Schlafly Double Bean Blonde Ale

I’m finally done with getting the blog current. This means that I can go back to scheduling posts! Let’s get started with this beer from Schlafly.

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Darkness and romance lurk beneath the golden exterior of this ale that combines the prominent flavors and aromas of coffee and the smooth richness of chocolate. We use simple, straightforward malts and hops to keep the focus on the notable characteristics of the featured ingredients. After the beer is fermented, we let it rest on cocoa nibs sourced from Ghana—one of the world’s largest chocolate exporters. In the final stage of production we add a cold coffee toddy made from filtered water and finely ground beans roasted by St. Louis’ own Kaldi’s Coffee and sourced directly from the Shiwanda Estate in Africa’s southeastern Tanzania.”

Random: This beer is a special release from the brewery.

The beer poured with a two finger, very loose, slightly off white head. It dissipated quickly, but left very little lacing on the glass. The body was mostly clear and bright orange in color. It had a lot of floaties in the body. There was light carbonation visible. The nose had pale malt, chocolate shavings and light roasted coffee. The taste had slightly more depth than the nose, but not much. The chocolate shavings and light roasted coffee came through first. The pale malt came through next with some toffee as well. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with coffee. A bottle of this was $2, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I thought this beer was decent, but nothing mind-blowing.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Dogfish Head Beer To Drink Music To ’17 Tropical Blonde

Val picked me up the newest version of Beer To Drink Music to. It got much higher ratings than 2016’s version.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Music has been a part of Dogfish Head since before Dogfish Head. So it’s a natural fit for a brewery that makes ‘Analog Beer for the Digital Age’ to be the Official Beer of Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture of record stores and the special role they play in their communities. Of course, as the Official Beer of Record Store Day, we had to create a special brew for the occasion! Now for the second year, that’s just what we’ve done with Beer To Drink Music To. In volume two of this celebratory ale, this Tropical Blonde is brewed with hibiscus flowers and kiwi juice. It’s the perfect marriage of beer and music and best when paired with some of your favorite tunes. Clocking in at 6.8% ABV, Beer To Drink Music To ’17 is a pinkish-red brew with forward notes of tropical fruits with hints of berries and floral.”

Random: I’ve never gotten into vinyl.

The beer poured with a huge, three finger, white head that dissipated slowly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was very grassy with a lemon-lime soda note. There was also a kiwi hard candy note. The taste had a lot of tropicality with pineapple and lemon-lime soda and lime juice. Kiwi was present too. It also had some yeast as well. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with lots of tropical fruits. A bottle of this was $2.50, which came to $.21 per ounce. I thought this was a really nice beer and would pair well with a ceviche or light fish.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Or Xata

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

Buffalo Bill’s Strawberry Blonde Ale

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

New Belgium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale (Ben & Jerry’s Collaboration)

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

Departed Soles Cantankerous Blonde

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

Victory Longwood Grapefruit Solstice

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