The first beer we are BrewViewing for JULY 2016 BREWERY OF THE MONTH is ST. FEUILLIEN BLONDE. This beer has a superb flavor profile, and embodies the brewing traditions and excellence that St. Feuillien is well known for. NOTE: The bottle date stamp indicated June 4, 2015.
BEER STYLE AND COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Style category: Belgian Abbey Blonde
This light ale has a deep golden colour with a smooth, frothy head. It is very perfumed with an unmistakable hint of aromatic hops and a fruity (citrus) note from the spices used in production. The body has an intense yet distinctive bitterness and a strong malty taste which is a delight to the palate. The overall effect, however, is a slight dryness and hoppiness.
All these features make St-Feuillien Blonde an excellent and very drinkable beer.
Silver Medal – Australian Beer Awards in 2011 and 2012, Belgian and French style Ales
Silver Medal – World Beer Championships in 1998
World’s Best Abbey Pale Ale – London in 2010
OUR BREWVIEW OF BRasserie ST. Feuillien blonde
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
7.5% ABV. We poured it at 45°F (verified with a VacuVin snap thermometer on the bottle) in the signature St. Feuillien chalice. It poured between a pale and deep golden color, with an SRM value around 5. It easily poured a voluminous slightly off white colored, dense, 2.5-finger head with large and small bubbles. Rim color variation- straw, SRM value of 3.
The meniscus is medium to slow rising. The Brussels lacework the beer leaves behind as the head collapses, is very thick- patchy, spider cobweb density (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). After 5-6 minutes, the head does retain about a 1/2″ height, and during consumption time, it does sustain a 1/4″ height to the end. NOTE: as usual, this BrewView is with the yeast dump, which is why you see the haziness in the picture. Also, the St. Feuillien chalice has a special etching at the bottom of the glass which resembles their Coat of Arms. This etching creates an aggressive center stream bubbling from the bottom of the glass. You can really “hear” the stream if you put your ear to the beer.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
It has the classic Belgian yeast breadiness that many quality Belgian beers have in this style. beautiful ripe peach skin and apricot esters (very similar to a Tripel). Also deep honey, whiteflower / elderflower aromas. The hop and malt aromas add to the mix. Characteristic, for sure.
Classic Belgian bready yeast flavors, nice spicy phenols, very ripe peach, apricot stone, honey, sweet malt, and then finishing with a well balanced hop bitterness.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The mouthfeel is not overly acidic, it is more creamy. The finish is a combination of sweet malt and spiciness, ending with a gentle hop bitterness. The effervescence level is moderate; it doen’t really assault the tip of the tongue when you first sip it- its creaminess really fills up the sides and the back of the mouth. The drinkability factor is very high, and does not feel like it is almost 8% ABV.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Cheees- Bavikhove, Bleu de Gand, Gouda, Bouquet des Moines, Saint-Feuillien, of course! A good Charcuterie platter with assorted meats and pâtés.
ENTRÈES: Seafood dishes, for sure! The classic Moules-Frites, (cook the mussels with St. Feuillien Blonde) served with hop shoots (if you can get them) or white asparagus. Here are some other recipes from St. Feuillien’s website: Escavèche à la Saint-Feuillien, Fish Festival à la St-Feuillien. Chicken and veal pairs nicely too: Poulard à la St-Feuillien, Veal breast à la St-Feuillien.
DESSERTS: Three dishes come to mind- Liege sugar waffles (no syrup), Speculoos, and straight cheesecake.
St. Feuillien Blonde is just part of the recently expanded portfolio of world class beers from the brewery. Very easy on the palate, we consider the Blonde very sessionable for that fact. Sometimes it’s good to session with a great beer over 4% ABV… 🙂
We have always been impressed with the high quality of the St. Feuillien beers in years past- this was our first taste of the Blonde… and it did not disappoint. Because of it’s flavor profile, it can be paired with a wide variety of cuisines, and also be used to cook with. World class, it is a must try!
Our next BrewView for the JULY 2016 BREWERY OF THE MONTH will be on the St. Feuillien Abbey Brune.
BrewView author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15