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
Photo of birdypowder
2.94/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This Blonde showed up in my fridge and I seriously don't know how she got there. She was cold so I offered her my coat, though I think the Bud Light Lime next to her was colder. Glad I didn't buy a sixer of this (same for the BL lime) but glad I tried this Eel River offering.

Aroma:
Sweet and malty! Juicy, smells like unfermented wort. A slight floral hop aroma? Hard to tell.

Appearance:
Small to medium sized white head which forms and then leaves quickly. Slight lacing, lacing light? Very hazy. New filter operator? Golden with very slight orange notes and some greenish yellow too.

Taste:
Sweet with vigorous carbonation. Gentle backend bitterness and medium bodied. Enjoy the first several sips because the taste goes somewhere after that.

Finish:
semi-sweet and semi-dry finish

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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.

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

Good starting head that leaves some spotty lace. Straw is the color of the liquid with a touch of haze.

Mild, but pleasant blend of the classic pale malts and flowery hop.

With the lightest of pale malts, there is a slight sourness to the initial sip. The carbonation is high--high enough to bubble over the bottle. It cuts through the body making this beer overly spritzy. Overall, this is a pleasant and easy-to-consume lighter, but flavorable, beer.

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Photo of TeeCee
3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick review: I get more enjoyment from a Budweiser. But I think this may be old stock.

This beer happened to be at Dorignac's one visit. It's one of several beers that have come onto our scene recently unannounced.

I poured it into an American style pint glass hard enough to produce ~3" of head, which quickly dissipated leaving little behind. I can swirl it and produce some tight-knit foam which also dissipates on short order. The body is a shade or two towards brown going from Honey.

Malty on the nose with something else like peanuts. A little funky as it warms up.

Drinking it, I can't really taste the maltiness or peanuts I was smelling. The taste is a bit thin. It also almost takes like someone was smoking cigarettes when they brewed this beer. I get all kinds of bittering hops as I drink it, but not so much of anything piney or flowery.

Medium to thin in the mouth. No carbonation to add to it. This beer is rather uneventful in the mouthfeel department.

I could drink several of these if it was what was around, but I'd prefer something with more to it. I'm not saying I'd take a Heineken over this.

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

Served in a goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright golden yellow color with a ½" smooth white head filled with tiny bubbles. The head persists for a fair while before receding to a ring around the glass and a patch of foam. Sipping early on leaves lots of legs and speckles of lacing and even as the beer reaches its end there are lacing speckles.

Smell: The pleasant aroma contains light caramel or bready pale malt with light citrus or herbal presence.

Taste: The flavor is primarily pale malt (bready) with very light, tangy grapefruit and orange zest notes.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light bodied with lots of carbonation. The finish is on the short side but ends on a lightly dry note.

Drinkability: This is a reasonably drinkable beer but not really special in any way. (Maybe it's the style which I'm not as familiar with as I should be. But it does seem better to me than the first Blonde Ale I tried) This is a good solid beer to have for refreshment or to go with a meal. I could have a second but probably won't and I probably won't make a point of looking for it in the future.

 1,176 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eel River California Blonde Ale is a slightly hazy, light golden ale topped with a thin white head that fades. It has a resiny, fruity aroma. It kind of smells like... a barleywine. It has a light body and a smooth, clean finish. It tastes mellow and well balanced with a wood resin slightly sweet finish. This has a lot of character for a blonde.

 347 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Light pale malts with minimal hints of grain and dry caramel. Spicy hops with a light herbaceous quality to them, imparting a vague tea-like note. Faint, faraway fruitiness.

Taste: As with the nose, it's light pale malts with a touch of graininess and some dry caramel with no more than some faint sweetish qualities to it. Minor hint of fruit. Spicy, slightly herbal hops with a medium-low bitterness. Again, it reminds me of a small sip of white tea. A slight transition back to the pale malts, but then the clean finish hits very quickly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An okay, adequate blonde in terms of an easy-drinking, balanced ale, but, to be honest, it's a tad forgettable.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.11/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy pale orange color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma bready and toasty malt with no real hop presence. The taste is malty like the aroma, and bland in general. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with lively fine carbonation. Overall, this is a decent Blonde ale, but I don't think I'll drink this again.

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Photo of webbcreative
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 10, 2009
Light golden color. nice head. light and crisp taste. Good on a hot day, just not too much going with this one. Not something I will be seeking out again. Its definatly not terrible, its just really boring with nothing outstanding going on here.

 259 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sixer from the Davis Co-Op. I don't drink a lot of easy drinking session ales, and i've decided it might be good to start, so this is one of the first. Pours a nice light amber color, with excellent clarity and a strong pillowy to creamy white head. Good head retention, looks nice. Aroma is subtle, with just a hint of sweetness from the malt and a lemony to grassy hop. Flavor is clean, very well balanced, with grassy hops, lemon spritz on top of a mild sweet to biscuity malt backbone. Some alcohol evident on the finish, as biscuity malt quality grows. Thin bodied, though not in a detrimental way. Drinks easily, an enjoyable session.

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Photo of farrago
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Average thickness to the off-white head, lacing dissolves swiftly. Zinc orange color that gains from a slight murkiness, the rims drop off to a yellow squash hue. Sour nose of pine, grapefruit rind, tobacco leaf, meadow grasses and green straw, mineral water, even a touch of tar, presents light biscuit or oats in contrast. Light to medium-bodied, the heavy duty carbonation aims at masking the lack of heft. Through all the fizziness comes orange, lemon citrus peel, dried malts, snap peas, sourdough bread notes. The yeast there but not really concentrated. Lacks some sweeter component to provide contrast. Herbaceousness builds past the mid-palate. Hard to capture many positives, easily drinkable but not sure how it aims to hold your attention.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, peachy-amber hue. Slim ring of foam.

Pithy pine and citrus aroma, clean,and minor-key, but hoppy, still.

Crisp, clean, minor hops up front, then smooth and done. Finishes quickly, leaves little flavor in the mouth, on the palate.

Drinkable, but forgettable. Lacks flavor, and I just can't give points for good intentions.

 331 characters

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 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 nekronos
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Very nice brewed. Keep in mind the blonde ales are not necessarily clear ones. This was more a bit of amber. The organic hing is good for the health but not the best type of beers. I liked the concept and the fact they are reaching the country and give us more than Bud or MIller. The head is nic stays in there for a while.

 324 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark gold with minimal head and no lacing. Pretty uninteresting.

Smells faintly of sweet, almost honey-like malt, some grassiness, as well as a bit of hop. The taste is similar; quite sweet and grainy/grassy. Not offensive, just not much there.

Overall, a really mediocre blonde.

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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.

 1,084 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 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 MrHurmateeowish
3.86/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from the Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an amber-yellow clear body with a half inch of off-white head that slowly dissipates. Smells biscuity with some diacetyl/butterscotch. Tastes like caramel and biscuit, with husky and butterscotchy notes toward the finish. Overall flavor is somewhat muted. Light in body with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, a solid example for the style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed golden amber with a thin white head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy, bready, with a hint of citric zest.

The taste is bready, yeasty and grainy. Some grapefruit and orange rind gives it a nice balance. A touch of alcohol gives it an unusual kick for the style - mixed feelings about that - kind of brings down the drinkability a bit for what the style should be. Finishes very dry. Light-bodied.

There are nice subtelties going on here, with a nice balance, but not quite the "session" brew it could be. Still, it has something to it making it a good one.

 590 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bright, clear tangerine orange with a 2 finger, soft, pillowy head that was dirty white in coloring and lasting for several minutes after the pour before yielding to a thin creamy layering. Visible carbonation was medium.

S: fresh tangerines and oranges with soft, spicy hop undertones.

T: Semi-tart and dry oranges with a light dry floral hopping. Light dry citrus notes provide a gentle fade and finish. Palate had a nice maltiness to it per style adding some depth and fullness.

M: medium-full and was soft texture wise and carbonation wise on the tongue. Dry oranges and a nice floral hopping grace the tongue while leaving a nice slight residual malt lacing behind.

D: Very smooth, dry, and citrusy with a good maltiness makes this a great example per style and very good to drink. Can easily make this a session beer down on the beaches of orange county with a gentle breeze.

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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!

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Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy bright golden color with modest white head. Some retention and sparse lacing.
Smell has a musty malt character, but is very mild.
First taste shows a profound dry character, that slowly moderates as the beer warms. Some more malt taste begins to show through.
Leaves a pleasant dryness at the finish.This is one beer that improves as the glass empties. What I really disliked at the beginning improved with subsequent tastes.

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Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. A 1" head lasts a bit, plus some spotty lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: light fruity sweetness is all that is detectable.

Taste: light but decent malt sweetness along with some soft green grapes tones, hints of honey, and a nice mellow bitterness that balances the sweetness out.

Mouthfeel: crisp and clean throughout. Lighter in body.

Drinkability: easy to drink with some decent flavors for the style. When you are in the mood for a lighter beer this one hits the spot.

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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.
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