California Blonde Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
77
okay
57 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.62%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
117
Avg:
3.33
pDev:
22.22%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 117
Reviews by CWiggins:
Photo of CWiggins
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Well, this is a style I certainly have avoided like the plague for a long time. My hunch was that it would be a rather bland, unexciting genre hardly befitting my need for a complex, tasty, and taste-fulfilling concoction. But, in the spirit of adventure, I was willing to go the extra mile and sample this version of the Blonde Ale style. Admittedly, it took a free sample bottle from a local representative to get me to that point, but, oh well!

It pours a straw yellow with amber-ish background, with a fizzy, white head that came and went very quickly. The aroma is mainly of grain and light malts, with a citrus overtone. Wow, this one sure is highly carbonation: one swallow and I felt my belly poof up like a balloon! It's lean bodied, and the mild flavor is mostly malt and sweet citrus. A mild hop character comes forward at the finish, but it, too, is lightly noticed. Definitely related to kolsch, but without the complexity.

Easy to drink, that's for sure. This is a style I don't find myself getting interested in, but I'm sure its "drinkability" will garner many fans.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Organic, Light, Malty, Approachable

Pale yellow in color with a slight haze and thin white lacing. Aromas of fresh malt, cereal grains and a soft floral quality. Light-bodied but with creamy carbonation. It’s a beer defined by crackery malts, a watery hop character of lemon-lime rinds, and a slight oiliness that pulls through and melds with mild fruity esters that linger into the finish. A good, easydrinking brew.

STYLE: American Blonde Ale | ABV: 5.8% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #99 (APR 2015)

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Single bottle from WFM for a mixed tasting session. Poured into a standard frozen pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark gold with an orange tint. Little lacy head with small bubbles, remained with the beer.

S: Tea leaves, honey, wheat bread with hints of sugar cookies.

T: A very mild ale, the name fits it perfectly. Makes me think of a California blond. I really like this one. Semi-sweet with honey, tea leaves again and a finish that reminds me of Tres Leches cake or sugar cookie. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Buy a six pack. I'm regretting I didn't. You could enjoy these for an evening.

Value: At around $2.00 for a single, I'd say just cough up enough for a six pack. It's worth it. A great organic ale!

 712 characters

Photo of BlakeDaSnake
5/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This Blonde is pretty pure in the glass. Solid Golden color

S: It's smell is almost exactly like the taste. Nothing harsh or aromatic though about it.

T: I'm in love....Light Blonde beer at it's finest....Surprised at the average score. Definitely should be higher.

M: Light and Refreshing...Not Malty or Hoppy. Leaves the glass in gulps

O: I really believe 100% in try it if there is one good review and this is might be that one good review. Seriously I think this beer is amazing and refreshing and it's priced pretty good. I bought a pint of it for only $5....C'mon that's unheard of!!!

 598 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Billolick
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, without any freshness info being offered on the label. Pours clear golden amber, minor head and I'm not seeing much lacing. A couple of sips of this one and I've had enough, somebody else mentioned an of putting plastic sort of note and I believe I'm getting a hint of that as well. Not real impressed with this one. With so much quality beer out there, give this one a pass.

 392 characters

Photo of sbartnik01
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of sourdog
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.08/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good presentation, a darker gold color, not that super faint straw yellow you come across in some blondes. Pretty mild aroma, some sweetness to it, that's about it.

High carbonation and light body should lead to some kolsch comparisons and discussion. Easy drinking, nothing bad or adventurous to it.

A little more expensive than it should be given the relative lack of ingredients, I don't understand why this and their porter, ipa etc. . .are the same price.

 464 characters

Photo of williamjbauer
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a nonical glass

A - Light copper amber with 1 finger amber head with good retention and good lacing, bubbly head.

S - Faint wheat aroma.

T - Fairly bland wheat backbone with a touch of yeast and breadiness.

M - Light body, moderate-high carbonation, watery.

O - A slightly above average blonde. Once is enough for me.

 339 characters

Photo of rastaman
1.89/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

[email protected] River. Didn’t find in very intersting, just thin grainy malts, like their pale ale, it was easy to drink, but not interesting. These Amerucan Blondes aren't really part of style that is particularly interesting. Pretty borring lagerish sort of ale. On the bland side of things.

 286 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of berkeleymaw
4.37/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Packs a deceptive punch at ~6% ABV. Clean and crisp tasting without being bitter, very smooth and inoffensive. Decent hoppiness, but nothing approaching the psychotic amount of hops you find in your typical microbrew ale these days.

 232 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eel River- Blonde Ale

A- Light golden orange with a thick sticky head.
S- Nice floral hop aroma with a touch of sweet honey and wheat.
T- Sweet light honey flavor meets up with a nice little floral hop touch. I detect an orange/ tea flavor as well.
M- Light but VERY dry. Sweet finish.

Overall- I agree with another post, gets better further into the glass. A nice lite beer. Good for floating in the pool!

 408 characters

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large bottle into a small beer glass.

Appearance: Deep golden and clear with good foamy head and nice standard lacing.

Smell: A mix of hops and grains/malt with a slight perfumed floral scent.

Taste: Slightly sweet and malty with some nice malt flavors. Very subtle flavors and very easy to drink with a meal.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body with good carbonation. Very smooth with little bitterness.

Drinkablity: A good mild beer with some nice flavors. I would drink this one again.

 505 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From Beers of the World. Serviceable, drinkable pale. Pours foaming white head on yellow golden. Above average carbonation that numbs the tongue somewhat,even much later. Neutral to maltish aroma. Bitter more than malty taste.Average to below average mouthfeel.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Eel River Blinde and it is OK. The beer pours a cloudly orange with decent 1/2 in white head that is lacing nicely. The smell is a very heartly orange citrus. The taste is a spunky citrus powered more by malt than hop. The mouthfeel is a body is medium body with good carbonation. Overall it is not reallly a great Blonde but worth a sampling.

 354 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is a light fruity sweetness with some grain, citrus and floral hops.

T- The taste features some grain, citrus flavors and some peppery and earthy hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation.

D- Not a bad blonde, the 5.8% ABV helps keeps this one from being as sessionable but it is a solid beer that I could drink a few bottles in a sitting.

 469 characters

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Four Firkins. Appears light appear with a very slight haze. Plain, light caramel aroma. The flavor has an odd/interesting dried bread/crouton malt taste before finishing with a peppery hops note. I'm not sure if I like the malt profile, but at least it's something different. For that I'll at least say that this beer is worth a try.

 355 characters

Photo of thejewthatbrews
4.19/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ Eel River. Way better than the bottle.

A: Golden hue to it, with a small head, less than an inch.
S: Clean smell, fairly hoppy, but nowhere near a pale.
T: Taste was slightly hoppier than the amber, but once again, nothing close to a pale or IPA. Nice overall balance, with a slight shift away from malt, although the malt is not completely negelcted.
M: Good mouthfeel, although not really anything special. Not heavy at all, and with only a slight lingering taste.
D: Extremely drinkable, due to a lighter body, and a refershing balance between the hops and the malt. Definately a two or three pinter.

 620 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Clear hay amber color. Thin white head. A bit of lacing.

Aroma is kinda like smelling a bag of 2row if you know what I'm talking about. Not much else.

Taste is solid. Easy drinkin blond. Not too sweet or malty.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing.

I'm actually impressed by this companies organic ales. I was under the impression that they usually suck. Not bad the last 2 that I've had.

 416 characters

Photo of ozmodium
2.54/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a 6 pack from the BC liquor store. On sale $4 off. But it was right by the cash register! How could I resist an organic American micro 6 pack for $8?

Pours a bit hazy light orange. I have a jar of natural honey in my cupboard that I sweat looks IDENTICAL to this. Minuscule head. No lacing...

Smell is pleasant enough, interesting. Sweet honey and light malt. Some fusel alcohol funk? Mildly hopped but there're still right there, fresh.

Sweet honey, bitter grapefruit rind hops and again the fusel funk on the tongue. Some fusels are good in some styles. Not this one... It reminds me of the time made a hefeweizen at home a few years ago. I fermented it at a few degrees too hot for the final few days. The yeast went nuts and got fusel on me. It didn't make it undrinkable but the he subtle burnt plastic flavour is undesirable in this style.

The bottle has no info regarding abv, but my guess is around 6%? The low carbonation makes it feel more boozy than I think it really is. Not a chugging beer. Not terribly enjoyable.

It seems to me that the brewer has placed this in a bit of an awkward niche. I think that either making it lighter or stronger would have made for a much more interesting offering. Too boozy to be a summer quencher, too watery for the complexities of a strong belgian. It is however the best 8 dollar 6 pack I've ever bought in BC, where decent beer costs upward of 13 bucks for the goos stuff

 1,438 characters

Photo of Irish7r
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of Kyroqz
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.33 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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