Name – Wensleydale Gold
Brewer – Wensleydale
Classification – Blonde Ale
Strength – 4.5% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Intense amber. 'Yellow' feels more accurate than 'gold.'
On the nose – A vivacious citrus kick.
On the tongue – Summertime. Liquefied.
On the subject – Starting out in 2003, the Wensleydale Brewery has established a formidable presence in and around the Yorkshire Dales, and that presence is growing.
On the market – Locally, let's just say 'not a problem.' Otherwise, online is the best option. This was a Beer Ritz specimen.
On the whole – 7.5/10
Is there such a word as quenchtastic?
Of course there is, and I've no doubt that it is often used in reference to this pretty fine ale.
As you might expect from this beer variety, the high end flavours are dominant, but there are a lot of them at work here – if they are all a little on the subtle side. During a full glass, though, each characteristic gets its chance to shine, and shine they absolutely do.
What is especially worthy of mention is the way in which my nose was almost brutally assaulted at every opportunity by the spiced lemon zest which is constantly being released from the bursting foam. For this reason alone – each sip of the stuff is quite an experience.
My first month or so of daily beer exploration here on The Year has shown me a lot about the merits of 'gold' or 'blonde' beers...merits which had always been lost on me before. I'd complained many times about their lack of balance, complexity and nuance – and once I even went as far as comparing them unfavourably to mainstream lagers...though this was mostly to marvel at the subsequent reactions (after all, I was attending a summer beer festival at the time!)
But I'm happy to say that the sun is slowly coming up and I'm beginning to see the light.
There is complexity in these brews, there is nuance, and there's certainly plenty of excitement in the drinking of them.
This beer, I might add, is as good an example of all this as any I've yet tried. Its lively, its busy, its characterful... its even a little bit aggressive.
So it does seem fairly clear that I've been missing out all this time, but thanks to beers like this one - those days of ignorance are now well and truly over.
Long may the 'gold' rush continue.