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Blond | Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

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very good
59 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mora2000 on 06-21-2010

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 133
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy orange color with huge carbonation leaving a nice white cap

S: :ight barnyard funk, lighter fruits

T: Tasted of lighter fruit, some funk and horseblanket, Belgian yeast, and mild floral hops. A light spice in it.

M: Light body but massive carbonation

O: An excellent saison

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Photo of julian
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, be VERY careful when opening this bad boy. I've read reviews where others have experienced the same thing, but my cork took off like a goddamn high school space science project as soon as the cork was slightly untwisted. Scared the bejesus out of me.

A: I'm not so sure I'd call this a "Blond" to describe it's color as it's more on the murky off color orange side. From the bottom of my glass I can very clearly see a stream of extremely fast bubbles rising to the surface. The nucleation site on the bottom of my glass clearly is accentuating this. Head is huge! It's like my beer is swimming in a bubble bath. Definitely takes a few pours, and a few pauses to get this to a drinkable level.

S: Lovely. Some pear, green apples, mild earthy hops and a crisp light peppery aroma.

T&M: Right off the bat, this thing is highly carbonated which isn't surprising considering it's attempt at taking my eyes and possibly putting me into a mild coma during it's decorkage. Nevertheless this is very crisp and clean. Taste is wonderful. Lots of awesomely traditional Saison character. A little bit of bready and peppery yeast come through, some earthy bitterness mixed with some apple and pear flavors.

O: This is a wonderful unassuming little Saison. It would be even better if they could get the carbonation under control but definitely would seek this out and drink it again. My first offering from Hof Ten Dormaal and I'm very impressed.

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Photo of timtim
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pop! be careful. the beers from this brewery seem to be loaded. excellent beyond that though. hazy peachy-blond color with a white head that hangs out for quite some time and leaves proper lace as the beer disappears. first thing that hits me in the nose is a cereal-like sweetness from the grain, followed by spicy/herby phenols and earthy barn. taste comes off in balance with all the spiciness and mildly-sweet maltiness playing well off of each other while being amped up by the alcohol and wrapped up with just the right amount of bitterness from the hop. medium body that translates as creamy-fluff zippy. yum. proper classic-style beer with tons of it's own personality.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375mL green glass cork and caged bottle.

*When I took the cage off, the cork damn near took my eye out! Be careful opening this!!!*

Pop! with overflowing white suds. Once I started to pour it though it calmed down completely. Nice fluffy white head above a golden yellow, hazy body. Nose smelled of grains and tart citrus. Palate is crisp and lively with mixed citrus and lemongrass. Zippy all around.

A little simple, but a fine quaffing beer and does not feel or taste like 8%. Great story and I hope to see more from them in the future!

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Photo of StaEva
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice light straw/ autumn wheat color. Big, wild head that dissipates quickly and leaves a small white cap. Smells of grassy, floral hops, nice subtle, rustic malt body and some herbal vanilla(?) too; very appealing. Taste is just as I'd expect a Blond farmhouse to taste: mild yeast-spice, fresh and crisp malts with a floral/earthy hop finish. Very nice beer. The mouthfeel was unique on this; it felt like the carbonation expanded when the beer touched my tongue, and it filled my palate with a full foaminess; not prickly, but just foamy. It was great and very unique.

I would definitely get this again. A great beer in a style that my nature tends to lean toward.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Belgian Café, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass a cloudy orange with pinkish highlights? (It was dark in the bar and perhaps my eyes deceived me.) Little to no head going on. Very light aroma of floral hops and peaches. Tastes of yeast, grass, peaches, herbal and floral qualities filling my senses at all times. Light mouthfeel, and quite drinkable, though didn't really stand out in any specific way to me.

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Photo of DirtybeerguyRI
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

APPEARANCE: Hazy golden pour with TONS of carbonation. This beer produces a big, fluffy white head that requires patience if don't like to drink before it settles down. It almost looks like a hazy gold champagne.

SMELL: A nice combination of peach, pepper, and wild herbs with earthiness in the background. I'm more a fan of how this beer smells compared to how it tastes.

MOUTHFEEL: Lot's and lots of fizzy carbonation on this light-bodied farmhouse ale. It really fills the mouth with tight, humming bubbles. I'm not a big fan of this much carbonation in a beer.

TASTE: This is where this beer fell apart for me. The aroma is earthy, but the taste is more musty and grainy. I pick up some bready malts and a fair amount of grassiness mixed with lemon and citrus notes. But none of these notes are distinctive enough to make this a distinctive, enjoyable beer for me.

VERDICT: I should note that on the various beer review sites, this brew averages between a B+ to A+. So, you may like this beer a lot more than me. For me, though, this beer tasted a stuffy without any other tastes coming through to balance.

John Harvey

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most carbonated beers I have ever had, when I loosened the wire cage the cork shot out of the bottle with incredible force. Pours a golden/blond color with a massive head that slowly recedes, leaving heavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma is wonderful, citrus and earth leap out of the glass. There is peach, pear, lemon, spiciness, black pepper and much more. Honestly it's a bit too complex for me to describe, all I know is it's amazing. Smells like a saison through and through.

Taste follows the nose but adds a bit of husky/grain character. There is effervescent malt, yeast, lemons, pepper, pear, hints of grass and hop bitterness. This beer is everything a saison should be. The finish is incredibly dry, slightly tart and very refreshing. The alcohol hides very well, this beer is incredibly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly cardonated.

Overall I am very impressed with this beer, it seems to be vying the place of my favorite beer, currently Saison Dupont. I have a feeling that I will be drinking this often, I still need to dissect the aromas and flavors more and really get to know this brew. I had to conscientiously slow myself while drinking this beer, it's so delicious.

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Photo of larsenju
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Be careful, as soon as the cage was loose it shot off like a bullet.

A-Pale yellow body, slightly cloudy, clean white head, very tall.

S-Herbal and earthy with some yeast and bread notes, a little lemon, maybe some tropical fruit as well. I also got a slight mineral quality, its very rustic.

T-Lemon peel, slight pepper, and some herbal hops. Moving back it develops a bigger bready malt profile and the spice really picks up, finishing the hops take over leaving a big earthy peppery bitter hit.

M-After the very exciting show with the cork and having the bottle almost overflow I was really surprised at how low the carb was. Slightly slick, I would like it to finish a little drier.

D-Very nice, I would even venture to say that its better than Dupont. I was really interested by how well they work in the high ABV, I did detect a little heat but it only helped to bring out the spice and citrus flavors.

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Photo of danmouer
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My serving was a 375ml champagne bottle with artificial cork and wire cage. I should have known better, but as soon as loosened the cage a slight bit, the cork blew off with an explosive pop worthy of The first toast of New Years Eve!

Thea beer started to gush, but the glass caught it all, and thank the beer gods for that. My goblet quickly swelled with a huge whipped-cream head and the room filled with the aromas of aromatic hops and malt. As I have noted often, Saison is my favorite be to brew and to drink, and with this one bottle, The Hof ten Dormaal farmhouse brewery is the current reigning star of the style for me.

As the head slowly collapsed in a trail of patchy lace, the mostly clear, orange-amber brew beckoned with a huge aroma of malt and hops. Clearly, there are also fermentation products likes spicy phenolics here, but the dominant olfactory impression is that one is about to sup on a very fine, very huge pilsner!

Slurping up a mouthful does not change that impression except to outline it with zingy peppery-spice notes, an almost oily backbone of hop bitterness, and a palate-soothing wash if warm alcohol spirits.

I fault this beer only for being too alcoholic. I prefer Saison that allows me to suck down a second one without wondering who is driving home. This is supposed to sustain farmers working in the summer fields, remember?

The gravy here is the brewery's rightful boast that they grow the barley and e hops for this beer on their farm. They also grow rapeseed for oil to run the brewery. I award them extra brownie points for that, but they had me as soon as the cork popped!

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Photo of number1bum
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 4/2012 notched on the side. Popping the cork on this one lets out a huge pop and I immediately thought it was going to start gushing. It didn't, luckily, but it did produce a super fast rising, foamy white head that made for a very slow pour. It's a cloudy, somewhat musty looking golden color with some sediment floating around. Head keeps a full, chunky lace that takes about a year and a half to fall down. Leaves some splashes of stick on the sides.

Smell is very grassy with spicy and fruity notes as well. Sort of lemony and peachy, with black pepper and some herbal aromas. A dash of sweetness and some must as well.

Taste also has a ripe fruity flavor, peaches again come to mind, less lemon than the nose. Maybe some pear as well. Has a modest sweetness like the nose did. Very spicy and musty. Lots of herbal flavors going on here, those plus the black pepper spice makes for one spicy drink. Pretty clean in the finish with some herbal, earthy flavor left lingering.

Mouthfeel is a super crisp medium body. Very aggressive carbonation, puckers the mouth a touch. A little too aggressive imo; hurts the ability to savor the complexities this is offering.

I'm surprised that this is classified as a saison rather than a BSPA. It does say Farmhouse Ale on the lable, but it drinks a lot like a Duvel or something in that vein in my opinion, albeit in a more rustic, less refined sort of way. It alson doesn't have the funky farmhouse sort of character that most saisons do. No matter, I like it. It's flavorful, crisp and easy drinking, save for the super aggressive carbonation. Definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy yellow in color and poured into a tulip glass with a three finger high bright white head that has good retention properties. It has a moderate amount of visible carbonation.
S: There are aromas of spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is quite spicy--flavors of black pepper stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is also a good amount of dryness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
D: The high amount of carbonation in this beer improves its drinkability as it helps to diffuse the spiciness in the flavors.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The pour is a cloudy orange color with a big white head sitting on top.

S: Lots of fruit to the nose such as peaches, apricots, apples, and oranges. Still plenty of bread and malt character and perhaps some lemon zest. Yeast is there too, but more in the background.

T: The flavor starts off much the same as the nose. That is, with a great fruit character. Some of the same players here like peaches, apricots, and oranges. There might be a little bit of white grape in there too. A mild spice ester quality to the beer. There's quite a bit of malty sweetness which is very nice.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation.

D: Not sure if this is really a "Farmhouse Ale", but it certainly was enjoyable. I had never heard of this beer or brewery before, but I am a fan.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, and banana. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, banana, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. You could definitely tell it was brewed in Belgium with the heavy Belgian yeast influence and fruit flavors going on here. Had a good aroma and flavor though. I really had no idea this was a Saison, thought of it as more of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Pretty good to say the least...

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

The cork whizzed by our heads--a lively beer with a very expressive head. Yeasty nose, earthy with ripe peaches and herbal phenols. Big fluffy crispness from the higher level of carbonation. Yeast runs from earthy to nutty, which works well with the ripe orchard fruit and dried grass malt base. Wild herb phenols and alcohol hold strongly to the taste buds with suggestions of sage, bay leaf, rose water and peppery complexities. Wow, sort of a raw, in-your-face, knock-your-socks-off kind of brew.

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Photo of drpimento
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good beer overall. Cork exploded out of the bottle as soon as the cage was untwisted, went straight up and straight back down and bonked the opener on his noggin. Poured with an over the top off white head that turned into suds. Color is a hazy amber with some sediment. Aroma is malt, wine, skunk, yeast. Flavor loses the skunk and is quite good while being true to style. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length and lots of alcohol warming.

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Photo of crossovert
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml green corked and caged bottle. I grabbed it from the very back of the shelf.

Beware of this one, the cork shoots off the second you make your first untwisting of the cage. It is only a mild gusher, however, as long as you have your glass near you will be fine. It pours with just an uncontrollable head, the only other beer that has been this carbonated for me is Bos Keun. It must be the special house yeast at work.

It pours a hazy golden orange with a foamy white head that billows tall as mentioned. It recedes rather slowly, which is kind of annoying and it has some nice lacing.

The smell is not skunked in the least and it is a fruity, estery brew. There is a little bit of spice. It reminds me more of a dirty Belgian strong pale ale than a siason. I guess it is a farmhouse" ale however.

The flavor is great, if a hint sweet. It has a nice earthiness and a sweet hit of sugar. There are plenty of fruits in here like apple and golden raisins. There is a slight hint of lemon and clove as well.

The carbonation is high, but it still goes down pretty smoothly. The alcohol is less hidden than it should be, but not detrimental per se.

It is a nice brew, grab it from the back of the shelf and enjoy.

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

275 ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Hof Ten Dormaal's blonde is a ridiculously large white head, in spite of the fact that I had in the in the fridge for the last 4 days or so in an effort to calm it down. Beer is murky dull gold, the head has long last and leaves heavy chunks of foamy lace.

Smell is classic fruity farmhouse esters, nice minerality.

Taste is very sharp, no doubt accentuated by the coldness, bitter, a little corky. Peppery, a little lemon pith and slate comes out as it warms, a bit yeasty as well, tasty and classic.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good for a saison lover such as myself. The over carbonation slows down the start, but after that, all day.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a goblet. The label is a bit nicked-up, bit I think the best-by date is May 2013. Rant time: how is it that we still have brewers who put their beer in green bottles? It's one thing if it's a shit beer like Heineken. It's another thing entirely if you actually care how your beer tastes.

A: Ummm...where is the beer? It took three pours to get through a 375ml bottle, each of which was at least 75% head. This is the first time I've ever dinged a beer for having too vigorous a head, but it really was distracting. From what I can see of the beer, it's cloudy yellowish-orange.

S: Earthy notes with some barnyard funk.

T: Spicy phenols. Plenty of earthiness. Some bready malt. Finishes slightly sour.

M: Very light. Lots of carbonation, but not too bubbly.

D: A very solid and refreshing saison. I wish getting to it wasn't such a chore, though.

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle caged and corked into a tulip:

A: I am greeted by a loud pop. Very bubbly frothy white head, opaque body. Head retention was minimal, with a small amount of lacing.

S: Candy sugars, banana bubble gum, black pepper, and clove. The yeast is also very pronounced in the nose.

T: Yeast and bread followed by some fruitiness. Finishes dry and kind of metallic. There is a bitterness at the end that I can't quite put my finger on.

M: Highly carbonated and full bodied.

D: Decent saison. Solid example of the style, but not my favorite.

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Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12.7oz green bottle into a Duvel tulip. Notched for best by but only 2013 decipherable. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.49.

A: Pale straw gold with huge billowing big-bubbled white head which leaves some spots of lacing.

S: Pleasant mix of lemongrass, pepper, mustiness, and pale malt sweetness.

T: Lemony with strong bready yeast overtones and the thick mustiness that finishes with a mild tartness. Pale malts keep the tartness from being puckering. A very tight package all-around.

M: Much more heft than most saisons, but not unpleasant, and despite the huge amount of pressure, the carbonation is not overwhelming.

D: A really nice saison with a good classic aroma and flavor with a bit more body than most in the style.

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Photo of popery
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Very good beer, though the cork nearly took one of my eye's out. The liquid actually didn't gush too badly, but the bottle sure had a lot of pressure packed in there. Pours a light gold with a big, rocky, white head. Some yeast floaties were kicked up from the explosive uncorking. The aroma has lots of fresh grain, musty earth, mint, bubblegum and spice. Rather interesting and rich. Taste is somewhat sweet with a yeasty finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, a bit heavy for the style but still good. I didn't expect to like this one much, but now I think I'll have to pick up the Amber.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week.

The beer pours a slightly hazy honey gold color with very good head retention and considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is attractive, showing orange citrus, honey and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though the initial light sweet honey is dominated by the orange citrus and bitterness on the finish. As a result, the finisih is fairly dry, bitter and long in this nicely crafted beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is good, though you can tell there's some alcohol. Nevertheless, this is a well made, easy to appreciate, well made beer. Good stuff.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's tonight.

Cloudy and hazy, this beer is orange with a dense white head that falls off to a ring leaving some lace. The nose is grainy, sweet and yeasty. Very raw and rustic, this is mildly grassy and has some honey as well as a little heat.

The palate opens with a blend of sweet and grainy flavors. A touch of grainy astringency is present as well. Moderately sweet on the mid-palate with honey and a wort-like sweetness, alcohol appears on the finish. Mildly drying, this is fairly sweet and alcoholic for a saison. The yeasty spice is second to the grainy sweetness here. Still, this beer is decent, but I preferred it out of a bottle.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hof Ten Dormaal's Blond pours a cloudy golden, and is topped by a tall, white head that fades away very slowly. The aroma has a sourdough breadiness, notes of banana, and hay.

Upfront there's a clean but quite sweet maltiness that yields to a banana and citric fruitiness in the center, and moves into a yeasty finish with only hints of bitterness. This beer is light-bodied and highly carbonated.

Pretty aggressive for a saison, but quite tasty.

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Blond from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
3.98 out of 5 based on 133 ratings.
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