Capital Blonde Ale | Forked River Brewing Company

11 Reviews
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Capital Blonde AleCapital Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Forked River Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
London, Ontario was selected as the site of the future capital of Upper Canada in 1793 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, though later rejected by Governor Dorchester. This beer pays homage to our capital denied, with a defiantly bolder version of the traditional blonde ale. We present an easy-drinking, sessionable beer that balances the sweetness of malted barley and the bitterness from North American hops. The use of a unique hop combination added late in the boil is responsible for the citrus flavour and aroma. This beer finishes out nice and dry, great for any occasion, at any time of year.

Added by MasterSki on 06-01-2013

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Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 31
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Fourth offering I've tried from Forked River. Purchased for $3.50 CDN from the local LCBO.

Appearance. - pours a mostly clear golden coloured beer with minor cloudiness. A fine finger of soft rocky white head is poured on top. Modest retention and some steaks of lacing linger behind.

Smell - slightly skunky, with some light grain aromas. Not much else other than those two aromas.

Taste - clean and light, some fine grains and floral aspects. Something akin to dill in there too. A little interesting.

Mouthfeel - smooth and light bodied, carbonation is modest.

Overall - Capital Blonde Ale is a nice representative of the style although is a little on the spunky side, and I'm not so certain I would try another sample given the heftier price tag.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to D.F. and J.S., Bucky was able to sample a 500 mL bottle of Capital Blonde Ale from the Forked River Brewing Company of London, ON. Capital Blonde was 4.7% alcohol by volume with no visible production or ‘best before’ date.

Capital Blonde poured a remarkably clear (especially for an unfiltered ale) golden-yellow colour, producing about 1.5” of pure white head that faded to a thin collar and film over the next two minutes. Some intermittent lacing and spotting was left down the glass as the head receded. Its aroma was pleasant enough thought fairly tame, with plenty of caramel malt, graininess and a lemony undertone. The flavour consists of a grainy malt sweetness up front, followed in quick succession by a subtle lemon citrus and mildly bitter hop finish The mild bitterness lingers for a few seconds as an aftertaste, and then is gone The beer is light bodied with a with a muted carbonation that contributes to a soft mouth feel. Overall, not a world beater, but a solid, sessionable, ale…which is probably what Forked River had in mind when they created Capital Blonde. Wouldn’t say no to another one.

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Photo of akdo
4.41/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at Scratch Kitchen, a restaurant in Toronto, Ontario and it was served in a pint glass.

Look: The transparent body is dark yellow, meaning iit is akin to a boiled egg's yellow. There is a static and ongoing carbonation at the same time. The beer produces a half-a-finger white head that unfortunately starts to disappears little by little as soon as we start smelling the beer. Despite the quick dissipation of the head, the beer does not develop a skunky nose and palate as a result of the oxidization unlike industrial European lagers like Heineken.

Smell: The nose offers hints of citrus, lemon and orange zests. In the end, the oranges dominated.

Taste: The palate's front end was similar to the nose. The malt's sweetness can be felt. The best part, however, were the middle and the finish. One can briefly feel notes of woods barrels before the dry and crisp finale. Then, we are welcomed with mild notes of spices and herbs that may remind us of a North American saison and even a wheat beer. Of course, the beer does not suffer from a crisis of identity as its taste is lighter than that of a North American saison or a wheat beer.

Feel: The objective of the brewery was clearly to come out with a session beer. It is mission accomplished. We get an easily drunk and even refreshing beer. Besides, although this beer is very light in flavour and juicy with regards to its texture, which is what you would expect from a blonde ale, it offers a great bouquet of flavours.

Overall: Although I used to loathe blonde ales, this beer made re-appreciate them. Think of this Canadian beer as a lighter version of a North American saison and a wheat beer. Moreover, given that many people do not like bitterness in beers, Capital Blonde Ale is not too aggressive and can be any beginner's gateway to craft beers. Finally, I would have liked to see a better head retention from this beer. Other than that, the beer is excellent for relaxing.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle picked up at the brewery; served well-chilled.

Pours a foggy golden-yellow colour, generating one finger of soapy, bone-white froth that rapidly melts away over the next minute or two. In its place, a bubbly cap and collar survives, with some scant smudges of lacing. The aroma is nothing to write home about, but still style-appropriate - lots of bready malt and biscuit, with light notes of citrus and some floral, earthy hop undertones.

The first sip is dominated by a clean, grainy malt sweetness, with toasted bread and biscuits comprising the bulk of the flavour profile. Little bit of caramel at the midpoint, but from that point on the hops take over, providing a dirty, earthy bitterness that lingers beyond the finish and into the aftertaste. Light-ish in body, with restrained carbonation levels that give this blonde a smooth, soft feel on the palate. Very sessionable, as this style should be.

Final Grade: 3.65, a decent B grade. At first, Capital Blonde Ale doesn't sound nearly as interesting as Forked River's other year-round offering - their Riptide Rye - but this one is probably a better-made beer, at least in my opinion. It's clean, balanced and easy to drink, which is 90% of what I want from this style. Every brewery needs a basic, no-nonsense session beer like this, and even though I am not very big on blonde ales, this is still a worthwhile brew that I'd be happy to sample again at a future time. Don't expect miracles... just a pleasant glass of beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Bottle from the brewery. Figured I should try their other year-round beer. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a thin white foam that settles to a thin collar and little else. Forked River seems to favor lower carbonation, but this seems a little light on foam for the style.

S - Smell is actually pretty solid; cereal grains, fruity notes, hint of citrus. I'd go for more hops, but this is true to style at least.

T - The taste is a bit less exciting. More hop bitterness in the finish, but flavor is a bit more grain and bread with perhaps a kiss of sweetness.

M - Lower carbonation, medium-light body, a tad grainy, with a crisp dry finish.

D - A decent entry-level craft beer, and actually a better beer than the Riptide Rye in my opinion. Easy to drink; the half-litre is an appropriate serving size.

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Photo of EvanHarper
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle from the brewery retail store, poured into a pint glass

Slightly hazy golden straw colour only a shade darker than a pale lager. Minimal blink-and-you'll-miss-it head, a few bubbles drifting up lazily from the glass.

Good hop aroma strongly suggestive of southern hemisphere hops; stonefruit, apricot. Only a slight citrus note despite what it says on the bottle.

Taste is clean and dry up front with some of the stonefruit hop presence, transitioning into a smooth but robost Munich-esque malty kick with a hint of crystal and maybe also a threshold-level buttery diacetyl note that's not technically to-style but works anyway. Finishes clean and dry again. Impression of moderate bitterness throughout (more than I was expecting for a 'crossover appeal' brew, good show) and especially towards the finish. Overall it's a brew with moderate, balanced amounts of several different flavours, similar to a good English bitter (although the flavours are different ones.)

Lightly carbonated, mouthfeel on the rich side for a 4.7% beer.

This is an excellent brew, easy-drinking without sacrificing complexity. It finds that elusive sweet-spot between between mass-appeal and craft credibility. It deserves to get picked up by LCBO or Brewer's Retail so that more people can know about it. As it is, I will be making a point to seek out bars in London that have it on tap, since I've heard the cask version is better than the bottled.

Note: This review has been updated; of two bottles I picked up from the brewery store, one was substantially under-carbonated. This second one was lightly carbonated but not so lightly that it seemed off.

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Photo of SebD
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice clear golden/yellow color to it. It has a nice white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of bready malts, some biscuity notes, floral hops and some citrus.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some bready malts, some grains, biscuity notes, floral/earthy hops and faint citrus.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Subliminal64
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

First time trying the microbrew beer from my hometown. All I can say is very good.

Pours a gold colour. Very clear (despite being unfiltered). Little to no head on it though.

Smell is very neutral. Not weak, but not potent.

Taste was very good. Strong, but not overwhelming.

The only complaint I have is the carbonation. When it poured, there was hardly any head on it. Carbonation dissapeared quickly. Although this was not the case when I sampled the beer from the tap. We will see on the second bottle.

Overall I was very happy with this beer. Price was a little expensive, but its local, small batch, and fine ingredients. I will be purchasing again in the near future.

Keep it up guys!

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thoroughly enjoyed this fresh on tap as well as the bottle that was purchased and opened last week-end. However this second bottle is lacking the west-coast hop elements and most of the carbonation, so am rating it lower than I expected to be.

Pours a crisp and clean light golden, straw colour - if it had bubbles and a white head, would be an attractive beer. Grain forward aroma is bready and koelsch-like. Flavour is also biscuit-forward but with a reasonable bitterness in the finish. Lacking all of the tropical fruit hop elements I remember enjoying last week-end?

I have tremendous hopes for Forked River, but this bottle was a disappointment.

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Photo of pootz
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Tried bottle and draft - pale straw color decent white cap laces well. Aroma is lightly citrus, malty, clean. Light bodied rounded character. Flavour has hops and malts up front in perfect balance, clean drying lightly bitter finish. Not an off the hook ale but very drinkable, flavourful but not complex and very sessionable - I think this is what the brewers were after - Works for me as a crafted on tap session ale

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Photo of bmacaskill
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Nothing compelling here. Not much of a nose, decent mouthfeel. Nicely hoppy but otherwise unremarkable. Maybe a little flat. Still, I'd drink it all day on a patio in favour of maxi easy-drinkers. I suspect it's just what it was brewed to be...

I'd have it again, but only if there was nothing new to try! I prefer their Riptide Rye.

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Capital Blonde Ale from Forked River Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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