Drake's Blonde Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Blonde AleDrake's Blonde Ale

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BA SCORE
81
good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerManDan on 02-18-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of justinbrown
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brotherloco
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of soju6
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden color with a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of fresh grain with mild hops and bit of malt sweetness.

T: Taste starts with a nice crispness the a bit of malt sweetness. Nice bitterness to a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp and refreshing. Nice clean feel.

O: Nothing fancy, just a good summer beer that goes down easy.

Photo of hanlonrn
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of tony223366
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 1.5 fingers of white fluffy head. Decent retention. Color is golden yellow with some haziness. Not altogether attractive.

S: Really fruity aromas tons of citrus. Lemony. The malts come off in a grainy way. Some light caramel and biscuity. Refreshing aroma.

T: The flavors are much more acidic than I thought. Malts do indeed come off as a more raw malted grain. Hops come off in a spicy way. Low bitterness but clean.

M: Light to medium body with great carbonation.

O: Cold and refreshing with clean flavors. Now that I've had a bit more I'd say it's a touch too sweet. Still fairly refreshing though.

Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden in the big nonic glass. There should be a category for Malt Liquor Honey Blonde. A light perfumey flavor, which I guess is supposed to be the Kölsch style. Modest bitterness with just a touch of flowery hops. Very light body. More of a tangy lager, which I guess is the point of this style. Where is all this honey coming from?

On tap at Tiger Tiger in San Diego. Not quite quite a classic Kölsch, but an interesting and pleasant quaff.

Photo of bump8628
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of fsimcox
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy straw color. Somewhat thin, white foamy head dissipates quickly. No lacing al all!

Smells malty, with hints of grass, and citrus.

Clean, crisp taste, some grassy hints and a bit tart up front; a mild sweet finish. Hints of biscuits in the after taste, with a dry finish. No bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel is good. Crisp, not much carbonation.

Not bad. But not what I expected from a Kolsch. Easy drinking, probably best on a hot summer day.

Photo of DovaliHops
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of illidurit
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold in color with a nice rocky head that quickly disappears. Wish the head would of stuck around a bit longer, it looked really nice. Smell is the said noble hops and some spice. Taste is crisp and spicy. Wish there was a bit more going on in the flavor, but that's the niceness of this beer, it's simplicity. Very nice. Clean, crisp and refreshing.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pale golden color with a small white head. Nose is light with a dash of hops and a little citrusy. Taste is thin, crisp, citrusy and some straw, grain and honey maybe. Mouthfeel is ok, lightness leaves drinkability good but not the best of this brew type. Worth a try

Photo of hopdog
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a lighter and slightly hazy, golden color with a smaller sized white head. Sweet and fruity aromas and tastes with some citrus. Starts of sweet and ends in a spicy and somewhat bitter finish.

Notes from 6/2/05

Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Drake's Blonde Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.