North Coast Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale

Is this a prank on me? It's the prank that they misspelled prankster, isn't it? Well, I can forgive them their peculiar name, as the other beer they gave me was very, very good. Will this be another to add to the list of excellent beers from tiny little brewers? Let's say yes.

As the name implies, the beer is a dusty golden color with a very light tan head. There's no evident lacing, and the cap of bubbles are very (almost suspiciously) evenly distributed across the top of the beer, but they do not restrain the quite potent aroma of barley, apricot, apple, and spices. It's intriguing more than it is familiar.

First sip is a LOT smoother than I had expected. Instead, it is sweet malt with assorted fruits (too quick past the tongue to identify them all) that definitely have a twang of grit and of tartness to them. Yes, I am saying that it has grit and is also smooth - if you have a problem with that, leave a comment. The grit is more like an earthiness, so it doesn't really harsh the mellow effect.

Tip-in is heavy grains and even a tiny bit of bread. The carbonation is fairly light right off the bat, and orange and tangerines - definitely citrus something - provides highlights just before the middle slides in. When it comes, it brings a surprisingly smooth (almost creamy, but NOT creamy) center with grains and earth around the outside. The finish arrives with a tartness that doesn't bite, but it meanders into the mouth, makes itself known, and then walks out, knowing its job is done.

Bottom Line: Not bad, but an ultimately forgettable beer.

2.75/5

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