I suppose we can argue at what point something described as a Belgian Strong Blonde becomes a Belgian Strong Pale, or if it does at all, or if it matters at all, but at the end of the day it all boils down to much the same thing in the glass.
Fairly standard alcohol solvent on the nose. As one would expect.
Described as a Strong Blonde the beer pours as one would expect. Golden body, bone-white head with lace and retention both pretty good for a 9% beer. There’s a nice dry, alcoholic bite about the beer which one would expect, and relatively clean lines around each element of the taste. The beer is dry and smooth drinking but finishes with a bit more alcohol in the far back end and some prickly carbonation – nice combo. Aftertaste is clean and dry.
As it warms there is a lot more fruit that comes through. Some banana, a little tropical mango, some pineapple. I like this the warmer it gets, as it starts to bring out a whole bunch of other, soft fruit notes that blend beautifully with the alcohol. In fact, the beer ends up being much sweeter than nearly all of those early dry notes would have suggested, and it gets very balanced.
I suppose that every beer of this genre is going to be inevitably compared to Duvel. I’ve no problem with that, and this stands up very well as one would expect. St. Feuillien make some great beers and although this is a little simpler than some that they make, it’s no less well-crafted.