Niagara's Best Blonde Ale | Syndicate Restaurant & Brewery

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Niagara's Best Blonde AleNiagara's Best Blonde Ale
29 Ratings
Niagara's Best Blonde AleNiagara's Best Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Syndicate Restaurant & Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ale many consider to be the closest taste to traditional lager beers. Its a beer that appeals to all beer drinkers.

Added by Phyl21ca on 07-25-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by Cylinsier:
Photo of Cylinsier
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25


Pours a clear gold with a with lacing for a head that dissipates to nothing.

Smells of light barley malt with a light citrus note.

Light citrus flavor over a light dry hop and a sweet barley maltiness.

Medium body with a tingly carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Pretty descent sessionable ale with passable flavor and nice body. Easy to forget but you enjoy it when you're having it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.36/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Winking Judge in Hamilton.

Poured a light golden hue. Thin, but stubbornly persistent head that survived throughout the pint. Not a bad looking brew.

Malty nose, with honey, citrus and leafy hoppiness as well.

A fairly smooth blond ale. The hop isn't my favorite variety, as its flavour pushes into vegetable territory, so get this stuff fresh if you can.

Smooth and creamy, perhaps a bit overcarbonated.

This brew would be a fine pairing with spicy food. A good palate cleanser, and I imagine it'd do well for a session drinker.

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Photo of Swedes21
2.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours a crystal clear ale colour, very light and refreshing looking. Head is white and does not last long, there is min lacing. some decent carbonation levels.

Smell - typical ale smell, i can pick up some hops, earthy tones and nodes of citrus, not much.

Taste - i didnt find this too bad, some very decent taste. the beer has some good hops, nothing too wild. there is a slight sweetness to this beer as well, finishes clean and crisp.

Mouthfeel - some added carbonation brings the hops and earthy tones fwd. Not much else added, mouthfeel is very smooth.

Drinkability - i throw this along the same lines of coors, bud...etc...good to drink lots of but not a real dominant beer.

 729 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very drinkable fresh at the brewery. Malty aroma, some creaminess, dryness and sweetness at finish. Fresh, and fresh looking. My mates took some beer home. These guys have put together a good distribution system and looking forward to more offerings.

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Photo of paxkey
2.4/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this from the LCBO Discovery Pack

Pours pale and thin with a weak head that disappears immediately.

Aroma is faint and takes alot of effort to pull. Honey, citrus.

Not a bad mouthfeel with no aftertaste. Picked up a little off taste in the mid palate.

finished the beer but not running back for more.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color beer with a huge foamy white head with better then expected. Aroma of subtle floral hops with good malt balance. Taste is quite refreshing with more yeast then expected in a golden ale. Body is quite full and carbonation is great. Better then average golden ale.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.37/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Niagara's Best Blonde was sold to me yesterday afternoon at the LCBO on the grounds that it was under $11, and gave 4 bonus Air Miles with its purchase... Although I hardly need any excuse to buy more beer, I thought this might be a sign. Besides, I'm fan of the style (Blonde Ale - I'd venture to argue that this style listed is a mistake, on account of the beer's name actually IS 'Best Blonde Ale') - it's nothing special, but it's a tasty thirst quencher on a hot day, as seen in Walkerville's Premiume Blonde.

The bottle features a 50's-style pin-up girl; not bad, I guess - and it pours into my pint glass a rather anemic straw-gold-lager colour, with a faint bit of cloudiness (from the fridge chill?). An extremely aggressive pour only results in a finger and a half of anemic head that dissapates quickly (though a small amount persists for most of the drink) but leaves some mildly runny lacing. About consistent with the style, but nothing at all special here.

Smell is about on par with what I've seen from the style - most dominant is an unusual tangy fruitness that's remarkably difficult to characterize - it falls somewhere between apricots, apples, oranges and raisins. I don't know how appetizing that sounds, but it's actually sort of pleasant once you've adjusted to it. Sweet graininess, a touch of malts, some floral and grassy hops. Not bad.

Taste is crisp, much like Walkerville Brewing's shot at the style. Fairly malty throughout, but there's a touch of some cereal adjunct, I think - maybe rice, but it's subtle enough that it doesn't really intrude and isn't really bothersome. The fruit character is present throughout, leaning a bit more toward apples and raisins. Bready malts. Slightly peppery. Some mild bitterness and faintly floral hopping, but finishes with a touch of fruity sweetness in the mouth. Unique for what I've actually tried in the style; I have to believe a lot of the flavours are in part due to the yeast used. Actually reminds me a bit of a cider. Biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel isn't great. Overcarbonated brew to the end, which is a shame since it clouds some otherwise interesting flavours. Body is light, but not too watery, which is nice. Drinkability is fairly high, though not as high as others in the style on account of that fruity sweetness. It's a nice taste at first, but something that might make you feel a little ill after more than three of these, max. Still, you'll enjoy those three.

Niagara's Best Blonde is a decent beer that's fairly interesting, and worth a shot. However, in terms of style, it won't replace Walkerville's Premium Blonde, which is my standard blonde ale.

 2,659 characters

Photo of pathman
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of spinrsx
2.94/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is almost no carbonation visible, and there really isn't any lacing on the sides of the glass. The head was gone in a flash.

Smell - breads/grains, hops, lemon, hay, corn

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and the beer feels watery yet creamy on the tongue. The taste is made up of breads/grains, a grassiness, lemon juice, and a honey sweetness. Thee is also a faint hop taste and some corn flavour. The beer finishes with a grassy slightly bittersweet aftertaste.

Drink - Not awful, but not something I would suggest buying.

 664 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of bigeyedfish89
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.17/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured on-tap at a TGIFriday's in Niagara Falls and served in a shaker pint. The beer is a pale, maize coloring with increased carbonation and a white, frothy, filmy head. Nose of toasted grain and buttered biscuits. Flavors are smooth and balanced, with a caramel and butter sweet blend, slight roasting, and very subtle hops bitterness at the end. Great lacing as you drink. The beer's body is light, but remains smooth. The aftertaste is toasted and buttery, with a slightly bitter, dry finish, with a subtle, cloying linger.

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Photo of bryehn
3.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice full colour label with a 1940s-style pinup girl infront of an image of Niagara Falls. I only note this because most OCB labels look like garbage.

Pours a clear, if not slightly translucent golden colour, with little in the way of head beyond the initial pour and no lacing. Relatively unattractive as a craft beer.

The aroma is quite sweet, with hints of corn or corn syrup and toasted rice. Also comes through as a bit "boozy", but not in a gross way and has the faintest of citrus notes.

The mouthfeel is on the creamy side of thin. It's got a fairly low carbonation feeling, but comes off as refreshing and easy to drink.

I find the taste also has a sweet, toasted malt punch to it upfront, one that reminds me of again corn syrup, but that it has a decent dryness to it as well. Went great with the samosas I had for lunch.

Enjoying it as part of the Winter 2010-11 OCB sampler, but not sure if I'd pick it up on its own.

 936 characters

Photo of galluch
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Viggo
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden, small white head forms, settles to a thin layer, some lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet, some honey, citrus, grass, malty, slightly floral, bit stale, but okay. Taste is very sweet, honey and lemons, some floral, wheat, weak finish, grassy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, surprisingly full body, wasn't expecting it. Not too bad, bit sweet at first but it settles down, very drinkable.

 437 characters

Photo of pootz
3.55/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle: poured a light clear gold with a 3finger white frothy cap which doesn’t have great retention....modest lacing on the glass. Mild nose: light floral-fruity-grainy aroma.

Medium bodied... peppery on the tongue up front from too much carbonation ( tone it back guys so we can taste the ale... there are some nice tastes here, don’t obliterate them with CO2). Fair amount of grain tastes that mutate into bready malt tastes mid way...lovely fruity-cidery tones from the yeast mingle with attenuated citrus hops...modest finish with low bittering and a bready aftertaste....nice session ale.

In the same niche’ as Robert Simpson ale but more malty. Very drinkable.

 678 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.33/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bottle has a drawing of a voluptuous pinup era blonde babe on it, complete with 50s style writing and all that junk. Its kind of annoying and a little contrived. Im not a fan of retro 50s cool.

The beer pours a very pale yellow with a limpid head and a spattering of lace. The aroma is sweet with a thin malt character some fruity yeast and no real hops. The taste is malty with a tangy fruity thing going on. Bitterness is there but hop aroma is lacking. A cooked cereal, somewhat vegetal flavor emerges as the beer warms. The finish is grainy and affected by off yeast flavors. The yest tastes the same as Niagara Brewing's yeast, sort of a mediocre homebrew flavor with funky soapy esters. The mouthfeel is thicker then anticipated with an undesirable syupy feel.

This is a mediocre ale with nothing great about it. I wish there was more expermentation in the Canadian Microbrewery scene. There seems to be way to many of these insipid light ales on offer. I guess its because our microbrewers cater to macro drinkers because there still isnt a big enough craft beer enthusiast market in this country to warrant producing edgier beers. Thank god for Unibroue (and frankly Quebec in general), and Scotch Irish.

 1,222 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold with a thin white head and some lacing. Apricot fruit aroma with some earthy and floral hops. Clean flavour with mild bitterness and a marshmallow fruit sweetness. Off-dry finish, light body and moderate carbonation. An easy drinking beer; not bold but not meant to be either.

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Photo of mcss
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Dyerseve
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of TheHammer
3.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The 3/6 for my OCB mix pack #7 although I suppose 4/6 given I've already had Mill St Coffee Porter. Either way, onward to the review.

Appearance: Umm...I think my beer is broken. It didn't produce any head. I'm dead serious, not even a single layer of bubbles, so pretty much lacing and retention are non-factors. The body is a nice blonde colour, but there is quite a lot of thin sediment hanging around the body. I'm not impressed at all.

Smell: Crisp, as bready malt takes a back seat to mild fruity hops with a touch of floral notes. I suspect this is going to be a very drinkable beer. Warming helps it's case.

Taste: I think they were going for a cream ale here, as a buttery textured beginning with ample sweet bread flavour turns to a nice mixed stonefruit and berry taste that swiftly finishes with some decent floral hops that go a bit overboard.

Mouthfeel: It's good as you drink it, but it leaves a buttery texture in your mouth afterwards with a lingering bitterness that is unappealing. Points also get deducted for the complete lack of head and low carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a little bit watered down but not to the point of being a problem. Really this is designed for the summer though. It's a bit more interesting then most beers but it just seems like it needs a bit more polish. Easy to get down, and could but put back all night.

Final Thoughts: It wasn't bad but there are better offerings out there. I do feel this would be better served as a Cream Ale then a Pale Ale. Apart from the appearance it was ok, but I wouldn't typically seek it out again.

 1,585 characters

Photo of freewheeln
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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Niagara's Best Blonde Ale from Syndicate Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 29 ratings