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

Trappist Westvleteren BlondeTrappist Westvleteren Blonde
Liked This Beer
4.25 w/ 908 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 908 |  Reviews: 442
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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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 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 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.


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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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Trappist Westvleteren Blonde from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 91.3% out of 100 with 908 ratings
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