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New Homebrew: Belgian Golden Strong Ale

January 23, 2016

I brewed a Belgian golden ale just before Christmas and bottled it two weeks ago. Tonight I’m sampling it, and here are my first tasting notes:

Belgian-Golden-Ale

This is neither my glass nor my actual homebrew, but the color of this Belgian Golden Strong Ale is almost exactly the same as mine.

Nose: Strong with Belgian yeast, reminding me of Unibroue’s Maudite or La Fin Du Monde
Appearance: Golden orange and moderately clear.
Carbonation: Excellent.
Head: Rich white, holding nicely—which is surprising to me for having only been in the bottle for two weeks.
Mouthfeel: Full with a mild alcoholic bite.
Flavor: Front end–A very pleasant mellow malty sweetness and mild spiciness, with floral notes; Finish—faintly mineral and subtly tart. I know I used hops in the brew, but I can’t detect them now.
After taste: Slightly tart mixed with stone fruit (peach, maybe?)

If you’re wondering how my notes compare to a standard, here are the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guide notes on Belgian Golden Ales (style 18D).

Verdict: I’m really pleased. This is really drinkable—and dangerous for a session given that it’s 8.13% ABV.*  The BJCP lists commercial examples (in relation to those I’ve actually sampled) as Duvel, Delirium Tremens, Piraat, North Coast Pranqster. I’d put mine, surprisingly, up against any of those.

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*This is the best ABV I’ve achieved since moving to Chicago, mostly because I watched my fermentation temperature really closely (which I haven’t always done in the winter). I also kept the newly bottled beer in a warm place, which likely contributed to the excellent carbonation and head.

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