Saturday, May 26, 2018

Leffe Blonde (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)


Best before: 5/8/19

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 25A Belgian Blond Ale

AROMA: Moderately-strong yeast character with classic Belgian signature of banana and slight clove. Malt base has a slight bready character, but with no wheat presence. Hops are difficult to distinguish from yeast products but may add or enhance the spicy/earthy/floral quality. Slight alcohol presence. Nose may actually be a bit too strong for the style. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Clear shade of amber/pale copper (4-7 SRM). Large white creamy froth retains and laces extremely well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Robust palette with yeast esters and phenols being the primary flavor contributors. Somewhat sweet banana bread taste throughout the first half, though well-attenuated so as not to be rich or cloying. There is a consistent phenolic taste of clove and black pepper which becomes rather strong on the second half. Actual hop flavor is a faint earthy/spicy/floral taste. Bitterness is firm and balances palette well, with a drying sensation as it finishes. Alcohol enhances the sweetness of the malt, but also helps lead to a dry finish. While delectable and on-point for the style, the intensity of these characteristics may be strong for the style. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium+ body; fairly high carbonation. Texture is soft, smooth and creamy. Alcohol is gentle, but noticeable at 6.6% ABV. Overall drinkability is high.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is one of the most popular Belgian blonds on the planet for a reason. It's surprisingly robust for a mainstream product. 9/10

TOTAL SCORE: 43/50

NOTE: See my 2011 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2011/09/leffe-blonde-chadz-beer-reviews.html

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