Wow, has this year gone fast. It only seems like yesterday that I was writing a review for The Bruery’s 4 Calling Birds, and why the name was wrong, and now here it is time to do the next in The Bruery’s Twelve Days of Christmas series, 5 Golden Rings. I have to admit, I’ve wondered on occasion throughout this year what the next beer in the series was going to be. Well the wait is over, time to taste.
THEM: 5GR is a golden ale (The Bruery says “the only one in the bunch”, not sure if that means up to this point, or if there won’t be another one in the whole series), along with cinnamon, allspice and ginger. It clocks in at 11.5%ABV
ME: 5GR pours a light golden color that darkens to a light orange towards the top of my glass. The carbonation is lively, with a steady stream of tight bubbles leading up to a continent and ring of head on the top. When tilted back and forth, the edges display a nice burst of bubbles, and a nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Nice looking beer. The nose has a nice mix of Belgian yeast, citrus and spice; of which I get more of the allspice than anything else. but the cinnamon is definitely in there as well. The flavor is sweet, but light, with the Belgian aspects really shining through. It starts with a touch of that Belgian and more sweetness and then the middle kicks with a touch of grapefruit and spice. There’s an ever so hint of the ginger on the back end with a soft, light stickiness that never gets to cloying. There’s a touch of warmth in the back due to the alcohol, after all 11.5% is hard to hide in what is supposed to be a golden ale, but it’s not harsh. A good beer, but I remember liking 4 Calling Birds better.
The whole idea of this series is to save a bottle of each year’s release to enjoy in 2019 when 12 Drummers Drumming is released. I’ll be interested to see how this one turns out because although there’s a good amount of sweetness, there isn’t a ton of flavors to meld and mellow over time . We’ll see, I put a bottle in my beer fridge to save.
So what’s up with this year’s name? Well, nothing that isn’t wrong everywhere else, but in this case it’s not the name that is the problem it’s the artistic interpretation that is usually associated with it. Modern artwork associated with the song typically depicts five bands of gold, like rings you’d wear on your finger. And 5GR is no exception, it’s not obvious at first, but the swirl of the label is made up of repetitive groups of interlocked five rings. But as I somewhat alluded to last year, the song is about preparing for a Christmas festival, with the first seven verses describing birds (game or otherwise) that were being brought to the festival as food. In this case the five golden rings referring to five male, ring neck pheasants.
Time for another beer.