I’ve got to admit something about my beer reviewing: sometimes I’ll drink a reviewing beer even if I don’t plan on writing it up for that week’s review, record my thoughts on a voice memo, snap a few photos, and hold it in reserve for a week I’m traveling or out late on a Friday. This is one of those reserve weeks
I was out at dinner with wifey tonight at Rustico, a great pizza and craft beer restaurant in D.C., tried a New Holland Brewery Golden Cap Saison Ale, loved it, and remembered I had reviewed it a few weeks ago. Perfect – time to pull this one off the shelf!
New Holland is a Michigan-based brewery, living up the growing number of great microbreweries I’ve had from that state. The Golden Cap is intended to be a “modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse ale,” with a reasonable 6.25% ABV.
It pours straw-colored, and the beer smelled like fresh-cut hay with subtle peppercorn hints. There was also a good amount of suspended sediment in the brew, which I assumed to be yeast. One other cool aspect of this beer is that it’s brewed with spelt, one of wheat’s oldest ancestors, which has a nutty-type of flavor.
I like saisons as a rule, because of the wide range of varieties you can get with them, but like the ones that mix hops and pepper tastes equally are my faves – this one lived up to expectations. I got a lot of fresh, grassy flavors with hints of pepper on the front. The pepper hints really come into their own to dominate through the middle, and it ends on a
hoppy-wheat blended taste.
When I drank the Golden Cap at home, I got a lot of alcohol burn through the middle, but had a very different taste experience when I had it at Rustico. I didn’t get the alcohol at all, and the pepper flavor was softer through the middle, but extended through the end. Additionally, after I had a slice of pizza with some red pepper flakes, the brew tasted much sweeter at the end.
Overall, I’d totally recommend this brew. It’s unique, quite flavorful, and balanced. Unfortunately, New Holland does not brew the Golden Cap in the winter, so if you can’t find it soon, you will probably have to wait until their next estimated shipping date of March 2012.