Such impressive credentials.
What a shame.
Tons of pillow head, long lasting with nice lace which fits well with the style. Light yellow just a hint of haze, a tad off for the style. Head clings to side of the glass, desperately.
A bit of pepper in the aroma with pilsner malt and some candy sugar sweetness, also citrus: grapefruit-like. Could be hops, more likely some hops but more spices like cardamom. The pepper is the expected phenolic in the style.
Mouthfeel: just a hint of harshness one might find from white candy sugar. Light carbonation in mouthfeel. I would not call this “smooth,” or “creamy.” Does finish medium dry, as expected.
The taste, to be honest, is a bit harsh, but as it warms out smoothes out a tad. Pilsner malt up front. Behind that: alcohol, slight bitter. No hop aroma or flavor. More bitter than sweet, and this is part of the harsh, but I also suspect the abv has been pumped a tad by sugar more suited to a triple.ABV highfor style (9.5) which could also be the sugar. There’s meant to be a sweetness here, for the style, but it’s covered by the harshness.
To be honest this has a style issue: they went too far into being a tripel due to the white candy sugar-like haeshness. not bad. But a Blonde? Eh, no.
I’m really out of the mainstream here. 92 on Beer Advocate. 97, and 95 for style on Rate Beer. I really think they’re missing the style differences here.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”