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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale - Holy Mackerel Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

218 Ratings
THE BROS
51
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 18.43%
Wants: 0
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 06-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RandyBoBandy
1/5  rDev -69.8%

RandyBoBandy, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of jenbys2001
1.15/5  rDev -65.3%
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.

jenbys2001, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of Snorlax
1.3/5  rDev -60.7%
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

Snorlax, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
1.4/5  rDev -57.7%
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.

Knapp85, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of GPHarris
1.45/5  rDev -56.2%
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.

GPHarris, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.68/5  rDev -49.2%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
1.75/5  rDev -47.1%

JAHMUR, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of NJBeer265
2/5  rDev -39.6%

NJBeer265, May 23, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.05/5  rDev -38.1%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of miguelre06
2.25/5  rDev -32%

miguelre06, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of dbaraniak
2.25/5  rDev -32%

dbaraniak, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
2.25/5  rDev -32%

Kurmaraja, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of brentk56
2.28/5  rDev -31.1%
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

brentk56, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of rorjets
2.33/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

rorjets, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of Duff27
2.35/5  rDev -29%
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.

Duff27, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.38/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of zaptone
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

zaptone, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Thedrizzle
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

Thedrizzle, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of FLBEERGUY25
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

FLBEERGUY25, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of dalepryor
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

dalepryor, May 08, 2013
Photo of Torch
2.58/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Torch, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of mikey711
2.65/5  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

mikey711, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of SigEp
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

SigEp, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of JISurfer
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

JISurfer, Jul 07, 2010
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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.