Drake's Blonde Ale | Drake's Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
64 Ratings
THE BROS
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Drake's Blonde AleDrake's Blonde Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States
drinkdrakes.com

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerManDan on 02-18-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
64
Reviews:
24
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of Bali_hi
4.55/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Keg of blonde ale drank.

24 characters

Photo of rudedude985
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Drake's Barrel House, review from written notes.

Bright straw gold, completely transparent with stray trails of rising carbonation.

Aroma of crackers, shortbread, and trace white grapes from the Kölsch yeast.

Crisp and snappy, sliced apple flavors and firm noble hop bitterness. Very light and refreshing, with an ethereal dry finish. Quintessential summer session beer, 2-3 pints would be no problem with this beer. Simplicity is underrated.

 457 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a very colorful and nicely decorated crown cap. Simple brown glass bottle is covered in one of those plastic shields where the see through parts lend the impression that the bottle has separate front, back and neck labels, when in fact it does not. Standard “Drake’s” 12oz design is differentiated only with the words “Blonde Ale” against a brown background. Described as a Kölsch style ale and listed at 4.8% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: Light but shining Golden body, clean presentation with a fascinating almost glowing body. Massive white head on the pour forms a gargantuan cap, rugged and irregular with an appealing Teutonic aspect. Super fine cascading conditioning milks the body on the pour, but soon rises to quickly support the thick cap. Lovely smattered lacing once the deep head collapses, head retention is excellent and the looks are impressive.

Nose: Soft and gentle with a Pilsner like quality to it. Delicate hopping is crisp and refreshing. Light in strength but very nice nonetheless.

Taste: Effervescent start, the conditioning lightens the entrance. Malts start with a gentle lemon hop tickle in the center. Straw-like feel with fresh herb and spices supporting the hop character. Finish is clean and unfettered.

Mouthfeel: The body is light in nature but the depth of flavors and the gorgeously smooth conditioning make for a brew that feels much bigger than its initial impression suggests.

Drinkability: I snaffled a Six-Pack of the Blonde Ale during a recent trip to BevMo and I’m finding that I am pouring top-ups from the next bottle in my fridge rather than the one I started with, I’m well into the second bottle and a third will follow soon no doubt.

Overall: I’ve had some good brews from Drake’s recently, and this one is no exception either. Funny how I did not have much expectation from this, yet as it turned out it was a very nice surprise. Don’t let the “Blonde” moniker put you off, this is far from dumb. Subtle, but definitely not boring.

 2,048 characters

Photo of Chiefmanynames
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Joe_Mahma
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a light pale golden color. This is a Kolsch style ale and is light and crisp. The smell is of hops, with an herbal and spicy aroma. The taste is pleasant and not overpowering. The taste is mostly a herbal and spicy in the mouth and has no bitterness on the after taste. This beer is different, but pleasant. The print on the bottle says, "A Pint A Day Keeps Scurvy Away".

 381 characters

Photo of Brandonry
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thebeerman82
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wowcoolman
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of aracauna
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is surprisingly good, actually. Pours a full, but pale gold that catches the light and seems to glow on its own almost. The head is bright white and lingers. The aroma is light, mostly light noble hops. The flavor is bright and crisp, citrusy and straw malt flavors. The hops are very reminiscent of pilsner hops, as is the malt profile. This is light and chuggable but avoids being bland. The quintessential summer beer.

 426 characters

Photo of bobbyhands
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ronricorossi
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 21st Amendment, in San Francisco.

Many people don't realize it, but "lagers" take their name from the process of "lagering", wherein a beer is left to settle at really cold temperatures over an extended period of time. This makes for a 'cleaner' brew, figuratively in the flavour sense but quite literally in terms of appearance: this golden beer is not only brilliantly shiny, but spotlessly clear too.

It's unusual for these kinds of lagers to have aromatics much worth mentioning and Drake's Blonde Ale is no exception. What's there is certainly pleasant, however, and gives us a nice sneak peek to the strongly bready malts and subtle, but stern, hops that are to ensue. In any case, I didn't order the pint to sit and smell it all night anyhow.

Me personally, although I think this is true of most beer geeks too, I don't dislike pale, light lagers at all. In fact, I'm rather fond of them - provided they're done right. The problem is most are made with huge proportions of adjuncts, usually rice or corn. Not only do these thin the beer out, but they leave an awful taste and often introduce a nasty amount sweetness.

What set's a Kölsch apart from everyday American lagers is that it not only has an unadulterated maltiness but, equally important, an undiluted one too. This example not only tastes like a freshly baked batch of bread - and not a synthetic, syrupy vat or corn - but it's also firm enough you could iron shirt over it. And heavy enough to be able to fill your belly up.

The middling scores most people have given the beer do not fairly reflect its quality; more likely they are a statement of the fact that many reviewers under-appreciate this clean and approachable German lager style. While Kölsch beer may fit most's description of an 'average' beer, I contend that Drake's Blonde Ale is a definitely an above-average example of one.

 1,881 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear golden straw hue, head is three fingers of soapy white foam, minimal lacing
S- Mostly light and crisp grain malts, subtle hops
T- Taste is dominated by refreshing pilsner-esque grain malts with a nice accompanying lemon citrus hops, finishes dry
M- Light-bodied, watery texture, high carbonation
D- Pleasantly surprised by this Kolsch style beer, very easy to drink and in the session range, feels like a more balanced and hoppy Heineken, not bad at all

 462 characters

Photo of rowbow
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of NRo
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Bubbles
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Dogtazer
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of pjwilson
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a bright clear yellow color. strong carbination and decent head. looks pretty inviting on this summer's day.

smell: that soft grainy flavor you get from light beers like this. some very nice fruity hops are in here as well. subtle yes, but on par for an americanized kolsch. (thinking this should be under american blonde). some sweet grain here as well. nice

taste: very pilsner like crispness, sharp hops and bitterness up front, burying most of the grain. very clean taste, without too much going on. that's good for a beer like this, i like it, my problem is with mouthfeel....

mouthfeel: a pilsner stuck in an ale's body. you kinda wish the body were more on par with the light, crispiness of a lager, rather than the more full ale body this has. really quite a full bodied beer, which seems out of place with the taste.

drinkablity: the fullness certainly slows you down more than it should. i'm thinking this would hit the spot much better on a cool fall evening, rather than the heat summer. but, a nice beer that I would get again.

 1,072 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mix-pack from Cost Plus Market, on to the beer:

Poured into a pint glass, this beer is chill-hazed peach color. The head retnetion is good.The aroma is mildly phenolic (plastic)with some peach and apricot crawling up. The taste is light on the palate with a high carbonation, but not over the top. Soft flavors of apricot and touch-ups of by-products off what one could find in a Belgian pale ale, the letter which I found to be very interesting. An easy drinker with a light bitterness in the aftertaste, this beer was enjoyed with a grilled chicken dinner.

 569 characters

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Drake's Blonde Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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