Today marks what I believe to be a first for me... my first time opening what must have been one thoroughly skunked beer. I planned to revisit Gordon Biersch Brewing, this time with their Czech Style Pilsner, and immediately noticed something slightly off in the nose. It tasted acceptable for the first second, but an aspirin-like medicinal bitterness and metallic funkiness quickly dominated... truly horrible tasting. As the beer was bottled mid-December of last year and has been well stored since I bought it, I checked the beer in the bottle to make sure it wasn't residue in the glass... it wasn't. Given the pleasant surprise that was their Marzen, I have to assume this wasn't the way it was meant to be tasted. The thought of choking down the glass wasn't bearable, so I (wisely) opened a different beer.
Back to Dick's Brewing Co., the Washington brewery that wisely sells true mixed-variety 12-packs for those looking to try a little bit of everything.
Dick's Golden Ale poured surprisingly flat, with a bronze-apple juice like color and the smallest head I've ever poured in an ale. The nose was a sour malt... mostly yeasty.
The hops made up for the lack of effervescence in the front by bringing a crisp, mineral tingle. The initial flavors dissolved into a body of honey-wheat somewhat floral with hints of floral notes that left a pleasant toasted flavor in my mouth. The flavors of the beer had enough depth to engage, but had strangely worn out their welcome by the end of the glass.
For someone who isn't enthusiastic about golden ales, Dick's Golden Ale came across as very middle-of-the-road. While I criticized one of their more adventurous attempts at pushing traditional styles, this beer seems like missed potential, and offered a pleasing-enough, but pedestrian, drinking experience.
For the sake of posterity, here's the one that really missed the mark.