Got a couple of these at the brewery on our trip up for Darkness Day â€™09. This is not my first sample but is the first bottle Iâ€™ve drank by myself. Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Surly imperial pint glass.
A: Pours out a gently hazed golden/marmalade-orange color with a fluffy and frothy 2 finger dirty white head that has good retention but only leaves minor streaks of lacing on the side of the glass. Maybe a tulip wouldâ€™ve been a better glass choice, but I wanted to fit it all in one pour and donâ€™t have any large tulips.
S: The smell is really quite incredible and most likely my favorite aspect of this beer. Itâ€™s so vibrant and bright with so many different aspects blending together to form a harmonious union; plenty of grassy and orange-marmalade/citrus hops marry with a soft layer of minerally wet rock and funky barnyard Brett. Soft pale malt sweetness with hints of underlying fruity esters add some balance to the sharp hops and funk. Almost reminds me of a funky two hearted in the nose, the hoppiness is sublime.
T: The taste is almost right in step with the aroma, only with an even stronger funky brett presence. Wet rock and dusty barnyard horseblanket rule upfront before the orangey and grassy hops back them up with some intensity of their own (and a pretty good amount of accompanying bitterness). A light grainy, sugary pale malt aspect backs things up with a dose of sweetness and some minor spicy/fruity yeasty notes are also noticeable. Very complex and very tasty.
M: The mouthfeel is also quite good, with a medium body and a soft but tingly and effervescent level of backing carbonation. The consistency starts a touch sticky to aid in the coating of the tongue but finishes very dry with a quick hit of a bitter bite. Alcohol heat only pokes through minorly on the throat but itâ€™s warming and a touch spicy, never harsh. Goes down way easy and smoothly.
D: I was most impressed with this offering from New Glarus, and in fact each subsequent time Iâ€™ve had it Iâ€™ve enjoyed it even more. The hops and funk form a near perfect unison and the subtle sweetness and generally dry nature of this brew makes it a real winner for me. I enjoy very much now when fresh-ish because of the hops, but I can see it aging beautifully into a funk bomb within a few years.
Another homerun for Dan and co. at New Glarus, if their R&D series continues to be of such a high caliber as the golden ale Iâ€™ll be making regular trips up the the brewery in the coming years. Very highly recommended.