Honker's Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Honker's AleHonker's Ale

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

3,523 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,523
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 72
Gots: 469 | FT: 0
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
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Ratings: 3,523 | Reviews: 1,064
Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had an ESB beer right before this one which was much better than this one. Wouldn't buy it but if it comes in a variety pack I'll drink it

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This ale pours a nice amber with a fantastic head of slowly dissipating foam that leaves fantastic lacing and a substantial layer of foam. Nose of lightly sweet malts, floral hops, and some roasted grain notes. Flavors follow the nose with sweet toasted malts vying for dominance over a nicely floral hop character, that finishes off with a subtle grain note. Solid ESB with medium carbonation, smooth mouth feel, and a high session-ability factor. Lightly sweet and floral bitter aftertaste. Nice.

Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was impressed with this beer. Nice fruity aroma. Good malty taste with a modest hop profile. Good feel; light and refreshing. I will have again.

Photo of RABaxter
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Very good stuff. Medium carbonation, perhaps. Nice tawny color. Good aroma and taste; great hop character.

Photo of Act25
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I prefer their summer ale.

A: one finger thick head over a clear copper body.

S: brown sugar, tropical fruitiness and caramel malts. mildly sweet.

T: follows smell, but better, toasted caramel malts, burnt toast with earthy and biscuity hops, mildly bitter.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Easy drinker. Session beer.

Overall: very drinkable and nicely on par for the style

Photo of IrishTank
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Refreshing with a little bit of a bite. I would drink it again. Forced to drink the rest of the beer at 8:00am because my wife got into my beer frig because she needed a beer to make corned beef & cabbage with a beer in it. I quickly grabbed the beer from her after she poored half of it in the crock pot and drank it before she could waste the rest.

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

A weak attempt of any style. Pick only if there are no better options.

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good English esb. Great lasting head with a normal smell, taste and feel.

Photo of Mckeeper
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Honker's ale was extremely drinkable. Light but a very nice flavor. I drank it without food but it would probably complement a meal very nicely.

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

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Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,523 ratings.