I thought that I would check in one more time with tasting notes on my Leffe Blonde clone, now that I have given it two more weeks in the bottle (it's now up to a little over eight weeks in the glass). The last time I had a bottle of this Belgian blonde ale was on June 1st, right at the six week mark. It had improved quite a bit from the original tasting (at four weeks in bottles), but still left something to be desired.
Last night, I broke out my tulip glass and poured a bottle that had been chilling for several days.
Holy cow. This beer has undergone a transformation. The flaws I was detecting before (some bitterness and a bit of a "funkiness" I coldn't put my finger one) are long gone. I honestly don't mean to brag, but this beer is now absolutely delicious!
The spiciness has toned down just a bit; it is certainly still very much evident (and desired), but it has mellowed. The malty sweetness that had been lacking is suddenly fully present - not at all cloying, but very satifyingly sweet. The fruity tones that I had been hoping to find are also very evident, and to me, they really round out the beer. All in all, the flavor is complex, interesting, and very much enjoyable.
The carbonation just dances on my tongue, and each sip of the beer finishes ever so slightly dry - which provides a nice balance to the sweetness, and combined with a light body, really makes you want to take another sip.
When all is said and done, this beer turned out very similar to commercial Leffe. It is 8.4% alcohol by volume - I can feel it after drinking one glass - more than anything else, this probably had the most to do with needing a little more time to condition than an average beer. I have read so many accounts of people not entirely pleased with their homebrew; I wonder how many of them might benefit from simply giving the beer a little time to age and mellow.
I am extremely proud of this finsihed product. I can unabashedly state that this is an excellent beer, and one that I will make a point of keeping on hand. I can't wait to share this one... I wonder if I can talk my wife (a decided non beer person) into sampling it.
Tags for this post: belgian, blonde, ale, leffe, beer, eight, weeks, aging, homebrew
Great blog. I love Leffe Blonde too and will do a clone very soon. I really like your custom labels and tops too - I'll also add that to my brewing repertoire.
posted by Andrew on 7/03/2012 at 05:28:44 AM