AN UNREPENTANT GUSHER, this bottle of Bernabé lost about a third of its contents before the remainder could be sloshed into the glass, where its frothy head and agitated yeast sediment took up as much space as the opaque golden liquid itself. From thereon out it was a smooth and easygoing companion, though, as most foreign-made Belgian blondes tend to be. The nose gently blends peach, very lightly toasted French bread crust, a zip of lemon, slightly sweetened baking spices, and doughy yeast. All mix together in the medium-light body for a round, somewhat soft flavor that’s mild without being entirely meek; the beer doesn’t strive for great complexity overall and thus oughtn’t to be judged against more robust competition. Despite that massive initial burst of foam, the head does not linger long and there is only moderate effervescence, quite creamy and evenly dispersing on the tongue. An easy aperitif on its own or as counterpoint for textural, airy amuse bouche, Bernabé touches upon the gentler core of Belgian ales without being featureless. It still could still use a firmer backbone overall, though, and perhaps a touch more dryness to outline its spice characteristic and accentuate the finish.
Served: 50 cl bottle (L07801)