Gold Leaf Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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Gold Leaf LagerGold Leaf Lager

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107 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: on 12-24-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 25
Reviews by Treyliff:
Photo of Treyliff
4.26/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a crystal clear golden-straw color with a small foamy white head that retains long after the pour, thanks to the carbonation bubbles that continue to swim to the top

S- fresh grassy hops with subtle floral notes, a hint of lemon peel and must, toasted cracker-like malt

T- sweet kick of fresh bready malt with notes of honey up front, floral flavors follow the aroma with faint notes of lemon and grassy hops, toasted cracker malt kicks in on a dry finish, with more floral hop notes on the linger

M- light bodied with moderate spritzy carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slick and crisp finish, high drinkability

O- Wow, this beer comes close to Weienstephaner IMO. It's such a simple tasting beer, but it's crafted masterfully. So drinkable, yet the floral notes keep you wanting more. I'm glad that this isn't hard to find around me, because I'll be getting more for sure

More User Reviews:
Photo of cavedave
3.84/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to gopens44 for this treat!

Clear light gold, with a finger of white head that kicks back to a decent skim.

Low/med. strength aroma, some crisp bready sweet, nice rounded tart yeast, and really tasty noble hop spice.

Med. strength taste, nicely sweet to start, then the yeast kicks in, with just a hint of lagery tart that joins with a complex, but light spiciness that includes the taste of black pepper spice and herbal rooty spice. Starts sweet, dries out at the end. Clean. Tasty.

Nice body, perfect for style, a touch lower carb. than style, but an excellent finish that makes up for it. Actually, here the low carb. makes this a very tasty as well as interesting beer without sacrificing a nice refreshing quality..

Nice American take on a Helles that I recommend.

Photo of Jeffreysan
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly and completely dissolved away into no head what-so-ever. Looks like a BMC beer.

Aroma: Not much in the way of aroma at all, but I do get some faint, I mean really faint, aromas of toasted malt and caramel, as well as some corn or rice-adjunct-like aromas, and some grassy, bitter hops. Honestly, it smells like a BMC beer too.

Taste: Pretty decent plain lager. Strong, clean flavors of toasted malt and caramel with no hops what-so-ever, and very, very little corn or rice-adjunct-like flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied and crisp and clean, with some pretty good carbonation. With an ABV of 4.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent, clean, plain lager. Nothing special or great, just clean and unassuming. There are no harsh adjunct-like flavors, just toasted malt and caramel. It would be an excellent entry-level craft beer for non-craft beer drinkers.

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz brewery filled growler into a couple of pint glasses.

Pours a clear light gold, with a finger of bright-white foamy head. This retains with some very light ringing and spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy, citric, and light spicy, with sweet bready grains and a touch of must. This is decent.

The taste has crisp citric bite that packs some fresh flavor as well, which is well balanced by a backbone of sweet graininess. The finish is dry with some lingering bitter citrus and spice. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a firm crispness throughout that keeps this quite refreshing feeling.

Clean and drinkable with a solid hop presence, this is a Lager you can session. Nicely done.

Photo of hophugger
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

decent beer. Aroma seems a little like the cheaper beers on the market. Nice golden color and decent head. Flavor is good, slightly German-like which is fine. Flavor goes away fast and leaves you wanting a little more . Overall, a good beer made by a decent brewery. Well done

Photo of apasternak
2.67/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Always see this around, but am not sure why. Did nothing to stand out

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a pokal glass.

A slightly straw and pale gold body, with some faint rising carbonation, with a good off white pin head sized bubbles given with about a finger. Drink maintains a fairly decent collar while finishing and some minimal spider lacing.

Nose is very mild and closed. Faint crisp malt and smally chewy grain sense, maybe some grass but it's really tiny I can hardly smell anything.

Taste though is a big improvement. Real nice sweet malt action on this and bread in the palate. Bakery dry finish with a mix of sweet small honey which almost has a coating mouthfeel effect. Hop like lemon character comes in with repeated sips with a mix of muted crisp and good baked malt density. A small but very noticeable playful carbonation.

Overall it doesn't smell like the brew is going to deliver but it does quite nicely and in a strange way makes it seem much better than it's going to be. Nice job.

Photo of obywan59
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear and light golden yellow against my screen, but golden orange against my wall. 1 1/2 finger white head that dissipates almost entirely leaving no lacing. A layer of rather large bubbles rests on the bottom of the glass before gradually rising.

At first the aroma was mostly a rich toasted maltiness backed up by some lemony citric hops. After a few minutes though, the toast sinks into the background and the floral, almost perfumey hops dominate. Light must.

The taste is much more subdued. Mostly dry upfront followed by a bit of malt syrup. As the beer warms, light toast replaces the syrup. Tart and slightly bitter hops carry it to the end. Sweeter in the aftertaste with a hint of honey.

Moderately crisp, light in body, somewhat drying and a bit warming. Light syrup.

Odd that I found it more aromatic while others found it more tasty, but I admit I liked the taste better by the time I reached the bottom of my glass. Still, the aroma wins hands down for me. A good light summer brew. I wouldn't hesitate to try it again.

Photo of bubseymour
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is quite the easy drinker. Has a nice German lager appearance. Clear yellow, highly carbonated with 1 finger head that doesn't hold very well. Has the scent of adjunct beer so not the best smelling beer. Has a very solid flavor profile. Very authentic to German originators and hits all the marks. Only downside is I find it a little dry in the finish thus not quite as thirst quenching for the style. Otherwise this is a fine beer and well done to the style by Devil's Backbone.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub last weekend.

Pours a clear yellow color with a good white head and a bit of spotty lacing on the sides. Thin collar throughout. Good balance between some light hops and crisp grainy malt. Slight straw and grain throughout in both the nose and flavor. Good noble hop presence. Light body and good carbonation; really crisp. Great example of the style.

Photo of woodychandler
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I scored this CAN at Total Wine & More during one of my recent trips to Norfolk, VA. I attended a reunion of USS Normandy (CG-60) shipmates in August, one of whom passed away shortly thereafter and I was privileged to get underway and participate in his burial-at-sea in November. This review will be my toast to his memory.

From the CAN: "Premium Quality"; "Virginia Heartland".

I Crack!ed it open and when nothing untoward occurred, I began an inverted Glug. I netted a brief finger of fizzy, bone-white head with limited retention. Color was Pale-Straw (SRM = 1 - 2) with NE-quality clarity, but it was NOT gold. Whoops! Nose held a pleasant malty sweetness, obviously adjunct-free, and I was drooling in anticipation. I really love drinking non-AAL lagers, having been subjected to so many of those losers in the early days of The CANQuest (TM). Mouthfeel was thin, not necessarily watery, but not much past it. The taste was fairly innocuous, lightly sweet, but not discernibly hopped. It was another totally crushable beer, especially given its low ABV. Today's lagers could all easily go into my summer cooler with no CANplaint. Finish was semi-sweet, very light in terms of body and taste. Still, it beats any of those AALs that I mentioned earlier.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

I prefer real gold to leaf, but maybe that's just me. This brew pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is faint, comprising light wheat, florals, and a very light kiss of citrus. (Insert "Li'l Kiss" reference here.) The taste has more weight, with notes of floral bitters, light biscuity-ness, and a light citrus bit. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, a pretty decent light lager; nothing to write home about, but nice and refreshing in this ridiculous humidity.

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: light orange in color with a 1/2" head that lasts a bit.

Aroma: some grassiness and a hint of hop bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: nice malt profile here. Grass, a bit of lemon zest, and a mild bitterness creates a simple but tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, less so at the finish. Clean aftertaste here and it is also nicely refreshing.

Drinkability: this beer is a real session lager as the flavor profile will keep you interested for a while. Nice beer.

Photo of Deuane
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The 2009 GABF Gold Medal winner in the International Style Pilsner category. Let us see how this one breaks down.

A-Brilliant clear golden yellow with a thin bright white head that reduced to a thin film and left spotty lace.

S-Light, floral spiciness and a touch of biscuit malt sweetness.

T-Sharp, biting, CLEAN spiciness with a nicely supporting sweet biscuit malt backbone.

M-Medium-light bodied, SUPER sharp and crisp. Absolutely NO residual malt sweetness. Dry finish, VERY clean....about as perfect as a pils can get.

D-Whoa! This is nice stuff. While this style is not among my favorites when it is done this well it is hard to deny the fat that this brew is VERY well done. No wonder it won a GABF gold...Easy to drink and refreshing. An excellent warm weather session beer. Well done!

Photo of mpyle
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%

Very pale golden color, brilliantly clear. Pours a smallish white head that disperses pretty quickly.

Very slight noble hop aroma, otherwise pretty clean

Nice malt forward flavor, then very balanced and clean through midmouth, with a slightly dry finish. I might be drinking this one a little too cold, as is exceptionally clean but a little boring.

Light-medium body, medium carbonation. Pretty unremarkable on the tongue, as it should be for the style.

A nice micro lawnmower kind of beer. Clean and refreshing.

Photo of Tim5085
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popular brew but did not impress me.

Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pale clear gold with a fizzy white head that burns off pretty quickly, leaving just a little bit of carbonation at the middle. No lacing. The aroma is delicate, with stronger notes of bread and lighter hints of herbs. The taste is uncomplicated but tasty. Bigger malt tones of bread and light fruit are balanced by a nice earthy hops finish. The body is light with just a hint of carbonation. An easy-drinker and flavorful lager.

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz straight from the can. Solid beer, great Helles Style lager. Touch of bitterness.

Photo of IPhantom
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This review is culled from one poured into a glass, and one straight out of the can.

Color is golden yellow with a nice and fluffy but quickly dissipating head. Nose is biscuity, a little grassy, and not much hops. Taste is...well, it's pretty good. Kind of like a what macro lager tastes like in a dream. Sweet up front, progressing through some crispness, and finishing nice and dry. Can't really put a finger on what hops were used, but I can't say that I really care either. It's a good, solid fun drinkin' beer. I'd love to take a case with me on a boat or tailgating.

Photo of argock
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz can into a clear glass 16 oz mug. No freshness date on the can. Purchased at Market Street WIneshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Clear straw yellow with 2-finger ivory head with average retention and only a few spots of lace.

S: Bready, malty aroma with lightly spicy, herbal and grassy noble hops nose

T: Clean and crisp with a inobtrusive bready malt flavor and capped with a light honeysuckle, herbal, grassy, lightly spicy hops bitterness. I think it is a little too bitter for the style, but not way off, maybe 3-5 IBUs too many.

M: Very crisp and finishes dry with light body and a bit too low in the carbonation department.

O: I liked GLL but it has a few tweaks in lowering the hop bitterness a few IBUs and upping the carbonation a tad. Still, a refreshing brew, great for summer.

Photo of drabmuh
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and clear with a thin wispy lazy white head of small bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma smells like a lager with some earthy floral hops.

Beer is light in body, sweet, yeasty, nice, mildly hoppy, semi-dry finish. A decent lager, I'd probably have it again. I'd definitely try other lagers from this brewery.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -15.5%

On draft at Whole Foods in Alexandria, VA.

The beer is crystal clear and pale yellow with a small, white head. Aromas of grain, cracker, lager yeast. Some fruity malt notes in the flavor with a grainy presence thought, finishing with a touch of earthy bitterness. This was ok...

Photo of siege06nd
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a clear, pale straw gold. A half finger of head, but not for long: it dissipates to nothing (absolutely nothing) quite quickly. Lacing is also fairly non-existent. Hmmmm.

S. Ahhhh, there we go. Freshly cut grass, floral notes, lavender, hints of citrus, toasted crackers.

T. Even better: big floral notes with hints of honey sweetness, sourdough bread, fresh grains, resolving into a slightly sweet finish with refreshing bitterness from the hops. Wow.

M. Highly carbed with a light, crisp mouthfeel. A little sweet on the finish, which actually complements the dry, herbal bitterness quite well. Excellent blend of malt and hop here.

O. Well, I love this. The pour was fairly disappointing, but after that it's all thumbs way up. The uninitiated will drink this beer and say "it tastes like Miller Lite." Those in the throes and heights of beer fever will criticize this for a lack of complexity. But those of us who have gone through our BMC days, become craft beer geeks, driven all over town to buy up the monthly rare releases, and have now settled into where we just appreciate well-made beers, especially those with subtlety, will rightfully praise this amazing creation from Devil's Backbone. It's straightforward: a simple nose and flavor profile. But heck if this isn't one of the best beers I've had this year. It's refreshing, it's tasty, and it's impeccably made. The Helles Lager style is unforgiving to brewers who aren't at the top of their game...fortunately for Devil's Backbone, they put on a clinic with Gold Leaf Lager. This will be in my fridge all summer long.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden (wow, get that!) color. The head sucks - not even a finger high, white shade, and retention that reminds me of something BMC (that's not good). No lacing.

S: At first, I'm getting a subtle kiss of earthy noble hops. Since this is a Munich helles, I expect it to have a honeyed, slightly fruity sweetness...and it does appear after opening up. I'm also getting a touch of diacetyl. Nothing special, but I think this will taste better than it smells.

T: It opens with a healthy flavor of honey. The back end isn't necessarily hoppy per se, but I'm still getting a touch of hop dryness to help cleanse things. At first, it's dull. But then additional touches of apricot, caramel, bread, and diacetyl appear after a while. Honestly, the more I drink it, the less dull it gets - hell, it's even showing a modicum of depth.

M: Aside from a light sweetness, it's dry finishing. The body is just full enough to make it seem richer than would have been, relying on powerful carbonation to make it drinkable.

O: Nothing special, but certainly not bad. Devil's Backbone hasn't impressed me yet, and unfortunately this one doesn't do enough to sway me from that thought. There are some worthwhile aspects to it, at least: it's easy to drink and refreshing like a lager should be, along with a touch (just a touch) of complexity. I certainly wouldn't refuse a free can/pour of it again.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold Leaf Lager, 4.5 abv%, 17 IBUs.

Appearance: A pale, crisp yellow bodied beer with fast and plentiful carbonation. A one-finger, almost white, foamy head with some staying power sits atop it for quite some time and leaves some sticky streaks of lacing after it recedes. Good start.

Aroma: Incredibly faint and pale. If you really, really try here, you get a handful - nay, a pinch - of crisp pils malts and leafy, hay-like hops.

Taste: Very grainy and malt dominated. Biscuit-like, with no roast, but it isn't overly sweet. There's also a faint hoppiness in the background - one part bitter, one part Noble hop taste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and thin nodied, again with tons of effervescence, leading to a big, fluffy mouthfeel. Good for the combination of flavors here, making for a big, refreshing beer.

Drinkability: If the aroma had been a little more pleasantly pungent, this would have been a really solid beer. It's still a good beer, just not quite what it can be, I think. Very refreshing, crisp, decently flavorful. Like the Vienna lager, I think this would make a good "sitting outside on the patio in August, overlooking the scenic vista of the southern Shenandoahs" beer. I'll almost certainly be making it one, too.

Gold Leaf Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.