Golden State Ale | Uncommon Brewers

52 Reviews
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Golden State AleGolden State Ale

Brewed by:
Uncommon Brewers
California, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by illidurit on 07-26-2008

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 93
Photo of mactrail
2.81/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A plain light beer. Yes, it's golden in the glass. Modest head. Odd flavor that makes no connection but the bartender says "poppy seeds." Thin on the malt. Virtually no aroma.

It's more of a California Common with an unfortunate edge of walnut shells? Butter pecan ice cream? Melba toast? Then the long bitter aftertaste takes over. A scratchy, nutty, off-kilter flavor. I can't see much reason for this. On tap at Rogue Ales restaurant in San Francisco. [review notes from Jan. 26, 2012 tasting]

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.04/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color with a giant billowing foamy head. Aroma is sweet, orange-like citrus.

First sip is sweet at first, with a surprisingly dry, tart finish. I get a lot of sweet citrus flavor, with a touch of phenolic yeast. Very refreshing.

All in all, a pretty solid beer that I'm enjoying. Maybe a tad simple, but I'd prefer it this way instead of being overwhelmed with spicy yeast and phenolic flavors.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Canned 7/17/13.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, peanut butter, and Belgian yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and peanut butter flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a peanut butter quality that I can only assume is from the poppy seeds.

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Photo of chuckv
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Golden color with a thin white head
smells like a farm house saison
it tastes funky taste the belgian in it, its a good beer might like it aged maybe. the flavors need more time i think
but overall good brew would drink again

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Photo of flagmantho
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16oz tall can into a pint glass.

Appearance: murky golden hue with a strong effervescence and a thin finger of creamy ivory foam. Not too bad.

Smell: lightly funky farmhouse aroma on top of rich, sweet malt. The hop component is green and noble in character. I like it!

Taste: like the aroma -- a bit of funk, a bit of green-tasting hops, and a bit of malt. Well-enough balanced; it's good, but lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. It feels young, perhaps?

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a satisfying creaminess. Great!

Overall: tasty, drinkable and satisfying. I still feel like it's missing something, but for the most part this is definitely a beer worth trying.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The Belgian Pale Ale from Uncommon Brewers is decent. I am not a huge Belgian guy...but this is good. The beer pours a hazy yellow with thick white head that is leaving a nice lacing. The scent is acidic with that typical Belgian twang. The taste is sharp and definitely has Belgian yeast and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is decent.

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Photo of brentk56
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with an inch or two of foam on top; decent retention but very little lacing

Smell: Sweet and spicy, with an odd shortbread lemon poppy character

Taste: Shortbread and syrup-soaked stone fruit with an odd almost medicinal flavor from the poppy; tastes a bit like a lemon poppyseed muffin with a phenolic bite

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Uncommon certainly makes some uncommon beers but just because you CAN, doesn't mean you should

Thanks, bytemesis (from the other site), for the opportunity

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Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

16oz can poured into straight pint glass. Poured a hazy light medium yellow color with over 1/4 inch of white head that very low retention and light-medium lacing.

The aroma had sweet malts upfront with a light spice note in the background. I didn't pick up any yeast scent I would expect from a "Belgian" Pale. The aroma was different, and maybe not totally in a good way. The flavor started out the same, but then some spice, probably from the yeast, kicked in. There was a slight hop tang in the middle, and the yeast lingered nicely on the finish.

The body was notably fuller than I like in the style, and had a bit of a sticky finish. Drinkability was good, but I wouldn't have more than one at a time. Overall, a pleasant enough brew, not really to my tastes, but probably worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a tallboy marked with a fading bottling date. I could make out the month and year--08/12, so almost a full year on this bad boy. Maybe someday I'll get to try it fresh.

Appearance - Healthy pour yields a reluctant finger-and-a-half head that peaks for a moment before shrinking away to a rim of delicate foam and an ethereal lacing of suds across the top of the liquid. Lacing is like the head, apparent, but then it slinks away. Body is a deep golden orange with a cloudy haze and a twinge of reddish coloring.

Smell - Fruity phenols, reminiscent of but different than banana--soft and creamy. Coriander and gentle spice, with a tiny bit of bready yeast.

Taste - Now the spice takes a more prominant role, with a wheaty roundness and again elements of nectarine and floral overtones.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and creamy, with a silky, lingering finish. Light carbonation that fades quickly.

Overall, a quite taste beer. Not as funky as some others I've had in the style, but definitely carries the distinctive Belgian aromatics and overtones of flavor. Would definitely buy again if it was readily available.

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Photo of Huffs
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pilsner with a nice full head developing which lasted, laced well and was white in color. Appearance was a straw yellow will a cloudy look. Aroma was mild with hints of grain. Taste was of grain and citrus,nice and robust flavor. Mputhfeel was full and creamy with a dry grainy aftertaste.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy caramel amber with a one finger white head that dissipates to a film and thick ring around the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, Belgian yeast that is reminiscent of saison yeast, light fruit. Flavor follows with sweet caramel malt, light apple and stone fruit, nice Belgian yeast, a hint of Belgian spicing, slightly vinous. Light bodied, but pleasant mouth feel from active carbonation. A pleasant, somewhat sweet take on a Belgian pale. The poppy seed component is not obvious, but may add to the slightly floral fruit flavors. I enjoyed this as interesting change of pace.

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Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

single from WF Fairfax

a: served in a wide piraat chalice, golden state is a perfectly clear golden hay in color, topped with a thin white head and low retention

s: surprisingly nice nose - a full serving of pale malts brings a moderate sweetness level, mild banana esters and hints of clove, bubblegum, poppy seeds not really distinguishable, a pleasant mixing of clean malt character and Belgian yeast aromatics, grassy hops with touches of citrus

m: carbonation just over moderate, somewhat lively, with a body raging light but not thin

t: slightly sweet pale malts on the palate, estery banana and delicate yeast spice, some earthy notes suggest the toasted poppy seed - but again it's not really something I can pick out, starts to dry out about halfway through, towards mild grassy hop flavors with some lemon pith, lightly bitter with a clean finish and lingering notes of pale grain, I like the transition from start to finish but it seems to happen rather abruptly - not really a balance thing, hard to explain

o: for some reason had a little prejudice going in to this one, but it was surprisingly good, not gonna judge it by strict belgian golden standards as I don't think it was intended to be - a tasty, drinkable beer with some interesting things going on

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer from Uncommon that I picked up at the Buy Rite in Jersey City recently. I never had any with poppy seeds in it before and even though I couldn't taste them in here, I enjoyed this take on a Belgian Pale Ale that was less strong and funky than others examples of this style that I've had before, while still having that funky yeast taste and just enough alcohol in here to remind me of what kind of beer this was.

The pour to this was cloudy, golden, and with a nice head that stuck around for a bit. Lots of honey and yeast in the nose, which were repeated in the taste and mouthfeel. The carbonation was a bit too intense, which distracted me from the poppy that I was trying to pick out of this. A bit of Belgian yeast sweetness could also be found here, with the lighter flavors of apple and white grape. There was just a bit too much alcohol in the back, which further separated this from other Belgian Pale Ales that I've had in the past.

Sure, this was stronger, "wetter", and funkier than what I expected but it was good to find a beer that crossed the line and dared to be different. While not a session beer, I would give this a go again and see what I could pick out. The complexity was there but it just took a bit of adjustment to get used to it and there's no doubt that there's nothing on the shelf quite like the offerings that Uncommon has out there now.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, pours a hazy golden-bronze color topped with a frothy, white head that fades pretty quickly into a foam atop the ale leaving some lacing on it's way down, but not much. Aromas are fruity, floral, mandarin, yeast, I want to say toasted poppy but it's just that I know it's in there. Tastes are decent and very fruity with Belgian yeast, Juicy Fruit gum, white grape, biscuity grain, floral, mildly spicy; overly sweet in the long run. Thin-to-medium mouth-feel with ample carbonation. Overall, no wow factor here; pretty good BPA though. Yes, it's uncommon with the poppy, but that doesn't make it that special.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.73/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

US pint can purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. It felt like a good beer for the first day of summer.

Pours a clear golden hue, with a middling head of fine white fuzz, that sits filmily on the top of the glass and stacking up against the edges. Minimal lacing, if any: just some spots here and there. Carbonation is quite fine, and the body looks hefty. Overall, not a bad look, but not exceptional either.

Nose is a little flat and bland, but it has some good aspects. Some rounded Belgian notes come through, along with a slight earthy or perhaps peppery tone that I can't place, and hence attribute to the poppy seeds. Sweeter than it needs to be, at least on the nose, with a toffee or corn sugar slickness that feels a bit too much. Eh.

Taste is similar. Big sweetness in particular, with a sluice of chewy, almost underfermented malt characters giving a grainy, thick and heavy flavour to whatever follows. Some spiciness comes through, but not nearly enough, and by the time it's spent itself, the sweetness roars back on the finish, leaving a sticky sickly back palate. It needs something—some crispness, a bit of bitterness, more of that spice—anything to cut back on that sweetness. I'm afraid I was unimpressed.

Overall, I'm really quite disappointed in this beer. It feels like a bit of a mess. Something needs to give: the sweetness is excessive, and the spice that comes through is not enough, or doesn't fulfill the role it needs to play. It ends up sickly, chewy and a little unpalatable.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a very high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half white head that took a long time to start dying down and left lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass.
S: It smells a little like a Riesling wine and has aromas of white grapes as well as hints of yeast. Hints of the poppy seeds become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has a light amount of sweetness, although this isn't cloying due to its bubbly nature. No flavors of spices are apparent. Flavors of green apples begin appearing after the beer warms up.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has an extremely high amount of carbonation.
O: Like its name, this beer is uncommon but I found its uniqueness to be in its simarities to a Riesling wine in the smell and taste and a champagne from its highly carbonated nature.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice in the fact that they use a Belgian yeast which really changes the game for this beer. The poppy seeds are a non issue as I could not really taste them. The beer is nuanced and quite drinkable . The belgian yeasts are sweet on the front but the beer finishes quite dry. Different beer for an American ale.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An ale that's brewed with poppy seeds, eh? Sure, why not. This seems a very timid apa to me. Quite fruity and somewhat sweet as well. I mean, it's a nice beer, but doesn't really strike me as a pale ale. This would be better classified as a blonde, imo.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts, honey, Belgian yeast, and just a little hint of light fruits.

T: The flavor starts out with a pale malt body that includes some light honey sweetness. Additionally there are notes of light fruits, spices, pepper, and Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and kind of leaves a coating in your mouth.

O: This beer is pretty easy to drink though is a little too strong to be sessionable. An enjoyable beer and I love the fact that it comes in a can.

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Photo of ADZA
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slight hazy golden hue which leaves a creamy two finger head and some clingy lacing,the smell is poppies,golden pale malts and herbal hops,the mouthfeel is just over lightbodied and a touch macro with tastes of floral herbal hops,golden pale malts,candi sugar,lemongrass and finished with a floral hop honey bittersweetness and overall this is average and bordering on a good Macro which i would not buy again anytime soon cheers.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Man do I hate the carbonation on this I get over two inches of rocky head that overflows the glass. Color is a bright yellow with a touch of orange.

S - Smells of a nice Belgium golden ale. Fruity yeasts, mild hops, and a touch of lemon. Not getting much poppy seed but it must be in there.

T - At first I really didn't like this. Cold the Poppy seeds gave it a bitter abrasive kind of medicinal taste but as it warmed it became a great beer with fruity yeasts, mild lemon and a good hoppy finish. Not bad.

M - Medium bodied yet the ABV is well concealed.

Overall I picked this one up at the House of 1,000 beers for a dollar and got well over the value of the beer. Not something I would pick up again but worth a try.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy golden-yellow with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet malts, lemon and other citrus smells, poppy, honey, coriander, and some Belgian yeast.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet and lightly grainy malts with some lemon zest and other citrus flavor with a bit of coriander. Through the middle, some poppy comes through with some honey and Belgian yeast flavor. The finish is a mix of sweet malts, Belgian yeast, spice, and a bit of lemon peel with a hint of tartness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, and lightly dry and tart finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice BPA. Good overall balance with the poppy adding some nice flavor.

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Photo of alexgash
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. Bottled on 11/08/2011.

Partly cloudy golden orange body. Small, gauzy, off-white head. Some lacing. Fruity, yeasty malts on the nose. A little bubblegum and wheaty clove. A hint of pepper and an overall botanical edge. Interesting.

Soft wheat malt up front. Slightly sweet and fruity, with some banana. A little bit of honey joins in mid-palate, as the wheaty malt swells. Peppery, slightly spicy hop bitterness around the edges. Still, they mostly bow down to the fruity wheat malt. Yeasty throughout. Plenty of banana in the finish. Medium-bodied with a soft, mildly carbonated feel (almost cask-like). Not bad.

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Photo of jeremy13586
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pounder can that I picked up for a buck. No freshness date to be found.

Hazy golden color. Poured a big fluffy head that fell pretty fast, but it left a good amount of foam on top of the beer. No lacing.

Some sweet malt, belgian yeast, and some honey. Tiny bit of metal hiding in the back.

Pretty sweet backbone with a bit of a spicy bitterness and yeast. Pretty strong metallic taste was a bit off-putting, but enough spice came through where that wasn't all you tasted.

Creamy carbonation and a pretty clean finish.

Pretty decent brew, but the metallic taste was too damn heavy. They were in the "closeout" section of the bottle shop that had a lot of beers that were past their prime, which might lead me to believe that that is the cause of the heavy metallic taste. I'm very interested to try this brewery's other products.

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Photo of adamette
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 16 oz. can that I bought for $2 as a single at Heinen’s in Mentor yesterday into a clean, clear glass. “05/02/11” stamped near the bottom of the can. I sure hope that it is the “canned” date and not the “best by” date! “Ale brewed with poppy seeds” sounded interesting and I like beers in cans lately.

A 6 inch head explodes over the top of the glass without much of a pour. You are warned! While I wait for it to settle down I type this and hope that it means that it kept its carbonation. Body is, not surprisingly, a nice hazy golden which lets plenty of light through in front of direct light. 4.0

S Nice Belgian yeast smell along with a basic “golden ale” malt smell as well. You know, the robust head and the Belgian yeast smell puts me in the mind of a kind of “Duvel Jr.” if you will. 4.0

T Fine tasting beer with the classic “golden ale” backdrop and the nice Belgian yeast notes and possibly some poppy seed but it is not overtly apparent or annoying. I think that this particular can is past its prime (still hoping it is not almost a year past its prime!) which makes me want to possibly find a more fresh can and taste what the brewer really has in mind. 3.5

M Effervescence of a highly carbonated beverage and lightly tangy nature of a citrus fruit define the feel. 4.0

D/O Drinkability is reasonable with an ABV of 6.4% and overall this is a suitably interesting beer. 3.5

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Golden State Ale from Uncommon Brewers
3.56 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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