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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale - Holy Mackerel Brewing

Holy Mackerel Special Golden AleHoly Mackerel Special Golden Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

206 Ratings
THE BROS
51
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.18%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 139 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a orange/brown with a quickly disapating head.

Smells of sweet malt with banana and yeast.

Tastes of bread, banana and clove. The alcohol is present.

Nice mouthfeel, but nothing special.

Pretty sweet to be too drinkable, but a recommendable FL beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 15:51:53 | More by aubuc1
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 edition

12oz bottle. Pours a dark golden orange color with an off-white head. The aroma is almost a mixture between a Saison and a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and a hefeweizen, strange sounding I'm sure but it is the first thing that came to mind. The nose features sweet fruity malts and spices with some banana and clove. The taste is very similar to the aroma sweet malt up front with some spices. After trying Mack in Black and not being impressed at all, this is definitely a solid offering no question. Overall, Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale is a pretty decent brew that is worth a shot. Nothing spectacular, but it is a pretty decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 05:36:56 | More by cjgator3
Photo of SigEp
SigEp

Florida

2.65/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 01:37:35 | More by SigEp
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The ugly-ass label jumped out at me in all its yellow glory. Since I'd never in my life had a beer from Florida, the price was decent, and it's a Belgian-style golden ale, I sprung for a 4-pack.

A standard-looking Belgian golden ale, which is to say it's got a nice orange-y glow. The head may not be huge but it sticks around a long time. Lots of bubbles and generous lacing. Pretty much par for the course.

Aroma hits the mark. Nothing too unique or complex, but if it's trying to mimic Duvel, Judas and/or Lucifer, it's not a bad try. The alcohol is just slightly too-obvious, the fruitiness is on the sour end, but overall it recalls some wonderful Belgian beers.

Flavor-wise it gets pretty close to tripel territory, with some exotic spice character peeking through, huge sweetness, and a mouthful of warming alcohol that thankfully doesn't burn. It's very fruity, some apple, some peach, lots of pear. I miss the more assertive Belgian yeast presence of other, better beers in this style, but there's still plenty to enjoy. The only flaw, and it's a fairly major one, is that the alcohol overstays its welcome after only a few sips and a few minutes of warming. From the finish to the ghost of aftertaste, it starts to feel more like you just drank aftershave and not a great ale. The first sip was impressive, the second pretty good, and by the third I started to feel violated. Damn you, mackerel.

The mouthfeel is a real winner, providing a succulent creaminess that glides and slides you through one sip to the next. A texture much like many of its Belgian counterparts. I won't let the iffy flavor keep me from enjoying this aspect of the beer.

Flawed in terms of balance, or its lack thereof. But it's not even a bad beer in its current state. Somehow it reminded me in places of Victory's Golden Monkey: strong, sweet, unsubtle. If they could just mask the weird alcohol aftertaste and let the yeast do some talking, they'd have a pretty great beer here.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 22:00:37 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of drunkmonk
drunkmonk

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden bronze, with thin creamy head. Thin sheet of lace. Spicy corriander and some bannanna, tofee and some earthy hops. Flavor follows suite with some sweet malt and corriander and spices. No hop presence. Finishes a bit on the sweet side. Alchohol is very well intergrated. Light and crisp, maybe a little to light, with ample carbonation. Overall an easy drinker, but a bit on the sweeter side. Not bad

Thanks to Paulthebeerguru for the throw in.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2008 22:04:05 | More by drunkmonk
Photo of Portertime
Portertime

Florida

3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up at Dorn's Liquor in Gainesville, hadn't heard of it before. I generally enjoy the native Florida beers like Hurricane Reef and Dunnedin. This had some pretty good flavor. Poured a nice dark amber color, darker on the top and fading a little lighter on the bottom. Smelled fruity with a hint of yeast, mostly green raisins. Taste was pretty fruit with a bit tartness, pretty well balanced and a hansome ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2008 18:16:24 | More by Portertime
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #13.

Poured into a Chimay goblet it's an orangey golden color with decent clarity and about a finger of off-white head. Keeps a thin lace and leaves some stick on the sides.

Smells of sweet malt, some yeast, quite fruity with a buttery/bubble gum like aroma.

Taste is sweet and quite fruity. A bit too one dimensional in the sweetness, which seems to have some honey in addition to the pale malt, but the multi-layered fruitiness (passion fruit especially) helps. There's a buttery quality to it, and not much in the way of spice or yeast. Mouthfeel is a hefty medium body, pretty slick on the palate. It feels sort of chewy and bready in the mouth even from the abundance of sweet malt.

Not too bad...a bit too sweet and not very complex, but it's drinkable. Not something I'd go out of my way for again, but it's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 01:34:44 | More by number1bum
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 23:00:51 | More by oberon
Photo of AgingWarrior
AgingWarrior

Florida

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice golden color into a tulip glass with a nice white head that held up pretty well with plenty of lacing.

You can smell fruits and hops with the first whiff. The taste is crisp with plenty of hoppiness, a good front end and a better finish. Fruity and light on the front, with the hops coming in on the finish. This is a pretty sweet tasting brew, which is not my standard fare, but not unpleasant.

Decent mouthfeel, maybe a bit on the thin side.

I could drink a couple of these on a hot day, as it was I enjoyed the heck out of the one that I drank.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 00:36:56 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of paulthebeerguru
paulthebeerguru

Florida

3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle

Poured into a snifter. Slightly hazed orange/yellow color, with a nice white head on top that drops rather quick but rides out at about an eighth of an inch. Decent lacing, but it tends to drop back into the beer. Aromas are strong banana, clove, yeast, some apple and a little bit of plum. Very nice tasting for a Florida beer. Its just too sweet. Hints of banana, clove, and faint plum. Nice clean palate, good carbonation level. A little too sweet on the palate though. Its a nice golden ale, and not really a session beer at 8.5%, but its enjoyable if you like your beers a little sweeter.

note: it is less sweet than the 2007 bottle, but not by much.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 18:32:33 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of jenbys2001
jenbys2001

Japan

1.15/5  rDev -65.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 18:20:29 | More by jenbys2001
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
GatorBeerNerd

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown color that looks similar to a glass of apple juice but slightly darker. There was a thin amount of head that quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S: The classic Belgian yeast aroma dominates this one. I really don't pick up much of anything else except a fruity tone. However, since I love that Belgian yeast smell I give it high marks. Might as well smell like what you are, a Belgian beer.

T: It starts out sweet and changes to a slightly bitter taste pretty quickly. Then the alcohol kicks in when swallowed. This beer isn't anything special, but I give it slightly better than average marks because of the varied flavors.

M: It feels a little thin an lacks in mouth carbonation, but I really like the spicing that tingles the tongue.

D: This one is very easy to consume. Nothing is objectionable in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 01:59:12 | More by GatorBeerNerd
Photo of rebel1771
rebel1771

Florida

2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light copper color with a small quickly disappearing head.

Sweet caramel aroma jumps out first with what seems like a slight grape smell.

Heavy sweet flavor of ripe grapes jump out along with honey flavors and a bit of dryness at the end.

This brew might be a bit to sweet for me. I was expecting a little more from this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 01:43:18 | More by rebel1771
Photo of 484dan
484dan

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 21:54:05 | More by 484dan
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

1.68/5  rDev -49.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 04:01:41 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of McDiddyPop
McDiddyPop

Florida

3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The color was a golden amber color with a bit of cloudiness. A small head on the pour that diminished quickly into almost nothing. It smelled sweet, like a honey-citrusy aroma. The taste was also pretty sweet, like honey with an aftertaste of yeast and a small bit of alcohol. Not enough carbonation for my taste. It left a sour bready flavor in my mouth for a bit afterwards. Definitely not a clean finish.

I don't think I will be picking this one up in the future, but I have definitely had worse.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 00:44:56 | More by McDiddyPop
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp pale yellow with a thin head that quickly diminishes to a ring. Aroma is sweet malts, citrus hops and slight spice. The taste is citrus hops in front with sweet malts and Belgian yeast right behind. The beer is medium bodied and a little on the gelatin side. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but a certainly a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 05:27:26 | More by atsprings
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 01:40:09 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light gold in color; minimal head produced as poured into a chalice style glass from the bottle. Bubbles disappeared very quickly leaving not much behind.

S: Fruity with spices and a touch floral.

T: Surprisingly sweet with lots of spice flavors and citrus fruit. Sweetness not in a malty sense, but just a sort of residual sweetness, like candy.

M&D: Medium on body, probably due to the sweetness. Carbonation is light and springy. Aftertaste is too sweet, almost cloying.

When I found this in the local store I was kind of excited because I had never seen it before. I was hoping more for something in the classical sense of the golden Belgian ale. I think it was good, but, honestly, it was too sweet. I think I could enjoy one of these once in a while but not too often.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 01:26:12 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 02:14:12 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a transparent gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a small collar. Mild speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of apricots, apples, meyer lemons, cloves, coriander, doughy bread, nectarines, and caramel.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of an estery flavor that reminds me a little bit of the Unibroue yeast strain with a pilsner malt base.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hot of alcohol, spicy, and yeasty.
This one is in need of some age.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 19:48:34 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer that grew on me as I drank it.

The beer pours an orange honey color, but with minimal head retention and lacing. On the nose it's apparent this is going to be a very sweet beer. The nose is all honey, cream and butter. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but there's a bit of underlying bitterness from the hops which helps to cut some of the sweetness. Mouthfeel is decent on this beer, though it's a bit syrupy. Abv. is noticeable, but is not obtrusive or tiring. However, the combination of sweetness and relatively high abv. detracts a bit from the drinkability of this beer.

While not outstanding, this beer was still enjoyable to drink. The next time I'm in Florida, I wouldn't hesitate to order this beer if ever I see it on the beer list.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 22:57:52 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 17:27:43 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 brown bottle,served into a flared tulip glass.

Hazy,glowing reddish orange with golden highlights. Very thin white head,turned quickly into a thin collar on the inside of the glass,leaving no lacing.Had a good stream of bubbles stringing from the center of the glass.

Moderate aromas,fruity,bubble gum with hints of a Belgian,and some yeasty notes.

Fruity, with hints of Belgian character. Very sweet throughout,sugary,candy-like with somewhat of a honey-like presence. Slightly tart and sour with a drying,hop bite at the end.The alcohol was well hidden,probably buried beneath the sweetness. Hard to tell the style by the taste,seemed like a combined style. Not like any of the other Belgian strong pale ales i've tried.

Medium bodied with some sticky cloying feel. Decent beer, easy to drink,no problem finishing this one. Was just a bit to sweet for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 04:29:07 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/ yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, fruity notes and a small sweetness. In the taste, a dry fruitiness, somewhat green apple like. A smooth malty mouthfeel, and a dry fruity aftertaste. Nice dry fruitiness, yet smooth and easy to drink. Hides the alcohol quite well. Not too shabby.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 22:25:53 | More by OWSLEY069
Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.