Reporting back after 7 months in the bottle. The idea was to clone this Belgian Blonde which is similar to Leffe Blonde.
The beer has continued to improve and is probably optimal now and has been the last two or three months.
We did a blind tasting of the following three beers:
Commercial La Chouffe
(my own) La Chouffe
My example won over the others mostly due to freshness we thought. The spiceyness and Belgian yeast (Ardennes) character was very pleasing and unmistakable. Esters and sweetness were also evident at about the right level, unlike my Duvel from 18 months ago which was a bit over the top in spicey, estery character due to warming the fermentation too early.
Once the three beers warmed up slightly in the glasses, we detected a slightly more complex malt background to the commercial La Chouffe compared to mine, and this was preferred when tasting at the warmer temp.
I am more than happy with the result and declared the beer “cloned”. It stands up as the real thing and has even fooled a few who thought it was the commercial Leffe Blonde.
BTW, for those who were wondering: this is my first post for some time after anasty bout of depression which hit me last year like a bolt from the blue. Managing very well now