This seasonal Belgian-style Pale Ale (otherwise known as the Blonde or Golden Ale) is on rotation in the spring. I’d like to thank Keith Siggins of Colorado for his thoughtful donation of this bottle. Hoppy aromatics delve into bright lemon zest, grass, and fruits such as pear or apple. Malts come across like honey and bread, then follow with a dash of yeasty black pepper.
The palate begins with semi-sweet malts flavored like cereal grains, sourdough or biscuits. Hops step into the middle with an earthy, grassy approach that centers around mild bitterness. A sour upswing rises toward lemon, closing with a faint hint of spice. Mouthfeel is medium-to-light bodied, delivering smooth carbonation that leads into a dry departure. I’m disappointed to find this tastes worse as it warms.
New Belgium probably made a wise decision here, because the masses still want a drinkable ale. The careful balance of bitter and sweet is agreeable, and the mouthfeel is perfectly suited for spring. While I can recall a list of true Belgian counterparts that would certainly blow this out of the water, I must remind myself that this is an American rendition designed to carry more hop character, and is thus more likely to appease the palate of our typical, stateside craft drinker. Though I am not at all impressed, this is pretty good, and since I feel it would agree with most, I think its at least worth trying. However, it is unlikely that I will return.
Known Hops: Nugget
Known Malts: Pale, C-80, Munich
Fort Collins, Colorado