Archive for January, 2011

Beer Review: Ska Brewing Co.’s True Blonde Ale


Craft beer in a can


This offering from Durango, Colorado’s Ska Brewing Company had been catching my eye for a while.  Why wouldn’t it?  Ska is one of a growing number of microbreweries that has been putting their craft made beers in a can, and what an interesting looking can it is.

Seen above, the can boasts a bright yellow basecoat.  Checkered-flags and a retro depiction of a sultry blonde’s blue eye are the centerpiece of the artwork.  Still, we all know the old saying about books.

In general blonde ales are brewed with a conservative amount of hoppy bitterness, a higher carbonation count and are often given added flavor and aromatic depth by adding floral notes.  Grainy and malt profiles are often the most notable aspect of these brews.


  • Appearance – 4 of 5
  • Smell – 3 of 5
  • Taste – 2.5 of 5
  • Mouthfeel – 4 of 5
  • Drinkability – 2 of 5
  • Overall –  3.1 of 5


True Blonde’s appearance is a sparkling copy of both its name, and the blue-eyed spokeswoman featured on its packaging.  Boasting a bright yellow body reminiscent of a sun-drenched wheat field ready for harvest, and a one finger width, off-white head this beer pours a really nice looking-glass. There is also noticeable carbonation that adds a sparkle to the appearance of  this “True Blonde.” The head quickly dissipates and sticks surprisingly well to the side of the glass as it empties.

The aroma of this beer is not quite strong but remains pleasant.  Floral notes and hints of citrus (lemon), are the main attractions of its nose.   Any malt or grain aromas are subdued which disguises their bombardment of the flavor profile of True Blonde.

The flavor is very pleasant upfront, though this may be due to the carbonation and mouthfeel than the taste itself.  True Blonde doesn’t really start registering strongly with the taste buds until the backend and the aftertaste.  Unfortunately, outside of a hint of citrus, when the flavor finally starts to come on strong it is of a very grainy malt.  It’s almost grassy in its flavor, and as the beer warms similarities to malt liquor arise.  Out of all the factors, flavor is the lowest registering aspect of this brew.

True Blonde’s mouthfeel is every bit as delightful as it’s flavor is disappointing.  A high carbonation count, and a nice creamy body really hit the spot upfront. It really is a shame that the taste lags because the texture is close to perfect.  It isn’t sludgy or watery, and it holds form as the beer empties and warms.  A real treat.

The drinkability is hurt by the steadily increasing domination of grainy, grassy flavors in the aftertaste.  I really couldn’t see myself drinking more than one of these in a sitting if there were other beers available.

In the end Ska Brewing Company’s “True Blonde Ale,” is a decent brew that comes in a cool can.  Though not exceptional, it would be a nice, cold brew to put down after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.  definitely a step up from pounding your garden-variety macro swill, and something that is worth the occasional purchase.  Just make sure you have something else on hand if you plan on having more than one or two.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment