Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

805 Blonde Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
805 Blonde Ale805 Blonde Ale

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

64 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 650
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 16.9%
Wants: 29
Gots: 202 | 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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 64 | Hads: 650
Photo of JAeiou
4.47/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On a hot day, nothing beats it, period. Great "drinkability" and refreshing. Firestone offers quite a selection of good beers, and 805 is by far my "go to" beer. They also are promoting the hell out of it, so they obviously have faith in this beer as well. Have been to the both breweries (Paso Robles and Buellton), and loved the atmosphere and the food in the restaurants were great. (385 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -17.2%
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 allengarvin
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
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 SeanPFarley
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

As I'm new to this, I'm hoping to learn more than educate (though I like to think I'm good at expressing an opinion).

This is a decent beer. I read a review that mentioned how it simply looks like beer and tastes like beer, and that about sums it up. Better than a watery domestic, but not as good as some of the craft brews I've been tasting as of late.

Nice golden color; crisp and light in flavor; fantastic on a hot day.

Smell of hay and dry, fall leaves. Earthy. A nice head when poured, but it dissipates quickly.

Honestly, it's a pretty good beer. I tend to lean toward amber lagers, but I'm expanding my horizons on the beer front. (644 characters)

Photo of ThatOlBoy
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've had this both in the bottle and on tap, and it's far superior in the latter style.

Really everything about this beer is boring except for the taste. It looks like beer and smells like beer. No more, no less.

That said, it's damn near unbeatable on a hot day. It's almost as light as a wheat beer. It manages to be crisp and clean, but still pack plenty of flavor. It's nice and malty, and they did a great job in not going overboard with the honey. It will be a staple in my fridge this summer, and my go-to at the pub for my first round on a hot day. (560 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Furlinator
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 03/24/14.

Pours translucent dark gold with a thin white head that quickly disappears completely and leaves faint spots of lace.

The smell is of sweet grainy bread, like a King's Hawaiian dinner roll.

The flavor is of bread, grains and malt with very little hop presence and a faint caramel and honey sweetness.

The texture is medium bodied with high carbonation. A steady stream of tiny bubbles rise to the top throughout the drink down.

This is a decent blonde ale that has bready malt qualities and a slightly sweet finish. Smooth, light and sessionable. (575 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
2.45/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: nothing to complain
S: bready, light
T: sweet, bready, little bit of bitterness on the end. Kinda disappointing
M: super fizzy, didn't care for it

Overall, tasted more like a lager than an ale. Seemed to be very carbonated, which wasn't something I liked on it. Probably won't purchase again.

Edit: had another one of these, disliked even more. It's just not a good beer. (376 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
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 AwYeh
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Bottled October 15th, 2013.

A: Clear pale golden/yellow color. One finger of frothy white head dissipates quickly.

S: Really faint aroma, picking up some bready malts and hints of floral and grassy hops.

T: Very sweet flavor. Citrusy and floral, with a little breadiness. I'm really surprised at how sweet it is, but I'm having a hard time matching the sweetness to a flavor- it's kind of like apple.

M: Thin-bodied, moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and a little dry despite the low ABV.

O: I'm not digging this one too much; the sweetness is a little too much. (570 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
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 TheSixthRing
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
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 -7.3%
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 Phocion
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle dated 7/22/13. (Reviewed 10/13/13). Poured into shaker pint. Brilliant gold with just a hint of red, bubbly/fizzy white head (that I can actually hear) that quickly dissipates into a decent amount of bubbly lacing.

Aroma is grassy, with a ton of caramel, toffee, and especially honey. Very grainy with a fruity (apple?) yeasty smell. Actually, it kind of smells like a lightly hopped caramel apple.

Although it has a reasonably complex (albeit subtle) aroma, the flavor is kind of boring. Inoffensive, but boring. Bready with just enough hops to give it a sharpness which almost, but doesn't quite balance out the sweet honey flavor.

Light-medium body and very sharply carbonated with a fairly slick mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a slightly above average but forgettable blonde ale. I'm gladly finishing it and enjoying the rest of this glass, but I'm not upset I only picked up a single. (907 characters)

Photo of Jdbateman83
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer seems to be hitting the market by storm. I have been seeing it more and more in restaurants and bars. Well I decided to try it. All I can say is wow. I have no idea why it isn't scoring better on here, maybe my review can help that.

First off, its a honey blonde ale, very dark, but clear amber, it just looks freaking delicious.

2nd, it smells amazing, enough said.

3rd, it taste blows my mind. It is very deep, rich flavor as you would expect from an ale, not to sweat, not bitter, but lots of complex flavor. Very refreshing (a word not usually associated with an ale).

4th, it feels wonderful in my mouth. As such my mouth as asked for additional dates with this beer which it shall get.

Overall, try it, and be honest with yourself for what this beer is trying to accomplish. Great job Firestone! (821 characters)

Photo of TriggerFingers
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If you have tried some of FW other offerings, some might see this a sort of a letdown. Had some on a recent trip back to the central coast.

Ahhhh the "805" (thats SLO, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties if you were wondering---and home base for me) has a beer to call its own. Occasionally you might see it in the central valley (probably due to distribution contracts--Costco).

Its a blonde ale so don't expect something with 8 tons of flavor and complexity. Just like life in the 805, this is pure and easy. I had it in the past when they first created it and was kind of so-so (I would always go for Pale 31).
Recently I shared some with family and everyone really enjoyed it. Its one of those beers that can be enjoyed by the craft beer crowd or the light beer crowd--just a tasty good time. It tastes like a really good version of like your standard light beer with a fuller body and a bit more flavor. If you are heading to Pismo, camping in SLO, or chilling in Isla Vista, just about anyone who wants a beer will enjoy it. So it might be a little "bigger" than bud light or more bland than the IPA's you're used to. Yet, the beauty of this beer is it casts a wide net.

Final Though: Its a beer that everyone can enjoy. Get some tri-tip and fire up the grill! (1,270 characters)

Photo of Saisonistic
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep golden brown with a nice bubbly off white inch thick head

S - Citrus cream

T - A really good balance of sweet citrus malt with the perfect amount of a hoppy backbone. It kind of reminded me of a European take on more malt, less hops. Extremely drinkable and the aftertaste really impressed me.

M - Only slightly heavier than your standard golden.

O - This beer is so popular right now in Cali that you can't miss it. I was skeptical at first but was glad I dove in and gave it a shot. (499 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
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 jeffjeff1
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- golden copper color, quickly dissipating head, ok lacing

Smell- grassiness, citrus fruit

Taste- mostly citrus fruit

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. Felt pretty refreshing and went down smooth. I like that. Citrus flavors were really good too. (304 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
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 searsclone
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

bottled about 4 mos. ago. poured into a globe glass.

Clear light amber color with lots of carbonation and a quickly gone white head. good lace.

smell is fresh grass and faint sweet fruit

taste is hops followed by a refreshing sweetness of honey. smooth and easy to drink.

mouth feel is sharp at first, then light and watery. not much to it

overall, decent session beer, but not extraordinary (397 characters)

Photo of 1424IpA
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This beer has a lot of hype here in the 805 area code and FW sells
alot of 805 merch because of it. smart choice changing its name from honey blonde to 805 as the local 18-26 age group cant get enough of it.

I on the other hand have had enough of it, the beer pours well, has a little head, color is a golden yellow of sorts but the taste definately leaves me wanting more from that department.

This beer is great for a hot summer day at the lake, on a boat fishing or to wet you palate after mowing the lawn but thats about it. (530 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden yellow with lots of bubbles and one-finger, white, fizzy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Hops, malt. Light fruit banana, apple. Mild overall.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted malt. Not much hop flavor. Crisp and clean. Subtle apple.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Nice feel.

O: Above average, but nothing special. Refreshing and drinkable. (473 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
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 mooseo
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Clear bright copper with a small bubbly white head.

S - Sweet bready malt, apple, banana, herbal spice, floral hops.

T - Bready cracker-like malt with light citrus hops and a subtle earthiness. A bit grassy. Finish is grainy with some wheat notes and hints of honey.

M - Very light body, smooth and refreshing. Average carbonation and clean finish.

O - A decent blonde ale with high drinkability. Flavor is subtle but nice. A slight saison and wheat character comes through. Nothing really stands out though. (546 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
805 Blonde Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.