Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Steadfast Golden Blonde Ale

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (867) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 30, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Steadfast pint glass. There was no freshness date on the bottle, but I know it’s fresh because I got it directly from the brewer himself.

Appearance: The name is completely accurate. It pours to a crystal-clear, white gold hue. Highly effervescent when poured, but eventually calms down to virtual tepidness. Forms a soapy white head that fizzles out like a soda.

Smell: A light aroma of flowers, sorghum, and a hint of spice.

Taste: Steadfast’s initial offering was a borderline IPA that was big and bold and tasted good enough to distract from the fact it’s gluten-free. With their Golden Blonde Ale they’ve gone in the opposite direction; light and refreshing and they’ve succeeded again. I think this might actually be the more impressive brew.

Judging by the description and ingredients list, it seems this beer is intended to be the equivalent of a gluten-free witbier. Honey, coriander and orange peel create for a relatively familiar, summer seasonal-type palette. It’s not a beer I would describe as "spicy" though. It’s more like a blonde ale with real flavor to it (a style I usually dislike, by the way). The overall taste is akin to a cider with a hint of tartness riding shotgun throughout. The spices are enough to notice and taste, but mild enough that they don’t overwhelm. Same thing with the sorghum base. Yes there’s that "twangy" flavor on the finish, but it’s mild and easily tolerable and you barely notice it after a while. I’m not saying this is the best beer ever, but for those who don’t usually like sorghum beers and want something easy to handle this will do nicely.

Drinkability: Sorghum-based beers tend to have low drinkability because it takes the palate some getting used to. But in the case of Steadfast Golden Blonde Ale I was amazed by how quickly I downed it. In fact, I had to pour another bottle to have beer in the glass to review! The flavor is quite refreshing, and the thin, tepid body makes it highly quaffable, especially considering how smooth the finish is. I’m surprised it’s 5.5% ABV as it drinks like something even lighter. Sessionable in hot weather that’s for sure. 
Grade: 7/10