Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grimbergen Blonde

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011
I poured a 330ml can into a tumbler.

Appearance: Lager-like gold, mostly clear. Forms a frothy, white head which mostly dissipates, but leaves great lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Definite Belgian yeast aroma with strong notes of banana and lemon peel, although I distinctly notice a lager-like grain smell as well.

Taste: I loathe cheap European pale lagers, but I’m a big fan of Belgian strong ales and Grimbergen actually seems to have qualities of both. Thankfully, it leans more towards the latter than the former. It has a mostly clean, slightly hoppy palate with slight citrus flavor. Banana, a touch of clove, coriander, lemon zest and the other associated spices are definitely noticeable and quite tasty. But then it finishes very similar to a lager with bitter, dry graininess and a slightly powdery aftertaste. The good taste more than makes up for the weak finish, though.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and thin for a pale ale. Feels more like a pilsner in the mouth.

Drinkability: Not as intense as most Belgian pales, whatever is accounting for the lager-like qualities is also making for a good drinkability. Goes down smooth with a mostly clean aftertaste. The 6.7% ABV seems a bit high, or at least higher than it probably needs to be.

Overall, a decent Belgian pale ale I could find myself drinking several of before I got bored. A little more Belgian and a little less lager would make it a great beer.

Grade: 7/10