Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale | Summit Brewing Company

Summit Belgian Style Golden AleSummit Belgian Style Golden Ale
52 Ratings
Summit Belgian Style Golden AleSummit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 07-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by smogfood:
Photo of smogfood
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

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.

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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.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

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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.

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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

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Photo of Sinatra716
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

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Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of dizztracted
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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

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Photo of jarrgal
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

 862 characters

Photo of aliving1
4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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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.

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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.

 545 characters

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).

 1,038 characters

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.

 1,036 characters

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.

 1,597 characters

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.

 905 characters

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.

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Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 52 ratings
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