Another jolly, and slightly weird, Belgian cartoon on the label of Paljas Blond, from Brouwerij Henricus in Zeebrugge. It's bright and only slightly hazy for a small bottle-conditioned job. The first surprise is its aroma: crisp and slightly sour, with overtones of gueuze about it.
Not so much in the flavour, however. There's a big bitterness from a generous early addition of Magnum, followed by the orange cordial effect of Styrian Goldings. This fades from a thick intense syrupiness to a fresher, lighter juice flavour, enhanced by a certain savoury -- but perfectly clean -- character from the Belgian yeast. The real beauty of the recipe is that the sour aroma never goes away, and the contrast between how it tastes and how it smells is quite special. Not too sweet, not too dry, an interesting take on the style.
Far from boring Leffe clones for people who don't really like beer, the Belgian blonde genre always seems to have something new up its golden sleeve.