Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Trappist Westvleteren Blonde (Green Cap)

The Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren), which happens to be located in Westvleteren, Belgium, is one of only 6 trappist breweries in the world. The other five are Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle. The trappist monks of Westvleteren brew beer in order to make enough money to sustain their way of life in the abbey. They have a strict policy of selling the beers (Blond, 8 and 12) at the abbey or at the cafe In De Vrede. Resale of the beer is prohibited and strongly against the wishes of the monks. Any Westvleteren you find in the U.S. that is labeled is grey market and is being sold against the wishes of the monks.

The Westvleteren Blonde comes in an unlabeled 33cl brown bottle with a date of 12.08.05 printed on the cap. It pours into my tulip glass a wonderful sunshine/goldenrod color with a creamy frothy two finger head that lingers with massive active carbonation. Very nice. Aromas of fruity sun dried grains with a lovely floral, spicy, herbal green hoppiness about it. Lots of light fruity character with hints of apple, lemon and orange. Hay with some earthy, peppery yeastiness coming across as well. An wonderful aroma to be had here.

First sip brings a nice fruity, sun washed grainy maltiness accentuated by a hint of clove and pepper and plenty of earthy yeast tones throughout. Mildly spicy, floral herbal hops poke in midway through each sip. Apple, lemon and light citrus tones with a touch of fresh baled hay. Finishes clean with a lingering fruitiness. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Goes down really smooth and refreshing. A delight on a nice sunny day like today. Truly a tasty blonde ale and one that I would imbibe much more often given the chance. One day I will get to Belgium and sample this at the source, that much is for certain. Ev, thanks again for giving me the chance to try this one!

Overall I gave this brew a 4.15 out of 5. A tasty beer for sure.

Learn more about Westvleteren and the monks by checking out


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