Thursday, February 9, 2017

Laurelwood Brewing Company - Belgian Golden Ale

An unFlemished Reputation?
They've been making beer in Belgium for centuries. In fact, some of the oldest, continuously operating breweries in the world are found within the confines of that little nation bordered by France, Germany, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Hey, brewing beer essentially FOREVER means that you've pretty much got that shi..uh..stuff DOWN! I mean, the practice batches were over a long time ago!

It used to be that whenever I would see a Belgian STYLE beer brewed here in the US of A, I would immediately lower my expectations. Typically, the best I could expect was a worthy attempt, the good ol' college try. However, I've sampled quite a few Belgianesque brews lately that definitely did not disappoint! The American Craft Beer industry just keeps getting better and better and now arguably puts out some of the very best beer on the planet, including many Belgian styles.

Tonight, I'm drinking a Belgian (style) Golden Ale brewed by Portland's Laurelwood Brewing Company. The beer comes with an ABV that clocks in at 7.2% and IBU's at 30. I picked up the bomber at New Seasons. I'm not sure, but I believe the 22 oz bomber set me back about five bucks.

The beer poured into my chalice (yes, it's a chalice) a beautiful light, golden orange color. The white head rose up to an inch tall and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap of spotty lacing was left behind. What a pretty beer! Very photogenic, I must say.

Aroma was subtle hints of pear, apple, and clove. Banana. Bready yeast and light malt. Floral and herbal notes.

Taste followed the nose. Apple and pear. Yeast. Grain. Spicy, but no alcohol taste or sting. Hops flavor and mild bitterness in the background.

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. Flavors livened up as in warmed a bit. Crisp, dry finish. Belgian spice and mild hops flavor left on the palate at the end.

Overall, this is dang tasty Belgian-style beer! It's a  grown-up beer with plenty of flavor and character. Does it stack up side-by-side to a Belgian classic like Duvel? Don't go crazy, but the drinkability and affordability of Laurelwood's Belgian (style) Golden Ale make it a keeper in my book. Good stuff!

I'm giving this one a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4. I recommend!

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