Josef Belgian Blonde Ale - Brouwerij Martens NV

Not Rated.
Josef Belgian Blonde AleJosef Belgian Blonde Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 15.63%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Martens NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wedge on 07-21-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 27
Photo of Milchad
3.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer worthy of a beer snob.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brouwerij Martens "Josef Belgian Blonde Ale"
11.2 oz. brown glass bottle, coded "L12:36H 156"
$1.34 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL

I was really hoping I could say "here's another winner from Trader Joe's" but this one just doesn't hit the mark. Brouwerij Martens is known for making 'softer' pilsners, and this is no exception, but done with more of a leaning towards the Belgian pale ale style. In fact, I have to question if it's even done as an ale? Or is it just a pilsner with a smaller amount of Belgian ale added in? Also I guess something to keep in mind is that in Belgium the majority of beer consumed is pilsner, and that Belgian laws regarding style are really restricted just to gravity for taxation purposes, so essentially this is a "Belgian Blonde Ale" regardless of what anyone outside of Belgium might think.

It looks good with a crystal clear yellow gold body and a creamy head of bright white that holds well and leaves great lacing, but that's about where it ends. Not that there are any flaws, because there are not, but simply because it doesn't live up to the name. The aroma expresses pilsner malt over Belgian yeast character, which is really completely unacceptable. It's floral and grassy and a touch lemony - but where is the Belgian character? It's in the flavor... a small bit of clove comes through, but for the most part it seems more like a lemony Czech pils.

With all of that said, given the price it's an excellent value - just understand what you're getting. Scored as a "Belgian Blonde Ale" with "Belgian Pale Ale" in mind it doesn't do to well. Had it been scored hedonistically, perhaps even without giving it a label, it would have done much better.

Photo of KensWorld
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very good Blond Ale. Great price as well.

Photo of illpass78
3.77/5  rDev +17.8%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear gold with a huge white head. Wondering if this was shaken before opening because the head is huge. Some moderate lacing on the way down.

Aroma: This beer has a more floral presence than I expected. Also some malt and dry hops. Very faint funk.

Taste: The floral notes appear on the palate as well, along with some vague sourness and nice malt backbone. Kind of yeasty. Nice balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel: Good depth for the style. Sessionable in body.

Overall: Nice Belgian pale. There's a lot of great Belgian beer out there and this one doesn't necessarily grab you by the collar, but it's a nice, reasonably complex ale.

Photo of jayrom
2.18/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I just picked up a 6-pack at Trader Joe's, and I'm really disappointed. It tastes like a cheap German beer with a little sweetness added. It's not terrible, but absolutely not good either. I'd rather spend a few bucks more and something good. This is a mass-produced rip-off.

Photo of HazelEyedHippie
3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overall a good Belgium beer. Clean flavor, but love that it's got some depth to it as well. It's a bit more bitter than I like (I'm a lightweight, I guess), but I wasn't really bothered by it. If you like Belgium's beers, I think you'll like this one as well. It's at least average, if not better. ;)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Joseph Belgian Blonde Ale has a medium, white head, a mostly clear (very fine sediment is visible), bubbly, golden appearance, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is faint, but one can detect mild malt and cracker. The taste is the same- mild cracker malt, with a kiss of hops at the end. Mouthfeel is medium and a somewhat slick, and Josef Belgian Blonde Ale finishes dry and easy going. No alcohol detected.

RJT

Photo of jimmah120
3.22/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle with no date but a mysterious code on the back. actually a product of belgium, wow.

standard golden look, silky head, good lace. taste is crisp and grainy with some sweet english hops and some belgian yeast notes (clove, banana, bublegum). cloying metallic finish.

half a good beer, but cheap

Photo of HeightsEats
3.78/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Has a massive amount of sticky carbonation when poured into a glass. Aroma is sharp and biscuity with a hint of roasted malt. The flavor is full-bodied malt with a subtle sour aftertaste with just a bit of hops. There are elements of a macrobrew in the drinkability, but with a lot more flavor and clean crispness--no weird adjuncts. A really good all around beer.

Photo of vitesse
1.79/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

My first review in years (joined BA 11 friggin years ago and forgot I still had an account here. Wow.)

Anyway, this is an absolutely awful beer. Terrible, sweet afterstate that's cloying in a not-good way. Smells like a Belgian janitor'ass. Thin mouthfeel.

There is no reason for this beer to exist.

Photo of Spikester
3.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful beer. Pale gold with a huge long lasting white head and plenty of lacings.
Smell is light lemons some herbal notes and spicey hops. No detectable yeast aroma.
Tastes like a light Pilsner. There is a tiny after taste of what might be a Belgian yeast but it is so faint I could be mistaken.
Overall not what I expected. There is a pretty fair noble hop presence but where is the tartness? Lightly dry bitter finish. Still an attractive beer. It still has a small white head with about an inch of liquid left.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz single from Trader Joe's. Bought a couple other little things as well, for it was not yet noon, & I still feel a bit of shame about these things occasionally.

Ommegang Anniversary glass. Swishing, purdy, vibrant, gold body. White wash head.

Smell is saline, plain Cheerios, solid peppery/herbal hops, & a bit of Euro stickiness.

Taste is honey-ish & citrusy upfront, becoming more about sweet Ritz crackers & twiggy/earthy bitters as it goes. Dry, flinty, dusty grain finish.

Plush, microbeaded carbonation & some good acidity to help break up the syrupy body.

Still don't like blondes, but I just can't get angry when they cost me $1.34 a bottle.

Photo of BeerDocT
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance 2.75: Poured out typical mega-beer yellow. Lots of CO2 bubbles everywhere. Typical CO2 head quickly faded away. Nothing special at all.

Smell 2.75: Bouquet was flat, but I did detect some slight hoppiness. Not really much of a bouquet at all, which is good considering the adjuncts I was expecting.

Taste 3.25: Front is slightly sweet and smooth. Middle is smooth, and features a slight hoppiness; definitely one of the noble hops. Finish is somewhat sweet with a hint of barley malt. Certainly OK, nothing special.

Mouthfeel 3.25: Mouthfeel was OK, but was a bit over the top carbonation-wise.

Overall 3.0: An OK beer, but certainly nothing special. To me, a beer like this should be rated on its value. If this beer were $5 for a six pack, I would be impressed and more likely to rate it a bit higher, even if it is not that great a beer. The fact that this beer cost over $7 at my local Trader Joe's is outrageous since this beer is no great shakes. I can only guess that this is supposed to be a generic version of Stella Artois. Well, if that is true, in the future, TJ's buyers should shoot for a better bench-mark for their generic clones.

Photo of WunderLlama
2.67/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle poured into glass

Clear golden yellow with small stream of carbonation bubbles leading to two finger white, frothy lid. Good lacings on the way down resulting in a dense white foam.

Aroma of grassy hops with a bit of spice.

I get a predominantly metallic taste. Bitterness on the back of the tongue and after tastes. Light mouthfeel.

I like Trader Joes but this one beer I will not be repeating. $6.99 a six pack, I'll give the a mining five bottles to my nephew on Thanksgiving. He'll drink anything.

Photo of anarchia
2.61/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear and pale yellow, lots of little bubbles. Lacing sticks to the glass. Less carbonation than most Belgian ales. Slight floral aroma from the dry hops, far from outrageous. Thin mouthfeel, slightly metallic taste without much else happening. Dry/crisp finish. Not a lot of character here but drinkable.

Photo of Reidrover
3.09/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

330ml bottle part of a 6-pack from TJs in Salem. $6.99 Clear yellow beer with good sized frothy,bubbly white head. Strange spicy yet cream like aromas,,sherbet,over ripe bananas OK really. Taste is a little mediocre though..some spice,some phenols and a little earthy. Mouth feel is fine..good carbonation and easily drinkable. Not a great Belgian Ale but its not so bad really.

Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very full 330ml bottle of Josef Belgian Blonde from Trader Joe’s served in a Belgian snifter. Pours clear, with no sediment in the bottle. Light yellow-amber body with a white, bubbly head of moderate size and very good retention. Nice lacing.
Light herbal-bready aroma is more floral upon tasting. The flavor is also more hoppy than indicated by the aroma.
Light, crisp body with a semi-dry finish.
Good with food. Good for price here in the U.S.A.

Photo of HalfFull
3.21/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

330 ml. bottle poured into a globe glass. Josef pours a clear golden with a thick cap of nearly white foam. Offers decent retention and lace, supported by a light and ongoing boil from the bottom of the pour.

Aroma of pils malt and some noble hop citrus/spice are dominant. Some light Belgian-like esters emerge with warming and settling yet remain subdued through the glass. Not quite as expected but pleasant and rather hoppy for the style.

Taste follows with neutral bready and spicy pils malt and a faint yeast character. The beer is firmly carbonated yet doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned. A light lemony sweetness is evident on the finish. Feel is full for the style, creamy with a peppery cracker sense from the hops. Spice is dominant on the finish which lingers moderately. ABV is not noticeable even with a dry finish.

Interesting beer. Yeast notes emerge with warming but remain subtle, yet the feel thins as the beer outgasses in exchange. Not a lot as for depth across the board yet not a lot to complain about either.

Photo of SanWrencho
4.25/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Starts out with a crisp, slighly sweet taste that is backed by a rich mix of yeast and hops that finishes well. Ignore the naysayers, this is a very well made beer that is not over the top but is very well balanced, refreshing and flavorful. The 6% abv does not hurt either.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Light golden color, with lots of foam.

Smell: Grains, grassiness. Surprising hoppiness to it.

Taste: Malt, grass, and herbal hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a slight bitter aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. Better than I expected. Hoppier than I expected for a Belgian brew, too. I can’t say I’ll go looking for it, but I won’t turn one down either.

Photo of beertunes
2.74/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Another TJ's bargain buy, $6 sixer. Batch # LK 3 175. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear, bright gold color with about 1/2 inch of white head that had very good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma had a very low level of the expected Belgian spicy yeast, and a very light grain scent. On the tongue, the taste was a bit bready, and a bit stale. the yeast that gives so much personality to the style was very low in this beer.

The body was fairly typical for the style, perhaps just a touch on the light side, and nowhere near as sticky as some. The beer had a dry finish. Drinkability was OK, it wasn't a chore to drink, but the lack of flavor didn't have looking forward to the other 5 in the pack. Overall, not terrible, but not really worth seeking out either. Maybe grab a sixer and decide for yourself. Or not.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, spice, and pepper aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and peppery hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and at around $1.17 a bottle it's a great deal for a Belgian brewed beer.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Batch stamp on bottle was L5 2 151

Appearance: Bright clear gold, with a 1/4" rocky white head. Plenty of carbonation coming up through the glass. Islands and thick strands of persistent lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Fruit (apple mostly), but with a crisp lager scent as well.

Taste: Grainy, with some fruity notes, apple, crisp....it's like a lager with some Belgian ale notes.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated at first (fizzy), but as it warmed up the carbonation got tamer. Very lager like in mouthfeel, with a bit of a chalky + sticky texture.

Overall / Drinkability: I wonder if this beer is a physical blend of a lager and a filtered Belgian pale ale. It has distinct notes of Belgian yeast coming out, but it is also very much a Euro pale lager. Unusual - not sure I'd go out of my way to get another. Great looking beer though.

Photo of BearslikeBeers
3.43/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice thick, slightly opaque, gold. Has a healthy head and laces up the side of the glass. Smell is not too strong but nice and crisp. The taste was interesting, some hops up front but a bitterness that followed that was more like a pilsner than just hoppiness. A little citrus and pine feel to it and finishes with that almost champagne like crispness/sweetness that I would expect from anything calling itself 'Belgian' (I think the Belgian yeast give it this character). The mouthfeel is good, very carbonated and tickles going down and the only aftertaste is a faint bitter and sweet feel that is quite pleasant. It isn't going to be a new favorite but after a long day snorkeling in the sun this beer was nice and refreshing, crisp, a little overly carbonated however.
P.S. Bought it at Trader Joe's, comes in a 6 pack of 11.2 oz bottles.

Photo of notchucknorris
2.83/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I work at Trader Joes, so I make it a point to try everything we get in the store, beer-wise. This one really didn't get much company buzz coming in and it's been sitting on the shelf at my store for almost 2 weeks and I have yet to sell one 6er. I don't recognize the brewery, but I would assume it's something along the lines of the Belgian version of Minhas, as Minhas makes a good deal of our American made beer (Simpler Times, Boatswain, Name Tag, etc.) Let's check it out.

A: Pours a clear pale gold with a strange looking bubbly head that looks more like bubble bath water than a regular head. I've never seen bubbles this big on a head. Interesting.

S: Smells...adjuncty. Sweet cereal malts and corn with a pale malt backing. A strange, almost Fritos-like corn scent keeps coming to me when I smell this.

T: Opens sweet with honey and grain. Smooth and faint malt is pretty much all I get in the middle with a slight grassy hop flavor on the finish. Nothing horrible about it, but there's nothing in here that says Belgian to me except the label. It's alright, but there's no way I would go back to this.

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Josef Belgian Blonde Ale from Brouwerij Martens NV
75 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.