Black Diamond Free Style Belgian Blonde Ale | Black Diamond Brewing Co.

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Black Diamond Free Style Belgian Blonde AleBlack Diamond Free Style Belgian Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stephendr on 03-23-2007

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 62
Photo of PorterLambic
2.86/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Did you want some beer with that head? It tried to leap out of the bottle and I got a glass full of foam from a 3-4 oz. pour. Once it settled enough to continue filling the pint glass, albeit very gingerly, I ended up with a honey colored liquid, hazy with settled clumps of yeast and a large, white mass of foam the appearance of whipped egg whites. Good, solid, lines of lace left behind.
Smell is weak, almost non-existent. Label claims "spicy notes of Rye" & "complex Belgian yeast". Hope some shows up soon, iced tea has more nose.
The taste is significantly better. Notes of rye, grass, a general spice, some restrained hops, bubblegum. No yeast notes, though. Balance is solid.
Tangy, tingly carbonation up front, medium body revealed afterwards. A faint warming follows. Not exactly a blonde in look or flavor but a good tasting brew (with a few issues to work out) nonetheless.

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Photo of soccerman7
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass

A - Very fast disappearing head. A thin small ring lingers. Nice color though with a steady carbonation.

S - Nice nose. A bit malty for the style. A range of esters balance it. Nearly no hop notes.

T - Very mild on the esters. Rather malty but balanced by the hops.

M - Very smooth and really approachable. Pleasant afternoon brew.

O - While not a top candidate for the style it is a very approachable and very pleasant easy afternoon brew. I would buy again but not going to seek it out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 6/2012.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and a mild Belgian yeast aroma. Taste is much the same with light fruit and spice flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a slightly above average beer that is drinkable but not a very good take on the style in my opinion.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a light copper color with just a smidge of white foam. Belgian yeast nose. taste is a fruity flavorful malt, with a dry finish. Subtle rye flavor deep down. Mild grtiness tat supports the mouthfeel. Nice peppy ale.

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Photo of Brad007
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a blonde color with a one-finger head into my glass. I didn't realize it was a BPA as I thought they were going for a blonde.

Spicy notes from the yeast combine with the force of a light, buttery malt background to form the basis of this ale.

The taste reflects it as well. Middle of the road, which I do appreciate after drinking many over hopped examples of this style.

It's a double-edged sword too as the result is a watered-down example that tastes more like an APA due to the malt. Might be carbonation?

Not a bad choice but best to go authentic if you want to truly "get" the style.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a notch on label at July 2012. Sampled on September 22, 2012.

It pours clean with a golden-copper tone and a small, short lived off-white head.

On the nose there are characteristics of grainy malts, yeast, a slightest of spice, and the slightest of hops.

The light body is slightly astringent.

The taste is better than the aroma and does bring out some of the traditional characteristics of a Belgian Blonde with barley malts, grains, yeast, some spice, and a short-lingering clean hop finish. I found it to be drinkable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, label marked with April 2012 but I have no idea if that's a best by or brewed on date. Oh well, I'll drink it anyway. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a slightly hazy dark gold color with a half inch off-white head that went away quickly. Not much lacing at all. Aroma is sweet, the brew smells like sweet malt, apple juice, and some sugar. The brew mostly tastes fruity, like sweet malt, apples, pears, bananas and some slight spicy hops. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a little bit smooth and easy enough to drink. I think it's a solid enough brew overall. This is the first Black Diamond brew I've tried, I think I'll try and pick up more of their beers in the future. Single bottle bought from Blacklick Wine and Spirits for $1.79.

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Photo of Brenden
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deeper and darker than most blondes of any origin, this beer is about as close to amber as it gets. The small white head that forms falls away fast, leaving only a filmy layer behind but some spotting and strained patching does manage to find the glass as it drops.
The smell is pretty standard; a good but not cloying sweetness of white fruits flesh and something a little sugary, light Belgian yeast notes of banana, bubble gum and light, dusty sort of earthiness, and a good malts foundation. A spicy bite is noticeable as well.
The flavor offers the sweetness right up front, then it backs away and what comes through is a little of the earthiness and even some hops bitterness, but as it transitions into the finish it edges into a sourness. It's an odd taste that's left in the mouth, as the sour tanginess takes over more with each sip. It just seems jumbled. The spiciness bites more as it warms, but feels more like blind heat than flavor.
The feel is pretty good. This beer seems to be going for all crispness, as it has plenty of bite that doesn't get particularly smooth. The body edges on medium.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle inot a standard pint glass.
Deep golden color, with a short, airy head of white foam.
Aroma-Spicy Belgian yeast note
Taste-Pilsner malt,Belgian yeast, spicy rye. Subtle hops understated. A bit fruity in the finish. Overall, an interesting flavor and take on the style, but somehow misses the mark.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this looks great. But it smells and tastes a bit metalic. It has a tartness that is a bit too much as well.

I think what they did was sanitize a dirty style. Unlike a more authentic version, this has not gone bad, so it has an odd character and is missing the appropriate funk. I will avoid this.

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Photo of barleyroad
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is medium Gold, semi-cloudy. Smell has a nice blend of rye and good old euro pilsner malt. Mouthfeel is smooth, silky which adds to the flavor. Taste is one of the best belgian style we have had. All flavors melt well. Overall this is a very drinkable Blonde. This Blonde is worthy of a second date. Will go well with fried chicken or even a good fried fish.

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Photo of mheberger
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap as a guest beer at the new Elevation 66 Brewing Company in El Cerrito, CA. Served in a pint glass.

I was a bit surprised at how, well, ordinary, this beer was. I suppose when I see "Belgian" out front I expect funky esters and spicy flavors. The beer was a lovely burnished copper color (a bit dark to be billed as a blonde?) and crystal clear with a fine two-finger head. I found this beer to be well-balanced, perhaps a bit to its detriment.

I was perhaps expecting something a bit wilder. That said, it's got nice ale flavors, not overly hoppy or syrupy-mallty. A nice light session beer that I think would pair well with a variety of foods, as long as they're not too spicy or assertive. Enjoyable, but not approaching the quality of some of the more pricy imports.

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Photo of mactrail
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp and happy light yet interesting beer.

Beautiful coppery amber in the glass and very clear, with nice carbonation. Modest aromas. Immediate flavor of something unusual along with a crisp beery splash. The very light body is different for a Belgian-inspired beer. Toasty, citrus flavors, and a bitterness like artichoke. Touch of hops reminiscent of a good Kolsch but wilder. I like the flavorful but low-alcohol style.

Glad to see brewers working with a style that has been left behind with the standard-issue sports bar brewpubs of Anytown, USA.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Looks pretty standard. Hazy gold, with a small head, minimal lace. Smells of pale malts and yeast. Not too appealing. Taste is very bland and unbalanced. Not a very good example of the style as far as I'm concerned, especially if you've ever had Duvel or Damnation.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.22/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The color when poured was a deep golden yellow with a little foam, that disapated quickly.
The smell of sweet yeast malt and spice filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste was of yeast malts and spices, but had a very bitter dry finish on the palate. Not what I expected with such a pleasant aroma. The flavor was not bad, just the bitterness was a little to much.

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Photo of WOTO97
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: copper in color with nominal white head and some faint lacing

S: Belgian yeast plays a big role here, some very faint citrus and pear, slight sweet malt character, lots of spice from the yeast

T: follows the nose for the most part, yeast notes almost too much, which overpowers malt and hop characters, more sweet malt on the finish with some lemon zest on the mid palate, spice and pear notes are very forward

M: for either a golden ale or blonde the body is pretty solid, light and crisp, with enough density to leave a nice finish

D: very drinkable, the flavor profiles definitely open up a bit with time, but the one could do for a bit more balance

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, mason jar glass, no freshness dating.

Well, the head is impressive. A healthy meringue sticks in blotches to the rim of the glass and a half inch isn't going anywhere. The color of the body is orange'd or burnished yellow.

Musty Belgian and Pils malt with herbal hop qualities. Yeast plays some factor and now I am identifying it as being similar to Avery's Belgian strain.

The same largely goes for the taste. There is a large biscuit presence and some lemon and other peppery, herbal hop flavors make an appearance. The nose and flavor are really reminiscent of a very full bodied Pilsener.

A pleasantly weighted pale ale that I purchased very affordably, this makes for good drinking.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A full two fingers of solid, bone-white head. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a light sweetness accompanied by a mild mustiness. Medium mouthfeel with a light bitterness on the tongue. Finish had a dry, yeasty mustiness. This was a very pleasant, sessionable beer as I sat in SAC watching the Stillers/Ravens game. Recommended.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: excellent creamy white head with good lacing down the glass. Toasty yellow color, hazy.

S:mild spice with grassy hop notes and some citrus. Not really exciting.

T: a bit watery. Wheat and some pepper or other spice as it warms. Lacks complexity.

M: good but a bit too carbonated

D: easy to drink and refreshing, but not much beyond that.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really nice beer.

Appearance- poured a thin head, dark gold, transparent

Smell- sweet, fruity malts

Taste- fruity malts, mild hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very nice I will be drinking it again. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it's from my hometown!

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Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light golden color with a copper hue with some action, this is a twist off so try to buy this fresh (no date found on bottle).

Has a light barley malt aroma.

Barley grain malt taste, slight butter, and some mild pink grapefruit flavored hops with a hint of spice in the background.

Light bodied, resinous, with lively soft carbonation.

This is one of the better Blond Ales in the bottle too bad there is no date to assess the freshness of this twist off.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Almost transparent, dark golden and copper with small head that retains as a ring with bubble pods here and there
S: Sweet and fruity malts overwhelm the nose
T: Nicely balanced malt and hop flavors, neither of which dominate; slight spice with alcohol and hops rounding out the flavor at the back of the palate
M: Maybe too carbonated; light-bodied
D: Highly drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer despite some lack of complexity and a level of carbonation that possibly masked some flavors. A very neutral beer that I could enjoy with a variety of meals!

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.39/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Barclay's.

A: Coppery gold with moderate white head and light lacing throughout the drink.

S: A strongly Belgian yeast nose with floral and fruity hints. Some honey detected as well. However, it's a bit understated against the other Belgian style ales I've had recently, and generally strikes me as a muted aroma.

T: Taste follows the nose, with a pronounced element of sweet floral and fruity malts, giving way to a mild presence of hops that balances out the palate. An undercurrent of sweet honey tips the balance toward a sweet flavor without being too cloying.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Not very sticky.

D: This is balanced enough to make a good sessionable beer. However, it's not particularly noteworthy in smell or taste, which doesn't make me desire to seek this out again. I'd drink it if it were on tap, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find a bar that had it.

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Photo of Zorro
2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden colored ale with a good white head.

Smell is a little sweet and spicy. Not all that much smell here.

The taste starts out strongly of wheat malt with a very strong wheat cracker taste. Rye grain zing to this with a mild bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is OK.

Really didn't care for this one at all. Not really Belgian at all.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle purchased at Corti Bros in Sacramento, CA this poured a clear gold with moderate white head and good lacing. Mose of caramel malts and floral hops. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor of malts and floral hops again, and a nice bitter finish. Nice brew.

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Black Diamond Free Style Belgian Blonde Ale from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
3.47 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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