Gluten-Free Week: Bard’s Gold

Gluten-Free WeekI’ve actually reviewed Bard’s Gold before, back when it was called Dragon’s Gold. At the time, I was suitably unimpressed that I wrote, “I think Bard’s Tale needs to work on this beer a bit more.”

Fortunately, it’s come a long way since then. More on that in a bit. Some notes on their marketing first.

Why the change from “Dragon’s Gold” to “Bard’s Gold”? I’d have to say to avoid confusion and to lock in their identity as “the original” sorghum beer—their overall packaging is much more professional and consistent and frankly, naming your company after a computer fantasy game of the 80’s and your beer something else entirely was simply too confusing.

But enough of that. Bard’s is 4.6% alcohol by volume and follows a recipe akin to a Reinheitsgebot of gluten-free beer, containing only sorghum, hops, water, and yeast.

Bard's GoldAppearance: Clear, orange-brown with very minimal head. Looks like an ESB or something similar.

Smell: Very light, with something like roasted fruit, syrupy sweet, present. Frosting?

Taste: Better and more like “beer” than I remember, though there’s a twang of cake-frosting-sweet running through it. A light fruity note, and light and earthy hops, but it’s not overly bitter. Quite like an English Bitter in malt profile, I think.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and clean; almost medium-bodied but it washes down before you can quite get a handle on it. A bit of a bite and sweet-ish coating aftertaste.

Overall: Much better than before, Bard’s has really dialed in their recipe. A tad sweet for my tastes, but drinkable an I’d be perfectly content with it again.

Would someone with Celiac disease like it? Yes, readily. Very “beer.”

On BeerAdvocate, in 6 reviews it scores an overall grade of B-. On RateBeer, they haven’t updated their database and still point to the (defunct?) Dragon’s Gold; it’s garnered a score of 2.32 out of 5 and is in their 11th percentile.

Bards Tale Gluten Free Gold