Affligem Blonde Beer isn't so much a simple beer as it is an experience. To wit:
Take a chilled glass and slowly empty the bottle's contents ... slowly, mind you. Admire the warm, golden colour and the slight opacity of the unfiltered ambrosia. An attractive dense head slowly dissipates. Not quite as dense as a Guiness, for example, but neither is it as frothy and pantywaist as a typical mass-produced domestic beer. Take a deep breath. Before the first sip, you're pretty convinced that this is going to be a beer almost impossible to dislike.
First sip. Smooth, rich flavour, slightly hoppy but without any bitter aftertaste. The complexity of this beer is immediately obvious and no single flavour leaps out of the bottle to identify itself. Try again.
Second sip. Aah, there it is, citrus and honey. Sweet, sour and tangy with the bitterness of the hops combatting one another for supremacy. And yet no single flavour dominates or detracts from the others. Some reviews I've read have mentioned notes of cloves and pepper but, alas, my beer palate is just a little too Philistine as yet to identify such subtleties. Perhaps they'll become more identifiable if I try another sip.
Third sip. What's this now? My goodness, I've noticed the heavy carbonation. The physical airiness of the beer caused by the high levels of carbonation has made the beer taste a tiny bit lighter than it actually is. Nice. Check the label. Robust at 6.8% alcohol/volume but it just doesn't taste that heavy. Still no pepper or cloves coming to mind. Maybe one more try.
Fourth sip. Damn ... not enough in the glass left to taste those cloves. I'm going to have to open another bottle. Not that I really mind!
What did you think of this review?