805 Blonde Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
805 Blonde Ale805 Blonde Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

60 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 60
Hads: 638
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 17.23%
Wants: 28
Gots: 194 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zorro on 05-22-2012

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 638
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.66/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Bottled 6/25/12.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, and some vegetal aromas. Taste is much the same with a vegetal and slightly metallic aftertaste. There is a mild 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 poor beer with some weird aromas and flavors. (574 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

not amazed by this, but when i drink a blonde ale, i do prefer it to be hoppy, and this one most certainly is. its darker than blonde by a shade or two, honey maybe, with a tall but short lived white head. nose of robust pils malt and european hops with more than balancing bitterness. farmy in taste, with a musty barny funky weirdness that i dont think comes from yeast. not quite tang, but funk for sure. the pale malt is heavy here, old, and rich for a blonde beer. carbonation is high, body is fuller, and there is something distinct about this one, although i dont love it all that much. hard to make a simple pale beer distinct these days, and they succeed at that, but one bottle is plenty for me right now. short of refreshing but exhibiting some of the same characteristics. im glad i was able to grab one of these from lowry liquors, those guys do a nice job. (871 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Firestone Walker 805
12 oz. bottle, dated "01/21/13 17:41" on the label, and "01/21/13 18:55" on the bottle.
Reviewed in "real time", 24 February 2013

Pulled from the fridge at 38˚F and allowed to sit for 10 min. to warm to about 42˚F. It's an interesting label, black & white with strong graphics. It almost looks like a tribal tattoo or something. And 805? Is that code for something? I'd have expected a stout or a strong beer to be waiting behind that label, but this is just 4.7% ABV.

It pours a crystal-clear deep gold body with a hint of an orange cast to it. The head is a frothy inch and a half or so of bright white foam. It holds well, and leaves some nice lacing about the glass. Average-sized bubbles stream steadily upwards.

The aroma displays some fresh hops and a light, basic malt. There's nothing special about it, it's just a basic beer smell, but it's fresh and clean.

As expected, the flavor follows suit: standard golden malt base with a median amount of gently spicy and floral hops thrown in. Yeasty fruitiness is limited - I'd wonder if this was a lager except that it's labeled "ale". Median bitterness, I'd guess in the 20's range. Nicely balanced. Malt flavor appears more upfront, floral/spicy/grassy hops in the finish. Clean and dry. There's even a very mild hint of pine in the delicately lingering finish.

Light-medium bodied. Gently crisp. Exactly as expected. I'm not sure you could do anything else with it without having to alter the malt / hop profile. More carbonation would make it bristle and stiffen the hops, and less would make it creamier but a slight touch too dull. Perfect as is.

Overall, it's a really well-polished, perfectly balanced but basic golden ale. Well, not exactly completely basic as there are some hops to it (and they're really quite nice), but it's not trying to be anything other than that. Is it any better than an inexpensive American lager??? Probably. Better than a German or Czech pils? Well, that's apples and oranges. I've drank about 4/5th of it. Would I have another? If I was having one, yes, I think so. I wouldn't mind it. Good for warm weather. Any place a pilsner might fit in. Not really worth pairing with food though. (2,207 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The clear amber color is handsome, but not much foam even when poured vigorously in the chalice. Some prickly carbonation on the tongue, but it dissipates too quickly.

This has a gummy, perfumey taste that is pretty near unique in my experience. Unfortunately it's not a very inspiring beer flavor. Something like cinnamon and cardboard with a spicy finish and bitterish, dishwater finish. Some kind of cough drop candy with a pineapple pork chow mein hint. If this was down to 4% I would be more forgiving.

This is just funny, I didn't like it at first sip and it didn't improve after that. A peculiar release from a great brewery. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Albertson's supermarket in San Diego. (707 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had no background of this beer whatsoever, yet I decided to try a pint of it anyways. After all, it's made by Firestone Walker. On to the beer:

I spend the entire pint trying to understand what this was. There isn't much head, retention, or lace to this one. The nose is weak and offrers some strange fruity notes. And its taste is more of the same. If anything, it tasted like a weak pale ale where the hops weren't worked as much as they could. At least it was easy enough to drink, not terribly offensive, and was bubbly in the mouth. As far as everything else, I'll pass. It's a good thing this is brewed for the local Central Coast market, because I don't think it's necessary to inflict this beer on the people in my area (Orange County). (747 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black and white colored label on squat brown glass bottle. Brewed on 05/16/12 that makes this bottle of beer just 5 days old.

Clear amber colored ale that turns gold if you hold it up to the light. Not much head formation.

Smell is on the sweet side and fruity with a strong vanilla and banana aroma. Just a guess fruity from an English style beer yeast and the vanilla is from the oak barrels Firestone Walker is famous for using.

Starts out dry with a strong soda cracker malt flavor. Caramel and oak with a little vanilla in the flavor. The fruitiness from the smell does show up in the taste, it just isn't as strong.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a mild tasty low alcohol ale. (693 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6 pack while in Paso Robles for the FW invitational. Pours a yellow beer, white head, nothing exceptional going on. Aroma was cereal grain and not much else, barely present hop aroma going on.

Clean taste, mild mouthfeel, grain presence. Easy to drink, slightly bitter aftertaste, but nothing that should scare any seasoned beeradvocate. A decent beer, worth having around for other's to drink. You've had lots of iterations of this beer, this is the local brewery easy go to drink for the non beer drinker. It is what it is. You know what kind of beer I'm describing. Its an all barley version of BMC basically. Slightly better, a little more ooomph, but nothing special. (685 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear gold color with a thick cap of fine-bubbled white head. Not much for lace, but retention is great.

Nose is pretty standard grain and biscuit maltiness for a blonde, but does have a light yeasty fruitiness that sets it apart from others. The depth of the malt aromas is also well done.

Definitely a well crafted blonde ale, the malt is full and rich with a snappy hop bite on the finish. It goes from white bread to biscuits to grainy all in one sip. Its one of the best I have had, but still wont supplant SS Bombshell Blonde as my go to summer blonde ale. (593 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a light golden color with a one finger pure white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is light overall with it consisting mainly of a bready aroma. Along with the bread are some lighter hints of caramel and a bit of a grassy and citrus smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a lighter bready flavor. Along with this taste are also some very light flavors of honey and caramel. As the flavor advances, hops start coming to the tongue with flavors of a grassy and floral nature. These hop remain rather light throughout the taste, and with the light sweeter honey fading ever so slightly and the bready flavors remaining the same, one is left with a somewhat crisp and overall light flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is light and thin with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. Both the lighter body and higher carbonation are decent for the crisper and lighter flavors of the brew and make this one very easy drinking.

Overall – Nothing really too outstanding here. It’s refreshing, but a bit lacking in the flavor department. (1,264 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1535th Review on BA
Draft to 6oz Snifter

@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles

App- A very clear yellow. Very similar to the yellow of the Iphone notepad. A very clear beer with a small amount of bubbles. Standard look to it. No lace or cling on it.

Smell- Its a blonde ale at heart with that clean and crisp aroma. This was better than most blondes but still a blonde. The honey adds a unique layer of aroma to this one.

Taste- Its a good blonde. Better than most but just too one dimensional. It has some cracker like bite to it with a little grass and that base malt bill I just dont like.

Mouth- A lighter body on this one with a bit of a crisp/clean carbonation. The feel of the honey adds a layer that just doesnt work on this finish. A bit muddled on the residual flavors.

Drink- It was better than most blondes. Still a blonde though. (841 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into DFH shaped pint. Bottle date 5/23/13.

A: Pours a deep clear golden color with a thick, bubbly, off-white head that faded steadily into a wispy film.
S: Dry grains, pale malts, and bready oats dominate along with spicy pepper hops and a hint of fruit. A touch minerally as well.
T: Follows the nose with dominant pale malts and cracked grains. Sweeter than I was expecting with almost a honey finish. The aftertaste is spicy and full of sweet fruit and peppery hops. Mineral aftertaste.
M: Very creamy and smooth medium-full body, rich and fluffy carbonation. Drinks better than expected.
O: Very easy to drink and enjoyable. Went well with a meal. (665 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA. Served in a curved pint glass 12/12/14.

A- Clear straw-yellow blonde body, one finger white frothy head that persists for a good while. Medium collar that leaves traces of lacing as the beer goes down. Looks refreshing as it should, given the style and colour.

S- Clean grainy crackers, bread, slight stone fruit aroma, noble hops that bring a mild grassiness and earth to the nose. Not complex, but it works quite well on the nose. No off-flavours, very clean and pungent.

F- Grainy cereal, bread, crackers, biscuits, grassiness, earth, a bit of citrus and stone fruit. Not complex, but a nice medley of flavours that works quite well to keep things interesting as the glass slowly disappears. The minerals on the finish presumably from the yeast make for a nice change of pace as well.

M- Medium bodied, not watery or thin at all. Nice carbonation, slightly prickly and crisp, very refreshing. Whole wheat crackers dominate the finish. Insanely drinkable, even taking into account the style.

O- Nice malty beer with a solid hop presence that is drinkable on any occasion. It may not rate well, but in my book, it rates higher than it is on here. And that's okay. Keep in mind this was on tap; perhaps this one does not age very well in bottles. If thats the case, Firestone Walker really needs to get a new distributor. (1,372 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.25 A: Clear dark yellow color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is about average and just a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Jasmine, orange, melon. Herbal hoppiness with notes of grassy straw.

3.5 T: Taste per above. Pleasant grainy sweetness, herbal hops, hay and straw. Orange, a touch of apricot, and some big melon.

3.5 M: Lighter body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy. Good enough here.

3.5 D: Pretty good all around. (494 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Amber and slightly yellow in color - very healthy looking. Some head at pour disappates to nothing 5 minutes later. Little lacing.

S: Some mild hopping - grassy - and some milt citrus.

T: Good pale ale, especially when very fresh. Slight barrell flavor although this one not indicated so.

M: Medium body.

O: Nice brew, but outclassed by many others at this brewery. (372 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
2.81/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (2012)

Clear golden with a small off-white head that leaves the glass clean on the way down.

The aroma is of simple grain and some dishrag, unfortunately. Simple, yet not particularly pleasant.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with simple grain, low bitterness, and a bit of earthy yeast character.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Not that good, but completely expected for the given style. (414 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber purchased in Palm Desert. Drank on a 95 (or higher) degree day.
Soft malt aroma. Pretty straight forward. Gold color and mostly clear. Nice white head.
Lighter body with sharp carbonation. Clean ale and not particularly complex malt flavors. Some lingering with a soft bitterness and a touch of dryness.
Bottled on 1/22/15.
An overall straight ahead take on a simple style done simply. (400 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is a very pale light golden beer with a modest but lasting layer of foam atop it. The aroma is... bordering on non-existent: a light dusty scent of hops, perhaps some malt, but it's difficult to tell. The flavor is moderately bitter, though hop flavor is lacking, giving away quickly to a little sweet malt, slightly grainy. Body is well-carbonated, light but not watery. This beer is very drinkable, but also inoffensive, and not memorable at all. (453 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow.... for a blonde ale... not something i would buy just happend to aquire, but i did really enjoy this blonde ale. Nice dark blonde in color with some nice pure white head rentention. Aromas nithing there but some sweet malts as expected... but the flavor was quite full for style... lots of slightly sweet malt backbone no hops, but malt flavors were nice. Great with pub food in general when you dont know what you are eating at a party. Very verstile beer for a beer lover. (479 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.09/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Yellow/Golden body with a white lacy head.

S: It has almost no hoppy character to it but has that nice Belgian spiciness that Belgian blondes should have.

T: Avery secessionible beer that has some malt, some Belgian bite, and a decent hop bit to it.

M: It has some viscosity to it and has a very good bite from the carbonation.

O: A very good sessionable beer that should be tried if given the opportunity to. (417 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.99/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a tap into a pint glass at Cattlemen’s Lounge in Paso Robles, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2012 for $5.00. Two fingers of head when I got it, pretty foamy on the sides. Beer was honey pale. Good retention on the top and the sides.

Smelled a bit like a saison initially. Then got honey, dark fruits, bread, grain, wheat and malts. Kind of weak overall.

Tasted honey, bread, wheat and a bit bland. Nothing really stood out.

Light body. Thin texture. Below average-to-poor carbonation. Abrupt watery finish, but refreshing. Surprisingly got better as it went down.

Pretty much an average blonde, but great for the summer. (629 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dated bottle of 10/15/13

Appearance - Pours clear and golden in color with a white, finger width head, quickly dissipates to a near barren surface. Lacing is small and spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - Light bready, grainy notes. Hints of caramel and traces of grassy hop character. Not much else.

Taste - Light, as expected of a blonde. Hits on fruity ester character, touches of bread and caramel, light citrus and grassy hop bitterness, but all come through to deliver great balance in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with light, prickly carbonation. Slightly silky, lending to an impeccable smoothness; quite inviting of a quick follow-up drink. If one's not careful, a sixer of this could go down within a matter of minutes.

Overall - All styles are not created equal. So hard to judge a beer like this, when it's good for the style, but doesn't do much to capture the excitement or imagination of your average beer geek, in essence because the style is invariably 'boring'. For a blonde, this is amazing in its overall balance and its drinkability. It's perfect for a summer BBQ or mowing the lawn. It's mid-November, but I think I'll have another! (1,164 characters)

Photo of Spikester
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice clear deep gold hue with a small white head and spots of lace.
Smell is very minor grains with a hint of floral hops.
Taste is light cereal grains with a tiny kiss of hop bitterness toward the finish.
Mouthfeel is slightly bigger than a macro but not by much.
Overall a passable Blonde Ale. It might convert a macro drinker toward better beers. Probably much tastier on a hot summer day which it is not at this time. I have two more left in a FW variety pack and might tweak my review after drinking those. (511 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Clear gold, frothy 1 finger of off-white head.

S: Bready malt, chalky yeast, orange peel and faint hops in the background.

T: Lots of bready, malty notes and yeasty undertones. Slight pine and citrus pith hop component, but its secondary; malty and yeasty upfront.

MF: Thinner, medium-light body; dryish finish.

O: Decent blonde, though nothing memorable for me. Sessionable, though I would still prefer more hops. (458 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
2.46/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The color when poured into a pint glass what a light yellow with hardly any foam and not lace. The smell was of a weak lack luster aroma of weak hops and that was it. The taste was of really weak everything in a beer. I should have rated it a 1 all across. Not a good blonde ale. What a disappointment from a very good brewery. One of the worst ales I've tasted from Firestone/Walker. (384 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle dated 11/12/12 – standard pint glass

A: 805 pours a lighter shade of caramel with fine clarity and a minute cap of fizzy white. Bouncy bubbles knock out much chance of a retaining head. Pretty minimal stick down the glass with just a few light runners and dots.

S: Aromas are real grassy and a touch herbal with a firm grainy malt character. There is a bit of a sharp tangy yeast biting at the nose as well. Nothing great but pleasant overall.

T: Tastes of grassy hay with some sour orange tang and a bit of dried herbals. There is a dominant grainy malt featured with some yeasty bread and a soft caramel sweetness. Pilsner malt with some wheat perhaps? Low moderate bitterness and sessionable by definition with no real alcohol presence. Not quite your typical Blonde Ale but still somewhat pedestrian. Comes off more like a hefe or a pale-wheat even.

M: The mouthfeel is light and frothy with a nice carbonated spritz. There is a slight tart pucker to the palate towards the finish with a great drying and a snappy crisp.

D: Light, crisp, and sessionable. I could see this as being a brew for the masses. I actually thought more of a light hefe or pale-wheat beer when consuming this so it does differentiate from other Blondes on the market. Definitely highlights a grainy malt bill.

I do get how this beer falls into FW’s lineup nicely however I would have appreciated something a bit bolder and hoppier to rep the 805. While well crafted this is fairly mediocre. (1,490 characters)

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805 Blonde Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.