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Dragon's Gold (Gluten Free) | Bard's Tale Beer Company

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Dragon's Gold (Gluten Free)Dragon's Gold (Gluten Free)

Brewed by:
Bard's Tale Beer Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A gluten free offering.

Added by WesWes on 03-09-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 74
Photo of altgeeky1
2.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ingredients: water, sorghum, hops, yeast. Must this be classified as a fruit/vegetable beer? Sorghum is a true grain just like rice or oatmeal.

Opening bottle hissed, pours heavily carbonated, two finger head quickly lays flat. Tastes pretty bland - slightly malty, but in a watery sense and a slight tone of caramel. Some aroma hops, body hops overpowers the malt. Tastes like stale beer with Marmite mixed in.. This brew was bitter, as in iron and cardboard... oxidized, except the bottle integrity was fine (in fact the carbonation level had me burping for ages... unpleasant). I'd blame either the handling or the recipe.. not sure.

Purchased from Wine Society north Nashua NH on 3 weeks prior to this review. I just noticed the bottled-on date is exactly 12 months ago! This doesn't seem like a brew meant to be aged...

If you can find this in a single, try it. There are so few sorghum beers.. and maybe the bad reviews are due to too much OLD product in the channel.

I wanted to like this so I could suggest it to a relative, someone who can not tolerate standard barley and wheat beverages. Still looking...

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the pour, the beer sets in the glass a sunlit clear gold with the head a two finger frothy white that remains longer than I expected, lace a concealing sheet. Nose has a fruit like sweetness from the buckwheat with a mushroom like musky tone, not bad, just a tad different. Start has a sweet earthy presence; slight bite at the back, top is light to medium in its feel. Finish has a durable acidity, sweet and long lasting slightly bitter aftertaste, not bad, just a little out of the ordinary.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a four-finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Clear amber color. Chocolate floral nose. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor is semi-sweet bubblegum, liquid chocolate finish. Not bitter just different. 12oz bottle $2.95 from Kappy's Fresh Pond Jamaica Plain, MA.

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Photo of karengarys
3.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours like a macro brew, only slightly greenish in color to my color-blind eye. Little to no head, but the ring sticks to the glass. It tastes like beer flavored pop that came out of one of those bar multi-squirter thingeys. The mouthfeel is coarse, but bubbley, like pop stuff. It is seltzerey, somewhat sweet, but not all that hoppy nor malty. just a bit strange. It does not leave an aftertaste with its slippery finish.

I'd rather have this than miller, but if I'm doing it just because it ain't miller, what's the point of drinking a beer at all?

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Photo of tgbljb
3.23/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a deep bright golden color with moderate white puffy head that quickll evaporated with no lacing to speak of.
Smell has a mild butterscotch scent.
Taste is light with mild generic sweetness present.
Finishes with a moderate bitterness.
An OK beer. If I had to avoid wheat this is an impressive beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
1.06/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottled 1/11/07

Poured a clear/clean dark golden color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head which disappeared quickly, basically no sticky lacing at all. The nose is pretty nasty, sour, some malts. The taste is horrible, sour, bitter, slightly malty, just plain nasty. Light-Medium body. I'm honest to say this is the first beer I poured down the drain, nasty, nasty, nasty.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is my first sorghum beer and I am not impressed. It was average at best.

Appearance- Orange like with a slight amber look to it. A very thin head tha vanished in seconds.

Smell- A sweet but faint odor.

Taste- Very sour more than bitter with a little of tar and metal in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. A light bodied beer.

Drinkability- I do not think I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.47/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Pumpkin orange and perfectly clear. Minimal head development, and after five seconds nothing is left but a wispy haze. A swirl brings up a sorry cap that turns back into a haze in seconds, and a small amount of lace sticks to the glass for a millisecond before sliding back down into the brew. The color is nice, but that is all that this one has going for it.

S - Malty oktoberfest-like notes that seem sour and off, like a very odd version of Munich malt. Sour grain, freshly cut hay, weird rotten fruit, gorilla-cage-at-the-zoo acrid musty smells, and some sake like notes. I swear to God, go to a zoo....get within 100ft of the big gorilla habitat and this is what you will smell. Very odd, but not unpleasant...I respect it's uniqueness.

T - Sour metallic funk on top of old compost pile grassy moldy mushroomy nastiness. Foul at first, but at least it's unique. What seems revolting at first eventually becomes a mushroomy earthy brew to be appreciated for it's distinct flavor. It's still pretty friggin' nasty though.

M - Acrid, tart, and acidic with minimal carbonation. Astringent.

D - I think that it's a noble undertaking to make beers for those with celiac sprue, but some one needs to get this right. I will keep trying these sorghum beers until someone comes close to making a decent brew. This is my second sorghum beer, and i think that Lakefront is doing a much better job with their New Grist sorghum brew..

Note: Although this is absolute vinigary pisswater, I think that it should be tried for it's uniqueness alone. It is a very outlandish aroma in particular...I'm serious about the gorilla cage thing. That's exactly what this smells like.

Note 2: I think that the flavors that I associate with sorghum have the potential to make a very good and very unique (think shitake mushrooms with soy sauce) brew.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a clear gold color with a thin and fizzy ivory colored head that burns out almost immediately. Very little lacing to be found. Aroma of grain and malt. Light-bodied with a sweet flavor which mainly comes from the sorghum. There is some malt and sour fruit as well. The finish is syrupy sweet with honey and sorghum. Didn’t enjoy this one too much.

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Photo of Taipans
2.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I purchased this beer last weekend only because it said "Dragons Gold" on it and the fact it was brewed from "Bard's Tale Beer Company". Yep that was my only factor, I didn't even know it was "gluten" free. Infact this was my first shot at a gluten free beer and over all I didn't notice much of anything from it. Obviously it is for people who need a gluten free product, or atleast I guess some people cannot consume gluten. Ok anyways I'm rambling here sorry.

Look: It was a nice amber color with not very much head, the small amount that showed up was quickly gone.

Nose: Smells like commercial lager, it was hard to pick out much though

Taste: Nothing very noted, it tasted a bit "off" with lots of malt, finished clean.

Mouth: Light, went down easy and didn't leave any weird coatings

Drinkability: I bought the 6 pack, I am not fearing the rest so it wasn't bad. You could throw back a few of these and be fine. I know better now though and will avoid future "gluten" free products.

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Photo of balconybrew
2.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a nonic. Bright white head that fell quickly and vanished. Aroma of sweet vanilla and almost no hops. The taste is interesting, just like the beer. I taste honey and caramel. I sense a bit of fruit maybe apricot. It feels a little heavy on the tongue, but it goes down fine.

It is of higher brewing quality but the sorgum isn't barley. Not a bad choice for gluten free.

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Photo of Illini5596
3.32/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer. Not sure it completely qualifies as a beer in the traditional sense as it is made from fermented sorghum. Has a very interesting and different flavor, full of fruity notes and a definite honey/caramel undertone. Reminds me a bit of a heather ale, not because of a similar taste, but more because the taste is a unique one.

My only complaint is the mouthfeel, a bit to thickish, and lingers longer than I'd like it to, though the aftertaste is pleasant.

Not a beer for everyone, a bit sweeter than my usual fare, but a decent try, and something to offer your friends who can't drink beer due to the gluten.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.08/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer falls under the Crocodile Dundee rule--tastes like shit but you can live on it. Or, the Budweiser rule--TECHNICALLY well brewed, but I prefer not to drink it if possible.

The light white head falls quickly on this beer regardless of several types of clean glasses I tried. Light golden color with a bit of haze. Smell is of or cardboard and grain, but not malt. Body of the beer isn't too bad, not thin, but the smell and taste have a clear limit. Cardboard and earthy grain is what comes to mind, but not the diacytal that description normall implies. I assume the smell is sorghum because I can't name a similar comparison. No wheat tang, no malty sweetness, no rice smoothness even--just the grainy pungency of this beer. With this said, I drank a six pack, with great effort, but did drink it. The beer is clean, crisp, and well brewed.

The is a sorghum based beer, and I bought it frankly because the company is thinking of centralizing the malting and brewing of this beer in the town in which I teach at the local high school. Might be the best gluten free beer you can get, but I'm glad I'm not gluten intolerant. If regular beer makes you sick, I'm guessing this isn't a bad choice.

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Photo of TechMyst
1.87/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Consumed 8 months after production. Very clear amber with hints of ruby. Good appearance is where the 'goodness' ends for this brew. Aroma is of sugary malts (this is a sourghum based concoction). No head and there was large bubbles lazily making their way to the top, so I figured the conditioning would not have much bite, but I was wrong. The carbonation had quite a bit of sting. mouthfeel was light to medium and left a slick palate. The tongue curling sweetness was followed by a tinny/metallic taste. Don't think I'll try this again...I bought a single 12 oz bottle from Binny's and I'm glad I never got the sixer...

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Photo of mickeymac
2.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In my review of gluten free Redbridge, I explained my wife's history with celiac and my effort to brew gluten free beer starting in 2001. When the guys from Bard's started their effort to brew a commercial GF beer, I followed developments closely. The beer finally made its way to California and I picked up some, along with some Redbridge and compared the two. Bard's came out worse for the comparison. It starts with a fair appearance. However, it has a funky sweet smell and taste that was a bit offputting. The hops just seemed like putting on cologne to hide the fact you haven't showered in days. Unfortunately, this beer reminded me of some of the less successful batches of GF beer I brewed for my wife. Unfortunately for the boys at Bard's AB launched its GF beer not long after Bard's started getting near nationwide exposure. I think enough celiacs are out there to keep Bard's in business, but being beaten in taste and advertising $ by AB cannot be a good development.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pristine 24 karat gold beneath a barely off-white cap. The foam has a coarse texture, doesn't last all that long and, frankly, isn't very attractive. It's also unsticky and results in no more than a smattering of lace. Given the constraints of brewing a gluten free beer, a higher quality head might not have been possible.

I've never smelled another nose quite like this. It isn't bad, but it doesn't smell very beer-like. It smells like butterscotch cookies, fresh out of the oven. It's odd, interesting and mildly pleasant all at once.

The flavor profile is along the same lines as the nose. I'm sure the brewers have gone to great lengths to produce a palatable product using nothing but sorghum. I'm not sure if they've succeeded though. At first blush, I'll give it drinkable. Palatable is still up for debate.

I'm having a hard time coming up words to describe what I'm tasting because Dragon's Gold is so different from anything that I've ever experienced in the world of beer. It's butterscotchy and apple fruity with a weird sort of chemical flavor. Strangely enough, it doesn't taste all that grain-like. For all I know, neither does sorghum.

The mouthfeel is unquestionably light, yet never descends into wateriness. It's decently carbonated as well. Actually, the mouthfeel is the most beer-like thing about this beer (other than the appearance).

I can't say that I'm thrilled with Dragon's Gold and won't be drinking it again. Having said that, because I have a daughter who requires a gluten free diet, I appreciate the effort that Bard's Tale has expended in the creation of a product that is the only beer that some people will ever be able to drink. They deserve a great deal of credit and I wish them every success.

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Photo of albern
2.73/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I purchased this beer because I never tasted a Sorghum beer before. At first I thought this was in the Mead family, but the ingredients on the label makes clear that it does contain yeast and hops, but no barley, malt, wheat or rye, and forget the adjuncts.

The smell is quite unique, sweet, flowery, clean, not altogether unpleasant. It pours with little to no head. There is not a hint of bitterness in this beer and imperceptible hop flavors, if at all, which one could not detect. The sorghum is pronounced, or at least I'm assuming it is the sorghum which gives this beer its unique sweet, flowery, almost medicinal quality. The beer does not get better, nor does the taste improve as it warms.

It's okay, I wouldn't try it again, wouldn't particularly recommend it, but it is a clean beer with a syrupy, unique taste that is difficult to compare it against because of its uniqueness. If you want a beer that truly is different, that doesn't quite taste like a beer, that is well made, nonetheless, then do try it out. Buy just one bottle, lest you get stuck with 5 extra bottles in the carrier that you'll probably be giving away to others. It just isn't worth more than a one bottle experiment.

If I needed a glutten free beer, I might be writing a different review, but that's like recommending Pollack for those who can't digest crab meat. You get the idea.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.59/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12ozer bought as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" of light beige foam over the light amber brew. Head is quickly down to a thin layer of small bubbles, with average to good lacing. Aroma is syrupy sweet, with some vanilla. Taste is a bit more moderate on the sweetness, with a chalky close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are about what I would expect from a macro lager, so we'll rate them as average. Overall, to a non-celiac, it's an ok macro-style. But to it's core audience, I'm sure it's a godsend.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled On: 10/2/06 consumed on 11/24/06

AP: Deep, clear golden hued amber color, bubbly with a thin pale-white head that was gone very fast.

Nose: Bready, Malted-like wheat(contains none!) scent and molasses.

Taste: malted barley-like flavor that has a strange sweetness to it that I just can't nail down...wheat, and rye top it off...I know this stuff has hops, but I can't seem to taste it.

MF: Light body, very crisp and clean feeling.

DA: I'm glad I gave this one a shot just for curiousity sake...but I would rather have Barley, rye, wheat and oats IN my beer, thank you very much.

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Photo of Suds
2.97/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorghum beer must be a new fad. It seems like I’ve run into it in a number of places lately. This one isn’t outstanding, but it’s drinkable. It pours a crystal clear golden color. The head is initially respectable and white, but quickly and disappointingly falls into complete nothingness. The beer itself has a tart, slightly citric aroma. At first it reminded me of a wheat ale, but with an off-centered and skewed quality (the sorghum?). It’s a unique and somewhat grainy smell. The taste is tangy, grainy, and a bit astringent. It has a husky bitterness that’s present throughout the taste. Although the smell has a faint background of sweetness, the taste is rather dry. High carbonation and medium body. Interesting and drinkable, but I probably wouldn’t try it again.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear, full gold color and is topped by a frothy, large bubbled, initially half-finger thick, quickly disappearing, pale off-white colored head. The aroma has a certain beery quality to it, but is also mixed with a sweet spiciness akin to something like cinnamon or something I am not quite sure what. Definitely has an exotic grain character to it; something I would describe as an earthy grain aroma.

The taste is quite light, this must have a very low final gravity, at least it tastes like it. Almost to the point of being thin. The thinness is not helped by a unbalanced sweetness that is just asking for more hop bitterness. There is some bitterness here, it just is not sufficient to balance the sweet grainy quality. Lightly spicy & herbal hop notes are also here, more than in a macro lager perhaps, but not by much. This does a pretty good job of mimicing a malt & adjunct lager, it perhaps has a touch of earthy grain character, which might be out of place, but it is even less that what is in the aroma. I understand the market they are going for here & I applaud the purpose of this beer, but I really wish this had been something like a stout (which would be easy to do by the way). This tastes amazingly bland and crappy just like your favorite macro lager, an interesting concept and hopefully it foretells of interesting things to come.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of
2.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle.

Crystal clear, light gold color. Large white head.

Aroma was sweet, almost bubblegum like. Hops had a floral quality. Some type of spice, maybe coriander?

Flavor was not very exciting. I assume the molasses like taste I experienced was from the sorghum. Hops were very mild, and lemon-like in character. A little bit of salt also seemed present.

Body was light and carbonation was medium. Finish was mostly dry.

Drinkable, but nothing I would seek out unless I had a gluten allergy. Something seemed off in the flavor or aftertaste. Not for me.

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Photo of DogFood11
1/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a tall pils glass it forms a tight but quickly fading white head. No lace to speak of. Shiney copper body with plenty of carbonation.

This brew has a smell and taste all to its own. Not a compliment in this case. Its super sweet malt profile is like knawing on a block of caramel. This pasty malt bill sits on your tongue and never leaves. Not a hint of hop bitterness but rather an astringent sour flash that attempts to be some balance and instead falls off the beem. There is a whole grain bread feel to this as well which is the best part of the brew but it is so far in the backdrop that its lost on me.

Notes: Yes this is brewed with special ingredients in order to be gluton free. It didn't work this time. For the 1.5 million people that have celiac find another guilty pleasure and leave this be. A contendor for the worst beer of all time. The backbone malt alternative is musky, smelly and sucks. Probably the worst beer bottled and distributed.

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Photo of newamsterdam
3.65/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Anyone who gave this a really low score just didn't get it. This is a beer made for celiacs who are people who are allergic to gluten which is contained in most grains. Making a beer without using wheat, barley, etc is no easy task. Try Ramapo Valley's attempt at a gluten free "beer" before trying this and then see how your rating is. Since I am not a celiac, I would not purchase this beer again (I just picked up a bottle because I wanted to try it), but if I were a celiac, I would be extatic that this beer existed.

Oh and as an aside, read the story of the beers "creation" on the side of the six pack. Ninja's rule.

No head, but a nice amber color.

I have one of the worst senses of smell on the face of the earth, plus my alergies have been tormenting me for weeks. I don't get any bad smells off it though at the very least.

Very similar to a lot of lagers which is pleasantly surprising. Nothing breathtaking, but well ballanced.

A little thin. Can't win em all I guess.

For a beer I was expecting to try a couple sips of just to see what it was like and then toss it, I actually finished the entire beer. I could actually see myself drinking a six pack of this and considering the obstacles it has to overcome, that's pretty impressive.

 1,317 characters

Photo of daliandragon
2.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light rust color with a thick, wet, white head that doesn't last and tons of carbonation bubbles attaching themselves to the walls of my pint glass. Nose is malt and adjunct smells. I can only guess this gluten free brew is named for the mid '80s computer game of the same name, that provided me with hours of frustration..

At first this tastes okay, with vague malt but that's followed by a nasty streak of astringency and it in turn by nasty, roof of the mouth sweetness, like rancid molassses.. Uncool. Mouthfeel doesn't help much. Pretty close to a drain pour. This one needs some wizard magic, fast.

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Dragon's Gold (Gluten Free) from Bard's Tale Beer Company
2.55 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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