Golden Ale is another in the trilogy of Co-op’s “locally sourced” range. I reviewed the Dark Ale previously, here:
Co-op’s Golden Ale is produced by the Nethergate folks (they of “Growler” fame) so you’d hope it was something a bit special…
In a glass it’s very…you know…brassy and golden, which is just how a golden ale should be. Good strong running beads of carbonation help to buoy up a cow-parsley head of froth.
This beer has an aroma that’s all grains, cereals and sweet malt…a bit like walking into a grain store on a farm, it’s an interesting aroma, but I think I would have preferred more maltiness and less cerealiness.
Maybe Nethergate are using maize or some unmodified malts as an adjunct to the malt bill? (Not that there’s anything at all wrong with doing that…many other brewers do exactly that)
On the taste-front this Golden Ale is a little one-dimensional and monochromatic: I only get sweetish malt and a little bitterness on the back edge as the beer goes down.
It really could do with an extra dimension in order to add a little complexity, make it pop and bring it to life…trouble is with a Golden Ale you’re kind of constrained by style: e.g. if you bumped up the sixty minute hop addition it would then become a golden bitter which is not really the point.
Maybe a more distinctive yeast strain would introduce a more exciting fruity dynamic? Or maybe just use the existing yeast and ferment it out at a slightly higher temperature, that would also add a fruity complexity, I’m sure.
Anyway, in its current state Golden Ale is drinkable, kind of enjoyable, but definitely lacking any wow factor.