, thanks! Hazed golden with a huge fluffy head with great retention and excellent lacing. In the nose I detect Bretty lemon, a little wet leather, and a light mineral presence with a distinct Belgian yeast character. Moderately Bretty citrus in the flavor, mostly wet leather, a little pepper, a touch of mineral. Creamy mouthfeel. A nice refreshing Belgian Pale Ale on a warm day

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

Sometimes, when you feel supremely jaded, someone comes out of the blue and surprises the hell out you. Thanks Mike Thorpe.

Sampled with hophead84. Been on my "wants" list forever. Had basically given up.

Pours a billowy yellow gold with a nice, lustrous off-white head. Sparkling champagne streams of bubbles. Nice looking beer.

Smells great. Delicious bready yeastiness to the nose, along with a ... farmhouse zestiness to it. Also maybe a hint of fresh cut grass and bittering hops.

Really a marvelous taste, also. Just a well-put together beer. Delicious grass and hay along with a zesty, spicy farm-iness, with a yeasty, bready, spicy (pepper and lemon rind) aftertaste.

Very nice light but-with-a-body mouthfeel.

Just a delicious beer. The best Belgian pale I remember having. As I look through my reviews, it blows away my other Belgian Pale and Belgian Strong Pale scores.

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Photo of elvisnj
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this along with both the 8 and the 12 for some website work done for a Belgian beer shop.

Bottle poured into a generic Belgian beer goblet.

Straw colored beer. Looks slightly darker than a typical pale ale. Nice tight head with lacing happening from beginning to end.

Nose is distantly reminiscent of the Westy 8 but not as full. Scent of banana and sarsaparilla. Almost reminds me of a Heineken. This was strike 1.

It has some hops in the nose and some small hint in the taste. Too much carbonation for the style in my opinion. Subsequently it is a bit acidic going down. Not even a hint of the smoothness of its bigger brother, the Westy 8. Its taste has hints of banana, and clove.

Also a mild cidery thing going on along with some apricot on the tongue. It left an aftertaste of mild bitterness that was a bit unpleasant.

I would not say its a bad beer. I have only tried the 8 previously and I absolutely loved it. Subsequently, I expected sooo much more of this. It did not even come close to what I had hoped.

I am sure that I will be much happier in a week or 2 with the Westy 12 that is sitting in my basement.

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Photo of swid
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened this bottle in honor of my first nephew being born this weekend; bottled May 2008.

Westvleteren Blonde pours a hazy, light-tan color into my chalice. The two years of aging first became evident by the excessive carbonation; the bottle foamed over. By the time it died down and I was able to pour it, it was only able to create a 3/4", nearly-white head that collapsed down to a 1/8" remainder after 5-10 minutes. Little carbonation and lacing. The aroma was somewhat restrained and seemed to alternate between the typical Belgian sweet and spicy notes. Interestingly, this beer had the aroma profile that's more along the lines of a beer with a higher alcohol content, which was a theme that continued in the taste and mouthfeel.

The taste of this beer makes up for the mild letdown in the appearance and smell. The aging has smoothed out the flavor notes considerably, creating a mix of spiciness, candy- and alcohol-like sweetness, a whiff of the earthy "Belgian funk" and a faint floral hops taste. In this case, the sum is well beyond the total of the parts. Each sip brings something new: a bit of carmel this time, a more noticeable hoppiness the next. The amount of complexity layered into this beer, despite its alcohol content, is a testament of the brewers' skill. The mouthfeel is very light on the tongue, and finishes with an earthy, slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall, a great beer, and one well worth seeking out. My bottle may have been aged a bit longer than optimal, but the additional research to confirm/deny this...another Belgium visit...will have to wait for the time being.

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Photo of tedsox31
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Westvleteren goblet. The color is quite golden, a creamy white head that recedes a bit but sticks around, and lots of lacing down the side.

The aroma is spicy and sweet at the same time. As the beer warms a bit, the spicy phenolics come through more as does some perfumy notes. There is some honey and orange in there as well, quite complex.

The taste is also quite complex. Starting off sweet, perhaps some caramel notes, bitterness from the hops follow. There is some citrus right in the middle, and some yeast at the end and more bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite spritzy. It is also creamy, yet not cloying. It finishes dry and does not linger.

This is a great beer. The aromas and flavors are very complex, and it seems that I detect something different each time I take another sip. It is drinkable to boot, making me wish I lived next to Saint Sixtus Abbey. Alas, I do not.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy pale golden color, visibly effervescent, with a HUGE stiff white crown that decomposes in 3D, like and ice cream sundae, with sheets of Belgian lacing. A pretty nice show. The smell is bright earthy lemon grassy hop adorned nicely with a touch of spices. The carbonation brightens up the thin texture of the mouth feel. Highly drinkable and refreshing. The flavor is on the lighter side as well. Earthy and bright, but slightly understated. A real easy drinker. I'm really glad that i got the opportunity to consider this one...many thanks to ShadesOfGray

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Photo of jgasparine
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at In De Vrede, Westvleteren, Belgium on 3/20/2010.

A- Poured into a Wesvleteren challice with a thin 1/4" head of white foam with some very nice lacing. The head was nicely retained. The body was a very turbid and well-carbonated yellow color.

S- Initial impressions of pale malt, Belgian yeast aromatics, and a touch of Brett. Very crackerlike on the nose overall. There's something else there, some faint phenolic that I can't quite put my finger-on. As the beer warmed-up, it's aroma blossomed, becoming much more rich with crackerlike pale malt and more moderate brett than initially present.

T- A perfect replicate of the nose: pale malt, Belgian yeast esters, mild to moderate barnyardy flavors, some little phenolics, no tartness at all. It finishes quite dry with an echo of that malty and barnyardy flavor.

M- A very substantial body. A really big, full body- almost a bit chewy, which is something you don't expect from a lower-alcohol blonde beer. A little creaminess is complimented by this very soft carbonation you get throughout the drink. For the style, this is an exceptional mouthfeel.

D- Goes down really smooth and easy. Nothing overbearing about it. Quite refreshing as well.

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

A: Cloudy pear color with some floaties in the bottom. Nice white head that is absolutely awesome.

S: Fruity with strawberries up front. Very light and crisp in aroma. Not much if any hops in the scent. Nice yeast smell with a little earthiness.

T: A bit tart at first. Very light with some residual fruitiness in the finish. Very mild, with a little earthy hop flavor in the finish.

M: Crisp and clean, and carbonation to rival champagnes..

D: Good, light, crisp. Would be a great summer brew.. But is just a little too mild for me, especially considering it's geological rarity.

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

Pours a cloudy lemon juice color with a crisp white head that fades leaving almost no lacing around the glass.

Smell is of citrus, lemon peel, maybe some orange and a bit of clove.

Taste is of clove, lemon, orange peel, hops, belgian yeast, and some biscuit notes. The beer is dry throughout, which adds to the complexity and drinkability in my opinion. Compared to other blondes I've had this is one of my favorite belgian session beers and also satisfies my hops craving.

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Photo of Brabander
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

His royal dryness. That's what i thought when i drank this beer in my Westvleteren chalice. About eight weeks ago i went to the abbey to pick up two crates of this blond beer. Today i decided to crack one of the bottles.

The fluid is yellow/coppercoloured and the head is surprisingly strong and lasting. Very nice carbornation which stays for a while. The head disappears very very slowly and that is nice for such a bear.

I tried and tried but my nose couldn't detect any smell. I would say it's a flat beer but very enjoyable to drink. I will save the rest for spring when the temperatures will rise

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

Pours cloudy, pale copper. Aroma is earthy, some bretty yeast, pineapple, grapefruit. Flavors of light lemon, canned peaches. Slight acidity and bitterness on a the dry and slightly clove-ish finish, with a bit of tanginess as well. A fine beer but don't let it take the place of a 12 or 8 if you can get any of them.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BBE 20.10.2010, into Orval chalice.
The pour produces luminous snow /egg meringe white head that collapses into solid sheet over the entire surface of hazy straw yellow to extremely pale orange-brown fluid with translucent, almost watery appearance. Swirls wave fabrics of bright lace which is short lived apart from individual patches sliding down the walls.
Aromas are of apples, hops and barn yard funkiness. The mild flavor profile is an interplay of apple tartness and hoppy bitterness enhanced by faint juniper. Slightly astringent.
The light bodied brew with restrained carbonation is thin and shallow and fails to match my mental picture of Westvleteren blond ale. However, the beer is very clean and refreshing so I can easily imagine it being the monk's table beer for daily consumption.
Overrated, overpriced and nowhere close to Orval.

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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 921 ratings