Almanac: Golden Gale Gose (USA: Gose – Traditional: 5% ABV)
Visual: Golden yellow clear main body. Small white head that fizzes and diminishes quickly.
Nose: Dough. Salt. Cucumber. Chilli seeds.
Body: Sherbety fizzy feel up front. Salt. Sweet lemon and lemon curd. Squeezed lime. Dried banana notes. Doughnut base and rustic notes. Weak orange notes.
Finish: Cane sugar. Earthy bitterness. Lemon and fresh lime. Vanilla ice cream. Carrot and coriander.
Conclusion: Gose gallantly gallops greatly going on. Ok, that was just gratuitous alliteration. So, here the gose goes more towards a slight sour and doughy base that most of the style seems to express, rather than the very fresh example I found in the recent Westbrook take. In fact, while the beers are sour wheat beers at the base, this actually reminds me more of the rustic saisons that are out there- it has that earthy and rough edged touch to it.
Not that it seems that way initially – the aroma is actually quite dull. Slightly vegetable like and uninteresting. The first sip comes in fizzy and excitable but without much flavour. It is only as the beer starts to calm down that the interesting sour dough and rustic saison starts to come out, along with a light spice that also calls to the saison character.
While it doesn’t have the thickest feel the use of the lemon and lime freshness means it works with rather than against that. It doesn’t seem to need much weight to make it work – it has a slightly cordial style and it gives a freshness that belies the solid sour base.
As for the thing that seems ever present in a gose – that being the salt – it is here but gently done. It feels more a flavour enhancer that the thirst inducing element that it can be in some beers.
Overall, pretty robust despite the lighter fizzy textures. The matching of the lighter done citrus fruit character over the grounding of the saison like base and the sour base keeps you going rather than drying you out, and the spices allow for new character to come in late on in the beer. It all makes for a solid beer, not exciting but solidly sippable.
Background: Gose Time. Or, how time gose by. I have terrible puns. Anyway, after missing out on heading to Germany to try the few remaining goses in their home country, I have tried to make up for it by trying a lot of the craft beer examples. This one, made with sea salt, lemon verbena and coriander turned up in Brewdog’s guest beer selection. So I grabbed it.