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Blond - Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

Not Rated.
BlondBlond

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mora2000 on 06-21-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by julian:
Photo of julian
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

First off, be VERY careful when opening this bad boy. I've read reviews where others have experienced the same thing, but my cork took off like a goddamn high school space science project as soon as the cork was slightly untwisted. Scared the bejesus out of me.

A: I'm not so sure I'd call this a "Blond" to describe it's color as it's more on the murky off color orange side. From the bottom of my glass I can very clearly see a stream of extremely fast bubbles rising to the surface. The nucleation site on the bottom of my glass clearly is accentuating this. Head is huge! It's like my beer is swimming in a bubble bath. Definitely takes a few pours, and a few pauses to get this to a drinkable level.

S: Lovely. Some pear, green apples, mild earthy hops and a crisp light peppery aroma.

T&M: Right off the bat, this thing is highly carbonated which isn't surprising considering it's attempt at taking my eyes and possibly putting me into a mild coma during it's decorkage. Nevertheless this is very crisp and clean. Taste is wonderful. Lots of awesomely traditional Saison character. A little bit of bready and peppery yeast come through, some earthy bitterness mixed with some apple and pear flavors.

O: This is a wonderful unassuming little Saison. It would be even better if they could get the carbonation under control but definitely would seek this out and drink it again. My first offering from Hof Ten Dormaal and I'm very impressed.

julian, Nov 07, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

The cork whizzed by our heads--a lively beer with a very expressive head. Yeasty nose, earthy with ripe peaches and herbal phenols. Big fluffy crispness from the higher level of carbonation. Yeast runs from earthy to nutty, which works well with the ripe orchard fruit and dried grass malt base. Wild herb phenols and alcohol hold strongly to the taste buds with suggestions of sage, bay leaf, rose water and peppery complexities. Wow, sort of a raw, in-your-face, knock-your-socks-off kind of brew.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this beer. This is the first beer I have had from this brewery, which I believe just began being imported into the United States.

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a huge white head. The aroma is mainly yeast with some spices. The flavor is citrus fruit, yeast and pepper. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a bad Belgian ale.

Mora2000, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +1.8%

GreenMountainBoy, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

jtladner, May 18, 2013
Photo of Melonie
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Melonie, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%

(Served in a tulip glass)
Best before C12 stamped in label
A- This beer pours a touch of hazy to the deep orange body with a violent carbonation boiling to the surface. The snow white head on top last a bit before breaking into a thick ring.

S- The sugary aroma has some raw grain notes with a dry cidery finish and some damp cellar notes in the finish. There is a slight wet stone/flinty note that grows in the finish.

T- The sweet cidery flavor has notes of raw malt with some slightly toasted hints and a brett earthy note and some wet cinderblock notes in the finish that has a brassy flavor that grows.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel finishes with a full alcohol warmth boosted by the fizz.

O- This is a big sweet cidery hot beer without much saison yeast character but some nice fresh malt hints do shine through enough to keep me sipping for this glass.

rhoadsrage, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of weonfire
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Golden/Brown, 2 fingers of white, tiny bubble head. very nice lacing.

S - hmm... faint. if at all. there is about a 1 mm layer of head possibly capping the nose. when i do break through: lemon/grass, floral, minor honey

T - As far as saisons go this would be in the dyer category. again- lemon/grass comes thru, white wine, a little boozey on the way down.

M - Wow this is frothy. almost too much. high carbonation pops on the way down. high viscosity.

O - Minor nose hurts, taste is good but nothing noteworthy, thickness is wonderful - but i end up coming back to wishing there was another layer or more complexity to the taste. it really has great potential to be an excellent, excellent beer.

weonfire, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of DirtybeerguyRI
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%

APPEARANCE: Hazy golden pour with TONS of carbonation. This beer produces a big, fluffy white head that requires patience if don't like to drink before it settles down. It almost looks like a hazy gold champagne.

SMELL: A nice combination of peach, pepper, and wild herbs with earthiness in the background. I'm more a fan of how this beer smells compared to how it tastes.

MOUTHFEEL: Lot's and lots of fizzy carbonation on this light-bodied farmhouse ale. It really fills the mouth with tight, humming bubbles. I'm not a big fan of this much carbonation in a beer.

TASTE: This is where this beer fell apart for me. The aroma is earthy, but the taste is more musty and grainy. I pick up some bready malts and a fair amount of grassiness mixed with lemon and citrus notes. But none of these notes are distinctive enough to make this a distinctive, enjoyable beer for me.

VERDICT: I should note that on the various beer review sites, this brew averages between a B+ to A+. So, you may like this beer a lot more than me. For me, though, this beer tasted a stuffy without any other tastes coming through to balance.

Cheers,
John Harvey
Dirtybeerguy.com

DirtybeerguyRI, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of mattfancett
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%

mattfancett, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%

Picked up a 375ml bottle at Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem for $4. I'd call it a good deal. Sure it was overcarbonated and the cork was halfway out, but once the hazy yellow beer settled down I had a heck of a beer on my hands.

It's full of sharp Belgian spicy phenol with the same coriander, fresh pepper corns, and orange peel that I tasted in the Dormaal Amber. There's also a big bitter Euro hops character of floral, herbal, and earthy citrus note.

Overall, this reminds me a bit of Saison Dupont, and might be just as good. Find this beer, you won't regret it.

tempest, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Ralphs66, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of falconxman
4/5  rDev +1.8%

falconxman, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, and banana. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, banana, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. You could definitely tell it was brewed in Belgium with the heavy Belgian yeast influence and fruit flavors going on here. Had a good aroma and flavor though. I really had no idea this was a Saison, thought of it as more of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Pretty good to say the least...

thagr81us, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of Swift989
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Swift989, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Neffbeer
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%

375ml bottle caged and corked into a tulip:

A: I am greeted by a loud pop. Very bubbly frothy white head, opaque body. Head retention was minimal, with a small amount of lacing.

S: Candy sugars, banana bubble gum, black pepper, and clove. The yeast is also very pronounced in the nose.

T: Yeast and bread followed by some fruitiness. Finishes dry and kind of metallic. There is a bitterness at the end that I can't quite put my finger on.

M: Highly carbonated and full bodied.

D: Decent saison. Solid example of the style, but not my favorite.

Neffbeer, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Coren
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Coren, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy light golden amber. Upon release of the wire bail the cork shot out with such force that it hit the roof, ricocheted off a wall, hit a lamp; I still haven't found it. Although the bottle itself was not a gusher, I had to remove a half cup of foam during the pour to get even a 1/3 of a glass of ale. Needless to say, massive head and lacing; great carbonation. Aroma of sweet malt, Belgian spicing, yeast, light orange and grass. Flavor starts with sweet, somewhat caramel malt, light fruit and Belgian spicing. Flavor changes to dry fruit and finishes dry with light fruit and a touch of wild yeast funk. Medium bodied with spicy active carbonation. A very interesting flavor progression; at first I thought "this is no saison, it's a Belgian blond", but as the finish developed I thought "oh, yeah, there it is". Nice Belgian with a pleasant combination of characters from two styles.

LiquidAmber, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of RuudJH
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%

Small bottle with a cork on it. 37.5 cl. bottle.

Colour is golden with an orange glow, hazy, with an active carbonation, creating a huge head and nice lacing.

Smell is fresh hoppy (citric and floral), clean yeast and malts.
Taste is malty, spicy and earthy. The hops are pronounced without being agressively bitter.

Sweetbitterness aftertaste, very smooth medium to full body. Some dryness too. Easy alcohol. Clean and sweet.
Not too carbonated.

All in all a great example of strong belgian ale.

RuudJH, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%

A: The beer is cloudy yellow in color and poured into a tulip glass with a three finger high bright white head that has good retention properties. It has a moderate amount of visible carbonation.
S: There are aromas of spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is quite spicy--flavors of black pepper stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is also a good amount of dryness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
D: The high amount of carbonation in this beer improves its drinkability as it helps to diffuse the spiciness in the flavors.

metter98, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

Picked up a 375mL bottle of this beer at Tria in Downtown Philly. Poured into a tulip glass.

The carbonation is evident from the outset, as the cork produces a huge POP despite the bartender's best effort to keep it under control. The only thing that I have qualms with here is the carbonation. It is very very primed, even straight out of the cooler where it resided for days to allow the carbonation to move into the beer itself. It is a chore to pour this beer at the outset, but a little patience yields a truly inspiring view of a Belgian saison. Dirty straw colored hazy bodied, capped by the ample coarse head described above, this is what a saison should look like. Unfortunately, the only problem is the foamy mess that it is when I pour it for the first time.

The aroma is great. There is a funkiness brought on by the bittering hops homegrown on the Dormaal farm despite the lack of brett. There are also esters of apple, pear, and banana, coupled with an almost German weizen-like clove flavor. The flavor mirrors this, but it also adds a great earthy dryness to the finish. The apple and clove also really pull through here. Despite the high ABV, there isn't a trace in the flavor.

The feel is obviously highly carbonated, but as the beer sits, it suits the style well. Still light on the palate at 8%, this is a great saison brewed in the traditional manner, with homegrown malts and hops. I am definitely hoping that I start seeing this at more bars, as it is a great representation of this style.

NittanyBeerFan, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of dipso123
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

dipso123, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of paleoplant
4/5  rDev +1.8%

paleoplant, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of fmccormi
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%

Straight pour from a 12.7oz/375ml cork-and-cage, green glass bottle to an oversized wineglass (my nice Tired Hands stempiece—thanks again, Ryan!); notches on the far-right side of the label indicate a freshness window closing in the 5th week of September, 2013 (“Best before: ABDC(E) 12345678(9)101112 09101112(13)14”). We’ll see how it’s fared.

Appearance (4.0): An easy, voluminous, cream-colored head of ~3 fingers quickly comes off of the pour, capping a glowing, honey-amber body with a slight haze and orange highlights. The head dies down VERY slowly, with excellent retention and some nice lace: a few fat legs and arcs, with scattered suds.

Smell (4.0): Warm, pale, grainy bread with strong hay and floral-fruity tones, and a mild, rustic funk richness. Light pepper and chamomile . . . and some fresh peach tones helping to flesh out the aroma nicely.

Taste (4.25): Some soft, but bright and sweet lemon and very floral tones characterize the core of the palate, decorating some lightly sweet, honeyed biscuit, slightly rustic malt flavors—very soft, and lovely. The finish is where the flavor really takes off: bright, tart lemons blend with some rustic spice and strike a flash of tangy acidity that opens up to some funk and hay on the back end. Really nice. No sign of the 8% ABV, surprisingly—not even close. Tastes more like a 5% session Belgian Pale.

Mouthfeel (4.0): A soft, tingly carbonation lays down a bed of velvet for the soft, medium-weight body to roll through. The tangy finish, with some hidden heat behind it, help to dry out the finish nicely.

Overall (4.0): This is a very, very nice Belgian Blond Ale. It’s more of a Belgian Pale Ale to me than a Saison, but it’s definitely a farmhouse beer. And what a nice one it is. Well-rounded, nuanced, and pleasing-to-very-pleasing in every regard. I am definitely glad that I got to try this one.

fmccormi, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of JohnK17
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

JohnK17, Dec 24, 2011
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Blond from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
88 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.