Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Holland Golden Cap Saison, tap

For those of us that put all weekdays on relatively equal footing, Friday nights blow. When all you want is a pint to cap a late night at work, it's usually hard to find a suburban bar that hasn't transformed into The Friday Bar--crowded and clamorous; overtaxed barkeeps slinging Li[gh]t[e]s to scented people.

Fortunately, the Beacon in Forest Park is a reliable exception. It's off the beaten Madison St. path, so it mostly draws regulars and a good age-diverse crowd. Even on a Friday night, you can sit alone at the bar without looking like a creep (not to say I don't look like a creep anyway, for other reasons). The music is always good and never too loud, and they have about a dozen beers on tap, most of which are craft. And you know it's a True Pub© because they even have a bookshelf!

Golden Cap is very light, both in color and feel--translucent almost piss-yellow and easy to drink at a 1.5 to 2 ounce-per-sip. First whiff is flowery, a little fruity--pear or peach I think--and vaguely lemony. Compared to other saisons, Golden Cap is lighter on sweetness and more bitter, though not excessively hoppy. The dominant undertone is apple, especially on the finish. A little booziness crept in on a sip or two, but I may have just taken too big a swig on those.

Grade: A, for apple but also a reflection of the quality. Well, maybe only an A- or B+ on the latter, but in this era of grade inflation, who's to say what that is anymore. It's not the best I've ever had, but I love the style in general and would happily drink this again. Recommended as a good starter saison for someone who's never had one.

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