The Maredsous abbey beers are brewed by Duvel under license.
The blonde 6 (they also brew an 8 and a 10, referring to ABV) comes in a delightful bulbous bottle, sitting squat on the table. The beer rings in a capacious head on the pour, staying fluffy for the drink’s duration. The colour is deep gold, completely clear, not a freckle of yeast to be seen swimming which is unusual for the style. Spritzy carbonation is evident on viewing. The beer smells interesting – sweet marshmallow wafts between banana and the faintest, dimmest hint of spicy phenolics.
On tasting delightful balance prevails. The Belgian yeast notes deliver a smooth ride of clean, mellow malt and a balmy bitterness. There is nothing puckering, astringent or harsh; it’s a perfect example of a rounded, delicate bitterness that still keeps the malt in check. This is a fairly dry beer with a nice finish that is worrying at 6% ABV. Oddly there is a subtle vegetative note going on, a phantom hop flavour that I find difficult to distinguish and elaborate on. Perhaps some late hopping occurs – my bottle was as fresh as you can get in Australia.
This is worth the time and money to procure. A good example of a Belgian blonde and I will look out for their double and triple.
I bought this bottled beer at The Wine Republic, Northcote and drank it at home.