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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.

214 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 0
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jmoore50


3.45/5  rDev +4.5%

Sometimes you can judge a beer by its label. This is one of them. The label does not look very professional and the beer inside looks like a home brew.

The appearance is a super hazy golden color. There is little sediment in the bottom of the glass, but the bottle warned me, so I am not angry. The head is crisp and white, and leaves no doubtingly because of the ABV.

The smell is of Belgian yeasts with citrus and vodka. The vodka is from the high alcohol smell. You can tell the 8.5%.

The taste is no less than okay. Orange alcoholic Belgian yeast. The Belgian bread flavor is present with a mild citrus flavor as well. Once again the ABV is very present and the aftertaste is much like a cheap vodka.

I would not recommend to anyone.


10-20-2009 02:55:57 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -19.7%

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

09-29-2009 23:36:34 | More by mikey711
Photo of ImusBeer


3.3/5  rDev 0%

Cellared three and poured one staight into tulip in a single pour.

Appearance was Orange-Yellow or Golden, slightly hazy with about a finger and half of white head that died quickly with a little lacing forming on the glass as I drank.

The nose is grain, bready and lemon.

A very Belgiany beer, you can clearly taste the alcohol, grain as well. All the flavours are very sharp, this will be much better in six months or a year.

Very heavy carbonation, alcohol feel in the mouth. Somewhat sharp hop at end.

Enjoyed this beer but I know it will be better after a bit of cellaring.

09-26-2009 20:25:02 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of drpimento


4/5  rDev +21.2%

Had a glass of this served in its own glass in Miami last year. Had a light off white head and no lace. Color was a lovely dark amber with red highlights. Aroma was fruity and malty. One of the best American attempts at a Belgian style. Killer body and carbonation. Only thing was a slight hint of contamination of bacteria. Nice finish. Super beer all in all.

09-21-2009 03:41:02 | More by drpimento
Photo of alcstradamus


2.68/5  rDev -18.8%

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.

09-20-2009 22:15:03 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of scottyshades


3.58/5  rDev +8.5%

A: Pours a slightly hazy but transparent golden color that produces a small head that doesn't hold for too long. Lacing is not too great either. Lots of bubbles rising from the bottom, so I assume this will be pretty damn carbonated.

S: Strong Belgian yeast notes; candy, bubblegum, spearmint, and come spices that smell like coriander and cloves.

T: Very similar to the nose, not very complex at all, in fact its pretty one dimensional. Very yeasty, bubblegum, spearmint, cloves, and some candy sweetness.

MF/D: As the pour suggested, a little over carbonated, light in body, smooth and long spicy finish.

09-05-2009 00:37:01 | More by scottyshades
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +29.7%

I can already say at first taste this is the best beer to come out of Florida in my opinion. Not that there's too many choices, but this one is solid all around. Great Belgian qualities abound and for only $2.75 a single here. Such a nice refreshing summer beer, with solid fruit notes and great mouthfeel. Worth a try (or two) any day.

08-22-2009 01:15:09 | More by Backer2004
Photo of bcgpete


3.98/5  rDev +20.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass.

Light copper color with very little head, just a few centimeters, that retracted within a few seconds. Nice and cloudy.

The smell has a slight alcohol aroma, almost reminding me of nail polish remover.

The taste is quite good, although I can really taste the alcohol. Slight fruit taste in there but otherwise pretty well balanced. This beer is not at all bitter but I can tell a few of them would give me heartburn like a motherbitch.

The mouth is quite good, almost chewy.

Definitely a sipping beer. Out of the four ales I was brought back from the keys (la fin du monde, victory golden ale, and two hearted ale) this one ranks only below la fin du monde. This is a beer I will try to find again to stow away for a few years.

08-04-2009 23:49:17 | More by bcgpete
Photo of CampusCrew


3.78/5  rDev +14.5%

appearance: golden with little head retention for a belgian

smell: sweet, carmael

taste: not bad. but a weak one if you compare to other in this category

mouthfeel: light to medium bodied

drinkability: overall I appreciate it and it's a solid belgian pale

08-03-2009 03:00:55 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of drabmuh


3.7/5  rDev +12.1%

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).

07-22-2009 17:29:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Seanibus


3/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours hazy copper with a medium head that falls away quickly to poor lacing. The aroma is strong and floral, with a little mediciney bite. It is overripe and note terribly appealing. The flavor is strong, apricot and clove, but tending toward medicinal and boozy, not particularly refreshing or pleasant. It has a phenolic, slightly spicy feeling, but lacking in the kind of balance that makes this a pleasant characteristic in Belgian beers. The mouthfeel is fairly slick, leaving a spicy prickle along the tongue.

This comes close to being a good beer, but its lack of subtlety and balance torpedo it.

07-16-2009 19:19:51 | More by Seanibus
Photo of spacechimo155


4.2/5  rDev +27.3%

a darker than expected blonde, almost copper, with plenty of head that laces the glass. Less body than i expected
Smells and tastes sweet, belgian sugars hide the alchohol.
Extremely drinkable, carbonation is there, a little sweet for me, but the mouthfeel is good. Very refreshing
Great addition to Floridas local brewing scene and one of the better takes on a Belgian golden ale.

06-30-2009 04:33:44 | More by spacechimo155
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my standard shaker glass. The ale appears a hazed golden yellow color with about a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavor are of fruits such as apples and pears, both sweet, sour and dry as well, lightly toasted grains/biscuits. Nicely carbonated, but a bit thin bodied, especially considering the ABV. Worth a try.

06-20-2009 04:48:48 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of wagenvolks


3.23/5  rDev -2.1%

12oz bottle courtesy of JDV. Thanks Deniz!

The 2008 edition of Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale pours a copper-blond hue with a fleeting bone white head that ends up as a scant ring of bubbles. Good aroma of floral hops, fresh grass, and apple juice with a sweet balance of biscuit & nutty malts.

Nothing too exciting flavor-wise...typical Belgian sweetness with some spice and a touch of grassy hops. A light fruitiness of pear and flavored booze in the background. Body feels watered down and the saccharin-sugar sweetness creates an artificial finish. All in all, I found this Belgian unimpressive and overly sweet. It tries to be complex, but the flavors just don't mesh well. Pass...

05-25-2009 02:38:21 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of KBoudreau66


2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

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.

05-23-2009 01:58:24 | More by KBoudreau66
Photo of jwhawkins81


3.65/5  rDev +10.6%

Aroma - Malty sweetness with a Belgian spice

Appearance - Light pale orange with a good amount of carbonation.

Taste - Light with a definite Belgian yeast influence. The taste has some fruit like qualities I did enjoy.

Notes - Good mouthfeel. I've had this beer three times now and every time I really like it at the beginning but by the end I'm tired of the spice. So that's why drinkability takes a hit.

05-22-2009 01:05:52 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -7.6%

A: Poured a pale orange with a flat creamy, bone white head that didn't bother to stick around long. No real lacing to speak of, while a very faint and sporadic effervesce is observed lending this to just an ordinary appearance.

S: musky dry oranges, old bread and dry lemon peels. Light to moderate in strength there was a touch of musky booziness, and a sterile, almost phenolic nature of fermented fruit.

T: sour and musky, oranges and lemons, dry with a boozy alcohol notes. Sour green apples and fruitiness along with a pharmaceutical phenolic taste. The beer finishes with a bittering dry, sour funky citrus hopping and sweet orange candy notes. Overall didn't find the flavor particularly enticing or inviting.

M: pretty full, slightly creamy and smooth with a musky dry bittering finish.

D: Average drinkability, one better consumed rather quickly. Cant recommend a six pack here.

05-14-2009 22:14:16 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of belgbeerdrinker


2.73/5  rDev -17.3%

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

05-05-2009 01:07:40 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of jwc215


3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

05-05-2009 00:54:00 | More by jwc215
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

2.28/5  rDev -30.9%

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

04-18-2009 00:36:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

04-17-2009 22:49:26 | More by Gavage
Photo of mullenite


3.15/5  rDev -4.5%

2008 Vintage

Pours a a clear orange in color with a half finger off white fizzy head that dissipated quickly to nothing. The beer leaves no lacing down the glass.

Smell is fruity and alcoholic, plums and pears stand out the most. The alcohol smell is not harsh by any means and is spot on in comparison to other BSPA's I've had. Wanted a bit more spice to match the intensity of the fruit.

Taste is more like a sparkling pear wine than any beer I've ever had. Sweet fruits from the smell are extreme in the taste with a strong lingering alcohol bite. Very little of the plum smell comes though. Based on the taste this would probably be a good candidate to age, a couple years at most.

Mouthfeel is thin (not watery) with sharp, tight carbonation.

It's a bit too sweet to be easily drinkable, but it is not bad.

04-10-2009 14:01:23 | More by mullenite
Photo of cottonkoozie

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +13%

A - Deep honey golden color, some slight cloudiness. Not much head or lacing though.

S - Strong fruit and coriander smells, also smell the alcohol.

T - Much like the smell. I taste pretty much all fruit, and somewhat of a fermented boozy fruit taste. Unlike any beer i have tasted. Almost reminds me of wine in a way.

M - Nice feel, doesn't look very carbonated in appearance, but has a very full carbonated feel.

D - Pretty drinkable, especially considering the high alcohol content.

At first sip, I didn't think I was going to like this, but it grow on you quickly. A pretty good beer, and very unique. Worth a try definitely.

03-27-2009 23:09:20 | More by cottonkoozie
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev 0%

Received as an extra in a recent trade with Kiefdog. Thanks!

Pours a murky deep gold with a very small head on top. No retention, no lacing. Smells of banana's, pineapple, cherry, and yeasty bread. Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly. Carbonation level is med-high. Flavor is fruity right off the bat with pineapple and some plum. But this mellows to a warm breadiness. I'm not huge into Belgians, which is maybe why this tamed down version one sits well with me. Not bad.

03-14-2009 15:44:41 | More by Onenote81
Photo of bhalter8


3.38/5  rDev +2.4%

A toss in on a recent trade, I am always excited to try something new. This one pours a clear pale orange color, with a small white head, which quickly dissipates. To be honest, it looks like a BMC. Smell is faint, as well, some sweet fruit hints attempting to cover the apparent alcohol. Tastes ok, again some fruit sweetness, orange and bananas maybe, but not enough to balance out the strong alcohol. A rather crisp ale, the carbonation and alcohol make it not very enticing to savor in your mouth. Rather drinkable given the alcohol, but doubt I will drink much more. Gordash really has yet to do much for me.

03-10-2009 13:04:16 | More by bhalter8
Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.