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

very good
140 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 140 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of Immortale25
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great thanks to cstromberg57 for throwing this surprise in. Never heard of the brewery or had a beer from France before to my recollection. Poured into a pint glass. Label says 09/2011

A- Pours a super cloudy dark gold color and, from a very careful pour, yields a finger and a half of white head that retains for quite a long time before finally retreating to 1/4 inch. Thick, fluffy lacing as I swirl.

S- Immediately catch on to the brettanomyces yeast funk that smells very fresh and pungent. It has a familiar medicinal aroma to it that I can't put my finger on.

T- Tart in the onset but with a full sweetness on top. The Brett is just screaming out of this one too but in a good way that's not so puckering that you can't taste the fruitiness. In this case, there's lemon, orange, kumquat and grapefruit all shining the way they were meant to.

M- This is my favorite part of the blonde. Fizzy, spritzy bubbles with a bit of dryness at first but is immediately swept aside by the quenching finish. The wild yeast also provides a medicinal coating on the tongue that's not unwelcome. Has a champagne-like quality overall.

O- So this is what a true saison tastes like. Beautiful.

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Photo of LostHighway
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of MrKennedy
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle obtained via a Beermasons subscription and poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Pours a pale orange with a hazy look about it. Has a fair number of small black particles that stay suspended throughout detracting from the overall look of it. Has a large head of foam (3 fingers) that recedes to just more than a perimeter ring.

Aroma is of sweet grain mixed with some pepper giving it a real nice and inviting earthiness.

Taste is certainly on the sweeter side of things. Mainly an earthy grain flavour coming through. Nice and sweet however.

Mouthfeel is impressive, even with the high carbonation, this is not grating while the body of the beer suits the style, ensuring that it is replenishing and not just something to be "downed".

Overall a solid Saison. Naming it "La Blonde" doesn't really do it justice. A saison it is, a saison it does well. Word of warning though, it is a sweet one.

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Photo of spicelab
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip thanks to Beermasons.

Browny orange, cloudy and brimming with fine sediment, with a big white head that leaves tiny spots of lace and a resilient ring.

Nose is nicely floral and a little sharp, with honeysuckle, melons, grass clippings and peppery spice. Quite delightful.

Taste shows a touch of sourness initially, but sweet is definitely the order of the day. There's flower nectar, pear, candy sugar and a touch of bitter rind. Not a huge spice presence, but enough to keep it from becoming cloying.

Surprisingly full and syrupy. Carbonation is lively on the tongue but medium and unobtrusive across the palate. Lingering bitterness and great length.

Yum. This is my third Brasserie Thiriez beer and I'm well impressed. That they manage to pack this much flavour into low to moderate alcohol brews is clear evidence that the French need to do more beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a hazy orange body with a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles racing to the surface. There is a nice off-white head of cream that turns rocky and pushes above the glass. This is a slow motion gusher that continues to grow out of the bottle after the first pour forming a lava flow of foam down the side of the bottle.

S- The yeasty perfume aroma is full with some soft apple juice aroma that takes on a honey comb quality as the beer opens. It finishes a sweet fruit and soft green hop note blend together with a fresh rain quality.

T- The dry sugary flavor has a green cola note and a dry yeast note that finish with a slight hop hint and some apple sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a smooth well balanced blend of flavors but the apple fruity quality is a bit odd and out of place with the other flavors. The hops and yeast character were a bit soft and get over-powered by the apple notes, but it did pair nicely with some bacon wrapped chicken.

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Photo of hwwty4
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Found this new saison at the local, due to its decent reviews I figured I would give it a whirl. Poured a capped 750ml into my Triple Karmeliet tulip.

I cracked this open and instantaneously wished i would have opened it over the sink. Saison everywhere. This bad boy is a foamer. Once I got over the shock and got a glass under it, it poured straight foam. Maybe a 1/2 inch of beer with the rest head. For the amount of head that was present almost no lacing The aroma reminds me of caramel green apples. Almost an artificial green apple aroma. Lots of sweet caramel. Just a hint of floral hops. The flavor is much the same. Overwhelming sweet. Lots of caramel, with just a hint of tart green apple. A bit of yeasty biscuits. Very little hop presence. The mouthfeel is really sweet and full. Not dry at all. Overall, I wonder if I got a really old bottle. Most reviews talk about the hop presence but I get nothing like that. Just a wisp.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, bright golden color with a fluffy white head.

Tart and citrusy taste with just the right farmhouse funk. Also has notes of spice. Just a tiny bit of hops in the finish.

Even better with some of the yeast swirled into the beer, which seems to add some body and balance.

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Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer in the bottom of a cooler at my local shop. It was moldy and on sale for $5.99. I have no idea how old it is. Poured into a tulip.

A - We've got a gusher! Once all that died down it poured a lovely golden hue with 4 finger of bubbly head. Lotsa little floaties bounding around, too. Looked like champagne.

S - Juicy pears, lemon and sweet cracker malt with a bit of yeastiness.

T - Pear and apple dominate with some sweet, bready malt and a bit of old funkiness.

M - Very crisp and bubbly with a dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable. We had this with a Pear and Spinach salad as a first course and I can think of no better pairing. Easily takes the place of a champagne, I will seek this one out for dinner parties.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a 750 ml green glass bottle at RSVP in Portland Maine.

Didn't notice until I uncapped the bottle that inside the neck under the cap was dried crud (spent yeast and wort?) - possible that the cap was not a perfect seal?

I poured a tulip glass and let it breathe for a few minutes. Aroma was inviting, slightly fruity with hint of citrus. Tast was delicious, mildly crisp, lightly sweet, just a hint of tartness. Pale orange color glowed wonderfully in tulip glass. Terrificly refreshing on a summer day.

Have not seen or experienced too many French craft beers yet, but am mildly interested in exploring the genre.

The Thiriez website is compellling too - wouldn't hurt my feelings to visit their brewery in Esquelbecq - looks like beautiful country.

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

750ml bottle at the Publican - split and paired with oysters, pork rinds, sweetbreads, tongue, chorizo, etc.

cellphone notes

appearance: very lively bottle - foamy white carbonation spills out upon uncorking...pours a straw golden shade with a delicate foamy white head

smell: yeast. dry hopping is evident, sweet melon, tangerine citrus, fresh cut grass

taste: an excellent pairing beer - lively with subtle tartness, refreshing and palate cleansing. Peach, melon, citrus, pepper, caramel, belgian malt.

mouthfeel: lively, wild

drinkability: good

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another saison in my summer saison series, although it doesn't say saison "farmhouse" counts. Pours real nice with a little gush, golden straw color with a puffy tight white head. No real lacing to speak of. Smells of a little yeast, lots of lemon, and a good bit o green bottle. I usually hate green bottle but somehow I'm diggin this one. Taste is dominated by flavors of grain, lemon, and very grassy hops. Unlike alot of the saturday saisons this one is not all about the yeast. There is a good bit o green bottle flavor happening here, I'm questioning if this is light struck. Lovely bottle conditioned mouthfeel, slightly bubbly. Other then the greeness, its ok to drink. Honestly I'd give this one more shot to see if the bottle was light struck, but if it was the same I wouldn't go here again.

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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 JBogan
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a gigantic white head which is fed by a steady stream of vigorous bubbles. An attractive brew.

An aroma of yeast with a floral edge, rounded out with a bit of mustiness.

The yeast plays a part in the taste as well, accompanied by a slight citric quality. Also some honey sweetness to be found in there too. Not particularly memorable, but nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, with a great carbonation bite to it.

This is a nice farmhouse style ale, but probably not one I'll go out of my way to have again. It just lacked something in the taste department to make it memorable. Still, if you like this style then it's worth a try.

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Photo of steveja57
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle. A really great Saison. Nice creamy white head,the aroma was slightly yeasty/funky, spicy, grassy. In the mouth a nice crisp flavor, very refreshing, not heavy or alcoholic, apples/pears with a hint of funk to keep things interesting. My favorite thing about this beer besides the delightful drinkability was the gorgeous creamy mouthfeel. An almost champagne-like mousse. One of the best Saisons I've ever had

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Photo of champ103
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden color. At first a large white head of over two fingers rises. The foam gently recedes and leaves light lace behind.
S: At first dry biscuit malts and some yeast. Funky horse blanket with slightly sour fruits. Apples and pears. A sweet vanilla aroma as well. Lots of wonderful layers in the nose.
T: Follows the nose. Very dry biscuit flavors. More vanilla flavor than I detected in the nose, which makes this sweeter than I thought it would be. A good fruit medley and plenty of Belgian funk and horse blanket.
M/D: A medium body that is crisp and refreshing. A little to much prickly carbonation for my tastes. Easy and smooth to drink. I will have know problem finishing the 750ml bottle.

This is one of the best Saisons I have tried. A beer that is perfect for the summer months specifically. Though I would love to drink this all the time. There are lots of subtle complexities, and perfectly balanced. Highly recommended.

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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 larsee01
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly poured from big green glass bottle into my New Belgium glass.

A--Super-duper foamy carbonated pour. Ascending vortex of super-carbonation like champagne on steroids. Beautiful deep gold and the foamiest head ever.

S--Grassy, grainy rustic smell. Sweet and then dry but tempered by the following floral hops. Musky yeast scent but not skunky.

T--Very clean, balanced and well-appointed. Mild florals from the hops coinciding with balancing sweetness. Modest bitter bite as a send-off. Lingering floral/fruity essence like honeysuckle.

M--Clean and lighter-bodied compared to other farmhouse ales I've had. Crisp and refreshing like a macro lager....not a 6.0% ABV farmhouse ale!

D--Absolutely drinkable, refreshing and enjoyable.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dry-hopped French farmhouse ale, per beautiful pastoral-looking bottle.

A - Similar to this brewer's other offerings I've tried, the pour is Duvel-ian in scope. Good thing I'm using my Duvel tulip. Big soapy head, some random gobs of foam sticking to the side of the glass. Golden-brown body - more of a dirty blonde.

S - Smells like a Saaz bomb - flowery and grassy. Also has a sweet orange cotton-candy smell.

T - Hmmm. This is pretty one-dimensional. Plenty of spicy, flowery hop, but this is also really sweet, when I was hoping for something dry. As it stands, this tastes like Saaz candy, a touch of Cointreau and little else. Hops try to dry it out in the finish, but fail utterly. Water used in this tastes like high-quality mineral water, I really get the mineral aspect in the base water. A tasty "beer," though unfortunately, I have to punish this farmhouse ale for its intense sweetness. This is a very wide-open, anything-goes style, sure - but there's one attribute that I really feel has to be met in order to be a good saison/farmhouse ale, and that's dryness. This is not at all dry - in fact, you could name drier Double IPAs, barleywines, triples, Belgian Strong Darks, or Old Ales. It's that sweet.

F - Plenty carbonated, but too pillow-soft for a 6% saison. It feels like a 9% Belgian Strong Pale. What a weird beer.

D - I think my high scores for appearance and aroma are going to keep this from being a complete failure score-wise. This *is* tasty, and is obviously the work of a craftsman, but the sweetness is wearisome. I'm finishing the 750ml bottle, because it wasn't cheap. This would undoubtedly pair very well with many dishes - the Saaz candy aspect would seem to make this a winner any time a sweeter white wine would be called for - but if you're looking to relax with a nice dry, quenching, hoppy saison, I'd avoid this one - save the bucks and pick up a Hennepin.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml green bottle with cork, taken directly from a new unopened case, with minimal light exposure (and thus less risk of skunking). no date found on the bottle or cork however. poured into tulip.

golden honey straw color with orange tint. faint haze on first pours. puffy, enormous head, barely fades at all. great lacing. quite murky on later pours, but head and lace are still lovely.

lots of apple, pear and caramel in the nose. grassy herbs, candied orange peel, candied ginger, caraway seed, with parsley or even cilantro in the back.

flavor has similar sweetness of apple, pear and light (but very sweet) caramel maltiness. more candied orange peel, hint of anise, white pepper and trace of phenols, especially in the finish. mild to moderate bitterness is accompanied by an almost citrus zestiness but ultimately grassy and herbal. semi-sweet finish, with bready and malty tones.

smooth, creamy, with refreshing moderate carbonation that is fluffy at times.

this is very complex, but is still just too sweet, almost cloying. it's really more of a biere de garde than a saison, and that's how i'm reviewing it. as such, the sweetness isn't totally cloying as some other BDG's, but is still prominent enough to cut down significantly on overall drinkability.

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Photo of TheDoorman
2.56/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clousy yellow with a massive pourous head. A steady stream of carbonation traverses the center of the glass. Aroma of pear and orange and sour apple. Taste is very cidery. Lots of apple, nothing else comes to the front. Too cidery. Very sweet and tart. Lots of carbonaton. Too much. A dry apple-juice finish. This tastes just far too much like cider. I'm game for some funk and tart in my Saison, but this barely tastes like beer. I couldnt finish my glass. Not good.

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Photo of bryanbrick
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am completely awed by this beer. A great "Blond" that is more of a Saison style.

Great persistent and lasting head, slightly rocky and with tons of lacing all over the glass.

Funky barn like nose with lots of fresh pine, mushroom and warm, wet earth. A great example of what a Saison should smell like.

Crisp and full of life from the onset with layers of earthy, vegetal flavors and some high carbonation. That same carbonation is my only complaint here. It seems a bit out of wack with the rest of the beer. Lemon rind, peach pit and some nutmeg like flavors all combine seamlessly.

I drank this on a cold rainy night. I can only imagine how this would taste on a hot summer day while grilling meat in the BBQ.

Easily one of the best Saisons I've had next to Northmean Blonde. A must try for any fan of the style.

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Photo of Walken
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brasserie Thiriez: Blonde, Saison
750 ml. bottle: poured into a tulip.
Appearance: Pours a hazed gold/straw color with a humongous pillowy head of fluff that shows very little intention of fading. It does eventually die down, leaving fat chunks of lace on the sides of the glass.
Odor: Underripe pear, funk, spice and wax with a sticky, honeysuckle aroma in the background. There's a certain candy-like malt character in the nose as well, under everything else.
Consistency: Light, bordering on medium body, carbonation is soft and unobtrusive.
Flavor: Slight caramel malt sweetness and a bit of orange ester hide in the background, allowing the hops and yeast to shine. Bitterness is clean but firm, with a bit of spicy, floral hop flavor that melds nicely with the black pepper notes from the yeast. There's a flash of acidity and honey flavor before the clean, off-dry finish.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, more drinkable than many other great saisons and certainly on par with them. Very unique as well. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. Special thanks to the Shelton Brothers for bringing great beers like this into the country.

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Photo of ccrida
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml with probably about 6 months in my cellar, and the dust on the collar indicates it's surely older....served barely above cellar temp, it's a bit of a gusher, lots of foam filling my large Gulden Draak tulip and slowly seeping over the top of the bottle, although I was able to capture enough after a quick slup of head to let the bottle rest. Hazy bright gold with small dark flecks of sediment roused by the foaming, tons of active streamers and a massive, pillowy white head that is super rocky and slow to subside, with huge chunks of foamy lace. Subsequent pours were increasingly yeasty, a very fine sediment which brought a increasingly auburn glow.

Smell is strong and appealing, from the first gush of foam as I struggled with the bottle cap, I was hit with the fragrance and got very excited...not quite wood, but eager anticipation! Sweet, sugary and floral, lots of orange citrus with a hint of spicy noble hops.

Taste is equally sweet and sugary, candied tropical fruits fading into a pleasantly spicy, woodsy, bitter hop finish that provides nice balance and eases the palate from the wonderfully assertive sweetnes, with a lingering, peppery aftertaste. The sweetness is very reminiscent of Jenlain's Bière De Printemps, but the hops provide added depth and contrast. In fact, considering the orange esters, I'd reason Monsieur Thiriez used their yeast. Frankly, it's not favorite farmhouse yeast, I find the orange character to dominant, which after awhile I begin to tire of. Still, a nice little saison.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, with a snappy carbonation that keeps it refreshing.

Drinkability is pretty good, not my favorite brasserie, but I like this one better then their Extra, which I found overly peppery, astringent with the hops...the sweetness balances that here, but they're still both on extreme ends of the spectrum that I don't love.

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

A-Slightly hazy deep golden yellow with a thick, fluffy white head that leaves spotty lacing.

S-Sweet sugary maltiness kicks things off with plenty of grassy like hoppiness good dry-hopping aroma.

T-Malt sweetness with tart lemon combined with grassy noble hop bitterness that just keeps building. Notes of earthiness in the background.

M-Medium-light body. Nice lively carbonation with a bitter dry finish.

D-Hoppy, crisp and spicy. This is a nice version of a style I seem to be liking more and more.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was warned in one of the Beer Forum threads to watch out when opening this bottle. The specific warning is that the beer would foam over aggressively and I would lose several precious ounces of beer down the drain. I was specifically warned to open it over a sink. Thank God I followed the advice of the knowledgeable and experienced Thiriez drinkers. They were exactly correct.

The beer was not shaken, stirred up in anyway. Given the advice I was very careful in handling the bottle before opening. Additionally, I wanted not minimize and disturbance of the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Well that plan went right out the window. Upon carefully opening the bottle it gushed all over the place and I did lose a couple of ounces. This internal turbulence also stirred up all of the sediment and out the window went any hopes of a clear first pour.

Once I was finally able to pour a glass it was gold in color and very hazy from the sediment. There was also quite a bit of suspended particles in the beer and a fairly good amount of visible carbonation. The beer did form a foamy white head that stayed around for quite a length of time. After drinking the beer for a while it was quite apparent that there would be a fairly good amount of lacing that remained in the glass.

The aroma was of fresh citrus and reminded me of lemon peel. There also were some grassy notes and a bit of spice. Smelled wonderful and really like fresh air. Very nice.

The taste was excellent and extremely well balanced. The beer had a fresh taste and contained the citrus notes that were detected in the aroma. I enjoyed the slight spicy notes of black pepper that were evident the entire time you enjoyed the beer. I have become a very big fan of this style of beer. This is a nice one.

Mouth feel was very smooth and luscious. Very drinkable beer.

As we poured the last bit from the bottle we were treated with a much creamier and spicier edition of the brew. It was great to taste the difference the increased amount of sediment made on the entire beer. I really enjoyed it both ways.

Other than the overflow issues up front this is a nice beer.

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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde from Brasserie Thiriez
4.01 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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