- 250ml bottle is an excellent package
- Rich foamy head
- Excellent mouthfeel
- The fullness factor
- Perhaps over-sweet?
- Harder to source
There are so many new young upstarts within the beer industry now that there’s almost a tendency to regard the old timers as out of touch, bland and uninteresting. This would seem hugely unfair given that age = experience = expertise = skill, right?
Some breweries have been around a long time, and others have been around since 1240. Leffe started brewing in 1240, giving them almost 800 years of brewing mastery to draw upon to bring us delicious Belgian beers. Back in the beginning, Leffe was brewed as a delicious, refreshing and safe beverage to welcome weary pilgrims to the Notre-Dame de Leffe abbey. Today they craft a range of beers brewed from their classic recipes which are shipped all over the world.
You may know of the subtle beer making rivalry between European neighbours Germany and Belgium. Both countries make excellent beers. Germany pride themselves on the purity law which states that beer must only be made from 4 ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast. The skill of German brewers is to use these four simple ingredients to unlock unique flavour profiles. Belgian beer is in many ways similar to German brews – in style, look, taste and feel. However, Belgian brewers are free to experiment and infuse with whichever ingredients they fancy.
Most modern brewers nod to the Belgian method and take inspiration from a wide range of ingredients. As a Belgian brewer of nearly 800 years Leffe can surely then lay claim to being one of the most inspirational brewers out there, but just how inspiring is their latest alcohol free beer – Leffe Blond 0.0%?
Leffe Blond 0.0% Initial Review
Leffe Blond 0.0% makes me smile. I look at the little 250ml bottle and I just smile.
It’s not quite a stubby bottle, it’s certainly not a big bottle, it’s just a unique little package of nice. Leffe just looks… reassuringly Belgian – the brown glass, the yellow label in the shape of a church window glowing from candle light, the gothic lettering and the all important words telling us this brew can be traced back nearly 800 years.
Yet, it took them this long to make an alcohol free beer?!
As it pours into the glass the crystal clear amber nectar rouses up a thick foamy head which is continually refreshed by the stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. This beer looks good.
Leffe Blond 0.0% is not a thirst quencher. It has a rich, thick and viscous mouthfeel. It’s a gassy beer.
These things combined make it a beer that makes you feel full – you couldn’t have more than a couple. It reminds me of a wheat beer, but of course this beer contains no wheat. Leffe themselves acknowledge that theirs is a beer to be sipped and enjoyed.
Leffe Blond 0.0% has a sweet aroma of barley and popcorn – maize is clearly a key component in this true 0% beer. In the mouth the foamy suds give way to a sweet popcorn taste with a nutty hint and overtones of vanilla and sweet cloves. Sweet is a word I’m deliberately using a lot here. Not a bad thing, but remember this is a beer to be sipped.
Leffe have achieved something quite unique here – they’ve crafted a completely 0% alcohol beer that – weirdly – feels like a strong beer. Part of it is the complex taste, part is the rich and viscous texture, and part is the fulness factor. I finished my first 250ml bottle quickly, but half way through the second I wasn’t hungry anymore!
Where Can I Buy Leffe Blond 0.0%?
At the time of writing this alcohol free beer was pretty difficult to find.
Having trawled through each of the major supermarkets the only one stocking Leffe Blond 0.0% was Tesco where I picked up a box of 6 x 250ml for £4.50. However, since then I’ve been able to source this wonderfully different beer at the following retailers:
Leffe Blond 0.0% Ingredients, Nutritional Information and Calories
This Belgian abbey beer is made from a pure recipe of water, malted barley, maize, barley, sugar, hops and natural aromas. The added sugar does push up the calorific content as you’ll see below. This beer is not suitable for those of you on a gluten free diet. Nutritional values per 100ml are as follows:
|Nutritional Information||Per 100mL|
|Energy (KJ / KCal)||168 / 40|
|Of Which Saturates (g)||0|
|Of Which Sugars (g)||1.1|
As far as zero alcohol beers go Leffe Blond 0.0% certainly stands out on its own.
As with its fully loaded counterparts this Belgian abbey beer has a complex character that makes it so much more than many of the alcohol free beers out there. Leffe Blond 0.0% is a rich velvety brew with thick suds and a rounded, sweet taste. Be aware though – this is not a beer to be consumed in great quantities. T
he rich and somewhat gassy texture means that this brew is one to be enjoyed slowly. It took nearly 800 years for Leffe to bring you this crafted brew, so take your time and enjoy.