Chad9976 (1538) - Orlando, Florida, USA - APR 3, 2010
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
I’ve been a big fan of craft beers for the last few years and am always trying to get people to try something more unique than their generic “Big Three” lagers. But if a person were to drink Red Hook Blonde Ale they would very likely why it’s any different or any better than those beers, and to be honest I couldn’t prove them wrong. This is quite possibly the plainest craft beer I have ever encountered.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
I’ve noticed that bad beers often have a rough pour to them and that is true of Blonde Ale. It has a very clear, medium gold body with plenty of carbonation visible. It forms a one-finger, white, soapy head which evaporates quickly and leaves only minor lacing on the glass. The aroma is virtually non-existent. A very faint generic “beer smell” but is otherwise unremarkable (and in a way I think this is a good thing).
I’ve slammed the macro brewers for their bland taste, but rarely does a craft beer invoke the same sense of indifference in me. Even when I dislike a niche-style beer by a smaller brewery I at least have a strong reaction to it. However, with Blonde Ale every sip was an anticipation for the next sip. Sometimes it takes a few swigs before I begin to detect the flavor in a beer, but even after three bottles I failed to notice a taste of anything whatsoever here.
The only way to describe this beer would be to imagine a “light” by one of the big breweries but without the taste (whatever that taste may be). It doesn’t even taste like corn, rice, potatoes or whatever adjuncts are often used. Basically this is beer-flavored beer that has been watered down. And I might almost compliment it for not tasting bad, but it definitely does not taste even remotely good.
Since this is one of the most watery-tasting beers I’ve ever encountered, it doesn’t surprise me that Blonde Ale goes down smooth and has a very soft mouthfeel. I would say the same thing about tap water.
For a beer that tastes and drinks like a “light,” I’m actually quite surprised its measurements say otherwise. At 5.4% ABV and 162 calories per bottle, Blonde Ale should at least pack something of a punch. However, I was able to go through three bottles as if they were water (then again, they tasted like water). Therefore, this would make a fine party beer, but why deal with the extra calories if you don’t have to?
A beer with no taste at all is just as bad as one with an offensive taste, mostly because it seems like a total failure rather than a true piece of craftsmanship I happen to disagree with. This is why Red Hook Blonde Ale is more annoying than it is bad.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
philbertk (1873) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 25, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2010 Red Hook Ale Brewery, Inc.--Red Hook Blonde Ale--12 oz. Bottle.
1998 Release. 5.00% ABV.
1999 Delicious, Thirst Quenching Release. 5.00% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear bright rich golden color. Light delicate hoppy front. Rich lightly sweet caramel fruit body with light wheat flavor. Pours thick and has good texture. Tingly sweet balanced finish. Sampled 5/11/1999.
2000 Delicious, Thirst Quenching Release. 5.40% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Clear bright light golden color. Floral wheat hop front. Lightly toasted mild malt body with hint of wheat spiciness is smooth and tasty. Ends clean with light hop flavor. Wheat floral bouquet in malt. Sampled 6/11/2000.
2001 Delicious, Thirst Quenching Release. 5.40% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear rich bright golden color. Mild floral hop front hints of maltiness. Crisp mild bisquit golden ale body mixes earthy sweet notes. Light fruit tang from wheat. Balanced hop spice citrus end. Rich. Sampled 5/20/2001.
2001 Delicious, Thirst Quenching 22 oz. Bottle Release. 5.40% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear bright golden color. Mild floral hop front. Lacy creamy white head. Crisp tasty body with hint of wheat spiciness and buttery light sweet caramel bisquit flavor. Clean refreshing mild hop end. Sampled 11/25/2001
2002 Bold BLONDE Release. 5.40% ABV. (3.5 / 5.0) Clear thin bright golden color. Light wheat floral hop front. Lacy white head. No sediment. Crisp tasty slightly tangy crystal malt wheat body. Light sweetness. Clean light citrus mild hop wheat spice end. Sampled 4/9/2002.
2003-A Delicious, Thirst Quenching--Old Logo Release. 5.77% ABV--24.3 IBU’s. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear rich bright golden color. Thin light lace. Floral mild wheat spice hop front. Tangy crisp mild wheat light dry sweet butter banana fruit body. Clean dry light citrus hop end. Refreshing. Sampled 8/18/2003
2003-B Delicious, Thirst Quenching--New Style Logo Release. 5.77% ABV--24.3 IBU’s. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear thin bright golden color. Light lace head. Mild floral wheat coriander hop front. Crisp tasty dry sweet mild wheat Pils butterscotch caramel body. Dry mild citrus hop end. Easy. Refreshing. Sampled 8/20/2003.
2005 New Block Graphic--Longneck Logo Bottle Release. 5.41% ABV--18.3 IBU’s. (4.25 / 5.0) Blonde Ale--Wheat. Mild lacy head. Clear bright golden color. Mild hop wheat spice front. Crisp tangy Pils Ale caramel wheat ester mild doughy fruity body. Quenching Quaffable clean citrus mild hop end. Mellow spiciness. Sampled 5/26/2005.
Red Hook Ale Brewery, Inc.--BLONDE Golden Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.30% ABV. 24 IBU’s. (4.0 / 5.0) Wheat Ale. No sediment. Thin mild lace white head. Pretty enticing clear bright rich gold color. Delicate flowery mild hop light fruit ester front. Thin bodied mild sweet light caramel wheat doughy fruit hint refreshing body. Clean mild hop crisp citrus hint end. Well Made! Sampled 7/11/2010. 6-Pack $8.49.
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - JAN 31, 2010
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
Serving: 12 oz. bottle.
It pours a pale gold color with a small frothy white head. The nose is scant, featuring a little pale malt and perhaps a touch of spicy and floral hops. The flavor is very light with a bit of pale malt sweetness, a bit of grass, and an odd tang I can’t quite place. What really comes across is the agressive carbonation and dryness. This one is a bit all over the place and I don’t think I would want to drink it even if it was hot as hell.
Jblauvs (1357) - Chester, Vermont, USA - OCT 8, 2009
2.2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Godlen pour with offwhite head. Light Grainy aroma, not very pleasant. Drinkable but far from transcendent. This beer is bland as bland can be, the only saving grace is that it’s slightly refreshing and very drinkable. By subtle hops the mean almost none. Although Redhook is far from my favorite brewery, this is still one of their worst efforts.
iabeerguy (392) - Iowa, USA - OCT 4, 2009
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Golden brown pour with a light white head. Not much of an aroma. Flavor is somewhat hoppy but smoothe. Goes down pretty smoothe with not much else for flavor.
kimcgolf (872) - Dacula, Georgia, USA - SEP 8, 2009
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nothing special to this one at all. Wet the whistle on a hot summer’s night, but other than that, it was just a small step ahead of most macros. While Redhook is not primo, I have definitely had better from their line.
Pass on this one
drowland (7353) - Georgia, USA - AUG 4, 2009
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz bottle to a pint glass. Decent example of the style, but almost... dumbed down a bit to make it more drinkable.
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 29, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours gold with a thin white head. Smells of toasted malt, some fruity hints. Tastes of sweet malt wth some fruity hints. An easy drinking lawnmower beer.
DrnkMcDermott (2958) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - JUL 21, 2009
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz. bottle from "build a six" rack at Hy-Vee, Storm Lake, IA. Light ale smell, a golden pilsener color with just a tint of haze. Taste opens with some ale fruitiness. Hop pepper at the top of the lips. Otherwise, it stays a basic beer, just a bit more hearty than a summer lawnmowerbrau. Still, a better version than other beers in this style.
ben4321 (5245) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JUL 15, 2009
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Had this one a bunch of times, usually out of a Redhook sampler pack, it’s an alright example of the Blonde style. Flavors are fairly muted, thin, and light, if that’s your cup-of-tea, you’ll probably enjoy this one more then I do.