Drake's Blonde Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev +13.2%
On tap at Drake's Barrel House, review from written notes.
Bright straw gold, completely transparent with stray trails of rising carbonation.
Aroma of crackers, shortbread, and trace white grapes from the Kölsch yeast.
Crisp and snappy, sliced apple flavors and firm noble hop bitterness. Very light and refreshing, with an ethereal dry finish. Quintessential summer session beer, 2-3 pints would be no problem with this beer. Simplicity is underrated.
10-15-2011 02:59:02 | More by emerge077
4.03/5 rDev +13.2%
This is surprisingly good, actually. Pours a full, but pale gold that catches the light and seems to glow on its own almost. The head is bright white and lingers. The aroma is light, mostly light noble hops. The flavor is bright and crisp, citrusy and straw malt flavors. The hops are very reminiscent of pilsner hops, as is the malt profile. This is light and chuggable but avoids being bland. The quintessential summer beer.
01-14-2004 06:27:00 | More by aracauna
4.03/5 rDev +13.2%
Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a very colorful and nicely decorated crown cap. Simple brown glass bottle is covered in one of those plastic shields where the see through parts lend the impression that the bottle has separate front, back and neck labels, when in fact it does not. Standard Drakes 12oz design is differentiated only with the words Blonde Ale against a brown background. Described as a Kölsch style ale and listed at 4.8% Alc/Vol.
Appearance: Light but shining Golden body, clean presentation with a fascinating almost glowing body. Massive white head on the pour forms a gargantuan cap, rugged and irregular with an appealing Teutonic aspect. Super fine cascading conditioning milks the body on the pour, but soon rises to quickly support the thick cap. Lovely smattered lacing once the deep head collapses, head retention is excellent and the looks are impressive.
Nose: Soft and gentle with a Pilsner like quality to it. Delicate hopping is crisp and refreshing. Light in strength but very nice nonetheless.
Taste: Effervescent start, the conditioning lightens the entrance. Malts start with a gentle lemon hop tickle in the center. Straw-like feel with fresh herb and spices supporting the hop character. Finish is clean and unfettered.
Mouthfeel: The body is light in nature but the depth of flavors and the gorgeously smooth conditioning make for a brew that feels much bigger than its initial impression suggests.
Drinkability: I snaffled a Six-Pack of the Blonde Ale during a recent trip to BevMo and Im finding that I am pouring top-ups from the next bottle in my fridge rather than the one I started with, Im well into the second bottle and a third will follow soon no doubt.
Overall: Ive had some good brews from Drakes recently, and this one is no exception either. Funny how I did not have much expectation from this, yet as it turned out it was a very nice surprise. Dont let the Blonde moniker put you off, this is far from dumb. Subtle, but definitely not boring.
03-19-2006 04:44:20 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4/5 rDev +12.4%
It poured a light pale golden color. This is a Kolsch style ale and is light and crisp. The smell is of hops, with an herbal and spicy aroma. The taste is pleasant and not overpowering. The taste is mostly a herbal and spicy in the mouth and has no bitterness on the after taste. This beer is different, but pleasant. The print on the bottle says, "A Pint A Day Keeps Scurvy Away".
02-18-2003 14:17:40 | More by BeerManDan
3.78/5 rDev +6.2%
On-tap at 21st Amendment, in San Francisco.
Many people don't realize it, but "lagers" take their name from the process of "lagering", wherein a beer is left to settle at really cold temperatures over an extended period of time. This makes for a 'cleaner' brew, figuratively in the flavour sense but quite literally in terms of appearance: this golden beer is not only brilliantly shiny, but spotlessly clear too.
It's unusual for these kinds of lagers to have aromatics much worth mentioning and Drake's Blonde Ale is no exception. What's there is certainly pleasant, however, and gives us a nice sneak peek to the strongly bready malts and subtle, but stern, hops that are to ensue. In any case, I didn't order the pint to sit and smell it all night anyhow.
Me personally, although I think this is true of most beer geeks too, I don't dislike pale, light lagers at all. In fact, I'm rather fond of them - provided they're done right. The problem is most are made with huge proportions of adjuncts, usually rice or corn. Not only do these thin the beer out, but they leave an awful taste and often introduce a nasty amount sweetness.
What set's a Kölsch apart from everyday American lagers is that it not only has an unadulterated maltiness but, equally important, an undiluted one too. This example not only tastes like a freshly baked batch of bread - and not a synthetic, syrupy vat or corn - but it's also firm enough you could iron shirt over it. And heavy enough to be able to fill your belly up.
The middling scores most people have given the beer do not fairly reflect its quality; more likely they are a statement of the fact that many reviewers under-appreciate this clean and approachable German lager style. While Kölsch beer may fit most's description of an 'average' beer, I contend that Drake's Blonde Ale is a definitely an above-average example of one.
07-09-2011 15:30:04 | More by biegaman
3.75/5 rDev +5.3%
A- Clear golden straw hue, head is three fingers of soapy white foam, minimal lacing
S- Mostly light and crisp grain malts, subtle hops
T- Taste is dominated by refreshing pilsner-esque grain malts with a nice accompanying lemon citrus hops, finishes dry
M- Light-bodied, watery texture, high carbonation
D- Pleasantly surprised by this Kolsch style beer, very easy to drink and in the session range, feels like a more balanced and hoppy Heineken, not bad at all
01-08-2008 05:23:19 | More by Stoneman78
3.73/5 rDev +4.8%
Appearance: pours a bright clear yellow color. strong carbination and decent head. looks pretty inviting on this summer's day.
smell: that soft grainy flavor you get from light beers like this. some very nice fruity hops are in here as well. subtle yes, but on par for an americanized kolsch. (thinking this should be under american blonde). some sweet grain here as well. nice
taste: very pilsner like crispness, sharp hops and bitterness up front, burying most of the grain. very clean taste, without too much going on. that's good for a beer like this, i like it, my problem is with mouthfeel....
mouthfeel: a pilsner stuck in an ale's body. you kinda wish the body were more on par with the light, crispiness of a lager, rather than the more full ale body this has. really quite a full bodied beer, which seems out of place with the taste.
drinkablity: the fullness certainly slows you down more than it should. i'm thinking this would hit the spot much better on a cool fall evening, rather than the heat summer. but, a nice beer that I would get again.
07-25-2006 01:01:58 | More by pjwilson
3.68/5 rDev +3.4%
Part of a mix-pack from Cost Plus Market, on to the beer:
Poured into a pint glass, this beer is chill-hazed peach color. The head retnetion is good.The aroma is mildly phenolic (plastic)with some peach and apricot crawling up. The taste is light on the palate with a high carbonation, but not over the top. Soft flavors of apricot and touch-ups of by-products off what one could find in a Belgian pale ale, the letter which I found to be very interesting. An easy drinker with a light bitterness in the aftertaste, this beer was enjoyed with a grilled chicken dinner.
06-19-2008 02:12:11 | More by DoubleJ
3.65/5 rDev +2.5%
Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!
A-pours a clear golden color with a thin bubbly white head.
S-the nose is rather grainy, hints of slight toasted bread, plenty of lemon, lots of white peppery spice, slightly herbal hop presence.
T-the flavor is similar, hints of toasted bread and a fair bit of grain, sweet lemon but slightly tart, lots of peppery spice in the back to balance.
M-medium body and very creamy and slightly syrupy. low carbonation lacking the crisp finish i wanted to see. still a soft feel and rather thick.
D-this is an easy drink and well balanced with sweetness and peppery spice. the flavors are very blonde ale style. the feel is off for the style with low carbonation and thick creamy texture.
09-26-2010 00:56:20 | More by cpetrone84
3.65/5 rDev +2.5%
Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow colour, wioth a frothy and fizzling head of white, initially, that dissipates quickly, leaving only a ring of bubbly mess around the edge of the glass. elatively fluid body, with a little weight behind it, and fine residual carbonation. Not bad.
Nose is crisp and slightly grainy, with a slightly green European hop character that reminds me of a Czech pilsener, as well as, truly a Kölsch. It's a bit mild and flat, but it's crisp and light as well. Not bad, again.
Taste is light with a mild fresh bitterness through the centre of the palate, and a crisp dry finish, giving off a little floury grain and a touch of light yeast. Feel is sparkling by the end, but surprisingly flat throughout the rest of the palate.
It's a very crisp, light and drinkable beer. No, it doesn't do anything extraordinary, but some days you just want a light, bright and quenching brew. This would be a cracker for such occasions.
10-13-2011 00:32:21 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.65/5 rDev +2.5%
Clear goldenrod, white head, looks like a Kolsch to me. Overt graininess, even some raw dough. Clean hops and yeast, just a bit of grass lets you know there is something other than pale barley in this beer. It pretty much hits the middle of style and it did an admirable job of washing down a slice of pizza. I don't have any complaints, but I wonder how this beer sells in California with all of the bigger and bolder stuff on the shelves and on tap.
01-27-2012 21:05:07 | More by bump8628
3.63/5 rDev +2%
On tap for the 2014 Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival held in West Hollywood, CA.
Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet grain and grass 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 that is tasty, but has a much better smell in my opinion.
05-18-2014 04:11:37 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.63/5 rDev +2%
Pours an almost clear golden straw color with a huge white head that sticks around for a bit. Scent spicy and lemony. Taste is slightly watery with tasty flavors or lemon, pepper, apples, and clove. Mouthfeel is very light and crisp. Drinkability is fairly high. This is a pretty good beer, although it's not one of my favorite styles.
12-13-2010 08:57:05 | More by DovaliHops
3.58/5 rDev +0.6%
On-tap at Blue Palms for Drakes/Triple Rock Tap Takeover
A: The pour is a clear, pale golden straw color with a fluffy white head.
S: Sort of your generic "blonde" ale aroma here. Corn and pale malts with a touch of cracker malt. Definitely some yeast and a light amount of fruity esters. Some floral hops are also present.
T: The flavor follows the same pattern. Pale malts and corn give the beer a substantial sweetness which is partially offset by some lightly bitter and floral hops. Fruity esters are also present on the palate.
M: Light to medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.
O: Decent enough for a blonde/kolsch.
05-07-2011 23:13:39 | More by womencantsail
3.58/5 rDev +0.6%
On tap at the Parish Publick House in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Shimmering gold color with a thin wispy white head. Aroma is noble hops and pilsener maltiness. Flavor is grainy pale and pilsener malts with a lemony and grassy noble hop tinge. Mildly sweet and earthy. Body isn't thick by any means but it's a touch too full for the style. Nonetheless this beer is pretty refreshing without tasting like water.
04-02-2009 07:53:24 | More by illidurit
Drake's Blonde Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.