Tom and John Knorr brought their passion for craft beer and great food together in 2009 and opened Evolution Craft Brewing Co. in Delmar, Del. They experienced massive growth in their first year, outgrew the brewery and eventually moved to a new facility in Salisbury, Md.


Today’s review, Rum Barrel Golden Ale, comes from its Migration Series and was originally released in 2009. Rum Barrel Golden Ale uses English maris Otter malts before the beer is aged in rum barrels. The 750ml bottle I hold in front of me today is no. 1757 of only 2000 bottles released.

With a relatively hard pour, the beer produces a semi-cloudy, light peach colored beverage with a solid three fingers of off-white head and random, spotty lacing. Aromas of unripe peaches and faint orange are at the forefront with a background of other assorted tropical citrus.


Taste is relatively mild with light, sweet citrus notes, some earthiness, a light chaser of rum, and unfortunately, the feel that someone slipped a handful of pennies into my glass, giving it a unfavorable taste of dirty coins. The mouthfeel is creamy, yet balanced fairly well with some acidity and the continuing citrus essences. The 10.5 percent ABV makes itself known right from the start and is present throughout the warming process. Carbonation is ample and the finish is clean, cool, slightly unbalanced, bitter and metallic.

Evolution Rum Barrel Golden Ale
BREWERY: Evolution Craft Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Salisbury, Md.
STYLE: Golden ale
ABV: 10.5 percent
IBU: 30
PRICE: $13.99
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
Overall, Evolution's Rum Barrel Golden Ale is a touch lighter than I expected. The citrus notes are pleasant and the rum does not overpower; balance is good, only slightly falling apart at the end. Unfortunately, during the last half of the bottle a tinny, metal-like flavor rises and becomes a bit unpleasant towards the finish, definitely detracting from the original expectations about this beer.
79Overall Score
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