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Honker's Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Honker's AleHonker's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,113 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,113
Reviews: 1,020
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 53
Gots: 217 | 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:
Golden sunset color, fruity hop aroma, biscuity malt flavor, soft body.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Honker's Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 3,113 | Reviews: 1,020 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkiBum22
1/5  rDev -72.8%

SkiBum22, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of JonW999
1/5  rDev -72.8%

JonW999, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of SirPlunkett
1/5  rDev -72.8%

SirPlunkett, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of LightEnthusiast
1.02/5  rDev -72.2%

Wow. If you're looking for bitter beer, this is it.

I guess some have a knack for this sort of thing, but this beer to me is absolutely horrible. It ruins everything, including meals...makes me want to use mouthwash afterwards. It's like sharp cheddar meets fresh cut grass but without the freshness. I'd rather gnaw on a pine cone.

Bitter, bitter, bitter.

As I said, if you're looking for a bitter, mouth twisting, disgusting tasting beer - you've found it here.

LightEnthusiast, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of jaybags
1.25/5  rDev -65.9%

jaybags, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of javlin624
1.5/5  rDev -59.1%

javlin624, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of miguellunarusso
2/5  rDev -45.5%

miguellunarusso, May 03, 2014
Photo of JJFordick
2/5  rDev -45.5%

JJFordick, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of Nachos4two
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Nachos4two, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of coz
2/5  rDev -45.5%

coz, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of joshcarls
2/5  rDev -45.5%

joshcarls, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of Ragingbull
2.1/5  rDev -42.8%

Amber in color with faint prickle and a light wispy head. Faint hoppy nose. The attack is sour and so is the large preponderance of the flavor. Very grain heavy on the flavor. The sour notes just go on to enhance a strongly bitter finish and this beer doesn't need that. I really can't imagine that this beer is sold and marketed this way.

Given my recent "second experience" with another beer that had vastly improved perhaps I will throw this into a mixed six in the near future and consider an "edit" to this review if I am proved wrong. Otherwise I really don't know what all the hype is about and this would be another beer (of about a dozen) where I am WAY below the BA composite.

Ragingbull, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of gatorlove
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

gatorlove, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of JJChrist
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

JJChrist, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of chippo33
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

chippo33, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of cmgage
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

cmgage, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of tr4nc3d
2.3/5  rDev -37.3%

Poured from a 12fl oz bottle into my pint glass

Pours an almost dark like copper like color with a three inch slightly off-white head. Head is rather soft like with great retention that last all throughout the beer, leaving scattered amounts of lacing sticking to the sides of my glass.

Smell is very earth and pine like with a very distinct deep caramel malt fragrance. Smells nutty(almost peanut butter like?)with some dark toasty brown bread.

Damn, this is one malty brew. Caramel malts dominate with a nutty almost peanut butter like presence as I mentioned on the smell. Slight honey comes through in the middle. As I sip even more the taste reminds me of drinking Iced Tea. So if you like Iced Tea(which I really do not)then you will like this beer.

Mouth feel is smooth and medium carbonation

I'm not a fan of the taste of this beer, come worse is that it leaves a lingering dry finish on the palate and mouth that I'm not fond of. Worst of all, it gave me a damn headache.

tr4nc3d, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of BarryMFBurton
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%

I have a strong feeling that this beer won’t change with Anheuser-Busch’s takeover of Goose Island – it seems like a simple beer that’s easy to keep up to standard. At any rate, I wanted to try it before too long, just in case the taste does change. Here’s Honker’s Ale:

A: Body is a dull, apple-juice yellow. With sort of a lifeless, hazy appearance, it doesn’t look very appealing. The head, off-white, comes out thin, but the lacing is nice and thick.

S: Cheap wheat, mostly. This smells mostly like an adjunct lager, to be honest. The more whiffs I take, though, bring some hidden fruit notes out (strawberry jam and tangerine, mostly). Still reminds me of Busch Light, overall. Not a good start.

T: There’s not as much processed wheat as there is in the nose, but it’s still the first thing I can taste. It’s more fresh-tasting than the nose (meaning it’s just a few steps from rotten). Other than that, there are smooth fruity textures here and there; in that area, though, it seems like they gave more of a dull half-attempt than anything else. It’s like biting into a very old pear: there’s some refreshing tartness, but the stale tastes tell you that something is seriously wrong in a way you can’t ignore. My least favorite GI taste so far.

M: Not horrible, but noticeably slimy. Once again, reminds me faintly of Busch Light.

O: Alright, I am now convinced that I do not like Goose Island. In absolutely everything I’ve taste from them (and yes, that includes BCBS), there’s an adjunct taste that give the brewery more of a faux-craft feel than anything. Beers like this make it almost seem like Goose Island sold out to AB years ago.

BarryMFBurton, May 23, 2011
Photo of uziangis
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

uziangis, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mshanecrowe
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

mshanecrowe, Apr 20, 2012
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2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

pin, May 26, 2013
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2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

smb4087, Feb 18, 2012
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2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

ZPB, Dec 25, 2011
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2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Cdax, May 25, 2013
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2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Spike-likes-beer, Jun 09, 2014
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Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,113 ratings.