Grimbergen Blonde | Brouwerij Alken-Maes

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Grimbergen BlondeGrimbergen Blonde

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The high quality raw materials make up the richness of this top-fermented beer, which is characterized by its ocher blonde color.

Grimbergen Blonde is light fruity and balanced sweet-bitter. Due to its rounded flavor, this beer is highly appreciated.

Added by Romabrew on 01-06-2003

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Reviews: 333 | Ratings: 711
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

APP- Dense but low rocky white head w/ thick sticky lace above a copper colored beer. Crystal clear but luster lacks brilliance.

NOSE- The beer opens with a melange of apple, nut, banana, lemon, marmelade, white grape, pear, hint of basil, floral hop, and big hits of sweet Belgian malt with bread and cake characters. As it breathes and warms the banana in particular begins to dominate. The aroma is complex but unrefined. It is not cohesvie. I find it a little overwhelming to the senses, though it is classically Belgian.

FLAVOR- Flavors sweep over the palate and coat it with sweet caramel and toffee malt flavors lavered over fruit-cocktail in syrup with some vanilla in the finish. It would be very pleasant except for alcohol is hot and highly distracting. Minty-herbal hop flavor lingers in long finish though the beer is not very bitter.

MOUTHFEEL- This is Grimbergen's downfall. The beer is medium bodied with a slick, thick, syrupy, maltiness that gets torn in half by sharp alcohol and leaves a long medicinal? astringent finish.

OVERALL- Enough redeeming qualities to interest me in the rest of the brewer's line-up, but won't be revisiting this one any time soon. Reminds me very much of the "Devil-themed" Belgian Golden Strong ales, which aside from Duvel and a few US interpretations, I usually don't dig.

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Photo of stoutman
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow body with a tall white head. Aroma of grain, yeast, grass, mustiness, cereal, florals, and pepper. Flavor of yeast, grass, florals, herbs. The taste was fine, a slight tangy bite with some citrus fruits trying to get out. The mouth drys quickly leaving a metalic, citrus, unbeer-like feel within. A fairly strong alcoholic finish, surprising since its a tap beer.

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Photo of acevenom
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear golden with an abundant frothy white head. Some bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. The head recedes slowly, leaving some lacing on the side of the glass. There are aromas of pale malts, spice, fruit, and faint yeast. It smells grassy. The flavor is malty and sweet with some some spice to help balance the flavor. It has a mild aftertaste that is spicy and sweet. The mouthfeel is light to medium with moderate carbonation. It has a crisp, dry finish. It's fairly easy to drink. Overall, this is a solid, unoffensive Belgian pale ale.

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Photo of rarbring
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear deep golden brew, an off-white head with some lacing but small curtains.

Smelling of fruits, pears, apricots, yeast and butter.

Sweet bread, some spices, ripe peaches, butter.

Little carbonation, soft, a good body, a slightly dry finish.

An OK blonde, probably a bit old and tired.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a grimbergen snifter

a: pours a clear gold, 1 finger effervescent head slowly fades to a thing film

s: light fruits and a light grassiness, sweetness quite present as well, very light and crisp

t: a sharp crispness, more spices than in the aroma: black pepper and clove, finishes more with bready malts and sweetness.

o: a solid belgian pale ale, i like it a bit better than leffe blonde (about equal distribution here in spain). enjoyable, without being overpowering.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear yellow orange color. Two fingers of pillowy white head. Retention is good and plenty of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Light pepper and clove spiciness. Hay, grass, and light fruits.

3.5 T: Pepper and clove again. Earthy, hay, light fruits. Tasty.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice spritziness.

3.5 D: Good beer. I like it.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a gift pack at Brussels airport a little while back. It came with four beers and a glass. Here's the first review:

The beer pours a perfectly clear medium golden colour. The head is thin and frothy. I'm actually quite drawn to this one. It seems to have a nice viscosity, though I can't really tell just from looking.

The aroma is lightly fruity with some aspects of green apple coming through. This is quickly followed by a whole lot of flowery aroma. It's quite nice, and not overpowering. At the same time, it remains interesting.

The taste is surprisingly malty. It starts out slightly sweet, and there is a quick flourish of flowery hops. It quickly becomes a broad smooth grainy malt flavour that persists through the finish, with a hint of hop bitterness in the finish.

Overall, this is by no means a bad beer, but there is nothing special. It lacks a lot of the complexity that makes for a really great Belgian pale.

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Photo of AZbelgian
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich golden color but maintains translucence. Small white head quickly fades to a nice film of head on top. Outstanding lacing and lots of carbonation.

S - Smell was harder to discern. Light colored fruit with some maltiness. Nothing too notable.

T - Complex bready taste with notes of slightly sour apples, and clove. Brief and subtle aftertaste has hints of bread, hops and clove, giving it a nice finish that lends to continued sipping.

M - Medium to light mouthfeel.

O - Very smooth, excellent drinkability. This is a really good beer that's not too hard to find. The flavors work nicely together to make this an easy and refreshing beer that I try to keep a stock of on hand.

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Photo of stevoj
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average Belgian ale, expected as an almost mass market brew. Aroma and taste are so-so. palate is also average. Again it’s a good drinker, but not a stand out.

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Photo of tony223366
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my beer journal. Reviewed in Early May 2011. Served in a Shipyard Tulip.

A: Dark golden color with a nice thick head

S: I'm getting a sweet, fruity aroma. Apples?

T: This is sweet up front with enough carbonation to keep from being cloying. Surprisingly a bit sour too.

M: Medium body with a dry finish.

O: I actually really enjoyed this. This was my first of the style and I thought it was great!

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Photo of BMoldy
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Vigorous pour yields a small, fizzy white head. Crystal clear golden brew. Some faint lacing.

S: Pale, sweet malts with an odd graininess attached to them. Musty yeast character with very present clove-like phenols that are almost overwhelming. Very mild herbal hoppiness.

T: Very sweet malts with a sickly, Belgian yeast twang (banana, but more so cotton candy). Minimal hop presence both in terms of bitterness and flavor.

M: Cloying and a little too light in body. Carbonation faded too quickly, though in all fairness that may have been from my aggressive pour.

O: Certainly not like I remember it. Times change, and I guess so does my palate. Way too sweet and yeasty, which is made all the worse by the thin body. Bummer, dude...

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought in Brussels in 2011. The color is yellow, very clear. Nice white foamy head on top. Typical soapy looking foam head. The aroma is dominated by yeast, not sure I like it. Some fruits, better. Light aroma. I bit disappointing. Taste is fruity with a very dry finish. Warm. Floral notes in the taste too. Taste is ok. A good beer. Nothing to call home for 'tho.

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Photo of Mar02x
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A dark yellow fluid with adecent white head. There a some carbonation bubbels racing to the top. The head slowly retracts until a fluffy head remains.

S - More yeast than citrus but definitly present. There is also a touch of sweetness to be discovered. Overall an invititing smell.

T - There is some sweetness in the taste but mostly its a bit sour, rather dry and bitter.

M - Medium carbonation with a bitter after taste.

O - A decent blonde, but in total not much to go for. I am missing floral hops and some extra sweetness.

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Photo of chefelf
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had this on a trip to France and loved it. I picked up a six-pack here and it's still quite good. I think it may have suffered a little bit through the importing.

It's a pale straw-colored ale with a decent head and very nice lacing. The taste is nice, what you'd expect from a nice Belgian ale. I can't help but thinking, for the price, that Leffe is a better deal, at least for my tastes. Grimbergen is good but Leffe, in my opinion, is just a little better and more inexpensive for this general price range.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, bold, gold color with thin, rapidly fading head. It's aroma is primarily fruity with a hint of pine. The flavor it fruity, with lemon and honey notes with caramel showing through as it warms. Initially it resembles a witbier but has a more complex, malty flavor. It has a medium mouthfeel, smooth and refreshing. Grimbergen Blonde Ale is a good beer, try it with pasta. Recommended!

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 650ml bottle. Freshness date is listed as 05/12 - not that these kinds of beers should be aged, mind you.

Appearance: A nicely bold amber color with slight carbonation. There's a pretty, thin head throughout.

Smell: Sugary, slightly spiced aroma with candy-smelling malts throughout. There are fruity, tart scents reminiscent of apricots and grapes, which is how Belgian pale ales are supposed to typically smell. The alcohol adds extra sweetness, but is barely noticeable.

Taste: A tart, candy-like taste with spiced hops and pale malts. What I enjoy about this beer is its ability to be quite sweet yet retain a spiced, bitter end to its flavor. It's a very simple recipe for what it is, but it's loaded with these slight flavorful complexities.

Mouthfeel: Quite dry, and filled with slight carbonation with a hoppy feel. This beer is definitely more on the dry, champagne feel than the creamy, malty feel, but it remains refreshing and very enjoyable.

Overall: This is a great Belgian pale ale that can be opened for any occasion as well as any temperature. It definitely is best enjoyed chilled, but as it warms up, its dry, spiced characteristics become more wonderful. It could serve as a great introduction to Belgian beers of this style, and anyone who enjoys good beer will most certainly enjoy this one!

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Translucent straw gold color. Poured a 3 finger pillowy white head with excellent retention. Decanted continually. Laced the glass in thin rings.

S: Pale malt. Light-colored fruit; pear, apricot and white grapes. Mild spices.

T: Crackery pale malt. Cornucopia of light fruits consistent with the nose as well as tart green apple. Spicy yeast characteristics toward sweet finish.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation in the glass and on the palate. Creamy and smooth despite the carbonation level that makes finish very crisp.

O: Very good eye appeal and remarkable mouthfeel.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden/orange color into a snifter from an 11.2 oz bottle, with ABV on the label.
Thin film of a head that dissipates fairly quickly. Good carbonation, always enjoy the steady stream of bubbles arising from the etching in the glass.
Aroma is a very mild blend of sweet fruity esters, mostly banana with hints of spice and some yeast. Not too overpowering, which is good.
Taste is very crisp and refreshing. Slightly tart and dry upfront, but ends with a nice lingering sweetness. Very good mouthfeel and highly drinkable
Excellent lacing all along the insides of the snifter.
This is a very good belgian pale ale. Definitely worth a try if you enjoy belgian's. Highly recommended.

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Photo of theBubba
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice golden color into my stem glass with a short lived, but decent head. A bit of lace lasted until the end.

Smell was of cider vinegar. Taste was of malt vinegar and a touch of bitter hops. But even so, this ale was somewhat drinkable. The label on this 12 oz bottle had numerous code numbers but none that appeared to be a freshness date. It was purchased cold at a very reputable local distributor that specializes in all sorts of wonderful craft beers and imports, so I doubt it was bad...but you never know.

Anyhow, at $18 a 12 oz six pack, I doubt if I'll give it another shot.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

Look - pale amber/caramel color, clear, with about two fingers of off-white, fluffy foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - somewhat earthy malt type of smell, with added fruitiness.

Taste and Mouthfeel - rich taste, with a slight bite at the very beginning, but it's only very slight. Accessible malty qualities following, and ending with a gentle muskiness. Texture is smooth, and a little more on the watery side. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall - not a bad brew at all, but not terribly complex in the taste, although not at all boring either.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: star, mildly hazy with touch of gold.

S: citrus, light floral and sweet (possibly apple)

T: less citrus in the taste however still sweet. Grain and malt notes.

M: fuller bodied than most blondes. Very smooth. Light carbonation.

O: refreshing and easy to drink. Tame taste but not too bad overall. I am new to the Belgian pale ales but so far I am enjoying the genre.

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Photo of Jemonster
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy honey color with puffy white head composed of larger bubbles.

S: Took some aeration to get anything to pop out. Bland/plain smelling. Some cereal grains and buttered toast.

T: Just great. Sweetness throughout with some alcohol. Warm hops and overripe fruits. Something tropical about it, banana maybe. Loses half a point from perfection because it lacks that certain "something". It's very straightforward and the same from beginning to end.

M: Pretty good, kind of flat on the tongue but nice viscosity and carbonation for me.

O: A great beer. Check it out.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a golden color with a spongy head that lasts longer than a typical lager; the color might be similar but a full head is promising.

S: Smells malty with a hint of fruity sweetness and a little bit of that adjunct bitterness. Not exactly the greatest.

T/M: The taste is great, though: heavy amounts of Belgian dark fruits and a bitter finish, better than the aroma lets on. It’s very good and a lot fuller flavored than you’d think.

This is the type of lighter beer people that don’t know about good beer would love. It’s not too heavy but flavorful enough to make you think, “Man, I really am sophisticated.” Because you are sophisticated. You are.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: clear golden pour with a fluffy white head.
Smell: Yeast, malts with some spicy character. Light fruits like citrus and apple.
Taste: Yeast, clear grain notes, lemon, white grapes and some hop and grass
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body
Overall: This beer is perfect for quenching your thirst. Not spectacular, but one of my favorites from the more commercial blond beers.

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Grimbergen blonde pours a translucent straw yellow color with a modest off-white head. Small bubbles noticeably rise from the bottom of the glass to refresh the head.

Smell: Light malts, a little white grape, pear, and green apple, and a touch of vinegar.

Taste: The light malts don't contribute much sweetness, more just a dry grainy character. Tart fruits - green apple, pear, and white grape add a fruity character. Some light spiced yeast, then some herbal hops toward the end. A flourish of candy sugar right at the end creates an interesting sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel might be the best part about this beer. Smooth, lightly creamy, with a good crispness from the flavor and full carbonation.

Overall: An enjoyable, but not overly complex BPA.

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Grimbergen Blonde from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
3.68 out of 5 based on 711 ratings.
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