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Monday, November 14, 2011

Mad River The Mad Belgian style Golden Ale

Mad River The Mad Belgian Golden Ale, a seasonal offering from Mad River Brewing, poured a cloudy chestnut color, with a small, off-white head.  Belgian yeast dominated the nose, with fruity esters leading over toffee and a slightly herbal undertone.

Mad River Mad Belgian Ale opened sweet and soft, with a slight bitterness and the herbal note in the nose skating underneath the banana sweetness.  A peppery spice quickly dried out the ale and brought out white pepper, clove, and a bit of alcohol.  As the ale dried out the pallet, the sweetness took on pear and finally peach characterizes.  The ale faded earthy and even a bit minty.

Mad River Mad Belgian Golden Ale brings all the classic Belgian yeast characteristics to the table, and handles the balance of spice and fruit pretty well.  There is a bit more alcohol and thickness to the ale than seemed necessary, and it seemed to have more in common with Belgian-styled pale ales than a classic golden ale, but if you can get past the heat and the sharp spice, there’s a lot to enjoy.

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