Leffe Blonde Belgian Ale

Belgian ale produced according to established abbey traditions.

Leffe Blonde Belgian Ale

By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime

Belgian abbey ale, 6.6% ABV

Brewed by N.V. InBev Belgium S.A., Brussels, Belgium, for Abbaye de Leffe, Dinant, Belgium

You may have noted my fondness for Belgian beers; my explorations of the broad variety and styles of Belgian beers can be directly attributed to the late British beer and whisky writer Michael Jackson back in the 1990’s. His many books and articles in beer magazines inspired me along with many, many others to seek out and try beers we’d never heard of. Back then there weren’t hundreds and thousands of craft breweries offering every style known to man (not to mention new and uncategorized beers), and you most certainly could not find very much of interest at most grocery stores or bars. At least, not ’round these parts.

The few beer & wine shops that did carry any kind of interesting selection still sometimes presented issues with product freshness, particularly when it came to imported beers. So think of that next time you’re confronted with the choice of beers from all over the country and around the world, in every style conceivable, and presented in good condition. These are wonderful times for beer, indeed!

Label dated best before end 04/11/17

Appearance (4.5/5): Brilliant, old-gold hue shines when the glass is held up to the daylight. The eggshell white head starts out thick and billowy, gradually settling to a thin cover and ring, but sheeting on the glass as it does so. Beautiful!

Aroma (9.5/10): Luscious aromas of spices (vanilla, coriander, cardamom, maybe clove) and a candied, honeyed malt waft from the stemmed glass, delighting and inviting me to dive right in for that first sip.

Palate (4/5):  Very finely carbonated, almost champagne-like in its prickly tingle all over the tongue, yet with good body and presence on the palate.

Taste (10/10): Opens with notes of spices imparted by whatever magical yeast the brewery uses – I pick out coriander, cardamom, and a faint hint of nutmeg and clove. These flavors ride over a light, biscuity malt base with some light sweetness and honeyed notes that build into the finish, joined by whispers of floral components. Bittering is very gentle at first, enough to balance, smoothly and gradually building to the finish, then gently fading with the spices and malt notes, lingering nicely.

Overall (18.7/20): Outstanding beer! Packs similar flavors to a really good tripel at around half the alcohol level. I’m thinking it can’t miss paired with some soft cheese and crackers. 

Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.

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