Black Abbey "The Rose" Belgian-Style Blonde Ale

The journey into local beverages has had its ups and downs. I got a bunch of Black Abbey beers the last time I visited the best local beer place, so I'll be sifting through them within the next week or so. They are based in Nashville proper, according to their label, and that's all I have to go off of right now. It's a blonde, and it has some stiff local competition.

It's a deep gold with a brown/orange hue added for artistic purposes. The head is minimal, and it goes away quickly to leave a scant ring around the glass and a few stragglers grouped into patches on top. The aroma is sweet and floral. It has something in it that smells almost apple, too, and it's quite inviting.

First sip is tropical fruits and sweet nuttiness. There's a tartness to it all that still reminds me of the apple that I smelled. In fact, this has the feel of a beer version of a cider or something more than it reminds me of other blondes. I mean, it's definitely beer, but it has that kind of sweet and crisp taste that I associated with the many ciders I've tried. Maybe a full swig will find the true nature of the beer...

Tip-in is apple, banana, and caramel. It's sweet and tart at the same time, and then the middle comes with heightened carbonation burn. It brings a wine-like crispness and the banana and caramel kind of fade into a smoothness. The finish is a wave of tartness that mixes with the sweetness to trail off into a kind of floral mist fringed with caramelized bananas.

Bottom Line: Not the best blonde ever, but it brings something new to the table, and I can certainly appreciate that.



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