New Belgium/Hof Ten Dormaal Golden Ale

Today I'm checking out another beer from New Belgium's popular Lips of Faith series of seasonal and one-off beers, the last time I did a Lips of Faith review was Le Terroir Dry Hopped Sour back in 2016. Today's review is of a Golden Ale collaboration with Belgian brewery Hof Ten Dormaal. The collaboration Golden Ale is 7.0% ABV and is described as blending Old World ingredients with modern flavours with spelt, malted sunflower seeds and wild carrot herbs. Also brewed with Saaz and Mosaic hops to give it a spicy and tropical accent to the beer.

I've never had a beer with malted sunflower seeds before, nor a beer with wild carrot herbs so I'm not too sure what to expect. That said, I've had enough randomly conceived beers by New Belgium over the years to know that they know what they're doing.

Appearance: Pours a lightly cloudy pale golden straw Blonde Ale, moderate amount of micro-carbonation, with a light yet decent amount of beige-off white head on top.

Aroma: Sweet, light citrusy notes, a good dose of Belgian yeast to give it a nice breadiness. There's a hint of straw, a light orange peel aroma, and a bit of coriander/clove in there.

Taste: The malt presence gives off a sweet, citrusy flavour with a mild graininess to it. The hop presence gives it a floral, light bitter and mildly spicy profile to it. There's a decent amount of Belgian yeast in here that gives off a flavour of bubble gum and mild breadiness to it. There's a flavour in the beer that I can't point my finger on.. until I keep trying to examen it.. it's the sunflower seeds! The sunflower seeds give off that nuttiness everyone knows and loves, and it even lingers for a while leaving a sunflower seed aftertaste that makes me think that I was just at a ball game.

Overall Thoughts: Interesting take on a Golden Ale, especially with the use of malted sunflower seeds. I'm not sure what wild carrot herbs taste like so I don't think I tasted that anywhere in the beer. It has a nice Belgian-style presence to it and has a nice crisp and light flavour that I think most people will enjoy.. unless if you don't like the nuttiness of sunflower seeds. Decent malt presence, nice hop presence (floral, bit bitter, light spiciness). So, overall a solid ale.

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