California Blonde Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
California Blonde Ale
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
77
okay

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 15.52%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.62% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by TeeCee:
Photo of TeeCee
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick review: I get more enjoyment from a Budweiser. But I think this may be old stock.

This beer happened to be at Dorignac's one visit. It's one of several beers that have come onto our scene recently unannounced.

I poured it into an American style pint glass hard enough to produce ~3" of head, which quickly dissipated leaving little behind. I can swirl it and produce some tight-knit foam which also dissipates on short order. The body is a shade or two towards brown going from Honey.

Malty on the nose with something else like peanuts. A little funky as it warms up.

Drinking it, I can't really taste the maltiness or peanuts I was smelling. The taste is a bit thin. It also almost takes like someone was smoking cigarettes when they brewed this beer. I get all kinds of bittering hops as I drink it, but not so much of anything piney or flowery.

Medium to thin in the mouth. No carbonation to add to it. This beer is rather uneventful in the mouthfeel department.

I could drink several of these if it was what was around, but I'd prefer something with more to it. I'm not saying I'd take a Heineken over this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, without any freshness info being offered on the label. Pours clear golden amber, minor head and I'm not seeing much lacing. A couple of sips of this one and I've had enough, somebody else mentioned an of putting plastic sort of note and I believe I'm getting a hint of that as well. Not real impressed with this one. With so much quality beer out there, give this one a pass.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good presentation, a darker gold color, not that super faint straw yellow you come across in some blondes. Pretty mild aroma, some sweetness to it, that's about it.

High carbonation and light body should lead to some kolsch comparisons and discussion. Easy drinking, nothing bad or adventurous to it.

A little more expensive than it should be given the relative lack of ingredients, I don't understand why this and their porter, ipa etc. . .are the same price.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a nonical glass

A - Light copper amber with 1 finger amber head with good retention and good lacing, bubbly head.

S - Faint wheat aroma.

T - Fairly bland wheat backbone with a touch of yeast and breadiness.

M - Light body, moderate-high carbonation, watery.

O - A slightly above average blonde. Once is enough for me.

Photo of rastaman
1.89/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Tap@Eel River. Didn’t find in very intersting, just thin grainy malts, like their pale ale, it was easy to drink, but not interesting. These Amerucan Blondes aren't really part of style that is particularly interesting. Pretty borring lagerish sort of ale. On the bland side of things.

Photo of berkeleymaw
4.37/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Packs a deceptive punch at ~6% ABV. Clean and crisp tasting without being bitter, very smooth and inoffensive. Decent hoppiness, but nothing approaching the psychotic amount of hops you find in your typical microbrew ale these days.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eel River- Blonde Ale

A- Light golden orange with a thick sticky head.
S- Nice floral hop aroma with a touch of sweet honey and wheat.
T- Sweet light honey flavor meets up with a nice little floral hop touch. I detect an orange/ tea flavor as well.
M- Light but VERY dry. Sweet finish.

Overall- I agree with another post, gets better further into the glass. A nice lite beer. Good for floating in the pool!

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large bottle into a small beer glass.

Appearance: Deep golden and clear with good foamy head and nice standard lacing.

Smell: A mix of hops and grains/malt with a slight perfumed floral scent.

Taste: Slightly sweet and malty with some nice malt flavors. Very subtle flavors and very easy to drink with a meal.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body with good carbonation. Very smooth with little bitterness.

Drinkablity: A good mild beer with some nice flavors. I would drink this one again.

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From Beers of the World. Serviceable, drinkable pale. Pours foaming white head on yellow golden. Above average carbonation that numbs the tongue somewhat,even much later. Neutral to maltish aroma. Bitter more than malty taste.Average to below average mouthfeel.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Eel River Blinde and it is OK. The beer pours a cloudly orange with decent 1/2 in white head that is lacing nicely. The smell is a very heartly orange citrus. The taste is a spunky citrus powered more by malt than hop. The mouthfeel is a body is medium body with good carbonation. Overall it is not reallly a great Blonde but worth a sampling.

Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is a light fruity sweetness with some grain, citrus and floral hops.

T- The taste features some grain, citrus flavors and some peppery and earthy hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation.

D- Not a bad blonde, the 5.8% ABV helps keeps this one from being as sessionable but it is a solid beer that I could drink a few bottles in a sitting.

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Four Firkins. Appears light appear with a very slight haze. Plain, light caramel aroma. The flavor has an odd/interesting dried bread/crouton malt taste before finishing with a peppery hops note. I'm not sure if I like the malt profile, but at least it's something different. For that I'll at least say that this beer is worth a try.

Photo of thejewthatbrews
4.19/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ Eel River. Way better than the bottle.

A: Golden hue to it, with a small head, less than an inch.
S: Clean smell, fairly hoppy, but nowhere near a pale.
T: Taste was slightly hoppier than the amber, but once again, nothing close to a pale or IPA. Nice overall balance, with a slight shift away from malt, although the malt is not completely negelcted.
M: Good mouthfeel, although not really anything special. Not heavy at all, and with only a slight lingering taste.
D: Extremely drinkable, due to a lighter body, and a refershing balance between the hops and the malt. Definately a two or three pinter.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Clear hay amber color. Thin white head. A bit of lacing.

Aroma is kinda like smelling a bag of 2row if you know what I'm talking about. Not much else.

Taste is solid. Easy drinkin blond. Not too sweet or malty.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing.

I'm actually impressed by this companies organic ales. I was under the impression that they usually suck. Not bad the last 2 that I've had.

Photo of ozmodium
2.54/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a 6 pack from the BC liquor store. On sale $4 off. But it was right by the cash register! How could I resist an organic American micro 6 pack for $8?

Pours a bit hazy light orange. I have a jar of natural honey in my cupboard that I sweat looks IDENTICAL to this. Minuscule head. No lacing...

Smell is pleasant enough, interesting. Sweet honey and light malt. Some fusel alcohol funk? Mildly hopped but there're still right there, fresh.

Sweet honey, bitter grapefruit rind hops and again the fusel funk on the tongue. Some fusels are good in some styles. Not this one... It reminds me of the time made a hefeweizen at home a few years ago. I fermented it at a few degrees too hot for the final few days. The yeast went nuts and got fusel on me. It didn't make it undrinkable but the he subtle burnt plastic flavour is undesirable in this style.

The bottle has no info regarding abv, but my guess is around 6%? The low carbonation makes it feel more boozy than I think it really is. Not a chugging beer. Not terribly enjoyable.

It seems to me that the brewer has placed this in a bit of an awkward niche. I think that either making it lighter or stronger would have made for a much more interesting offering. Too boozy to be a summer quencher, too watery for the complexities of a strong belgian. It is however the best 8 dollar 6 pack I've ever bought in BC, where decent beer costs upward of 13 bucks for the goos stuff

Photo of philipquarles
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark gold with minimal head and no lacing. Pretty uninteresting.

Smells faintly of sweet, almost honey-like malt, some grassiness, as well as a bit of hop. The taste is similar; quite sweet and grainy/grassy. Not offensive, just not much there.

Overall, a really mediocre blonde.

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bright, clear tangerine orange with a 2 finger, soft, pillowy head that was dirty white in coloring and lasting for several minutes after the pour before yielding to a thin creamy layering. Visible carbonation was medium.

S: fresh tangerines and oranges with soft, spicy hop undertones.

T: Semi-tart and dry oranges with a light dry floral hopping. Light dry citrus notes provide a gentle fade and finish. Palate had a nice maltiness to it per style adding some depth and fullness.

M: medium-full and was soft texture wise and carbonation wise on the tongue. Dry oranges and a nice floral hopping grace the tongue while leaving a nice slight residual malt lacing behind.

D: Very smooth, dry, and citrusy with a good maltiness makes this a great example per style and very good to drink. Can easily make this a session beer down on the beaches of orange county with a gentle breeze.

Photo of drtth
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright golden yellow color with a ½" smooth white head filled with tiny bubbles. The head persists for a fair while before receding to a ring around the glass and a patch of foam. Sipping early on leaves lots of legs and speckles of lacing and even as the beer reaches its end there are lacing speckles.

Smell: The pleasant aroma contains light caramel or bready pale malt with light citrus or herbal presence.

Taste: The flavor is primarily pale malt (bready) with very light, tangy grapefruit and orange zest notes.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light bodied with lots of carbonation. The finish is on the short side but ends on a lightly dry note.

Drinkability: This is a reasonably drinkable beer but not really special in any way. (Maybe it's the style which I'm not as familiar with as I should be. But it does seem better to me than the first Blonde Ale I tried) This is a good solid beer to have for refreshment or to go with a meal. I could have a second but probably won't and I probably won't make a point of looking for it in the future.

Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed golden amber with a thin white head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy, bready, with a hint of citric zest.

The taste is bready, yeasty and grainy. Some grapefruit and orange rind gives it a nice balance. A touch of alcohol gives it an unusual kick for the style - mixed feelings about that - kind of brings down the drinkability a bit for what the style should be. Finishes very dry. Light-bodied.

There are nice subtelties going on here, with a nice balance, but not quite the "session" brew it could be. Still, it has something to it making it a good one.

Photo of DaveHS
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Grove in San Francisco. Served in a 14oz. pilsner glass.

A-Light amber with a thin white head. No lacing.

S-Pale, sweet maltiness. Not much else. But it's a pilsner, so I'm not too worried.

T-A generic tasting American kolsch. Has the malt/grain character of a macro lager, with slightly better ingredients. Very simple.

M-Light and soft, moderate carbonation.

D-High, despite my not being too thrilled with it. This beer was made to be chugged on a hot day.

Photo of CWiggins
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Well, this is a style I certainly have avoided like the plague for a long time. My hunch was that it would be a rather bland, unexciting genre hardly befitting my need for a complex, tasty, and taste-fulfilling concoction. But, in the spirit of adventure, I was willing to go the extra mile and sample this version of the Blonde Ale style. Admittedly, it took a free sample bottle from a local representative to get me to that point, but, oh well!

It pours a straw yellow with amber-ish background, with a fizzy, white head that came and went very quickly. The aroma is mainly of grain and light malts, with a citrus overtone. Wow, this one sure is highly carbonation: one swallow and I felt my belly poof up like a balloon! It's lean bodied, and the mild flavor is mostly malt and sweet citrus. A mild hop character comes forward at the finish, but it, too, is lightly noticed. Definitely related to kolsch, but without the complexity.

Easy to drink, that's for sure. This is a style I don't find myself getting interested in, but I'm sure its "drinkability" will garner many fans.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.33/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Single bottle from WFM for a mixed tasting session. Poured into a standard frozen pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark gold with an orange tint. Little lacy head with small bubbles, remained with the beer.

S: Tea leaves, honey, wheat bread with hints of sugar cookies.

T: A very mild ale, the name fits it perfectly. Makes me think of a California blond. I really like this one. Semi-sweet with honey, tea leaves again and a finish that reminds me of Tres Leches cake or sugar cookie. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Buy a six pack. I'm regretting I didn't. You could enjoy these for an evening.

Value: At around $2.00 for a single, I'd say just cough up enough for a six pack. It's worth it. A great organic ale!

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that leaves some spotty lace. Straw is the color of the liquid with a touch of haze.

Mild, but pleasant blend of the classic pale malts and flowery hop.

With the lightest of pale malts, there is a slight sourness to the initial sip. The carbonation is high--high enough to bubble over the bottle. It cuts through the body making this beer overly spritzy. Overall, this is a pleasant and easy-to-consume lighter, but flavorable, beer.

Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. A 1" head lasts a bit, plus some spotty lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: light fruity sweetness is all that is detectable.

Taste: light but decent malt sweetness along with some soft green grapes tones, hints of honey, and a nice mellow bitterness that balances the sweetness out.

Mouthfeel: crisp and clean throughout. Lighter in body.

Drinkability: easy to drink with some decent flavors for the style. When you are in the mood for a lighter beer this one hits the spot.

Photo of brown2cu
2.94/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy blonde with a fleeting head. There is a faint ring on the outside of the glass; no lacing.

S: A sweet grainy sweetness topped by a delicate hop aroma. Nothing flashy

T: Tastes like carbonated water that has had grain steeped in it for a couple of minutes. Not a lot of character. There is a soapy bitterness towards the end. Overall it seems to taste like a batch of beginner home brew, not something I would expect from a large brewery.

M: Heavily carbonated, not sure how appropriate it is for the style, but makes for easy drinking.

O: comparable but better than most macro lagers, However, not something I would buy again. I want to give another example of this style a try before I write it off.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.