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Leffe Blonde - Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Not Rated.
Leffe BlondeLeffe Blonde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,081 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,081
Reviews: 1,224
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 16.06%
Wants: 37
Gots: 336 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,081 | Reviews: 1,224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beakerboy
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Liquor Barn's Ultimate Brew Crew- Aug '06-Strong Belgian Ales

A: Not as much head as many other Belgians, but what was there stayed around for a long time leaving behind a good amount of belgian lace. Orange amber color with plenty of champagne bubbles

S: Lots of banana aroma and not much else.

T: Not as complex as other belgians. Some banana and clove flavors and a little finishing hops.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied drink. Carbonation isn't as high on the toungue as I'd expected.

D: It's a good overall beer, but there are better belgian pale ales, such as duvel.

beakerboy, Sep 07, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sparkling orange-amber when backlit with bright golden sunshine. I was greeted with the usual voluminous Belgian head on the pour... in this case a thickly creamy crown of pale beige that looks fantastic. It's both bubbly and rocky as it melts, leaving a great deal of intricate lace in the process. Whatever else Leffe Blonde has in store, it looks great.

The nose is less impressive. Clove is prominent and there isn't a whole lot else to back it up. Underpowered and unidimensional is difficult to overcome. Having said that, it's pleasant enough to be considered above average for the style.

Tough call on the flavor. I'll have to live with this one for a while. Funny thing... when I was a beer novice, I didn't like much of anything from Belgium. Now that I've learned to appreciate the complexities of the yeast, I like just about every beer from that country that I've been exposed to. That's the way it works I guess.

Leffe Blonde falls short. The biggest reason is that it's so hotly clove-like that none of the other ingredients have a chance to make a positive impression. Did the brewer add ground clove to the brew kettle? If not, he used the mega-cloviest yeast strain on the planet. All trace of subtlety and nuance is lost in the storm of spice.

Hops are especially prominent as well. Not so much in terms of flavor (although how would one know?), but in bitterness. Bitter fights sweet, rather than cooperating with it. It isn't exactly a chore to drink, but I've had enough clove to last me for a few weeks. Need a clove demonstrator for a tasting? Leffe Blonde is your beer.

I like the mouthfeel just fine. Its light silkiness and energetic carbonation is just what I look for in a Belgian pale ale. I have no choice but to dock it a half-point though, since it tends to coarsen as it warms, feeling just as unpolished as the flavor profile in the end.

In spite of my love for (almost) all things Belgian, Leffe Blonde is a bit of a disappointment. Largely because it uses a clove hammer of a yeast strain when a finely honed yeast chisel would have worked better. It's a testament to my affection for the style that I still found something to like in this less than stellar version.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of psinderson
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse, served in Leffe goblet-style glassware.

Appearance: Nice looking gold, very clear. Bubbly white head.

Smell: Fruity in the front, something like berries. Noble hops background.

Taste: Very smooth overall. Fruity malt sweetness dominates with hints of berries, oranges and maybe even a banana. The finish is just slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Again, very smooth. Medium-light body finishes clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable - Clean and smooth.

psinderson, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of therica
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having consumed enough of this, very happily, in Leuven Belgium (see my earlier review for the on-tap in Belgium version), I was anxious to try it in bottle. I tried a few bottles before leaving, and also carried a few home with me on the flight.

The bottled version is a bit more carbonated and active, therefore less appealing to me than the tap-version- albeit a minor detraction.

The head was nearly white, thick and stayed for about a minute (versus me slurping it eagerly!). The head was about true to the taste of the beer, as well.

Appearance- nice dark-yellow, some small carbonation rising.

Taste-- like its tap counterpart, this beer is not overly sweet in comparison to some Belgian's. But it's a moderately sweet beer, in comparison to many other ales. I really like it, even in bottle-- it's just not quite the tap version, however.

Drinkability-- for me, it would be great in-session, whether in bottle or on-tap. I'm still trying to track down a keg from local suppliers, however, for future beer-events, here. I know that it's served on-tap in some pubs, at least one in Washington DC for instance.

therica, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle well within its freshness date poured into a thin tulip.

A - Pours out a nice golden color with three fingers of white foamy head sitting on top. Some staying power out of the head.

S - Very yeasty characteristic of many Belgians with some spicy notes. Some banana aroma as well.

T - Some spiciness up front with a nice banana like flavor. Not much of a hop profile but the right kick of spice.

M - A nice medium body makes this easy on the palate and fairly light in the mouth.

D - A nice, easy drinking fairly subdued Belgian pale. Nothing mind blowing but a good golden ale with that characteristic Belgian yeastiness that you can have a few of.

EStreet20, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of SethB2
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip.

A - Golden brow color with a big, whispy off white head that is made up of massive sized bubbles that don't last all that long.

S - Light banana bread and clean - nearly lagerlike clean, with a sweetness that is neigher pleasant nor unpleasant.

T - Better and more pronounced than the smell would indicate. Yeasy belgian strains provided a sweet banana and grape taste to it, followed by a cinimon and clove, very full finish.

M - Medium, which was nice. I was expecting a light and watery beer.

D - Good. Not outstanding, but not offensive either. Easy drinker for a summer day.

SethB2, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a pale golden color, with foamy white head that lasted the entire bottle, with high carbonation and excellent lacing. Aroma was very hoppy and spicy, mostly clove. Flavor was a continuation of the hops and clove, with some hint of other spices, and a trickle of malty sweetness. Aroma and flavor were consistent as the beer warmed, and the finsih was very good and smooth. I really enjoyed this blonde.

kimcgolf, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of tugdriver7
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer falls into the "boy am I glad I bought this" category. Being a bit of a purist "Reinheitsgebot-ist" when it comes to malt beverages, I am not a real fan of Belgian beers. So when I saw the display of Abbey de Leffe at the local store, I was attracted first to the amazing packaging. But the BA reviews were good, so I tried it. Absolutely loved it. Rich, clear golden color with massive, foamy head that lasted and lasted (and then laced the glass all the way down). The spicy clove/banana hops hits your nose immediately, but subtlely. And the taste is reminiscient of the best Belgian white beers, but filtered to a smooth, bubbly gold and not too sweet. Extremly drinkable and one of the few I've enjoyed right down to the last swallow. Exceptional. I think I'll have another.

tugdriver7, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of haz77
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a completely clear dark gold with an inch of foamy head. This falls to a fingers worth. Low to medium carbonation.

S - Fruity esters, phenols, clove, pear, floral.

T - Sweet malts at first, with a fruity edge. Honey and bread in the middle. Slightly dry finish and metallic/citrus aftertaste. Not what I was expecting from the smell.

M - Light-medium body and somewhat slick. Prickly carbonation.

D - An average beer.

haz77, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of Beauregard
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A tasty, if one dimensional, Belgian blonde. Sweeter than most. Well carbonated, pours bright golden with an effervescent white head. Aroma of candy, clove, bubblegum. Flavor is sweet, estery, lacking a real malt backbone but pleasant enough. Not my favorite but good for drinking if other Belgians aren't available.

Beauregard, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of wolffman17
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by 1/2/07.

Into a tulip this pours a clear, deep golden color. A massive bubbly head forms and stays around for a while. Plenty of lacing lines the glass.
Smells sweet like apple juice. A little bit of alcohol comes through.
Taste is all sweetness...almost cloying. The alcohol is hidden very well, which is nice.
There's lots of carbonation at first, but by the end of the glass, it's noticeably faded and becomes almost syrupy. My stomach warms from the alcohol.
This is a little too sweet for my taste, and the way it digresses as the glass empties hurts the drinkability.
Because of how sweet this is, I couldn't help but compare it to white wine. It's not the best beer, but I'd still take it over a white wine any day.

wolffman17, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 12 oz. bottle. It has a very golden color with good head and head retention. The smell is slightly hoppy. The taste is hoppy with a bit of a sour note. Mouthfeel is bit chewy and the carbonation is quite noticeable. I'd consider this a very drinkable beer

barefootbrewer, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice with the brand in gold)

A- The beer has a clear light golden body with a thin white ring of foam that last through the glass. There is a very faint carbonation.

S- The smell of perfume is slightly sweet with a rose note and a faint bitterness that doesn't smell like hops.

T- The lightly sweet perfume flavor is taken over by bitter hops that finish the beer. As the beer warms there are notes of bubblegum and faint apricots. There is also a dry cider hint and a light Perry hint aswell.

M-This beer has a light mouthfeel and a faint fizz texture that just enhances the hops slightly.

D- The dry light fruit flavors are crisp with a faint sweetness to give the balance. Then they are rudely squashed by bitter hops. The hops would be fine if they had some depth of flavor or other characteristic besides just bitterness.

rhoadsrage, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of andjusticeforale
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this out into a duvel glass; It reacted beautifully with a brown gold appearance., without any sediment noticeable, creating a one inch head which dissipated slowly. In the duvel galss, repeated swirlings release flavor and bring back just the right amount of head prior to each sip.

Upon tasting you are just hit with all this malt; some wheat breadiness and sweetness, and this is then ridden out on a wave of alcohol just under the surface. This is a big filling beer whether it looks that way or not. I think that pairing it with Stella Artois and Hoegarden in an 18 pack does give exposure to the non-illuminati of beer; however, this is a beer to drink in its chalice or a tulip, not right out of the bottle at a picnic; the difference is night and day.

andjusticeforale, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very clear orange golden color with a huge fluffy white head and a bunch of bubbles rising to maintain it. The head is thick and looks like it is going to be around for quite some time.

Aroma: Through the foam, I get a really bready aroma with some light citrus there to give it an overall lemon cookie like nose. There are quite a bit of hops contributing to this beer, and the beer takes on a more green aroma as it warms up some.

Taste: The flavor is much less bready than I expected it to be from the nose. It is still malty with a lot of bread, but it has a sweeter balance than I was expecting. The finish is rather balanced with a firm tip toward the sweetness. There are plenty of hops in the flavor, but the finish is dedicated to the sweetness. Late after the sip fades, there is a subtle warming on the back of the throat, but it is reserved and gives me the impression that this beer is only a little over 6%ABV.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer. It is a little milder than what I was expecting, but this isn't bad. There is still plenty of flavor here to keep your palate guessing. We don't have access to too many Blond ales here in Texas, but this is definitely a good beer and one that I would like to drink again.

SkeeterHawk, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of kosmoraios
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To me, this ale is almost a cross between a hefeweizen and a BSPA. Pours a deep, clear golden color into my tulip glass, with a 1-finger head that is gone in about 90 seconds, leaving minimal lacing on the glass. The carbonation rising in the glass is somewhat subdued and slow.

Fruity-sweet malts, some cashew-nutty yeast, and some type of light toffee dominate the nose.

Taste is sweet. Sweet malty notes, some light toasted bread, perhaps a bit of honey or toffee. There's a tinge of perhaps a light cider-like apple flavor for me in this one. The sweetness becomes almost too much as the ale warms.

The mouthfeel, as the ale warms, becomes oily and a tad bit phenolic. As the carbonation dissipates, the spicyness and crispness of the mouthfeel go with it.

Pretty drinkable, especially if price is a factor. A 6-pack of these go for about $8, whereas a 4-pack of Duvel goes for about $9. I've read what people have to say, and I do agree that it is a very commercial Belgian Pale, but when you factor in price, it's a pretty agreeable ale.

kosmoraios, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear yellow-gold color with sunburst shades, a little like apple juice. Fluffy white head retains very well. Bubbles slowly rise to the top in vertical marching formations.

Aroma is full of fruit, with apple and pear dominant, and a nice floral bouquet, along with a bit of yeast lending it a wilder personality.

Flavor is crisp, heavy on fruits and flowers. Banana and honey in addition to the aromas detected. A strong hoppy presence mixes with a spikey yeast element to provide good balance. Finish is very dry and slightly tart.

What's not to like here? I've read some comments about Leffe being nothing more than swill, and I wonder if people are bringing the politics of its current ownership/distribution into the judgment of the beer itself...or maybe its popularity and accessibility turns people off for some reason? This is simply a great beer, nearly quintessential when it comes to defining the Belgian pale ale style.

Metalmonk, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of ernie
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Golden amber color, long-lasting creamy head, immense lacework.

Aroma malty and fruity, with strong citric and yeasty notes and hint of ripe pears.

Start malty, soft but sticky, body big and rounded, very fruity taste, more yeasts in the finish, together with a much-welcome acidic note. Aftertaste long, sweetish. Mouthfeel sticky, sometimes chewy.

Not the best Blonde from Belguium, I prefer them drier. From the other hand, widely available and easily drinkable.

Note: bottled version a bit more restrained in character.

ernie, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of stouty1
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another of the many biers my wife brought me from her trip to France (thank you, honey!). I was disappointed because she was limited to how much she could bring home and she accidentally bought two of these. However...

Poured a sweet nutty brown with a great foamy head which lasted forever (seemed like it anyway). Smells of citrus and a hint of bannana. Taste definitely proved my nose correct with the bannana and fruityness. Almost had a Hefe feel and taste to it. Maybe that's why I liked it so much. I couldn't get enough of this. I am so glad I had a full liter of it. Oh wait, and I have another. Thank God for mistakes!

stouty1, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of tpbernardi
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours deep gold and crystal clear. Has a nice thick head and tiny bubbles.

Smell: It has a hoppy, citrus smell to it.

Taste/Feel: The taste is sweet, but not overly so. It doesn't coat the tongue in sweet, but lingers just a few seconds then goes away and finishes dry.

Drinkability: Easy drinking

tpbernardi, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of JohnY
4.55/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottled into a belgian style tulip glass. Nice head formation torward the top of the glass. Citrus and Coriander on the nose. Formed tiny (champagne like) bubbles that lasted until I was done with this 11.2 oz bottle (not long). Nice lace. Smooth and well balanced. Wonderful golden color. Easy to drink. Perfect summertime beer.

JohnY, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of ChillMike
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a really nice gold color with a huge white head that leaves nice lacing. It has a nice raisin and bubblegumesque scent, which is quite pleasant. Taste is very different, it has a bubblegum type of flavor that isn’t too overwhelming or overpowering, accompanied by a nice sweet malt flavor. Very different than anything I’ve ever had and is quite pleasant to drink, wouldn’t be too hard to kill a 6’er quite quickly.

ChillMike, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of houdini
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pale golden yellow, with a decent sized white head. Lacing holds up pretty well.

Smell: Distinct hop aroma. Somewhat fruity.

Taste: A honey-like sweetness dominates the flavor of the beer, with a faint backend of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation slightly tingles the tongue.

Drinkability: The sweetness may make this a tad difficult for repeat consumption in a given day, but overall, an easy going, inoffensive brew.

houdini, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of hunteraw
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Attractive brown bottle, huge head, crystal clear, gold color in the glass, good head retention.

Smell: distinctive Belgian yeast scent, smells a little on the sweet side.

Taste: I've had a lot of Belgians lately, and it's possible I'm tiring of them, because for me this was "more of the same." Candi sweetness, followed by some fruit. Finishes on a bitter note, which I like.

Mouthfeel is very much to style. A bit creamy. Aftertaste is sweet and lingering.

Drinkability for me suffers from being a little too sweet for my tastes, but this one has nothing objectionable about it, it's widely available, and the bitter finish does help a bit. Solid, but I drank it slow and didn't care to order another.

hunteraw, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of cameraman
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I do not have any type of belgian glass ware, I used an over sized winr glass. The color is deep golden, with a slight white head forming. The aroma starts off with some scents of yeast, then followed by strong a citrus fragrance. The taste is very sweet, but mostly citrus fruit flavors, with a spicy ending. The feel of this beer is very lite at first and seems to get heavier as it crosses the palate. This an okay beer, the sweetness would turn off some, but it lacks that punch that belgian beers usually have in taste.

cameraman, Jun 08, 2006
Leffe Blonde from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
81 out of 100 based on 3,081 ratings.