“It’s an unassuming road leading to the priory. Here, off the corner of two intersecting roads, dedicated monks have been making beer for over 150 years. It’s always been a simple life-the kind that requires they brew only enough to sustain the activities of their monastery. In the silence of passing seasons, they pray, they brew and retire in a solitary existence behind the sheltering walls. They live a most interesting life. Most likely one we couldn’t sustain. Near by, each summer, the trellised fields spring to life as rows of resinous green cones are trained towards the heavens. Rumor is some monks love these hops and being surrounded by budding yellow aromas and the leafy pungent fields inspires them. Since we weren’t sensible enough to locate our brewery near hop fields, we can only offer this blond ale in celebration of our Abbey brethren and their steadfast Devotion.”
Uncaged and uncorked then served in to a wide-rimmed tulip glass. This Belgian style Blond pours to a bright but slightly hazy golden glow, topped off by a pillowy three finger head that maintains itself, eventually settling to a dense layer with an egg shape over the top. Thick, soapy residue is strewn all the way down the glass. Looking good. Quite a delicate aroma, it has some soft, spicy saison-like notes upfront with a hint of herbs, grains, bubblegum, marshmallow and orange peel also streaming through. Maybe a light floral hop undertone with a delicate suggestion of aniseed in here as well. Nice, crisp and summery on the nose. A fine start to this beer so far. The feel in the mouth is light and crisp with velvety soft texture. Co2 is vibrant, giving the tongue a nice tickle which is emphasised by the evident hop bitterness. Again, the flavour profile is crisp with some funky Belgian spiciness and bright citrus notes swimming around on the taste buds initially. We’re loving the spicy/herbal hop presence too, really giving this Blond a hoppy American-style twist. Citrus peel, hay, peppery spice and fresh bitter herbs all vie for a piece of the action as it’s all completed with a light, dry finish. Another big point scorer for this beer is its ability to disguise the 6.25% ABV. A truncated warmth can be detected around the mid but it’s worked in to this hoppy bitterness brilliantly. Well, usually we don’t get all that excited about Blond beer but this one has really ignited our respect for the style. Keeping with tradition for the most part but putting a slightly hop-charged spin on it was the key factor for us. Really nice, we thoroughly enjoyed this.