Bailey's Blonde Ale | Cisco Brewers Inc.

very good
114 Reviews
Bailey's Blonde AleBailey's Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies 6.5 - 7.5%

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 166
Photo of Knapp85
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out a muddy golden color with out much head. The lacing is very minimal. The head that is there is just a thin white film over the top. The smell of the is grainy with some earthy hops. The taste is a little earthy and had a dirty hop flavor the overpowers the taste. The mouthfeel is medium, decent carbonation. Overall, not a fan, didn't think this was much of a blonde ale personally. I'll leave this one alone in the future.

 444 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour it slowly, as this creates one huge head that winds up like a glacier in its complex ridge patterns; beneath that rocky head sits a cloudy, honey-colored liquid

Smell: Bready malt with a lovely grapefruit rind aspect

Taste: Although the bready malt takes a quick bow, the grapefruity bitterness can't wait to kick it off the stage; after the swallow, this is all about the slightly sweet but thoroughly bitter grapefruit flavor; finishes dry, with just a touch of residual sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation; just a tad to fizzy in the mouth

Drinkability: OK, so this isn't a blonde ale...but that's why I like it so much

Thanks, donkeyrunner, for the opportunity

 733 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/9/2012, so it's nearly 7 months old, bummer.
It pours a brassy orange with fair clarity, long lasting foam and sudsy lacing, a spotty band adheres to the rim of the glass. A delicate thin veil of skim maintains itself for the entire glass.

Grassy faded hop tea aromas, mild with a vague grainy malt note.

Flavors follow suit, some vague dried citrus peel of Centennial and bready pale malt sweetness, light residual hop bitterness. Light bodied, dry with a decent hop presence still detectable. The tea notes are telltale signs of age, but its not entirely faded. A fresher sample is needed to give it a fair shake, hopefully the shop will still carry it in singles.

 679 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a hazy, golden body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - A light aroma of spicy, American hops with a little bit of toffee.

T - Bready malt and some spicy hops up front. Some more hop character in the middle with a bit of pine. Finishes with lightly sweet malt, notes of grapefruit, and moderately strong, but somewhat harsh, bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - A nice beer overall, but it has some harshness to the bitterness that lingers on the palate and that kind of hurts the drinkability.

 641 characters

Photo of oberon
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slight hazed well blonde of course with a huge blooming white head that caught me off guard almost overflowing the glass and it took its sweet time coming down leaving a soap-scum like trace behind.Love the hops in the nose citrus oil dominates with underlying pine and lightly toasted grain,a grainy lighter mouthfeel not watery just on the thinner side.Bright flavors of floral hop and citrus not overly complex by any means a light toastiness underneath the hops but not much in malt complexities but it goes down oh so easily for 7.5%alc let me tell ya.Hmm a good beer if not complex, a good summer quaffer and the biggest blonde ale I have had to date.

 666 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cisco's Bailey's Ale is anything but a cross-over beer for people seeking a "blonde" or "golden" ale. A bold bitterness (and alcohol content!) that leans towards IPA levels lurks within its slightly hazy (it's bottle conditioned in the 750 ml bottle) deep-golden-orange body. And as usual for their beers, the head retention is quite good and it leaves some very nice lace about the glass. The nose delivers a bright combination of very grassy hops and yeasty fruitiness (or is that from the hops as well?) that's not particularily overwhelming, or even welcoming, but is otherwise clean and welcoming. The body is medium-light; and its exceptionally fine and zesty natural carbonation tickles the tongue. A mild maltiness, grassy hop flavor, and rock-solid bitterness fight it out in the flavor leaving it a bit bland (or should I say undecided?) upfront; but it finishes extra-dry and refreshing with a splash of tangerine and grapefruit citrus hops that fades to more a grassy and spruce-like character as it lingers. Bold, bright, refreshing, and loaded with alcohol.... this is no amature beer!

 1,099 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Alright, so this one's lovingly named after Bailey the Dog. That's sweet. Bailey sure has become an increasingly popular dog name over the past several years. Doesn't anyone name their dog Doctor Bacon these days?

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dull golden body with a smallish, fizzy-looking, white head.

Smell: Soft pale malts aroma with rich supporting notes of fruity peaches, flowers, and pithy hops.

Taste: Pale maltiness sporting a slight graininess and a small bit of tangy malted wheat close behind. There's a delicate sweet and flavors of fruit wildflowers, but this is expeditiously plowed away by a strong, caustic hop bitterness. Coarse, pithy hop character. Finishes quite dry and crisp with a long, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability: There's some good there, but with its copious amount of bitterness and, for me, over-abundant carbonation, it was a bit of chore to finish.

 934 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first of what I was able to try. I am typical not a fan of the style, well I take that back, its not a bad style per se, just find it to lack what I am really looking for as far as depth and complexity, that said I am far from opposed to trying it by any means. The pour was about what I would have expected given the style. Light golden in color with a medium level of haze and cloudiness to it that obscured a bit of the sunlight poking through. Nice head of white capped the top and settled down smoothly and evenly, creating a decent broken crown that ringed the side of the glass and kept some nice lacing. Aroma was light, and this would be a trend throughout the day. Light notes of peach and light grain are really all that is coming through right now. Warming brought a smidge of citrus to it, but nothing really standing out here for me at all. Crisp, clean flavor though with light hints of clove and heather that sat on top of a base that resembled mostly light fruits and hints of grain. Smooth, light body was not overly carbonated but rather a bit silky and left just the right amount of dryness on the tongue as it worked itself through.

Overall this was not bad at all. Very light, but that is the M.O. on the style, crisp, clean and refreshing with a decent amount of depth to keep the palate from getting bored, I could see this one on a hot summer day.

 1,378 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Holy Head Batman--I poured about 3 oz and the head was at least 6" thick (meaning that the glass was 7/8's foam). It receded slowly leaving a volcanic dome of white froth. Great sticky lace. The color of the beer is pale gold with a small amount of chill haze.

Crisp light malt aromas with a touch of hop in the background. Slightly yeasty. Appealing.

This beer is hop heavy. If I were blindfolded, I would swear I was having an IPA. The little malt presence there is seems to be for the purpose of delivering the bitterness, which lasts long into the aftertaste. Also, I am noticing some alcohol warmth after the swallow. Full bodied based on my expectations and, obviously, well-carbonated.

I'll have to drink this one slowly because the head is unrelenting. I like hoppy beers, but this one was completely unexpected. It is definitely NOT a lighter, lawnmower blonde ale.

 878 characters

Photo of Jason
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap @ Bukowski’s Tavern.

Appearance: One of the hazier blonde ales in the market, quite active carbonation holds the white lace together.

Smell: Smells of citric hop and bread malt, just the way a blonde ale should smell like.

Taste: A lush textured carbonation that is a bit on the high side, this helps with the hop bitterness bite. Sizeable citric flavour from the hops, maltiness is balance with the hops and throws down an even bready maltiness. Hints of alcoholic esters and yeast in the back of the mouth. Finishes crisp and dry with lingering pale grain and citric hop.

Notes: On this triple H day in Boston this was a needed quencher though I’d drink this year round if it was available on draft around town.

 758 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No dating system on bottles just arrived in the Pittsburgh market, this is a beefier blonde than your average release. Appears a slightly hazed bright sunshine golden with a thicket of white head floating above the sides of my glass. Aroma has some bright citrus notes with rough grains and a bit of nutty yeast notes actually. A very much New England smelling brew that I'm sure goes great with lobster, I'm sensing some English brewing tradition I won't go as far to call it out on Ringwood or an Alan Pugsley system but there's something going on here. Flavor has a nice blend of hop bitterness with herbal slightly citric flavors going on really hits the palate, with a lighter malt biscuit approach and again some nutty/rising bread yeast notes along with the complexity of the rest of the additions. No booze coming straight out, but what an interesting experience. Mouthfeel has a dry finish with hops/yeast combo hitting you, medium bodied interesting experience. Mild even keeled carbonation. Overall experience is one I will revisit, like I said this beer lives and breathes Nantucket. Grab some Lobster and some of this and it will probably knock you out.

 1,166 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a hazy, golden-yellow coloring with a dense, foamy, white head. Peppery and hoppy nose dances from the brew. The beer has a spiced and hoppy backbone, with cedar and green grass characteristics from the hops. Great lacing as you drink. The beer has a floral and spiced aftertaste, with a slightly dry, bitter finish. Tasty brew, and a little bit heavier on the ABV than most in this style.

 445 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With the word BLONDE in the title of this beer its unlikely to be reclassified unlike Sixpoint Sweet Action was recently. BLONDE ALE!

Beer poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is yellow and pretty hazy. Form a big white head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to high. Looks good.

Aroma is slightly sweet and bready. Perhaps I wasn't suppose to serve it with the yeast. Smells kind of like a Belgian pale ale but weaker.

Beer has a slight metallic taste to it. Its thin in body, minimal carbonation in the mouth. Kind of creamy. Moderately bitter at the back from hops. Not much sweetness, its OK nothing really special about it. I think its a little too bitter for the delicate palate of this beer. Could use some more in the front and midpalate.

 777 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a nice two finger head. Some mild lacing develops. The aroma is of citrus, grass, yeast, and tart apples. The flavors followed the nose, as caramel, grass tones, yeast, bread, oranges, grapefruit, and granny smith apples. No means is this the flavor of a blonde ale.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a light crispness. Citrus and bread tones linger in the finish. Nicely drinkable.

 404 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The weather here in Denver is "hot" for February. Like 60 god I want a blonde (ale)

So, pours a cloudy golden, some particles around in there. Nice 2 finger foam, dense, white, chunked up a bit. Lacing is very nice, too. Shows promise

A malt back bone, light and slightly toasty. Hops are noticeable and drive the beer in terms of flavor and feel. A bit lemony, a bit flowery. The aroma is more hoppy than the taste, as the taste has more of the malt in it. The aftertaste is a bit husky, but just short of musty and stale. That's good, but it takes drinkability down a notch. Carbonation was just right. Cleanses palate and leaves that little bit of malty aftertaste.

 683 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a floral hop aroma. It's light with a slight fruitiness from the yeast. The taste is good. It has a pale malt flavor that goes down easy with loads of bitter hops and a dry finish. It leaves a citrus aftertaste. The elevated abv. is also well hidden. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a pretty good blonde ale. I like the use of hops, although I would have chosen a different variety. Overall, a good drinker for those hot summer days.

 636 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cisco Brewers
Bailey's Blonde Ale

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a large soapy head and lace. Aroma of herbal, tea like hops, belgian yeast, and citrus. In the taste, nice little belgian yeast funk and lemony citrus. Herbal, grassy hops. Semi-dry bitter finish with a sting of carbonation. Overall, not a whole lot American going on with the flavor, Bailey's Blonde tastes like a quality Belgian import. Solid.

 413 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No real bottle date and had some sediment at the base so I can only assume it's over 7 months old.

A - A very hazy amber yellow so not quite blonde at all. Head exploded forth filling my whole glass with foam even with a tilt. So far not good.

S - No real hops just a raw grain smell and maybe some musk.

T - OK this bottle is older than I thought I am for sure getting a wet cardboard flavor next to some bittering hops and a very raw grainy taste. A shell of it's former self.

M - Medium bodied.

Overall I may revisit since I liked the summertime lager but I even had that one with age and it was at least drinkable. This one resulted in a 1/4 of the bottle drain pour.

 676 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pt 9.4 fl oz (750ml) bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a huge 4+" bright white head above the slightly cloudy straw hued brew. Had to be patient, let things fade, and then add more ot the glass. Head is thick and frothy, like melted marshmallow on top of hot chocolate, to paint an image. Lacing is tremendous. Just wish I could get it in the glass faster and get to the tasting part. An effervescent citrusy aroma, with a little something in there that I don't recognize, kind of bitingly bitter (my first thought is bug spray, but we'll pretend I didn't think that). Taste is kind of bitterly harsh, what with the pale malt and hops more like duking it out than playing a symphony together. And it's not just a hops bitterness, but more earthy. Anyways, sort of tones down the mouthfeel and drinkability for me, although it does improve as it continues to warm towards romm temperature.

Not my favorite beer ever, but it hasn't turned me away from Cisco entirely, either. Hoping for a bit more out of their other products.

 1,086 characters

Photo of DrJay
2.86/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Cisco brewpub at Logan airport.
This one poured a hazy, dark gold with a dense, white cap. Good head retention with some spotty lacing. Bitterness was moderate overall, but seemed a little harsh. It had a light citrus flavour with slight spiciness, cereal grains, a bit of sweetness and lingering bitterness. The aroma was all cereal, citrus, and a bit of spice. Light to medium bodied with creamy carbonation, off-dry. This just didn't come together for me. I didn't enjoy the combination of flavours and there was a bit of perceived harshness from the hops/spicy character.

 589 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Pours a golden copper color with a thick, frothy head. Not quite "blonde" here.

Aroma: Light and malty with a hint of citrus and light hop bitterness.

Taste: Light and bready. Sweet with light hop bitterness. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Light and bready with hop bitterness. Goes down easily.

Drinkability: Easily one of the best blonde ales I've had. Very light and drinkable. Doesn't feel cheap or watered down. Alcohol is pretty high for a blonde ale but doesn't detract from the overall taste.

 503 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle $6. Golden color just as you would expect given the name. Decent hop aroma but not hoppy like say an IPA or pale ale. The flavor was really well done, hard to describe but tasty, a bit of hops, just really well rounded. I have been pretty impressed by Cisco beers and look forward to trying to more.

 311 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer a transpicuous golden yellow with a monumental head, and lace a half inch thick. Well thick anyway. The nose primarily malt, slightly floral, lemon lime crispness also noticed, quite pleasurable. Front is malt and sweet, the top middling in its feel, finish tart, modestly carbonated, mellow on the hops and just a plain mellow beer, quite quaffable.

 359 characters

Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure I have much to add to the other reviewers here. I have had this from the bomber in the past but having recently visited Nantucket I had a classic pilsner glass full of this unusual blonde ale at the Galley Beach restaurant. It has the right look with a sunshiny straw color, clear and busily carbonated with a big white head that's plenty stubborn and followed by generous lacing. But you are immediately impressed by an aroma that is dominated with grassy/grapefruit hops! I recalled the bottle version being similarly inclined but this is particularly obvious and tasty from a hops perspective. There may be a hint of light malt in there as well, but the bitter invitation prevails. Right to work on the palate confirms that we have more of a righteous pale ale here, and with a bit of a kick to boot. It's a nice cereal grain theme that marries nicely with the same hops detected in the aroma. Citrus, grain & cracker sensibilities that translate into more of a classic ale, perhaps a sturdy pal or even a polite IPA. I'm rarely one to complain on style if the beer suits my taste buds (within reason) and I typically don't crave light ales like what may usually pass for a blonde, So in my case I was thoroughly thrilled to find a reasonable hop fix when the menu at this pricey eatery offered no obvious options. This has a medium-plus body but offers a bubbly refreshment and lively feel. If you like hops at all you should find this very drinkable and a great hop companion for most meal items. This beats Cisco's pale ale by a long shot in my book. But it may be inappropriate to the enthusiast who love's a "true" blonde.

 1,639 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to LarryG for this one as an extra in a recent trade! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and skunky hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, and skunky hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. For a Blonde Ale this one had quite a bit going on in the flavor department. The skunky hop was definitely present in this one, but seemed to fit in the overall beer quite well and wasn't very invasive as some skunky hop brews are. Really solid Blonde Ale if I'm honest. This one actually motivated me to go outside and drink it in the sun that day. Definitely worth trying for any Blonde fan out there or the curious alike.

 887 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bailey's Blonde Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.75 out of 5 based on 166 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.