Since mid-2011 I've been trying to have a beer a week - an endeavour I have failed to fulfil, but I have tried a lot of good beer and real ale (did I mention I had a beard?) so therefore I figure one way of posting on here, and maintaining it this time, is to review those beers.
Tonight's offering is Leffe Blonde. Belgian, blonde and stronger than it looks or tastes. It actually beats my favourite, Riggwelter from Black Sheep breweries, for strength at 6.6% ABV. It has a smooth feel, the fizz is not too strident, and the liquid is not fiery but slinky. There's a yeasty aroma, to be sure, but it's not a horrid sweaty yeast, rather it is a warm and happy smell of yeast - reminding me of when our children were young.
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Despite its strength it also is rather light in texture. You don't feel like you're drinking to get drunk, though it is pretty rare for me anyway, rather it feels like the sort of drink one has with food. Something that would not be out of place with a Sunday roast or a family setting. In that regard it is a friendly beer, one that would be drunk with friends whilst discussing politics or religion - making topics not suited to the dinner table somehow more palatable. But, then, it's Belgian, so what would you expect? Some part of that cosmopolitan European style and lifestyle transmits itself through the beer and into the drinker's brain. There's an ambience about the beverage that goes far beyond just the drink. It's a social beer - one should not drink it alone or to get pissed, it's a more mature tipple than that.
Is it expensive? With tax increases in the UK it works out the same as most other ales now, though it was more pricey before the tax hike, I'm assuming duty remained the same, so no - not any more.
Drink with good food and good company. Buy the 750ml bottle if you're a lightweight like me and spend an evening in its company. Better shared.