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Grimbergen Blonde - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

530 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 530
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Romabrew on 01-06-2003)
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Above-average pale with lots of initial head on cloudy yellow, some lace, basic yeasty and wheat aroma. Medium mouthfeel, drying aftertaste. Yeast, a tad of fruit in the bannana characteristic. Cloves dominant spice, also salt and white pepper. Not very complex. A pale than a tripel.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2007 04:36:53 | More by Sammy
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t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

11-12-2012 02:31:38 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a 1 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace forms around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, yeast, and some light fruit aromas. There is also a slight mineral aroma that comes out as the beer warms. Taste is much the same (sans minerals) with an alcohol kick on the finish with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is easy to drink but I prefer the taste over the smell on this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 02:56:16 | More by UCLABrewN84
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djrn2

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

08-31-2013 16:31:49 | More by djrn2
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Exactly midway between pale orange and rich amber with cornsilk yellow edges. I continue to be amazed at how well just about any old Belgian brewer nails the whole head and lace thing. This cap is dark enough to be considered beige rather than ivory and has a 'bubbles piled atop bubbles' stoniness. The glass is positively coated with fine lace that is well on its way to crusty.

The nose is okay for the style, but is nowhere near as good as the appearance. The more I smell the beer, the less I like what I smell. Although it isn't as bad as this description makes it sound, Blonde smells a little like vinegar and mustard seed. Add some spuds and we'd have a nice German potato salad. There's still enough BPAness to keep the aroma score from falling below average.

Grimbergen Blonde, while far from horrible, just isn't very good beer. The fruity, somewhat acidic, sourness of the nose is present on the palate as well and is just as hard to ignore. It tastes as if a light dusting of Brettanomyces made its way into the brew kettles at some point in the brewing process.

Other than that, the flavor profile consists of golden apples, bananas and ground clove. I like all those flavors and find them to be appropriate in a BPA, they just aren't delivered with any sort of panache. For some reason, I like the beer a little more as I get deeper into the bottle. Maybe I'm simply getting used to its uniqueness.

The mouthfeel isn't as enjoyable as expected given the abundant initial carbonation and the impressive cap. The bubbles were relatively short-lived and weren't around to volumize the beer past the few several mouthfuls. I like the smoothness and the light viscosity though.

Grimbergen Blonde is an odd beer. The label informs me that the Norbertine monks have been brewing it since the Middle Ages and that the recipe has been 'carefully guarded throughout the centuries'. After drinking this bottle, I can't imagine that anyone was interested in stealing it.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 13:29:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
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metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured clear golden yellow in color with a finger-sized white head that never quite completely disappeared. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: Light aromas of fruits, spices and yeast fill the nose.
T: The overall taste is a little sweet and the flavors resemble those present in the aroma, with notes of apples and bananas.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth given the amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable; so easy to consume that I could definitely have more than one of these in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 03:15:43 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear dark golden color with a frothy head that retains and laces nicely

Smell: Tart yeasty aroma of green apples, banana and clove but a hint of acetone

Taste: A bit of sugar cookie sweetness on the opening is offset by the fruit and spice flavors at mid-palate; after the swallow, a hint of sourness creeps into the fray, but the underlying is the dominant characteristic

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate but prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Although this isn't at the peak of the Belgian, it drinks nicely and is more refreshing than many of them

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 21:37:21 | More by brentk56
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nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.8%

12-14-2011 17:07:05 | More by nmann08
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light clear amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with limited retention and light lacing. Aroma of sweet Belgian malt with light peppery yeast notes. Taste is dominated by sweet Belgian style malt with a quite a bit of fructose notes coming through with a peppery yeast note in the finish. Body is light with medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Too much fructose notes coming though for my own taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 03:23:23 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good beer, but some small flaws. Opens up bright straw in color, with a loosely knit and well laced head. Smells honey and fruity sweet with some spice, sourness and hop aromas. Tastes sweet of lemons, oranges, pineapples, and to a lesser extent, mangos and apricots. Cidery or apple flavors come through with the alcohol. Body is a bit flatter than I like in a Belgian Pale ale--carbonation may be too high. Spices and co2 numbs the palate, leaving a slightly grainy texture and flavor. Estery hops and alcohol gives off some clove-like and pepper-like flavors. Finishes a bit powdery or chalky, but still light. All in all, a good beer, but there are better Belgian Pale Ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2005 17:59:43 | More by BEERchitect
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

02-22-2012 04:52:45 | More by ygtbsm94
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jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

11-24-2013 16:53:11 | More by jaydoc
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spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.8%

03-11-2013 05:53:34 | More by spycow
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kylehay2004

Florida

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: star, mildly hazy with touch of gold.

S: citrus, light floral and sweet (possibly apple)

T: less citrus in the taste however still sweet. Grain and malt notes.

M: fuller bodied than most blondes. Very smooth. Light carbonation.

O: refreshing and easy to drink. Tame taste but not too bad overall. I am new to the Belgian pale ales but so far I am enjoying the genre.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 18:14:42 | More by kylehay2004
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oberon

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small tulip glass a light golden with a fluffy white head that had decent lasting power,aromas of lemon and toasted grain with some yeasty clove as well.Flavors are pretty yeasty up front with some bubblegum and clove phenolic flavors melding into some citric and toasted tones.Decent but a little to phenolic and yeasty for me still not all bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 00:06:55 | More by oberon
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zeff80

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Grimbergen Blonde on tap in Montbelliard, France.
It was great. I've heard that others have been disappointed with it in bottles.
It had nice golden color with a good sized head. It smelled and tasted like any good Belgium should. A slight hop flavor. It was very smooth drinking. I would've had many more but after a Beamish Stout, I was running low on Euros.

I was at an "Irish" pub, in France, with an Italian, a Brit (who only drank Vodka), a Frenchie, and two other Americans. They spelled the pub's name "O'Brian's" not "O'Brien's." And it had Guiness logos everywhere, but no Guiness. A truely strange expericence, but a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2006 19:15:49 | More by zeff80
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biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. An 'abbey beer', with glucose syrup kind of sounds strange. Ah, this is made by Kronenbourg, purveyors of that witbier so inexplicably popular around here these days. I do like the phoenix association, though.

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber colour, with one finger of foamy, sporadically bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves an intricate array of tightly-woven webbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, candi sugar, musty yeast, a muddled flat orchard fruitiness, and a mild earthy coriander/clove spiciness. The taste is more rather sweet grainy, pastry-esque caramel malt, some superfluous gritty morning tea sugar, a still dazed and confused apple and banana fruitiness, baker's yeast, lingering clove and white pepper spice, and a tiny hint of warming alcohol.

The carbonation is pretty subdued, just a subtle wispy essence here and there, the body an approachable medium weight, and mostly smooth, a certain vegetal astringency taking its toll. It finishes on the sweet side, the inherent malt and added sugar solution overmatching any lingering yeast or hops.

A rather contrived sort of feeling, is what I get around this one - seemingly true to style, but more than a bit too sweet at the same rate. Drinkable, sure, but lacking the integrated complexity of its brethren.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 04:09:44 | More by biboergosum
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JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

02-15-2012 20:56:24 | More by JAHMUR
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grimbergen Blonde pours a clear golden-orange body beneath an average sized head of pillowy white that settles into a thin surface covering with a with collar. As it goes, it leaves creamy rings of lace that combine to form a solid curtain.

The aroma is sweetish with a touch of sugar candy and honeysuckle, a bit of grain, and some moderate herbal and leafy hops.

In the mouth it's medium-bodied and creamy with a dextrinous edge and a very fine-bubbled median carbonation.

The flavor adds a subtly touch of tartness to the mix, most likely via the yeast, and it balances perfectly. It's sweet with a note of vanilla upfront; then displays some more fruitiness (crisp tart apple, pear, some non-descript citrus, and perhaps pineapple), followed by hop flavors across the middle; and then finally ends drying with a flicker of tart acidity and a dull, restrained bitterness. The finish is short, but some leafy and gently herbal hops do linger along with a mild brush of acidity.

All in all, it's fairly complex if you give it a chance, yet it's not overly rich, which leaves it remarkably quaffable. It offers everything it's supposed to - malt, yeast, and hops - and it's quite nicely rounded and interestingly balanced. Quite enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 17:06:04 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Crystal clear, straw yellow body. Two fingers of frothy, white head; good retention and lace.

S - Sweet and grainy, with a hint of white grapes. Slight scent of herbal hops.

T - Grainy, slightly malty sweetness up front with some light, fruity flavors. A bit of acidity followed by herbal hop flavors in the finish.

M - Medium body with high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This beer certainly has its good points, but I can't say I am overly impressed. It is fairly easy drinking, but it is a bit cidery in places. The finish reminds me of a German pils, which is pleasant, but maybe a bit off for the style. Overall it is just a bit bland... kind of a Belgian style Miller lite.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 00:43:18 | More by nickfl
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just a slightly hazed gold with little head that leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is the typical sweetness with a citric edge. Flavor is actually fairly mild. At the start you don't get anything immediate. But after you do get that slight citrus and sweet flavor. Overall though it does not seem to be very substantial. The feel is good. Nice bubble factor on the tongue. Drinkable? Sure. This is a mild and smooth Belgian that is good, but I would prefer to move on to something more uniquely interesting in order to expand my horizons.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 09:02:04 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, honey-golden hued...thick, rocky, creamy white head.

Sweet, candy-ish nose, reminscent of the typical tripel....citrus zest...minor whiffs of tropical fruit. Okey-doke.

In the mouth, warm and hoppy, a bit fruity, turning dry with a quickness. Leaves the palate far too soon, but has a pleasant stay, as long as it lasts. Further flavors are revealed on increased inspection, more fruit, peppers a touch, but they still play in a minor key.

Soft and pleasing, while still spicy and containing a particular kick. Not the greatest blonde/tripel/whatever, but a fine drink nonetheless.

I put off purchasing this one for quite some time, due to the cost, $10 a 6-pack. Thinking on it, it's much cheaper by volume than other Belgian ales, but considering the middling quality, you also get what you pay for. 72 ounces of this passable pale for $10 vs $8 -12 for 25 ounces of far Superior brew? That's the choice we have to make sometimes, but I believe, when on a budget, I'll choose this one again.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 02:34:04 | More by feloniousmonk
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oline73

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

01-26-2014 02:05:58 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 06/09/13 notes. Had a bottle of this on the train from Provence, France, to Paris. Poured into a cup on the train. Best by date of 03.14 on the bottle, 33cl bottle.

a - Pours a somewhat hazy yellow-orange color...it looks a lot like apple juice. Has two inches of fluffy white head and moderate lacing and carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, apples, yeast, bready malts. Nose is very nice; lots of bananas and Belgian style notes.

t - Tastes of spices, bananas, peppers, earthy notes, yeast, cloves, bready malts, and toasted malts. Taste has more spice and bananas to it; nice, but a little too much spice for me so a small step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Body is smooth and creamy. Very nice.

o - Overall I liked this one quite a bit; at this point, the best new beer I had on the trip. Nice nose full of bananas and smooth and easy to drink. Would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 20:00:49 | More by mdfb79
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jwc215

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.
Poured golden/amber with a one-inch head that was fairly well retained before becoming a nice lacing.
The sweet was of sweet citrus with a bready, yeast background.
The taste was of sweet citrusy fruits, malt, some yeast, and a touch of cloves that all intermingled. It had certain spicy qualities, and an aftertaste that was reminiscent of a whit.
The mouthfeel was sweet (almost too much so) and fairly creamy. The mingled flavors left an odd, though short-lived, aftertaste.
Last night, I had three and by the third, I was becoming bored of it. So, I had one today to review it. Overall, it's pretty good, but - IMO - there are better Belgian ales out there, for about the same price, and just as easily - or even moreso - accessible - that are just as good - if not better. Nothing special enough to seek out more than once in a while, but nothing to turn down, either.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2006 16:59:32 | More by jwc215
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Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.