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

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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 166
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.

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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.

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Photo of birchstick
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to LarryG for this extra!

A pours a nice clear yellow with a nice head, very blonde ale like in appearance

S - smells of a bunch of bready malts with some lemon, pine, and spicy hop character to it

T - the taste starts off with the biscuit and bread malt that showed up on the nose. These faded and next up were a pretty bitter pine and acidic grapefruit hop profile. Pretty good, but this doesn't seem like a blonde ale, more of a hopped up pale ale or IPA.

M - nice and creamy mouthfeel to this guy

D - pretty good blonde ale here. Lots going on, which makes it more enjoyable than your typical example of this style, however when I reached for this I was hoping for something lighter and not as hop dominant...if I want something hoppy I reach for an IPA.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cisco Brew Pub of Nantucket in Boston Logan Airport. This brew is a good reason to get to the airport early!

A--Hazy golden orange, with just a little head. Head is very light, not thick and frothy.

S--Big bitter nose, just how I like it. Called a blonde, but smells like an IPA.

T--Even better it drinks like an IPA. Lots of bittering and aroma hops. Lack of dryhopping keeps the bitterness from being overpowering against a light sweet malt profile.

M--Not a lot of carbonation, which is probably good as it would probably throw of the nice malt/hops balance.

O--Very quaffable, but kind of a palate wrecker. My kind of brew.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to LarryG for this one - received on my doorstep a couple hours ago.

poured cold from the bottle a murky golden straw to a dogfish head shaped pint with a 1/2 finger short lasting foamy off white head leaving a nice bit of lace after each sip.

aroma of yeast rolls and citrus, perhaps a bit of lemon rind.

dang, i sure didn't get all these nice floral hops in the nose. much hoppier than expected, initial bitter, but not distracting. citrus present, but the sweet malt comes through as well.

light bodied, bitter to the sides of the tongue, high carbonation.

drinkable - yep.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of utah44
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is heavenly brew, but not quite what I expected in a blonde ale.

Poured from bottle into a pint glass gave a large head that persisted and exhibited nice lacing. Smell was remarkably pungent with a great hop aroma. Color was deep yellow reminiscent of high-specific gravity micurition.

Flavor was excellent, but more like a pale ale. Hops and malts seemed to be well-balanced but the bitterness presisted. So mouthfeel was also excellent and drinkability was outstanding. I think I will get a 6-pack next time.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

This hefty-sized ale is hazed pale golden with a thick crown of lace from its very active carbonation. It has a pretty wild nose; citric, earthy and a little peppery, with bread, biscuit dough and pears. Its smooth and creamy medium body is a bit in the raw, with full-on yeast flavors, fruitiness and all. This does not, however, interrupt the complex overtones of biscuity malt, citric herbal and woody hop flavors; there's also a perfect level of bitterness. This beer's rawness does not take away from its drinkability; it actually pulls us in, sip after sip. Amazing.

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Photo of Stigs
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a billowing amount of fluffy and frothy bright white foam. the beer is just a touch hazy, very bright gold in color. leaves behind some big spots of fluffy wet lace clinging to the glass. nice on the eyes.

S - grainy from front to back, noble hops come through with lemon peel and grass characteristics with a faint touch of floral to it as well.

T - bold, crisp crackery pale malt provide the base layer for fair amount of noble hops. wet grass, lemon, and a hint of grapefruit are all there. there is also a faint bit of fusel alcohol which becomes noticeable as the beer warms a bit.

M - light, refreshing body with crisp and active carbonation. finishes pretty clean, with some mild lingering noble hoppy bitterness.

D - solid, and potent for the style...perhaps suffers from trying just a bit too much. good for an odd hop craving or two, though.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the pour we get a somewhat cloudy golden apricot colored brew, with a clean, two finger head. As the head recedes it leaves a finely detailed lacing around the glass. Even before the official whiff we detect an immense hop character wafting through the air. While hops dominate the aroma, there are also clues of clean grass and herbs, light citrus, and a mild malty balance. On the front end of the taste we culminate in a mash of malts and grapefruit. The sip then concludes with a clean bitterness of hops, soapy flashes, and celery salt. The brew is medium, in both body and carbonation. The mouth is left uncoated, but pleasantly satiated. This brew has a respectable abv and is ultimately refreshing.

Overall, what is most notable about this brew is the high hop character, the rich golden color, and the freshness of the taste's components. This last quality is, in large part, due to the generous hops throughout, leaving the drinker's palate feeling both cleansed and satisfied.

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Photo of chaz01
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from the beer of the month club, poured into a long thin pilsner type glass.

A: Cloudy yellow straw color with a thick foamy head that recedes quickly.

S: Some light fruity aromas, citrusy and even a little tropical.

T: Very different malty type flavor with a spicy hop profile that's mostly grassy with a bit citrusy piney mix along with a very dry lingering finish.

M: Pretty lite bodied and well carbonated.

D: Somewhat easy to drink, not anything what I expected. Very big flavor profile that I found leaving myself wanting more.

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Photo of argock
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: A very hazy dark blonde with craggy, thick foamy 2-finger head with good retention and big lumps of sticky head-lace.

S: Floral, grassy, and grapefruit hops all greet the nose with gusto. The pale malt component is pretty small but does prop up the big citrus, haylike hops.

T: Flavor is frankly hoppy with mostly haylike, grassy hops with serious grapefruit-lemon citrus quality. The hops are extraordinarily dominant for a self-proclaimed blonde ale -- tastemore like a seriously hoppy APA or tender IPA. Still, it is a nice hops fix.

M: Medium-bodied with strong citrus hops aftertaste and medium carbonation, which appears to be toned down.

D: A drinkable brew, with a profile that doesn't fit the blonde ale style but, so what, it's delicious beer all the same. I still like Cisco's Moor Porter better, but this is a really nice ale all the way around.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This high ABV beauty arrived at my door via BOTMC lets give it a whirl. Popping the top the fog releases a delicious citrus hop smell that I expect to have a bite. The brew pours to a slightly hazy bright yellow with a big foamy head that stands like a champ. Upon sipping the smell is still permeating and smells of dandelions and zesty hopping. The taste is similar. A nice hop bite on the initial flavor but not real deep, more flowery. The taste continues with a malty backbone with bitter hoppiness still present, transitioning to a fruity and citrusy bitter finish with a still bitter aftertaste. Incredible citrus notes in this brew. Goes down good with good zesty mouthfeel. Might be tough to drink too many with the ABV, this one sneaks up on you.

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

Had a few of these at the Cisco Brewery on Nantucket. Highly recommend the trip, even if they sadly didn't have their well regarded sours on tap while we were there. Apparently it's one of three facilities in the country that combine brewery, distillery and vineyard.

Bailey's is much like many of the blonde ales on the market, if characterized by a heavier concentration of citrus hops especially at the back. The body is hazy, but was mostly clear of particulate matter for my pours.

A nice, easy to drink ale that's perfect for summer. Easy enough, in fact, that I'm rather skeptical of the claimed ABV. Either way, it's a nice, easy blonde to enjoy.

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Photo of scoobybrew
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - golden color with a thick chill haze (clarifies as it warms), decent head, fair retention

S - modest American citrus-like hop, biscuity pale malt

T - moderate citrus hop flavor with a fairly astringent hop bitterness on finish; malt is present, but not very supportive of hop bitterness or flavors

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a disappointing American blonde ale. The balance is all off. The malt cannot support the hop flavors or finish. The malt character is muddy and neither distinct or interesting. But it's not a drain-pour, BUT I won't be getting this again. It might be better closer to the source, I would hope.

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Photo of erosier
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a nice yellow orange color with a tall a medium bodied white colored head that fades slowly and laces the glass on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts followed by hints of citrus, grassy, lemon zest, and a big hop finish.
T: Tastes of sweet toasted malts and, like the nose, is followed up with big summer flavors of citrus (mainly lemon) then earthy, and citrusy hops at the end of it. Finishes very clean.
M: Very crisp, medium bodied, fresh, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, had a lot more hop flavor than I was expecting, but also had a higher abv so it was pretty good.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slight golden orange color. 2 fingers of creamy white head.

S - Grassy hops, pears, biscuity yeast, lemons.

T - Bitter grassy and floral hops off the start. Grainy phenolic band aid flavor. Lemony yeast. Very faint malt peeking out. The finish is dry with an aftertaste of grassy hops and slightly citrus.

This is a hop intensive blonde. In fact it's a little unbalanced. The bold hops are welcomed upfront. It carries through but steps on everything else. The slight malt is not enough to hold up to the amount of hops. Having said that I still like it. Mouthfeel is spot on.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a plain pint glass.

A: Poured a hazy, golden yellow color with orange highlights and a bulbous, two-finger head of rocky, white foam. Muddled clarity and a chilled haze are outlined by the fine lace.

S: Smells citrusy, grassy and full of the hops. A light, toasted biscuit grain and husk aroma, but pretty hopped out.

T: Some toasted grain and sweet biscuity malts up front clashing with full on grapefruit, and citrus hop bitterness. There is a little light, fruity blonde ale qualities, but they are sorta hidden under the hops and alcohol sting.

M: Medium-full bodied and slightly chewy; not great for a blonde, but satisfying from the hopheads perspective.

D: This is a big, sort of unruly blonde ale. The 7.5% ABV is there for sure, and with a blonde ale, I wasn't sold that this worked for me. More like an IPA than a blonde, but a great hop fix if you're in the mood. Let's just not kid ourselves with the hops here.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, a huge thanks to pmlondrigan for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a slightly reddish hue though if I had to categorize it, it would be more of a "blonde" look - perhaps a strawberry blonde look, heh. Over a finger of white, fluffy and slowly receding head is achieved, which leaves great lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Slight floral hops, malty caramel, and some bitterness present.

Taste - Similar to the nose, though there is the distinct off bitter taste I can't put my finger on. Overall, seems to be like a mild IPA. A relatively non-noteicable malt backbone which is surprising since the nose gave me the impression there would be a decent amount of caramel and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, decent carbonation, finishes with a bitter, dry bite.

Drinkability - Honestly, this is pretty damn easy to drink. While it isn't the best beer in the world, at such a high ABV for a Blonde, this is an easily quaffable beer. No alcohol is noticed, both in the aroma or through warming of the throat. Not a bad beer at all and I kind of want to try their pumpkin ale now.

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

12 oz. bottle served in a fluted glass. Not blonde, as beer goes, more of a red tinged amber. Cloudy with no head, lace, or carbonation. Aroma is mostly hops with a hint of caramel malt. Clean and flat up front. No carbonation bite whatsoever. Mild sweetness in the middle and finish with a lasting bitter end. Drinks like an IPA, not a blonde ale. Very good, but not what one expects from the style.

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Photo of ksimons
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-12oz beer poured into a Saranac pint glass, is a clear golden blond with a very thin layer of white head that leaves some lacing around the top

S-a light bitter hop smell mixed with some sweet malts

T-very bitter! much more so than I was expecting based on the smell. After you get through the hops there is a bit of sweet malts, but not enough to balance it out

M-medium carbonation and a light to medium body, leaves a bitter aftertaste

D-more like an IPA than anything else, not something I would pick up again

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I opened it a thick (bottle conditioned?) froth began to overflow from the bottle. The head has pretty loose lacing with big sticky fireman's foam bubbles that stick to the sides of the glass even as it dissipates. I can see very active carbonation through my super special Sam Adams tasting glass - I really do like this thing! Anyway, the beer also has a great light golden-straw color which I'm finding particularly inviting (probably because it alludes to lighter taste and better drinkability than say, one of the imperial stouts I've been drinking all winter).

The smell was floral with definite hints of sour apple and citrus as well. Taste was similar similar to a Belgian (go figure...) with sour pear notes that were presented well in front of a slight bitter after bite. Given the relatively high ABV I think this had tremendous drinkability, almost more similar to a lager than ale.

Decent brew overall.

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Bailey's Blonde Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.75 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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