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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde | Brasserie Thiriez

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La Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez BlondeLa Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.”

Added by tjd25 on 10-09-2004

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 138
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 orfeu
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden sheen with driving carbonation rising toward a billowing and sticky egg-shell white head. Foam disappears quickly but leaves lacing for days. Unassuming bouquet, with grassy hop notes that are at times nearly sulfuric popping in and out amongst an overall fruit-laden aroma bed: blackberries, pears, lemon verbena. The taste is soft and exquisite; no fireworks, but a wonderful collection of floral and fruit-based flavors are certainly on display: lemon and honeyed orange sections, golden delicious apples, green grapeskins. The largely rounded edges are sharpened at the finish with an herbal, bitter hop bite that leaves a faintly mineral (sulfur) wake in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is charmingly unobtrusive as well, save for a sharp battering of carbonated mid-palate punch. Quenching and extremely conducive to slow sipping on a relaxing spring evening. Very nice beer.

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

Bottle actually read "Bière blonde au Froment Esquelbècoise" but it must be the same as this beer.

My buddy ordered the bière blonde, which was admittedly better than my choice - La Rouge Flamande. Bastard. Thankfully, he shared quite a bit of it. The bottle was poured into a chalice for the unfiltered fizzy yellow nectar. Aroma of cloves and yeast. The taste was quite refreshing - some lemon, lots of yeast which even lent to some breadiness. Lots of flavor and quite drinkable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A hazey blonde/ambrosia champagne is released from a 750ml bottle that just can't contain the carbonation any longer once the cap is pulled. Humongous head that easily overflowes the glass after a modest pour. The aroma is a little subtle, not as earthy as other saisons. But definelty effervescant with some spicey malts and light citrus hops. The tastes is dry, but not tart. Just champagne with some subtle Euro spices in the crystal like malts. The palate is very carboanted, but lacks that real earthy, yet subtle tartness is lacking in this saison.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a rocky two finger-plus-out-of- control head that eventually settles down, and has excellent retention and some good lacing. Body is an opaque hazy gold. Looks beautiful.

Smell - herbal, grassy, and slightly spicy hops, some horse blanket, hint of toasty, biscuity malt.

Taste - mostly as promised by the nose, but also actually somewhat more sour on the finish. The grassy, herbal hops and horse blanket dominate the barely-there biscuity malt. More horse blanket on the finish ( the sour ) .

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and slightly slick from the hops.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not really great, so I wouldn't have it often, or more than two 12 oz. servings per session before wanting a change of taste. Also, this seems to be more of a Belgian Pale Ale, ala Popperings, than a Saison such as Dupont.

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

Aroma is a hearty grain/hop mix that has wheat/light barley notes and sweeter citrus components...think mandarin oranges as opposed to the more bitter Florida orange. Some herbal vegetal notes appear as well. The body is a hazy yellow/gold and holds a silly sized three finger thick and creamy white head that is moderately lasting .Fore is dry with an herbal/medicinal bitterness, mild vanilla notes, lemongrass, wheat husks, sweetened cereal flakes and a zesty (not quite spicy) finish that then fades into a somewhat floral aftertatse. I think this may be an under appreciated style. The few samples I have had seem to have a conistent profile, but none seem well received. I think it may be that there is not that one intense element that many styles have. This is a subtle beer, delicate and flowery both in flavor and structure. Yet this very drinkable...very approachable and I think it could be a serviceable crossover style.

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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 Hautacam
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slight hazy golden...the head is huge and foamy....laces nicely and remains.

Smells like most saisons...malt, spice and a hint of citrus.

I loved this stuff with the first sip. Complex combo of slightly sweet banana, pear, lots of spices that I can't really sort out, but great !..a little hint of funk and some really nice hops in a dry finish.

The mouthfeel was perfect....silky high micro-carbonation. Medium body.

At 6% this is a very drinkable beer. Highly recommended.

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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 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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Photo of bjohnson
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden color with yellow hues. Huge two finger frothy foamy milkshake like white head that has pretty good retention and leaves good lace.
S: Aromas herbal and fruity hops with a lemony undertone. Slight metallic smell, but not very big. Grassy smell to it also.
T & M: Fruity, bananalike flavor with those belgium esters. Lemony flavor in there also. Slight hop bite with a nice dry aftertaste. Bitterness is prevalent. Smooth and silky through the mouth that goes down very nicely with a tasty aftertaste. Earthy taste with a little grittyness, but still a great tasting ale.
D: Drinkable beer and one I would have again. Haven't had a bunch of this style, so this is a new path I'm going down. Very good summer beer.

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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 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 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.


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

Pours with huge head, some yeasties, the body is a light straw color. Crisp, lightly spiced aroma, noticeable European hops.

Tastes quite refreshing. Maybe a touch of black pepper, amongst other things. Spices are outdone by the hops. Mouthfeel is light and creamy. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml. Cloudy golden orange with a huge head that collapse into an island of foam in the center of the glass. It leaves about as much lace as possible on the glass. Nice floral hoppy aroma with a goof amount of funky farmy notes. A bit spicy and also some sweet fruit mixed in. Sweet fruits mixed with a great spicy hoppiness over farmy flavors. Some pepper and other spices along with some earthy tones. Finishes up with a light hop spiciness and some mild fruit notes. Fairly light body but fitting, crisp and refreshing with good carbonation. I could drink this all day simply wonderful stuff.

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Photo of OldSock
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 750 ml bottle from Julio's. Mini volcano of foam when I open it, followed by a steady overflow of foam even after my first pour. It was a well handles bottle that has been in my possession for a few months, the yeast must have gotten frisky in the bottle. Big rocky white head that has moderate staying power and leaves bits of lacing. The beer is translucent orange-amber with some sediment in it, most likely due to the overcarbonation.

Smell – Tropical fruit punch with some yeast and light earthy hops. Really a strong full aroma at least partially due to the over zealous carbonation. There are notes of alcohol and toasted malt as well. Not super funky, but still a unique yeast profile.

Taste – The overcarbonation is forgiven, this is certainly a tasty beer. Not nearly as funky as many saisons, but it has layers of dry malt, earthy hops and loads of fruity yeast complexity. Towards the bitter side, but not nearly the hop flavor/aroma of xxtra.

Mouthfeel – Strong carbonation, fine for the style, on top of a light medium body.

Drinkability & Notes – A solid saison with great drinkability, I just hope that the overcarbonation is not a common problem with this beer.

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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 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 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 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 kmpitz2
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice light golden color with a 3 finger head that falls to a nice healthy coat over top. The nose is blasting me with noble hops. Crisp and very inviting. I really like it. There is a light malty sweetness hanging in the back, but the hop dominates it. The flavor is just as nice. Strong, but not intense very herbal noble hops ae present. Again the light sweetness is there, but still behind the beautiful herbal and spicey hop. Tasty beer. I would guess that there is a base pilsner malt on the malt character. A light bitterness hangs on the finish. Man, this brew is tasty. The feel is moderate with a nice active carbonation. Such an easy driniking beer. I will definately pick this up again if I see it. The hop is just outstanding on this. I love it.

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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 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 wl0307
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from the Beer Circus, East Croydon, London. The bottle's BB date is 06/2006.

A: cloudy, dark ooh-long tea/dark-amber colour with an effervescent frothy beige-coloured beer head with very good retention. Looking like a rich and serious stuff~~
S: the initially explosive perfumy and mixed-tropical fruity scent settles a bit too fast, leaving behind a timid but mixed aroma of flower esters, (slightly) musty yeasts, cold honey-tea, underlying sweetish malts along with that peculiar note of Chinese green-bean paste commonly detectable in typical Belgian pale ales. A tinge of light, zesty hop is left at the back. Overall, quite aromatic, but soft..
T: creamy texture of very mildly sweet malts+mildly zesty hops upfront accompanied by a very smooth texture of Chinese green-tea + honey-tea like mixed bitterness; the bitterness is even similar to the aftertaste when you chew some chopped-up herb tea leaves: the bitterness gradually increases deep down on the palate as warmed up in the mouth, but runs deep and smoothly down the throat. Good hop presence plus a little nuttiness at the back, too, but overall the main theme is dominated by the unusual bitterness. M: the mouthfeel is fantastic, soft and creamy naturally, while in the end it turns cleaner and drier against a lingering bitter base and somewhat warmish feeling in the throat.
D: overall this is a finely-balanced and distinctive Belgian pale ale. Without heavy influence of sweetness it allows one to enjoy the kind of subtlety one might expect of a cup of fine tea. At just 6.5%abv., I could drink it all night long... Good stuff!

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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde from Brasserie Thiriez
4.01 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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