Archive for the ‘American Blonde Ale’ Category

Awhile back, I had a business trip in California and Val joined me for a long weekend. We made our way to The Bruery and took a tour. This was one of the beers that we drank during the tour and Val loved it. Since it was on tap at Brickwall, Val got a glass.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Horchata is a traditional, sweet, milky drink originating in Spain and Latin America that has become quite popular in Southern California, particularly with Mexican cuisine. Our homage to the traditionally non-alcoholic drink is a blonde ale brewed with a heavy dosing of rice, cinnamon and fresh vanilla beans along with lactose for a little extra creamy character. These ingredients meld together to create a taste and experience that hints at horchata, but it’s much more than that. The flavor is hard to describe, but for those who know it, you know you love it.”

Random: I’ve never had a real horchata. That needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw yellow color with a tinge of cloudiness and moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and grain. It was incredibly inviting. The taste was even better than the nose. The cinnamon and nutmeg notes were prevalent, along with rice and milk sugar. Vanilla came through as the beer warmed. The alcohol was well-hidden. It had a moderately thick body with just enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cinnamon and nutmeg. I thought this beer was outstanding. This is one of the best horchata inspired beers I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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While doing the research for this beer, I found that the brewery redid all of their labels. This beer was obviously from the old labeling. I haven’t had much luck with this brewery, but Val wanted to try this beer, so let’s see how it was.

strawberryblonde

ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Enjoy the refreshing taste of Summer in every sip of Strawberry Blonde Ale with Ginger! This sessionable brew has fresh, floral notes of strawberry, and hints of spicy ginger, 5.2% ABV.”

Random: This is available from May through September.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. By the time I took the photo, it was all gone. The body was bright orange with a tinge of pink and mostly clear. There was a lot of carbonation visible as well. The nose was filled with strawberry syrup and some ginger. Grain came through as well and it reminded me more of a soda than a beer. The taste was incredibly artificial. The first flavor that hit was strawberry flavored medicine. The next was grain, along with some ginger. It also had strawberry pie filling. The taste was overly sweet for my liking. The body was on the lighter side with moderate to high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the artificial strawberry taste. A bottle of this was $2.67, which came to $.22 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. I didn’t like all of the artificial notes and wouldn’t have this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

One of my favorite flavors of ice cream is cookie dough, so when New Belgium put out a cookie dough beer, even though I wasn’t sold that it would be great, I wanted to try it.

newbelgiumchocolatechipcookie

ABV: 6%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream beer. This winter, dip into the fridge—not just the freezer—to find a dozen ways to sate your sweet tooth. Our newest collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s brings together two different types of pint-makers for one common goal: to fill your glass with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. To craft this confection, we dove into our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes for inspiration, and then whipped hefty doses of chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla into a dough-hued blonde ale base. The result is a full-bodied beer that seduces with a perfect balance of vanilla and chocolate, and finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. Put down the spoon, pick up a pint. In celebration of this year’s collaboration, New Belgium and Ben & Jerry’s — both B-Corps — are once again joining forces with Protect Our Winters (POW) to create tangible ways to fight climate change just as they did a year ago. Calling this campaign ‘100 Days to Change Our Ways,’ the three socially minded organizations want the new Administration to make climate change a priority during its first 100 days. To rally support, events will be held in 12 cities across the country with letter-writing stations, POW athletes speaking out about the dangers of climate change, raffles, and of course beer and ice cream.”

Random: Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.

The body poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left only a little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with a decent amount of carbonation. The nose had a lot of vanilla and some nuttiness. It didn’t have a definitive cookie dough flavor. The taste started with some grass and quickly went into lactose, vanilla and some cocoa with milk chocolate chips. It had some doughy malt as well. They nailed the cookie dough note. The body was light with moderate carbonation. It had a quick and sweet finish with white sugar and lactose. The bottle was $1.58, which came to $.13 per ounce. This beer was a bit gimmicky, but I liked the flavor. I wouldn’t want more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Val and I visited Departed Soles awhile ago. It’s on a side street in Jersey City and the space is really nice. They also have their samplers on mini skateboards. Apparently a lot of people have taken them, so you have to give them your license if you get one until you return the skateboard. I picked up this beer before we went there, so let’s see how it was.

cantakerousblonde

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We teamed up with the Fuse Media to brew this beer originally, then the Viking Army Supporters to create a light, semi-sweet tailgating beer. The result is our honey blonde ale, which starts off with honey derived sweetness and rounds out with a bready, malt finish.”

Random: Blondes are becoming more popular in Jersey breweries. They’re always hit or miss for me.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It did leave a very small crown on top. The body was a bright orange color with very little carbonation visible. On the nose, I picked up wheat and a mild clove note. I let it warm up for a few minutes and didn’t pick up much else. The taste had more depth to it. It started with wheat, clove and orange peel. There was also some honey as well. It had a thicker body than I expected for the style with lots of carbonation. It finished with wheat and orange peel. A pounder can of this was $3, which came to $.19 per ounce. I can see why they would market this as a tailgating beer. It had a good amount of flavor and was really drinkable. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Val took me on a trip to Longwood Gardens awhile back. They have a very pretty light show at night that I had heard a lot about. We got there before it started getting dark, so we got to see some of the gardens, but it was filled with kids and got even more crowded as it got dark. The light show was nice, although if I could give them a recommendation, it would be to mark the path better because we ended up walking the wrong way a few times. This was one of the exclusive beers that was available in their beer garden.

longwoodgrapefruitsolstice

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: This beer is only available at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Random: I gave up on watching “The Walking Dead.” It no longer held my interest.

The brew poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left little lacing on the plastic cup. The body was a hazy yellow color with no visible carbonation. The nose had notes of grapefruit zest and grass and citrus juice brightness. The taste had some grapefruit juice, which muted the other flavors. After a few sips, there was some orange and fresh grass too. The body was on the lighter side with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with grapefruit juice. This beer was easy to throw back, but flavor wise was pretty simplistic. I wouldn’t refuse a plastic cup of this again, but it’s not worth a special trip to try it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

One of the things that I had in Ohio which I enjoyed was peppered white gravy. I used to not be a big fan of it, but since I found it at restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I started to get used to it. That type of gravy reminds me of the south, much like a mint julep, which this beer is based on.

mintjulepale

ABV: 6%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you’re not drinking this during the decadence and depravity that is the Triple Crown, you’re doing it wrong.”

Random: I think that breweries are starting to jump on the bandwagon of making beers based on cocktails. So far, I’m enjoying the trend.

The brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow. There was a decent amount of carbonation visible through the body. The nose had a lot of mint leaves up front with a floral note right after that reminded me of honeysuckle. Based on the nose, I thought that I was really going to enjoy this beer, but the taste was like the noise on steroids. It started with intense spearmint extract and grain after. A toasted oak characteristic came after, but the mint muted any other flavors that were in there. It had a body that was very light to the point of being watery with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and I couldn’t get rid of the peppermint taste. I picked the bottle up for $2.08, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I just wasn’t a fan of this beer, perhaps because I’ve never had the cocktail before, so I lack a frame of reference?

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

This is a beer that Val picked out for me because of my love of baseball. I thought the can art on this was incredibly well done. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the contents.

alestorm

ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “New for 2013 – The perfect ‘baseball’ beer. A smooth, thirst-quenching beer that balances the delicate sweetness of Pilsner malt and lemony/spicy notes of Sterling hops. It was specifically crafted to be an approachable but flavorful addition to everyone’s favorite pastime.”

Random: Minor league baseball games are the best. Tickets are cheap and you can always get good seats. I need to go to a Trenton Thunder game next year. I haven’t been in a very long time.

The brew poured with a half a finger of thin, pure white head that dissipated slowly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was very hazy and bright yellow with moderate carbonation. The nose had wheat,lemon and Pilsner malt. The taste started with a honey sweetness and bready malt. What I didn’t get was wheat or lemon, which would have significantly improved this beer. The body was thick, which didn’t help with the drinkability and the carbonation needed to be dialed up as well. It made this beer feel really heavy. It had a quick finish with white bread and crackers. A single can of this retailed for $1.83 ($.15 per ounce). I didn’t like this beer at all. There are so many better beers in this style. I don’t feel the need to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0