La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde
Brasserie Thiriez

La Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez BlondeLa Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #408
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #7,718
Avg:
4.01 | pDev: 10.22%
Reviews:
83
Ratings:
146
From:
Brasserie Thiriez
 
France
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  20
Gots
  6
SCORE
89
Very Good
La Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez BlondeLa Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde
Notes: Local name - La Blonde d'’Esquelbecq
US Import - Thiriez Blonde

Description on US bottle label:
“Daniel Thiriez’s rustic little brick-and-beam brewery graces the village of Esquelbecq, plunk in the middle of the rolling farm country of French Flanders. With a brewing degree from a Belgian university, and decidedly ‘Belgian-oriented,’ Monsieur Thiriez makes ales with an earthy, slightly wild character that recalls the early days of farmhouse brewing, before there was a border between France and Belgium. The delicate spicy champagne aromas of this thirst-quenching blonde beauty are quickly followed by a bracing rush of whole fresh hops.”
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 146 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MisfitIK-9:
Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Butterscotch-gold with so much carbonation that my desktop is now a mess and foam is continuing to ooze out of the bottle. The furiously ascending bubbles agitate the generous number of fine particulates to such an extent that it makes the beer look like a just-shaken snow globe. Now that the ecru-colored whipped egg whites cap has deflated to midglass, I can think about a second pour. Very little lace unfortunately.

The nose is more sweetly pale malty than expected and less hoppy. There's no question that noble hops are a major player, but Blonde isn't anywhere close to the hop bomb that is XXtra. Notes of spiced banana give the beer a hefe weizen yeasty vibe which is unusual... and welcome.

Hops contribute much more on the palate, making me a happy man. The usual Belgian saison flavors apply with at least a two-fold amplification over the classic versions. Brasserie Thiriez's recent love affair with hops--even if some consider it Americanizing the beer--is a welcome thing as far as I'm concerned.

Bracingily bitter, lemon peppery, warmly spicy flavors fill my mouth with each unending of the glass and make me wish that I had opened this bottle several months ago. There's still plenty of lupulin zing though. There isn't much farmhouse funk however. It's as if the brewers chose to focus on hops and not confuse matters by including other aggressive flavors. Fine by me.

It appears as if the insanely vigorous carbonation has burned itself out because the mouthfeel, as I enter the second half of the bottle, is fine until the finish, which feels a trifle flat. As a result, the flavor profile loses volume too quickly and leaves a mouthful memory of simplicity rather than complexity. With a steadier, more long-lasting carbonation, the final three scores might have been a half point higher.

In the end, Thiriez Blonde fits comfortably between the stupendously delicious Thiriez XXtra and the comparatively mundane Thiriez Amber. I'd like to see Brasserie Thiriez address the carbonation issue because this could easily be another in a long line of great saisons to come out of the best saison-producing region on planet Earth.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Seems like we've seen more than a few of these larger format Belgian brews around here of late.

This beer pours a cloudy, medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of finely foamy off-white head, which leaves some random swaths of lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of mildly toasted pale malt, a bit of Belgian candi sugar, a tame white pepper essence, and rather prominent bitter leafy, weedy, and somewhat floral hops. The taste is semi-sweet grainy malt, some moderated yeasty funky notes, soft peppery spices, a decent varied orchard fruitiness - apple, withered orange, and mild grapefruit/lemon acridity - hemmed in by a decent earthy and leafy hoppiness.

The bubbles are low-key, and all the better for it, the body an impressively rounded middleweight for the style, and more or less smooth. It finishes decidedly on the sweet side - fairly sugary pale malt, a waning earthy yeastiness, and still edgy fruity and leafy hops.

One sassy Saison, I must say - this seems very much like a pepped up version of the base style, not so much in the booze, but in the otherwise normally sedate aspects. Spice, yeast, and verdant hops make this a future-forward version of the traditional style. Me likey.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

man, i really like what these guys are up to. the extra, although it was so green bottle weird, was also good enough to make me go back and buy this one today, and while it has a similar issue with the green glass light struck thing, it is also really delicious and raw. the yeast in this one is fantastic, funky and thick, the dominant flavor agent, and although it says on the label its dry hopped, i didnt think it was half as hoppy as the extra. the subtle nature of the hops in this is one of its best assets, but i love all the new to me yeast swirling around in the beer, and the horsey nature of it all. americans dont do saisons all that well without brett i feel like, but the french and the belgians have it dialed in. fuller bodied than the extra and some of the other french ones i have had recently, but its flattering to the flavors, especially the spicy yeast. carbonation is there, but it doesnt warm up all that well. beer makes me so happy, so so happy, and something as unique and fun as this is a real treat. i just wish they would abandon the green bottles, its a bummer the beer doesnt come in as full swing as it could, but its still worth buying. stoked to have these guys in colorado.

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Photo of Zekenyce
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Bighuge
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very little beer. Very much head. Yet another charged up Thiriez. (That makes 3 now.) The white foam takes up 2/3 of the glass. I must wait patiently for my sip of nectar. The beer underneath the thick crop is pale yellow and slightly hazed.

Aroma: Lemon zest, farmyard funk, anise, white pepper.

Taste: Farmyard earthiness. Herbal qualities. Cracked black pepper. Lemon pepper. And licorice. Musty as well.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and airy. A little gaseous. Light bodied.

Drinkability: Better mouthfeel would lead to better drinkability. The taste is good enough. But it's first of all, hard to get at the nectar. Second of all, airy and gaseous when I do get it.

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Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To me this beer is made for socializing on nice spring/early summer days like today in western NY.Poured you guessed it blond with some burnt orange hue with a big fluffy white head that stuck like glue to the glass as it inched its way down slowly,herbal hops dominate the aromas with light notes of lemon zest and iron.Flavor wise it starts out quite dry and leafy and herbal with undertones of lemon but a lightly sweet honey character come thru midway it then settles back to a leafy hop finish.This beer is pretty delicate in my mind nothing hits you in the face but its like I said the perfect beer to drink in pleasant weather as it is quite refreshing at quaffable.

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Photo of ADR
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale ghostly yellow appearance, highly carbonated giant white head rises up over an inch in the glass. Beautiful complicated patterns of intricate lace. Tart aroma, almost sulfurous with a backdrop of lemon and stuffy confectioner's sugar. Carbonation seems to work its way out in the pour, this is very soft and light in the mouth, almost cottony. Mild with a not too sweet malt beginning, doughy with straw. Excellent snap of bittering at the finish, not drawn-out but more pointed like the snap of your fingers. Aroma adds another interesting layer to the beer. Excellent mouthfeel, I enjoyed this one a lot.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle corked with plastic foil wrapping. I have been waiting to try this beer for awhile. Pours out much lighter than I expected. A bright yellow, very effervesant. A good size white head keeps growing as the beer sits.

The smell is bright and big. Floral notes, apples and pears as well. Some hop notes with some spice as well. Taste is suprising. Lighter than expected in terms of body. Carbonation is not too much as the million bubbles would show. Very well balanced in the beginning. The malt kind of drops off at the end and the hops take over. Grassy aftertaste. Superb.

I am amazed at how smooth this beer is. This is a beer that I could enjoy all night in the summer, fall, winter or spring. Can't wait to try the other from this brewery.

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Photo of bditty187
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I’m glad I used my Duvel glass, this was one heady beer. The liquid was hazy gold in hue with a bronze highlight, when backlit the liquid looks very lovely! The head, as alluded too, was three plus fingers in height. The foam was white in color; head retention was perfect. The jumble of bubbles hung together nearly forever. It was meringue-like. Impressive! A tight cap lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but very widespread. This is an attractive beer, no doubt about that. Little could improve the appearance.

The nose was lighter and airier then I would prefer. Marshmallows, grain, dry hop aromas, lemon zest, sugar cookies, Pilsner malts, and random (faint) spiciness. The potency is moderate. Honestly, the aromas don’t come together like I would want a “Saison” to do (or any Farmhouse ale). This beer needs more bite and more barnyard. I do like what I smell but I am not “wowed.” Hell, I’m not even satisfied… okay, it is inviting but the bouquet is so understated. No matter, I want to take a sip.

Mission accomplished. The palate, like XXtra has a dried celery and lightly nutty taste that I find distracting. Thin maltiness, cracker-like most of the time, at its best I’d call it cookie-like. Either way, the malt is frail. Light hop bitterness, mostly grassy with some earth and dull spice. At times, in the distance, petite fruit allusions come though. Of the three Thiriez beers all had very similar characteristics. House character? I guess. Honestly, it doesn’t vibe with me. While this beer is not bad I don’t really love it. At best it is okay. The flavor profile is far from bold but it really isn’t that delicate either… but I’m not going to call it bland. What I taste is a hodgepodge of faintly funky, earthy, and bready flavors. I would like more of all three, thanks. This beer leaves me wanting more…

Medium in body, on the thin side of things, the carbonation is moderately low but natural. The mouthfeel is agreeable but I can’t really find much special here. It’s workable.

In away, yes, this beer is drinkable… but not in anyway that impresses me. I can finish the bottle I have but I don’t think there is anyway I would buy this again. It is forgettable. It is boring. I can appreciate a delicate, well-crafted beer but for whatever reason this beer doesn’t jive with me, not every beer can be a hit. I purchased my bottle in Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle. Sealed with a shiny black plastic covering on the neck leading one to have the impression that it may be corked, but once easily removed (thanks to one of those nifty pre-installed tabs) it revealed a large simple brass crown cap. Main label has a country feel to it, but seems to be a US import version. Listed at 6.0% Alc. Vol., but with no freshness date. Imported by the Shelton Brothers.

Description to the left of the bottle explains:
“Daniel Thiriez’s rustic little brick-and-beam brewery graces the village of Esquelbecq, plunk in the middle of the rolling farm country of French Flanders. With a brewing degree from a Belgian university, and decidedly ‘Belgian-oriented,’ Monsieur Thiriez makes ales with an earthy, slightly wild character that recalls the early days of farmhouse brewing, before there was a border between France and Belgium. The delicate spicy champagne aromas of this thirst-quenching blonde beauty are quickly followed by a bracing rush of whole fresh hops.”


Appearance: Heavily carbonated, the pour takes care and attention but even so the head races up the Maredsous tall goblet quickly. 3” deep head forms quickly but takes time to slowly morphs into a pock-marked, rocky surfaced affair with moonscape looks. Peach body with pale straw is filled with streamers. Striking looks!

Nose: Fresh Saison-like nose, herbs, spices, lemon, muted grapefruits, lime, dry hops and a shrill yeast background with a fresh hop dimension. It all has a simple feel with a mild hint of complexity to add interest.

Taste: Hops, yeast and spiced limes have a flashing start. Peppery pine soaked hops align with a thick grassy middle. Earthy tones and some yeast play tag with dusted sweetness which itself has a powdered texture and seems suppressed by a doughy personality. Simple enough frontage, but with a complex background when examined in detail.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation hits the front and adds some brightness to the body. The lively feel is effervescent and jumpy at times but always up there. Body has a medium strength though; the conditioning adds at least a half point to the 4.0 I posted for this. Smooth yet snappy.

Drinkability: This is a lovely drinkable and very refreshing French Blonde Ale with a nice hop twang and a Saison make-up to add intrigue. A bit too expensive to drink all the time, but at half the price shown ($9.99), I probably would. Draining the 750ml didn’t take too much effort at all.

Overall: I had the distinct pleasure to visit Brasserie Thiriez way back in April 2003 during my annual Easter Belgium trip with Wakefield CAMRA. At that time I wasn’t too taken with the range of beers to be perfectly frank, but they certainly seem to have improved in quality. An Énorme Merci to BigHuge for this one.

Recommended.

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Photo of putnam
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Scented of pine, lime peel and grapefruit peel, this orange liquid erects a nice pile of foam before retreating into a white foam-crusted well. Lemon basil bread crusts and scorched sugars give depth to the bouquet. Very clean and rich on the palate, though not sanitized in any way. There is a soft, nutty, meaty element to the texture and flavor that is unlike other Saisons I've drunk. It's almost like a mixture of English Bitter and Saison Dupont, only more appropriate than that must sound. Pinpoint accurate in total dryness. I will keep one of these in the fridge and the balance of a case in the basement for the rest of the summer.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon opening, the 750ml bottle, the beer exploded like Krakatau, this produced a huge sticky mess all over my desk, as I poured the beer, it created a astronomic frothy white head that took up half the glass, took several minutes to get the glass full. Slowly, ever so slowly it vanished leaving a nice golden body, with the lace a thin patchy sheet, nose has a sweet malt tone, hints of wet horse blanket, citrus like crispness. Front has a sweet and sour taste, some bitterness at the back, top is moderate in feel. Finish is dynamically acidic the hops controlled, very dry lingering aftertaste, “Saisons”, rank high on my list of great beer styles.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a medium gold color with two fingers of bubbly white head. There is just a touch of lacing. The smell is very full and floral. Lots of hop action, and some great spiciness. Very nice. The taste is very spicy up front. Lots of pepper and ginger. A good malt base gives way to a nice hop finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is great, since it's a low alcohol saison. Good stuff. Thanks to Kevin for this one.

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Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearnance: cloudy light orange in color with a very short head that creates a thick surface foam.

Smell: fruit sweetness and a floral bitterenss is mild but detectable.

Taste: caramel, fruit sweetness, pears, green grapes, with some nice bitterness and a touch of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, lighty crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer was a bit sweeter and fruitier than expected. Not a bad beer but there are better saisons out there.

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Photo of clvand0
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a yellow color, slightly cloudy with a moderate head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is hoppy but very smooth. The flavor is much the same with a little bit of funk that is normal for the style. The mouthfeel is a little thicker than expected and the drinkability is very good. This is a nice beer. Very tasty.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy gold color with a thick bubbly white head. given a minute or two the head fades to a little more manageable.
the aroma is very floral with citrus, apple and pear aromas also. there is a just a touch of sulfur in there too. with a swirl, some of the more funky aromas come into play, with hints of horse blanket and hay. something corriander-like is in the mix as well, i'm not sure it corriander though.
the taste is bright and fruity. apple and pear are here again with tropical citrus tastes and tang as well. honey and vanilla make appearances here and there as well as the corriander-ish flavor from the aroma. a little candy sugar type flavor mixes with the other sweet flavors. the hops go to work against the sweetness, but unltimately lose out to it.
the mouthfeel is intensely bubbly amidst a medium body.
the drinkability is good is fairly refreshing, but the sweetness is a perhaps a little out of place, as this beer seems to struggle to be dry with many of it's other characteristics... if that makes sense.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty beige color ale with an average foamy head with some average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light tart notes with some typical Belgian malt. Taste is a mix between some tart notes and some lightly sweet Belgian malt. Full body with lots of lees and some average carbonation. Not bad but nothing standing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer explodes as soon as I pop the cap, it starts foaming up all over the place and I barely made it to the sink. This beer sits in my glass with a huge frothy head that is six-finger tall pale tan colored head. The beer is a murky orange-straw color with lots of yeast sediment. The aroma is quite herbal and a bit grass in the finish. Underneath this is a lightly toasted, slightly sweet grain note.

The taste has that same grassy herbal note, but is quite a bit sweeter than the dry aroma would suggest. The beer has a nice, light, yet sweet malt note to it. It finishes with a light, astringent (in a grassy way) bitterness. This beer is quite drinkable and is fairly light on the palate. This beer is quite tasty, though it may be a tad more sweet than I would like, perhaps a bit more bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of uturn
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice clear pale golden with a huge white and frothy head which rose very tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was nicely spicy and earthy when first poured with a sensational dry hop aroma. As the head dropped the aromatics lessened slightly but still came forth with a pronouced earthy and floral hop presence coupled with a spice and a farmhouse ale aroma.

The flavor was decidedly bitter, but well done. The bittering was crisp and contained what I took to be styrian dry hopping and an earthy presence with some spice complexity thrown in for good measure. The flavor did contain a nice malt backbone but it was overshadowed in an instant by the bittering and hop flavor.

The finish was dry with lasting hop bittering and flavor and a slight spice bite as the beer continued to dry out long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the mouthfeel was creamy as a result of the body and the carbonation. The dryness forces you to drink the beer and the flavor commands one to seek out another bottle.

750 ml capped bottle. $10 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA.

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Photo of tjd25
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A silky ocean of foam stays on top of a very active golden orange color body. The smell is firm, fresh and very yeasty, as if we were baking bread in the glass. Quite fruity too, a bit reminiscent of a witbier. The taste is fruity and bready at first, but gets overwhelmed by a sharp and deep hop character that brings a thickness in the mouth and a grapefruit-like astringency. Some Orval notes in this brew. Some peppery notes slightly bite the tongue. The hoppiness is a bit oily too, and I don't know how I feel about that. The mouthfeel is round and enjoyable (the mouth seems to be wrapping the beer up in one grasp), melting in the mouth before the hops appear in a quite unusual way for a belgian pale ale. It gets dry, very dry, and therefore less palatable. Some annoying graininess appear in the aftertaste. An interesting beer, but with a high liters of water you need/glasses of beer you drink ratio.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big overpouring flow of white foam. Very foamy head, on lighter coloured body. A bit of spice and yeast aroma. Drinkable French saison taste, pleasant and moderate complexity noted in multi-coursed lunch. More spicy and not too sweet. Well hopped and appropriate carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of silenius
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy gold with a large rocky head. As I drain the beer, the foam sticks to the glass. Beautiful.

Taste begins with a slightly spicy hoppiness with an earthy herbaceous middle. I believe this beer if slightly skunked, but that simply added a little complexity in my opinion.

Taste is a solid herbaceous hoppy flavor with a mild malt middle. The hops flavor lingers after the beer is drunk.

The beer has a perfectly creamy and thick mouthfeel to start with a bit of zing in the middle. It ends with a bittering dryness. The first sip is a pleasing at the last.

To me, this seemed like a close knock-off of Dupont's Saison. Nice show.

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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde from Brasserie Thiriez
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 146 ratings