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Old Capital | Keegan Ales

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BA SCORE
78
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54 Reviews
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Old CapitalOld Capital
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Keegan Ales
New York, United States | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is named for the Kingston area’s rich historical heritage, is reflective of traditional tastes. Simply put, it’s a golden, crisp and refreshing beer. Whether it’s out on a Saturday night with the gang, or home with dinner midweek, Old Capital’s exceptional smoothness makes a great choice for every occasion.

Added by Stimack on 11-24-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
122
Avg:
3.34
pDev:
20.96%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
13
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 122
Photo of farrago
3.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Meager head, barely coats the surface before disappearing, bright white, the lacing in turn tries to grip the glass but swiftly fades into oblivion. Light orange rust water hued liquid, soft gauzy quality, a few lazy bubbles scattered here and there. There’s a slightly crispy cracker to biscuit breadiness to the nose, molasses and honey, powdered orange soft drink notes, corn, has a wet graininess to it, fecund, displays a metallic ring before it all fades which mars any unadorned prettiness. Medium-bodied, has a round and generally soft mouth feel, the carbonation is neither fluffy nor crisp, sort of flat-footed. Corn, sweet grains and more molasses, the nondescript sweetness sort of takes the leading role in wallpapering over the blankness. Never coalesces into a real breadiness, however how generally malty it is. Apple, pear, apricot fruit which requires a little effort to enjoy. There’s some funky residue at the end which is hard to pin down exactly. Smooth enough to drink at a steady pace were there no expectations of greater complexity to the experience.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

as much as a session blonde ale is pretty boring, i liked this beer a lot more than it looks like others have. its got excellent carbonation and is crispy dry. combine that with a real low abv and a cooler of ice, you have a pretty refreshing beverage for a summer day, especially a day you plan to drink for most of. very mild in every aspect, especially the hops, there really isnt much more there than a euro style balance, and the grain is also impossibly light. what i do like though is that while its yellow beer though and through, its well crafted, well made, no visible flaws, no corners cut, kolsch type more than any thing else i think, and quite tasty if you like this kind of thing. i could see it being an excellent introductory beer for someone looking to get into craft, but its also a nice palate cleanser between bolder beers. if you know what to expect and still choose this one, i suspect youll like it quite a bit. just very neutral in many of its elements, thats not always bad.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.96/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Named after the first capital of New York, I did not like this beer the first time I sampled it, oh, 3 or so years ago. I was first getting into craft and of course this beer seemed lackluster. Then I made myself a Florida--a mix of this beer and Hurricane Kitty--to create a strawberry blonde, if you will. As far as beers named for colors, be it black, brown, red or blonde, the blondes seem to have a rough go of it; yet, in real life everyone wants an easy blonde. This may not be the sexiest of beers, but you can definitely pound this every night of the week without shame. Onto the tasting

A: Brilliant straw, lemon shade. Well-stacked and proportioned snow white head. Clarity borders on brilliant, and lacing is +.

S: Strong wheat musk. Honey like sweetness.

M: Very light with a soft underbelly. Not without crispness. Med-high carb.

T: Really nice malt profile here featuring wheat crackers. Some spicy, peppery characteristics. Low level of fruitiness mixed with some vegetal; apple, pear, rhubarb. Not much in the way of bitterness. A good beer, but outstanding blonde. I'm wondering if their recipe has changed. Great beer to introduce those non-craft drinkers to.

 1,183 characters

Photo of Bernard_Lettuce
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pale, straw-colored; thick foamy head of very fine bubbles; good head retention.

S: Faint wheat aroma.

T: Faintly of wheat, no other dominant flavors, no perceptible hoppiness.

M: Light and modestly carbonated.

O: Refreshing but unimpressive and fairly bland. Nothing too bold, no strong flavors that "jumped out" at the palate. Would not seek this out again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.64/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A glass consuming bright white head dominates the vessel with a sturdy, rocky foam structure. A strong sense of swirling effervesce rises within a pale brass coloring that showed a brilliant clarity. Patchy, sporadic lacing.

S: Pale grains, straw and not much else. Very mundane, no spiceness, boring.

T: A bit washy flavor-wise, dry wheat, some stale dry oranges, and grapefruit hopping. Damp musky grains, some brief moments of hope and flavor where i thought this turned the corner were only met with the disappointing realization that this wasnt really good with a weak washy finish.

M: Again a washy mouthful, light body, stale citrus and for such a strong visisble carbonation presence it felt really fizzy on the tongue lacking a crisp factor. Washy musky citrus feel.

O: Keegan ales continues to disappoint me with their boring, bland interpretations that probably may get attention from the macro-craft crowd, but gets lost in the swill with the more demanding craft flavored drinker. No frills, watery down flavor and just not up to style on this one, watered down.

 1,086 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.32/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A printed sequence of numbers that I can't make out to be any kind of bottling date

A: Pours a translucent light straw color with 1 fingers width of sea foam white head with good retention.  Ton of carbonation bubbles are seen.  Leaves only the faintest degree of lacing.

S: Yeasty, somewhat earthy/grassy, a bit of spice, burnt toast.  Actually smells quite nice.

T: Some pale malts, bready yeast, the subtlest hint of crisp light fruits like white grape or maybe peeled apples.   Very, very mild flavor profile.  

M/D:   Light but not too thin, crisp, finishes quite dry.  Could be described as refreshing.  Pretty nice mouthfeel for the style.  

O: Certainly not bad, but rather unremarkable from top to bottom, although in my opinion that could be said for most in this style. The flavor profile here is just too subtle and subdued.  I guess I could see it being used as a replacement to an American macro for a summer session beer in certain situations, or for your friends who are not craft beer fans but prefer something better than Bud Light.  I personally don't see myself ever buying this again though, and probably will give the last 2 I received to my roommate who is not a craft beer guy and will likely enjoy it's mild profile. An average example of a rather blah style.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Capital pours a golden color, with a small lasting white head; lots of carbonation bubbles. The smell isnt too strong, but has hints of creamy vanilla, rather pleasant. The taste is light, but as all blondes are, this is a bit stronger. It has a nice creamy taste, very mellow, nice on the palette. Overall a nice beer. Very surprising, I usually dont like this style, but I could drink this again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.58/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a light golden color with a small pure white head. The head fades relatively fast to leave very little lacing.

Smell – Some breadiness with hints of caramel and a very light corn aroma.

Taste – A shot of malt and corn are present up front. These are lightly sweetened by some caramel and sugary sweetness. As the taste advances the sweetness fades and at the end leaves a slightly dry flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Lighter bodied with a slightly above level of carbonation. It is suited for the taste and style, but nothing too fantastic.

Overall – Not a lot of flavor and rather subtle characteristics overall. Pretty average and somewhat boring.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - slightly cloudy straw yellow, overflowing with foam (over carbonation?). head finally settled and is a very frothy thick fizzy head. lovely looking beer

S - smells like pils malt, light hops, very yeasty

T - a very bready tasting beer. taste of cascade hops on the roof of my mouth. not much else there

M - a very light beer with high carbonation. not exactly my type of beer, but good for what it is.

O - picked this up just to try since Keegan makes awesome stouts, I wanted to see what the complete opposity style would taste like by them. it's hard to be impressed by a beer style i don't like but it's good for what it is.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

shocked i haven't posted a review on this one yet. i love sending keegan's as extras. solid brewery with minimal (but growing) distribution. love these guys.

a - cracked a bottle and filled my blue point snifter. poured a transparent straw yellow with a generous frothy head and visible carbonation throughout. head hung out as it slowly bubbled away.

s - earthy and grainy malts.

t - much like the nose, lots of grain and malt but with some nice subdued fruity highlights. lemony. no real hop presence. some apple and green grape. reminiscent of a kolsch.

m - a bit fizzy and overcarbonated...bottle was a bit explosive when i opened it.

o - overall a nice blonde ale. this is a nice take on a style that isn't really raved over, but this is a great session type beer and a great one to give to your non-craft friends to hopefully show them the light.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from Cosmicevan. Thanks, man.

Appearance- Light straw color with a big, full white head. Goes away fast, though. Little lacing. 3/5

Smell- Small, watered down Belgian yeast character. Bits of clove and banana. 2.5/5

Taste- Small pilsner malt flavor with bits of clove and belgian yeast character. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel- Thin with higher carbonation to it than the average Golden ale. 2.5/5

Overall- A little thin in the flavor department. This maybe better if it was summer, but in the winter I want. Something a little more stout. 2.5/5

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Photo of devinoconnor
2.93/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Even listed under the Blonde Ale tag, this beer is just too light for me.

Pours a very thin, bright yellow with little head. Smells of lemon, and almost riverbed stones come into play.

Taste is somewhat sour due to strong presence of lemon. Nothing about this beer says ale... it's all blonde.

 297 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at the brewery and found it to be the least memorable of their offerings. Very light, straw colored beer with a modest head. Not much aroma, just vague hops and a bit of malt in there.

Fairly bland and uninteresting taste; light in the body with decent carbonation. Guess this could be a summer session brew but there are just too many others with more flavor. Vaguely hoppy and bitter, subtle traces of citrus, that is about it. Sorry guys, too forgettable for me. A craft offering on the decidedly lighter end of the spectrum.

 549 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
2.94/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a bright clear gold hue with bleached white fizy head foaming up even with a gentle pour. The head is about 3 cm before fading to a sturdy surface layer leaving tight lattice on the sides of my glass.

The aroma is mild but I get some grassy hops and a bit of lemon zest. Also a bit of simple grainy sweetness. Not a very robust nose at all and Im not sure I like the lemony notes Im getting.

First sip reveals a light bodied brew with minimal carbonation. Flavor is some grainy malt again mild, a bit of grassy hops and some mild bitterness on the finish. Not a robust brew with no hint of ABV and mild flavor profile throughout.
Not flawed but not interesting enough to have more than one of these in a sitting I think. Just kind of boring in my opinion.

 819 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery, poured into a cheater pint glass. I can not believe I have not reviewed this beer before since I live so close to the brewery.

A: straw yellow in color, small white head reduces to a light cap

S: neutral nose, slight malt and flowery hop

T: pretty much what a blond should be, does have slight tannin

M: light bodied, good mouth

O: a decent beer from keegan, certainly not their best but it is a good session beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that never completely faded away.
S: The nose has light to moderate aromas of bready malts and hints of floral hops.
T: Initial tastes of bready malts quickly give way to a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops (the kind of bitterness you would expect from a pilsner as opposed to an IPA).
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather easy to drink and can be considered sessionable given its low alcohol content. I would consider having it again if I was looking for something refreshing on a hot summer day.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy straw-yellow color with two-fingers of frothy white head. The head has excellent retention and laces nicely on the glass.

S - Aroma is full of citrus (lots of lemon)and some straw. Little bit of funky yeast also mixed in.

T - Starts off with lots of lemon flavor and a bit of yeast in the background. Through the middle there is a bit of funky flavor and bit of fruit sweetness. Finish is a touch sour and has some bread/corn flavor mixed in, with only a little lingering flavor.

M - Light bodied moderate-low carbonation. Feels very smooth and crisp and surprisingly not watery. Finish is super clean and crisp.

D - Very drinkable. There is nothing that really stands out as amazing, but it is still a fairly crisp beer. It could use a bit more depth of flavor and maybe a bit more in the nose.

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Photo of CHickman
2.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy yellow gold with a massive 2 finger foamy/cloudy white head that fades slowly leaving very nice lacing; tons of bubbles race up the brew with rapid carbonation.

Smells of corn, sweet malt, caramel, cereal, lemon zest, funky yeast and some citrus hops; the grainy odor is the strongest and this smells kind of like a macro ale.

Tastes of lemon, sweet malt, caramel, corn, grains, wet cereal like Special K, yeast, light citrus hops, fruit like sour apple and a metallic finish; pretty non-descript and dull flavor that seems watered down.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a watery feel, high carbonation and a real ease to drinking this. It went down like iced tea.

If it tasted better this would be a great session beer, but it's just so average that it doesn't distinguish itself enough to build a following.

 829 characters

Photo of sweetwaterman
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(On tap at Keegan Ales brewery 03/11)

Appearance: crystal clear straw yellow, lots of CO2 bubbles, quick dissipating head.

Smell: Bright cereal notes, little hops.

Taste: Clean cereal, pleasantly "sharp", almost no hops, quick finish, no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Clean, very bubbly, very easy drinking.

Overall: A good golden ale. Very refreshing and perfect with the nachos we had at the bar. A fine alternative to the BMC mainstays.

Recommended.

 451 characters

Photo of lumberjerk
2.43/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cloudy pale gold. Foamy pure white head.

Aroma: Hard to detect, but might just be me. First thought was nondescript fruity.

Taste: Nothing standout yet. Sourness. A familiar but vague spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp. Light. Smooth.

Drinkability: Very. Not a huge punchy taste, goes down smooth and decently easy.

Overall, not bad but nothing amazing. Would not recommend.

 388 characters

Photo of gnemesis
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from cosmicevan as an extra. Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass on 2/16/2011.
Yellow, golden, straw color fills the glass and a huge, creamy, white head perches it self on top. A quick sniff shows citrus, slight pine, honey, fresh crisp hops. This smooth tasting ale is clean, revealing touches of lemon and orange. The hops are forward but not by over-doing it. Some honey sweetness adds balance. The light body and crisp, refreshing, carbonation gives this a decent mouth feel. Good pale ale and very mild. Nothing spectacular or special- just done right and mellow.

 582 characters

Photo of smcolw
2.73/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours cloudy with a greenish straw color. Light head but it lasts a long time. It leaves no lace.

Mildly sour smell. Lots of raw grain.

Very high level of carbonation--spritzy. This is sour like day-old milk. The body is thin. The aftertaste is more of the same and is thankfully brief.

 288 characters

Photo of gskitt
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eh, not my favorite. Pours a pale gold, blonde with little head, little stick. Smells grainy, some malt, little hops. Tastes a little grainy as well, malty characteristics are present but not a whole lot of flavor going on here. Carbonation makes this a better ale. Certainly drinkable but not my favorite offering from Keegan.

 327 characters

Photo of david18
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another American Blonde Ale another mediocre experience. I ordered this beer from George Keeley's on Manhattan's Upper West Side for one reason; i'd never had it before. As a blonde ale it was pretty good but, as I've said before, not my favorite style. Very bright yellow/gold color, decent carbonation that is very light, aroma of light malt and subtle hops. OK flavor.

 371 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours straw yellow - slightly hazed - with a thin white head that soon becomes a lasting, thin wisp. Vanishing and dotted lacing stick.

The smell is bready, lightly grainy with a lemony touch.

The taste is grainy, bready - slightest touch of toast - with sour lemon and a mildly citric, dryish finish. Well-balanced.

Aggressively carbonated. Rush of carbonation in a light-body. Pretty crisp.

A well-balanced blonde ale. Carbonation a bit too much, and if aroma were beefed up to the taste, it would be better. Bottom line, a decent blonde - nice sour and bitterish touch to it to balance it out. Certainly worth trying, especially if you don't mind aggressive carbonation.

 677 characters

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Old Capital from Keegan Ales
78 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.
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