Bard's Gold - Bard's Tale Beer Company

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Bard's GoldBard's Gold

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65 Reviews
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Reviews: 65
Hads: 114
Avg: 2.5
pDev: 44.4%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 01-28-2009

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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 114
Photo of matjack85
1.23/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.89. This is one of those gluten free beers, so it doesn't contain any wheat, barley, rye, or oats. Instead they brew this with sorghum.

The beer poured a mostly clear medium gold color, but only produced a ½-finger of white head that dissipated in about 15 seconds. Lacing was minimal.

The smell was all sorghum, which is not a pleasant smell.

The taste is sweet, and once again all sorghum with maybe some honey underneath it. I didn't like it at all.

Mouthfeel was OK. The body was medium and the carbonation was moderately high.

Still looking for a sorghum beer that I like. Unless you need to drink these for health reasons, I'd pass on this one.

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Photo of AzuriteT3
3.9/5  rDev +56%
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.

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Photo of Swim424
2.28/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I actually drank this at work. So I poured it into a solo cup. it was only about an hour ago so im just going from memory.

A-Sort of an orange/red. basically no head. again this was in a red solo cup so i couldnt see it well.

S-a little different. never smelled a beer like this. but smelled like something that had potential.

T-wow...i honestly cant describe this. i guess it was the sorghum. not really sure. not flavors I am used to tasting here. it really just didnt taste much like beer. very powerful finish. not sure what it was, i guess hops. but didnt really taste hoppy.

MF-not much that i remember. not a very good aftertaste though.

O-I wont be trying this again. If you cant drink regular beer because of gluten problems then stick with another type of alcohol. Im not sure how other gluten free beers are but this was wasn't something I can see many people enjoying. The look and smell was the best part.

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Photo of cjh57
3.77/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear light amber with little head. A slight foam remains at the edges, but leaves no lacing as the beer is drunk.

S: Earthy, but in a different way from earthy hops - the smell of sorghum, maybe? Caramel is also definitely present, along with a bit of fruitiness - maybe white grapes or green apples? The earthiness has a slight herbal quality to it, although it makes me think more of vegetables than herbs. I'm not entirely sure what I think of it, but it's certainly different, and not in a particularly bad way. As it warms, the fruitiness gets more pronounced, as does the caramel, but the earthiness continues to hold its own.

T: Fruity caramel sweetness, that strange earthiness again, and a balancing mild sourness. Not particularly bitter while drinking it, but leaves a mild bitter aftertaste, that's more vegetable-like (not in a bad way) than hoppy, although hops are (faintly) present as well. It's hard to say what I think of it, as my impression changes from swig to swig, and I have little to compare it to.

M: Fairly light, though not to the point of wateriness, and made a little heavier by the modest carbonation. Neither a sipper nor a chugger, but something to drink by the mouthfull.

O: Probably not a beer I'll want to drink regularly, but certainly worth having again. I haven't had any other sorghum-based beers to compare it to, but it's certainly different from any other beers that I have had.

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Photo of McNealc31
2.02/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.07/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
1/5  rDev -60%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

There is a lot of talk about gluten-free products. From the food we eat to the beer we drink, gluten-free is a popular topic of discussion. The beer we are drinking today would fit nicely in that conversation. The beer is gluten-free. Apparently there are 10,000 different types of sorghum out there… and no one knows which one is best to brew with. But let’s see what this little guy smells and tastes like.

What is that nose? I like it… a lot. I want to say fruit, but I am not sure. It smells wet too, and I fear, based on how this poured into the glass, is going to be a little carbonated as well.

But it’s not. It’s not carbonated at all. It actually has very little mouthfeel whatsoever. It goes in, goes down, and you sit there thinking… what’s next? Let’s try it again just for good measure. Yeah, same thing. The best way I can describe this is drinking a can of soda that has been left open in the fridge for, oh, a week.

I’m sorry to all of those who live a gluten-free life, but I have to tell you… my beer tastes better. This is just bad. The smell is incredible, but it stops there. I hate that too, as I wanted this beer to be good. At least for the gluten-free people.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.55/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
2.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
2.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear amber colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smells sweet and grainy with a strange scent that must be the sorghum. Smell of mixed tobacco and tea. Smells strange.

Starts out sweet and grainy with a grain husk flavor and a fair amount of bitterness. Slight caramel flavor and some astringency. This tastes a little weird.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability isn't so great. For sorghum beer it isn't bad. For beer though this doesn't raise to the level of Budweiser.

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Photo of danpool
3.87/5  rDev +54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

While this beer won't really stand up against some of the wheat/barley/rye containing beers, this is an excellent choice for celiacs and others who can't have gluten.

The pour on this beer is pretty...wait for it...poor. The head falls apart pretty quickly, but is more substantial than other GF beers I've tried.

The smell is a little sugary. Ok, it's a lot sugary. I would imagine this would be the smell you might encounter upon opening a fresh bag of brown sugar.

The predominant taste is also of molasses or brown sugar, which I don't completely disagree with, as one of my favorite brews before finding out I was a celiac was Ayinger's Celebrator Doppelbock; also a very sweet beer with heavy roasted sugar overtones.

Mouthfeel is very bubbly and light. Almost more like a Sprite than a beer.

Even though this beer may not be enjoyed by the typical beer snob (ah, memories of my pretentious pre-celiac self), I think the average gluten intolerant folks out there will find this to be a refreshing and very drinkable alternative to the other sorghum beers they've tried.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.15/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Dull copper, slightly hazy, lots of bubbles, long-lasting head. Lots of lacing.

S: Smells like molasses and hops (or maybe another herb). Honestly, I like it a lot. There is a strange underscent of something slightly unpleasant, but the smell of molasses and beer overpowers it and distracts me.

T: Uh. Hmm...Sweet sorghum malt washes over the tongue carrying the molasses flavour, but then comes a watery grain taste, slightly bitter and not very nice. This is ameliorated the more I drink, but at best it tastes like beer. However, I consider this an accomplishment for a beer eschewing barley, wheat, rye, and oats. Aftertaste is slightly bitter before fading back into sweetness. It's not great, but it's not terrible. And apparently it's gluten-free?

M: It's pretty good. Thin and sweet; I enjoy the molasses quite a bit. No complaints here.

D: I enjoyed trying this one, but I probably wouldn't get it again. The sorghum is interesting and even fun, but is no replacement for grain.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.2/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this as a sample from a distributor.

Pours a clear amber-gold colour with plenty of carbonation but not much head. The aroma is, well, it's not unpleasant, it definitely smells like beer. Quite a lot of grain, not much hops. The taste follows on from that, but with an odd, sort of metallic undertone. It has a pleasantly bitter finish. A little bit over-carbonated for my liking and not a lot of weight in the body.

If, heaven forbid, I had to drink gluten-free beer I wouldn't turn my nose up at it, but I sure would miss everything else.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my pint glass the beer is amber brown with about a finger of white head. No retention no lace.

The aroma is sweet and grassy. Like caramel coated grass clippings. I can't really pin point what I'm getting from this beer. Rather fruity though.

The flavor has a sharp gritty bitter bite. It's like sour malt with burnt caramel corn. Not something I really look for in my beers taste.

Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a unique beer for sure. I'm so glad I don't have food alergies that would require me to drink this.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.7/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of zeff80
2.93/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed one in a build a sixer section.

A -Poured a bubbly, translucent, orange/bronze color with a small, khaki-colored head. It left no lacing at all.

S - It smelled oddly of corn and fruitiness. It's really hard to describe but it smells unlike most beers.

T - Very sweet upon first sip with a pear/apple flavors. As it warmed the sweetness mellowed and a corn and grain taste emerged.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth finish. A light bodied ale.

D - The first couple sips had me thinking drain pour but it improved significantly. This is my 4th or 5th Gluten-Free beer and it has to be the best I've had.

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Photo of mikebiewer
2.9/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've got a video review if anyone wants to see what it looks like on my site at


Copper colored and freakishly clear and consistent in color. Fast carbonation with some really small and some larger bubbles. The head didn't really rise nor stick around.


At first it seems thicker than it is but I'd give this a light feeling. The carbonation is nice on the tongue and throat.

Very subtle caramel and hop floral aroma.


Funny. Not in a bad way, just not the way you are expecting. The hops don't really come out so your left with this sweet weird bitter taste that I could only imagine a thick dust ball would taste like. Kind of musty.


If I was on a gluten free diet I'd probably drink it, but I don't think I'd drink many of these.


I think its worth a try to give something else a shot, but I would definitely split the 6 pack with someone that is as curious as you are because it isn't what you are probably looking for in "beer". I do think this could make a good conversational piece for beer parties or tastings if you are into that sort of thing, but like I said, I'll probably never drink Bard's Gold Sorghum Beer again. Of course, unless something happens to me glutenins!

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Photo of BeanBone
2.84/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
2.93/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Very clear body with an amber color and a small, filmy head

S- The smell is mostly musky and sweet. Caramel and apricot come to mind

T- The flavor is hardly detectable but is dominantly sweet with a mix of fruit flavors and hard candy

M- A bit fizzy and medium bodied

D- Fine enough to drink as beer but I certainly won't be buying another 6-pack for $9.36

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Apparently the first "gluten free" beer in America... I could care less about that but I do enjoy trying new beers. Pours a light golden color, little wisp of head. Aroma is pear/apple like. Taste is unique, thats for sure. Taste is medium bodied, quite an odd taste to it I can't put my finger on.. sort of a mixed pear and subdued hop taste. Finish is very unique and a bit dry. If you're a health nut and don't like gluten I guess it'd be a good beer but for the average beer drinker I'd pass on this one.. much better tasting beers out there (I guess good beer needs gluten?)

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Photo of farrago
2.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head slightly off-white and crests at close to a finger, basic looking with little retention, no lacing. Metallic orange to pumpkin in color, crystal clear and completely transparent. The nose shows molasses, brown sugar and then apple, pear fruit, lemon juice and honey glazed bread, the hops versus malts dichotomy seems besides the point here. Medium-bodied, decent degree of carbonation, the first thing you think is that it tastes like a hard cider with a more grainy texture. Pear, green apple, white grape fruit, starts to turn bitter once it hits the back of your throat. Vaguest of grain, oats aspect, hard to casually understand why this would be grouped as a beer. That said, not disgusting or anything. (Gluten Free)

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Photo of huricrane47
3.2/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was better than most light sorghum beers that i have had in the past. It almost reminded me of sparkling sake except that it had a very slight/mild hop flavor at the end. It was light, crisp, and easy to drink. I would recommend this to anyone that wanted a gluten free beer that was easy to drink. I also plan to compare it to a sparkling sake. Good sorghum beer.

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Photo of darklordlager
2.74/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an apple cider colour, with a head to go with (bright active bubbles which quickly faded)

Smell is of light caramel sweetness and citric hops.

Taste is fruity up front (from the yeast?), some apple, a little bit of bitterness and then fades into a somewhat grainy aftertaste.

M-Medium-high carbonation, perhaps a bit too much. Keeps it from lingering too long on the tongue though, which I think I would find unpleasant.

D-Not something I would enjoy for flavour's sake.

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Photo of Engineerrock
1.5/5  rDev -40%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A) Lots of carbonation-very little foam, no lacing. Reminds me a little of champagne
S) not a lot of aroma-something a little sharp and crisp
T) Well, it would be great if you want to drink a bottle of blackstrap sorghum molasses. No lie there. When I drank this I was thinking it needed to go on cornpone.
M) Thin
D) Drank a third of it and could not finish.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
1.52/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is a pale amber color, 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?

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Bard's Gold from Bard's Tale Beer Company
63 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.