Bailey’s Blonde Ale: A Pleasant Surprise

I picked it up on a whim. I’d never even heard of it before but I was trying to pick out a few different styles that my boyfriend might actually dig. He’s a pretty rad guy but not much of a beer drinker, steering more toward macro lagers or sweet, pink Lindemans Framboise. Being that he’s not too into hoppy bitterness, I decided to pick up a few laid-back Sly Fox pilsners, a Lindemans Kriek (this I know he loves) and two Bailey’s Blonde Ales. I’d never had a Bailey’s Blonde before but my experience with the style has been one of balance without too much in the way of overpowering bitterness and a lighter profile overall.

Well, he took a sip and, to my surprise said, “this is pretty bitter.” I took a sip and, while it does have a nice (Amarillo?) hops kick, it is nicely balanced with a superb mouthfeel. It’s amazing how differently peoples’ palates decipher tastes, isn’t it? When I think of bitter, I think IPAs and American Barleywines. I have learned though that he tends more toward the sweet and malty, so this brew definitely isn’t for him. On the flip side, I have found another beer that I absolutely love.

Baileys Blonde Ale

Darker in color than I imagined it would be, Bailey’s Blonde pours a vibrant, deep orange with a fluffy, cloud-white, creamy head.

Scents of spice and flowers are backed by a lightly sweet, almost imperceptible caramel malt.

The sip starts out sweet and citrusy, with more of a focus on the malt but finishes with a lovely hoppy bite in the back. The spicy floral notes in the nose really star, but I find Bailey’s Blonde very well balanced.

Heavier than I anticipated, this is an ale I know I’m drinking; I’d say medium-bodied (when I expected light to medium-light) with the perfect amount of crisp carbonation.

For a random pickup at the store, I couldn’t be more pleased. I most definitely enjoyed Bailey’s Blonde Ale and can see myself drinking it just about any time of the year.


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