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New Glarus R & D Golden Ale (2009)

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RATINGS: 299   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 38   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Bold floral bouquet sweeps forward, encouraged by the Maris Otter Malt. Ale and Brettanomyces promote complex Brett characters. Dry finish. Alive and still fermenting, this bottle will continue to build carbonation. Pour with care. Brewed 3-23-09. Bottled 6-18-09.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jj21 (84) - Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 17, 2009
Pours hazy gold with a frothy head that quickly dropped with so-so lacing. Aromas of brett, Belgian spice and some fruit. The brett isnít too pronounced on the palate like a lot of Russian River beers which makes this a bit more refreshing. There is some oakiness on the palate and decent carbonation. Very crisp with green apple tartness. Think of this as an Orval Jr.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
madvike (3205) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 16, 2009
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2012

500 ml bottle from the brewery - So Iíve had this from a bottle at the brewery and from a bottle at home, and breweryís bottle was much better. I didnít take notes, but I remember the Brett tasting and smelling more like barnyard. Of course, we were drinking it while overlooking the rolling hills and farms of New Glarus, so maybe it was a little real barnyard. But I digress...

From the bottle at home, I got a beautiful pour, al cloudy amber with a creamy, bubbly white head. The first thing my wife said when she smelled it was it smells like a new shower curtain just out of the package. I figured sheíd just never smelled Brett before, but I had to admit she nailed it on the head. Overshadowing some nice floral and yeast smells was a plasticy, manufacturing smell. It was very distracting.

The taste was much better. The shower curtain receded to let through orange and lemon, grass, soap, and earth notes, with a little sourness. The first couple sips had a metallic aftertaste, but that thankfully went away. I liked the hop bite on the finish, and itís very bubbly in the mouth. A bit resiny too.

I had this after I had an Orval, and I have to say Orval cleaned its clock (with the realization that this beer wasnít meant to clone Orval). Iíve got several more of these for the cellar, so weíll see what they do, but overall Iím pretty disappointed.

Update (6/23/12) - So Iíve had this 7-8 times since my initial rating, and Iíve been underwhelmed more often than not. The plasticy brett character always ruins this beer for me, as itís so overbearing so as not to let anything else in. At itís best, itís earthy and smooth, with a nice herbal hoppiness mingling with barnyard funk. But I canít keep the original 3.4 with a clear conscience. I do see, however, that there was a new batch in 2011. Would love to try this so I can compare.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 13, 2009
Thanks to hoppymeal and hopscotch. Clear straw color spicy, minty aroma. Nice fuity and slightly funky flavor.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
zizzybalubba (1814) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - AUG 11, 2009
UPDATED: APR 16, 2011 On tap at GTMW 2009 (and poured by Dan Carey!). Light golden pour with an off-white head. Faint citrus aroma with some brettiness noted. Lightly tart, yet sweet. I wish I had more in my notes on this one but I was too busy enjoying my sample. Another exceptional beer from New Glarus...Additional notes from 04/16/2011. Finally tried a bottle of this that was almost 2 years old. It has held up remarkably well. The tartness has faded but it is a very dry and sweet beer at 2 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
HonkeyBra (4036) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - AUG 7, 2009
500 ml bottle purchased from the brewery gift shop. Effervescent golden pour with thick bubbly head that dissipates. Bretty aroma with horseblanket, some barnyard. A bit of belgian spice and sweet citrus. Maybe a touch of apricot and definitely some fresh grass and flowers. Flavor is extremely complex, dry dusty brett notes with some nice hoppy flower flavor. Funk, spice, lemon. Barnyard, cheese. Bubbly, almost champagne like mouthfeel with flowery finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheAlum (6985) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 7, 2009
500 ml bottle sampled during the New Glarus Hard Hat Tour (New Glarus, WI). Pours a shiny hazed golden hue, nice offwhite head that dies to a good film, laces pretty well, lively carbonation. Aromas are a nice horseblanket bretty feel, hay, a touch of spicy Belgian yeast, fruity qualities, florals from decent hopping. Body is light and airy, dancing on the palaye with light belgian spice, a touch of citrus rind, bretty funk, soft cheese compliments as well. A bit of a dandelion aroma in. Delicate, flavorful, but light and lively. This beer will develop and hopefully dry out a bit with edge and take on a more bretty feel. This is a quality Belgian ale with an emphasis on bretty and dryness over cloying spice. Cheers to a great beer!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
CanIHave4Beers (4024) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - AUG 7, 2009
The floral bouquet and the funkiness of the aroma on this thing can be detected across the room. When the glass is held up to the nose fresh hops, banana, more funk and more intense floral notes present themselves. This couldnít smell better. The head is a little loose but has some great retention and lace, the color is a nice hazy blonde with plenty of small bubbles. The flavor is particularly hoppy, it squeezes all the hop flavor out of those 38 IBUs that I can imagine. The flavor is dusty, lemony, bitter, and fruity with some grapefruit, some, some strawberry, and some peach. The beer is nicely funky with some perfect spiciness. Everything is so well balanced that each and ever drink presents the drinker with an opportunity to sit and ponder the nuance and complexity of this beautiful beautiful piece of alchemistic perfection. This is particularly dry and reminds me of what a bone dry aged Orval, and a fresh hoppy Orval would be like if you blended them together and that worked with magical perfection. The palate is perfectly sharp, full, and mind bendingly drinkable. This is some serious stuff, Iíve got to go back to the brewery and get another case.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 5, 2009
Great stuff. The dried out MO provides a a pleasant ritz cracker foundation for a dose of bitter noble hops and a very subtle brett twist trending towards pineapple. The finish leaves you with a smooth cookie dough sweetness. The nose puts forth1 the pineapple and hop flavor aspects of the beer. NG can do it all!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - AUG 4, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2009 500mL Bottle. Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/photos/26049401@N0 Purchased at the hilltop brewery. My 26th Birthday Beer. I love this bottle, by the way. So much information. Pours with a wonderful white pepper, cookie dough, freshly grated allspice, green pear skin, and wildly aromatic spice and floral notes. Beautiful and touching. Pours a crystal clear deeply hued golden, with a rocky clean white head. Flavor is wonderfully spicy and Bretty. Tangy coconut Brett duels with mace and almond powder. The beer foams in the mouth, exploring a wondrous cacophony of stimulating dry, horsey, fruit characters. The wildness in this beer is really enjoyable. I also love the deep, crackery malt beneath, that lends a broad range of deeper bread, cookie, and yeast notes. Wonderful brett character, great malt base, beautiful execution. A fantastic beer!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 4, 2009
Bottle courtesy of Ughsmash. POurs a hazy golden color with a massive one finger bright white head that settles slowly. Aroma is sweet and malty with notes of floral esters, spice, caramel, honey, light barnyard funk. Flavor is sweet and spicy with light floral esters, light barnyard funk, caramel, honey, overripe fruit, some hints of yeasty bread. Generally medium body with a pleasing sweet floral finish. Nice ale.

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