As far as bog standard Leffe Blonde goes I can pretty much take it or leave it. It graces many a British pub chain bar these days and it could be a go to beer if all else fails, but as far as buying bottles goes, for me it’s very much a rarity purely and simply because there is so much better out there.
I do like some of the range especially the Radieuse but sadly it rarely graces the beer lists here.
We found the Royale in a Bruges supermarket, it stood out for three reasons, the classy black and gold label, the shiny new guilted glassware, those things and the enormous “NEW LEFFE ROYALE” sign that preceded it. One way or another, the subliminal messaging worked and we popped a couple in the basket…
So what’s it like?
Well it smells like Leffe Blonde, it looks like Leffe Blonde too. The taste though is where it steps up a notch, a good friend of mine described it as “like Leffe, but amplified” and that makes perfect sense, it’s the same but taken up a level.
It’s stronger at 7.5% (standard is 6.6%) but that’s not the whole story. The mouthfeel is softer, more rounded, almost creamy, there’s a sweetness to it too which is more pronounced.
Do I like it enough to change my mind and put it on my regular purchase list, probably not but it’s a step in the right direction.
As I said earlier this was being announced as new in Bruges mid July, how new I don’t know and it may not even be available outside of Belgium, if you see it though give it a shot, even if only out of curiosity.
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As a Brit living in Belgium, the glass (free with a purchase of six bottles) is the best ‘give-away’ glass I’ve seen so far. The label, agreed, is something special. The beer? Well, you either like Leffe or you don’t. For me, their beers taste more like ‘alcohol’ than beer. That said, Royale is probably their best yet. Smooth. Creamy. I just wish that with all the Belgian beer on offer in the Good Old UK, they’d return the favour by selling some decent UK bitters on draught in Belgium.
I think you’ve pretty much nailed it there on Leffe taste, although I do like the Radiuese I have to say, Royale is very smooth, maybe a lean towards the creamy beers we get in the UK’s cheaper establishments shall we say, after all they are VERY commercial.
It’s very true actually about UK beer in Belgium, I’ve not really noticed that before, do you think there would be a demand?
Sorry for the late reply by the way…