Joseph Formanek's picture

95 Rating: Blonde de l'Enfer by Unibroue

January, 2018
Judges Rating: 
95
Aroma: 
24 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Unibroue has been tempting lovers of Belgian-style beer for 25 years. To celebrate that anniversary, Unibroue has brewed Blonde de l’Efner, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale (BJCP Category 25C). This offering is a fine rendition of the style, and, while unmistakably a Unibroue product, rivals in quality those of that style from Belgium.

The nose has the expected full typical Belgian fermentation complexity, with moderate banana and clove along with peach, apricot and pear. Some sweet candi sugar character along with a touch of coriander fill in the blanks delivering a quite complete and very inviting aroma. The beer pours a hazy golden color with a solid, lingering, off-white, small-bubbled head with lace.

The flavor delivers on the expectations from the aroma very well.  Banana, clove-like phenolics, coriander and light metallic and musty notes are evident along with some bubblegum and spiciness. The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth with a medium body. The finish leaves a lingering fruity and spicy character along with a touch of hop bitterness in the finish that helps clean up the palate in preparation for the next sip. Alcohol is hidden quite well for being a 10.5% ABV brew, but it does warm the belly on a cold winter day.

Blonde de l’Enfer is an excellent take on the Belgian Golden Strong style. Definitely one to track down to enjoy immediately or to cellar for the future. This rates near the top of all of the Unibroue products that I have ever had the pleasure to try. Cheers and enjoy! 

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