Brewery: Coors Brewing Co., Golden, Colorado
Beer: Blue Moon Vintage Blonde Ale
Serving: 750 ml capped bottle
Glassware: Blue Moon Vintage Blonde Ale tulip
Information: 8.5% ABV, 11913 on the shoulder of the bottle in yellow, 2012 Vintage.
Style: Fruit Beer
Price: $8.99 / bottle
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Pairings: Lemon meringue pie, sharp cheese, white cheddar-salted popcorn.
Extremely effervescent, Blue Moon Vintage Blond Ale pours a gorgeous golden honey color with fantastic clarity, but the beer is almost completely still. A soda-like fleeting white head disappears so quickly, I barely have a moment to capture it on camera, leaving no lace on the glass and barely a trace of bubbles around the perimeter. Blink and you could miss it’s entire existence. This causes a major problem…
A musty, earthy, oak-like funk comes fourth first, but is quickly pushed aside by some of the bigger, cloyingly sweet aromas of the Chardonnay grape juices used in this beer. I don’t find any yeast characteristics coming fourth, and the background smells like a simple pale and pilsner malt base. The most frustrating part of the aroma, though, is the fact that there’s absolutely no head to retain the volatile, escaping compounds making it damn near impossible to smell!
Sweet pilsner malt is smooth and relentless, carrying through the whole beer with lingering sugar on the tongue. Chardonnay grape juice impacts the beer in two ways; further adding sweetness as well as a juice concentrate-like flavor that I find cyclical and a bit overused. Light buttered popcorn notes enter on the finish as it warms up.
Unfortunately, this beer is missing depth beyond the grape sweetness, lacking in wheat components, but mainly devoid of any yeast characteristics that would (greatly) serve to both balance the sweetness and keep it from being overly redundant.
While massively effervescent, a lot of the carbonation escapes solution leaving it with a pleasant spritzy tickle on the tongue. A touch slick-feeling, this medium-bodied beer lingers with a lip-smacking sweetness that’s borderline cloying and reminiscent of honey. Vintage Blonde’s lack of solvent alcohol (especially for 8.5%) and somewhat clean finish in mouthfeel is by far the high point of this beer.
Vintage Blonde Ale from Blue Moon it’s a beer worth bringing to your wine-o friend’s house who claims to hate beer. From the wine-like packaging to the combination of sweet pilsner malt and Chardonnay grape juice, it has a wine like feel to it, even if it’s more akin to a wine-cooler.
This might be some sort of converting point for them (provided they’re not the Wine Spectator-type), but it’s lack of yeast components, fleeting head and subsequent vaporization of the aroma, and revolving sweetness make it a beer that I have no real interesting in drinking again.
Score: 68 / 100 - Average
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