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Grimbergen Blonde - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

570 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 570
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 13
Gots: 38 | 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
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Ratings: 570 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of MattBrooks
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow into my pint glass with a huge white head that takes a few minutes to dissapate. The taste is simple and classic, nothing too fancy-and nothing too surprising. The body is light and a little too easy going. It finishes refreshing and light with not too much aftertaste. It's easy to put away a sixer of these, but costly.

MattBrooks, May 22, 2007
Photo of jmc44
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a heartily effervescent hazy golden amber color; thick frothy white head that stays around for quite some time and leaves a very nice lacing on the glass.

Some spice in the nose, but generally malty with a hint yeast and earthiness.

Nice malty backbone in the flavor, with a bit of clove and banana, definitely some wheat. Slightly spicy. Finishes dry and crisp, well balanced.

Medium bodied and smooth, heavily carbonated. A pleasant drink.

While its a very good beer, it certainly has not bumped my favorite Belgian's down the list any... worth a try but not really earth shattering. Nice in that the ABV is somewhat low when compared to, say, a Strong Golden Ale or similiar.

jmc44, May 14, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a chalice.

An apple-juice colored brew makes its way into the glass, stirring up some fervent bubbling to fuel its eggshell white head. A thin layer is maintained up top and leaves some decent lacing. Aroma puts out some nice fruit for the nose: notes of granny smith apple, peach and banana. Also subtle hints of spice and grasslands.

The flavor isn't quite how I remember it tasting at the Raleigh beer fest (2 weeks ago). Some lackluster wheat, pear and citrus round it out. The blonde is well carbonated and crisp with a light body. Not much of an aftertaste, but that's not much of a downside for the style as it helps the drinkability. Overall this thing is good, but just not in the same ballpark as the Grimbergen Double (one of my favs).

wagenvolks, May 08, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aww, one of the last samples brought by my son, while in Amsterdam, ?studying?.

But I?m really sold on Grimbergen ? so far all quality brews and a decent import price. Gives the other Belgium?s a run for their money.

A crystal clear straw yellow, tons of tiny lil? carb bubbles in here, ROCKY pillow top o? white.

Enticing aroma of the Belgium yeast and sugar cane, followed by a sweet malty start, finishing dry and acetic. What a nice Belgium ?session? beer ? even at 6.7%

Vancer, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
2.48/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer from the bottle to a 50 degree tumbler. The beer was sour smelling with a big pretty head and actually had great lacing. A slightly smoky flavour made the beer taste interesting at first but then started tasting a little sour to me and after drinking a Grimbergen sour as heck double ale before this one might have been the problem, but I just don't think I like these beers. Will not buy again.

Minkybut, Apr 08, 2007
Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.