Arran Blonde | Isle of Arran Brewery Company Ltd.

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Arran BlondeArran Blonde
61 Ratings
Arran BlondeArran Blonde

Brewed by:
Isle of Arran Brewery Company Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-08-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 48
Reviews by wl0307:
Photo of wl0307
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer on 20 April 05 at home. The 500ml bottle has a best before date: Feb. 06.

Appearance: served in my Fuller's ESB goblet, it has a light-golden colour, with limited carbonation and foamy yet very thin layer of beer head.
Smell: at the first sniff, it already was very pleasantly remarkable--biscuity-malty and lemon-cake like fruity aroma springs to mind. I tried my best to smell it for quite a few times afterwards, but limited imagination I've got doesn't allow me to write any more than the simple description above.
Taste: it has green-tea like smooth palate, with surprisingly limited carbonation which adds to the velvety mouthfeel, fruity hoppyness balanced with restrained maltiness.
Aftertaste: mildly-dry bitterness throughout against aromatic backbone in my throat; alas, it was not long lasting...
Drinkability: it is quite a nice drink on its own; but overall the body and palate was outweighed by the aroma, and on balance this made this beer just a bit too simple to be a great one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer that I have never saw before and I take many havent this is the first review,pours a deep hazy blond with a much larger head than expected almost over filled my pint glass it leaves a nice amount of lace on the way down.Very English aroma of leafy/minty hop and some yeasty notes even a little sulpher.taste is dry and minty with a big metallic finish I get a light lemony taste in there as well.A solid brew and nice new find a definant session-style blonde ale here.

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Photo of ADR
2.94/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slight hazed kind of dirty yellow color. Plenty of head, pillowy and moving up to 1/2 an inch. Laces creep up from the line of the head and the top of the beer. Pineapple aroma, some slight egginess -- overall, lingers in the nostrils. Mouthfeel is light/medium and the carbonation is higher than low but not medium. Flavor has some metallic qualities, in some ways like long-sitting cling peaches with some additional apricot richness. A bit of hops join in at the end, and there is a bit of transitional "zingyness" to this, a bit of a change of pace. Overall fruitiness, just canned and stale. Not really as estery as a classic Wheat, though that grain seems to be well tossed in the mix. I have no idea why the hell rastaman entered this as a Belgian Pale, it has most things in common with a twist on a Blonde Ale.

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Photo of rastaman
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold in colour, aroma is quite sweet malty, with some nice herbal hop notes. The palate is much the same, sweet malts at the start, balanced by a dry slightly herbal hop finish. Throw in a sprinkle of salt and peat, and it not a bad beer. I was quite surprised.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In 2000 I spent a semester studying in Scotland and would take a train somewhere almost every weekend. The first week of spring I traveled to the Isle of Arran, just off the coast near Glasgow. I rented a bike and circled the northern half of the island. After about 35 miles I started to really not want to be on my bike any more, and the knowledge that the brewery wasn't much further kept me peddling. Alas, when I arrived, the place was closed. I've waited over four years to finally track down beer from Arran, and now I've found it at A Southern Season.

Pours a cloudy golden hue with a nice, stark-white head that hangs around for a while. Slightly astringent nose hides elements of pepper, spicy hops, and yeast. Pepper and coriander dominate the front of the palate, followed by flavors of a Belgian-style yeast in a nice, lightly creamy body. Spicy hops and a more muted yeast flavor are present on the finish, followed by a nice, sweet, dry aftertaste. I could definitely drink a lot of this.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.02/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Best Before 2/05 (I think I bought it in 2/05, and didn't see the nicks on the side of the label).

Pours a surprisingly hazy golden blond yellow color, with a nice full white head. Aroma is sweet-honey with a slight spicy tinge. Pretty nice, but not very complex.

Flavor is much sharper, tart, with no real sweetness at all. Bitter, but not in a hoppy way. Not at all what I expect a Belgian Pale Ale to be. Mouthfeel is kind of thin, not at all satisfying.

Maybe this one is outdated and shouldn't be reviewed, but I've never had one a couple months old that has changed so much to be this off- it makes me think it was bad to start with. And I have no desire to try it again to find out. Poured this one out. Aweful.

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't too sure what to expect from this 500ml brown bottle of 'Blonde'.

I poured the beer (in three instalments) into my Veltins Pilsner stemmed tulip glass. The beer was a clear golden blonde, a slightly deeper gold than a typical lager, but with the same sort of pure white head.

The smell was of hops, as was the main taste and it was obvious from the first sip and smell it wasn't a lager based beer, but an ale of some sort. The malted wheat gave the beer a flowery feel and a floral flavour, very summery.

The bottle asked for the beer to be served chilled, it was. All in all a pleasant beer.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml bottle (Batch # 650) in a classic conical pint glass

Poured with a smile inducing gurgle & glug, lively, yet it has an almost syrupy look to it. Sweet, piney nose up front, stone fruits like peach, apricot, faint citrus with grapefruit, maybe some warm pineapple, a whiff of buttery toffee...a very inviting bouquet. As it airs it gets more like a chewy, fruited caramel in sweetness.

Head was feeble at best - some large white bubbles that tried to get organized yet failed miserably, leaving a thin floater of a sheen and a thin glass ring that never had a chance to lace. Slightly hazed, the body is a pale, brassy warm honey color with no noticeable carbonation. At least it smells good.

Semi-dry, creamy smooth, sweet but in a very light manner, soft pine, dirty hop bitters with a peep of some black pepper to them for some sharpness. The malts are a bit rocky and flat, but they provide a floor for everything else to dance on. Its an unusual taste, yet interesting, a wee bit seductive as well as pleasing.

As with a lot of this style and its cousins, it sets a very leisurely pace, yet is very easy to drink. I have come to enjoy English style beers like this for that reason. I cannot put my tongue nor finger on it, but I find myself slowing down & chilling out when enjoying them - a welcome quality in any beer.

The hops take on a more citrused quality with some bloom as I am detecting grapefruit now. Its actually quite hoppy for a Scottish brewed EPA, and I'm diggin' it. They are more noticeable and sharper/bitter on the palate as the malts fade and gets a little drier. The finish is more sweet than bitter, a little syrupy, leaving a nicely hopped/grapefruit, chewy aftertaste that is clean and pure.

This was an unusual tasting beer, but I did enjoy it. It caught me off guard a little but it had no real dead spots aside from appearance. Nice citrused hops over a distinctive malt profile - a great combo. This screams whitefish, a semi-strong cheese (Cotswold would be awesome with it), a high end deli sandwich on artisan bread with a crunchy crust and chewy crumb. Possibly the most unique Scottish beer I tried outside of Traquiar Jacobite. Check it out if you want something a little different and good.

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Photo of erosier
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

L: Pours a nice golden yellow color with a short and medium sized off white colored head that laces the glass a bit on the way down.
S: Smells of toasted malts, some bready aromas, and a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of toasted and bready malt mainly, then a hint of hops at the end of it finishes it off. There was a distinct bitter aftertaste to it as well that was not all that appealing.
M: Very smooth, nice amount of carbonation.
D: OK drinkability, not the best as the harshly bitter aftertaste didn't help it's cause.

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Photo of flood
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not too impressed with this one - maybe on a beach looking at bathing beauties in scotland. However the taste alone lacks a certain umphh.

Comes out of the bottle flat and tastes that way. Much better blondes out there. I couldn't get past the flat taste and therefore there is not much description otherwise - except it is better than US domestics.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single bottle copped from Super Saver in Somerville... recently sampled Arran's Dark, which was a decent stab... Their blonde sample, however, failed to impress, not really leaving anything to memory or striking a strong chord with flavor or style...
Hazy, murky, dark-copper, medium-amber hue with a very minimal head that soon receded, leaving no llacing, just a pale foam...
Sweet, extremely floral aroma with shades of blond honey...
Watered-down, semi-sweet mouthfeel with not much going on in this department... Crisp and clean, but too watery to really assert itself successfully...
Drinkability was about average or so, with the modest ABV, but the lack of appealing flavors brought this down a notch or too...
Arran's Dark is certainly the better of the two...
Not recommended...

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another free sample beer I was fortunate enough to try. It was a nice blonde color, but in a glass that size I could tell nothing about its head.

The aroma made me think "crisp and clean", nothing overly spectacular, but promising something very drinkable.

The taste was light and refreshing, without a lot of specific tastes that made their way to the front.

I would call this a good summertime drinking beer, but nothing incredible spectacular.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear golden body, with very little white head. Not very intense in taste, old, easy to drink with a gentle hoppy bitter aftertaste. Not bad at all, not too special either

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Photo of Kris450
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

I enjoyed this beer as I was on my way down from submitting Goatfell, the highest mountain on the aisle of Arran! So anything might have tasted good after that. But the beer was a lovely orange, with a light head. The mouthfeel was crisp and had floral notes. Definitely an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Reidrover
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lovelly looking bottle and label, 500ml serving. Nice enough looking ,just your typical dark golden , blonde ale small white head, clear body. Nice hoppy aroma, English style, flowery with a hint of hay. very lemon like bitterness on top of a heavier maltiness, bitterness peters out in the end leaving the end of the gulp quite smooth. Its kinda thin on the palate, but thats OK its hot here. Overall an unsubstantial beer, but I found it very drinkable , a good one for HOT weather.

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Photo of BcCraft710
3.02/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Photo of Jaymz
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger white head that goes quickly leaving some lace. Cloudy pale amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grassy, sweet nose. Starts crisp but sweet finish has hints of hops and bitterness but is really just mellow. Best by Feb 05 didn't matter still very good. $4.15 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden with a moderate snow white head that fades quickly, but never vanishes. Sweet herbal notes dominate the aroma. Crisp, and quenching in the mouth. A sharp, bitter and somewhat metalic hop flavor, and a sweet, perfumey, peety malt flavor fills out the taste profile. An interesting, yet somewhat puzzling drink. Long, long piney/woody hop finish.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was not familiar with this beer when I found it at my local store, so I immediately grabbed it to bring home and try. Glad I did, as this is an interesting selection.

Pours an opaque golden orange color. A thin foam settles on top and the subsides to the edges of the glass. Some faint traces of lace around the edges of the glass as the beer recedes. This is an interesting aroma. Very citrusy, with discernable lemon notes here. But also some other interesting aromas; I can detect some celery, sour mash, and the faint smell of cut grass. The taste here is not what I was expecting. It's a bit flat up front. It's not bad, but I was expecting a bit more to kick things off. Still, it's very smooth and mellow; the malt is in charge here, but not overpowering. Very citrusy here in the taste as well, again with a noticeable lemon presence. I get a twinge of hops at the back of the tongue, which fades a bit, and then lingers in the aftertaste. An interesting brew, to be sure. With a sturdy mouthfeel and high drinkability, this would be my lawnmower beer if I lived in Scotland. Do they even mow lawns in Scotland? No matter, this is solid brew and a thirst quencher. A nice English pale ale.

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Note: This bottle may not have been the best example - the top popped with no off-gas and very easily. I didn't read anybody else describing low carb levels - I feel like someone uncapped and recapped immediately.

A - poured light orange, pretty hazy with almost no head, even with vigorous pour directly into bottom of glass.

S - extremely minerally, nice floral hop in background, very low malt note

T - fairly hoppy with nice malt follow up, perhaps a little uninteresting

M - ok. I'm getting the impression that mine has a lot lower carb than everyone else. I would guess around 1 - 1.5 volumes CO2.

O - I would give it another shot if bought for me, but wouldn't want to spend the $5 again myself

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Photo of animal69
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of avalon07
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and - oddly - no head or lacing.

S: Had a sweet smell of hops and malt, but not much else.

T: Disappointing. You get a bit of malt and light hops up front, but then it's just a thin, watery brew. Totally uninteresting.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied. A strange case where the mouthfeel actually outshines the taste, instead of working in concert with it.

D: This is a wholly bland piece of brewing. No real character or taste, with a couple of the components working. Not the worst thing I've ever had, but not good either.

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Arran Blonde from Isle of Arran Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 61 ratings