Mar 4, 2015

3 Brothers Fierce Blonde

I’m gonna say something you probably don’t want to hear. No matter how much you love a brewery, no matter how excited your are to have them just down the road from your home… not all local beer is good.

I know, shocker, right?

The fervent, almost cult-like response you get from people over local beer can be ridiculous at times — almost to the point of idiocy. I’m not singling out any one company or beer. These thoughts just happened to coincide with a review of this product from 3 Brothers Brewing, a company which I particularly like, but also one that I’ve had issues with. This is a case of the latter.

Fierce Blonde is supposed to be a wild ale, or a Belgian-style strong golden, depending on your source. At 9% ABV, it’s a big beer, that much I can tell you. And it’s got some Brettanomyces added in for good measure. Oh, and it’s been aged in rum barrels, so it’s perfect by default, right? Nope.


This brew certainly looks attractive as it pours a clear gold with a a smallish white head that falls gently to patchy surface cover.

3 Brothers Fierce Blonde photo


And, the aroma ain’t half bad either. Rum (and lots of it), distant woody notes, soft fruits, grain and a subtle yeastiness fill the nose with promise.


Huh. I don’t really get much of a strong Belgian influence here. Maybe it’s the Brett, but this tastes more like a rum-soaked, pilsner-ish saison — that could be a thing, maybe. It’s interesting, slightly tart, but mostly muddled and confused. It’s very drying with just a hint of sweetness that lingers in a very warming finish.

3 Brothers Fierce Blonde photo


I don’t believe that this particular bottle of Fierce Blonde is off or infected, as is often the case when you introduce wild yeast into a barrel or bottle. I just don’t think the beer is all that good — even if it’s locally produced. There are good ideas here, but none that come cohesively together. I’ve heard complaints of acetone or vinegar in the aroma, but I don’t get any of the here and actually like the nose this beer has. It’s a very confused beer. It’s just not sure what it wants to be when it grows up.

Rating: 2/5

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