Review of Bard’s Gold

Posted on February 26, 2010 by

In this episode I review Bard’s Gold by Bard’s Tale Beer Co out of Utica, NY. This beer is extremely interesting to me because it is not made from the regular ingredients that go into beer such as wheat, barley, oats or rye. It has a subtle hop and caramel smell, but the flavor comes from something else. I assume it is the sorghum that is coming through to give the flavor. I really can’t describe what Bard’s Gold sorghum flavor is. It really seems earthy or kind of like a dust ball with a lot of density. I don’t really like it or maybe I just haven’t had enough sorghum?

I do have to hand it to Bard’s Tale for making a gluten free beer. My research shows that there is about 3 million people out there that suffer from illness or disease because of gluten. I wonder how many of those people drink Bard’s Gold because of that sole fact.  I probably won’t drink it again but I think its an idea that is true to craft brewing. That idea being a lot of experimentation to find something that works. However, the side of the bottle says, sorghum, yeast, water and hops; don’t you think you could experiment a little more?

Overall

Review of Bard's Gold

Appearance:

Sorghum Plant

Sorghum Plant

Copper colored and freakishly clear and consistent in color. Fast carbonation with some really small and some larger bubbles. The head didn’t really rise nor stick around.

Mouthfeel:

At first it seems thicker than it is but I’d give this a light feeling. The carbonation is nice on the tongue and throat.

Smell:

Very subtle caramel and hop floral aroma.

Taste:

Funny. Not in a bad way, just not the way you are expecting. The hops don’t really come out so your left with this sweet weird bitter taste that I could only imagine a thick dust ball would taste like. Kind of musty.

Drinkability:

If I was on a gluten free diet I’d prolly drink it, but I don’t think I’d drink many of these.

Overall

I think its worth a try to give something else a shot, but I would definitely split the 6 pack with someone that is as curious as you are because it isn’t what you are probably looking for in “beer”. I do think this could make a good conversational piece for beer parties or tastings if you are into that sort of thing, but like I said, I’ll probably never drink Bard’s Gold Sorghum Beer again.

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  • http://dannisbet.com/ Dan Nisbet

    You know, I actually had this beer about 2 weeks ago and I really wasn’t that put off by it. It did have that sorghum taste to it, but that sort of brought me back to when my parents farmed, particularly during wheat harvest time; when all you could taste in the air was wheat dust.

    I would say its most likely I wouldn’t have this beer again, but it isn’t a bad choice, either. If I did have the opportunity though, I wouldn’t mind throwing one or two more back :)

  • =cj=

    I didn’t think that gluten free products extended out to beer, it seems so counter intuitive! I think its great that someone is doing it though, everyone should be able to enjoy a cold one. Im interested in trying this one, I’ve tried other gluten free products, not because i have the allergy but because Im curious. One thing I’ve noticed is that most gluten free products do have an off taste, which is probably the nature of the ingredients but with more experimentation maybe they can come up with something more “true” to a beer flavor? But then again maybe its good it has its own distinct flavor? Whatev, I just gotta try it and find out!! Thanks Mike!

  • http://beerproject.blogspot.com/ Bard

    I like your sweater. I have the same one in blue.

    If I had Celiac disease I'd rather hammer rusty nails into my groin than drink Bard's. I think most of my outrage against this beer is that it is giving ME a bad name. I’ve never met a gluten-free beer that didn’t arouse some sense of revolt in my taste buds. Does soy milk taste like milk? Does Diet Coke taste like Coke? Does Bard’s taste like beer? Hellz no.

  • mikebiewer

    I agree with you that is tough to really drink this stuff. One thing I have found to be the hardest to realize as a beer lover is that not all beers are going to appeal to me. Does that make them bad? No, it just means I don't like them. A great example would be a Bud Light. I don't like it. I think its terrible in fact. But that doesn't mean it isn't “beer” and that it can't be enjoyed by other people. Most of my hatred for Bud just comes from the business side of it. If they weren't the “Big Guy” I'd still say the beer is terrible. I just wouldn't hate the way they do business and market.

    Does that make sense? Sometimes I ramble.

  • Alice DiNicola

    Who sells Bard’s Beer

  • Anonymous

    I’d check any local store that sells a higher than average amount of craft beer. There aren’t many gluten free beers out there, so I would assume a lot of places would at least know about it and possibly get it for you.

    Where do you live?

    Mike

  • Tom

    I *had* to try it because I’m on a GF diet. ~8-(  Getting past being unable to enjoy a Dogfish Head or Great Lakes beer took awhile. Sorghum beer is *still* better than no beer at all. I enjoy the flavor of sorghum syrup  But I was still surprised by the same flavor in the finish of this beer. Now, can Tard’s do a 60 minute IPA with it?

  • Anonymous

    Yikes. I don’t know that I would ever go on a GF diet unless it was a life or death thing. I feel that if I couldn’t drink beer I’d rather drink a wine and mead than drink sorghum beer. I just don’t get any good flavor out of it. It is kind of like eating cardboard. You could hop the hell out of it, but I don’t think it would balance right. But, I feel that is a bit of what a lot of brewers do anyway with regular beer, DFH is one of them. It may be because I’m not a huge IPA fan, but it just seems that no one can make an extremely hoppy beer that actually tastes good and has a nice malt and alcohol balance.

    Do you brew at all? You could try to make some really good sorghum beer. I’d love to try it!

    Mike

  • Davetodd747

    I just tried Bard’s Sorghum beer. I would not buy it again.  Not horrible, but just not pleasant, left me with a desire for a normal beer.  I guess I need gluten in my beer.

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