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Honker's Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Honker's AleHonker's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,475 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,475
Reviews: 1,055
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 70
Gots: 428 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

Golden sunset color, fruity hop aroma, biscuity malt flavor, soft body.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 3,475 | Reviews: 1,055
Photo of pat61
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: medium gold with a lingering 1” off-white foam collar.
S: slight caramel and slight hop and slight skunk, but I can swirl most of the skunk out of the beer and don’t need to dump it.
T: A dab of sweetness – malt and light biscuit – up front and then it dries out on the finish and has a slight sweetness reappear in the aftertaste.
F: medium body. Medium carbonation, not creamy and not astringent.
O: An easy to drink ale with the balance towards the hops.

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An English bitter that is decent but not outstanding.

Photo of classixIII
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap ..nice malt and yeast smell. Good carbonation and feel. Not real hoppy, very refreshing. Good beer, you can drink a few!

Photo of Aliiyoob
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good beer with a really rich bread and yeast smell to it. Smooth, simple, not too hoppy to be overpowering.

Photo of SaltofOH
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Nov 17 2014.

Appearance - Tons of "smoke" on popping the cap. Clear, light copper/amber with rocky beige head. Lots of carbonation. Some lacing and retains a thin skim of foam.

Aroma: Malty; hints of ale yeast character; very much like Sam Adams Boston Ale, which I recently drank. Some vague fruitiness; apple/pear/blackberry. Beery.

Taste: Dry arrival, dry caramelly middle with no sweetness. Bitter, clean finish. This is shockingly like Sixpoint Sweet Action (Cream Ale) and MadTree Happy Amber, though less medicinal than either and with slightly more of the typically English estery-ness.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, clean. Lots of carbonation for an ale.

Overall: Pretty much a perfect English-style bitter, tough overcarbonated. Less lingering bitterness than Happy Amber or Sweet Action. I think I prefer Boston Ale, which is similar, but maltier and higher ABV. I plan on buying this again, though it may be a while.

Photo of MikeMcCl
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A bit bitter, nice color

Photo of loubar
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle from City Beer. Nose of light yeast. Bready, nutty malt taste over a mild fruity hop bitterness. Smooth and simple. Not skunky or watered down. Clean, satisfying malt creaminess in the lager tradition. Not earth shattering, but with the low ABV, a clean and refreshing go-to session beer.

Photo of klined
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A little thin; minimal hops; flat; like an American version (a little sweet and thin) of an ale/English bitter. I like it but question it when I think about it

Photo of bassboneman
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Had this at Long Horn on tap!
Look= nice golden straw color
S= nice light beer malty scent
T= starts good but the finish ruined it! Odd spice in background comes through rather strong! Not sure - tastes "flowery" for lack of better adjective

Photo of dukeandduke
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3/8/15 (Bottle) - Nice solid pour and texture, copper brown with minimal white head and a decent amount of carbonation. Aroma a pleasant orange, caramel and lemon scent. Taste very smooth malt and hops blend, and the fruits are also present. Nice texture and kick, despite the low ABV. Overall a solid beer and one I'll be turning to down the road.

Photo of larryarms847
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear copper red with a fair amount of off-white and airy foam, about a fingers worth.

Roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a slight hop presence.

Cereal, toasted oats, nutty, toffee, and again a fairly faint presence of earthy hops.

Light-bodied, medium-high airy carbonation, nutty sweetness, faint roasty bitterness.

Overall, a well put together brew, not mind expanding, but interesting from start to finish.

Photo of DuffDaddy
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Christmas gift from Uncle Mike - drank during Keyesmas beer tastin'....better than I anticipated...

Photo of Bunman3
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I quite enjoyed this beer! It took me back to my first encounters with Double Diamond in British pubs. The smell and flavour are classic bitter - roasted malt with very faint hops. Honker's is a rich copper colour with minimal head and a very creamy mouthfeel. I would definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of Lanypany88
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Good not my favorite. Will buy again

Photo of supervike
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich Caramel color. Not much foam. Sweet smell and grainy.. The hoppiness is all up front with just a slight malt/bitter flavor towards the finish. A decent ale, and one I'd drink again.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as correct as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.63 overall rating is correct.

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Pint mug
From: Vons in Lakeside, Calif.
Price: $13.99 for a variety 12-pack
Purchased: Feb. 5, 2015
Consumed: Feb. 6, 2015
Misc.: Bottled on Oct. 23, 2014

Poured a copper, caramel color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy, khaki head. Thinned out rather quickly. Decent amount of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. No lacing. Minimal retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled roasty nuts, sugary caramel, toffee, light chocolate, honey, cereal, toast, some grass hops and light Citrus hops. Nice on the nose. (Smell - 4.00)

First taste reminded me of Honey Nut Cheerios. Also nuts, roasty bitter malts, earthy grass hops, light iced tea, toast, caramel, toffee, faint metallic notes and faint chocolate. (Taste - 3.63)

Medium body. Thin-to-oily texture. Lively carbonation. Abrupt, nutty, bitter finish. (Feel - 3.38)

This was just an OK beer. I wouldn’t seek this out. (Overall - 3.50)

3.63 | 82 | B

Photo of predikit
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful light copper, left a small off white head that receded quickly, left minimal lacing on the glass.

Smells malty, barley, caramel.

Tastes notes of toasted grains, cream, caramel, first taste yielded a strange off flavor that dissipated as I drank more.

Light-bodied, thin, drinkable.

A very decent light ale.

Photo of timfelix
4.49/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excellent beer. if all "English Bitters" tasted this good, world would be a better place

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. Finally, another Goose Island beer surfaces in these parts after the release of Sofie and Matilda almost a year ago. A ruby reddish bronze with a finger of low key light beige frothy head.

Aroma is citric fruit and gooseberry, Granny Smith apple, lightly toasted sweet bread. Palate is a buttery, nutty malt backbone coupled with acerbically tart gooseberries, under-ripe apples and pears, iron supplement, biscuits, a hint of lemon-lime citrus. Rather uniform, straightforward. Not particularly complex but bright and assertive. Thin bodied and moderately carbonated, with a hoppy finish. The latter becomes more powerful over the course of a pint, the hops gaining salience to provide some needed earthy "forest floor" English flavor. A toffee sweetness also emerges late.

Well-executed bitter. The tartness perhaps masks some of the underlying flavors that would make this less of a palate fatigue problem over the course of a long session.

Photo of Archdale74
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Not too bad of an ale, would drink again

Photo of ol_dirty_jaysta
2.36/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Lackluster beer, pretty good but not very flavorful.

Photo of LexingtonBeer
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my solid repeat beers. Strong score all around.

Photo of JavieX
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sweet Home Chicago! Sweet Home Chicago!

Photo of hail_seitan
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - The body of this brew is a fantastic vibrant gold. The white head is fizzy and subsides quickly to a thin strip with no lacing.

S - A woody, earthy aroma emanates from the glass. Notes of citrus, nuts, and bread, too.

T - A quick flash of orange spice upfront mellows out into earthy English-style malts. The finish has is a good balance of dryness, caramel sweetness, and herbal bitterness.

T - The low ABV gives the beer a slightly slick, oily mouthfeel. The carbonation is decent, though.

A - A very good session beer. Could have been great were it not for the weird oiliness of the body. However, the flavor is quite robust for a beer that barely cracks 4% ABV. I'd take this over a Bud/Miller/Coors virtually any day.

Photo of matty
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good beer...malty and refreshing

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Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,475 ratings.