Black Market: Deception (USA: Golden Ale: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: White head on pour that very quickly vanishes. Hazy apricot fruit juice colour body. Some carbonation.

Nose: Menthol. Coconut. Crushed peppermint leaves. Slightly sour. Quite floral.

Body: Fizzy. Coconut water. Chalky. Slight cardboard. Squeezed lime. Slight wheat character. Vanilla. Dried apricot.

Finish: Coconut. Watery. Squeezed lime. Wheaty. Dried apricot.

Conclusion: Ok, this was to be part of my attempt to drink more normal beers. A plan to return to beer styles I had not done for a while. An American style blond ale, a good simple beer. A bit tweaked up with lime and coconut sure, a bit of a craft twist, but generally a robust solid style that I have mainly overlooked recently.

Well, that didn’t work out.

This is very coconut dominated, and I do mean utterly dominated – slightly chalky as well but it tastes pretty much like that coconut water you can buy in a supermarket. There is somewhat of a beer texture, but most of the blond ale character is utterly lost. Which is a bit of a disappointment.

Ok, lets ignore my expectations, take another look and take it as it is, not what I expected it to be. Well, it still is a tad watery, tad over chalky. There is some nice dried apricot that gives it some much needed extra depth. However, as a whole it feels that if you took away the coconut you would have pretty much nothing left. With a few exceptions I hold that a beer should be able to stand on its two feet even without special ingredient. They can be dominant, but you should never feel they are making up for a weak base beer, which is how this feels. Add to that, that even with the coconut it is not really very pleasant, so that requirement for a good base beer goes double for this.

It is odd, as I love coconut flavours in beer, but it needs to be just a complementary element, not the only element.

So, overall, a very sub par beer. Too little in the base and the extra ingredients don’t have enough to them to make it worth drinking. So, not what I expected, and not a good beer aside from that. Avoid.

Background: Hard to choose beer style for this one, the can says Blond Ale, made with lime and coconut. The flavour is so dominant that I was tempted to go with what ratebeer says, which is a fruit beer. However my tendency in a pinch to go with how the brewer describes it won out. So blond ale (or golden ale in this case for ease of tracking) it is. Anyway, I grabbed this from Independent Spirit as it was a new brewery on me, and I thought going for a pretty normal blond ale would be a good pick after so many odd beers recently. I wasn’t expecting the coconut to be so dominant I will admit. Continued the Godspeed You! Black Emperor kick on this one with “Allelujah! Don’t Bend, Ascend” – a darker ,more haunting album, but still good drinking music.

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