Friday, August 15, 2014

Lawson's Finest Liquids Knockout Blonde Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1152) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 15, 2014
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $8.04 ($0.37 per ounce).

Appearance: Bright, lemon yellow hue over a hazy body. Large sediment particles can be seen floating in suspension. Pours to a large, white, foamy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Clean lemony scent plus some spicy/herbal character as well.

Taste: The golden ale/blonde ale style is probably my least favorite in all of Beerdom. It’s a deliberately bland style, so it’s difficult to find one that’s interesting and flavorful. And while Lawson’s Finest Liquids Knockout Blonde Ale isn’t exactly a masterpiece, I will say it’s probably the best blonde ale I’ve ever had.

This doesn’t truly seem to conform to the “blonde ale” style, anyway. There’s a strong hop presence here (“copious amounts” of Columbus and Centennial hops, according to the label). Much like the appearance and aroma, there’s a lemony citrus zestiness to be found. Not juicy or tart like lemon fruit, but drier and spicier like lemon peel. There’s an underlying herbal flavor as well (green tea), not quite as intense as Mosaic hops, but strong enough to notice. The malt component is, not surprisingly, mild and nondescript. Reminds me of a pale wheat ale (another boring style I dislike). Still, there’s nothing off-putting about this palette whatsoever. The hops definitely make it an interesting brew.

Drinkability: At 5% ABV, Lawson’s Finest Liquids Knockout Blonde Ale is caught in the middle of two worlds. It’s got plenty of body and flavor for a relatively “strong” beer, but at the same time it’s just a bit too heavy for what it’s going for. A tad too bitter to be truly refreshing, even though it finishes clean. I could see this recipe being reworked well as a session IPA or a true pale ale. But as an easy-drinking blonde it’s perfect for the summer. 
Grade: 7/10

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