Hale's Drawbridge Blonde | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Hale's Drawbridge BlondeHale's Drawbridge Blonde
25 Ratings
Hale's Drawbridge BlondeHale's Drawbridge Blonde

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-28-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of BillRoth
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Beernoisseur
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew, my first from Hale's Ales.

A - Crystal clear honey amber. Smaller head on a gentler pour, not a great deal of retention.

S - There is an odd smell to this beer, like dusty gravel, and minerals. It's not bad, just unexpected. It's quite strong. I had a hard time sniffing much more out, but what is there is a twangy zip of tart, citrusy hop characters

T - The malt makes itself known here. big on the opening, then the hops come in, and it sours a bit on the finish. Middle of the road flavor profile. Not as balanced as I would like, but then again, few are.

M - a little on the watery side. Not bad though.

D - From a standpoint of ease of drinking, these are pretty mild. There's little that would prevent someone from consuming their fill, but there are other beers that i'd prefer to do that with...

T -

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale tangerine peel with mellow maize margins. In spite of an increasingly elevated pour, the yellowed ivory lid never reaches two fingers in thickness. It looks attractive enough, though, and is sticky enough to lay down a tattered headband of lace.

Unfortunately, at least where the aroma is concerned, this is just another dumb blonde. DB is pale malt dominant, which is another way of saying hops are hard to appreciate. That's quite a feat (in a negative sense) when such ass-kickers as Centennial, Nugget and Cascade are in the house. A little sweetish grain, some muskiness... that's it.

Since the flavor brings a little more to the table, and since this is an American blonde, I'll be nice and grant an above average score. After all, it's hard to be too hard on a beer that's following the style guidelines. In the end, Hale's has done a credible job with Drawbridge Blonde.

The malt is mostly pale, with a smidgen of crystal for flavor and color. There might be a suggestion of a wheaty tang, but I could never have come up with those three grains without having checked the brewery's website first. The hop bill has to be a misprint. They taste German... or possibly English. Bitterness easily balances sweetness and surges ahead of it on the pleasantly long finish.

The mouthfeel score could just as easily have been one notch higher. Keeping ABV in mind, it's at least medium, if not slightly more full. In addition, the bubbles add energy without crossing the line into ADD.

Hale's Drawbridge Blonde improved from first sip to last. Although it doesn't have a huge amount of character, show me a blonde ale that does. Figuring out a way to keep hop bitterness constant, while increasing (Centennial and Cascade) hop flavor would improve this little ale considerably.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear golden yellow with a 1" head. Decent lacing develops during the session.

Smell: light malt sweetness is so soft it is almost hard to detect.

Taste: light malt profile with some hints of lemon zest and grass. Refreshing on the palette.

Mouthfeel: lighter in body. Crisp from start to finish, with a clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: super easy to drink beer, that I found going down fast. Nice overall flavor provides enough interest to have a few when you don't want hop or malt bomb.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz picked up at the Coop a couple days ago.. poured tonight into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Not much of Pfssst.. more of a nearly silent sss. Brew is pale... pale.. gold.. a little bit of haze.. 1" head died on contact and only slight splotchy lacing.

Aroma is pale malts and a little yeasty fruitiness... I would guess a little bit of wheat is in there.

Very drinkable is going to be my best compliment.. would probably make a great lawnmower beer. Pale malts and almost nothing else.. Good light body and light carbonation.

My mind is probably not in the session mode tonight.. but this really is a pretty good brew for non-micro buddies and when the sun is beating down and you have alot of yard work to do.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden Amber and slightly hazy in my pint glass.

Malt-forward armoa with a fruity twang of pear in the background. Hops are not really noticable. grassy lemon, or i guess lemongrass, in there too.

Very light on the flavor too, but it's good. Really a nice blonde with insane drinkability. A true session beer, perfect for camping or a summer picnic. It fits the style well, but doesnt offer anything unique or extraordinary. A rather forgettable beer, which is ashame, but otherwise a good drinker and if it's a good price, I say grab a sixer!!

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Photo of xoqx
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours yellow-orange from the tap with a just off-white head with average retention and moderate lacing. The nose is grassy and herbal with a slight yeasty hint. The taste is somewhat enjoyably sour and meady. There are bread, grain, honey and lemony flavors across the palate. The beer is light-medium bodied with a soft yet bright mouthfeel. A good, drinkable blonde ale.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Good enough looking ale, a burnt orange colour, slightly hazy with a lovelly off white head of huge proportions and it stays around for a while too. Aroma is quite subdued, typical blonde, weak malts and a slightly lemon like hop aroma. Taste is mainlly semi-sweet malts with a bitter grainy aspect. Ok on the palate, pretty thin, but this is meant to be a Summer seasonal. A typical middle of the road American Blonde ale. probably will never buy again.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2/13/05- Freebie given on my Horizon flight from Seattle to Bozeman.

Presentation- 22oz bomber given the choice to pound straight from the bottle or to use those 8oz plastic cups. Went with the cups.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a decent foamy white head and not much lacing on my plastic glass. Does lacing hold on plastic?

Smell- Lots of malt and a tad amount of hops.

Taste- A sweeter malt taste and lots of it. A decent amount of hops come into play too. Kinda like a heavily malted hefe. A bit of spices in the mix as well.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation on this one.

Drinkability- Had a bomber on each flight. Nothing above average. But hell, it's a free beer. I probably wouldn't buy it in the store, but if given to me I wouldn't have a problem drinking it.

 791 characters

Photo of proc
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a light copper color in the glass with a decent-sized head. Very light aroma of lemon and pine. The taste definetely says "summer" as its light with a slight dose of hop bitterness on the swallow. Not a comple beer by any means, nor do I think it sets out to be.

 275 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice beer. Pours a copper orange color with a head that was decent to the eye. The smell was of apples and pine, hint of lemon zest. The taste was very balanced, the sweet nectar malts was pleasant but not over the top and the light citrus hop blended well, very light and great for those session beer occasions.

 317 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap in Tacoma, WA. Nice light bronze with a well poured head and amazing lacing.

The nose was of fruit (pears & apples) and some light pine.

The taste was decent with a nice balance of moderate citrus/hop bite and soft subtle fruit flavors. While not overly complex, it seemed to be a well-made beer with no off flavors. A blonde beer shouldn’t be overwhelming and this one wasn’t.

The mouthfeel was slightly on thin side, but still decent. Drinkablity was very good and I had several. Over all, a very nice representative of the style.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hmm I am the first one to review this beer in almost a year. It's a bottle conditioned blonde ale that offers no surprises but satisfies the style on every level. Pours a golden honey color with good head and very nice lacing. Almost no aroma. The beer tastes of smooth malts and perhaps wheat, with very little sweetness, but instead a rich dry biscuity grain flavor. Hops stay within their bounds, slightly grapefruity, slightly herbal, providing just the right amount of dryness and bitterness. A decent bottle conditioned mouthfeel; not especially smooth and quite full for a lighter ale. A pretty tame beer overall, but flavorful enough to drink over a period of time. In other words, a good sessional.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light gold color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is grainy, friuty and sweet. Light malts and light hops. Crisp taste, hoppy with a slight malt sweetness. Mild taste, lots of flavor, refreshing. Nice beer. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, some sweetness.

 268 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boy you can tell when a new beer becomes available in MN, the last 6 reviews of this beer (including this one) are all from MN BA's.
So, half the beers from a Seattle brewery are from MN.
Anyway, I was hoping this would be better than it turned out to be. Aroma was a lightly and pleasantly sweet malt with a flowery quality. Golden (dark), clear with a full sized head and some lacing about 1/2 way down. There was a little more hops bitterness than I expected, but it mellowed with warming. Seems like a sense of warmness (alcohol?) to it that contributes to its bite. These all mellowed some as it warmed. Also takes on a bit of a citrus quality in time. Somewhat soft and smooth with medium feel. Interesting mix of malty smoothness and hoppy bite, but ultimately not satisfying enough.

 792 characters

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

Color of light straw gold, silk thin head, just some edgey loose white bubbles that produce a bit of sticky spots for lace. Smell is pale malt sweetness and mix of floral and citrus hop thats pretty soft and subdued. Taste is more of the same with soft malts of sweetish play and a subtle backing of hops that have some citrus fruityness and herbal/grassy balance. Feel is medium with adequate carbonation with a textured middle and easy sweet clean finish of floral character. Pretty easy drinker, makes for a halfway decent summer quenching ale.

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Photo of ADR
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden color, slightly chill-hazed appearance. Poorly developed skin-like head that laces very slightly. Aroma leans toward a hoppy fresh-squeezed orange juice. Quite a pleasant back-loaded impression to this brew, decent toasted malt upfront with a speckly sweet wheat anfd hop citrus close and a nice medium carbonation bridge between them. Its kind of rare that a Blonde has as many positive as nuetral characteristics, very nice quaffer here.

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Photo of ZAP
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice blonde ale....I like the way it looks lin the glass....a brilliant gold...not much head to mention....nose is both floral and fruity...actually a little more complex than I expected...body is light but tight...doesn't feel watered down...taste starts off with some nice maltiness (for this style), then the floral tones take over...finishes a little dry with a soft west coast style hop bite..A very drinkable golden ale....more complex than I imagined for this style...not one of my all-time favorites but a pretty tasty blonde..

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Photo of Bighuge
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very slightly hazy golden color. Not much of a head to speak of, but there is a slight bone white collar. The nose is subtle pale malts supplemented by a fresh, floral hoppiness. Lacing is adequate. The mouthfeel is slick and buttery to a small extent. Enough carbonation, but not too much. Body is medium at best. The taste is surprisingly good for a blonde. One of the better blondes I've had, if not the best. The soft maltiness really provides a nice, subtle backdrop for the hop flavors to play on. Hop profile is fruity and herbal, grassy and citrusy, highly detectable but in balance. This would be a tasty summer beverage.

 638 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'll readily admit that my affections for women follows suit with my preferences in beer. I like them both darkly delicious, exotic and exquisite, and always admire a hint of mystery. I'll nod to the comely Claudia's, but leave them low for Lucy Lius. And so, Blonde Ales seem too uncluttered, fluffy, and free of nuance for me. Can I put aside the prejudice this time? I'll try...
Appearance: bright, clear amber hue, with a smallish white head.
Aroma: full and lemony, other citrus fruits, also, honeyish, very sweet.
Taste: delicious, though terribly light. Very sweet, smooth, easy on the palate and everything else. Finish is nice, long, tasty. Well-rounded, but on the whole, ordinary. Taste is good, yummy, but easily tossed aside and forgotten. Yes, you may be able to down a ton of these, but I can't imagine anything other than boredom setting in!
Pin me to the wall, and I'll have to say: a very good example of a pretty, but vacant style of brew. Each drink left me not satiated, but yearning for something more substantial.

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Photo of Gusler
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber color, splendid off white head, frothy and fine lace sheets that cling mightily to the glass. The nose rampant with malted grains, light citrus tones also noted. Begins malt sweet, skinny top, sparingly hopped, middling carbonation, and a malt dry aftertaste. Quite a quaffable beer, especially since I do not favor “Blonde Beers”.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.58/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A golden ale with a hoppy beginning and finish. Noticable hoppy nose. Behind the hops is a good flavor but is overwhelmed. Minimum carbonation and head.

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Photo of jreitman
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very clean-tasting, drinkable beer. Nice hoppy bitterness (not overpoweringly so) with some good citrus undertones. Overall, a very nice, refreshing blonde ale.

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Photo of marc77
4.62/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite clear for an ale with a darker color than a Kolsch, the closest style to a "Blonde Ale" The head isn't particularly thick, but there's enough left to leave a Belgian lace. (cool if you want to count the # of sips it took you to finish the beer) The wonderful hop nose is a combination of citrusy notes from the cascade as well as more floral hop contributions. Anyway, this would make the ideal session beer. The floral hop flavor is dominant in this beer, but that citrusy note adds to the hop complexity. The hop bitterness is mild to moderate and works well considering malt flavors are not the emphasis in this brew. This ale is clean, flavorful, very drinkable, and the hops shine, but don't overpower the light body. Drawbridge Blonde is an all around enjoyable beer and is probably the best blonde ale I've had thus far.

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Hale's Drawbridge Blonde from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 25 ratings
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