Beer Review: Badger Golden Champion Ale

All too soon, we arrive at the third and final (for now) instalment of my three-part taste of Badger ales. If you missed them, part one looked at Badger Original, a rustic old ale. Part two looked at Badger Golden Glory, a very flowery drink, possibly aimed at women.

This time, Badger Golden Champion goes under the microscope. How will is fair against the rest of the Badger range? And how will it compare to other ales? Let’s find out.
Bottle of Badger Golden Champion Ale

The bottle is identical to the others. This is no bad thing, as 500ml, just short of a pint is a welcome change to the smaller 300ml bottles that most brewers rely on.

Labels on the other two Badger ales were pretty good at describing their contents. What does this one say? Well, the label on the neck is tells us more than either of the other two. It gets straight to the point by describing a “premium strong ale with a light, fruity flavour”. Making that any more concise would be almost impossible.

Badger Golden Champion Ale front label

Again, we have reference to some award having been won. But again, we don’t know what for. A welcome sight is the 5.0% vol. This makes it the strongest Badger yet. A good thing in my book.

The now familiar Taste Profile box is surprisingly similar to that for Golden Glory. That is to say, it rates highly on the sweetness and fruitiness. Unlike the overpowering Golden Glory, Golden Champion here ups the bitterness quota.
Badger Golden Champion Ale taste profile

The rear label goes on the elaborate further on the little label on the neck of the bottle. We get mentions of “light” and “refreshing character”; typical of beer labels. Where this one goes eccentric on us, is with the “elderflower aroma”.

In a glass, this lives up to the “golden” billing. Interestingly, it has less head than either Original or Golden Glory.
Badger Golden Champion Ale in a glass

As far as smell goes, I have no idea if it is indeed elderflower. I haven’t smelled enough elderflowers to know for sure. What it is, is fruity and flowery. Thankfully however, it’s not as overpoweringly pongy as Golden Glory. More pleasant and intriguing.

Does it taste strong, light and fruity as per the label? Short answer; yes. Bitterness is what first hits you. But that quickly gets replaced by an aftertaste of fruit and flowers. The identities of which, I couldn’t possibly answer.

All well and good, but is it any good? I’d have to say yes. Golden Champion is stronger than either of the other two Badgers, yet it retains the qualities that made the others easy to drink.

I liked Golden Champion. It’s an ale drinker’s drink. It also does something different by adding the fruity and flowery qualities. Doing something different and achieving it without losing drinkability is something you have to respect.

Rating: 4.25

So, what are my thoughts on Badger brand. At least from my experience of Original, Golden Glory and Golden Champion?
Line up of Badger Ales

In a word, good. Original is the archetypical ale and would go perfectly with a lunch. Golden Glory goes off in a totally unusual direction and could find itself in a new niche. For me, it was a little too strange. Golden Champion was an excellent drink that added one or two unusual qualities to the mix. All three were easy to drink and good value without compromising individuality.

Have you tried any of these ales? What did you think? Which one appeals to you most?

And what would you like me to look at next?

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4 Responses to “Beer Review: Badger Golden Champion Ale”

  1. Andrew Tapscott Says:

    Thanks very much for your reviews of our beers. Have you also tried our River Cottage Stinger, Blandford Fly and our new lower alcohol Harvester’s Ale? If you’d like some samples please drop me an email with your address.

    Regards

    Andrew Tapscott
    PR Manager
    Hall & Woodhouse Ltd.

  2. Bert Girdlestone Says:

    Thanks for the review. I have to say I agree entirely, a good traditional ale with a depth and breadth of flavor that makes it interesting and far too drinkable. I travel around the world a great deal and as such end up drinking Eurofizz most of the time and for a few years got a taste for the like of Grolsch and Becks… No more thanks to Badger! They are to be congratulated on their quality. A real world beater.

    Do some more please. The Ringwood Brewery did a Royal Oak, that I have not seen for some years…

  3. neil spencer Says:

    Metabisulphate is this one of the things i can taste? Next day after drinking smelly farts were a problem, Not a bad drink though very quaffable.

  4. Paul Says:

    I like this beer a lot.On a hot day its got the refreshing fizzyness of lager but with a taste thats not just strange watery bog standard pointless crap like carling. I love ale in the winter but find it too warm and heavy in the summer, but this is cracking. It gets you drunk on the sly tho so watch out or you will go to the bog and stagger when you thought you were fine ha ha!

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