La Trappe Blond

Since my fairly recent beer drinking renaissance I have come to habitually shun the golden coloured ales, for they remind me of the innocent days when I shopped almost exclusively in a supermarket for my beer. ‘3 for £5’ was the slogan I looked for and the golden ale was a regular denizen in this category. Now having tried almost 100 beers in a couple of months that came from specialist shops, the ‘supermarket beers’ so often taste of nothing much at all. Golden ales in particular are often insipid, bland and watery. So it was with interest I began the evening with a Trappist blond courtesy of La Trappe.

bh099_1.jpgBlond it may be but this is a Belgian style brew, and upon pouring the familiar bread dough aroma of Trappist beer fills the air, accompanied by a slight bitterness. The head pours frothy and dense, a thick mass sitting atop the yellow-amber liquid. When I took my first sip I was expecting a rich and fruity hit, like the other Trappist beers I’ve tried, but what was surprising was how light this beer is. Don’t get me wrong, it is 6.5% – around the standard of a ‘Dubbel’ – and therefore still a force to be reckoned with. But this lacks the heaviness of the Trappist brews hovering at the 9% mark. The fruitiness is still there, but it’s more of a summery, warm orange fruit. Slides down gently like a good golden ale should, the understated bitterness adding balance. And with that it was gone – much like summer itself in this country…

I’ll recommend this to all my friends who enjoy golden ales, for it is a far more satisfying drop than most that share the name. Really though we shouldn’t expect anything less than a triumph from those folk at Koningshoeven.