Belgian Blond Ale in a Tulip Glass

Belgian Blond Ale

The Belgian Blond Ale (Belgians use the word Blond while the French spell it Blonde) is a relatively new style that brewers began to produce an alternative to the popular European Pilseners. Its color is pale to deep gold and exhibits good clarity. Its feel can be lightly creamy with a medium body and moderately-high to high carbonation. Its aroma and palate can consist of light earthy or spicy hops, spicy phenols, fruity esters, and honey-like sweetness. Comparatively, the Belgian Blond Ale has the same moderate alcohol strength as a Belgian Dubbel. The style has a similar taste profile as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale or Tripel but a bit sweeter and less bitter.

Style Expectations

The Belgian Blond Ale is a moderate-strength golden ale that has a subtle fruity-spicy Belgian yeast complexity, slightly malty-sweet flavor, and dry finish.

Appearance

Light to deep gold color. Generally very clear. Large, dense, and creamy white to off-white head. Good head retention with Belgian lace.

Aroma

Light earthy or spicy hop nose, along with a lightly grainy-sweet malt character. Shows a subtle yeast character that may include spicy phenolics, perfumy or honey-like alcohol, or yeasty, fruity esters (commonly orange-like or lemony). Light sweetness that may have a slightly sugar-like character. Subtle yet complex.

Flavor

Smooth, light to moderate grainy-sweet malt flavor initially, but finishes medium-dry to dry with some smooth alcohol becoming evident in the aftertaste. Medium hop and alcohol bitterness to balance. Light hop flavor, can be spicy or earthy. Very soft yeast character (esters and alcohols, which are sometimes perfumy or orange/lemon-like). Light spicy phenolics optional. Some lightly caramelized sugar or honey-like sweetness on palate.

Mouthfeel

Medium-high to high carbonation, can give mouth-filling bubbly sensation. Medium body. Light to moderate alcohol warmth, but smooth. Can be somewhat creamy.

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