La Grande Blanche | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

very good
51 Reviews
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La Grande BlancheLa Grande Blanche

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 07-22-2007

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 71
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

American brewers simply cannot help themselves- the yearning to "imperialize" beer styles is apparently too strong to be ignored. And when they turn to imperialize the witbier style, it always- always- always ends up in a sticky, spicy soupy beer... except for when this Belgian brewery does it.

With a moderate uptick in strength, the finesse ale shows slightly darker hues than its original counterpart. A thick lather builds on the beer and endures the session- revealing the softness of powdered sugar and citrusy spice. Wafts of white pepper, light cumin and balsa balance the wheat sweetness in both aroma and initial taste.

As its richer body layers on the middle palate, its pillow texture keeps the soft malts of light bread, confectioner's sweetness and light grain supported as well as smoothens out the tang of citrus peel, coriander, pepper and slight smoke. Its citrus tilt invites a light vinous note of white wine to permeate its creamy structure.

Yet like the lighter bodied farmhouse wheat ale, this heftier version lifts its creaminess just in time to let its gentle dryness and warmth to finish with refreshment and effortless taste. De Proef pulls off what I had previously thought was impossible- make a good imperial witbier.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, honey, floral, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, honey, and floral flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting honey aspect in both the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly cloudy golden straw color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Good foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of huge pear, apple, grape, herbal, lemon, earth, pepper, wheat, coriander, and yeast spices. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of pear, grape, apple, wheat, pepper, herbal, lemon, earth, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruits, herbal, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of flavors; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly slick and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian imperial witbier! Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of elginirishpunk
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml and very cloudy with a large amouth of setament in the bottle. MUST SWIRL! Aroma is of apples and coriander, a lot less sweet then your usual white ale. Light citric taste and ending with a hint of hopiness and sutally starts to fade as it hits all your taste buds. Unique beer but if you are looking for something that is going to blow your socks off, keep looking.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a pale hazy yellow body with a slow motion carbonation of microbubbles and a cobweb white head that sticks to the glass even after it fades to a thick ring of big bubbles.

S- The clean aroma has a soft lemon yeasty ester to it with a fresh wintergreen quality in the finish that is also very light.

T- The dry woody quality is not really barrel wood with some wheat dough hints to follow and a lemon note to finish. There is a soft spice character that comes through in the finish as the beer opens up. There are also some pear and unripe banana flavors along with a lemon note that come through aswell.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz in the finish.

O- This beer is very light and crisp but only hings of pear and lemon come through making it a bit bland in taste and smell.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, orange color with some bits of sediment with a two-finger, off-white head of foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty with some strong wheat notes.

T - It tasted yeasty and spicy with a good wheat backbone. There was a subtle orange zestiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. It was medium bodied with a dry finish and an alcohol warmth.

O - This is a pretty good witbier. Good flavors and aromas throughout.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

De Proef Le Grand Blanche

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a clear but strong golden color with some nice straw yellow hints. There is a thin quarter of a inch head that is white and recedes at a moderate pace but is quite sticky and leaves some nice lacing. (4.0)

S - Aroma starts off with strong cider like hints. Some apple pear and slight lemon zest notes. There is some definite tartness in the aroma. There is some nice wheat notes mixed in with the malty grain notes that give this a nice fresh baked bread background. Slight vinous character is definitely present. (3.5)

T & M - Flavors start off with some fluffy and clean wheat notes mixed in with some slight tart notes. The beer is quite bready and smooth with emphasize on the grain. There is some white wine like character and some nice pear and slight granny smith apple juice in there as well. It is quite dry and clean in its flavor and has some slight boozy sweetness from the higher ABV. There is a nice light body with some slight sweetness and nice crisp and fluffy carbonation. Quite refreshing and delicious. (3.5)(4.0)

D - The beer is delicious and a goo take on the style. (4.0)

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 6 Sep 2010. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Medium sized white head. Medium carbonation. Cloudy dark straw color. Smells of coriander, yeast and honey. Starts sweet and toasty. Lots of coriander and honey. Some toasted bread. Becomes a bit yeasty through the middle. Some golden raisins. Lots of honey. Finsh and aftertaste are somewhat sweet with a touch of astringency. Moderate ethanol. Medium creamy body.

A says almost mead like.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

De Proef La Grande Blanche, double white beer.

Cloudy, golden appearance, puffy, snowy-white head, lasts long, leaves lace.

Aroma: gorgeous stuff, floral, perfumey, peppery spice, citrus and orange. Light and lovely.

Taste: slides effortlessly on the palate with a sweet, honey-ish component, plenty of fruit, with light spices in the background. Lean wheat malt, tasty as heck and refreshing to boot. Not too terribly complex, but neither is it supposed to be. Spice character comes through more and more, and the flavor generally beefs up a bit, near the end.

Stronger than a light wheat ale is supposed to be, and it creeps in towards the end of this 12 ounce pour from the tap. Don't know how I'd feel after a bomber of this.
It drinks down way too easy.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an extremely foamy white head, two-fingers high, that takes forever to die. A more malty, sweet aroma than typical for this style as there are also sharp citric and spicy, earthy notes. Smooth, somewhat creamy medium body, heavier than typical wit, with a citric/carbonation sharpness that has orange peel and spicy notes. What really struck me is the sweetness, though, as the caramel malt and fruit flavors like apple and pear (maybe tropical fruits as well could be tasted) give an all around sweetness not known in this style. A good beer to sip on but I'm not sure I'd go for this if looking for a wit. Also, the ABV is hidden but after awhile starts to creep in.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Middle murky honey, near white head, leaves fast to disk. Lots of spotty lace.

S - Coriander and flowers. Some malt in there for good measure.

T - Butterscotch. Maybe in a bad way. Tasty enough, but often that is not a good sign.

M - Light body, medium carb, fair coating, ok balance.

D - Butterscotch too much to session.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap into a tulip at the Map Room...Pours a nice honey lemon with a really nice head, good retention. The aroma and taste are both really nice. Light honey, sweetness, a little citrus, a break from the normal strong yeast. Very tasty and totally crushable at 7.5%, one of the best witbiers out there for sure.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy lemon-yellow color with a one-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with good amounts of wheat. Mild amounts of lemon rind and a slight breadiness are also present. As the beer warms hints of white pepper waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Bright light malt flavors with solid wheat twang kick things off with light hints of breadiness beef things up. Midway through the sip good amounts of lemon and lighter amounts of orange flavors make an appearance. Mild amounts of spices come into play before a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought this beer was very well done and very refreshing. Worth a shot.

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Photo of MarenJensen
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The way this beer was served, paired with its taste, seems to be a beer for the girly-girl.

Served in a gold-rimmed De Proef flute (v. pretty) with a matching golden color, with a beautiful and foamy head.

The aroma was overwhelmingly sweet and smelled of honey and concentrated citrus.
Canned juice?

Very smooth and creamy.

The taste suited it's aroma, very honey-like, and was quite interesting, worth a try, but as I was just sampling a friend's, I had a hard time imagining drinking a whole glass of it.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An optimal example of the style, if you can find a bottle that holds up, beautiful hazy golden color, bright white foam. Floral and tropical fruit aromas, with the wheat backbone. Orange and coriander spice notes. Quite heavy in the mouth, finishes nicely balanced and hops are soft but this is not a sweet witbier, this is a good example of the style as I said before.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Aug 2007.

Has the American beer culture helped to inspire Belgian brewers to spawn a new style? Imperial White Ale it is--but is bigger better?

Perhaps the most stunning white head we have seen in a while; the beer is a tad foamy, but the active carbonation really does keep the meringue-like head afloat. Good haze in this pale-golden brew. Faint peppery aroma, with hints of citrus peel, husky grain and chalky yeast. Becomes very smooth after some of the carbonation comes out of solution, and the hefty medium malty body certainly flaunts more girth than your typical Witbier. Malty for sure, with a pale malt and faint oat sweetness. Spice balances the sweetness with citrus peel, coriander, light herbal medicinal phenols and a fruity, chalky yeast. Some warmth comes through after a few sips with a lineup of ripe, fruity esters. Finishes a bit sweet.

Overall, this is a decent beer, but since it's so drinkable, you really have to watch the 7.5 percent ABV. Consider this a sipping beer rather than a quaffer of a White Ale. Bacon-wrapped Boursin-cheese-stuffed chicken breast and some lemon-butter asparagus would pair well with this.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a cloudy yellow with an average white head, light lace.

S: Mild notes of lemon, wheat, orange.

T: Lemon meringue/custard is heavy with a light orange. Assorted wheat flavour, not too spicy with the coriander, more citrus oriented. Some boozy malt comes through in the finish.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, lightly alcoholic.

D: For a wit at almost 8% to hid the ethanol this well is pretty cool. Nice overall flavours, something I always passed up in the stores; glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of drpimento
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

strong wit - interesting and good stuff. Poured with a decent white head that lasts and some lace. Color is a yellow with some white tones. Aroma is very beery. Flavor is good, light on the spice, slightly tart with a few notes of sweetness. Excellent body and carobonation. A little boozy in the finish, but still really drinkable. Could be a session.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orangey yellow very little white dissipating head. Decent yet thin lacing.

Smells like a wheaty lemony bowl of fruity pebbles. And boozy.

Taste is the same

Prickly and watery. Very short sweet finish.

Pretty drinkable.

Interesting beer I dunno if I like it.

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Photo of mwilbur
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a slightly cloudy lemon color with high carbonation producing a 1/2 inch white head.
S: Biscuit, wheat toast, mild citrus and spice. Hint of apple juice.
T: Soft melon and apple, mild spice, and a hint of citrus hops.
M: Soft and creamy. Mild tart bite with the finish. Lingers decently on the palate with alternating sweet and sour notes. Interesting...very juice-like.
D: Different than what I was expecting, but still good. Definitely drinkable and sessionable...ABV very well hidden. Not very complex (but most wits aren't). Good for style.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Two-finger thick head, super creamy, cratered, and firm like meringue. Color is a cloudy pear-skin gold. Tons of lace.

Lots of pear and peach in the nose. A little bit of mineral from, I'd guess, the yeast...light herbal/spice character, but it's the fruitiness the defines this beer's aroma. Clean, breezy, fruity and unmistakably Belgian in origin.

Lots of pear and peach in the flavor, along with a healthy and completely refreshing apple element. But this is no wimpy macro-style fruit novelty, there's a subtle and earthy herbal element as well as a good dose of yeasty earthiness. Fresh white bread; a flowery essence; hops are crisp and bright. Simple, uncomplicated and incredibly likable.

Mouthfeel is airy, finely carbonated, gentle, kind of creamy...utterly smooth.

Man, does anything that comes out of De Proef suck? This is a delicious and uber-refreshing beer...and though its 7.5% ABV may qualify it as an imperialized witbier, it basically drinks like your lower-ABV wit...superb.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle w cork and cage. synthetic cork is printed with "GB81". tasted in late may/early june 2009.

cloudy, murky, golden straw color w orange and brown tints. big, 3-4finger white head, rocky and foamy, fades to cranular meringue and iceberg formation, surrounded by a thin wispy layer. great lacing at first, a bit less later on.

aroma: coriander, citrus peel, hay-like hops, plus a touch of that leathery, woody, trademark deproef funk. peach, ripe apples, yeasty bread. herb and floral hints.

taste: malt and citrus tones upfront, with crisp, fruity and fresh acidity, mixing w yeast, bread, and a rustic, mild farmhouse character. mild phenols that bring out the coriander and orange peel, balanced by grassy hay-like hop with crisp, mild to moderate bitterness. finishing off-dry w touch of esters and spice.

medium body, crisp acidity and carbonation upfront, but good underlying smoothness and creaminess.

quite enjoyable. note to jim koch: THIS is how you do an imperial witbier.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This rates as an Imperial Witbier...very light yellow pour, left light lacing. A nose of wheat, and a slight hint of lemon. Mouthfeel light and quenching, very easy drinking for this beer. I was amazed at the extreme lightness of the pour, almost clear, see-thru. This can be another drinkable beer this summer!

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Photo of mklinger
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer cellaring for a bit over a year. Originally had it at a tasting last year, bought two bottles a cellared one.

A: Poured into a snifter with a 3+ finger head, while trying to pour it gently. One of the stiffest, rockiest heads I've ever poured. Lots of lacing left on the glass -- it stuck out into the glass at least a quarter inch. Nice golden straw color -- first pour was very clear but later pours had the typical wit haze. Really nice looking beer in all ways.

S: The aroma was a bit of a letdown. Slight bit of citrus, belgian yeast aroma, but not as robust as many wits.

T: The flavor of this beer was much more enjoyable than the aroma. Nice lemony citrus, coriander. Somewhat more malty and more bitter than most wits, although this is exactly as it should be for an imperial wit. On the other hand, the alcohol real was well hidden.

M: More luxurious mouthfeel than most wits but not as heavy as imperials in many other styles. Very nice carbonation, close to champagne like.

D: Very easy to drink beer. It had lots of characteristics of many imperial beers (rich, complex flavor, nice balance of malt and flavorings) without the over-richness that goes with many imperials. This was an easy to drink beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy orangish amber color with a large off-white head that has excellent retention and a good amount of lacing around the glass as well.

S- The aroma is citrus with some peppery spices, wheat, grass, coriander and yeast.

T- The taste starts out with some wheat and citrus flavors along with spices and a touch of bitterness in the finish. The taste can be a little too cloyingly sweet at times, but the alcohol is very well hidden.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- The sweetness detracts from the drinkability for me. Not bad, but there are definitely better witbiers out there.

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La Grande Blanche from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
3.86 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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