Doing things right in Durham
A Review of Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale by Triangle Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/26/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
One of the best things about being a better beer lover is that at any given time, you are most likely no more than half an hours drive from some type of craft brew location. For some people it is a local pub or bar, while others have a great retail location that fits the bill. Then there are a select few out there that are lucky enough to live near a facility that actually produces the glorious nectar that we all have come to love. My co-founder just happens to be one of those lucky few, and due to that fact, whenever I am in town visiting, we have no choice but to go out and take full advantage of his premium location. One of my favorite stops happens to be Triangle Brewing Company, and once there, I refuse to leave until I've had at least one Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale.

When being poured, the first thing that catches your eye is the dark, yet still golden brown coloration. The best way I can think of to accurately describe it is to think of aged or tarnished brass. A bright white head forms with an aggressive pour, but dissipates quickly leaving just a spotty film on top, and a bit of a ring around the inside of the glass. A full Belgian bouquet awaits your nose, and consists of everything from bright, fruity esters, to spicy pepper notes, and even a layer of toasted malts. Some of the most distinct aromas happen to be clove, banana, pear, white pepper, freshly toasted bread, and warm alcohol. There is a lot going on in this one, and while it might be considered very complex by some, I view it as lively and balanced.

When you go in for the first taste, the flavor explosion can take a minute or two to get comfortable with. Right off the bat, those Belgian yeasts hit you with a sweet and spicy punch that makes you sit up and take notice. Again, to me the clove sticks out more than the pepper, but both make themselves known from the start, and laying just beneath them is a splash of fresh cinnamon sensation. They are kept in check by a malt layer that sticks close to the nose and maintains a freshly toasted bread feel. Once you are able to move past the initial pop in the flavor department, more subtle flavors start to not only come through, but shine. There is a delicate earthy hops layer that comes through in waves and adds a subtle, but welcome bitterness to offset the fruity sweetness. And speaking of fruity sweetness, the banana and pear that was noted in the nose come in from time to time, as well as notes of candied green apple. Finishing things off is just a bit of an alcohol burn and a surprisingly dry mouthfeel.

The Belgian-Strong Golden Ale is one of those beers that is both a treat and a travesty. It's a treat simply because of what an amazingly great beer it is. It is full of flavor, has great body, drinks with surprising ease, and even packs a well hidden 8% ABV punch. It's a travesty because I can't get it where I live. That's right. The biggest problem I have with it is that I can't get my hands on it whenever I want. To me, that is one of the highest compliments I can give a craft beer. If it is so good that I am not happy when I can't get my hands on it anytime I want, the brewery has done a great job. So congratulations Triangle Brewing Company. I am amazingly unhappy with you. Job well done.

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Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale by Triangle Brewing Co.
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