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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

220 Ratings
THE BROS
51
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 220
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)
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra recently and decided to open it up last night. Served cold and poured into a wine glass, this one was consumed on 01/03/2010.

The pour was very nice, better then I expected with a light golden color that was capped by a nice head of of white that reached a height of around three inches before it settled back down to earth leaving a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma is light bready notes with hints of apricot and pear that seem to get stronger the warmer it gets. Nicely done I have to admit, but it could have been a bit stronger. First sip is clean and crisp with a smooth and well rounded flavor. Nice touches of light fruit and grassy hops lead the way here, light grain touches as well now coming into play. Decent carbonation as well all lends itself very well to a great combination of flavors, light easy to drink and the alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall a nice, and highly drinkable example of the style. I would have no issue with hitting this one up again.

Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sending me this one awhile back.

A: The beer pours a clear yellow/golden color with a finger's worth of white foam.

S: Yeast is the first thing I smell followed by bread. There are some nice fruit notes of oranges and bananas. Some slight spice notes of clove are present too.

T: Sweet and fruity is the best way to describe this one. Lots of banana, pear, oranges, and apples. I get a fair amount of yeast, but not as much as the nose showed. Definitely some bread and candi sugar there to provide more sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation.

D: Not bad, but not terribly good either. I probably wouldn't care to have this again.

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.

Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Sugar-coated honey malt aroma with notes of orange peel, bananas, and a whiff of fusel alcohol.

Taste: Lightly malty with a sharply honey candy sweetness. Meager pinch of spice. Orange and banana fruitines. A hint of bitterness struggles to temper the sweetness. Light yeastiness. Semi-dry, boozey finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Quite warming.

Drinkability: This may come to the surprise of many here, but I didn't really care for this beer.

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its been awhile since I had some Florida wares at least 3-4 years,this Belgian goldan style poured into an oversized wine glass a dull light to medium golden with a well defined 1/2 finger white head atop leaving spotty lace as it settled.A little phenolic bubble gum quality in the nose along with some juicy fruit with a tinge of smoke again from the phenols,pretty basic flavors quite fruity like overripe pineapple and mango phenols produce a bit of clove and ginger-like spice but its held in check pretty well.Basic but not bad really the alcohol is very well hidden,I wouldnt go out of the way to get it but its decent.

Photo of JAHMUR
1.75/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of zeff80
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden amber color with a small, tan head of bubbles. There was very little lacing or suds left behind.

S - It smelled fruity with some bready maltiness. A hint of yeasty spice.

T - Fruity with notes of pear and apple. Sweet breads, caramel and toast with a mild spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is an okay Belgian-styled ale. It just lacks the complexity and depth that I like in the style.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy Mackerel!!! Good name. Great label (I think) - it even has the year on it (2009)... ... ...DOH! It also reads that it "will mature if cellared for 2 years". Oh well. Maybe next time.

It pours a hazy golden body with an orange cast that rests lazily beneath a short head of bright white froth. Every now and then a tiny bubble can be seen rising towards the surface. The retention is average, but the lacing is very good.

The aroma is malty and spicy with a touch of honey, and perhaps a far-off hint of smoke.

In the mouth it's surprisingly supple and smooth. Well, that shouldn't be surprising because the appearance insinuates that it will be of a lower carbonation, but it's also medium-full bodied and the two combined caught me off-guard as I was kind of expecting an effervescent tripel given the appearance and aroma.

The flavor delivers a soft blanket of malt that's gently threaded through with delicate notes of spice (seemingly all from the yeast), flowers, soft fruit (apple, apricot, peach), and a hint of vanilla. Its not sweet, but there's a lot of sweetish, doughy malt there. Nor is it bitter. Only a minor bitterness lays beneath the blanket, supporting it. And despite the thick blanket of flavor, it actually finishes dry with a flicker of spicy hops and a hint of honey-drizzled wood and flowers. Interestingly, the alcohol never shows either. It's at 8.5%, and completely concealed, even at the end of the glass.

It really grows on you, opening up as it warms and displaying different flavors. About 2/3 of the way I found a bit of a smoky plastic phenolic - not much, just a touch - "underlying" let's call it, but there's some real complexity and richness there. It reminds me of a Westvleteren in that way. Had I know I would have definitely bought more of this, and I think I will try to get at least a six-pack to cellar. Well worth trying, and I think, worth seeking out as well.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Floridian bottled effort to sample, I had a couple Jacksonville Brewpub down at the Landing that were pretty effin' unremarkable. This one appears a honey golden hue kinda glows with a bright orange tint bright white head and fine speckled lacing forming as it dwindles. Aromatics come with sweet honey & tropical fruit, bubblegum esters nice tones with yeast spicines, pale malts provide biscuit like qualities. Low herbal hop flow with a mineral note added, is what I'm getting. Flavor has syrupy sweetness with Belgian candi sugar added fruit esters thrive with pear and tropical fruit some herbal perfumey spices with minimal hop notes, warming alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is sticky with a medium body not cloyingly sweet or syrupy carbonation flows well but can't touch the effervescence that most Belgians have to offer. Very good sipping Belgian style especially outta Melbourne FL, I'm glad a took a stab at it decent offering.

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.

Photo of nickfl
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Light gold color, good clarity, somewhat small head for the style.

S- sweet, malty, honey like aroma. Some nice yeasty esters as it warms up.

T - Malty, grainy flavor. A little bit of hops. Definitely some belgian golden flavor here, but the sweetness is distracting. Sweet syrupy finish.

M - Thick and sweet. Way too heavy for the style, not quite enough carbonation to lift it off the palate.

D - Overall not bad. It is too thick and sweet for the style and a sad substitute for Duvel flavor wise as well. An ok effort, about the same level of quality as the rest of FBC's beers.... at least they are trying something new.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very slightly foggy light orange amber with a thin white head that falls fast. Nose is strong with yeast and dough. Kind of overpowering though. Flavor is bright with citrus tones. Noticeable sugar. Minor spice tones. Overall a very vibrant flavor profile. Feel has a good carbonation to it, but the liquid is a bit sticky. The verdict is that this is actually a pretty decent BSPA. I have certainly had some real bombs of this style when produced in the U.S., but this is not too bad. Round the edges out a bit, and you've got one hell of an ale. Much potential.

Photo of jlindros
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice fluffy 1 finger head rises and fades slowly, with a slight Belgiany fluff, and fades semi slowly with a decent lacing. The color is a mostly clear slightly hazy golden orange color.

Nose of light Belgian malts, a little spicy dry saison like malt, golden Belgian yeast, light spices and citrus, little lemon grass, sweet malts and touch of booze.

Taste is fairly sweet with some warming and tingly booze, and boozy taste, Belgian malts, light dry saison malt flavors, sweet malts, a bit of candi sugar, light citrus, orange peel, and Belgian fruity yeast. Finish dries a bit, lingering sweet malts, light spices, and some booze.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation and pretty boozy warmth and tingle.

The drinkability is meh, with more of the tingly and warming booze, drinks higher than 8.5%, and a slight sticky feel over the dry finish.

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of Holy Mackerel last night as part of my farewell FL tour of beer. Served in a Holy Mackeral glass (wine glass), the beer is light in color, cloudy, with a minimal head and steady carbonation. No lacing on the glass to speak of. The aroma is interesting, a hint of yeast, possibly nuts. The flavor is almost slightly yeasty or nutty. Easy to drink, but overall unremarkable (ironic that I am remarking on it in that case).

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2009, poured into glass chalice:

Pours orangeish amber with a thin head that becomes a wispy patch. Trailing lace slides down the glass. Tight, small bubbles rise to the top.

The smell is of bubblegum, cotton candy and just a small hint of a grassy touch.

The taste is of bubblegum, cotton candy - fruity with just a slight touch of grass. Sweet with a bready, slightly funky, dryness in the finish.

The feel is carbonated - almost effervescent. Body holds up. Sweet, but not cloying.

Alcohol isn't exactly covered, but not too sharp or dominating. Leans towards too sweet, but has some dryness in the finish. It has some characteristics that put it as a "Belgian-esque" brew. Not a bad American attempt, could be more refreshing, though has some refreshing quality.

Photo of smcolw
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a modest head that leaves some slippery spotty lace. LOTS of yeasty beasties floating in the glass--looks like an old homebrew. The color is a dirty gold where you cannot see through.

Slightly lemony aroma to the otherwise pale malt smells. Very light Belgian yeast in the background.

Very high level of carbonation, spritzy like champagne. Sour flavor of stale grains hits first, think orange zest. Very brief aftertaste without any complexity. The tale of this beer is one dimensional--tartness. It's not bad, but it isn't interesting either.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Bottle Vintage; Sampled January 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a light amber hue that shows a deep gold, brilliantly clear hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of cracker like grain, honey-like malt, a touch of spiciness and it has a backdrop of fruitiness to it. I am able to isolate notes of pear, ripening melon, white pepper, clove, a touch of young ginger, green apple towards the end and crushed pale grain. As the beer warms the clove notes become more noticeable and in fact dominant. The aroma is not bad, not incredibly interesting, but definitely solid.

Sweet tasting up front with a bit of golden raisin flavor to it (as well as a touch of herbal honey character). This morphs into a mix of green apple and ripe pear that lingers on in the finish. The carbonation provides a bit of texture and carries / conveys some spicy esters and phenolics as well as providing a peppery bite. The spicy notes don't quite balance the sweetness, but do provide flavors of white pepper, lingering clove and a touch of herbal spiciness (fennel and nettle perhaps). In addition to the sweetness the malt character also provides a subtle cracker like grain note towards the finish that tends to give this an almost chewy finish. This beer does have some heft to it, I wouldn't quite call it heavy, but it has a certain viscousness and body that makes it amenable to sipping.

The sweet fruit notes are definitely the most dominant flavors here, but there is a nice spiciness that doesn't quite reach the level that I would like to see for balancing purposes. This is a solid Belgian styled Golden Ale, but it could use a boost of fermentation complexity and definitely would benefit from a lower (drier) final gravity. Still this is an enjoyable brew and it is easily the best thing I have had out of the Florida Beer Company so far.

Photo of Gavage
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 2009 version poured a crystal clear golden yellow color with a 2" head that lasts a bit. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: yeast and some woodiness provides a strang aroma that is a bit of a turnoff.

Taste: bready malt profile. Some citrus, soft pepper spice, and a hint of coriander and some soft earthy / woody tones linger in the background. Saaz hops provides some bite. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Some dryness arrives late. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is long and sticks on the tongue for a while.

Drinkability: decent but this one was a bit of a slow sipper with some mildly refreshing qualities.

Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a golden pilsner color with a thin foamy white head. Spicy aroma with hints of light, crisp fruit and alcohol. Flavor is spicy and contains a bit of citrus peel and peppery zestl as well as hints of apple and pear. Slightly dry finish.

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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.