Golden Leaf Pale AleSeptember 1, 2007 La Crosse, WI
La Crosse, WI
Available: WI, MN, IA
The original Golden Leaf brand and bottle label was the product of the Williams Lithography Co. in Milwaukee, established in 1850. E T Mueller bought the rights to the brand in 1899. It was reintroduced with a new label in 1940. The Golden Leaf brand was re-launched as part of the city of La Crosse’s Sesquicentennial (150th birthday).
Is the “Golden Leaf” meant to refer to ripe hop cone? The Cascade hop is emphasized on the back label, with a reference to that variety’s typically floral citrus aroma. Orange blossom? I find more of a winey, over-ripe satsuma note. Perhaps cherries and apricots, too. A teasingly complex fruitiness on a firm but crunchy base of cookie-like maltiness. Combine those two elements with a distinctively pinkish amber colour, and this begins to sound like a desert beer. Don’t be deceived. Those hops added more than sweet satsumas; there is also a hit of rooty bitterness in the finish. The beer world’s answer to a pastis?
- Michael Jackson
The green label decorated by hop cones announces this is something different from the home of the “world’s largest six-pack” (six painted lagering tanks in LaCrosse that together hold enough beer to fill more than 7 million cans and are worth driving out of your way to see), where lagers have been the norm for nearly 150 years. Straightforward, from a citrusy/piney aroma through a dry, bitter finish. Not terribly complex, but fuller bready/toasty notes emerge as the beer warms.
- Stan Hieronymus
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.
Editor at Realbeer.com, a professional journalist for 40 years and amateur brewer for 15, Hieronymus is the author of four beer books, including Brew Like a Monk.
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