Groundswell | Backlash Beer Company

very good
21 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Backlash Beer Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldIronLungs on 08-05-2011

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 98
Photo of cbutova
2.89/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Can to can glass pour with a slightly hazed golden body. The head attempts to form but dies immediately as foam recedes away fast. No lace or ring left behind.

S- Pale fruits and a somewhat laidback Belgian yeast. Hints of apple, peppercorn, white grapes, orange peel and pale barley come to mind.

T- Have to preface by saying carbonation is very low for the style which for me allows sweetness and the pale fruits to become prominent. Mosty the same as the nose but the pepper gains strength with a bit more lemon essence. Pale barley sweets, pink peppercorn, coriander, slighy banana esters, white grapes and bread.

MF- As mentioned the lack of carbonation hurts in this style of beer; it comes in at a low level. Texture fails to develop as the brew lands with slightly fizzy and frothy consistency.

Lacking overall and that all starts with the body. Low end carbonation makes the brew dwell on yeasty fruit tones and sweetness rather than those spicy Belgian tones.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Eastern Standard Kitchen. Pours a clear golden color. Citrus and grass aromas with a little yeast. Tastes of lemon, bread, mild hop bitterness. A good representation of the style.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the 16 oz. can. Sampled on July 10, 2016.

The pour is mostly yellow with a slight haze. Modest white head.

Nice aroma of Belgian toasted malts and a bit of grass.

The body is light to medium.

Nice pleasant pale malt toastiness at first with a dough-like ending, Mild bitterness. ,

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Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm a little disappointed with the head which is only rim bubbles. I'll chalk this up to the bar pour. Still there's no lace. The beer is golden and appropriately cloudy.

Traditional sour, wheaty aroma with plenty of Belgian yeast as well.

Pale malt start with plenty of flowery wheat (slightly sweet). There's a good pepper kick from the hop. Thin bodied with a light (almost airy) but high carbonation level.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%

On-tap. Poured mostly clear and golden in color. Thinner head. Head is bright white. Aroma is phenolic and somewhat hoppy. A bit bready. Flavor is Belgian I spirited but not too intense with its Belgian flavor. Hoppy with some banana and spice. Cloves. Bread. Zesty carbonation. Lighter bodied. I enjoyed this interpretation of a Belgian Pale Ale. Worth the tried pint.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the tapping of the first keg at Sunset in Allston, poured into a tulip.

Nice golden hue, but almost zero head, not sure how much I can attribute that to the pour.

Nose is malty sweetness and a touch of Belgian yeast spice.

A sip is moderately sweet caramel/pils malt, a bit of citrus hops and hints of spice and yeastiness come through mid sip - medium body and lighter carbonation, the abv is very well blended, making this very drinkable. I definitely enjoyed the last few sips more than the first, a testament to the complexity.

A solid first offering, will definitely give it another go from a bottle. I'm interested to see what else Helder comes up with!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
Pours an authentic Belgian Blonde (hazy gold/brass) with a fast-fading snow-white head, along with some patchy/spotty lacing.
Smells of barn hay resting in damp wood and powdered dried malt, mix well with a spritz of limey citrus, oranges and earthy yeast.
The taste begins with citrus zest upfront with a tart lime bite and a hint of a metallic tang. There's a bit of a doughy white bread taste (in a good way) to keep things in balance. A taste of sweet over-ripe pears slips forward as it starts to warm.
I'm reminded of a French Saison in its lightness of body, although I feel it could use a mineral effect to add a little complexity (yes, this is not a French Saison so why should it have anything it shouldn't). A bit of a gin-like booziness peeks through late.
The body is light and wet...not as dry as expected.
It lacks some of the dimension fond in some of the top Belgian Blondes, but all in all a very satisfying brew.
It paired well with BBQ Chicken and grilled veggies.

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Photo of slickyrb
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this Belgian blonde ale. It pours with a light head but fades quickly . Has that classic golden haze but very clean and beautiful to look at . What really stands out is the sweet citrus aroma with hints of roasted something . I'm no expert in beer so please excuse my ramblings . This Belgian taste is just what I was looking for. Taste is light and not overpowering but full of flavor . Def going to buy this again

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Photo of ksimons
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a hazy golden color with a fingers worth of white head that leaves a ring around the top of the glass

S-pale malts, sweet fruity aroma, light citrus, and floral notes with a bit of Belgian yeast

T-pale bready malt, followed by bitter hops and citrus, and finishes with fruity sweetness

M-light to medium body, spicy carbonation

Overall a very refreshing beer, but still complex enough not to be boring

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Photo of Yahooy2U
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Met the brewers at a tasting in Brighton. Very glad I happened to walk by. First thing I noaticed was the excellent nose. Appearance is golden, carbonation is medium to low. The head is near nonexistent after a minute. Taste is refreshing yet complex. Definitely agree with the other reviewer, the last sip is better than the first. I wish I would have bought both bottles.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this the other night at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth and was first person to get a pint from the brewery.

Appearance: Small head with little lacing, golden orange color, medium carbonation. Also, clarity was great and couldn't wait to try a sip.

Smell: The Belgian yeast produced a banana aroma and also hints of sweet malts.

Taste: Once again the yeast produced a delicious banana taste that is nice and mellow. There were also hints of citurs and spice too. The alcohol is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, delicious, medium carbonation, and very drinkable.

Overall: This was a very enjoyable beer from a local new brewery out of Holyoke/Boston. I will have another pint on draft at the Brewhouse too. Can't wait to try out there hoppy West Coast IPA in the fall. This was an enjoyable BPA and would recommend it to anybody.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that tries to fade but is reinforced by the many bubbles rising up, over crystal clear golden lemonade colored beer.

Nose is definitely Belgian like, golden malts, slightly toasty and sweet, some fruits and esters with hints of apple and pear, some wheat and banana, hints of floral spices and citrus lemony aroma, and just a touch of yeast itself.

Taste continues where the aroma left off, with plenty of Belgian malts, golden malts, and just a hint of what should be sweetness but is quite dry. A light fizzy flavor that gives a light saison feel, and plenty of yeast additions, including light fruity esters, apple and pear, hint of floral spices, touch of bubblegum, etc. and a light dry saison rustic gritty taste. Light wheat and banana flavors as well. Finish is still very dry, light bitterness from hints of floral hops and the yeast flavors, more yeast spices fruits and esters, and light golden malts all lingering.

Mouth is med ot lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall pretty good beer, nice and tasty, some bits of wheat and saison mixed with a good Belgian golden ale. It seems like the booze should kick up a bit but stays light for more of a summer beer. Fairly tasty and drinkable. Not sure why they used wax either.

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Photo of Baron
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the BBC in Walpole, MA

Was taken back by a new local brewery I'd heard nothing about. most intriguing.

A - Served in a pint glass full to the brim, no head whatsoever, not due to the pour itself as several other pints showed similar appearance. perfectly clear orange amber hue, showed good effervescence.

S - Despite the lack of head, quite a powerful nose. Pure Belgian spicy yeast akin to an Abbey Dubbel but without so much dark fruit or malt. Hints of alcohol content as well as fusels giving a faint sharpness and solvent character.

T - Follows smell. Sweet sticky malts up front were quickly overpowered by the yeast character leading to a peppery, spicy, highly phenolic finish. Alcohols become apparent quickly thereafter, with a touch of burn from higher alcohols.

M - solid med carbonation. could have used a bit more to cut that spiciness.

O - A beer packed with Belgian yeasty flavor, and a welcome change to some other Belgian Pales from America that pushed the yeast too far in the background, though might have even overdone it a tad. only setback is the lack of head and the alcoholic finish and hotness which would have mellowed out nicely with age. a bottle at 1 year would be epic.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A gorgeous hazy golden yellow-orange. Head is big, laces well, with good retention.

S - Awesome aroma. Smells like it was cooked. Roasty fruits. Pear. Citrus.

T - Citrus. Coconut. Yeast. Nice smooth dark malt flavor that I can't quite put a finger on. Again, a roasted a cooked flavor. The flavors have a real fusion.

M - Pretty good mouthfeel. Medium-bodied. Heavier on the sip than on the swallow. Comes apart a little bit, but it's hardly noticeable. Maybe a little more carbonated than I'd like.

D - A solid offering. Look forward to more from Backlash.

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Photo of DrewShal9
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 1: brewed June 2011
A: golden straw with a1 finger white head. Tiny bubbles are constantly floating to the top leaving a thinner head
S: banana, pepper, a hint of booze
T: spicy, sweet and there is not a hint of alcohol at all but it's very drinkable. Starting to feel the booze as I can't put it down
M: very light and smooth. Very silky.
O: very drinkable and tastes like a lighter bodied Duvel yet not as overpowering/overwhelming to the taste buds. Not as intense. Not bad.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Nate for sharing this one.

A - Amber orange colored beer with minimal head. Not really much left on the glass.

S - Smells a lot like a hefeweizen, which was not what I expected. Some banana and clove, grain. Has more of a phenolic character that reminds you this is a belgian style beer.

T - Taste is a lot like a it smells. It's a nice, slightly less sweet hefeweizen with a bit of the pheonlic belgian yeast you would expect in this style of beer. No trace of alcohol, drinks like a session beer and has good taste.

M - Nice carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied.

O - Really nice beer. The alcohol in this is criminally hidden as this one could really sneak up on you. Very tasty, this was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2, 6.4% instead. Bottled March 2012.

A: Pours a cloudy pale orange with a huge fluffy white head atop it. Fades slowly. Somewhat minimal lacing.

S: Grassy with lots of spicy yeasty bread. Citrus, orange and lemon mainly. Banana.

T: Loaded with orange and lemon up front and throughout. Grass hits next with the banana and then the spicy yeast. Drying grassy hop bitterness on the back end with some cloves. A bit grainy.

M: High carbonation (almost a little too high), otherwise it's light, crisp and refreshing.

O: Good example of the style, I felt it could have garnered a 4.5 here and there but it was just a bit too carbonated for me which let down the taste and mouthfeel components a little. Very tasty and very sessionable, however. I'm giving it a 4.5 in this category just for the pure drinkability aspect.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The clear golden liquid arrives with a modest head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: A veritable fruit basket, with banana, lemon and papaya along with candi sugar and bready elements

Taste: Fruity, up front, with a tropical citrus element that builds, bringing banana and papaya; candi sugar and grassy elements also appear at mid-palate; after the swallow, some spices add character, including clove, coriander and pepper

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very impressed by this beer which brings a complex flavor profile (grassy, fruity and spicy) and rings true to the Belgian style

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is hazy straw; not quite gold. There is a small white head.

The aroma has sweet orange candy with some spicy yeast. There are subtle vegetal hops noted in the aroma. Some breadlike malts are also noted. I really like how all parts of the beer come through in the aroma.

The taste starts with mild breadlike malts. The gentle hop flavor follows, with some grassyness and a note of spicyness. The Belgian yeast plays a prominant role in the finish.

This is light bodied with sharp carbonation.

This is really well made and delicious. Highly recommended!

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Photo of brureview
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BBC in Walpole, MA.

I read the reviews on the BA, and decided to try this brew from this newer brewery.

The color is light, a golden lemon, and
there is literally no head to the pour.

The initial smell is excellent: strong cloves, and possibly lemon.

The mouth feel is a bit tart, yet pleasantly carbonated.

The taste is mildly alcoholic, with a strong clove presence.

Overall, a very good beer. It tastes only slightly diluted, but in general it is one of the better American beers in its style I have tasted. The strong clove smell and finish are winners- and the slight alcohol in the taste gives the beer character. Definitely worth trying, especially on tap.

Support local beer!

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Photo of NedZissou
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a label buy, and I'd never heard of the brewers. Stumbled upon it at Gordon's in Waltham last weekend and was VERY impressed. I'm a huge fan of Duvel, and this at first came off as a smoother, less aggressive version of a Belgian Golden.
For a typically strong version of a BPA, the rich taste seems less boozy than it's counterparts. Throughout my pint and a half, I was staggeringly impressed with it's simple complexity. This is a smooth beer. Luckily I found another 22 today and will enjoy it later on. I can't wait to make it out of my city to grab one on tap. Or better yet, for a pour house in Waltham to give it a line.
I can't wait to try their next batch, a Saison.

Groundswell is a very tasty surprise. Way to go Backlash!

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Groundswell from Backlash Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 98 ratings.
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