Troubled Monk Golden Gaetz Experiment

Reviewed by on March 21, 2018 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Troubled Monk Brewery

  • Origin: Red Deer, AB, CA

  • Rated On: March 21, 2018

  • Best Before: canned February 21, 2018

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Golden Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Troubled Monk, in conjunction with Red Shed and Rahr Malting, and three Alberta farmers in different parts of the province, are running an experiment in barley ‘terroir’ – 3 different versions of their Golden Gaetz ale, with everything being constant, excepting where the grain was grown.  They provide cryptic location clues on the labels, however, I don’t know enough about farming in Alberta to have any idea what they’re talking about.

Golden Gaetz 1

This 355ml can pours a hazy, salmon-tinged pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly bone-white head, which leaves some scattered sudsy lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready and doughy cereal malt, a further biscuity graininess, faint apple and pear fruity notes, and subtle earthy, musty, and floral hop bitters.  The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, some yeasty breadiness, mixed pome skins, wet chalk, and more understated leafy, weedy, floral green hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly low-key in its workaday frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, with nothing really causing any sort of concern here. It finishes off-dry, the malt complexity not wavering in the least.

Well, this is indeed a very well-made, malty version of the style, quite fresh-feeling and a tad crisp.  Good, good stuff, but moving on!

Golden Gaetz 2

This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, pink-tinged golden straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat fizzy bone-white head, which leaves some patchy snow rime lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of gritty and grainy cereal malt, bready yeast, toasted white crackers, faint bruised apple notes, and some plain earthy, musty, and floral green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, more yeasty breadiness, a mild earthy chalk essence, faint underripe apple peel, and some weak leafy, herbal, and floral green hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and mostly smooth, with just a touch of generic grittiness maybe taking away some of the surface sheen here.  It finishes off-dry, the robust malt dealing with very few other lingering contenders.

Yeah, from having just sampled number 1, I’m not really getting anything that truly stands out between the two.  Good and malty, in an organized, enjoyable manner, if that makes any sense. On to number 3.

Golden Gaetz 3

This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, pink-tinged, pale straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, caked, and mildly fizzy dirty white head, which leaves a few instances of cannonball splash aftermath lace around the glass as it quickly dissipates.

It smells of gritty and grainy cereal malt, toasted white crackers, some indistinct acrid fruitiness, gently soured yeast, and plain earthy, musty, and dead floral hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, cooked apples and pears, ethereal yeast, a further understated cereal graininess, and more weak earthy, herbal, and leafy green hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly meek in its perfunctory frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a minor pithiness arising as things warm up a tad around here.  It finishes off-dry, the ephemeral sour essence going up against the big lingering maltitude.

Overall

Well, if I had to indicate the outlier in the group, number 3 would be it.  The graininess just seems, um, different.  Hey, I am definitely more adept at differentiating hop subtleties than those in malt, and more research is definitely required before I can even attempt to answer the ‘Where Am I?’ questions three.

Brady White

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