Honker's Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Honker's AleHonker's Ale

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

3,556 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,556
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.05%
Wants: 74
Gots: 497 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Honker's Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,556 | Reviews: 1,071
Photo of dukeandduke
3.87/5  rDev +6%
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 -9.3%
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 -24.7%
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 +2.7%
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 -13.7%
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 -3.6%
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 -0.5%
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 -6.6%
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 +23%
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 +1.6%
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 -24.1%
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 -35.3%
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 +16.4%
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 +14.5%
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 +3.3%
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 -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good beer...malty and refreshing

Photo of Greywulfken
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: clear amber gold ale with a few fingers of head, center-poured into a pint; lotsa lace down the glass

S: mild pine and resin hop, sweet fresh breads and biscuit grains

T: toasty and sweet, very mild, soft sweetness, vague suggestions of nut and wood

M: light, slick, smooth, faint bitterness, toasty finish

O: a very enjoyable and drinkable ale - mild in all regards, but flavorful and fresh.

Photo of Paulieblaze
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a must try very anyone who likes a good ale.

Photo of SitkaSteve
3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy burnt orange color with a fastly dissipating half finger-ed head. Light can be seen rising.
The smell had a light bready / burnt toffee, burnt caramel to it but didn't seem to be that strong.
The taste was basically the same. There's no aftertaste nor finish.
The mouthfeel had a fairly decent light body to it. Slight ccreaminess rolls over my tongue.
Overall, as an English Bitter this one works. For me, eh, unsure if I could drink a lot of this. I'd say it could definitely go with food.

Photo of SF_Posse
2.48/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Great looking beer bit somewhat lacking in aroma and taste.

Photo of HGildemeister
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge fan of the GIIPA...tried this beer at my local DC pub...great hoppy beginning with a really citrus finish...really easy drinking pub English Ale....on draught was really stellar..

Photo of interzen
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle purchased as part of a mixed case - BBE June 2015

Look: Deep coppery red with about 1cm of white head which dissipates fairly quickly to a layer on top of the beer. Little or no lacing. Fantastic colouration if you hold it up to the light.

Smell: Hops and ... something else. Can't quite put my finger (or nose) on it, but there's definitely something else there - reminds me a bit of citrusy furniture polish. Not unpleasant.

Taste: Not nearly as hoppy as it smells - there's hops and malt there with some lingering fruitiness. Either way, it doesn't last long and leaves a fairly bitter, hoppy finish. Nothing particularly earth-shattering although I've had much, much worse.

Feel: Not a particularly heavy beer by any means - small amount of carbonation but otherwise eminently drinkable.

Overall: Goose Island seems to get a lot of love in these pages, as well as from some of my Chicago-based co-workers. Honkers is a pretty decent reproduction of an English session bitter but not really anything to get terribly excited about. I'd not refuse it if offered, but I'd not actively seek it out either.

Photo of tekstr1der
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Boring beer. Pours a light copper with very little head. Smells of some malt, but not much transfers to flavor. Very thin and mostly bland. Not bad, and quite drinkable, just not very interesting.

Photo of Boca-X
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Reminds me of a light brown ale or a Michelob Amber...light malt, caramel and honey sweetness...everything is light. For a 4.3 abv this makes for a nice session ale that most could easily drink several of. Nothing I would go looking for but a very easy, pleasant drinking English Bitter.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

A very nice, easy drinking beer. Pours a nice light amber with an off white head. The smell consisted of bread and wheat scents with some grassy notes from the hops. The taste was mild yet very refreshing with mostly the malt being the focal point until the end where there was a nice crisp finish. A great everyday kind of beer.

Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,556 ratings.