1.044-1.054, 4-6% ABV, 20-30 IBU, 3.5-12 SRM Pale to brown. Bitterness, hop flavor and aroma should be noticeable, with noble or classic types preferred. Low to medium esters. Low malt aroma, restrained caramel or toasted (biscuit) malt flavor ok. Medium body. No diacetyl, alchohol flavors, or roasted (black) malt. Medium carbonation.
Keep in mind that these should be easily drinkable everyday beers, the kind you'll have when you're planning to drink more (many more) than one. These are generally beers of standard strength that combine subtle Belgian-tasting yeast flavors with noticeable hop character that is frequently pilsner-like, leaving a pleasant lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Subtlety, finesse and balance are the most important factors.
Unfortunately this is one of the AHA's problem categories, as there are a few commercial examples of spiced beers that might also fall in here. Judges should also be prepared for variations, particularly mini-versions of stronger Belgian ales. However, I think the original intention was to focus on beers like DeKoninck and Vieux Temps, which are not spiced.
6.5 lbs Belgian pils malt 0.5 lbs Munich malt 0.5 lbs Caravienne (20L) 0.5 lbs wheat malt 2.0 ozs Saaz (3.1% Alpha Acid) 1.0 ozs Hallertauer (2.9%) Brewtech CL-300 Belgian ale #1 yeast Mash in: 12 quarts at 132F Protein rest: 20 minutes at 132F Saccrification: 60 minutes at 156F Mash out: 10 minutes at 170FSparge with 5.5 gallons at 168-170F [Note: Todd adjusts his sparge water pH to 5.5 with lactic acid]; Boil 90 minutes.
Hopping: 3 additions, 1.0 oz Saaz at 45 minutes from the end of the boil, 1.0 oz Saaz at 20 minutes from the end, and 1.0 oz Hallertauer at 5-10 minutes from the end.