Here I go again with a sense of Deja Bu. You know that feeling, the notion that you’ve had a beer before when you really haven’t. In the case of Newcastle Blonde Bombshell Pale Blonde Ale, that’s because the beer isn’t all that dissimilar to Newcastle Summer Ale, a beer I panned back in the summer of 2011. Both are blonde ales in style with an alcohol content of 4.4% by volume.
Newcastle says this about Bombshell Ale on the label:
An Englishman’s first love is his brown ale. However, in the summer he often fancies blondes instead! With this inspiration, we’ve created Newcastle Bombshell, an English style blonde ale. The combination of Cascade, Hellertau and Northdown hops balance this golden coloured ale’s light aroma and bitterness with toasted malt to ensure a silky smooth finish. After one sip of this brew, we’re sure you’ll agree she’s a real bombshell.
Hops used here are Northdown, cascades, and Hallertaus.
Here’s what I said about Newcastle Summer Ale:
Newcastle Summer Ale pours to a light golden blonde color with a moderate spritzy head formation and a lightly grassy hop nose. The palate is rather light-bodied with a bit of biscuity, crisp pale malt flavor up front. I get some buttery diacetyl in here, too. A hint of grassy hops show up just shortly after the malt hits, and they slowly intensify into the finish. They end a bit herbal and even, surprisingly, a little bitter. I guess that makes the beer drinkable, and even a tad pilsner like, but a bit more buttery than I'd like.
And as I sip from my bottle of Newcastle Bombshell Pale Blonde Ale, I’m getting the same impressions almost to the point of being identical. The only differences are that the Bombshell seems a tad less hoppy and out of balance, slightly vinous, and a little less buttery. There seems, perhaps, a little more malt. Wisely, too, they removed the words “Hops and Glory” from the label.
I’ll rate this a half star higher than I did in 2011 due to the subtle differences, but it’s still not a beer that I would buy again. At $8.99 a six-pack, Newcastle Bombshell Pale Blonde Ale costs a dollar more than it did in 2011, too. There are plenty of other summer beers in that price range that I like a lot better; Newcastle Bombshell Pale Blonde Ale gives me no reason to buy it over them.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.