Brewery: Austin Beerworks
Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale(25C)
Package: 12oz Can
Packaging Date: 2/5/2018
Purchased: Spec Airport, Mar 2018
Details from the Brewer
This Belgian-style Golden Ale is Will’s favorite style to make. It’s also Will’s last name. William Golden Ale. True fact. It’s fermented with an old school Belgian yeast strain that produces a crazy amount of esters so it smells like sunshine. The color shines like gold. The finish is very dry like a champagne. It’s strong and delicate at the same time. While you are admiring the strong aromatics and classy finish it’s quietly punching you in the back of the head.
Aroma – 8/12
Spicy phenolic esters hit first at a medium intensity. This is backed by a low-medium pear ester. It’s rounded out with a slight sweetness, and a touch of perfume character. A light doughy malt character appears as it warms.
Appearance – 2/3
Pours a dark straw light gold liquid. Decent clarity with a low-moderate haze present. Pours with a one finger ivory bubble of fine and medium mixed sizes. The head fades with an average retention and remains as a thin layer. Some lacing as drank.
Flavor – 17/20
Moderate high level of pear esters hit on the start of the sip. These are quickly accompanied by a medium intensity spicy phenol character. Towards the end of the taste, a light crackery/grainy malt character comes out. There is an initialy perceived medium sweetness at the start of the taste, which fades to a very dry finish. The balance is toward the yeast and malt expression, with a low-medium bitterness. Some spicy phenol character lingers on the finish, accompanied by a moderate alcohol note.
Mouthfeel – 4/5
Medium-high carbonation. Bubble prickle the mouth throughout the taste. Moderate alcohol warming in the upper throat, which lingers on the finish. Medium bodied with a slight pillowy character. No astringency.
Overall Impression – 8/10
This hits in the excellent range for examples of a Belgian Golden Strong. It’s got some room for improvement, but has not off flavors or large faults. While it has a dry finish, I’d like to see a bit more of a delicate mouthfeel. The aroma could also use a bit more intensity. It wasn’t on the same level as the flavor (even when warmed). Lastly, while the head appearance and retention was great for an American style, it needs that massive rocky character to really emulate a BGS. That said, this is a great beer as is.
Rating – 39/50
I remember having some pilot batches of this in the ABW taproom a few years ago. They were very alcohol forward, to a fault. Enough so, that I almost didn’t buy this can. This canned version is much more refined and shows some obvious fineness. I do feel like this is a style that needs bottle/can conditioning to hit an “outstanding” level and truly emulate Duval.