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Golden Pride - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Golden PrideGolden Pride

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 167
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 43
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-20-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 167
Photo of bobsy
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The brewery website describes this beer as follows:
"This superb quality premium beer is the equivalent of a Belgian 'Abbey Beer' or barley wine and is arguably the 'grand cru' of Fuller's bottled beers."

The comparison to an abbey beer is an odd one, but I can see what Fuller's mean when they call this the 'grand cru' of their bottled lineup. I was lucky enough to have this on cask, and my perception is that its closest in style to a traditional English barley wine in every aspect.

Looks pretty amazing in the snifter. A ruby red body supports a large foamy off-white head that slowly drops to a ring and leaves some spots of lace. The clarity is brilliant, and its a great appearance for a higher octane brew. The aroma is surprisingly dominated by alcohol, which is quite odd for a British beer, partially because the ABV tends to be quite restrained, and partially because the brewers usually excel at hiding it. Beyond that there's notes of sherry, brown sugar, raisins, stone fruit and a spicy woodiness. If the alcohol presence was toned down a bit (as it hopefully would if aged in a bottle) this would be a definite winner.

The flavour actually reminds me a lot of a local English barley wine we have in Toronto. Sugar upfront, melting into raisin, berries, caramel, vinous notes and a warming finish. Lots of malty goodness in here and it shows. Hop bitterness is low, as per the style.The flavours are quite dense, which definitely makes this a sipper. Mouthfeel is a touch chewy, slightly oily, and impressively smooth on cask.

A pretty damn good beer from Fullers, whatever style it is (pssst.... its a barley wine).

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Photo of dqrull
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A clear copper liquid with a slightly off-white head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving alot of creamy lacing on the glass.

Smells really malty in a fresh way, some earthy english hops along with a caramelly fudge-ness a really nice, quite complex malt profile containing a dry hint of almonds and some faint fruits, almos a bit grapish, maybe a little raisins and some date plums.

Taste is caramelly, some fudge and a surprisingly dry and bitter hop precense, nothing like an american hop-onslaught mind you, but still. The really solid malt holds up and carries the brew all the way to the finish with continued fudge, almond paste and some slight hints of fruits in a ... malty way, really mellow and nice, finishes surprisingly light, almost a bit watery after the great malt-profile, a little stingy touch of alcohol in the finish as well. I don't think that would have bothered me if the malt had pulled though all the way to the end of the taste. A bit sweet all thoughout as well.

A really creamy and smooth mouthfeel, without getting too thick, but it tends to get a bit sickish after a while, especially when it gets warmer, sickish in a really english way.

Over all, a great beer that surprised me as it was really cheap here in Sweden, and the last time I tried it, I have a hazy memory of me almost pouring it down the drain due to being too sickish and cloyingy sweet.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've really been impressed by several of the English ales Ive came across recently.

Body has a very creamy but bright clear texture to it. Orangish mahogany colors with a boisterous white head which settles well and leaves heavy lacing.

Aroma is refined and although it offers a lot its not overpowering. Some spice in there, some biscuit, some pininess reminiscent of an aged SN Bigfoot. No real citrusness to it.

Tongue is lush and infinitely entertaining, but again, in a controlled and comfortable way. Theres no hop burn here, no unpleasant sweetness, just a well made blend of biscuit, pine spice with a lightly creamy texture.

Reminds me greatly of a one to two year old Bigfoot, however as this is more than likely more traditional, maybe it should be the other way around.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Volo, served in a snifter.

Pours a clear dark red, nice ruby colour, very brilliant, nice cascading head settles to a slightly offwhite ring and layer, some lace spots stick, looks pretty fantastic.

Smell is real nice, very malty, caramel, honey, biscuits, real nice toasty malt character, some sweet fruit, raisin, alcohol, a bit plasticy, sherry and lightly earthy, pretty nice malty character.

Taste is similar, sweet at first, treacle and caramel, honey wafers, biscuit and toasty malt goodness, raisin, dark fruit, alcohol, again a strange plastic flavour, but really nice malt character, very rich.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, pretty damn smooth for the ABV and works great on cask. Good work Ralph getting firkins of this stuff.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Twisted Kilt. Aroma initially strong, then some fruit scent involved. Some colour in there, with a little head hanging in. Mouthfeel a pinch above average. Taste was initially a bombardment of alcohol, with some old ale and rum syrup. An odd taste that grows on you and is drinkable, but the odd high a.b.v. of an english beer is stunning disbelieve and neither pleasant but perhaps somewhat unpleasant.

Much better in the bottle 2 years later, and that is the rerate. Good caramel and sweetness.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown 500ml bottle, best before 18 Dec 09, drank on a cold semi-sunny Sunday afternoon in Nov 09. Poured into a bateman's branded UK pint sleeve.

Looked good, a creamy coloured foaming head sat on top of a dark mahogany, clear body.

Toasted malts and rich molasses hit my nose, toffee and treacle but without a sweetness, more a prosperous, well-healed, confident air about it. In short, it smells like a rich persons tipple.

That richness carries on into the flavours, very oak wood rather than plywood, delicious, sumptuous and very moorish. I almost forgot it is 8.5%ABV, no wonder it tasted so full, warming and luxurious.

There are few beers in the world better than a well made English Strong Ale and this is up there with the best, I take my hat off to Fuller's, this is one well crafted beer and well worth the extra couple of pence I paid for it.

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Photo of Kristing
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a deep amber, brandy-like colour, and very little head.

The bouquet is mellow with tones of dried fruit and even a little raisin. As the beer has settled in the glass, there is also a fair deal of smokiness. The taste is rather complex, with much hop bitterness and smokiness.

This is a beer that is meant to be savoured, like a fine brandy or whiskey. Even though I feel that some more variations in taste are left to be desired, it is still a fine brew.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 ½ finger thinner bubbly looking off-white head that makes lots of crackling noises. Head quickly fades and pops down to a thin splotchy film and a bubbly ring around the edges. Carmine red or maybe burnt umber brown in color. Nice clarity with medium carbonation and big bubbles rise, decorating the film top. Minimal film remains until the end and leaves minimal lacing.

SMELL: Nice bold scent. Caramel and toasted malt with hints of toffee as well. Fruity esters, perhaps cherries and dark grapes, as well as other dried fruits. Some floral hops in there as well. Very nice.

TASTE: Caramel and toasted malt and lots of toffee again. Not as fruity as the nose had indicated, but the cherries and dark grapes are there. More floral hops here and some spicy notes as well, perhaps from the higher ABV. Some sweet caramel and burnt sugar at the swallow. The strong and long lasting aftertaste of floral hops and some spicy alcohol puts you in your place. This is one you ponder and enjoy for sure.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi creamy on the palate with prickly carbonation. Goes down with a scratch and finishes with a little alcohol bite at the end. This could be smoother and creamier for my liking, and the alcohol could be hidden better, but I kind of get the impression that they don't want to hide it any better.

OVERALL: Certainly a very enjoyable beer. It was tasty and surprisingly drinkable for the ABV, with only the rough and aggressive palate holding it back in the ratings for me. The back of the bottle reads, "This is the finest example of our brewers' art," and I'd certainly like to commend them on their fine masterpiece. Recommended.

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Photo of brendan13
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a orange hued copper colour with a couple of centimetres of slightly off white head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - Toffee & dark fruit maltiness with some light floral hop notes.
T - Toffee and dark fruit also comes through quite strongly in the taste with some floral hop notes and a bit of warming alcohol.
M - Medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a bit of bitterness.
D - Quite nice but something to sip on over the course of an hour or so.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It pours amber wiht a large off-white head that stays for a long time and then it leaves nice lacings.

S: Floral hops, malt, dark syrup, dried fruit, chocolate and some coffee.

T: Complex! Slightly roasted and sweet with notes of dried fruit. Then there is alcohol and bitter hops mixed with chocolate and syrup in this dry beer.

M: Alcohol and bitterness combined with richness gives this beer a powerfull mouthfeel.

D: This is a perfect beer for sitting down and talking with your boys - a "Talk-beer"

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - 4.0
Pours two fingers of yellowy cream head over a clear, copper coloured body. Head retention somewhat lacking, but it is a gorgeous colour.

Smell - 4.0
Rich and malty, boozy fruitcake, rich malt loaf, caramel and a little zestiness from the hops. A little too much alcohol on the nose.

Taste - 4.0
A pattern is emerging here. At 8.5% ABV, Golden Pride is a strong beer, but there are stronger that hide their alcohol a lot better. A full bodied beer with rich, toasty malt, hard toffee, burnt fruitcake, and a complex hop character that provides flavour (pine needles, orange peel)as well as balance to the brew.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Fine carbonation, smooth, almost oily in the mouth, but overall mouthfeel is affected by the alcohol, which is overly warming.

Drinkability - 3.0
This should really be in a 330mL bottle, it's too strong to really want to drink 500mL in a sitting. Best suited as a sipper while watching a movie on a cold night.

Good but not great. I would buy Golden Pride again, as it makes a fine winter night's sipper. The rest of the time, its (alcoholic) strength is its greatest weakness.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not golden, as it turns out - more of a nectarine skin-amber brown. Its parchment head is not very impressive in terms of size or retention, but the nose is lovely: plenty of caramel/toffee malts to anchor more volatile, spicy notes of ginger, lemon, brandy, and a little bit of leafy/piney hops. Sweet on the palate with a nice, sticky, lush (and a bit syrupy) body, nicely balanced by a punch of fresh, citric hops and warm alcohol spice. Vanilla, rum, and perfumey floral notes lend a festive feel to a sweet, mellow, fruity barleywine base. Quite drinkable despite its strength; a good "fireplace beer," but I can imagine this could even be refreshing if served chilled. It's also nice with fried fish, especially with a bit of lemon.

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Photo of Bananaman
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well then, another beer from Fuller's - one of my favourite breweries from England. Here we go;

The beer pours a amber color with a nice white/beige head that later settles to a nice, tight, lid of foam. The bottle is clean and good looking as always from these brewers.

Aroma holds some nice malty notes with hints of toffee or caramel. There are also some slightly flowery notes from the hops. Nice, but nothing special really.

Taste is better though! Lots of malts, this beer is very malt dominated and quite sweet actually. There are also some of those earlier mentioned, slightly flowery, hops in there! In general this is a very warming beer, would be perfect on a cold winters day. The mouthfeel is quite silky, almost oily, nice!

In general, a good strong ale from Fuller's, and quite some value for the money around since it costs only 17.90 SEK which is slightly less than 2 USD.

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Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 15/02/10:

Pours bright amber copper with an off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

The smell is of citrus and wood with a grainy sweetness - very boozy - borders rubbing alcohol.

The taste is of caramel and nuts - malty with a bitter, boozy aftertaste.

The body is full and almost syrupy, yet with a certain "swish" about it.

Alcohol is not covered well. The malty complexity quickly turns bitter in the finish (too quickly). I'm thinking aging would help to bring things together, but that's just a guess. As it is it is sweet and boozy turning quickly to a bitter aftertaste. Still, it is an interesting brew with some nice malty complexities going on.

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Photo of Asgeirr
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden Pride pours a brown toned copper along with a umbra-to-white crown of circa 2" of height, it diminishes in a clearly visible manner, however, it leaves a lid on top of the brew which remains for quite some time.

Smell: Oh, interesting! Strong scents of butterscotch, a cream-like and pleasant roundness along with some acidic notes and an overall rum-like sense to it. Pretty darn powerful in my not so humble opinion!

Taste: Burnt malt characteristics linger on from beginning to the - not all too - bitter end. A slightly rough hop touch which brings forth the fruitier end of this brew. Finally we get a strong touch of, should I say pepper?!

Mouthfeel: Creamy and warming due to the high level of alcohol, low in carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinkable? You freaking bet, it's full in character resounding in smell and taste, and plenty of it will knock ya of yer boots - what more could you ask for?

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Photo of ricke
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber colored with brown hues. A very small white head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacings.

S: Plenty of malts, sweet chocolate, very light hop aromas. Dried fruits, raisins and quite prominent alcohol, almost solvent-like.

T: Predominantly sweet. Bold juicy malt character with plenty of caramel notes. Some fruits and raisins. Brown sugar and sweet chocolate. Nutty flavors (almonds), hints of oak. Gentle floral hops and faint spices. The finish is surprisingly short, minimally bitter and is dominated by warming alcohol.

M: Full bodied, very smooth. Low levels of carbonation. The mouthfeel is actually the highlight of the beer.

D: A good beer, but nothing spectacular. It's slightly too focused on sweet flavors. The alcohol isn't really that overly prominent, but still it doesn't feel totally integrated with the other flavors. I liked it, but I think there are better strong ales out there.

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Photo of linnet
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small white head, amber colour, some lacing. Aroma is sweet, malty, jam, oranges, solvents, alcohol. Flavour is sweet, jam, sugar,almonds, oranges and some hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very smooth, small bubbles. I have been told that this is supposed to be similar to a barleywine in character, but it wasn't to me, good beer though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Fuller's. So why I can't I find this beer where I live? But wait, I was at O'Malley's in São Paulo two days ago. And they had this beer! So, let's try it out. On to the beer:

A darker tinted orange, hues of yellow and fool's gold in the body. Great head retention. The aroma is very pleasant, but will knock you out if you're not careful. Lots of toasted caramel and nuts, with bits and pieces of butterscotch.

In the mouth, you get slapped with a big body and kick of booze. Once you get passed that, it's great. Strong nutty flavor, Toasted grain with caramel and toffee notes make this a stronger pale ale to my taste, but a well constructed one. Some fruity undertones beneath. The stomach warms up the further I go along. This is just a damn good ale.

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Photo of marquis
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

At the pub I found this gem the beer was cheaper than Amstel and Guinness!
A lovelybeer, mostly reminiscent of a tawny port , packed full of flavour and beautifully balanced.
Being used to beer which one can just drink and drink again I had to adjust my sights a little.Personally, bearing in mind the sheer amount of flavour packed into the brew, I regard it more as a barley wine rather than a beer.Semantics? Perhaps but that's how I see it.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tasted this 500ml bottle on 22.11.2008 (best by date 08/05/09).

It had a short-lived light tan coloured head over a mahogony coloured body with a slight haze.

The taste was a back-of-the-throat maltiness with a dark toffee sweetness to offset the bitter hop kick.

Mouthfeel was smooth. Overall a fairly complex and strong warming earthy brew.

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Photo of Sage
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had to have one of these when I saw it in the fridge in a Fuller's in North Greenwich - this is one of the best English beers i've ever had. Pours a rich goldy-red, a wonderfully vivid colour, with minimal head. Smell is not hugely strong, but sweet and fruity. It was perhaps a bit too cold (i've never quite discovered the best temperature to serve this beer at), but there are a lot of fruit flavours in here, with the satisfying alcoholic kick coming in towards the finish. Superbly well-balanced for a beer of its strength, nowhere near as heavy as most barley wines. And dangerously drinkable - you'll find it an effort of will to go back to a weaker beer after this...

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Photo of blamoe
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fullers Golden Pride is a very good example that strong ales can be smooth and highly drinkable. The taste is very malty but with a kick of hops and to my suprise not a heavy ale. This is one of my prefered Barley Wines and it's so easy to forget how strong they are and have a few to many. Well done Fullers.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap 4/10/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a large, dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, tea, some honey and some hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with flavors of caramel, honey and tea. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very good beer that I could stick with for the duration of the evening.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pazzo's took the Ole Winter Ale off tap for a few hours to share this treasure of a beer with their patrons. Certainly glad I was there. This beer is quite special, reminding me of the Vintage Ales, with a more subdued alcohol complex and power in the flavors. The first sip delivers a plethera of complexity, tons of flavors, and spicy character. Certainly rests on a foundation, built on malts. Shows a lot of cotton-candy sweetness, berries, cherries, dates, figs, plumbs, nuts, caramel, and lightly toasted breads. Balanced by firm, pungent hops with a faint herbal tone. Alcohols are warming, but weave nicely into the complex malts until they are hardly noticed. Finishes sweet, but balanced and with a long sherry-like lingering.

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Photo of DaveUK
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Tawny brown-red with a thick head of foam initially. Disappointing reduction of head down the glass, fading to a thin ring after half drunk.

Aroma - floral hops and dried fruit with the alcohol readily apparent.

Taste - Rich roasted malt and dominated by dried fruit reminiscent of dates, prunes etc. Followed by alcohol and spicy hops that linger for a good while.

Mouthfeel - Initially medium but quickly becomes heavy with a noticeable sweetness as the beer is drunk. A mild but persistent sour note is also present.

Drinkability - A powerful and complex beer, rich and satisfying. However, its strength and richness makes this beer not for all occasions. Perhaps as an digestif or as a winter warmer to combat cold conditions. This inflexibility marks it down in my personal tastes.

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Golden Pride from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
90 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.