I picked this up at Noel Cuvelier’s. I’d never seen it before, but at a mellow 6.6% ABV, I thought I’d give it a try.
‘Lente’ is the Dutch word for spring (in Afrikaans too, fwiw), so I was half-expecting a Belgian take on a Maibock. After tasting it, I’d like to call it a Belgian Blonde ale despite it being fairly dark in colour, although not nearly as much as the picture would suggest (the flash makes it look much darker – apologies for poor photography skills).
While I didn’t have one for a side-by-side comparison, it certainly tastes a lot like I remember Leffe Blonde to taste, but it manages to finish (slightly) drier. I always found the blonde to be just a little too cloying, this is just dry enough to be drinkable, and it may be my imagination but perhaps slightly more bitter. It’s extremely well-balanced, anyway.
The flavours I picked up were caramel, honey and sweet pilsner malt, balanced by very gentle hops, with plenty of fruity and spicy flavour coming from the yeast. It has the same Leffe yeast character as their other beers – I perceive it as mostly banana and clove.
Overall this is a really nice beer, I really enjoyed it and to be honest, I’d buy it over Leffe Blonde any day. It’s a shame it’s only a seasonal.