R&D Golden Ale (2009) | New Glarus Brewing Company

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R&D Golden Ale (2009)R&D Golden Ale (2009)

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed 3-23-09, Bottled 6-18-09

Added by deliriumfest on 07-15-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 |  Reviews: 184
Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A barnyard story. Very funky aroma, barnyard on steroids. Significant foaming. Very much smooth soapy lace, and lots of soapy head. The taste is barnyard, socks, wet rag, detergent, straw, corn, peas. Smooth mouthfeel, though mildly acidic in finish. A dramatically different golden. Steven's hookup.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In the mould of Orval Trappist Ale, New Glarus R&D collection of esquisit ales had begun. Liberally spiced with hops, transformed by wild yeast and simply but masterfully put together, their Golden Ale takes on a whole new life of its own.

Turblent straw and with an unadulturated haze, the ale sheds a rich and rocky lather; casting aspirations of white wine, curing leather, citrus, and a waft of barnyard funk and fauna with the first graze of the nose. Its gentle sweetness fights through the expressive effervescence and settle onto the tongue with suggestions of fresh baked bread, coming together in a shortcake roundness.

As the sweetness begins to lift, broken up by the gusto of champagne and acidity, the musty fruit flavors add a tart matrix of taste- dried lemon, lime, green apple, green grape and pineapple all seeming of the over-ripened variety. Spicy and musty, the taste of weathered oak, grassy hops and a gently rolling medley of white and black pepper, vanilla and cumin lead to a bitter finish with an undertow of burlap.

Medium-light on the palate, the zesty carbonation gives the malts a lift, ushering in a quick and lightened finish with a light spicy prickle on the tongue and a long gripping bitter closing. Its sparkling wine character shares an acidic tone to contend with the lingering bread and sweetness in a brief but earthen afterglow

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color whit a magnificent, rocky head that leaves nice deposits of foam on the side of the chalice

Smell: Combination of bubble gum and barnyard funk, with the funk dominant

Taste: Bready malts provide a backdrop against which the barnyard funk grows more and more prominent by mid-palate; there is a subtle hint of bubble gum and banana underneath, as well; after the swallow, the finish is very dry, with the brett providing just the right amount of lingering tartness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a touch creamy, with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: As others have noted, this is an outstanding achievement for a US brewer; the beer has the subtle elements of the best of Belgium for the style

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ups to Joe for this one! Keep it real at all costs...
I love the bottle, it looks like a mini 40 oz. from the middle ages.

Smells and looks like Orval. Elements of Bam Biere and Burton Bridge Empire IPA...enough comparisons though, it could be a similar strain of Brett taking hold.

Pours a hazy orange gold, a fluffy compact head settles into a patchy ring after quite a while. Stellar aroma of wildflowers, musty attic, and funky fruit. Deeper whiffs/swirls bring on some cheese rind and restrained horsey funkiness. Flavor is dry and Brett dominated. Somewhat medicinal, very dry with a flash of Maris Otter malt in the middle, buried under the yeast complexity. Aftertaste has a resiny hop earthiness. Effervescent yet full bodied, again like Orval. If you aren't a fan of wild ales stay away, although it's fairly restrained with the funk, and masterfully balanced. This is a fascinating and easily drinkable beer, here's to Dan Carey and his experimental projects...can't wait to see what happens next in the R&D series.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy bright blonde color ale with a super huge foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of funky barnyard notes with some light tart notes and some pungy hops are quite nice. Taste is a great mix between some floral dry hops notes with light pungy characteristics mix ion with some notes of funky barnyard ester and a tart finish. Body is full with great carbonation. I though this was a great take on an Orval-like beer style with loads of complex notes.

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Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HopHead84 cracked this one open as a palate-cleanser after a long night of gueuze drinking.

The first pour from the bottle is a brilliantly clear gold, with a billowing head of pure white. A great looking beer. The aroma is grainy and funky, brett present but still subtle at this point. Beneath the musty cellar aroma there's an herbal hop character and some light apple-like sweetness. Flavors of honey, cereal and malt hit the palate first, followed by some semi-medicinal funk and an herbal hop kick. Crisp and light bodied but very flavorful. It finishes dry and grainy, slightly grassy with lingering hoppy bitterness and some faint phenols.

Another awesome beer from this underrated brewery. The hoppiness is enjoyable, but I'm interested to see where this will go with age.

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Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mothman
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

American Blonde Ale? I'd classify this as something Belgium, maybe a Saison/Farmhouse Ale or a Belgium Pale Ale, obviously American, as it is brewed in the states. Bottle says Golden Ale (pretty broad), but who knows? I sure don't.

Well, a little history first. I talked with one of the developers of this beer to get a feel for it. This is a pumped up version of Orval; higher abv, added brett, and a good amount of carbonation.

Pours a little over a finger of slight beige head. Thins down to a minimal layer after a few minutes. Leaves some really cool lacing. Hard to describe, but I would say it looks like a cement wall with big rocks sticking out. I know this is a horrible description, but it is the best I could think of. Color is as the type suggests: Golden. A clear copper-hued gold.

Aroma: Reminds me a lot of a Saison. This is definitely a Belgium styled beer. A lot of spices, but the main one I pick up is black pepper. Then there is some orange peel. And of course, the obvious funk it has going on. The brett makes its presence known easily, creating a funky farmhouse aroma. The hops are earthy smelling and at 38 IBUs, they are lightly present.

Taste: At first I get the orange peel and some peach or mango (nice fruity flavor) and then shortly after comes the spices. A big black pepper flavor followed by the brett and funkiness. A big farmhouse flavor. If I had to pick a style, I'd go with a saison.

Mouthfeel: Funky and smooth. No hope bite, no big smokey malty flavor. Medium bodied, with a medium to high level of carbonation (a little less than the bubbles would suggest). Ends with a sticky and funk flavored aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is good. I drank my 500 mL so fast, that I barely could finish my review. I am really trying not to be biased in my review, as I drove 13 hours to get this beer, but I am very impressed. I am glad I got a lot of it, so I can age it for a few years and see how it develops. The 7% abv isn't noticable, so drinking another one of these would be easy. I really recommend this if you have a chance to try it. Can't wait to see the brett develop more!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the brewery in August 2009 on our honeymoon.

Poured a nice golden color with a pretty nice cream-colored head and some lacing as it went down. Plenty of visible carbonation. The smell was nice, but not quite as hoppy as I was expecting--maybe I was just expecting something different, although it turned into a very nice beer. A nice overall flowery and earth character, however. The taste was quite similar, with a bit of a grassy graininess added in for good measure. Nice carbonation on a medium body and highly drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Took me forever to figure out what this beer was, but looks awesome. Golden ale with Brett, now over a year old. This one came from imperialking.

A: The head started to rise up the neck as I popped the top, forcing to pour quickly before it erupted. It pours a fizzy bubbly head that fades semi quickly to a light head covering, yet I'm amazed at how clear it is, crystal clear, with pure golden tan color. I think the bottom will have more haze when I stir up the yeast. Yep, sure enough stirring this puppy up a bit added a nice layer of haze and cloudiness.

N: Oh man is it ever Bretty. A definite barnyard funk the initial nose, with lots of Brett, which has obviously just taken over this beer. Some musty aromas from the Brett as well. Under that I get hints of golden Belgian malts, and the slightest hint of a sweet malt, but the Brett just overpowers everything else.

T: Starts with more Brett of course, lots of dry funk, barnyard, some light Belgian malts under it all with a slight inherent sweetness, but not much, and it gets really dry. I also get some metallic flavors, most likely from the Brett as well. It has a slight horsehair flavor, and very medicinal taste, including a slight musty honey cough drop like flavor. A little straw taste and hay to go with the barnyard, almost like licking the floor of the barn. I'm not so content with the way the Brett is playing in this one.

M: Medium to lighter body with ass-loads of carbonation.

F: Very dry as expected, a slight bitterness probably a side effect of the Brett and dryness. Some lingering Brett funk flavors there, but not a lot. A little straw and hay to finish, with touch of a malty taste somewhere hidden in there, just hinting at you that it was once present in the beer. I feel like I'm looking for clues that this was once a beer, and was demolished by the Brett. Overall I think this one is the type where the Brett just doesn't play well with others. If you throw Brett in the ring, make sure the other opponents can hold their own taste wise. In this case it was like throwing Brett being Mike Tyson in the ring with the subtle flavors of malts and hops represented by, oh, let's say the Jonas Brothers, and telling them to fight to the death. Give the Jonas brothers a head start by tying Mike Tyson's hands, but once he has time to wiggle free of his bonds, he will just make a bloody mess of the Jonas brothers. If you put someone like Holyfield in the ring with him, which he can represent lets say sour fruit, it's a much more even match.

OK, so that metaphor was a little out in left field, but I think you get the hint. The Brett in this beer is just to overpowering and destroys anything else in the beer. Brett is a monster that you have to keep under reps or it's all over, and New Glarus just seemed to unleash it's power without really knowing the consequences. To be fair, this IS an R&D beer. So thanks again imperialking for letting me try this R&D offering with Brett.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Pours a cloudy pale golden color with a one finger frothy white head on top. It had some nice head retention and left good lacing as well.

The aroma has a good amount of funk to it with the Brett playing a major role in the smell. It has a little bit of sour citrus to it as well as a hint of peppery spice as well. The taste has some brett funk to it as well with some lemon zest citrus and some fruity, apple, pear like flavors.

The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good if you like funky beers. It has a nice Brett characteristic without really being soured. It added a nice complexity and some good citrus and fruit flavors to it making it a nice easy drinking complex beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light golden body, hazy, and with a full inch of near white foam.

Smell: Leather chaps dipped in phenols, pineapple rings dipped in relatively clean sweat, a squirt of lemon juice, and some underlying straw-like malts.

Taste: Lightly malty with modest touches of bread and toasted straw. Light sweetness from a dusting of powdered sugar. Background hops remain light. Floral soap suds. Musty cobwebs, lightly funky barnyard character, jutting phenols. Citrusy lemon. Saliva-inducing, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high, engaging carbonation.

Overall: An interesting, enjoyable brew.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a white foamy head on top Decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: A nice combination of citrus and tart fruit, some pale malt, and little wheat, and some funky/barnyard aromas.

T: Rather spicy with cloves upfront, nice citrus fruit in the middle, mostly lemon rind and zest as well as a slight floral flavor. Some definite barnyard funk on the flavor profile as well.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Easy drinking.

O: Pretty good beer, rather different, especially for a BPA. Would be interested in drinking this one again.

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Photo of duceswild
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this as an extra?? Wow. Thrilled to death to say the least to get to be typing this one up, I was elated when it hit my fridge. Grabbed this one out last night to hang onto as I watched a little TV. Served cold and poured into a tall pilsner glass, this excellent ale was consumed on 08/20/2009.

Appearance 4.5 - The pour was damn near perfect. Bright golden yellow in color with a light cloudiness to it. Lots of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface throughout the session really gave it a very lively look. Huge head of white foam on the top that reached a height of damn near three inches before settling back down, but even at its lowest kept a height of around two inches intact. Loads of soapy looking side glass foam as well. Huge look here.

Aroma 4.5 - Light barnyard funk is picked up right away. Nice and light banana and clove aroma now as well coming through very nicely I have to say. As it warms some light lemon like notes and hints of light grass coming through.

Taste 4.5 - Bright, crisp, clean, and wonderful. The lightness of it only adds to the tremendous flavor that is coming through here. Light funky notes are the absolute perfect accent to a bright golden ale. Light lemon zest, hints of grain and a touch of a fresh grassy and herbal note all play very well on the palate. Really smooth and completely wonderful. Nice dry finish to it, clean with the lightest bit of sour hanging out way back in the palate and a determined funkiness that wont quit.

Feel 5 - Perfect. Very light body here and spectacular carbonation as well. This was insanely well done I have to say. I was shocked as to how clean and crisp the feel was on this one. It was expertly done and just as lively on the first sip as it was on the very last.

Drinkability 5 - I could have had ten of these. Even at 7% they just seem to go down like water. I am not sure how they packed so much into something so light and airy but it really, really works. I really could not get enough of the rich flavor and light, smooth overall presentation.

Overall - One of the best I have had in the style hands down. This was easily one of the favorite things I have had from New Glarus or anyone. I am not sure what it is about this one, but I just really fell for it. Great job here I would have this again any day.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this at his place, poured chilled into a cervoise.

Color is murky goldenrod which is apropos with thick white cap that adheres in a spotty lace pattern. The smell is unique and off with strong herbal essence like a cough drop with some methol and floral earthy qualities -very medicinal arom with light hint of pepper.
The feel is dry with medicinal feel with herbal tannin and slight dry toast with mild grassy tannin and woody tonic-type aspect.

This has a taste that is both dry with the herbal flavor following the smell and feel. There is a light anise accent with the grass and mint adding to the flavors with subtle dry woody and gentle chalky taste. I was surpised by how quick the flavor dissipates considering the amount of intensity it has. the overall drinkability is low for me as this tastes like something along the lines of absinthe in beer form, which is not really a flavor I am especially fond of.

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R&D Golden Ale (2009) from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 331 ratings.
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