St. Stefanus Blonde matures in the bottle, so you can choose how you want your beer to taste. You can choose to open a bottle at any time between 3 months, when our beer has just left our cellars, and 18 months, when the beer is reaching the end of the maturation process.
Throughout these 18 months as the beer matures in the bottle, the flavours and aromas evolve. Thus, you, the drinker, can choose when to open and enjoy, depending on your desired taste. Indeed, sampling our Blonde beer at 3 months will be a very different drinking experience to one at 18 months.
What can you expect at the different ages?
3 months: Fresh and fruity
Maturing in our cellars for a period of three months before release, the three month aged St. Stefanus Blonde is young and fresh. It pours a light golden colour with a good, foamy head that stays, lacing the glass as you drink it.
It has a sweet caramel nose, with aromas of grapefruit, green apple, clove, cinnamon, banana and balancing hints of peach. On the palate it is balanced by a touch of sweet caramel, finishing with a dry, hoppy astringency.
18 Months: Complex and aromatic
At 18 months, the Blonde’s flavours are at their most balanced. The golden colour has deepened and warmed slightly and the head has a more delicate, mousse-like texture. The beer is livelier, with a higher carbonation.
The citrus fruit aromas of the young beer have become more like candied peel, with hints of apricot and mango. On the palate, the sweetness has matured into deeper, orange marmalade notes with flickering hints of vanilla, toffee and almond. Altogether it’s rounder and more complex; a beer to savour.
How does the taste change over time?
For those who may be unfamiliar with brewing techniques, our beer undergoes secondary fermentation, or refermentation, in the bottle, compelling the beer to continue processing the sugars in the beer. While refermentation results in carbon dioxide and alcohol, it transforms the flavours and aromas of the beer so that they evolve over time.
Do you prefer your St. Stefanus Blonde fresh and fruity, or balanced and aromatic?