Dirty Blonde
Great River Brewery

Dirty BlondeDirty Blonde
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American Blonde Ale
3.59 | pDev: 18.38%
Great River Brewery
Iowa, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Dirty BlondeDirty Blonde
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of FBarber
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a light copper almost orange color, thick white head dissipates slowly leaving a thin layer of white foam on the top.

Smell has notes of malts, white chocolate and vanilla with a strong grain aroma. Pretty dull overall.

Taste follows the nose with a strong grainy flavor tinged with sweet notes of vanilla, white chocolate, and real bitter aftertaste - not like a hop bitterness more like an acidic grain bitterness. Tastes like a bad AAL with some vanilla/chocolate sweetness thrown in. Sugary sweet flavor coats the mouth as you drink it.

Feel is smooth and full from the sweetness. Moderate carbonation.

Overall this is not a beer I'd drink again willingly.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color ("dirty blonde" I guess, sure why not?) and leaves the same colored body. It has a one finger foamy white head that dies and leaves some nice lookin’ clingy lacing to the glass. The smell has a toasty yet slightly roasty chocolate-ness that comes through slightly malty in the background The taste is sweet all the way through, and then gets a bit stronger in the chocolate the more it goes down. It has a strong sweet chocolate aftertaste and a dry finish. On the palate, it has a light to medium body and becomes somewhat sessionable with a slightly creamy edge to it. Carbonation is spot on for the style and for me. Overall, this would be my first American Blonde Ale with chocolate in it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

its hard to get a lot of chocolate to work in a beer this light, both in body and in abv and in grain complexion too, and i think this beer does a pretty good job with a difficult task, my first from great river. pale in color, with a weird sort of powdered chocolate nose to it, oddly grainy with it, not all the way cohesive, but not unappealing. the flavor is better, with a drier cocoa flavor to it, a subtle milk chocolate sweetness, and still enough beer flavor to make this sort of work. chocolate always ends up with dark grains in stout and porter and such, but its nice to see it sort of naked and exposed in a beer like this, a pretty light and simple blonde ale. the chocolate is well within balance, and doesnt seem forced to me at all, there is just the right amount, and there is even a little bitterness from it in the end. it could use more carbonation, but the flavors are pretty good for what this is. a rather ambitious brew really, and well executed. i like the chocolate flavor in a lighter beer like this, and could see this having extremely wild appeal, even among the non flavored ale drinkers. i dont need a ton of these, but one was nice!

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Photo of Nimbus_
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: A beautiful, golden amber color. Only a tiny bit of haziness. A finger of foamy white head that dissipates pretty quickly once drinking.

Smell: There is a presence of bready malts, a little bit of sweet malts, and a cocoa backbone. Maybe I'm just not used to lighter beers like this having chocolate notes, but the overall aroma was sort of off putting. It didn't make me excited to take my first sip.

Taste: I was really surprised with the taste. The same malt and chocolate presence is in the flavor as well, but I think it comes out a lot more balanced than in the smell. It's really delicious, despite the off-putting smell I was getting.

Feel: Not as crisp or refreshing as a typical blonde, but still easily drinkable. Low carbonation. The chocolate doesn't add too much heaviness to the mouthfeel, so the whole feel remains balanced.

Overall: I went in to drinking this brew thinking it wouldn't be very good, and while the smell didn't impress me, pretty much every other aspect left me very pleased. It's a great, light choice for people who still love to have a little bit of chocolate in their beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a can, this brew is a clearish blonde color with a few floaties and a fizzy white head. The aroma has a serious chocolate liquor scent....a hint of malt, and lots of chocolate and light bitterness. Medium Fumm in body and intense.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy burnt yellow color with a light transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a moderate pace to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light messy lacing all around.
The smell started off with some sweet corn malts. And then pops the chocolate. Yup, that's right, there's chocolate in a blonde ale and you know, it's not bad.
The taste was mainly sweet through the previously mentioned flavors and combined them well. Light lingering sweet aftertaste. Slightly refreshing sweet finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonation seemed good.
Overall, I say this was a pretty good blonde ale with chocolate in it.

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Photo of whodidntante
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 6 pack purchased at Cork, Keg, and Spirits in Rockford, IL. Slightly sweet finish, the chocolate taste is mild and comes on at the end of every sip, a bit like a cocoa rimmed glass. Golden and cloudy, similar to a Hefeweizen. Head for days, but I was pouring a slightly too warm beer into a chilled glass to compensate. Filed under refreshing and with an ABV that won't put anyone under, a solid session beer.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very mild, even by blonde ale standards. That, combined with the very light carbonation, makes a highly drinkable yet unremarkable beer. It's fine if you want something mild.

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Photo of Amstaffs
4.36/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Aroma and look are what is expected from a chocolate blonde. Lighter mouthfeel for the blonde style. Light bodied and easy like a blonde with a strong but not overwhelming chocolate taste.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Can, poured into a tulip at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a quite hazy amber-gold, which looks similar to clover honey that has crystallized solid. Forms a thick white head which vanishes without a trace in short order. No lacing.

Smell: Somewhat akin to opening a chocolate bar under one's nose while standing in a wheaty, grassy prairie in the springtime. There's a hint of sweetness, and pollen.

Taste: This opens with a wheaten-grassy blonde ale flavor profile, which is joined by an ever-increasing taste of milk chocolate starting in the middle and growing in strength to the finish. By the end, the chocolate has shifted to darker chocolate, and combines with a grassy sort of bitterness, leaving an aftertaste that mingles the two.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin and light, with a finish bordering on watery.

Overall: Not a bad beer. Also not anything particularly amazing. I may repeat it when in and around Iowa.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the first chocolate beer I have liked. The chocolate actually tastes brewed with the beer. I enjoy Great River Beer and is the best Quad City brewing company. The mouthfeel is great and the chocolate is a very sweet and smooth addition at the finish.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

on tap at the beer place in Perham, Minnesota

Looking pretty good in the glass, slightly cloudy yellow, with a fairly small clean white head.

Smell, well, little disclaimer here, I'm a bit of a chocoholic, so loved! the smell. Some grassy freshness mixed in there as well

Taste was what you'd expect from the nose, nice clean taste with a nice mouth of chocolate

Mouth itself was pretty thin

Overall, enjoyable, though I doubt I'd want more than one at a session. Daughter went absolutely nuts for this, but then she's a worse chocolate fiend than I am.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I have been making a nearly annual trek to Madison, Wisconsin for almost a decade in order to attend The Great Taste of the Midwest (GTMW) and I make it a point to stop in at Riley's Wines of the World each time. The CANQuest's (TM) fame proceeds me and they are eager to steer me to every CAN in their inventory which is how I procured this naughty little number. Bad girl! Go to my room! Ahem. Let's see what she has to say for herself. BTW, photo credits should also go to The CANQuest (TM), along with fame, fortune, loose women, loose change, a moose in the caboose, Jolly Cabeza, Jolly Ranchers and a Holly Jolly Christmas.

From the CAN: "Fresh [-] Local [-] Small [-] Independent [-] Micro-craft [-] Chocolaticious [-] Session [-] Every Girl Has Her Secrets"; "Our dirty blonde is a golden ale brewed with dark bittersweet chocolate. She has a balanced malty sweetness blended with a decadent chocolate character."; "Session Series"; "Illustration (c) 2013 Larry McDonald".

The soundtrack to this beer is courtesy of Pink Floyd and "The Wall", specifically, "Young Lust" with the lyrics "Ooh I need a dirty woman/Ooh I need a dirty girl".

She was well-behaved on the Crack! although I was braced for a squirter. I turned her upside-down and began an inverted Glug in earnest. This was an interesting beer, to say the least! It was pouring a golden-yellow and yet it smelled heavily of chocolate. It mustered up only a brief finger of soapy, bone-white head with very limited retention. Color was a hazy golden-yellow (SRM = 4 - 5). Nose was more like sweet milk chocolate, but definitely chocolate. Adjuncts in an ABA! Whod'a ever imagined ... Mouthfeel was on the thin side, kind of watery, but some people like their Dirty Blondes thin and willowy so I will not dun them for it. I CAN taste nothing but chocolate! This is such a weird beer and yet I CAN imagine it might make a good panty peeler, especially if mixed with a raspberry or blueberry beer. Finish left me with the thought that a good bit of chocolate must have been harmed in the production of this beer. It is wildly out of spec for the style, but it is also an incredibly unique beer that might be just the thing in some circumstances. It was far too sweet for my refined (Ha!) taste, but as usual, YMMV.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured into a shaker pint.

Slightly hazy and golden body with a small white cap.

There is very little chocolate on the nose. It is definitely sweet, but more of a malty sweet. The grains are what mainly come through after a couple of passes over the beer.

After a few sips, I can really appreciate the chocolate flavor found in the beer. It errs more on the side of powdered cocoa, even a bit towards a Tootsie Roll at times. That is where the good things really stop for me. The base beer has a graininess that I found unpleasant and does not meld with the sweet chocolate. The grains are almost bitter and butt up against that pleasant chocolatey wave.

The feel is fine, does not really stand out in any way. If the carbonation were handled with any less care, this beer would be flat.

I really wanted to like Dirty Blonde, and the chocolatey currents found within are on the right track. I just do not dig what is happening with the rest of the flavors in here. It is not quite a novelty beer, but I cannot imagine returning to this as a session beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from woodychandler, who came through with a huge hook up. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bright golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is kind of mild, some malts, very little chocolate. Taste is good and unique. The malts and grains come first, then the chocolate at the finish. Tasty and refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
2.69/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Out of the can at Old Chicago, Omaha, NE.

Victim of circumstance on this one, my peeps. And it's kind of like a kids birthday party meets an ok, but below average blonde. A chocolate birthday cake partially blew up in a, I don't know, what's an average blonde ale?

This thang is a loud boom without the confetti. Raul does not recommend.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Soft chocolate aroma, but also carrying a graham cracker malt character. Makes it like smore, in a good way. Nice aroma.
Cloudy and more towards yellow with a smallish mostly white head.
Nicely balanced flavor mimicking the aroma in the chocolate with graham like malt flavors, making me again think of smores.
LIghter body and a nice soft feel.
A good drink with enjoyable flavors and none to excess. Several may be an issue, in terms of too much, but I didn't get the opportunity to find out.

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Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow, ok head. Looks like any old lager/blonde ale.

Smell: Interesting mild chocolate aroma.

Taste: Nice creamy feel with sweet chocolate flavor. Not cloying, but all I can taste is the chocolate. Very easy to drink.

Overall: Picked up a sixer when in the Quad Cities. Pleasantly surprised, this had a nice chocolate flavor without being over the top. Very easy to drink, would be an interesting change of pace beer or one to give the non-beer drinker to try.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can with no date, poured into new Belgium globe

gold color, unfiltered and cloudy, small white head. smell is pale malt, hops. taste is sublime for a blonde ale, with a malty sweetness that doesn't really register as chocolate at first. you can taste the nibs but they blend flawlessly with the malt and hops.

pleasantly surprised by this one. I never would have bought this myself, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


Style: Blonde ale

ABV: ?

Purchased at: Hy-Vee; Marion, IA

Pour: Light yellow pour, drank from the can or pour.

Aroma: Nice smell of chocolate initially.

Flavor: Chocolate flavor right away and then mellows into a nice blonde.

Ratebeer.com rating: 32

Beeradvocate.com rating: 85

Overall: C+

My recommendation: Very enjoyable and unique. If you want something easy drinking this is a great choice.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love it, the chocolate is great, the mouthfeel is great. The refreshment level is high, but it is still a rich flavor and interesting. A really great job blending chocolate into a very non-traditionally chocolate style. The appearance isn't exactly blonde ale, but it makes it okay because I know the style is just a name in this case.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Teku from a 12-ounce can.

A: Pours a hazy "dirty blonde" hue with about an inch of creamy white head. Settles to a thin froth on the surface, and lacing coats the glass.

S: Lots of chocolate up front, with toasty, cracker-like malt character lingering in the background.

T: Some biscuity malt at first followed by some fierce chocolate on the mid-palate. Finishes clean, with some floral hop notes.

M: Light to moderate in body, with a creamy mouthfeel and a clean finish.

O: Unique and complex, but extremely easy to drink. At 4.8%, it's a dessert beer that doesn't put you over the top like so many others out there. Tasty, and definitely a beer that will find a home in my fridge from time to time.

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Dirty Blonde from Great River Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 82 ratings