Gauloise Blonde
Not a Cigarette


How about a Gauloise blonde? No, not the French cigarette (Gauloises blondes) introduced in the 1980’s to try and stave off the inevitable advance of American competition but a Belgian beer.

Martin Belot estabished the du Bocq brewery in the the valley of the small river Bocq in Purnode in 1858 and it is still 100% family owned and now in the sixth generation.
The first beer brewed was Gauloise; the inspiration for the name was obviously not the cigarette (these were first produced in 1910) but the the many Gallo Roman sites to be found in the region. Today there are six Gauloise beers ranging in strength from the 9.7 % alc. Vol. tripel blonde to the 5.5% ambree; I’ve decided to try Gauloise blonde, a pale ale with 6.7% alc.

The beer has a pale golden yellow colour with a frothy and relatively short lived head. The aroma is sweet malt with little else . The taste has an initial lemon twang and some mild hop bitterness both of which quickly seem to be overrun by the sweeter malt elements which increasingly give a milk chocolate to banana feel. Some clove comes in but doesn’t last and the beer finishes where it began; with sweet malt.

I was impressed by the Saison 1858 and Blanche de Namur from the same brewery so I was a little bit disappointed by this offering; it’s not an unpleasant beer, easy to drink but not very complex. The best I can say is that it’s middle of the road for the pale ale style.


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