1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Blond - Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

Not Rated.
BlondBlond

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

107 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: Mora2000 on 06-21-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by trevorjn06:
Photo of trevorjn06
4.97/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most carbonated beers I have ever had, when I loosened the wire cage the cork shot out of the bottle with incredible force. Pours a golden/blond color with a massive head that slowly recedes, leaving heavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma is wonderful, citrus and earth leap out of the glass. There is peach, pear, lemon, spiciness, black pepper and much more. Honestly it's a bit too complex for me to describe, all I know is it's amazing. Smells like a saison through and through.

Taste follows the nose but adds a bit of husky/grain character. There is effervescent malt, yeast, lemons, pepper, pear, hints of grass and hop bitterness. This beer is everything a saison should be. The finish is incredibly dry, slightly tart and very refreshing. The alcohol hides very well, this beer is incredibly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly cardonated.

Overall I am very impressed with this beer, it seems to be vying the place of my favorite beer, currently Saison Dupont. I have a feeling that I will be drinking this often, I still need to dissect the aromas and flavors more and really get to know this brew. I had to conscientiously slow myself while drinking this beer, it's so delicious.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of pat61
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big grainy, spicy nose with pilsner malts, earthy hops, yeast character faint orange notes. It pours hazy peach with a long lasting big, ferocious, rocky white head that produces significant lace. This is a yeast driven beer opening with a blend of large pitted fruit and citrus – especially orange very lightly sweetened with light caramel. The sweetness dries out by the finish where a bitter hop accent pulls it all together. This beer is medium bodied and highly carbonated and spritzy – not quite creamy. The carbonation is almost harsh but in the end, it all works.

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Heavyweight 12.7 oz green bottle.

Bright amber colored body with a semi-durable white head that leaves a disproportionate amount of lacing. Plenty of lacing left in the bottom of the bottle.

Prickly crisp carbonation in a near medium body; I have the impression this would seem medium-full, at least, were it not for the fairly high carbonation.

Fruity, with hints of golden apples and light spicing. Ample baked bread notes from the malts. Plenty of flavor without the barnyard, leather or other components sometimes found in this style.

O: excellent for style.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(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.

Photo of weonfire
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of DirtybeerguyRI
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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...

Photo of Neffbeer
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RuudJH
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of fmccormi
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods on P Street NW. Served in a Mikasa tulip. Pours a cloudy light copper with a thick head and some nice spotty lacing. Good cap throughout. The nose brings earth and light spice plus some backing grain and hay. Flavor adds a bit of bitterness and a nice dryness. Light pepper and just a bit of fruit. Light-medium body with high carbonation. All around a very nice saison.

Photo of constantine_272
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Looks amazing! Huge fluffy light tan head and a light copper hazy and color. Loses a few points for the ridiculous messy brown yeast sediment. Pour slowly and don't jostle the bottle. Solid carbonation. Foam stuck around nearly till the end.

S: Sweet fruitiness of pear and the vegetable garden. A bit of nutmeg spiciness. Graphite and steel.

T: Yum. Rich honey sweetened wheat bread dough. Fresh green chlorophyl crispness balances out the meaty grain with a light floral touch. The bittering contains a rush of spiciness of nutmeg, ginger, cloves. The mildly funk yeast lingers long after with a fruitiness of lemon and blood orange.

M: Nice and rich with an excellent creaminess. Tanginess at the end is light and let's the yeast and malt flavor linger.

O: This is just an amazing example of the style. There is tons of flavor. The big yeast flavor is both wild yet sophisticated and refined at the same time. Possibly one of my favorite belgian blondes.

Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Belgian Café, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass a cloudy orange with pinkish highlights? (It was dark in the bar and perhaps my eyes deceived me.) Little to no head going on. Very light aroma of floral hops and peaches. Tastes of yeast, grass, peaches, herbal and floral qualities filling my senses at all times. Light mouthfeel, and quite drinkable, though didn't really stand out in any specific way to me.

Photo of crossovert
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml green corked and caged bottle. I grabbed it from the very back of the shelf.

Beware of this one, the cork shoots off the second you make your first untwisting of the cage. It is only a mild gusher, however, as long as you have your glass near you will be fine. It pours with just an uncontrollable head, the only other beer that has been this carbonated for me is Bos Keun. It must be the special house yeast at work.

It pours a hazy golden orange with a foamy white head that billows tall as mentioned. It recedes rather slowly, which is kind of annoying and it has some nice lacing.

The smell is not skunked in the least and it is a fruity, estery brew. There is a little bit of spice. It reminds me more of a dirty Belgian strong pale ale than a siason. I guess it is a farmhouse" ale however.

The flavor is great, if a hint sweet. It has a nice earthiness and a sweet hit of sugar. There are plenty of fruits in here like apple and golden raisins. There is a slight hint of lemon and clove as well.

The carbonation is high, but it still goes down pretty smoothly. The alcohol is less hidden than it should be, but not detrimental per se.

It is a nice brew, grab it from the back of the shelf and enjoy.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The pour is a cloudy orange color with a big white head sitting on top.

S: Lots of fruit to the nose such as peaches, apricots, apples, and oranges. Still plenty of bread and malt character and perhaps some lemon zest. Yeast is there too, but more in the background.

T: The flavor starts off much the same as the nose. That is, with a great fruit character. Some of the same players here like peaches, apricots, and oranges. There might be a little bit of white grape in there too. A mild spice ester quality to the beer. There's quite a bit of malty sweetness which is very nice.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation.

D: Not sure if this is really a "Farmhouse Ale", but it certainly was enjoyable. I had never heard of this beer or brewery before, but I am a fan.

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week.

The beer pours a slightly hazy honey gold color with very good head retention and considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is attractive, showing orange citrus, honey and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though the initial light sweet honey is dominated by the orange citrus and bitterness on the finish. As a result, the finisih is fairly dry, bitter and long in this nicely crafted beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is good, though you can tell there's some alcohol. Nevertheless, this is a well made, easy to appreciate, well made beer. Good stuff.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Be very careful opening, HIGHLY carbonated. The cork shot off as soon as the cage was slightly loosened.

Appearance -- Pours a light amber with MASSIVE tight white head.

Smell -- Bright citrus, coriander, clove and banana, earthy/funky yeast, earthy hops. Stunning.

Taste -- Follows the nose pretty well. Splash of bright citrus (orange peel?) and spice, peppercorn, clove and faint banana, earthy/funky yeast, earthy/herbaceous hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel -- medium to light in body with high carbonation. Just right.

Drinkability -- Picked this up based on a recommendation from a friend, and it exceeded my expectations. Rock solid farmhouse ale.

Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warning: I'm sure everyone else has written this before, but it bears repeating. This is a highly carbonated beer. The cork will fly out the second the cage is removed, so be prepared.

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dirty orange color and a thick consistency. There was a huge, long-lasting, creamy/rocky head. OK lacing.

S: A blast of saison funkiness hits you the second you open the bottle. There are also traces of yeast, fruit and malt.

T: Tasted of light fruit, malt, Belgian yeast, and mild hops. A vibrant, nicely balanced flavor.

M: An almost absurd amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: An excellent, complex, drinkable saison.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(poured by the bartender into a gibraltar glass)

A: slight haze initially... light amber color... head didn't last until the last inch of liquid and yeast sediment was poured (by me) from the bottle and then it threw up a 1/2" of foam and lasting cap after, as well as adding murk

S: subtle, perfumy, white wine esters and aromatics.... decent balance between delicate alcohols and doughy yeast... touch of citrus peel/oil and grass... bold enough to entice

T: curiously similar yeast profile to Dupont (Saison)... light-moderate degree of hop bitterness (and/or yeast bite)... substantial doughy yeast which embolden the overall flavor and enhanced the balance.... light but bright citrusy undertones.... the alcohol is well-hidden

M: round, creamy, yet finishes fairly light... the unfiltered texture may be a bit off putting to some.... satisfying, drinkable, encouraging subsequent refills

O: not bad, worth recommending.... the subtle, interesting complexities brought about by its roughness or possibly its 'terrior' does make it stand out a bit

to view more.
Blond from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
88 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.