Brasseurs de Gayant ‘La Goudale’ – The Review

goudale abbey beer‘Budweiser’ and others want to wage their war against ‘pretentiousness’, well, here’s my take: there’s nothing pretentious about good beer. Hell, you already know I’m not against drinking lager and neither’s Paul. We’re not about knee-jerk judgement, we’re as inclusive as we can be, we’re just honest as well. In this vein of thought, I wanted to review a ‘low-end’ beer, as it were, from supermarket Aldi.

Aldi, the German-based supermarket that dares to be cheaper than the rest, whilst claiming quality as standard. How will one of their beers fare under my scientifically-rigorous scrutiny, especially when its name ‘Goudale’ comes from the archaic French for ‘good ale’? Let’s find out!

Vital Stats:

  • 6% ABV
  • Brewed in Douai, France
  • Comes in 750ml bottles [how very French!]

Look It’s a very simple bottle. Appealingly so. Big, clear lettering, somehow seems very genuine.

In’t’ glass, it’s a nice, clear, light amber. Plenty of fizz and head, some of which stays. 7/10

Aroma There’s a simple but distinct hoppy note, quite typical of certain continental lagers. Following that, there’s a hint of wheat before a sourish, biscuity smell from the yeast. Despite it not being radical, it’s potent and pleasant. 7/10

Taste Slightly lacking after the promise of the aroma. The hop notes are too soft and not assertive enough for me. There’s a floral fruitiness that develops on the palate, along with a caramel flavour, but I guess that’s mainly from the additives than anything else. It’s good and smooth, and some of you will really enjoy the wheaty, yeasty flavours, but I guess it doesn’t live up to my experience of French beers… 6/10

Value £2.49 for this large bottle… In terms of ‘alcoholic bang for yer buck’ that’s pretty good. It’s just a shame they had to resort to using so many flavourings, in effect meaning that you’re not paying for ‘good brewing’ [if you can agree that there is such a universal concept], but ‘polishing a drinkable turd’. 7/10

Session Not only does the 6% ABV tire me out too quick, but I just don’t particularly want to get through the first bottle. It’s just hard work, is all – sweet and heavy, really in need of bitter balance. There’s nothing totally wrong with it, but I’m certainly not a fan. Then again, of course, it’s not designed for sessions, so think what you will about this score: 3/10

So you can see that there’s plenty of promise, here, when a supermarket does a crafty brew. Unfortunately it has fallen short of the ‘real thing’, understandably enough because it doesn’t have the time/space/money to dedicate to the proper processes, using shortcuts such as flavouring to help it along. This wasn’t bad, but I’d only recommend it to people with a particular penchant for French-style beers. It won’t live up to the originals, but you might find it interesting.

Final score: 60/100

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