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Grimbergen Blonde - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

585 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 585
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 15
Gots: 43 | 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: 585 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acrawf6
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a quite deep golden and honey looking. White head foams up but is not thick and goes down rather quickly.

Smells a little interesting and good. Very sweet and a light menthol smell to it. smells like a dry sugar candy, like necco wafers or something.

Taste is ok. Very spiced. Lots of apple flavors to it. Not as sweet as i first suspected. A slight cardboard taste to it. Malty after a few seconds of it sitting on my tongue. The aftertaste is a little off. It is a little sour aftertaste that just doesnt settle well for me.

Mouthfeel is ok. Not as full as i hoped for, but i am wanting a tripel right now, so obviously this one will not cut it for me. Crisp carbonation that drops right after getting on my mouth.

Overall, this is ok. I am enjoying it, but i dont think i will have a craving for it in the future.

acrawf6, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had this on tap in Luz St.Saveur, France and thought that is was the absolute best ale I'd ever had. Was excited to find it here in the US in bottles. Kind of a let down...just not the same...good but not great.( my girlfriend still thinks Great)
Color is clear gold ....nice foamy head...lasts pretty well in a Grimbergen chalice.
Smell is clove, malt, a hint of fruit.
Tastes pretty good...some slight sweetness, good balance of citrus and spice...yeasty... alcohol not really detectable.
Mouthfeel is kind of light....medium carbonation.
Pretty drinkable...goes well with a burger. Not complex enough to just sip and smell.
I probably won't buy this ale...but my girlfriend will....and I'll drink some of hers !

Hautacam, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of bditty187
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Largely clear, coppery gold with a bonze highlight; the liquid is very attractive. Simmering white head, at its highest point a formidable three fingers of bubbles sustained. Head retention was good; it slowly fizzled away to a moderate cap. The lacing started right away. I truly dig when lacing starts before I even take a sip. Subsequent lacing was very organized and quite widespread. This beer has a good vibe!

The nose is more Trippel-like then Belgian Pale Ale-like, which isn’t a bad thing. Prickly hops, citrusy and earthy, while not strong in potency I like this aspect. It is quickly followed by a great range of fruit, mostly tropical (like pineapple, mangos, green grapes, and candied citrus). There are more notes of candied sugar in the background. I wish the potency was louder… the beer is fairly clean for a Belgian. Is this beer filtered? No bottle conditioning? I like what I smell but the more I sniff, the less impressed I am. Still, it is inviting.

The palate is spicy and warm. I wasn’t expecting so much heat. Well, I guess 6.70% is fairly hearty. The mild malt body seems fitting. It allows the spiciness to jump off the foundation. The fruitiness is equally lovely, oranges, grapes, pineapple, and a tropical blend. Well done! The warmer the beer got the more it fell apart. It becomes sweet… some veggie notes develop. There is not much in the palate; this is a pedestrian Belgian Pale Ale… I’d like more hops and malt. There are some pleasant qualities here but it is missing those special attributes.

Medium-light in body, low carbonation… the mouthfeel is a bit slick. Thin and watery; I expect more from a beer of this sort.

This beer is very easy to drink. If the alcohol was lower I’d call this a Belgian session beer but, I can’t. There is too much booze in it. So, when do I drink this beer again? It is not as good as Rare Vos or Orval (duh! What is!). I never heard of this beer before I seen a few bottles in Lawrence, KS. I am happy I picked up a sample but I doubt if I’ll drink it again. Overall, it is a solid Belgian Pale Ale… there is a thin line between good and boring with this beer style. I need more to be impressed.

bditty187, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.38/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I’ve been walking around Grenoble playing the local pastime (avoiding dog crap on the side walk) for hours. I’m thirsty and if one more angry, unemployed young man shouts at me, or another homeless guy dressed in fatigues tries to lead me down some back alley I’m going to go D-day on this place. I finally find an open bar that I can get into but the taps are just terrible. A large poster proudly proclaims that they serve bud light. Desperado posters line the other walls. I notice after some searching that they have Grimbergen on one of their taps. That will do, I think to myself. I had a can of that the other day and it was decent.

I order two 83 oz giraffes (because I’m so stressed from the anti-Americanism and dog crap). I sit down and set about consuming the brew but it's different. I taste apples, nasty, rotten fermented apples. That is all. That is all that is going on in this beer. It is terrible. My friends and I finish our nasty brew and leave. All of us come down with a horrible case of that stuff that’s all over the sidewalks. I won’t be revisiting this one anytime soon.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of benmiliron
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid 1.29 euro for 33cl bottle. Nice color, no lacing. Big foamy head with large bubble. Color is like those 70's amber colored diamond shaped ashtrays. I know you know what I'm talking about! Weird how it reminded me of those.

Tastes very nice. Good sweetness, not too strong. Very sugary, a bit too sticky. Not much spice, but generous malt variety makes up for that. Mouthfeel is tough, especially at first - big sharp bubbles. Beer is a bit too sticky here too. Drinkability is good. Not overloaded on alcohol and a good but mild taste make this one a winner.

benmiliron, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had drank Grimbergen before and wasn't keen on it. Figured I'd give it another try, and glad I did. This Blonde is exceptional. Very light and floral on the nose, no hint of alcohol, and packs a good punch in the Belgian style. Very yeasty, fruity taste on the palate, great mouthfeel and extremely well balanced flavor. A crowd pleaser.

bigdeuce, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of becktone
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours to a great looking golden light amber color. Nice large 2 inch white, soapy, craggy looking head. However the head quickly dissipated to about a quarter or eighth inch. There is fairly good head retention when this beer is agitated.

Maybe its me or maybe I've actually had three beers in a row that have an aroma of sparkling white grape juice ( Chimay blue, Grimbergen Blonde and Great Lakes Burning River). Perhaps my nose is just out of whack. I also notice some other sweet smells that come from my glass as well. Even though these smells are able to be detected to me they are just not all that potent.

This beer tastes pretty good, I definitely detect a butterscotch taste in this one. There is not much bitterness to this beer, and it would be much better except that I get a metallic or glass aftertaste after swallowing this beer. Overall this beer tastes fine except for the fact that I get this aftertaste. I think that I'll do an extensive tasting of this beer again in a few days and change my review if I get a different impression of this beer.

The beer has a light to moderate body, with medium carbonation. Nothing in particular that stands out when it comes to mouthfeel. This beer goes down pretty easy but for me its drinkability is reduced because of that strange aftertaste. Again I think that I'll try this one again and edit my review accordingly.

Tasted this beer again in a day and I must say that I do appreciate it's taste a bit more now. I think that I'll probably buy it again buy it wouldn't be until I've tried many other types of beer first, that takes priority. For me this isn't one of those beers that just gives me the impression of "Wow can't wait to have this again!"

becktone, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of ChrisBowers
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brew at a nice price. $4 at Sean Bolans in Baltimore. Blondes (the beer, not the girls) have never been my favorite style but this one is pleasent and very drinkable. Candied sugar abounds in the aroma. Crisp, slightly sweet taste with a little bit of hops and a nice dry finish. Good carbonation. Very drinkable, would make a good session beer except for the ABV which is on the higher side.

ChrisBowers, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
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.

feloniousmonk, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of cooter
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Ommegang chalice, enjoyed alongside tortillas of guacamole, chicken & rice plus turkey sausage. 11.2oz bottle, 1 week old.

Wicked lacing on the glass, foam is insistent, nose is like a saison--all yeast and light flowers and fresh banana-peach.

Sipping it strikes a memory of flavored seltzer (due to mouthfeel); the front is very lighthanded. After a swallow it dissolves into esthery, malty flower and fruit flavors--raspberry, orange, tangerine, banana, cloves. A trifle thin, if I may criticize at all, but the overall effect is good, a taste on its toes. If imbibed quickly it gets a little hoppy and more tart. Fake lemon-lime taste is present sometimes.

Overall, I like it. Good light tasty beer with depth. But it has some issues with overdoing the lightness and introducing some substandard/weird flavors.

cooter, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
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.

BEERchitect, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A = Golden amber with a minimal foam head that dissapates quickly to leave remnant foam.

S = Smelt of a sugary sweetness. Sorry, but no other way to describe it.

T = Sugary start that mellows to become a slow bitterness.

M = Average. Moderate carbonation that neither excites nor insults the pallate.

D = A bit pricey. Better beers for less money.

BeerNutta, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of aquatonex
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark golden amber with a rich foamy head, two fingers, good retention. Lacing creates rims in my glass as I drink, very nice. Nose consists of malts, yeasts, citrus, and a good amount of spice (coriander at least). Taste is very good, what a summer Belgian ale should taste like with a good balance of malts and wheats along with not too sour yeasts, citrus, and good spice flavor (usually the spice isnt spicy enough). Smooth, crisp, and refreshing. A solid beer.

aquatonex, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on 18th June 2005, 330 ml bottle best by 27.09.05 at home. Poured into a Leffe glass (C'mawn, I don't have every glass), appears like a cider, clear (absolutely no haze) amber colour with modest carbonation and a reasonable head. Head starts to dissapate fairly quickly.

Smell reminiscent of acid-drop sweets with some apple.
Taste: not very complex, again fairly acidic.
Mouthfeel was nice, but overall effect not that satisfying.
The smell remained quite strong throughout, definitely acidic!

Drinkability: not a bad offering and is fairly good value in the store. Was surprised to see it on the shelf (Molloys off-licence, Dublin), but I would prefer to pay more for a better beer.

JohnfromDublin, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz bottle.
Pours a golden orange with a bright white head. Retention and lacing are both very nice.
Smell is sweet malts, some caramel, fruity sweet (apples, peaches, pears, strawberries), slight orange, a bit of citrus, and yeast.
Taste is pretty similar to smell, fruity as all get out, some yeast, spices, and the like. Very mild hop flavor.
Mouthfeel is good.
Overall, a really good Belgian Pale. I would definitely have it again.

LuckySevens82, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean golden pale yellow beer. Has a big fluffy bright white head and a good brussels lace. The aroma is lightly sweet with a strong apple character with hints of orange peel and spices. In the taste the apple character melts to a honey note on the sides of your tongue. Towards the end there is a nice spicey hop snap before the return of that light candy sweetness on the finish.

ybnorml, May 03, 2005
Photo of Bierschenker
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Grimbergen beers are one of my personal favourites. Not the least because it originates from my former hometown Grimbergen. Today Grimbergen has a large Baroque basilica attached to the abbey. It was founded by Saint-Norbertus himself. In the middle ages, the lords of Grimbergen where very powerfull. The original plans showed a huge complex, but It was never completely built. The buildings where sold during the French revolution by the French occupier and the complex was partially demolished. After the French redrew, it was reacquired by the monastic order. As they had vowed when they entered the order, they where to foresee in their own needs. On of them was brewing beer as it was safer in those days to drink beer then water.

The Beer has a clear copper colour. When poured, a lot of effort goes in creating a reasonable head. Which disappears quite rapidly. It has an odour that reminds me of dried ham combined with spices, exotic fruit and citrus. It tastes very light but when it touches the tongue rich aroma’s are released: malt, hop’s, fruit,…
This is a stronger beer, but I thing it is easier to drink than some lighter beers.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Bierschenker, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber-orange. Small head develops then drops to a lingering film that leaves sparse lace. Smell is nicely balanced with orange, banana, spice and malt notes present. Taste is more of the same, orange, banana, spice and malt with hops showing up around the edges at first and increasing with the temperature. Fairly smooth with a hint of a hop bite. Medium-full body with a fairly light finish. Very drinkable with a good balance a decent complexity overall.

PorterLambic, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good brew. Pours pale gold, with a thick and foamy head. The aroma is sweet and syrupy. The flavor is all in the malts. There is honey and syrup. A bouquet of flower hops towards the back end of the flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly high on the carbonation, but not in a bad way. Very full-bodied beer, but in a soft way. Very smooth and easy drinking, this beer does not pound the palate and it is very simple to drink a couple of these.

MuddyFeet, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of paterlodie
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 07-05. Ingredients say acorbic acid humm; no botle fermentation. Appearance is quiet ok with nice white foam that stays quiet well. Golden and clear beercolor.
Nose is old and muffy with lots of koreander and partly oxidised malts. Taste is not that fresh either, hanging bitterness however not that disturbing cause low dosed. Fruity sournotes cause of coreander and maybe the ascorbic acid. Unfresh, tasted it more often but skip it if its not for a blind tasting....

paterlodie, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer was a crystal clear, light amber color. Oddly enough, there was no sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Is that common for this beer? The white head rose up to a little more than a finger and then settled down slowly, becoming dense and rocky. It was nice and sticky, leaving solid sheets of lace behind on the side of the glass. There was always a layer of bubbles present over the top of the liquid, though the bead was not very pronounced.

Smell: Light fruits, such as apples and grapes, provided the bulk of the aroma. There was even a light bite to the smell, just like a Granny Smith apple. Light spices hovered underneath, along with some spicy alcohol, hints of hops, and a little bit of warm malt.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied, but with a bit of chewiness. Carbonation was strong and gave the beer a fluffy feel in the mouth. It wasn't rough, though.

Taste: The flavors were delicate and straightforward, but nice. A combination of tart apple and light malt sweetness upfront. Then in the middle arose a floral hops bitterness that continued on through the finish. The aftertaste was a combination of light sweetness and a non-bitter floral component that was different from the floral hops that was evident previously.

Not overly complex and definitely not an ass kicker, but still a nice beer. I think I even like this one better than the dubbel.

Quaffer, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of medic25
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear yellow color, think white head that quickly dissipated. Fairly pleasant odor, a little yeasty. The taste was fairly light, lacking much complexity, and didn't linger too long on the palate. Other than a touch of bitterness on the palate, the flavor quickly disappeared. Not a terrible Belgian, but definitely not in the upper tier (and definitely not worth the $11.99 I paid for the six-pack!!!).

medic25, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This arrived with a nice golden color with a medium sized head that faded a bit. There's just a line or two for lace.

The smell was a fairly good combination of light malts and citrus tones. The taste was a bit lighter than expected, with those same flavors present. The mouthfeel was definitely too light. This beer just needs more substance.

watermelonman, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of tavernjef
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pear yellow color with lots of carbonation bubbles at the start eventually fading to soft supple bubbling, starts with a firm finger high cap of white sturdy foam that drifts off leaving a thin skim and a fluffy collaring. Lacing coats the glass nicely in thinner curtains.

Aroma of dulled citrus and white grapes and a soft plastic phenol touch underneath.

Flavors are kinda mild, touches of fruityness hint to a spartic citrus notion along with a white wine aspect with a fluffy insueing yeasty softness that carries some spice of clove and white pepper. Small traces of alcohol and phenols slip by quickly as it trys very hard to stay kinda fruity and dry. Which it kinda does but withstands no real finishing qualities, it just sort of disappears on ya.

Feel is weakened and thinnish, borderline watery with only a small nudge of dryness, fruityness, and carbonation which gathers a bit of strength as it gets past mid way and developes more but decreases again in the finish. This is an appoachable brew but lacks a bit of ompff and character; I think I'll skip it over in future buying sprees.

tavernjef, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of CharlesRiver
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Same 11.2 oz. bottle that is pictured to the right. Poured carefully into my chalice, oh wait, no need to pour that carefully. This beer doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned. No sediment in my bottle.

Pours out golden-orange in color with a good size white fluffy head. Small stems of bubbles make their way to the top. The smell is spicy and citrusy. Overall seems on the sweet side.

The first thing I noticed about the taste was the carbonation and the sweetness. Overall well balanced between sweet, citrus and spice (think pepper). Flavor kind of drops at the end into something a bit dry.

Overall a solid beer that I would have again.

CharlesRiver, Nov 05, 2004
Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 585 ratings.