California Blonde Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

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California Blonde Ale
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BA SCORE
78
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54 Reviews
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Reviews: 54
Hads: 111
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 111
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bulldog Brewery in Murrieta, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a subdued smell and better taste. (532 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly more tangerine than amber with lemon peel accents at the edges. Several fingers of pale khaki colored froth looks decent and shows a bit of character during descent. Lace is on the scarce side, but isn't bad.

The nose features pale grains and is very slightly wheaty. There's also a fair amount of musky-earthy hoppiness from Saaz and Tettnang. Maybe just a hint of citrus from the Cascade, though it's in the background. So far, not bad at all.

Kudos to Eel River for brewing a better than decent American blonde ale that actually has a good bit of hop flavor and bitterness. I haven't had very good luck with these guys in the past (with a few notable exceptions), so California Blonde Ale is a pleasant surprise.

The malts don't provide much flavor (natch), though they contribute the proper amount of balancing sweetness. Bitterness leads the way from beer entry to beer exit. The Euro hops have it all over the American, which is fine. It almost makes CCBA taste like a pilsner brewed with a slightly estery ale yeast.

The mouthfeel is of sufficient size, but the bubbles are too fizzy early and are fading too quickly now that I'm into the bottom half of the bottle. Room for improvement here.

Eel River Certified California Blonde is a pretty good representation of a style that is hard to love. Raven's Eye Imperial Stout is still their best, but this little ale shows the skill that is lacking in most of the rest of their lineup. (1,453 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Light pale malts with minimal hints of grain and dry caramel. Spicy hops with a light herbaceous quality to them, imparting a vague tea-like note. Faint, faraway fruitiness.

Taste: As with the nose, it's light pale malts with a touch of graininess and some dry caramel with no more than some faint sweetish qualities to it. Minor hint of fruit. Spicy, slightly herbal hops with a medium-low bitterness. Again, it reminds me of a small sip of white tea. A slight transition back to the pale malts, but then the clean finish hits very quickly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An okay, adequate blonde in terms of an easy-drinking, balanced ale, but, to be honest, it's a tad forgettable. (803 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.98/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, peachy-amber hue. Slim ring of foam.

Pithy pine and citrus aroma, clean,and minor-key, but hoppy, still.

Crisp, clean, minor hops up front, then smooth and done. Finishes quickly, leaves little flavor in the mouth, on the palate.

Drinkable, but forgettable. Lacks flavor, and I just can't give points for good intentions. (331 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of WesWes
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (516 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +19%
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. (900 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (464 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very faint haze to this copper and hay hued brew. Quick head and only a little residual ring of foam after a sip or two. Good bubbling.

Clear and crisp, light toasted malt and oatmela before you add milk or water. Then a little light earthy hops and just a hint of general cream.

I get cream of wheat, of more like creamof oatmeal from start to finish. Lightly toasted grain and malted grain. Maybe some faint, earthy hops.

Good bubbling on the tongue, and a fresh, flavorfl, and clean palate. Great for session drinking. (526 characters)

Photo of williamjbauer
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (339 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy pale orange color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma bready and toasty malt with no real hop presence. The taste is malty like the aroma, and bland in general. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with lively fine carbonation. Overall, this is a decent Blonde ale, but I don't think I'll drink this again. (387 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.12/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light haze in a copper peach body. Small, spittly, off-white head. Nose is bready and sweet, with notes of butter (diacetyl?), and apricots. Taste is bready, but light. Semi-sweet, with a soft fruity edge. Slight stale edge. Backed by peppery, mildly bitter and citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is a little thin and dry. Not terrible, but also may be better fresh off the tap at the brewery. (382 characters)

Photo of kwjd
4.17/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in California, I think it was Toronado in San Francisco, though I'm not 100% sure of that. Reviewing from my notes. I had written Eel River Blonde, so I'm assuming this is the correct beer.

Pours a cloudy orange colour with a finger of white head. Smells of burnt sugar, almost of marshmallows from a campfire. Maybe I'm crazy though. Very nice sweet flavour. Smooth mouthfeel. I'd have this again. (415 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy bright golden color with modest white head. Some retention and sparse lacing.
Smell has a musty malt character, but is very mild.
First taste shows a profound dry character, that slowly moderates as the beer warms. Some more malt taste begins to show through.
Leaves a pleasant dryness at the finish.This is one beer that improves as the glass empties. What I really disliked at the beginning improved with subsequent tastes. (448 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
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! (408 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is fruity and sweet, touch of grainyness. A medium bodied blonde ale. Mild malts, medium hops. Good balance. More kick than most blonde ales. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter (274 characters)

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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.