Arbor Brewing Bollywood Blonde | Arbor Brewing Company

12 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Arbor Brewing Bollywood BlondeArbor Brewing Bollywood Blonde

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gorgeous copper-orange ale with a rich, enticing aroma of oranges and lemongrass. Crisp and refreshing on the palate. A perfect blend of malt, spice, and sweet and zesty hints of citrus.

Added by SportsandJorts on 02-26-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 70
Photo of schoolboy
3.1/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know what this is but blonde it isn't. It's dark, headless, semi-cloudy. There is little smell, but nothing offensive comes out.

The taste is muddled too. Bitter, sweet, very little yeast taste. The aftertaste is slightly dark.

The bottle I bought had not been in the store long but this seems like a way over the hill brew. Not recommended. Not sure if I'll close my eyes and guzzle or drain pour.

 409 characters

Photo of Raime
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Arbor Brewing Bollywood Blonde.

Part four in tonights stragglers series. Noticed the snow outside stopped. Too bad, was hoping to bust out the whiskey for a warm nights sleep. Anyway, arbor either wins or misses with their beers. Grabbed this at Meijer for $1.29 and figured why the hell not.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a can style glass. Got a good laugh out of this one considering most Hollywood blondes are fake and Bollywood blondes are all from India where hair color ranges from black to black. Master of disguise. A blonde beer you say? Nah. Pours Amber with a fairly good light penetration. Head amounts merely to a froth amongst the top and quickly becomes nothingness. Carbonation is on about moderate with this brew.

Smell - Big malt levels with a touch of the typical Belgian like essence. Bits of horse blankets and honey with a noticeable though not overbearing alcohol level. Yeah now I OFFICIALLY have no idea what in the hell I'm supposed to expect from this beer.

Taste - It just gets weirder and weirder. Loads of honey all over the flavor profile along like the caramel malts make for a unique, and one of a kind drink. But I will admit this isn't exactly the tastiest combination ever thought up. Those two flavors dominant with nuances of horse blanket and a bit of alcohol despite the low ABV.

Feel - I've taken more time than I was expecting to finish this beer off. This is my favorite aspect of the brew without a doubt. Lemon makes an appearance alongside the honey as it sits in mouth, becoming almost Arizona tea like in nature. The body itself is a perfect moderate with a moderate level of carbonation to boot. Swallows easily and surely with a touch more malt than fruit.

Overall - A complete rollercoaster ride of a beer. One of the most unique beers I have ever come across. I'll admit, it doesn't initially taste the best but the more you drink it and the longer you allow it to sit, the better it becomes. Not a typically blonde or Belgian any means. Just its own unique thing. You'll either love it or hate it so try under your own discretion.

 2,121 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the brewery in Ann Arbor, the beer is a dark, light brown coloring with a filmy, bubbly, off-white head. Aromas of subtle honey sweetness and floral hops, with hints of booze. Flavors are roasted honey sweet forward, rich and tangy, with subtle floral and bitter hops notes. Smooth, full bodied, with a sugary sweet honey aftertaste. Smooth finish.

 365 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
2.76/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep yellow, almost orange with a thin head that doesn't trail the glass. The smell was very muted with not a lot coming through other than a bit of yeast. The taste was okay with some sweetness on the beginning, but just not a lot going on all around. Needs some more flavors, especially on the end.

 308 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, coriander, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, spices, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, coriander, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light earthy/spicy bitterness and slight citrus tang on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and balance of pale malt, spices, and earthy hop flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly dry mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice blonde ale. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of pale malt, spices, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,416 characters

Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours rich brilliant amber uners a 1" off-white foam collar that grips the side of the glass. Not a big nose - some light grains. Faint roast, rich malt and caramel on the palate. Medium body and carbonation.

 208 characters

Photo of FeelinitNow
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass..

A: Copper Orange, Hazy cause the beer is unfiltered. Not a minus ;-)

S: Lemon, Bitter Orange, Tangy, Not too much beyond that.

T: Lemony, Malty, Bitter Hoppiness lingering on the finish

M: Light carbonation very natural tasting.

O: I like this beer as it's a pale ale with belgian yeast so it's like a belgian wheat beer except it's a pale ale. Nice hybrid and nice for something different.

 417 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Disclaimer: it should be noted that this beer is, in fact, a Blonde ale, being completely miscategorized by whoever added it. Also, according to the brewer, it's 5.8%.

Not exactly "blonde" by anyone's standards, this beer is more of a thickly clouded brown-orange. It's too muddy to have any brightness to it, either. The head starts off looking like it could be something, but ultimately is little more than some wispy foam on top with bubbling at the edges. It leaves very little lacing in any form, but I suppose it's recognizable as a beer.
The nose is very dusty and really accentuates a strong earthiness, though lots of lemon zest and a bit of orange peel also comes out. There's a floral note there throughout, showing that it's lightly hopped. A bit of a spicy bite also tickles the nostrils.
The dustiness comes through immediately and all the way through. Lemon is also there, though less strongly, while it's much, much fruitier than in the aroma. The orange seems to have come out over it. The floral hops also make there way out, but turn somewhat vegetal at the end.
It's not especially light-bodied, has a certain dryness to it, and carries some spritz on the tongue that dies off in the middle.

 1,212 characters

Photo of gopens44
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Caramel colored creation with all but a thinnest bit o' fizzy head. Nose carries that sweet banana bit of Belgian yeast but little else. Taste pops out with a little tartness but not a ton of any other predominant Belgian characteristic. Finally, the finish is really thin. Decent, but doesn't stand up to other BPA's.

 318 characters

Photo of Beric
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle into footed pilsner
Served: 23 July 2013

Appearance: A hazy deep copper golden color with a two finger soapy white head that eventually dissipates to practically nothing- not even that comforting white ring of foam around the edges of the glass. The beer looks pretty good when the head is on there, but the absence of any bubbles at all makes it seem thin.

Smell: Smells like tart citrus (lemon, lemongrass) with some spicy funk. Pretty clean nose, but I'm not sure if that spicy funk is supposed to be smellable or not.

Taste: Here that funk really comes out- there is some nice interplay between it and the faint citrusy tastes, combined with somewhat of the esters one would get from a wheat ale (banana). There was a pervasive aluminum taste to this one which was really offputting at first, but I got used to it. The taste is complex and has depth, but it could be developed more- I would like to see the metallic taste absent from the flavor profile, and the citrus-spiciness to play off one another with a little more gusto.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation was initially pretty sharp, but this was quite quickly lost, so that the bottom third of the glass was pretty watery. The yeast definitely helps the overall mouthfeel, but I would have preferred a slightly less edgy carbonation, and one that wasn't explosively carbonated initially and then quickly lost its punch.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer- it certainly has character and depth of flavor compared to other lighter colored beers. I would, however, probably pass on this one in favor of a wheat ale. I like the funk associated with Belgian yeast sometimes, but in this one, it didn't seem to play the right role.

 1,702 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. The beer comes out looking almost copper, though it lightens up and takes on a lighter shade of amber when held in the light. The thin, white head skims across the top of the beer and settles to a collar quickly; in only a matter of seconds, it's gone completely - no traces of lacing or webbing on the glass.

Herbal lemongrass, light lemon zest, mild citrus spritz, orange zest, and a backdrop full of green tea leaves make up most of the aroma's profile. There's a faint wisp of spice that comes and goes as it pleases; I want to say mint or clove, but I'm not positive. The beer is called a "blonde", yet is listed on this site as a Belgian pale ale. Aside from the very faint hint of possible yeasty spices, I don't see how this is a Belgian pale.

The taste is a touch more sweet than I'd expect, but certainly isn't a bad thing. It's got a nice balance of herbal-like hops, lemongrass, coriander, orange zest, and mild clove. Looks like I may have spoken too soon, as the flavor reveals the possible consequences of Belgian yeast and/or spicing traditions. Crisp, sweet, only faintly tart, and refreshing for the most part.

The flavors are good, though I wish they would stand out a bit more. Very light, but perhaps that's what the brewers were aiming for with this one, anyway. More lemongrass is apparent in the finish with some tea leaves, citrus, lemon, and a touch of mild bubblegum. I wish the mouth feel was a bit heavier; I understand the need to make a beer like this pretty thin, but it feels more watery than it should, and it's translating through to weaken the flavors, too.

For some reason, I was expecting this beer to be awful, but it was far from that. It was actually pretty drinkable and refreshing, albeit a bit weak in terms of robustness. I like the addition of citrus and orange peels - the flavors came through quite nicely. Some added oats for a creamier mouth feel would have been nice, but hey - I guess you can't have everything.

 2,013 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.02/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: On-tap 20 oz
Glass: imperial pint
From Arbor Brewing Company
Price: $5

Appearance: deep reddish orange. pretty opaque. off white head that leaves a lacing on the sides

Smell: citrusy fruits, some light spices and malt

Taste: malts, along with some nice spices, balanced by the citrus. Nicely balanced

Mouthfeel: a touch sticky, but pretty refreshing. easily drinkable

Overall: another good beer from Arbor Brewing. A nice drinkable Belgian. I like the use of spice and citrus together.

 509 characters

Arbor Brewing Bollywood Blonde from Arbor Brewing Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.