Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Belgian Style Golden AleSummit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

52 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 07-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by brewdoc75:
Photo of brewdoc75
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a nice, golden-yellow color into my Duvel tulip. A strong, white head is there at first, but dies relatively quickly. Strong carbonation.

S: Sweet, fruity and spicy. Good yeast character, but definitely more sweet than other Belgian Golden Ales I've had. The fruitiness reminds me of grapes and maybe a little apple. The spiciness is less prominent and is clove like. The sweetness is what throws me off the most.

T: Sweet start with a strong, malty sweetness. Not rich malts like a bock, but more what I would expect in a lighter pale ale. This is followed by a strong fruitiness. The fruitiness is grape-apple like in character and very prominent. There are some clove-y phenols present, but they are less prominent than I would expect. This beer lacks the tart, pear like finish that Duvel has. It seems to leave too much sweetness in the end.

M: Light-medium bodied, but more on the medium end. Finishes too sweet for the style. Seems underattenuated to me. The carbonation is good, but that sticky, sweet mouthfeel throws me off.

D: A decent Belgian-style ale, but the mouthfeel didn't do it for me. This beer should have finished a little drier than it did. It was solid, but not epic. When you are playing against Duvel, you have to bring your game.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

This beer is pale golden with an impeccable clarity and well-placed lacing. Pears, passion fruit and papaya are in the nose, along with faint buttery and peppery notes. It has a tight body and dry malt character that runs biscuity and grassy. There are some medicinal phenols and tropical fruits in the middle. Peppery alcohol and a bit of twang show up before the beer goes dry. Its yeastiness and biscuity graininess actually move a touch toward bready in the end. This beer is clean enough, with all the right attributes touched upon. It easily rivals many of its Belgian counterparts.

Photo of bsp77
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Belgian Tulip.

Appearance: Clear golden straw with thin white head and very minor lacing. Certainly does not have the billowing head Duvel does despite seemingly using the exact same ingredients.

Smell: Very dry with lots of Saaz. Notes of hay, grass, apple and citrus with barely perceptible clove.

Taste: Sweet apple and straw like malts with a very dry counterbalance from the spicy, peppery hops and very light yeasty clove presence. Tastes like a boozy Maibock with just a trace of Belgian yeast.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body (a little too heavy for a Belgian Golden Ale), with a finish that is too cloying.

Drinkability: For a Duvel clone, it is far short of the mark. Even for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale overall, it is just decent. First Unchained Series beer to not impress me.

Edit: Drinking more of this forces me to lower the Taste score. Too boozy and sweet for the style.

Photo of cokes
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden bodied with intermittent streams of CO2 feeding a low and fading white cap. All this fades to a skim and leaves patchy lacework.
The aroma is fully bready and fully laced with honey. Some yeast nuance interrupts, adding peppercorn. Hops bring herbal dryness. All told, it's simple and semi-sweet.
Doughy as it hits the tongue. It grows both drier with hay and soup crackers, and sweeter with rock candy and vague tropical fruits. Honey adds the coup de grace that swings this sweet for certain. Hops bring a bit of offsetting grassy, brown, crunchiness. Alcohol is entirely hidden.
The upfront CO2 charge is quickly scattered. It gains heft and fatness through the mouth. But while sweet, it never cloys as it maintains a decent measure of drinkabiliy.
This lacks several degrees of depth as a Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale. The yeast is too docile. Resulting in a beer that is too indifferent and too simple, mirroring my feelings.
It's a nice value, but not much more.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I cracked open a bottle that had been sitting in my fridge since the summer. It's another great beer in the Unchained Series. Poured into a Duvel tulip, it has a clear orange body and a short, but stable, white head. The aroma reminds me of coriander and vanilla. The flavor has a great mix of fruity Belgian yeast character and mild spicy hops with a little candi sugar sweetness and bready malt. It does a great job of hitting all the aspects of a great Belgian - malt, fruity esters, spicy phenols, candi sugar and hops. The only knock I can see is that the carbonation is a little low for some Belgians.

I wish there were more of this to go around. It's not quite like any Belgian I've had, but it's complex, delicious and relatively easy to drink for the strength. That's a winner.

Photo of dbossman
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright gold; slightly hazy; nice head retention with great lacing

S: Orange rind and orange juice--Sunny Delight, actually--Belgian yeast strain is obviously prevalent as is coriander and a little bit of banana--smells more like a double wit than a Strong Beligian Pale

T: Citrusy and fruity--a lot of orange rind and a little bit of banana and coriander; some numbing from the alcohol and a bit of funkiness that sits on the back of the tongue; slightly tart; pretty sweet but again this seems more like a strong wit than a Belgian Strong Ale

F: A bit carbonated but decent mouth feel/coat

D: Alcohol gets to you--as does the bitter citrus rind quality but it is still a nice--albeit strong--summer brew

Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that quickly settles to a ring. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is earthy, floral, and a good dose of sweet malt. It would garner a higher score if the aromas were more pronounced. The flavor is quite unique. Very floral and when combined with the alcohol flavor, it is like I am swishing some watered down perfume around in my mouth. There is a little sweetness in the malt but it does not last long. The hops really seem to be doing a lot of work in this beer. The aftertaste is even a little bitter. Although the alcohol is apparent, it is not hot or strong in flavor. The body is substantial and rivals the greats in the style. Could of used a little more carbonation though. Probably would of benefited from bottle conditioning. A favored style of mine. Summit put forth a good effort but this will not be mistaken for one of the Belgian greats.

Photo of gatornation
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours golden yellow and clear with a quick dissipating head that leaves a good white ring..smell is grass and lemon light cloves some citrus.. on taste first thing that hits me is sweetness then grass and lemon thats all im getting in tastes.. im not getting clove ,yeast or fruits and spice bread and some malts..mouth feel is really too sweet it overpowers everything imo..its medium it just missing on all things that make a BSPA appealing way to sweet and lacking in other areas of taste ..this one does not have it.. i liked unchained #1-#3 but this one is not recommended

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.

8.99 / 6-pk.

A: Bright golden body topped with a small loose head of weak retention that vanishes quickly leaving no lacing or cover. Not impressive.

S: Extremely sweet candy aroma that overpowers any Belgian yeast character that may be present. No hop aroma, not much nuance.

T: Sweet grainy body. Strong clove and banana notes. Very aggressive flavor profile, lacks depth. Not offensive, but borderline cloying. May improve with a food pairing.

M: Medium body, with light carbonation. Coats the tongue more than one would expect, but dissipates quickly.

D: Too sweet for my palate, but it goes down very easy. No noticeable alcohol, a minor miracle at 8.6 abv. Watch out, this one could be dangerous.

O: My least favorite of the Unchained Series to date, but still good to see Summit diversifying their portfolio.

Photo of exonthebottle
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this at the bar I only had one but I didn't think it was 8.6 % wow. Overall a very faint and sweet beer I couldn't tell it was supposed to be Belgian strong pale ale. I thought was just a pale ale. very mild beer some malts but not too much hops.

Photo of JackieTH
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden with a minimal white head.

Nose is refreshing aromas grassy, hay, subtle citrus, malt.

Palate of malt, slightly bitter, spicy hop, subtle ripe fruit all decently balanced on a bacground of medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

Finish is dryish.

Overall does not distinguish itself enough in this style to warrant buying on a regular basis, but I wasn't disappointed.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into a small cap of lacing. It is a nice looking beer, but the head isn't as billowy as I would expect from the style. The aroma is of fresh cut grass, horse blanket, hay, and bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma with the addition of a nice mild metallic touch. The alcohol is well integrated. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a good beer that I will enjoy while it is around.

Photo of herman77
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Yellow gold with tons of carbonation ripping up from the bottom. Creamy white head that I thought would be a lot bigger. As transparent as it gets. Lacing is average.

S: Yeasty and sweet bread. Slight pear and white grape whiffs too.

T: Odd, my first thought was that it tasted like a drier Riesling. Pears and crisp, sweet apples. It very sweet actually, a little too sweet for my liking. Next to nothing for bready/biscuit malts. There is some spice from the yeast and a touch of zesty lemon hops. Finishes very dry, again it reminds me of Riesling.

M: Medium body. tons of active, zippy carbonation. Feels a little syrupy and cloying after swallowing.

D: This is not doing much for me at all. Its worth a try, but I'm glad I only grabbed one in my mix-six. Its just to sweet and candy like. Reminds me too much of white wine.

I was looking forward to this one, but it was a big disappointment. The Rye Ale was excellent. The scotty and kolsch were pretty good too (probably would of given both a B+ if I would of rated them).

Photo of garymuchow
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I forgot the review this one. Glad I caught it before it was too late.
I think the nose was bolder when the bottle was fresher. Poured into Reidel large wine glass. Mild breadiness, followed by soft yeast quality. Mellow and nice, but nothing exceptional.
Initially pours with a white head of not too great a size, which settles out promptly. Beautiful brilliant gold.
Is it an oxymoron to state it seems an uncomplicated strong Belgian ale? It drinks quite simply and cleanly, yet when attended to there are subtle yeast/phenolic flavors up and beyond the pale malt. Mild spice/pepper precede an adequate drying with a moderate lingering on the finish.
The carbonation, soft and pleasant, gives the drink a fuller feel over a moderately light body.
Somehow with this beer the sum is greater than the total of the parts. I find this an enjoyable beer to drink and towards the top of the series so far. Seems like a hard style to make well as I've had more average ones than very good. This falls more towards the former.

Photo of Buebie
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack for $8.99

Poured the brown twist off bottle into an oversized snifter. 2 fingers of white snap crackle pop head forms up. Receding somwhat slow actually, surprising for the style and definatly welcome by me. A film of retention caps the top and some lace line across the glass. Visually good and color is strikingly bright, glowing like it has its own power source. A marmalade off orange golden yellow, transparent filtered look.

Aroma is spot on for the style, some barnyard funk, a distant touch of cloves, a little banana and pineapple, alongside apple wedges, buttery sweetness and hay fields. Some peppercorn spice as well and it all smells wonderful.

Taste is has the funk phenomenon, distantly reminiscent of Brett.
Plenty of funk though up front, sweet caramel, more peppercorn, bittering pineapple, herbal hops and a touch of warmth lining the esophagus on its way down. Hay like earthy spice laced hops bitter through the middle and linger after the swallow.

Mouthfeel is slick with a good amount of carbonation tickle. But its has a full slick feel to it, very nice.

This is a very interesting beer. When I say interesting, I mean good and fun to explore its many flavors and aromas. It changes as it warms and now provides other areas of exploration.
There are many flavors in this beer, some of the heat is a little undesirable, but its never rough or solvent like. Its mostly spiciness, peppery and warm.
Typically not a style I've been known to appreciate, but I do appreciate highly that Summit is doing this series. Very good take Summit, nice job.

Photo of Jayli
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from Sinatra716 via Shoe Me What You're Made of BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to my Brooklyn snifter

A: This beer pours a cloudy maze color with a one finger of bone white foamy head. Head recedes somewhat quickly leaving spotted wisps of lacing.

S: Nose is banana, prominent clove, and a nice pale and grainy malt presence.

T: Taste starts with a very grainy mingled with citrus flavoring. The middle is filled out with yeast, perhaps a minor touch of yeast. The finish has a mild clove, banana, and apple flavoring.

M: Medium body medium carbonation, nice oily, slick field to the body of this beer.

O: Goes down very easy, rather tasty, not too filling, well hidden kick, nice representation of style. WOW - I wasn't expecting the quality from this beer. This isn't a bowl you over belgian - but this is a solid go to belgian pale that I would revisit in a heartbeat.

Photo of muttyd
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received two of these as an extra from pepinguy. Thanks again!

Batch 6. Pours a clear golden yellow with a thin white fizzy head that fades into a faint ring. Aroma is fruity, yeasty, slightly peppery. Grainy malts in the nose as well. Flavor demonstrates a big biscuity malt sweetness, peppery/spicy yeast, faint floral hops. Dry finish with a very slight alcohol burn. Prickly on the tongue with a medium/light body. Very clean and crisp. Well put together Belgian golden ale.

Photo of Beerisheaven
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked a bottle of this tonight with some firecracker shrimp. Was looking for something to pair up with a nice spicy dish.

Not sure where I got this but thanks to whoever sent it my way. Received as an extra in a trade long since completed.

On balance nothing memorable here. Pours a grassy yellow/hay color with a white puffy head that quickly pulls back. I did not get much in the way of lacing, more bubbles that settle down pretty quickly. Taste and smell had some malt and a bit of yeast. Had just one, but I have a slight headache developing from it.

All in all nothing special here. One and done for me.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had the pleasure of trying this beer on tap at Sweeney's Saloon in St. Paul. I have absolutely loved the first three beers in the unchained series. After trying the fourth installment, I am a little unsure about what this beer is suppose to be. More on that after the review.

The brew arrived in a pint glass, true to its name, golden. A light ring of foam floats above the golden brew. The protean aroma varied from overripe pear to cotton candy. The Saaz hops linger through out the aroma providing spice.

Some grainy malt leads the way for the medium-bodied beer. Through the center a fruity sweetness--and a strong one at that--joins an earthy bitterness. The beer finishes with spicy clove and grassy bitterness. The palate is left bittersweet. The more I drank the beer, the more I enjoyed it.

This beer is a little too sweet for my taste buds. The sweetness is reminiscent of, but certainly better than, that syrupy sweetness of some Belgian pale ales. On this site the beer is listed as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but this beer doesn't look or taste like other BSPAs that I enjoy...Duvel, La Chouffe, or Damnation, for example. Those beers have towering heads, with fruity, but not overtly, sweet notes from the yeast. Compared to those beers, which define the BSPA style in my view, this beer has room for improvement.

The alcohol is hidden well in Summit's Belgian Style Golden Ale and I was surprised to learn that it was 8.6% ABV. This beer seems caught between Belgian styles. Regardless it is a bit too sweet.

Photo of tavernjef
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium to dark gold hue, bright bodied with a small tight and white head of foam. Good amount of spotty lace is splattered about the glass.

Aroma is a bit dusty and fruity sweet. Pear, starfruit, golden raisin, are muted togther with a slight bubble gummyness and a breath of alcoholic warmth.

Taste has much more of the bubble gum grabbing most of its flavor as some of the fruityness of starfruit melds in very well with an overall smooth, easy going sweet dullish maltyness. The tone is a bit short with a bit missing towards the finish as it lightly changes into some lightly hoppy dryness and yeastyness mixing in with a bit of tannin and dusty texture.

Body is about medium, quite smooth, semi bold, round, allowing a malt base to take control for the dulled sweet flavors to roll in as the finish floats in a bit late with some dryness and warmth.

The portion of bubblegum introduced into this Summit Unchained series is a nice addition on a what would seemingly be a fairly average Belgian Golden Strong ale. However, of the four within the Unchained group, this sits at the bottom for me.

Photo of mothman
2.57/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Unchained #4

Poured into TH Chalice

Pours a small layer of white head that fades down quickly to nothing. Surprise, color is a clear gold color.

Aroma: Dry grassy hops and some alcohol. Some spice notes. A bit herbal like with a hint of fruit. Not a good start.

Taste: It is very sweet, but there is such a big booze kick on the back of the palate that takes away from a lot of the beer. Some fruit flavors, banana in particular. Yeast with some spice notes. Has a floral touch to it as well that goes along with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and boozy. I can't stress this enough, but booze showing in a golden ale just doesn't work. Maybe some people like it, but I would rather see a hint of alcohol in a quad. It has a medium body with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with some spice in the aftertaste.

Overall, I was much happier with the previous unchained. This one just didn't do it for me. Not very drinkable.

Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear golden yellow color with a tightly packed white head of 2 fingers. A mixed aroma of belgian yeast esters, malt, and slight hops. Belgian style taste followed by some hop notes. Pretty tasty. Starting to think the alcohol taste is a little more prevalent than I would like. Clean and crisp flavors. Pretty sweet taste from all of the Candi sugar. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of ZAP
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Looks the part...bright glowing yellow with nice carbonation bubbles present as it sits in my Duvel chalice..

S-Sweet bready maltiness.cookie dough....a splash of alcohol laden spiciness...smells sweet as in malty..

T-Nice bready maltiness..again reminds of cookie dough...but lacks the spicy bite at the finish I expect in a beer of this style...there is a little booziness on the deep finish but the spicy/alcohol laden bite on the initial finish is lacking. With that said this has some compelling qualities: mainly its bready/cookie dough sweetness.

M-Medium to full bodied...has almost a creamy, smooth texture..

D-No doubt this is a quality beer. Definitely another winner in this series. I still rate the Kolsch as clearly the best of the bunch so far but this is top notch. Might put it #2...tough call between this and the ryeipa..

Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks the part with a strong and shimmer sun yellow body topped off with a sturdy cap of white froth. Aroma is strong and bold. I love the aroma of this. The fairly active carbonation lifts the wafts of goodness right out of the beer and into my nose. The bready malt tones are fantastic as are the yeasty and earthy tones. The huge bread malts don't translate quite as boldly to the palate, but they're still there and they're nice. Lemon pepper comes to mind and there's a definite alcohol presence as well. Just teetering on maybe a little too much of a presence, but not quite. All in all, this is a well integrated Belgian Golden with one fantastic aroma and solid flavor.

This comes in 3rd for me so far in this series. The first two were fantastic.

1. Rye IPA
2. Kolsch
3. Belgian Golden
4. 90 Shilling

Photo of CPeterson
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A straw golden brew that produces a nice head which settles quickly into a thin skim with some lacing.

S -- Sweet malt, light yeast, honey.

T -- Sweet, bready, hops add a touch of earthiness towards the end. Not terribly complex, but the alcohol is hidden for a higher ABV brew.

M -- Light, a little dry yet still easy on the palate from the sweetness. Not terribly heavy...

D -- Good, not great, but worth the purchase. I might even buy it again.

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Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.