1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Grimbergen Blonde - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

575 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 575
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 13
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 575 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OKCNittany
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a chimay goblet

A: Thin white head reduced to a cloud with a little lacing. Chill hazed, deep golden body.

S: Spice and sweet light fruit.

T: Light fruits, clove, and pepper - all somewhat mild. It started out ok, but became less enjoyable as it warmed.

M: Average body - highly carbonated. Dry, peppery finish.

D: It's not as bad as I'm probably making it sound, but there's just not enough of what I like for me to get past the spice. It's ok, but...

OKCNittany, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of AlexLMS
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden blond colour. Clear. Head: white, moderate in size, creamy. May not persist for very long. Beautiful lacing.
Aroma: interesting aroma. Sweet malts, fruits and a little bit of alcohol.
Taste: sweet malts and kind of fruity. Not very hoppy.
Mouthfeel: silky, average carbonation, nice alcoholic strength (6.7% ABV) and a medium body.
Finish: it starts kind of sweet, but after awhile it turns to a dry-bitter aftertaste.

Overall: very nice abbey beer. Well balanced and highly enjoyable. Looking forward for another one.

AlexLMS, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - An enormous head sits atop a golden brew. The head itself is ludicrously slow to subside. Five miutes, and three sips, after pouring it is still sizeable. Once I drank enough to see, it was evident that there was a ton of lacing.

S - Sweet banana, hay and cloves with a good about a pale malty backing and honey. A hint of alcohol at higher temps.

T - An initial fruity flavor with a hefty bitterness upfront. The flavor shifts toward a malty presence with a touch of honey. The beer finishes with a grassy bitterness accompanied by some banana and malt.

M - High carbonation, thin, very refreshing.

D - Excellent. I will definitely buy again. I was awed by Grimbergen Double over a year ago. I saw the blonde and had to buy it. I love it too. I will no seek out more from Brouwerij Alken-Maes.

mrasskicktastic, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of BDIMike
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good appearance. Looks crisp with a much smaller head than I am used to on a Belgian beer.

Nice fruity smell. A little lighter than most Belgians.

The taste is the same as the smell. Fruity on the front of the tongue, but lighter than I am used to with Belgians.

Also, the mouthfeel is thinner than a usual Belgian.

With this being lighter, I would actaully be able to drink more of these than I would most Belgians.

I know the importers characterize this as a "starter Belgian." I think they are right on and this would be a great beer to have someone try who is attempting to get into better beers.

BDIMike, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of marcpal
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Fair head, poured similar to a wheat- not expected out of an ale caliber. What you would expect to see from a blonde though.

S: Very spicey, clear coriander scent to it. Almost a bit of apricot on the smell but it never transferred to the palate.

T: Again, much more of a wheat representation. The taste really hangs on for a while and find it hard to beleive this is not a wheat.

M: Directly between a wheat and a blonde. The texture has surprising head-feel to each sip.

D: Very easy to drink, especially on a warm day or with a meal. Given the alc content, it really goes down incredibly soft and smooth.

marcpal, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of Romulus141
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a deep, wide wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a medium straw color with a nice, half-inch white head. Lacing sticks strongly the edges of the glass. When held up to the light, we see a nice, translucent beer with a minimal amount of carbonation.

Smell: There is a faint smell of malts, and a very small hint of fruit. Overall, I have a hard time detecting a scent on this brew. It is rather faint.

Taste: Begins with a sweet taste of fruit, namely grapefruit and peaches. There is also a malty character. It gives way to a slight spicy flavor, but nothing all that intense. The finish is crisp, and leaves no aftertaste. This light-colored ale, for me, is a good example of what yellow-colored beers should taste like: flavorful, crisp, and refreshing. Not all too complex, but it is enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The body is light and thin, with minimal carbonation, just about what I would expect from a beer of this style.

Drinkability: It would be easy to down several of these in an evening. They aren't filling, and the flavor is enticing enough to attract you to drink some more.

Romulus141, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of kellyst
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Light yellow, slightly hazy. Medium white head.

S: Extremely spicy aroma. Reminds me of an amped up witbier. Corriander maybe?

T: Very spicy flavor. Similar to a wit. Very crisp. Medium bodied.

D: Medium. Tasty for the style, but I can't drink a lot of spicy blonde ales.

kellyst, Aug 30, 2007
Photo of eberkman
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-gold with good clarity, though that was a little unexpected for a Belgian pale ale. A short one-inch white head diminishes pretty quickly to a thin foam island on the surface. The smell is dominated by tart fruits with some malty sweet aromas present. Spicy taste up front giving way to a sparkling apple juice flavor with some hints of pear and peach. Some light yeastiness gives way to a mildly bracing bite of a finish followed by some funk in the aftertaste, which was a touch out of context for the style. Moderate carbonation in a light-bodied mouth with nice crispness. Actually, very light-bodied -- as light as a wit. For some reason, though, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. This is also an easy-drinking beer -- a nice quencher, enjoyable with either a light dinner of grilled poultry. Pairs extremely well with a pungent soft meunster.

Particularly good value for the price. At $10 for a six-pack, it's a tremendous bargain. A good couple bucks less than Affligem for a relatively comparable experience.

eberkman, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a very pretty dark gold color with fairly little head and strangely perfect clarity for the style. The aroma is light, with some pale grain notes in the background and bright, apple juice and yeast on the top. Light, uncomplex, but pleasant. On the palate there's a flash of fruit at first, before a yeast note rises to prominence. Things finish fresh with a dose of acidity. Mouthfeel is light, even for the style, with fresh acidity and carbonation that fills the mouth but doesn't overwhelm. Overall, this is quite a nice little Belgian blonde. It's a bit light and insubstantial compared to some heavies of the genre, but for its price and intended purpose it's great.

geexploitation, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
2.68/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A clear, orange beer with a head that collapses after several minutes.

Smell is a fruity Belgian smell with anise, coriander and clove notes. This spiciness is up to a level where the aromatic properties of the spices start to become over the top and even a bit artificial.

Taste is a continue of the smell, a Belgian fruitiness with anise, clove, caraway and coriander notes. Also some fusel alcohols and a minor oxidation. The beer is dominated by this spiciness and although there is some malt presence, this is pushed away by the spices. To me this beer reminds me of the terrible Leffe blond and to me this tastes like an exact copy of it.

Absumaster, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of scalabrine
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a golden/amber hue into a snifter. 1 1/2 inches of white head stuck around for a good few minutes and then partially retreated leaving a lace around the glass about an inch high. Tiny bubbles float continuously to the surface, even when the beer is almost gone, which brings me to the aroma.

My wife said "This smells like carrots". I get a nice flowery/grassy scent. For the taste, I immediately am taken aback by the carbonation, which I felt is a little high for my taste. The beer also feels light at first, but it immediately gives way to a nice maltiness and good balance. The mouthfeel is medium and also balanced and the drink is actually warming.

This is a nice beer which I would recommend with light food, such as a salad or sandwich, or on it's own on a hot day. It's was in the upper 80's in NYC today and this definitely hit the spot.

scalabrine, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of jeffjfindley
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The image of Michael Jackson is giving me a toast, with a backdrop of gold, with a head that can best be described as ice-creamy. Smell is crisp, Belgian, spicey, and somewhat reminiscent of sour fruit. It's this sour fruit character that overwhelms the taste buds, especially on the aftertaste. Sure as hell ain't bad though. Mouthfeel is bubbly and pillowy, and drinkability remains significant.

jeffjfindley, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of chrhowe
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this ale into a Chimay chalice which presented a 1/2 finger head and had some lacing but not like a typical tripel style blonde. This beer is also the cleanest I've seen out of this style, perfectly clear. I do pick up sweet candy and bread in this aroma. There is quite a bit of sweet fruit in the taste, bananas with some lemon citrus. It has good mouthfeel, seems chewy about halfway through. However, this beer is quite filling, which will keep the drinkability lower than some. Not complaining though, but all in all it is a decent beer.

chrhowe, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of albern
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As far as Belgian abbey style ales of the blond variety go, this is just wonderful stuff. The beer is medium bodied, and chock full of chewy spices, malts, banana/citrus flavors, perhaps a bit of coriander, and lots of candied sugars in the fermentation process. I just love this beer and it is just a great representation of the style. If you are into the style, you must stop in here for a taste. The head, retention, smell, and mouthfeel are all just great. This one won't disappoint. L'Chaim.

albern, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of brdc
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This small bottle pours a straw-colored brew, with a small tan head, perhaps due to the cold temperatures, that dissipates quickly but keeps lacing the top of the liquid as well as the glass side all the way to the bottom.
Aroma is initially sugary and sweetish, surprisingly fresh, with multiple fruity notes, mostly apples and citric fruits, as well as a typical yeast "whiff". The smell comes quickly out of the glass as you pour it, like most belgians. Pleasant.
Reasonably firm on the palate, it has mostly a fruity taste, with multiple intervening layers of malty sweetness, yeast and spicy notes, finally finishing dry and hopped, but not excessively bitter.
A lot of the pleasant flavors I usually associate with belgian ales, but not so heavy or filling, a better summer brew although still not suited to be a session beer.

brdc, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of Lothore
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a huge white head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of lacing. It is a light orange hue. It smells spicy and of sweet fruits. Tastes of sweet fruits, banana and finishes very clean. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, and very carbonated. It is refreshing and the taste was fairly good so it was pretty easy to drink.

Lothore, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of scarletfire79
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

looks nice and smells nice. not a bad start. pick up some slight fruit notes, almost a slight bananna bread flavor. definitly a little clove. kind of a saison-like funk in the aftertaste. really nice though. one of the more sessionable belgians i've tried, not offensive in anyway. i guess i'd just prefer something a little more kicked up, but to each his own. very good beer, would definitly try again.

scarletfire79, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clean and clear dark golden color, plenty of small bubbled head that billows and lasts.

Lots of sugar in the nose, some twangy citric rind. Candy smell is dominant.

Sweet and fruity flavor, not quite the full body of a tripel but good. Fairly hoppy for a Belgian, a little peppery with the alcohol but not much. Flavors develop with a little warmth. Finish is a little weak as the flavor lingers short on the palate.

Perhaps a nice transition to the bigger pale Belgian ales, but the wow factor of a Duvel might be a better tactic.

BretSikkink, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of graywalker
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice appearance - clear golden color, nice columns of bubbles, big white head. Smell is yeasty with a little grass, clove, and citrus - excellent aroma. This is a delicious beer. Very dry finish and very refreshing. I'm really impressed, especially given the very reasonable price. I'll be buying this all summer.

graywalker, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Grimbergen beer and a great start. Pours a nice golden color with good thick head that decipated for the most part but did stick around for the remainder of the glass with slight traces of lace. Smell has a sour, hoppy sense to it, unique to my nose. Taste is great, malty (but very well balanced) with fruit tones to it as well. Somewhat creamy feel to the beverage in part due to the lower carbonation. This beer hides the fact well that its a 6.7% brew. Overall this is a great beer, very drinkable and recommended!

bunnyhustle, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown bottle:

AP: Pours out ultra-clear pure shimmering gold with a mellow carbonation and great retention ability displaying a 1/2" bubbly and active all-white head that stuck around for a long while before decending into a slim vail-covering.

Nose: honey-wheat barley malt, fresh green herbal hop, sweet fruits and dark berries with a subtle but mildly sour yeast whiff. nice aroma overall.

Flavor & Feel: starts off with a light, crisp, sharp and very clean feeling honey-wheat malt flavor that has a nice complexity from the sweet, dark fruit flavors of mashed-red grapes and raspberries. The mildly zesty and herbal belgian yeast hits you next adding a nice counter-balance to the mostly sweet malt flavors. It's smooth and slick going down but never feeling heavy. The finish is a mild, fresh and very green tasting hop.

DA: I'm very impressed with this one, i always love the CLEAN feel you get from Belgian ale's especially if there's a good complexity of flavor like this one has...not exactly a session beer 6.7% but a six paxk is not too much to put down with say one other person who will enjoy this brew too.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours like a macro-lager; very strange, really. Minor head disappears quickly. Nose is better; some sweet fruitiness and a touch of wheat. Taste is excellent. Actually not particularly complex, but full of flavor. Wheat, cloves, some apple and fruit too. Feel is medium bodied, tasty, good carbonation. I don't know, I have a weak spot for Belgian Pales; the flavor just blows me away, so I have a hard time being objective about these. Very tasty one that I'll try again, although I honestly can't say if it's better or worse than other Belgian Pales (I've only tried the Leffe Blonde, which I also thought was excellent).

soupyman10, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
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.


BlackHaddock, Jun 07, 2007
Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.