24 Blonde Ale

California
United States
24 Blonde Ale by Hangar 24 Craft Brewing
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
90
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
6 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20
Description 

Simplicity Refined and Refreshing. 24 Represents the spirit of Hangar 24. Community, friends, and passion rolled into one light, easy-drinking beer. Brilliantly clear, this Blonde Ale has a slight malty nose and a clean, straightforward finish. Brewed with Hallertauer hops for a hint of bitterness, this beer is well-balanced and ideal for any occasion.

Profile

ABV: 
4.7%
IBUs: 
14
Served at: 
39 - 45º
Hops: 
Hallertauer
Malts: 
Two Row, Caramel 10L, Carapils
Judges Review 
David Sapsis's picture
Judges Rating:
90
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
6 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Beer judged as Blonde Ale under BJCP category 18A. Served at 45o F.

The beer is poured aggressively into a kölsch stange glass all the way to the top. About a half-inch of off-white foam sits atop a medium-gold colored beer of bright, but not brilliant, clarity. The foam recedes over the first minute to a lingering lacing along the edges of the glass. A few isolated stringers of gas bubbles rise from nucleation sites on the bottom and side surfaces of the glass. It is a pretty (albeit unremarkable) beer.  

The nose is soft, with a soda-cracker malt element up front with a very nice yet modest spicy-floral hop note along with a hint of malt sweetness. A nice pear-like ester element backs it up. No sulfur is present and very limited fruitiness, along with the hop aromas, give this beer a psuedo-lager character that is beckoning. This beer puts forth a lovely nose that is so subtle it makes you pine for more, even though you know its restraint is one of its best qualities. The hops here are reminiscent of American strains designed after Noble traits that tend to produce very nice floral tones with berry and pepper counter-notes such as Mt Hood and Liberty.

The flavor up front is malt-accentuated with a soft and elegant bitterness estimated somewhere around the 18-20 IBU range. Cracker malt flavors dance with both herbal and floral hops  with a nice backdrop of honeysuckle and lavender. Again, like the nose, the flavor is soft yet surprisingly elegant and complex without being assertive in the least. The mid-palate  bitterness and faint spiciness trails off quickly into a balanced slightly dry finish that is long on bready malt character. 

It is here that the one flaw of the beer shows itself: The beer is seriously under-conditioned, having the carbonic level more attributable to a cask ale poured from gravity. It makes the body a bit fat and flabby and seems to over-accentuate the residual sweetness in the finish.  As a style designed to lure inexperienced craft beer drinkers, or those that simply prefer dry, low-flavor industrial yellow lager, it also lacks the carbonic bite and snappiness that lend an assist to it being highly drinkable, dry and thirst-quenching.

Still, with aromas and flavors as so well presented and balanced, this is a relatively small knock and one that is hopefully not always present in this brew. While the beer would make for good lawnmower breaks, it's wintertime and currently raining. I am thinking of pairing it with some crispy pan-fried salmon and jasmine rice with a shooter of kimchi. I bet it will clean that palate nicely like waves washing away your footprints on the sand behind you.