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

184 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 331
Photo of philipquarles
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle brewed in March '09. Thanks for this one Adam! Pours a hazy gold--who would've thought--with a fluffy white head that dissipates to leave decent lacing. Strong Brett character on the nose, with heavy notes of leather up front, followed by a musty fruitiness. Quite floral, and with a bit of spice. Tastes of lightly roasted malt and Brett, with deep earthy, leathery character. Slightly fruity and spicy. Very dry. Light-medium body that's highly carbonated. It's surprising how strong the Brett character is after only 5 months; hopefully this doesn't become a Brett-bomb with more age. At the moment, it's really impressive.

 639 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A humid, rainy mid-August evening in Portland; belly full of fresh veggies - corn, heirloom tomatoes, radishes - and a side of cave-aged bleu cheese...yeah, it was that kinda night. Hoping to end on another high note, trying this new brew from New Glarus. A 500ml bottle with a seemingly hand-written (but printed) label, detailing the specs and notes as if this was a test batch sample. Poured to the '75th Anniversary' Orval glass we brought back from Belgium...no pressure...

"Style: Golden Ale Brewed: 3-23-09 Bottled: 6-18-09 IBUs: 38 Batch: 160BBl O.G.: 15 P ABV: 7%"

A: Slightly milky wheat-golden, good carbonation but not overly robust. Thin head of white cream, never reaching 1-finger. Fades to a clingy ring and a broad patch of topping film, pockmarked where the streaming bubbles rise. A good-looking beer, no doubt, but way short of the beauty of Orval...not fair, I know, but just sayin'...

S: Oh yeah, lovely aroma...big ripe fruit/cut flowers/dry hay, sweet honey, spicy and nose-twitching Brettanomyces. Sweeter notes of berries, pineapple and bubble gum. Just gets bigger and deeper as it warms.

T: Just as fine as the aroma: malty fullness, loads of pepper-dry spice, crisp green apples, mellowed melon rind. A touch on the oaky-vinous grapeskin flavor, sugars pop up here and there, but this is mostly about the yeasty spice and a prevailing dryness.

M: Crisp mouthfeel, firm spiciness, lasting bitterness that hints at chalky dryness then fades. Medium feel, leaning towards being fuller style-wise; some lip-smacking malt stickiness and a vague notion of the 7% alcohol as a leave-behind.

D: Extremely easy to drink, definitely among the best beers I've tried in a long time. When "expectations" and "reality" meet like this, that's saying something...highly consumable, regrettably rare, immediately going back on my 'Want' list. Very well done, New Glarus!

Thanks to BA milwaukeeclassic, two bottles traveled westward mere days after the release: cheers again, Duane!

 2,001 characters

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.

 359 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle received in a trade from jamal32. The label says batch 160 BB1, brewed 3-23-09, bottled 6-18-09. After uncapping and taking the first whiff I chose an Orval glass.

Holy crap this is good. If I'd known how much this would remind me of Orval I'd have made sure I had a bottle for a side-by-side. The beer is clear, maybe a little chill haze, golden colored with a thin persistent head. As already stated, the smell brings Orval to mind, funky barnyard provided maybe by a little Brett, pungent hops employed in the Belgian style, really good. It tastes delicious, a little sweet at first but with a nice balancing bitterness in the end, some esters leaving a pleasant after-taste. Mouthfeel is thicker than water but not by much, extremely drinkable even with 7% ABV. Matilda has a new competitor in the US Orval race.

 830 characters

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

Bottle received in a trade with mothman who made the trip all the way to the brewery for this. Thanks for your effort and for sharing!

Appearance: Attractive pale blond translucent body with a sexy frothy white 1 finger cap that displays lots of retention and lacing.

Smell: Pale malt, brett, kandi sugar, pear, and pineapple.

Taste: Pale malt and brett throughout. A fairly dry finish. Not as flavorfull as I thought it would be after smelling it. The brett is very nice though.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin if not spot on for the style. A bit one dimensional for my liking.

Drinkability: Smooth finish and simple flavors makes this one pretty drinkable. A good portion of brett and touch of hidden alcohol keep it from scoring higher though.

As I get to the bottom of the glass I find myself wanting more. This is a very good beer that I wish I could have a regular supply of.

 879 characters

Photo of Beertracker
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The R & D Golden Ale pours up with a nice effervescence that creates a frothy, but manageable creamy white head that laces the top of the hazy, dark goldenrod body. The aroma is rather tropical (mango, papaya, pineapple) followed by some zesty citrus (lemon peel, mandarin, tangelo) with hints of spiciness (cilantro/coriander, cardamon, peppercorn) & a light lactic sourness. The flavor starts off with a well-intergrated graininess from the winter barley (Maris Otter) with maybe a hint of wheat berries marked by a solid, earthy-spicy Noble-type bitterness that combined with the light Brett sourness creates an off-dry, snappy finish with just a bit of warmth. Just lovely & quite enjoyable! This medium-light bodied golden ale seems like a cross between an English Summer Ale & a Belgian Blond with the sourness of an Orval. I'm +pos that this one will continue to develop in the bottle and become increasingly complex. This is the first release in the R & D Series which according to Dan the Man is "... to explore the brewing process and its effect on flavor. What we learn from this line will have an impact on how we produce all of our beers." The bad news is this fine elixir is only available at the Hilltop Brewery in New Glarus. Two thumbs way up!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Taster's Note: Thanks to thehand for bringing this one back from WI & sharing.

 1,361 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting impatiently to try this for a week now, finally able to crack my first bottle....

Bright golden (duh) color with a fluffy inch of head in a 25 oz. snifter. Smell is tropical and funky, two competing characteristics which meld brilliantly here. The taste is a bit of a shock at first, I was expecting a bit more of a subdued taste based on the nose but this one smacks you in the face pretty quickly with band aid funk and orange peel. I heard this was brewed to be similar to Orval and can definitely see the comparison, only this one seems to be a little lighter with more fruity complexities in the background than Orval. Very refreshing as well. On the full side of medium bodied and thankfully not over-carbonated, this 500 ML bottle is going to disappear faster than I had anticipated. Fabulous beer here by New Glarus.

 838 characters

Photo of nghab
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful slightly hazy deep golden to orange-y colour into a Kasteel glass. Medium malty nose with citrusy/lemony spicy notes, almost a touch of coriander although I doubt that it's an ingredient. Grassy hops, some earthy notes, some floral notes. Very effervescent with a big lasting white head. A bit like a Belgian IPA or an Orval, definitely hop accented and a dry finish. Complex, but perhaps not as much as I would have expected from the Brettanomyces. More malty and fruity as it warms up, but still finishing relatively dry. High CO2, as expected, very lively snd with a surprising creaminess, medium body. Nothing "extreme" about this beer, just a very solid, balanced, enjoyable moderately complex beer.

 723 characters

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

Pours a light honey gold in color, hazy with a decent size white head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice coriander and spice aroma that intermingles nicely with a sweet wheatiness. Some lemon and honey notes, a bit of funkiness, as well as some green apple and pear fruitiness. Taste follows the aroma well with a good flash of the sweet wheaty maltiness that is quickly overtaken by a hay like brettiness and some mellow spiciness in the background, lemons and honey work in to the taste as well and linger into the grassy hoppiness in the finish. A slightly burnt grassy bitterness in the finish along with a bit of tartness. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body, somewhat lively carbonation, drying bitterness in the finish. Delicious and quite refreshing, easily drinkable at 7%, the brett character works extremely well with the beer. I thought I read this was to be similar to or inspired by Orval, and I can definitely see the similarities, perhaps not quite as dry, but a lovely brett and light tartness are very nice right now. I will probably search out more of these for some ageing. Thanks to Adam for the opportunity.

 1,132 characters

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

16oz euro-bottle, scooped a case from the new brewery last sunday. I have been anxiously awaiting this new series from the best brewery in the US

appearance: really interesting oldschool bottle design - poured into my hopleaf tulip, energetic pour - active carbonation, clear orange body, wavy white lace.

smell: sweet floral nose, orange and lemon zests, corriander, currents of brett, nice funky kick, sweet sugary candy noise - perhaps sweet tarts

taste: perhaps not fully developed, and not as sophisticated as the nose - nice slick body with a very pleasant brett presence...its funky, sweet but a little flat-finished.

mouthfeel: slick, prickly carbonation

drinkability: good

 686 characters

Photo of Mistofminn
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Ben (mothman) for driving the insane drive to pick this up and offer me a couple bottles. Cheers!

Poured into my Surly Tulip. Pours a clear copper golden. First pour didn't produce much head, possibly was too cold, but the second pour produced a one finger white head. Head dissipates over the course of a few minutes to a thin cap. Shows some decent lacing, but nothing overly impressive. Carbonation appears to be light.

I heard this was a vamped up Orval type brew, and I can definitely see that. For such a young beer, the Brett is fantastic in this one. I've had some beers with Brett that were over a year old that didn't show this level of complexity. I get lots of horsebarn funkyness and dry hay. Now that I think about it, this definitely reminds me of Orval. What an excellent job of an American made Orval-inspired ale. The funk is very strong and it's hard for me to pick up much else, but that is certainly fine with me.

The taste department doesn't let down, although it's not as impressive as the nose. Once again, I get horsebarn and hay, but this time I get a little bit of the earthy hops. The first sip I had gave off sort of a metallic funk aftertaste, while appealing, didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the brew. But as it has warmed, that has dissappeared and allowed spices and earthy hops to shine through.

I admittedly served this brew too cold. I initially thought it was way too over-carbonated. It almost took away from the beer, because it took a few seconds for the brew to settle down in your mouth before you could taste it. As it has sat here and warmed up a bit, the carbonation and crisp bite has gone down, and I truly enjoy this one. Drinability is high in this. I find myself wishing I had the balls to open my second bottle. I must resist!

Overall, an excellent American made Orval-inspired wild ale. I ceased to be amazed by the guys at New Glarus, and I definitely am looking forward to the next R & D series brew. I heard possibly a Lambic of some sort? Thinking of making the 13 hour drive again, Ben?

 2,073 characters

Photo of dancinwillie
4.64/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was pretty stoked to finally get out to the new brewery today, and pick up a few of these.

Pours medium straw colored, with an adequate inch high white head on it. Liquid itself is startlingly clear, with a few streams of carbonation lazily drifting up to escape.

Aroma is absolutely amazing. Strong barley aroma hits me like a ton of bricks, and it almost smells like there's a little wheat in there too. Smells like their other, older brewery always smelled when I've visited there! Really, just a very good bouquet here.

A nice balance here. Some nice brett flavor, but not out in front showing off. Also a decent amount of lemon flavor, that mingles with the brett, and for all I know is a byproduct OF the brett. I'm really most impressed, however, with the lovely barley flavors! Grainy, and almost a raw element, yet it works wonderfully with everything else.

Full mouthfeel. I think it even seemed fuller after looking straight through the straw colored beer. Somewhat slick, and a nice tight little finish.

What can I say? I really love this beer. And yes, I am somewhat of a NG fanboy. But I was prepared to be disappointed. In the back of my mind, I didn't really think this beer was worthy of special trip to New Glarus, and then pay $8 a bottle on top of it. I was very wrong. And on a side note, and knowing that it doesn't affect the product inside, I love the new bottle's for this series, and I love the labels. All around a tremendous beer, and I'm glad to see New Glarus growing.

 1,509 characters

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!

 2,126 characters

Photo of deliriumfest
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 7/15/09 at the brewery

Poured a nice golden color with a white 2 finger head. Aroma is a bit fruity followed by complete barnyard funk. Taste is similar with a bit of sour that permeates across the tongue followed by a lingering funk. Average carbonation is present. Mouthfeel is light and semi creamy with a decent drinkability. Overall a great first beer to come out of the new R&D series. I can't wait to see what some age does to this one!

 456 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.