Blind Review 0004: A Review of a Beer Hidden by a Paper Bag

Here we are once again with a blind review. Remember, for this type of review, I don’t know what the beer is. I didn’t buy it nor did I pour it in the glass — I simply taste the beer, rate it as I would a normal beer, attempt to guess the style, and then all is revealed to me, and to you.

The pour produced hardly any head, and what was in the glass quickly faded into just a sudsy cover. The beer was a pale straw yellow, or what a typical macro lager might look like. The body was clear with no particles or sediment, and there was zero lacing left behind.

In the aromatic department, this beer was mostly faint smelling, but what was there was fairly complex. Right away, I noticed an earthen yeast, and a very distinct banana and clove aroma, mixed with a bit of bubble gum and an overall fruitiness that wasn’t distinct for any fruit in particular. There was also an underlying graininess to the scent. Pleasant, but not outstanding.

The flavors were primarily orange with a bit of caramel, and grain. On the swallow, there’s a nice spice kick, which leads to an orange finish that turns from moderately sweet to moderately bitter. It’s a nice transition, but the lack of complexity in flavor hurts this beer.

My style guess: I’m thinking this beer is a Belgian Ale of some sort, or a Saison. But probably a Belgian Ale. It’s got some of those classic Belgian traits.

So what beer is this?

Blonde Bottletree Beer, a Blonde Ale (according to the bottle), 79 points. Price: $1.99 for one twelve ounce bottle. Alcohol by volume: 6%.

Final thoughts: Although the bottle says this is a Blonde Ale, research I did on prominent beer sites suggest this beer is actually a Belgian Pale Ale. I don’t know what to say, other than this does not taste like a Blonde Ale to me. It tastes like an attempt at a Belgian style beer, but there’s one large thing missing to me: the yeast. This is a filtered beer, and I’d love to try it unfiltered, with all that Belgian yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Do I think it would make this an outstanding beer? Probably not. But I do think it would make it a better beer. There’s a lack of complexity and intensity of flavors here.

If you want a decent Belgian style beer that’s low alcohol to session, seek Blonde Bottletree out.


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