R&D Golden Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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R&D Golden AleR&D Golden Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 330
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Paul.

Pours a golden straw color with a finger of white head. Really nice balance of sweet pale malt notes and fruit. Quite a bit of pear and apple with a touch of pineapple. Some light tartness on the nose as well. The flavor is clean and very enjoyable. Great balance of malt and Brett. Somewhat dry but a touch of residual malt sweetness as well as some sweet fruit character. A bit of spice character on the palate which is very nice.

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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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Photo of orangesol
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Deuane for sharing this one with Hojaminbag and myself. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours golden yellow with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of crisp brett funk, light grassy hops, and lemon rind. This one is pretty dry from all that brett with the rest of the aroma's helping to balancing it out a bit. Very nice.

T - The brett funk dominates this one. As it begins to die down a bit you pick up some of the lemon, clove, and grassy hops. The finish is a mix of chewy brett and light acidity, lingering for a short time. I enjoyed this one, it was light and easy to drink.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Light, funky, feel with a small amount of it lingering throughout the finish.

O - I really liked this one. The brett works very well with the rest of the flavors. I would say it is VERY similar to Orval, as it is supposed to be I presume. Very nice stuff.

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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 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 mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/04/10 notes.

a - Pours a light pale golden color with two inches of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, sour fruit, lemon, spices, and a bit musty/earthy.

t - Tastes of citrus, floal notes, spice, and brett.

m - Medium body and no carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

d - A pretty good ale with lots of earthy tones and spice, as well as brett in both the nose and taste. Would like to try again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Been a long time since I've been blown away by a beer. Had this numerous times at the brewery.

This is a close cousin to Orval. Funky wild yeasts, biting acidity, venemous hop tones. Very well done. The similarities of funk and other character are so similar to Orval, I find it quite odd. Trade the arm and a leg to get it. Easily a top 5 beer of 2009.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

Batch 160BBL
Brewed 23 May 2009
Bottled 18 June 2009

A: Hazy, light orange color with a large bubbly head that leaves a thick coat of lacing on the glass.

S: A really terrific aroma with scents of Belgian yeast, funk, gueuze-like characteristics.

T: Nice brettanomyces character with some pleasant funk and spices in the mix as well. The beer smells better than it tastes, but I do really enjoy the flavor. The beer has a nice sourness, though it's not super tart or puckering by any means.

M: Good feel, appropriate carbonation, alcohol hidden very well.

D: A really good brew. I would drink this anytime. Recommended.

I am really glad I got to try this one again. Previously, I had a 1 oz. sample at a tasting and really enjoyed it. I've been looking forward to enjoying a healthy pour of this beer ever since. Possibly my favorite offering from New Glarus.

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Photo of stakem
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a taster glass. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing. The brew appears a clear golden color with a finger of white froth. As it recedes, it leaves minor spots of lacing and a light swirl revives the cap back to a finger strength.

The aroma of this brew includes a light note of plastic mixed with cheese. Citrus hops are evident with a light herbal aspect that collectively makes for an earthy feel to the nose.

The taste includes a minor note of plastic just like the aroma indicated. Some citrus to herbal rind aspects are also evident before the onset of more grassy to herbal hop inclusion.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol feel to this which makes it fairly easy drinking. The flavor and aroma seem a bit disjointed through. Worth a try if you get the chance but nothing to go out of your way for.

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

Thanks to Mark (mba3243) for this one. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - Huge billowing soapy foam that fills most of the glass but dissipates quickly and leaves some chunky lacing. Transparent golden color with tons of tiny bubbles racing to the top. If the retention were a little better it'd be perfect.

S - Big smell - I could catch a whiff as soon as I popped the cap. Interesting combination of flavors in this one - there's some musty, dank funkiness overlaying a nice hoppy Belgian pale. The hop character is spicy and a touch dank/earthy, with some lemon zest as well. The malt character is pretty subdued, with some light toffee and graham cracker. Complex stuff!

T - Taste is a little smoothed out, with light musty wet funk, a sweet biscuity flavor mid-palate, and a surprisingly bitter and spicy finish full of lemon zest and dandelion that persists for quite a while. It could have used a little more intensity early on, but perhaps this will get more funky as it ages.

M - Medium body, with a very soft and creamy texture. Nice moderately dry finish with a touch of tooth-adhering stickiness. Carbonation gives the slightest tingle to the upper lip and is spot on.

D - The spicy and bitter finish gets to be a little much, but that actually keeps me sipping fairly continuously. The 500ml serving size went down easy, and the wonderful mouthfeel made it a very pleasant and refreshing beverage. Alcohol is pretty much undetectable.

A good start for the R&D line - looking forward to the next one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A buddy brought a couple bottles of New Glarus R&D Golden Ale. The bottles were, 3-29-09 Batch 160.

The beer poured a cloudy golden orange color, with a modest half inch white head, good retention, mild lacing. The smell was a mixture of light funk, brett, lemon zest, citrus notes. The taste had flavors of mild apple cider, clove, possibly some coriander, finish is close to scent, some lemon, and citurs. The mouthfeel had a dry finish, medium body, slight crisp bitterness, and acidity. Overall a unique beer, the brett certainly adds something to a Belgian pale ale. Glad I was able to try it, would not seek out again, but might not pass up a taste again either.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I did not expect this beer to be a sour, I'm not sure what I was expecting but not that.

Beer poured from a bottle into a becher. Beer is yellow and hazy with moderate to high steady carbonation of large bubbles. Forms a large head and it falls away leaving almost no lacing on the glass, beer looks fine.

Aroma was described by someone standing next to me as if he had just walked into a flower shop. I agreed, very floral, some sour acids in there as well.

Lactic and citric first, then if finishes sweet. Very odd, drinkability is high, no aftertaste, beer is medium to low bodied. I was hoping based on the aroma that there would be a little more. Mouthfeel suffers, the flavors seem disconnected, like I'm missing something. I would definitely want to try this again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this 500 ml bottle.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is very funky with a lot of brett character. The flavor is more of the same with a lot of brett funk. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I don't really know what else to say about the beer other than I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a nice, bright honey gold in color with moderate turbidity and a white lacing around the glass. It smells of pale malts, slight tart fruits, and a mix of wild yeasts. There is a slight butter component. It's pretty interesting for the style. The flavors are floral and you get a mouthful of brett. Wow is that a lot of brett. I haven't been hit in the face this hard since Ommegeddon. Damn it's funky. It drinks pretty light in body and leaves the funk behind. It's like a 70's funk band pulling an all night show in your mouth. It's solid but funky, funky, funky. That's all you get after awhile. Brett is alright but this is almost overkill. Solid beer, like diving in head first into a Brett infused shallow end.

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R&D Golden Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 330 ratings.
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