Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Affligem Blond

Seems like I've done A LOT of Belgian blonde ales this season, so what's one more, eh? This time we're drinking Affligem Blond - an Abbey ale brewed in the Belgian blonde/pale/strong ale style. Basically, it's the "other Duvel."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - APR 26, 2011
The Belgian blond seems to be the most popular and accessible style of Belgian beer, especially to western audiences. Affligem Blond is among the most popular mainstream brews of the style. I’ve never actually had it before, but had high hopes despite finding most beers of the style to be only good instead of great. The same is true this time around.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a Trappist chalice.

Appearance: Bright orange hue with extremely cloudy bottle, although massive yeast chunks are clearly visible. It forms a one-finger, white, soapy head which dissolves almost completely and doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell: Fairly mild nose with lemon peel and white grape being the most noticeable scents.

Taste: The problem with reviewing so many beers is I find myself running out of creative ways to describe them since many would garner the same description. Affligem is no exception as it’s a close sibling of Duvel and the Trappist blonds. It’s a palate with energy to be sure, but the flavors are rather simple. White grape and lemon peel dominate the palate from start to finish with a touch of coriander to give it some zest. Not as peppery or spicy as many stronger Belgian pale ales tend to be, although there is a hint of fruity tartness as it finishes. There is a noticeable dry aftertaste of dough or chalk, but it doesn’t linger for very long.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a tingling effervescence, but not peppery and spicy.

Drinkability: Affligem is a beer that definitely has flavor to it, but not to any extreme lengths. It’s not a challenge to drink as far as palate, but the bottle-conditioning makes it extremely gassy. I can feel the CO2 literally caught in my throat. The 6.8% ABV seems quite high, as this drinks more like a traditional blond "Pater’s bier" rather than a strong pale ale. Not quite refreshing, but definitely not a sipper.

Overall, this is a good introductory beer for those looking to try something from Belgium.

Grade: 7/10

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