Great British Beer Hunt: Swedish Blonde and American Pride

Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt 2013

I was all ready to start a big rant about the name of this beer being all misogynistic and all that, until I read the back of the label. While I can understand why they’ve named it that, I do find having the word Blonde in the name of a Pale Ale a tad confusing, why not just make a Blonde beer if you want to call it that? Which is sort of what their website appears to indicate that the cask version is, I’m confused…?

Maxim Swedish BlondeEither way, Swedish Blonde poured a light copper amber colour, with a loose white head. The head dropped to a patchy covering after a few minutes. There wasn’t much going on on the nose, maybe a hint of some sweet pineapple cube type aroma along with some floral notes, but it was all pretty subdued.

There was more than enough body to carry off the gentle bitterness, which immediately prickled the tongue, before meandering around the mouth into the lingering aftertaste. Flavour wise it was a bit odd. I found it started out with some generic gentle citric kind of flavours, but that the lasting flavour, was more of a sweet shop penny chew ester kind of affair. It was a mouthful of two halves.

It wasn’t a bad beer, it was highly quaffable, in that it slipped down without much thought. But there was just something about it that didn’t sit right with me. I think it was all to do with the flavour I was getting, which left my mouth feeling really sweet and tasting of some sort of estery sweet, be that a pineapple cube or a rhubarb and custard chew, I wasn’t sure; it was just untimately disappointing.

First things first, the side of the American Pride bottle claims that it’s a strong IPA, sorry, no it’s not, 5.2% isn’t strong. And what is a bitter nose…? I’m not aware that a smell can have a taste. It’s little things like this on a label that annoy me, especially when the label is supposed to be part of the competition. Anyway, I must haven been in a mood when I was sampling this one or something; so what was the beer actually like?

Maxim American PrideIt poured a crystal clear copper colour, with a loose cream coloured head. The head was comprised of large bubbles and had the look of a slightly over carbonated beer, having said that, it dropped to a patchy covering fairly quickly. The nose was odd, as I got a subtle clove and marmalade aroma, which wasn’t what I was expecting.

In the mouth, it did feel slightly over carbonated and a bit bubbly, but it wasn’t too bad and didn’t really distract. It felt fairly full bodied, but the initial flurry of carbonation sort of masked it a bit. It was nicely balanced, being neither too malty, nor bitter, but it did have quite a sweetness about it that lingered long into the slightly drying aftertaste.

I couldn’t really tell you what this beer tasted of, it was pretty nondescript. I’ll hedge my bets and say that my sleep deprived mind was telling me that it was enjoying some slightly citric, marmalade type flavours, but nothing was jumping out screaming, look at me!

  • RateBeer Maxim
  • American Pride, 5.2%, 500ml

I was rather busy the evening I tried these beers, it’s preserving season after all. So there was a bit of a gap between finishing each beer and checking it into Untappd; here and here. To be honest, in a few short hours, I’d pretty much forgotten what these tasted like. So I suppose all I can say is that, while they weren’t bad, they were forgettable.

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