Elmtree: Golden Pale Ale (England: Golden Ale: 5% ABV)
Visual: Pale yellow. Still, mostly clear but with a hazy edge to the body. Off white head that leaves sud circles.
Nose: Creamy. Lemon curd. Popcorn.
Body: Apricot. Smooth lemon. Light bitterness and hop character. Slightly thick texture. Citrus lime. Lightly wheaty. Kiwi. Fruit syrup. Apple.
Finish: Lemon meringue. Lime. Light hop character. Muesli. Kiwi. Apples.
Conclusion: For some reason Golden Ales seem to tend to wards the formulaic more than most other styles I encounter. Ok, the British interpretation anyway. The bitterness level varies but in general a gentle drinkable lemon charactered beer seems to predominantly be the way to go for them.
This both matches and yet subtly defies those expectations. Because of course life can never be simple. The taste is citrus lemon and some lime, refreshing, as expected.
The difference is that the texture is thicker, and reminds me some of the Marston ales, but with the real ale character grounding it nicely. Above and beyond that the fruitiness moves to heavier places than the average golden ale – they have deeper green fruit into apple and kiwi that makes is less easy drinking but helps it stand out more.
It doesn’t completely diverge from expectations, especially within the real ale take on the style, but it gave me a lot more than I expected. Overall it is a slower sipping golden ale than most. It doesn’t break the mould but it stretches it just a touch.
Nice, not super refined nor super out of the ordinary, but, ya know, nice.
Background: Final of the Norwich beers I was given over Christmas and brought back home with me. Many thanks to the parents for these. Drunk while listening to Shirehorses: The Worst Album in the World…Ever..EVER. For anyone who didn’t grow up in the 90s listening to late night Mark and Lard on radio 1 that will make no sense whatsoever. Their late night show was responsible for me staying up far too late and being knackered for school the next day far too many times. Good times.