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California Blonde Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
California Blonde AleCalifornia Blonde Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Irish7r
1.75/5  rDev -47%

Irish7r, May 14, 2012
Photo of AwYeh
1.8/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Golden-amber, two fingers of head thanks to an extremely aggressive pour. So cloudy that I can barely see my fingers through the opposite side of the glass; mere shadows are cast in their place. Great lacing though, bumps this up to a 2.5.

S: This smells like Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese, and I've washed my hands since last touching cheese. Maybe a bit of sweet, maybe caramel malts, but there's really not much going on for me here. In the end, I'll have to declare this as buttery smelling.

T: Quite bland; there's a generic "beer" taste (think pale macros) that's built upon just a bit by offering a fuller malt profile even if their particular flavors are indistinguishable. No hops to be spoken of, not even a hint of bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, with moderate+ carbonation, which lends this beer a creamy character that bolsters its enjoyability.

D: I'm fine with one glass of this, and won't be inclined to pick another up. Not sure I could identify it as an American Blonde... though the 5.6% (high for the style, from my experience) is unnoticeable. Bland taste and almost popcorn-style smell probably should knock this one down a level... but it goes down easy, so I'll leave it for now.

Despite my bad review, props to Eel River for providing a widely available, reasonably priced organic blonde ale.

AwYeh, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of rastaman
1.9/5  rDev -42.4%
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.

rastaman, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of Taylor_Boggio
2.25/5  rDev -31.8%

Taylor_Boggio, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of chugamugofsud
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

chugamugofsud, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of ozmodium
2.53/5  rDev -23.3%
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

ozmodium, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of kellyst
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear pale yellow with minimal head and no lacing. Aroma has some slight estery something going on but doesn't have the aromatic expressiveness of a good blonde ale. The flavor is ok, but uninspired. Soft grainny malts with a hint of sweetness. This beer really needs some balancing hops to round out the flavor.

kellyst, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of robbrandes
2.65/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 12oz bottle, left behind by a friend...

pours a slightly-hazy light orange. tight, dense head with reasonable lacing.

the smell took me a while to finally put a finger on - burnt sugar. not necessarily 'bad', but it smells exactly like a wort boil-over when homebrewing.

taste is utterly unremarkable, even for a blonde ale. honestly, plug your nose and you're in borderline BMC territory. the nice-looking carbonation is too harsh, and annoying when actually consumed.

another underwhelming performance from the undoubtedly nice folks at eel river...glad this was a left-behind from a friend, as eel river is now 0 for 2 in my book.

robbrandes, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of philbertk
2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Eel River Brewing Company--Fortuna, CA--California Blonde Ale. 5.80% ABV. 20 IBU's? Foamy lacy white head. Clear pretty dark rich bright gold color. Very light hop front. Thin mild sweet dry fully fermented light malt body. Spice hint dry citrus hop end. Bland Blonde! (2.0 / 5.0) 5 oz. Taster @ Fremont Oktoberfest on 9/24/2010.

philbertk, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of webbcreative
2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 10, 2009
Light golden color. nice head. light and crisp taste. Good on a hot day, just not too much going with this one. Not something I will be seeking out again. Its definatly not terrible, its just really boring with nothing outstanding going on here.

webbcreative, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of brown2cu
2.9/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

brown2cu, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of WesWes
2.9/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is below average. It has a musty, stale pale malt scent with some citrus hop aroma. This smells awful. The taste is average. It has a light and grainy pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter and watery. This beer tastes like a homebrew that sat in the sun for a month. The mouthfeel is average. It is a low bodied beer with too much carbonation. This is a bad beer all around; down the drain it goes.

WesWes, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of birdypowder
2.93/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This Blonde showed up in my fridge and I seriously don't know how she got there. She was cold so I offered her my coat, though I think the Bud Light Lime next to her was colder. Glad I didn't buy a sixer of this (same for the BL lime) but glad I tried this Eel River offering.

Aroma:
Sweet and malty! Juicy, smells like unfermented wort. A slight floral hop aroma? Hard to tell.

Appearance:
Small to medium sized white head which forms and then leaves quickly. Slight lacing, lacing light? Very hazy. New filter operator? Golden with very slight orange notes and some greenish yellow too.

Taste:
Sweet with vigorous carbonation. Gentle backend bitterness and medium bodied. Enjoy the first several sips because the taste goes somewhere after that.

Finish:
semi-sweet and semi-dry finish

birdypowder, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of mrfrancis
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thin white mousse.

S: Very neutral on the nose, with aromas of grass, lemon, biscuits, and caramel taking some time to reveal themselves.

T: Notes of caramel, grass, straw, chalk, minerals, lemon, and biscuits wash across the palate. The finish is fleeting with notes of lemon, grass, and biscuits.

M: On the lighter side of medium in body, chalky, and very dry. Carbonation is extremely active. A bit busy and distracting and a real chore to drink.

O: This is a very mediocre ale. There just isn't enough flavor for this to be all that interesting. Skip this one.

mrfrancis, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of mactrail
2.98/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

An attractive amber in the glass, on the darker side, with plenty of carbonation. A little bit of a grainy nose. Slightly sweet with a cereal flavor like peaches 'n' cream instant oatmeal. Some hop flavors enliven it a little. Caramel flavors go along with the more substantial than average body and mouthfeel.

There still seems to be a weedy, seeds and stems flavor to this allegedly organic stuff. Slightly harsh vegetable aftertaste, like artichoke. Otherwise, totally forgettable.

mactrail, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Nage37
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Nage37, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of SeriousALEment
3/5  rDev -9.1%

SeriousALEment, May 15, 2012
Photo of Amalak
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Amalak, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of khall
3/5  rDev -9.1%

khall, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
3/5  rDev -9.1%

ToMakeEndsMeet, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -9.1%

ROGUE16, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -9.1%

OriolesFan1008, May 24, 2012
Photo of GTB
3/5  rDev -9.1%

GTB, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of rowmine
3/5  rDev -9.1%

rowmine, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Billolick
3.05/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Billolick, Dec 17, 2008
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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
76 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.