Beer Tasting: New World Blonde Ale

blonde_aleMy New World Blonde Ale ran out last week, but I did a tasting before the keg kicked. Results are below.

  • The Basics
    • Original gravity = 1.045; final gravity = 1.008; abv = 4.9%; estimated IBU = 24
  • Aroma
    • Initial aroma has a bit of orange with a hint of grainy maltiness behind that.
  • Appearance
    • Moderately hazy and light gold beer, with a low and fine but persistant white head.
  • Flavor
    • Light malt flavor with a slightly grainy and bready aspect. Hops are at a moderately high level for a blonde ale, with a slight orange pith aspect to it. When I first tapped this beer, the citrus was a bit overwhelming and unpleasant–almost like rotten orange. I think somewhere this flavor was euphemistically called “candy orange,” but I can’t say it is a particularly pleasant flavor. It has moderated quite a bit, but is still hanging around in the shadows.
  • Mouthfeel
    • This is a light-bodied beer with moderately high carbonation, so that it has a slightly effervescent feel on the tongue. The finish is dry, and the hop bitterness persists as the dominant character.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This is a decent beer, but not a great beer. Or I should say that it’s not really to my tastes. I think I will lay much of the “blame” on HBC 438–the hop comes across as a bit harsher than I like. Perhaps it is good in other styles, but it just doesn’t do the trick in this particular beer. Apparently HBC 438 has been a pretty divisive hop–people either love it or hate it. I wonder if there’s not some compound in there similar to the various stuff in brussels sprouts, where folks with one taste receptor taste awesomeness and folks with another taste receptor taste awfulness.
  • Overall rating
    • 5 / 10
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