A delicious Belgian hiding in plain sight
A Review of Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale by Triangle Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/31/2011 by Chops
In the world of craft brews, few styles are scrutinized as closely as Belgians. They are the behemoths of the beer world. Belgian beers are extraordinarily complex, clock in high ABVs and pack massive flavor punches. Crafting an exquisite Belgian beer is a rarity and the breweries that can are regarded as champions. So imagine my surprise to find a delicious, high quality Belgian being crafted right down the street from me in Durham, NC. Brew fans, I give you the Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale from the Triangle Brewing Co.
In the glass, this beer has a deep golden hue and is crystal clear. It comes with a fluffy white head that dissipates rather quickly, which is to be expected from Belgian pale and golden ales. The aroma is where Triangle's Belgian hooks you. It has a big spicy character that warms the area around the glass. When you get your nose into the glass, you pick up a rich bready base which reminds me of a spiced banana bread. Definitely a mouth-watering intro.
The first sip of this beer has your taste buds swimming in pure Belgian bliss. That notorious Belgian flavor complexity hits you like a freight train, giving your brain a lot to process right off the bat. I'd say the first taste that catches your attention is the spiced bread that you discovered on the aroma. It compliments the mid-level mouthfeel quite well, allowing for a lengthy enjoyment between sips. Some herbal grassy notes come out to play in the middle ground, but do little to distract. Once you have experienced several sips, you notice that the spice characters are clinging to fruity flavors, namely orange and apple. Every once and a while the tastes converge to form a cinnamon apple vibe. I would imagine this is due to the stickiness of the mouthfeel, causing all those rich flavors to stay with you throughout the flavor train. The finish is somewhat dry and leaves behind a savory herbal aftertaste.
Overall, the Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale from Triangle Brewing Co. is a fabulous Belgian interpretation that I can recommend to any level of beer fan. Novices will find it to be a delicious intro into flavorful Belgian beers without being assaulted by strength or booziness. It does clock in at a respectable 8% ABV, but it's nicely reigned in by a delicate balance of rich flavors. Belgian fans will be pleasantly surprised by the high quality and will probably have much the same ''local wow'' reaction that I did. I can honestly say that I never expected to find a high quality Belgian in my backyard. So if you ever find yourself in the Triangle area of NC, make it a point to visit the Triangle Brewery to enjoy a pint of this scrumptious nectar. It's a delicious Belgian hiding in plain sight.