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Grimbergen Blonde - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Educational use only; do not reuse.

318 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 318
Hads: 647
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 19.51%
Wants: 20
Gots: 98 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Romabrew on 01-06-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 318 | Hads: 647
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.21/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle served into a Guinness pint glass in Ibiza, Spain. Reviewed from notes taken April 2011. 6.7% ABV confirmed. Expectations were fairly high.

A: Pours a clear light gold colour. Head is four fingers with fair thickness but no cream.

Sm: Yeast and hops obscure the malted barley body. A light aroma. Indistinct.

T: Yeast and floral hops, with a malty backbone that lacks richness or refinement. Simpler than expected. No real esters; maybe some nuts. Not as complex as an abbey beer ought to be. Poorly built for the style. Largely imbalanced.

Mf: Too light, too smooth. Doesn't complement the flavours.

Dr: Doesn't hide its ABV well. A shite abbey beer, all things considered. To be avoided. I wonder how long this sat on the shelf.

**I had this on-draught in Belgium weeks later and enjoyed it far more. Maybe the bottled version doesn't measure up.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Undated 330 ml bottle serrved in a goblet.
Pours with excellent clarity and a durable white head that leaves fine sticky lacing.
Smells of soft fruits, yeast, light baked bread.
Flavor: also fruity and bready.
Feel: medium-light body; soft carbonation; a bit astringent.

O: a solid Belgian light ale.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/19/06- Purchased from Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle with no freshness info available. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Honey-amber in color. Full inch plus head which sticks around for quite a while. Marvelous patchy lacing on the inside of my tulip.

Smell- Lemon rind, white pepper and maybe some other fruits as well. Slight scent of hops.

Taste- Reminds me of a cross of three beers...a Belgian Pale Ale, a Wit and a Tripel. Has a nice fruity bite with a good dose of white pepper in the finish. Bitter hops come through right at the end. Short lived aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation level. Mild sugary coating.

Drinkability- Quite a quaffable brew. If it just had a bit of oumph behind it. Taste doesn't last as long as I would like. Still very good though.

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Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

CANQuest (TM) beer/bier/biere/birra/cerveza/cerveja # 400 from CANs/DOSEN/BOITES/LATTINE/LATAS/BLIKKEN and I CANnot be more proud!

This started out as a stupid lark in response to people who were traveling hither and yon for the latest sought-out release of an RIS and morphed into a campaign to transition craft beer from bottles into CANs and make them more portable and (perceptually) greener at the same time. What once were habits now are vices in a big way. I rarely drink a beer from anything other than a CAN, a tap, or a cask now and while many pooh-pooh my self-imposed exile from BottleLand, I seldom look back in regret. Instead, I have become the touchstone for CANned beers, along with a loyal group of traders, contributors and like-minded individuals.

Tonight's beer comes to me/us from einweizenbitte, a clever traveler who refers to me by Woody Allen's given name, Herr Konigsburg and my uncle, Dr. Kirsch as Uncle Cherry. Here's to you, einweizenbitte, and may yours be a very happy Thanksgiving!

From the CAN: "Ardet nec Consumitur."; "'Brule mais ne se consume pas', telle est la devise de l'abbaye de Grimbergen. Fondee en 1128 dans un petit village au nord du Bruxelles elle fut a maintes reprises incendiee mais a chaque fois rebatie, tel un phenix renaissant de ses cendres. Au fil de son histoire, labbaye de Grimbergena su conserver la recette d'une biere authentique et de charactere. Cette biere blonde au gout unique et a la mousse abondante se deguste idealment entre 8 C et 12 C."/"'Burned but not destroyed,' that is the motto of the Grimberger Abbey. Established in 1128 in a small village north of Brussels, the abbey was built by hand many times and each time it has been rebuilt, it has been like a phoenix rising from its ashes. Throughout its history, Grimberger Abbey has known the recipe for an authentic beer with character. This blonde beer has a unique taste with a plentiful head. The ideal temperature to consume this beer is between 46.4 F and 53.6 F."

The Crack & Glug was nearly religious in terms of its experience, resulting in well over two fingers of thick, foamy, bone-white head with excellent retention. I began to regret not having donned the robes of Bro. Woody of the Order of Disorder as the singing of angels could be heard around me. The head slowly fell like a penitent to its knees, leaving behind a beautiful, sticky lacing that begged to be licked from the sides of the glass (as if I were worthy). The nose had a bready, semi-sweet, musty yeast-driven quality that I had to drag myself away from. After all, beer is meant to be drunk, not inhaled. Mouthfeel was medium with an intense yeast mustiness up front, like putting your tongue on the Guttenberg Bible, followed by a sweet cotton candy-like flavor before giving itself over to a slight grassiness. The finish was semi-dry, not bone-dry, but on its approach with a definite yeast-driven flavor. it was about as good a beer as I have ever had from a CAN. Do they allow coolers in church? Maybe at the Church Brew Works ... I am not taking this to the beach or the mountains, however. This is a beer in a CAN to be savored. Seek it out and remember who turned you onto it. Let us be thankful ...

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is more amber and copper hued than it is blond and it is brilliantly clear as well. As I pour this beer fruity notes of pear and apples waft from my glass. The fruit notes are certainly the dominant note in the aroma, but are joined by notes of vanilla, a touch of caramel and just a wisp of toasted grain character. As my nose gets used to the aromas notes of honey, wild flower nectar, and some grassy notes start to become noticeable. All in all this is a pretty enticing aroma, it makes me think that the flavors of this beer might lean towards the sweet side of things.

The taste is a touch sweet, but not at all cloying and in fact much more lightly so than the aroma suggested. Herbal honey notes and some vanilla add some complexity to the light sweetness. Hints of clover, a touch of astringency, even something like dandelions all seem to lightly be noticeable in this beer as well. I would describe this beer as being really soft. It is not just quaffable, but somehow seems simplistic despite the flavor complexities. I can't quite make my mind up on this one. There is certainly nothing wrong with this beer, and it is definitely tasty, but it just seems a touch too ordinary for some reason. Maybe I am just being picky, because I would certainly have this again.

Purchased: Plaza Liquor, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, nice label, with an eagle and sort of stained glass looking. Pours clear, light and golden. Not much head, lower carbonation, tiny bubble film light and wispy lacing. Nose is pineapple and some yeast. Notes of bublegum, more pineapple, lemony and fairly refreshing. Would go great with a warm waether salad. Ffairly light bodied and a tad thin. Less complex then the top notch pales also lower in alcohol. Less interesting then hoped for, still a tasty and pleasant drink.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Small brown 25cl bottle, best before Feb 2008, drank June 2007.

Poured into a Duvel glass, just because I can.

Dull or old gold in colour, the head left before the bottle was replaced on the table, leaving a very thin collar around the glass and a little central island which was being produced by the Duvel glass.

Odourless almost, a hint of yeast and hops, but only if I put my face into the beer.

The taste was fine, a slight tangy bite with some citrus fruits trying to get out.

The mouth drys quickly leaving a metalic, citrus, unbeer-like feel within.

I have drank this before in both bottle and draught (on-tap) forms and it has been average, this official tasting session has opened my eyes to its poor quality.

The initial taste was good, but the lack of smell and the aftertaste, plus the poor head retension pushes this beer towards the back of the pack when talking about Belgian Pale Ales.


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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a stubby bottle into a Chimay chalice. Golden in color with an efervescent white head and some lacing.

Smell: Belgian ale yeast and some malty breadiness.

Taste: A sweet golden ale, with a belgian twang. Ripe fruit, mead and belgian candi sugar. Bitterness is low, for a belgian pale ale this is near cloying, yet still enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, syrupy with good carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent sweet blonde belgian ale. To call it a Belgian Pale ale describes the appearance only.

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Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
83 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.