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Bard's Gold - Bard's Tale Beer Company

Not Rated.
Bard's GoldBard's Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
59
awful

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 2.37
pDev: 35.02%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bard's Tale Beer Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BEERchitect on 01-28-2009)
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by flagmantho:
Photo of flagmantho
2.45/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light gold to straw color. A finger of fizzy head which dissipated very quickly.

Smell: mild; sweet and grainy. There's an almost chalky aroma here; definitely not your traditional barley beer.

Taste: bizarrely enough, the taste I get is one of plastic. There are some hops and an interesting grain taste in there, but mostly I get a stale-water-stored-in-a-plastic-tub taste.

Mouthfeel: a light body with a medium-to-heavy level of carbonation.

Drinkability: between the flavor, smell and high carbonation, this is a hard one to force down.

I love the idea of this beer: a good beer in this vein could be great for someone with celiac disease or another barley or wheat allergy. This beer, however, is not it. If my dietary restrictions limited me to this or no beer, I'll have a glass of water or a diet coke.

More User Reviews:
Photo of NTN68
1.05/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I have recently been informed by two physicians that I am 99% celiac positive, but am awaiting an endoscopy / biopsy for 100 % diagnosis. Having been told that I most likely will have to give up my 30 year passion for beer, I went out today and purchased my first ever six pack of imitation beer, aka Bard's Tale Gold. I tried very hard to keep an open mind before trying this concoction. I do not drink beer to get intoxicated. I drink beer because I love the palatable complexities and varieties it affords. I am, and I say this with pride, a beer snob. Trust me, if this was merely about catching a buzz, I understand that in spite of celicac, I can still drink a variety of distilled spirits or wine.

That being said, I am extremely unhappy with Bard's Tale Gold. It is, quite simply, not beer. It has absolutely no mouth feel of a beer. It has an unpleasant, grassy, sugary, fruit-gone-bad taste, no lasting head or lacing when poured, the aroma is not an aroma...more a bad extract scent, and it did not pair well with the appetizer or stir fry I prepared for dinner. This IS NOT BEER. Shame on the brewers, who I do understand are celiac sufferers, for calling it beer. If the brewers truly once LOVED beer, then TRY HARDER. Your product is LIGHT GRASS CIDER. Add some hops, a lot of hops, more sugars to amp up the alcohol content. Give your recipe some color and some carbonation. Experiment with something other than sorghum. Yes, I know it has been used in Africa for a long time, but it is not the only option. How about removing gluten during the process?

I sit here at my computer and ask myself if the celiac diagnosis is worth Bard's Tale beer?
My response: I am drinking a Yard's Tavern Spruce. I'll get "glutened" and enjoy myself before I'll drink more Bard's Beer. Will real beer make me feel bloated and maybe cause me to have diarrhea, constipation, gas, weight gain, weight loss, anemia, B 12 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, fatigue, muscle aches, migraines, joint pain, and memory loss. Yes, it most likely will. So do my allergy meds. My cholesterol meds. Oh, and aging. Getting old isn't for wussies.

I am NOT taking shots at those of you who are suffering really bad consequences of celiac. Trust me when I say this. I am 46 and was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when I was three years old. I don't remember life without living with an autoimmune disease. I take four injections of insulin daily. I check my blood sugar eight times daily. I count carbs (including beer) and adjust my insulin dosages accordingly. I do most likely have celiac. But I have lived the majority of my life not knowing it. I have also lived my adult life enjoying beer as a pleasurable vice that I enjoy in extreme moderation given my Type I diabetes condition. Bard's is not beer.

Photo of woodychandler
2.78/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

I had purchased this a while back, thinking that perhaps an article on gluten-free beers might be in the offing. When I could not find a taker, the beers got shunted to the side. I had a colleague who has issues with gluten and she was always curious about beers that were gluten-free. I usually eschew them since I am not gluten-intolerant and prefer to leave them for people who are. In the interim, I am purging my massive backlog of bottles this summer and lo and behold! this one popped up. They will now be part of The Great Bottle Purge of the Summer of 2014.

From the bottle: "The Original Sorghum Malt Beer"; "Discuss it over a Bard's"; "Contains No Wheat, Barley, Rye or Oats"; "Gluten-Free"; "Beer Made From Sorghum".

From the underside of the cap: "Can the inventor of the ukelele be charged with crimes against humanity? Discuss it over a Bard's".

I popped the cap and the neck suddenly filled with a cap of foam. Calming time! Even with the calming and a gentle pour, I got a pseudo-cascade and a lot of foaming action. It settled into three dense fingers of French Vanilla-colored -white head that slowly dropped, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was, indeed, gold (SRM = 5), so points for truth in advertising, plus it had NE-quality clarity. Nose was back to the now-familiar apple vinegar sharpness. It is really making me glad that I do not have Celiac and so this can be an experiment, rather than a way of life. Mouthfeel was thin, watery and spritzy like seltzer. Taste was of apple vinegar, but it was not as pronounced or as sharp as in some of the others in this adventure. Finish was kind of bland and dull and now I cannot decide which is worse - sharp and memorable or bland and dull. I would choose this over some of the others simply because its pungency was somehow lessened. Talk about damning with faint praise ...

Photo of SamKetchum
3.13/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Fantastic Marketing, fun topics on bottle lids, such as “Do telemarketers have an evil laugh they do when they dial?” Only thing missing is the beer. It's smooth, it's golden. The body of the beer is extremely weak and it has a very submissive taste- leaving little to no aftertaste.

Photo of tbryan5
1/5  rDev -57.8%

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a honey golden amber hue with a fine bright white head billowing nicely with the initial pour, however head retention isn't this beer's strong suit. Aroma smells like a booze ridden brandy or something higher in alcohol, which doesn't make sense at all but that's what I'm getting out of this beer. A slightly sour tobacco note with some fruity highlights to it maybe ripened apple and cherry. Flavor is extraordinarily horrid, tastes like cough syrup drizzled with sweet maple sugar. Not the worst liquid I've ever drank but as far as beer goes this fuckin' sucks, stick to the British specialty beers or good old Redbridge from AB if you wanna cure your Celiac's disease. I could finish it but there's just nothing keeping me going toward the finish line. It would be self abuse otherwise the way this one hits the palate with faded carbonation makes the bad things just remain stagnant on my palate. Overall I think I expressed how I feel about this beer, just don't go there unless it's a health issue with no other options for something remotely beery.

Photo of flooshmander
1.05/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Smells like really bad beer, but at least it smelled like beer. This is it's strong point.

Tastes like adhesive. Really strong aftertaste of synthetic aircraft grade adhesive spray.

My first Gluten free beer. I sure hope there are other options for the gluten free people. I'll try to find a better option and report back.

No further detail.

Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev +37.1%

Photo of biboergosum
2.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, time to try this most venerable of gluten-free beers available in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, medium tinted golden amber colour, with a half finger of loud bubbly, and mostly fizzy dirty white head, which disappears in a near instant, leaving neither lace nor impression on this reporter.

It smells of semi-sweet, vegetal malt, with an alien earthiness that must be the sorghum, there, English, white grape juice, stale applesauce, and a wet cardboard essence right where one might be expecting something, oh, I dunno, hoppy? The taste is more or less just an extension in the same odd graininess - quite sweet, still, and 'malty', and well, like brown sugar, overripe mixed grapes, free-radical butter, mild plastic band-aid covers, and bitter tea leaves, is the best I can come up with.

The carbonation is average, and a tad prickly, even, at times, the body a somewhat agreeable medium weight, and as smooth as the tugging cloyingness will allow. It finishes with a lingering thin molasses/reduced brown sugar sweetness, buffered somewhat by that unfamiliar earthy, strangely astringent character from the earlier acts.

While displaying more beer-adjacent characteristics than practically all the other barley and wheat-free beers I've thus far subjected my gluten-loving and -tolerant self to, I can't get over the weird edge that the sole use of sorghum (I assume) imparts here, in its starring role. A good try, and probably acceptable with a strong dose of cognitive dissonance, but not for me, not for me.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
1.53/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is a pale amber color, fizzy...in that, you can actually hear it fizzing like soda.(the first red flag!) The head is thin to begin with and then it's just gone.

This has a strange sweet aroma much like pure malt before it goes in the wort, the rest is really hard to detect, but it's not beer related.

Well, i kept an open mind right up until the first sip, but my palate is not as nice. There is a malty flavor, but it's not a good one. It's hard to nail down any specific flavor's, which is a big problem. This folks, is simply not a beer to my palate.

DA....are you kidding?

Photo of tdm168
3.1/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark gold with loose, bubbly, dish soap-like head that quickly disappears. The nose is sweet, sugary, and grainy. The taste is sweet, fruity with hints of apple, and has notes of caramel. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and smooth.

For a beer made from sorghum it's not bad, a little sweet at times, but not bad. This isn't something that I would go out of my way to get, but it wasn't bad to try once.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.43/5  rDev +44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm. Interesting. I'm not sure why this is listed here as a Fruit / Vegetable beer because it's not. It's simply beer made with sorghum instead of barley. And that's nothing new, Guinness used to be made in Africa with sorghum. Anyway, that's the thing here, it "CONTAINS NO WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE OR OATS" so it works for people with celiac's disease and other allergies. That said, I have to question how there can be "NO" barley involved as it's contract brewed. Perhaps the sorghum is all bagged. Or, maybe F.X. Matt made some other special arrangements to avoid any mixing of malt residue. Or perhaps in a several hundred barrel batch it's too minimal to matter.

Anyway, as far as gluten-free or "Celiac" beers go, it's not bad. I've had worse. It's got a good balance with backing bitterness and some floral and spicy hops; and a slightly elevated carbonation level that helps as well. And that's important because sorghum tends to kind of stick in the mouth. It's sweetish with a kind of candyish edge, and it lingers - you can even smell that in the nose as well. The spicy hops and zesty carbonation then help to cut through that and cleanse the palate.

However, what we're talking about here is, in fact, a sorghum beer, so none of that can be faulted. It is what it is. And in this particular case, it's got a caramelish edge to it, which is nice. I don't know if something was done to the grain before hand, or if that was just picked up in the kettle, but it gives it a little bit more character; and I think it works well with the grain.

If I was unable to drink regular beer, I'd certainly enjoy this one more often!

Photo of McNealc31
1.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The color is nice, there isn't much head, but the smell isn't giving me a lot of promise. The flavor is...not especially pleasant. I can't even figure out how to describe it. I knew not to expect anything like other light amber ales, but all I am getting is what I assume is the sorghum. No other kind of hops or nuances.

I really wanted to like this beer, but I just don't. I think making an IPA out of this and masking the flavor the malt would be a good direction. I don't think it's badly brewed, I just think I don't dig on sorghum. Unfortunate.

Photo of runjack
2.5/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a palatable below average beer. I wouldn't chuck it I wouldn't buy it but if you but it in my hands I would raise it to my lips on instinct

A) to dark for an american style lager this is thanks to the sorghum base that makes up this drink

S) I'm holding to my nose as I type this and all I can say is... theres not a drop of art in this glass

T) bland

M) thin

O) this beer is not bad at all... just... effectively boring

Photo of WestValleyIPA
2.6/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Telegraph Brewing shaker glass. A minimal amount of head, less than 1/2 a finger which dies almost immediately. No lacing. A pretty decent generic amber color. Lot's of bubbles rising to the top, fizzy yellow beer anyone? Getting a crisp sort a sweet malt on the nose. For lack of a better description, smells like a mellow cheap blended Scotch. Some funky grain flavors going on. Very grainy, cereal, and once again, tastes like watery bad fizzy Scotch. Mouthfeel isn't bad. A nice crispness, kind of like sparkling wine. Finishes very dry. This review does NOT sound good, but for a gluten free beer, it sure beats the hell out of Redbridge and the like. Glad I'm not allergic to barley! Really hard to choke down a whole bottle. Took almost an hour.

Photo of AzuriteT3
3.9/5  rDev +64.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this in the bargain bin at the grocery store. It's a solidly good beer, and has unique flavor, but I wouldn't call it "great."

Can't get a good look at it in the bottle. Don't know what it looks like.

Bananas in the nose but not in the taste, apples and a little hops. Reminds me of wet concrete.

Taste is... pretty good overall. I get medium sweetness with strong toffy and less prominent but still strong coffee flavors and crab apples. It tastes almost like Roman nougat if they dipped it in coffee instead of chocolate. Very bitter aftertaste. Not much hops.

Feels light, but not as light as a lager and lightly carbonated. When I swish it around in my mouth it doesn't emulsify the way other beers do, it just kind of increases in volume.

I would drink this again, but not unless it was on sale. There's better stuff for cheaper.

Photo of redhorse107
3.31/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pretty good beer for a gluten-free, sorghum-based beer. I always buy it when I can find it!

Photo of Kunstman
1.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev +49.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Haven't noticed this sorghum beer around Illinois yet, found it on a recent trip through Wisconsin at Le Cork in Mt. Horeb.

Into a stange glass right from the fridge, it has some puffy foam at first that billows above the rim. It's texture is firm but breaks apart in chunks after the first sip. It's a goldenrod yellow with steady trails of CO2. The smell has a touch of apple and minerals, reminding me of a Berliner Weisse somehow. Flavor is a little buttery with a note of apple that fades quickly into a dry finish. The sorghum has a bit of dustiness to it. There was a low level of bitterness, the label does list hops as an ingredient. Crisp with an initial bite, then it rapidly fades away.

More flavor than a macro for sure, maybe more of an acquired taste though. Certainly a godsend for those with Celiac's.

Photo of MoyaHoya
1/5  rDev -57.8%

Photo of troyvar
3.25/5  rDev +37.1%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Ingredients, nutrition facts, Packaged Date 11/30/2009 (Happy Birthday Beerwolf77 and I) listed on bottle.

A - Perfectly clear golden yellow with adequate carbonation rising from the nucleation point. It's also got a fair cream head with good retention and wisps of lace.

S - It's got a rather grainy aroma. The Sorghum is pretty distinguishable in this beer. Hints of resiny plastic and a foreign fruit-like scent. No real hop nose and it certainly doesn't smell like "beer" but it also doesn't smell bad.

T - Sorghum has been used much better than this to make Gluten-free beer. This one has a sharp, dry grain flavor that almost has a plastic taste. Again, no hops.

M - Dry, dry, dry! Did I mention Bard's Gold is dry? Oy. The finish lingers which doesn't work well when it tastes like plastic. Medium-bodied.

D - Drain-pour. Sorry Bard's, as someone who enjoys of all things incorporating Gluten, I wont be partaking in this beer ever again. If you have Celiac's I'm very sorry for you. Have a Lakefront New Grist instead. A fantastic example of Gluten-free beer. This, however, is not very good.

Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Honey colored. Transparent. Active carbonation. Pours with a thin head that settles out to the edge of the glass in a creamy lacing.
S) Bold molasses and brown sugar aroma with just a bit of anise.
T) Mild anise flavor with a slight brown sugar undertone.
M) Creamy. A light to medium body.
D) A decent brew. A good combination of ingredients.

Photo of BeanBone
2.83/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: An effervescent coppery-amber body capped by about a finger of whitish head that leaves excellent lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, biscuity, and caramel-like malt accompanied by some metallic tones.

Flavor: Biscuity, lightly grainy, and somewhat buttery malt accompanied by some bare hops and a metallic twang. As for balance, malt takes the spotlight. Grains and coppery metal in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp with medium-high carbonation. Doesn't dry out in the finish.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, but just a little too bland to really hold my interest.

Verdict: An interesting diversion, though something I'd have a hard time recommending to anyone not suffering from gluten intolerance. For those that do need to avoid gluten, this is certainly something to try out.

Photo of Bills453
1.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip glass (I feel like I have now tainted my tulip glass). Yellow, small tint of copper.

Smell - sweet, surghom sugar.

Taste - no flavor whatsoever. Aftertaste of sorghum.

Mouthfeel - so-so.

Overall - I would only recommend this beer to my gravest enemies.

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Bard's Gold from Bard's Tale Beer Company
59 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.