New Belgium Brewing
Ft. Collins, CO
Hoptober Golden Ale
New Belgium could stand up tall with Fat Tire alone, however it goes out of its way to try some really interesting styles, ranging from Trippels to Dunkelweiss to this beautiful seasonal concoction.
The pour is truly golden straw with perhaps a touch of orange, but barely. A very white, cloudy head puffs up the straight-sided glass (perhaps the wrong choice for this beer) and starts to stick as it descends.
The nose is a really pleasant mix of sticky hops – pine resin, citrus, and damp flowers – and a slight bitter grassiness which melds nicely to create an earthy yet somewhat sweet aroma.
The mouthfeel is excellent, light but full, with steady and lively effervescence. Those West Coast hops are more present as aroma hops than flavoring hops. They appear slightly at the beginning of the sip, giving way to a tarter, Noble hop bitterness, and eventually reappearing at the end.
There is a slight sweetness – citric, perhaps orange – along the palate. That resin-y, marijuana-like taste persists as an aftertaste and is not unpleasant. This brew seems to be undecided, but is remarkably balanced and interesting.
At 6%, it’s not quite a session, and at 40IBU, it’s not quite a hophead’s dream. However, it is rich and complex and drinkable, and is a great offer from a great house.