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Beer #83 – March 27, 2010: Leffe Blonde

April 4, 2010

Beer: Leffe Blonde

Brewery: Abbaye de Leffe, Dinant, Belgium

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $9.99 / six-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Pilsner Glass

Strength: 6.6% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Not as complex as some other Belgians, but sweet, spicy and a little yeasty… a nice “intro” to Belgian beers.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Clear, deep-golden hue with a fizzy white head.

Aroma: Sweet, slightly spicy, reminiscent of raisin toast.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a fizzy carbonation.

Taste: An initial honey sweetness fades into a spicy middle.  A little yeasty flavor lends notes of clove, cinnamon and lightly buttered golden raisin toast.  A slightly oaky bitterness melds into a fizzy dryness in the finish.

Pairing: Works with lighter fare like salads or seafood, but also can pair with moderately spicy Asian cuisine… whether take-out Kung Pao Chicken or homemade Thai curry.

Trivia: Like many Belgian ales, this beer has monastic roots, as it was originally brewed by the Notre Dame de Leffe Abbey.  After passing through several hands of ownership, this beer is now brewed at the Stella Artois brewery owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the huge Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate.  While many say this beer has lost some of its flavor and character now that it is brewed by a mega-brewer, it also means that it is more widely available than ever, and it may lead those who try this to seek out more Belgian ales from smaller, craft-focused breweriers.

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