Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Belgium Hoptober Golden Ale


Hoptober Golden Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado USA

American Blonde Ale

6.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Five hops and four malts make Hoptober Golden Ale a veritable cornucopia of earth. Pale and wheat malt are mashed with rye and oats to create a medium-bodied ale with creamy mouth feel. Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier hops form a bonfire of citrus notes, fruity cheers and a bold finale. ABV: 6% 40 IBU Available in 6-packs and on draught

General Pricing:
22 oz bottles: ~$3.50 each

New Belgium finally arrived in our area on Monday. I stopped in at State Line Liquors after work on Friday for the Hurricane Happy Hour and New Belgium beer tasting. I bought a variety of New Belgium beers that night to help ride out Hurricane Irene and then some. So the next series of reviews will be from New Belgium.

The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a pale copper hues and a bright white head.

Then nose is striking with hop aromas. There are sweet pilsner type malt aromas on the nose along with pleasant floral hops and citrus notes. This is more like a fresh harvest IPA with complex hop aromas.

The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness up front. That is immediately followed by a tingling over the tongue and a gradual building hop robustness as the beer washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. By the time you get to the top of the swallow the hop robustness builds to a nice bite but not a bitterness. The back end is fairly easy drinking but the hoppy bite does give some hesitation at the top of the swallow. The tingling and bite seems to actually grow during the swallow into the finish. The finish is actually pretty good. Sorry, that didn’t come out right. I’m not a hop head so I’m really impressed with the flavors in this hoppy finish. This seemed to be building to an overly bitter finish but the finish is very present with in intricate hop complexity. There is a nice light malt presence but the finish is mostly floral and earthy hop flavors with citrus notes. The final aftertaste is a lingering earthy hop bitterness but not overpowering.

I am really enjoying this beer; I like the hop flavors but without the overwhelming bitterness.

I’m going to give this an A-. What a wonderful seasonal offering from New Belgium. For my money this beer can compete with any of the high end seasonal Fresh Hop beers. Another great experience from New Belgium.

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