Brouwerij Contreras ‘Valeir’ Blond


15181605_600521453465337_7338474983137454087_n“Valeir Blond is a top fermentation beer by brewery Contreras in Gavere. It has a golden color, a dry and bitter flavor and a long bitter aftertaste. This beer is brewed using the “dry-hopping” principle. It has an alcohol content of 6.5%.”

Served in a wide rimmed tulip glass. Valeir pours to an amber hue with a fair amount of suspended sediment floating around. It constructs a foamy two finger head that retracts and settles to a healthy overlay that weaves a wavy lace pattern as we imbibe. She provides an aroma of orange citrus fruits, aniseed, spice, leafy herbs, some yeasty phenols and barnyard-y notes of straw and hay. It’s quite a fair bit hoppier than your standard Belgian Blond, these fresh herbaceous characters appear to strengthen as the beer settles in the glass. A sweet candy sugar scent also develops with a bit of time also. Not bad. In the mouth it’s light, foamy and effervescent with a discernible bitterness forming in the swallow. The 6.5% ABV is well disguised. Quite a pleasant quaffer. Flavour wise it offers a distinct Belgian candy sugar sweetness upfront. Soft bubblegum and citrus notes carry it forward through the mid where the delicate bitterness is introduced. Hints of honey and sweet malt then lead in to the light, dry finish that reveals a slightly spicy note on the back palate. Look it’s nothing overly memorable. If we were to stack it up against other Belgian Blond’s from the likes of Leffe, Chimay or Westvleteren it doesn’t compare. But on its own merit it drinks nicely, it’s well carbonated and spritzy and all the sweet Belgian characters present well enough. It just didn’t bowl us over. Not bad.