AS Gold is an inoffensive ale. It’s a light golden colour and is very reminiscent of the general Lagers you can get on tap. It’s carbonated and slightly zesty with the typical ale bitterness as an aftertaste. Brewed with some American hops it’s an easy drinker, though not the punchiest ale we’ve imbibed.
How we see it
Not having had much experience with the Welsh Brain’s Brewery, we were struck immediately by the carbonation level. A cold, crisp beer – much like lager in texture and taste, this would be a great starting ale if you’re nervous about venturing into the brave new world. It won’t overpower you with bitterness or some of the deeper flavours of malt and hops but will give you an appreciation of the differences between lager and ale.
SA Gold is sweet to taste and nutty, the mouthful is dazzling in its subtle waves of hops and caramel, though I felt after each one there was not enough power in the glass. I like my ales strong and bitter, so for me personally, this wasn’t too appealing. I’m also not a fan of high levels of carbonation in my ale, and SA Gold has bubbles visibly dancing in it’s bronzey depths which, once poured, does look like a bit like a Carlsberg.
This isn’t to say, however, that this is a bad ale. I can imagine drinking this in summer, it is crisp and refreshing and would give you a nice cooling session after a hot day’s work – but again, there are plenty of other – meatier – ales that could whet your whistle and leave you feeling that much more like a man for the experience.
I don’t want to put anybody off from SA Gold, and if anyone disagrees we’d love to hear your comments. But this isn’t an ale I’d go hunting for, and if it’s not on tap at the bar I’m in, I wouldn’t wish for it to be. For those who aren’t into the stronger ales this may well be the stepping stone you’re looking for so gulp it down to give you the courage to move onto something darker, heavier and more bitter.