Name - 24 Carat Gold
Brewer - Liverpool Organic
Classification - Golden ale
Strength - 4.3% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye - Archetypal golden ale. 'Nuff sed.
On the nose - A sharp edged fruit bonanza.
On the tongue - About as fresh, immediate and generally glorious as a golden ale can get.
On the subject – 'Liverpool Organic' have the sort of name which pretty much tells its own story. In other words, yes they are are indeed based in 'Liverpool' and yes their beers really are 'organic.' What the name doesn't mention, however, is that their beers are also vegan, and this is largely due to the fact that they don't use the usual fish derived isinglass finings to assist with haze clearance. Nor does the brewery's name reveal that their head brewer is a self-confessed 'complete hophead.' There's no doubt that 24 Carat Gold illustrates this last fact very clearly.
On the market – Shockingly and tragically understocked nationally. Thank your lucky stars for the worldwide web, which allows the brewery to have this groovy new online store.
On the whole - 9/10
Generally speaking, every ale-loving individual likes certain varieties of beer a little more than others.
Even those with the most proudly eclectic tastes will admit this to you after a few shandies.
I'll offer myself as an example. Before this website was born (in a lowly stable 'neath a shimmering star) I would nearly always gravitate first to the more amber ales – whether they be session beers, or standard bitters, or premium ales of that particular hue – and would almost never reach for a golden ale in preference. Not even when the weather literally screamed for such a selection.
However, this taste test has made me realise how much my capacity to enjoy ale has evolved since this project began.
In short, during the early days of The Bottled Beer Year, I would have said there was almost no possibility of a golden ale being among the top scorers on my chart. And yet here I am awarding a beer named '24 Carat Gold' a very solid 9 marks out of 10.
But is this really about my own personal evolution, or is this beer just a very special golden ale?
Frankly, I had such a good time drinking this beer, that I couldn't really care less which of these two options is the best explanation – but it's perfectly possible that both are true to some extent.
Either way - this a massively enjoyable drink.
The dazzling complexity of the rich citrus principle theme, the strikingly dry bitterness, the subtle and delicious savoury saltiness, the masterfully pitched biscuit malt base – and that's just how it tastes. The darn thing even looks exemplary.
But, for all those magnificent qualities – I haven't even reached the headline yet.
The best feature of this beer has less to do with the 'what' – and much more to do with the 'how.'
When well executed bottle-conditioning combines with organically sourced ingredients – this beer proves that the results are going to be the freshest, cleanest and most vividly characterful ales that glass can contain.
Every single aspect of this drink benefits from this ultimate double-whammy, even that delicate buttery swathe in the long finish – which creeps deliciously out from the impact craters left by each of those highly charged zesty mouthfuls – is as 'farm fresh' as any butter could be.
This really is the perfect summertime, feel-good beer, which is every bit as elegant and refined as it is refreshing and entertaining.
My very first taste of Liverpool Organic's work has been a truly memorable one. So much so that it has given me reason to entirely re-evaluate what I regard as my own preference in terms of beer styles.
That's a pretty big impression for one beer to make.
But then, this really is no ordinary beer.