Checker Cab Blonde Ale
Chelsea Craft Brewing Company

Checker Cab Blonde AleChecker Cab Blonde Ale
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German Kölsch
Ranked #430
Ranked #45,183
3.36 | pDev: 14.88%
Chelsea Craft Brewing Company
New York, United States
Checker Cab Blonde AleChecker Cab Blonde Ale
Notes: Inspired by the iconic Yellow Taxi of classic New York City, this Pilsner-Lager Blend is as unique as the city it “Hails” from. Hail a Blond Ale!

This crisp, straw-colored ale is brewed in the style of a German Kolsch beer. Aged cold, its taste resembles a Lager. Imported malts are balanced with the delicate notes of noble hops to create a pleasant ale.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 57 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of FLima
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazy amber color with a thin and thick head with low retention
Light aroma of pineapple and sweet pale ale malt.
Flavor of herbal hops, biscuit malt, with some papaya, and pineapple and lemon citrusy. Mildly bitter and dry aftertaste.
Watery body with low carbonation.
Refreshing flavor, very sessionable. A bit dull, though. Brewery says Kolsch, which makes more sense, although the name is misleading.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.06/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at House of Brews in NYC. The beers is transparent and light golden yellow colored. The aroma is mild, with a touch of grain and lemon. Ok flavor with a touch of lemon rind in the finish. Light bitterness throughout. Light in body and refreshing. Overall, eh...

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.09/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Kent Ale House in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear pale straw yellow in color with significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a thin white had that reduces to a patch of very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Dominant aroma is that of sweet grainy malts. There is just a little subtle hint of skunk in the nose as well.

T: The flavor of this beer is grainy/cracker malts with some light grassy hops. There is a light amount of bitterness which lingers and just a hint of citrus.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: This beer seems to be more of a kolsch than a blonde ale - very easy to drink and sessionable, especially on a hot summer day. Enjoyable but nothing special.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Kent Ale House, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear light straw yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down leaving a large ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of sweet grainy malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of grainy malts along with some hints of bitterness and citrus.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to taste a little more like a kölsch compared to a blonde ale. It’s easy to drink, especially if you are looking for something light-bodied on a hot summer day.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a couple fresh pints at the Stagshead in Midtown. This actually seems like a fine example of the style. It even reminded me a bit of a good English bitter.

Upfront there's a clean, light toasty white bread note with a little sour cherry flavor to complement the malts. There's a nice, mild citrus hops kick to the finish to provide balance. Overall a fine beer, though I can understand how it wouldn't satisfy a lot of beer geeks or hop heads.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
2.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap last night at one of the House of Brews in midtown. Seeing that I can't get this beer in Jersey and it's was one of the few on tap there that I hadn't had, I figured I'd give it a crack. This was listed on the menu as a Kolsch but after seeing how light and malty this was, I could see why this would be classified as such.

Light pour to this - just like straw with not much of a head and hardly any lacing to be seen. Very malty with grape, apple, and pear flavors with a grassy aftertaste. This went down easily but not in the good sense. The carbonation was nearly nonexistent and since there was *some* body here, this didn't fall into the category of the mass-market brews or summer ales that are light as water. That being said, there wasn't any sweetness, bread, or complex fermentation in the mouthfeel. Just beer that went down without much thought or effort, with only a hint of alcohol to be found.

Sure, I could have had lots of pints of this but one was enough to give me an idea of what this beer was about. Sure this may be enough to refresh someone on a hot day and introduce them as to what's possible with beer but I felt like this was a missed opportunity. If this was a bit more carbonated, crisp, and filling, it could stand out from other lighter beers. I'd sooner have a Sam Adams Noble Pils than this and this is one beer that I'll probably not be hailing again anytime in the near future.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

- Free sample at a Chelsea Brewing tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Pale, clear gold. White head settles quickly.

S - Bright, clean lemon and light malt.

T - Crisp lemon rind. Touch of pith. Light water cracker.

M - Light, semi-watery body.

O - Not bad. Good drinkability.

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Photo of LordSMAF
1.81/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours light yellow with little head and no lacing.

S - Very faint malts. Little aroma to tempt the senses.

T - Light and bland. Slight malt taste.

M - I've seen other reviews saying this was overly carbonated - I found just the opposite. There was too little carbonation. Perhaps that was the fault of the bar/keg rather than of the brewer.

D - I've come to expect much more out of blonde ales. I didn't find this refreshing or interesting at all.

I'm really shocked at the positive reviews for this beer. Maybe this one falls on dirty lines and a somewhat flat keg?

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Checker Cab Blonde Ale...on tap at the brewery...

Served in a normal pint glass, pale gold blonde with a two finger lace head that sticks around for a second and then leaves.

Smell-lightm buttery aroma, light mixtures of balanced hop and malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel-light to medium mouthfeel, balanced malt and hop flavor, buttery grain taste on the way down, finishes fairly clean, very smooth.

Drinkablity-no major issues, easy to drink.

Overall-not outstanding but a nice session beer, the drinkability is what makes it their flagship. Not overly complex but no major issues.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip nonic. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a quarter inch bright white cap. Concentric bands of lacing were revealed as the brew was consumed. Nose was light and clean - some yeast and perhaps some light, fruity esters. Taste consistent with nose, citrus is revealed upfront, with a yeasty/bready quality at the back. Mouthfeel was light, with a pleasant and even carbonation, culminating in a fairly clean finish. A pretty tasty and sessionable ABA that pairs well with food.

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Photo of CHickman
3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear yellow with a 1/4 inch creamy white head; smells of wheat, light malt, light hops and a little lemon, but not very pungent at all on the nose.

Tastes of wheat, yeast and lemon up front with mild hops and malt trailing to the dry finish. There's a mild malt skunky-ness that is not bad at all in the finish, but that might turn some people off or it may have been due to dirty lines at Wildwood in NYC. Very crisp and light with high carbonation and a lot of bubbles moving up as the beer sits. Decent lacing for a blonde ale, and overall very easy to drink.

The taste is on the dull side, but for a blonde ale it wasn't bad and is the type of beer to drink all night or with food. It is better than most light beers, but just boring and conservative.

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Photo of albern
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I think the bros. who reviewed this is way off on this beer. This is watered down, very light crap of a beer with very little taste or substance. When I asked the waitperson about it, he said it was an attempt to recreate an Amstel Light or Stella or something equally bland. The brewer succeeded, but there isn't much to say about this beer other than move on to something more substantial. It's pale, its light, it has very little taste, there are some cardboard like malt tastes, there is a touch of lemon citrus. Next ...

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Photo of Nascartailgatefa
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap from Rattle and Hum NY. Pours a clear light yellow with a small head which fades rather quickly. Faint smell of malt. Average tasting, ever so slightly bitter but no aftertaste. Good mouthfeel. Nothing special. Good drinkability although not my particular favorite.

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Photo of hopdog
3.07/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Chelsea Brew Pub in NYC.

Poured a lighter yellow color with a small sized white head. Aromas and tastes of grassiness, some light citrus with some maltiness. Lightly sweet. Thin body and lively body.

Notes from and tasted on: 09/17/05.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.16/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got a pint of this at the House of Brews in NYC.

A: Pours a light, golden, straw-yellow body with a small, white head with low retention and no lacing.

S: A faint, malty smell that was nothing of great significance.

T: A light, malty taste with a light, crisp honey aftertaste.

M: A light, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. It felt a little over carbonated.

D: A fairly drinkable beer. A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste made this beer quite formidable. A nice, refreshing, summer beer.

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Photo of dionisio
4.42/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this at the Crocodile Lounge in Manhattan. I was very thirsty, ordered this, and was immediately pleased by the taste. I drank it down pretty quick because I was quite thirsty, and it was really delicious. A light but not at all weak taste, relatively unique flavor, extremely easy to drink. Kind of an uplifting, happy taste, if that makes any sense. Went well also with the free pizza they give you with your beer.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chelsea- Checkered Cab

On tap at House of Brews 51st St. NYC

A- Clear golden orange with a smal foamy head.
S- Sweet crisp lemon and strong cracked grains.
T- Sweet fresh bread crust grains with a touch of citric lemon.
M- Very crisp and clean with a mild dry finish.

Overall- An excellent beer to start the day or 1 to drink on a warm afternoon. If in Manhattan during the warm months find this one and enjoy.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold. Nose is grainy and sweet as well. Flavor has a distinct metallic pattern with a strong earthy tone. Slightly higher amount of bubble on the tongue for the feel. Standard liquid feel. Overall it is drinkable. It is what it is. You know?

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Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a pronounced husky grain with a smattering of light citrus hop.

The taste consisted of a solid biscuity malt and a somewhat lively and gentle hop. A slight diacetyl element detected.

The mouthfeel was light and crisp.

Overall a good and sessionable ale. Nothing too exciting, but nothing offensive either.

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Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. No aroma. White head prominent iwth lace, on opaque golden yellow. Carbonation bubbles. Refreshing, only a little hops, it's noble. Medium to light mouthfeel. This is on the malty side. Grassy highlight. Not very good as a kolsch, which is the advertised style.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draught at House of Brews in NYC. Pours golden yellow with a thin ivory head that has decent retention. Minimal lacing. Weak aroma of fruit and hops. Light-bodied and effervescent with a grassy hops flavor, as well as hints of fruit and malt. The finish is short and citrusy. Not very high on the Kölsch scale, but a decent beer in its own rite.

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Photo of SCW
3.16/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As I look around the Chelsea Brewing Company bar, its pretty evident that this beer is their most popular style. Everyone wants a light beer... well, at least most of the general public.

It's hard being a harsh critic of a brewer who tries to produce a light ale. Making "light" beers, especially blonde ales, can be very tough to do commercially. Usually, a brewer has to cope with lightening the malt and hop bill, yet still retaining qualities that make the beer lively and interesting. Furthermore, since the beer is stripped down to its bare essentials, any minor flaw will be amplified by the lack of cover it receives from the hops, malt, and alcohol.

That being said, I thought this was an average beer. The head retention was OK, the smell had traces of DMS in it, and although it was balanced, the "taste" was something I would not crave.

But like I said, making a light ale is hard to do.

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Photo of palma
4.15/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark gold yellow with a nice head at first. Leaves a good lace with some sticking to the sides of the glass. Sweet malt aroma. A very tasty brew overall with a strong malt flavor throughout. Big wheat/grain aftertaste makes you want another sip. High carbonation and a little thinner than expected.

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Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear blond colour with a nice yet thin white lace. Doughy malt, spicy hop and very crisp. Touch of grape from the malt shows the use of imported malt. Spiciness of the hops gives just enough bite to clean the palate.

A tasty light brew, a great choice when starting off with some apps.

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Checker Cab Blonde Ale from Chelsea Craft Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 57 ratings