Review #6: If I Only Had a Brain(less) Belgian Golden Ale

On the docket:  22 oz.  Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale (Elevated Series) Epic Brewing

Poured into:  River Horse snifter with enough force to produce a good head.

S:  Bright shiny gold, crystal clear.  One might use the word “dandelion” or “school bus” to describe the yellow hue to this blond beauty.  And you know what they say- “blondes” have more fun.  A stark, creamy white cap forms, then recedes quickly to a ring around the outside and a small island in the middle.  Tiny bubbles zip their way to the top to join their foamy brethren.

A:  Spicy, peppery, clove-y phenols.  Bright orangey citrus and spicy, noble hops.  The grain yields a delicate cracker-like pale malt aroma.  A bit of fruity (banana and bubblegum) esters from the Belgian yeast- not strong like a hefeweizen, mind you- just a touch.  There seems to be a whiff of grain husk, or hay.

T: An initial Belgian spice base of coriander, citrus rind, cloves, grains of paradise, maybe even anise greets the senses. Sweetness from candy sugar shows up in the middle. There’s a warming (but smooth), boozy finish, plus a dry, bitterness and spiciness that keeps you coming back for more.  But be warned, this golden goddess garnishes your sobriety if consumed too quickly.  It touts an 8.9% abv, concealed well by the light, effervescent body.

F:  Prickly, light, but not watery.  Long dry, bitter finish.

O:  Dry, bright, multi-faceted.  It’s not Duvel, but hey, there’s only one of those.  This is an enjoyable, solid offering from a non-Belgian brewery taking on this devilishly drinkable style.  In a pinch, this is a no-brainer.

S:  4  A:  4.25  T:  3.75  F:  4  O:  4

Suggested food pairing:  Lobster, baked salmon with lemon and butter, duck breast.  I’ll be so bold as to theorize lamb-pops with rosemary and Dijon mustard.  Try this on its own as an after-dinner drink, or before the meal to cleanse the senses- just don’t forget to drink some water at some point.