I just love these gluten-free beer reviews. Mike has asked me to do yet another beer, and you don’t see me complaining. Today’s featured beer is ‘Bard’s’ Gluten-Free Beer, The Original Sorghum Malt Beer – or so they say. I don’t know, is it the first? Well, perhaps I’ll figure that out in subsequent posts, so stay tuned for that trivial tidbit if I can locate proof of their claim. (image courtesy of Bard's home-page)
[by Nick Pacione - guest gluten-free blog author]
If you are just starting to follow these gluten-free beer reviews and opinions today, here are some quick links to my recent reviews of competing wheat-free / gluten-free products:
Ok, back on track. This bottled beer has a pretty good reputation as being a tasty brew in the gluten-free crowds, so Mike has asked me to put up an honest review. Well, let’s see how this thing ranks in aroma, body, flavor and aftertaste. Alright all you gluten-free beer freaks, here we go . . .
Oooooh, the Aroma isn’t too bad at all!
In between my expert software coding sessions (Mike would perhaps disagree), I have been asked to review these different GF beers, and today it’s Bard’s Tale! Well, when I popped the top off and poured her into a glass, there wasn’t much sign of a thick head, as the beer cohesively worked its way up the glass, where its amber hues finally rested comfortably under a thin head.
With that, the aroma wafted up into my schnozz and I was met with a pretty unique, yet familiar aroma that a beer like RedBridge would muster. Bard’s aroma is very similar to a RedBridge Ale, yet there seems to be a bit more of a molasses smell. Furthermore, it’s not as piney – as say a RedBridge, but seems to have a bit more sweetness to it. All in all, I would call the aroma pleasant and very sweet, in an aromatic sense.
Flavor, you ask?
Well, I tried the first sip and wasn’t surprised to find that it was a bit sweeter than the other gluten-free beers I have tried, but it wasn’t too sweet in the sense that it might deter a more traditional lager/pilsner drinker. This beer doesn’t have a sharp taste to it at all, but more of a sweet finish with a spicy undertone that is sure to please the pallet. Not too bad for a product that contains water, sorghum, hops and yeast. I’d give this a thumbs up for taste and could see a sharp cheddar and some gluten-free crackers going with this little number.
Ok. Don’t let the heading fool you, but the aftertaste is a bit like black licorice, so if you’re not a fan of that sticky-sweet treat, then you’re probably not going to like this beer. Now, it’s not like Sambuca or anything that extreme, but more subtle and subdued to the trained taste bud. I happen to really enjoy black licorice, so I must say that I am pleased with the aftertaste.
Bards is a great gluten free beer. It smells great and isn’t too bitter or sweet – hovering somewhere on the slightly sweeter side, its amber hues are dynamite and the flavor is tasty. If you enjoy beer and suffer from Celiac or gluten intolerance like me, then go ahead and grab yourself a few of these little gems.
It’s a pretty darn good beer and the only thing I could think of is that it might be a bit too sweet for some that like a drier, sharp beer or for those that don’t like black licorice, because there definitely is a bit of a strong molasses-like aftertaste to this one. All in all, I’d give this beer a solid 8 out of 10 for a gluten-free product. If you reach for a Bard’s beer, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Eins, zwei, drei – g’suffa! And, get ready for more... I have Green's Endeavor and a couple others on deck to render an opinion on yet.