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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale - Holy Mackerel Brewing

Not Rated.
Holy Mackerel Special Golden AleHoly Mackerel Special Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

141 Reviews
THE BROS
51
awful

(Read More)
Reviews: 141
Hads: 231
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.96%
Wants: 0
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 06-02-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 141 | Hads: 231
Photo of jenbys2001
1.18/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

As a native Floridian, I support local brewers whenever possible. Unfortunately I was greatly disappointed in this beer. I poured small glasses for a group of friends, who all have fairly discriminating tastes, and our unanimous reaction was disgust. Although I recognize this is meant to be a "loud" beer, the features have been exaggerated to the point that is it undrinkable. It was extremely sweet and syrupy, with a truly unpleasant flavor. We actually poured it out, and that is unheard of in our beer loving household. (525 characters)

Photo of Snorlax
1.34/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass. I picked it up since the bottle kind of looked cool.. lesson learned. The smell was sweet with a yeast funk that was not unpleasant, but with a solvent alcohol smell that foretold of things to come. This beer's glaring flaw is that it has no balance whatsoever. There is a conflicting disparity between the sweetness and hoppiness that really makes this seem like an amateur homebrewer's attempt at complexity which fell flat on its face.... and then that solvent alcohol aftertaste. This is the worst attempt at masking a high abv I've ever encountered. The sweetness combined with the abv honestly makes this stuff taste like lemon pledge. I really TRIED to like this beer, let it warm gradually to see if it hit a sweet spot in there somewhere... it never did. I had to drain pour it.. Will never try again (845 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
1.45/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Another beer that i was not a fan of. I bought it because I thought it was clever name. Turns out it's a overwhelmingly sweet beer that doesn't really have a start or finish to it. It just hits you and doesn't really change. I was really turned off by this brew. It remains to be one of my least favorite of all time. It's golden but it's just way too sweet. (358 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
1.46/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2011 version

a - poured a one finger thick fizzy, eggshell-colored head into a tulip glass that left a thin ring which barely cared to stay around. the body was a hazy orange-amber color.
s - nothing but sugar.
t - tastes like they added a bunch of candy sugar to the boil. there is a hint of belgian yeast flavor.
m - medium and slick.
o - awful. did not even finish it. (372 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Acquired via trade from paulthebeerguru, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a little pungent and contains light malts, Belgian yeast, some fruit and some spice.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of apples, bananas and spices, then some harsh flavors of Belgian yeast and hops come and cause a nasty bitterness. None of the flavors seem to compliment each other at all. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: I didn't find it tasty and it did not go down very well, not too filling, good kick, not a good representation of style, I would not choose this beer again under any circumstances. (879 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.05/5  rDev -39%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

An award-winning homebrew Belgian style from 1997 turned contract brewed. Pours out a soda fizzy lace that disappears with a blink of the eye, no Brussels lacing here. Golden color, but slightly hazed. Smells of yeast, overripe fruit, bread dough and vague tropical fruit. Slick mouthfeel with a passive carbonation, it's missing its snap. Alcohol runs amuck, slightly estery and even a tad solvent with a hot note in the middle. Fruity with an odd lemon component. Black pepper and medicinal herbs from the phenols are quite strong. Weak maltiness and a MIA hop character let whatever malt sweetness and yeast fruitiness put a stranglehold on the palate.

No balance, flavors are off on all levels. Even the carbonation and head retention is way off. Reminds us of some of the sub-par Belgians we have had over the years. Not recommended, especially if you're wanting to get into Belgian beers. A recipe change and ditching the contract brew would do this beer some good. (1,021 characters)

Photo of brentk56
2.32/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2008 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear golden/rust color with one of the sorriest heads I have ever seen on a Belgian style - less than a finger, despite a hard pour, and it had disappeared within a minute; it did manage to leave a few shards of lace

Smell: Fruity esters of pear and apple, along with an undertone of juicy fruit gum

Taste: Sweet and fruity up front, with peach, pear and apple, followed by juicy fruit gum and a bit of hot cinnamon spice; a little yeasty, after the swallow, with banana and candy flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, almost syrupy, with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: Time to start over on this one, guys, if you are planning to brew in the Belgian style; needs better attenuation, a more complex yeast profile and much more carbonation (791 characters)

Photo of Duff27
2.36/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 Vintage

A- Small fizzy off white head on a cloudy dark golden beer. Visible streams of effervescence rising from the bottom of the tulip. Poor head retention and below average lacing.

S- Weird smell, can't say it's "good"...somewhat oxidized perhaps?

T- I enjoy the Belgian yeast flavor of this beer...the before and after taste in my mouth I can do without. Slight booziness but that might be the only thing saving the flavor. Has an aftertaste that has hints of oxidation.

M- Good strong mouthfeel, adequate carbonation.

D/O- Label says it can mature for a couple years but I'm not so sure. What was I doing all this time instead of just drinking it? There's no way Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale could have been worse younger. NO. (745 characters)

Photo of rorjets
2.37/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This was a disappointment, considering the price for a four pack. I guess my expectations were too high, but it advertised a 8.5% ABV, and it just didn't deliver the taste or buzz. It says that it originated as a award winning home brew, and is now brewed in SC, so maybe that's the problem. But if this is really 8.5% ABV I must have jaded tastebuds. It sure didn't taste like it. (381 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.47/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Piraat tulip glass. Beer is dark golden and slightly hazy with a small white head. A good amount of lacing is present but the retention is a bit drab.

Aroma is full of bubble gum and a touch of vegetation. A touch of Belgian candi sugar and not much else.

Very sweet upfront with about one second of goodness: bubblegum fruitiness, banana. Immediately becomes very chalky and weird. Sour and almost like a dry, bark-like characteristic (yes, I had bark as a child).

Really weird and odd mouthfeel. ABV is noticeable and isnt very pleasant. This is the first beer I can remember that was above average on appearance and aroma yet went completely into the tank on everything else. Barely finishable. Sweet and chalky and like liquid bubblegum. I dont care for this one at all. (812 characters)

Photo of Torch
2.53/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I bought this beer in a 4-pack in Sandestin, Florida. I'm was in town visiting and wanted to try something from Florida.

This beer was a disappointment overall. The appearance and smell are less than average, especially the smell. I do like Belgium style ale OK but this beer, although hinting at its roots just doesn't quite live up.

OK overall but not one I would recommend. (378 characters)

Photo of SigEp
2.61/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear and golden but with less carbonation than this style deserves. In the nose, belgiany fruitiness and malt and...peanut butter??!!??? what the hell is that? Don't taste any diacetyl but damn if it doesn't smell like peanut butter!

Not horrible for a belgian golden strong but not great by any means. It tastes a little watery, with some malty background, however the fizz is not high enough to toss those dynamic belgian yeast characteristics about on my palate. (473 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I read on the bottle that it's actually brewed by Thomas Creek Brewing, up in Greenville, SC. Anyways, this was a disappointing Belgian Pale in my opinion. Not much to the appearance. Yeah, it had the haziness that's associated with the style, but other than that, nothing really. There was no real head to speak about. What "head" there was, died out rather quickly. The smell wasn't as strong as I'm used to. It was kind of faint, had to smell it quite a few times to get anything to register in my brain. Taste was the same, but even more bland. Nothing really stood out, not even the higher alcohol, which I guess is good. I was hoping for more with this one. Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, because everyone else seems to enjoy it. (743 characters)

Photo of 484dan
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing really exciting going on here. Pale orange in color with very little lace on the glass. Sweet to the lips with just a hint of spice. Other than that, it was sort of disappointing. I plan on "cellaring" a few- maybe it will get better with age. (251 characters)

Photo of mikey711
2.69/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Cloudy and golden with a big thick head that is about two fingers thick. lacing is quite good.

S: Slightly sulfery and maybe a touch of grains and sweetness. It smells a bit like cardboard

T: It has a yeasty and spicy taste up front with not alot of sweetness, only the slightest bit of caramel. It isn't sour but just bland in that it does not feel like there are alot of sugars there...

M: It is very watery maybe a little bit of creaminess.

D: I will pass (465 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a weak head. Orange color

Smell is of sweet malts and very few esters and spices.

This beer isn't worthy of a big descriptive review. It's boozy, the esters aren't there, the malts are sweet, it lacks dryness of the style.

Crisp and dry mouthfeel

This is a poorly done example of the style, it could be worse but I won't bother with this again. (355 characters)

Photo of KBoudreau66
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received via trade with Kiefdog.

Poured into a snifter. Dark gold in color with basically no head. It seems to be quite carbonated.

There's no born on date for this beer, so I can't tell if it is older, but the aroma isn't very pleasant at all. It has a strong sweet, and caramel malt aroma, with a slight metallic aroma in the background.

The taste is very similar to the smell. Caramel malts, very sweet, and has a strange, funky metallic backbone.

I don't know if this is old or just tainted via the shipping process? There's no date on the bottle, so as far as I'm concerned the bottle is still good. (608 characters)

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a: light orange color, head never really appears, lots of bubbles around the edge, little lacing
s: hard to discern; hoppy aroma to start with some sweet malts coming out
t: sweet fruits, belgian yeast with some light hops, finishes weakly with mix of bitterness and strong alcohol
m: medium body with some carbonation but a little too flat
d: decent flavors, just doesn't come together well for a highly drinkable brew (419 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
2.71/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Murky brownish gold pour with a thick, sticky head. Not much nose, just some very faint hints of clove and spice. The taste is much more bold, but unfortunately also a bit waxy. Strong spiciness up front with the crayon wax coming in on the finish. Not horrible I guess, but definitely not good. This one just turned me away from the get-go. (341 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very light yellow in color. Not a whole lot of head on the pour, but plenty of carbonation. Smell is almost "lagerish". Completely not what I was expecting. Taste was a little off as well. Some hops were present in the taste. Very thin on the mouthfeel. A little tough to finish. (287 characters)

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.79/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy light orange with a little fizzy head and hardly any retention to speak of.

S: Definitely nutty and yeasty with an apple note in there. Also detectable are ripe bananas and cherries, lemon zest and pears. Fruity.

T: Definitely unique. When I first tasted it, it felt watery and sweet. Definite alcohol presence which is a little much. Nutty and fruity on the finish. White sugar presence all the way through. Overall, not very good.

D: Ehhh...

Value: Overpriced. Just because it's a belgian style beer doesn't mean it needs to cost 11 bucks a sixer. (614 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is transparent golden yellow with a white ring. The nose has strong lemon, a touch sweet but an assertive spice to it. Zesty, peppery, peppercorn. The taste is even sweeter and the spicy balance is much less. Notes of honey and candied sugars mix with the lemon. The finish is extremely carbonated and muddled, the body is a touch syrupy and crisp. Overly sweet and singular beer. (385 characters)

Photo of
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle. 2007 version.

Poured a clear, light gold color. Small, creamy, white head.

Belgian character in the nose -- earthy and citrus. Spicy, maybe pepper and coriander. Floral notes. Appealing.

Taste was all about sweet candi sugar. Alcohol, quite noticeable, was next. Bready in the middle. Finished with some floral/herbal notes. Didn't seem to be particularly complex or put together very well.

Medium body. Low to medium carbonation, increasing would improve, IMO. Not dry at all.

To me, fits within style, just not a very good attempt. Too sweet and hot, and not particularly well integrated. The bottle suggested aging, and it certainly couldn't hurt. (679 characters)

Photo of Chaney
2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got this as an extra in a trade with Pittsky. Thanks Jesse!

A: Hazy golden color for sure, with a slight reddish tint, and about a one finger head that died down into a ring formation on the brew.

S: A tinge of Belgian funk, muted citrus, and much, much more than a hint of candy sugar.

T: Very sugary and boozy, however, I got used to this after a few sips, but the sugar on the other hand.... ugh. The citrus was there but seemed a bit stale and the finish was somewhat dry due to the overwhelming alcohol element.

M: Like I stated, this was fairly boozy and sugary, but the carbonation was substantial. Still, it couldn't quite cut through the intense sweetness.

D: Not drinkable at all, but I still finished the bottle. I'm glad I got to try this brew, but I wouldn't exactly beg for it in the future. (812 characters)

Photo of spree92
2.98/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A dirty orange with lots of carbonation. Small head but good lacing. The smell is heavy yeast and slight alcohol. Overly carbonated. Bland flavors, not a very strong Belgian Pale Ale. Mouthful is also bland. This is a pretty weak attempt at this style.
I guess I can chalk it up for another brewery and state. (310 characters)

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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.