Beer Review 0044: Affligem Blond

There are definitely not enough imported beers featured on this website. Not that I don’t love them, it’s just there are so many domestic selections to try, imports are often an afterthought when they very clearly shouldn’t be.

Affligem Blond is a Belgian Strong Ale, actually from Belgium, brewed by Affligem Brouwerij bds. This brewery was licensed by the Affligem Abbey (a Benedictine monastery) to produce beer in 1935.

Like many breweries of this type, it’s somewhat hard to find information on them just using the internet, so I will direct you to their website: affligembeer.be

Affligem Blond is a classic clear blonde abbey ale, with 6.8% ABV (alcohol by volume), low on bitterness and very drinkable.

There are certainly some high accolades to be awarded in the appearance category for this one. A huge head formed, and perhaps the smoothest, creamiest foam on a beer I’ve ever seen. It ballooned overtop of my glass, lasting for a good long while before settling into a thick collar covering the drink. The beer was perfectly golden, and here it must be noted that there is wording on the side of the bottle that states:

I didn’t follow these directions (on purpose) and put everything in my glass, which gave the body some haze because of the fine yeast particles present. Finally, the lacing here was excellent, sticking to the glass in heavy clumps. I awarded Affligem Blond a perfect score in appearance.

As for the aromatics, orange was the most prominent scent, followed by a doughy yeast. There were a couple of exotic aromas, specifically banana and bubble gum, both of which I’ve found are familiar to extremely high quality beers. The malts were in the glass as well, as I found notes of grains and nuts. Overall, the aromas were nice if subtle; they didn’t fill the room with quantity but what was there, deep in the glass, was quality.

And here’s where things start to fall apart. Everything about this beer screams light — from the light citrus taste on initial impact with tongue all the way to the slightly bitter grapefruit finish. This drink seems a bit watery. The finish turns more malty as it continues, and it is a long finish, showcasing some darker notes, giving the mouth a roasted feel. I was disappointed after the high marks I gave in appearance, and aromatics.

Affligem Blond is a beer I can compare to the perfect scoring Duvel in the sense that the appearance and aroma are there, but the taste simply isn’t. If you’ve never had a Belgian Ale, you’ll probably like this. Hell, I liked it. But I’ve had better, and I’m willing to bet most of you out there have had better, as well.

Affligem Blond, 85 points. Price: $2.99 US for one 11.2 ounce bottle.

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