Hoptober Golden Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

490 Reviews

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Reviews: 490
Hads: 922
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 17.75%
Wants: 47
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Riccymon on 08-20-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 490 | Hads: 922
Photo of RoyBrentJr
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

There are four of these in the fall 12-pack, so I was looking forward to my first NB Hoptober ever—and I have to say I'm underwhelmed. NB calls Hoptober a "golden ale" and it is that, almost wheat-ale in color (a slightly cloudy straw that cleared up in a few minutes). On the nose, I get citrus, apricot and dish soap; as it warmed, I got hints of black pepper. Taste is malt liquor, watered down but hopped up; nothing really stands out, nothing really changes. It's a perfectly serviceable, drinkable quaff, and after several I wouldn't much care—but it's not a lot more than that.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hoptober from New Belgium - I ended up with mixed feelings on this one, even though I had quite a few to convince me one way or another.

From an appearance perspective it was nothing overly special to look at. It does have a nice white head, it does have great lacing down the glass, but that's all that catches my eye. I was, however, blown away by the scent of this beer. The perfect mix of citrus and hop notes that simply danced together beautifully. It has a good creamy feel, but you gotta work at it since the carbonation takes quite a bit away from it. As far as a hops beer, it's really just garden variety, nothing that stands apart from many of the hoppy beers I have had. Overall, it's a good beer that hits can stand well on its own.

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Photo of willic
2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I honestly am not sure what this beer is intended to be.... Not great in any aspect, but not too bad, either. Mildly hopy, ligbt, refreshing and easy to drink!

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Photo of Pantalones
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Last bottle of this one from the fall Folly pack; "best before" date is December 13th, 2015.

Pretty nice golden color, just a hint of orange in there too. Very clear, with loads and loads of bubbles rising up from the bottom -- clearly visible even from a foot or so away. This one kicked up a good head of foam, too -- filled my pint glass to the rim, any more and I'd be worried about a possible overflow but thankfully it stopped short of that point. Foam is white, fluffy, sort of a "just-started-melting snow" or milkshake-like look to it, and it's leaving a lot of traces behind on the outside of the glass as it gradually shrinks down (and even more once I start drinking it!) It took until I was halfway done with the glass to get down to the "thin coating on the surface of the beer" level, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

First thing I notice in the smell is a lot of fruitiness, presumably from the hops. Not quite a citrus kind of thing, maybe more peach-like? There's also hints of piney hops in there, too. It's a sweeter-smelling beer, but at the same time you can definitely tell the hops are present. A little bit of a nice bread-crust-like malty smell in there, too. Maybe just a slightest bit of some sort of spiciness? Overall it's a pretty nice-smelling beer.

Flavor is similar to the smell, fruity right away but with a bit of piney bitterness mixed in too. The malt also comes out more in the flavor vs. the smell, very nice toasted bread crust kind of thing that comes in a little bit after the initial burst of fruity hops and the bitterness that came in after that have both faded. Lingering bread-crustiness for a little while afterward, with the fruity hops coming up in burps. A bit of a lingering leafy/piney bitterness on the end too starting after the second or third sip, but it's not all that strong. Comes across a lot like a pale ale, with hops being the first flavor you notice but also with some interesting malty things going on. Oddly, it does seem like the fruity flavors that were most prominent on the first few sips fade away a lot around the halfway mark (still just barely there in the background), giving way to a mix of flavors that's more malty/almost-spicy/bitter. It's still pretty good even at that point, the mix of malt flavors is really nice... but overall it was a bit nicer overall earlier on with the fruit/bitter/spicy/malty blend being more balanced.

Feel is very nice. Carbonation and the seemingly-permanent foam on top give it a very soft, bubbly feel that makes it very drinkable. Light enough that it's easy to drink bigger gulps but also substantial enough that it doesn't feel weird taking smaller sips, either.

Overall, a very tasty beer that I'm glad I had a chance to try several of thanks to it being the 4-bottle "revival" beer in the current New Belgium variety pack. It's pretty interesting having a light-colored hoppy beer as a fall seasonal, when most are darker beers if they're not Oktoberfest lagers or pumpkin ales, but it definitely works. Haven't had a bad beer from this brewery yet, and have had quite a few that I'd say are very good (including this one!)

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Photo of aobrehm
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L- Pale straw color with brilliant clarity (almost light lager-like). Creamy white head that is well retained.

S- Floral and spicy aromas dominate. Hops dominate with a suggestion of rye.

T- Exceptionally balanced with malt complexity despite light color. Hop profile is citrus and floral.

F- Full bodied and creamy. Balanced finish.

O- A well balanced golden ale that is easy to drink but ultimately not very interesting.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours clear and golden in color with a slightly off-white, finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of surface suds. A few spots of lace here and there are left on the glass.

Smell - Bready aroma with a citrus hops and a touch of caramel.

Taste - Malt profile is nice, hitting on bread, caramel and toffee notes. Hops come in with a light, zesty citrus flavor and a bit of grass.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium in body with moderate carbonation. Slick and quaffable. Slightly dry finish.

Overall - Blonde/Golden that teeters on the edge of a being a pale. I can respect that. Pretty good beer all around, and an excellent choice for the Revival pack.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just picked up today in assorted 12-pack. Very clear golden shade of yellow with fine, foamy, medium-retention, off-white head. Pale ale like smell to it, resinous and slightly citrusy hops, bit of grain. Tastes like a session IPA or a "summer ale" (usually just pales or blondes/goldens anyways). Not much flavor up front on first few sips (gets stronger with following notes after palate has been thoroughly saturated), but quickly turning to crackers or pasta and then distinct grapefruit rind, or young, green pine needles. Very nearly anise/licorice-like bitterness. A little black pepper in there as well, but barely noticeable through the hop flavors. Unfortunately, a little too off-kilter for me. I appreciate hops in all their varieties, but balance is key. Light body, smooth. Medium, fine carbonation, starts out a little prickly but quickly fizzing out to soft suds. Somewhat crisp, not too dry. Despite my complaint, not a bad beer.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona (from notes)
A - clear bronze with a finger of head, pretty respectable lacing
S - leafy with some pine, toffee, gentle citrus zest
T - much like the nose with a solid balance of bitter-sweet
M - medium to light body, sweet with a mild bitter finish
O - a great treat after a day of golfing in the searing desert heat, i would call this more of a Pale than a blonde ale

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was sort of misleading. I was expecting something strong and outlandishly hoppy. While the hops definitely hit my nose, the taste is actually pretty tame. It is, after all, a blonde ale. The hops hit you up front, but it goes down smooth with a little aftertaste from the hops. It's actually a pretty refreshing autumn beer, a good way to transition from the crisp summer ones into the typically darker, warmer beers of the fall.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a blonde ale? Well, if they say so, sure. Heavy malt nose is followed by a prickly hop spicyness. Citrus and pine dominate for the most part. This is a nice drinker. Definitely a fall "blonde ale", if there is such a thing. I can appreciate it.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Semi hazed golden straw color with a single finger of white foam suds, decent retention time but minimal levels of lacing left behind.

S. Very heavy on the floral hopping spectrum with a subdued pale malt aroma underneath.

T. Citric peel flashes in and resolves to a honeyed malt base that finishes with a subdued earthy tone.

M. Medium body and carbonation. Smooth texture

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Photo of kemoarps
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly clean clear straw coluor with a decent white head that dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves good lacing.

The nose is mostly grassy hops and sweet malts, almost a hint of coconut? I didn't notice that in the last bottle I cracked. Huh.

The taste is that same grassy sweet. Again I'm picking up a hint of coconut which kind of confuses me. I didn't notice it in the last bottle I drank, and it seems out of place (not bad, just out of place), so I'm going to chalk it up to either something I ate earlier, or just something about this bottle, or just... I don't know. some anomaly.

So... This is a good beer. I don't know why this bottle was giving me hints of coconut. I don't know what's wrong with me. Go get some if you can find it. Sadly this was the last sixer in town, so I don't get more. If you too notice a strange coconuttiness to it, maybe I'm not crazy. But don't expect it.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint Pours a light to medium orange yellow amber, thin fine head the slowly dissipates to a ring, lots of lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt and hops. Taste follows aroma, sweet bready malt, light orange and lemon citrus hops. Light to medium bodied with light carbonation. Finishes with a mild hop bite on the back of the tongue. Subdued, but pleasant. Nicely hopped for a blonde ale.

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Photo of rawfish
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw with a mild chill haze to start, forms a pillowy 2 finger head of white foam that recedes nicely and leaves behind some spectacular lacing, a very pretty drink.

Musty straw, adjunct grain even that's brought back into focus by some grassy hops, rye spice and very subtle earthiness.

Equal balance of pale grains, a touch bready and grassy and pine needle hops. Bitters nicely towards the end of the drink and is finished off by a peppery crisp tinge from the rye.

Average carbonation, oats make this beer drink unexpectly smooth and creamy over the palate while maintaining a peppery rye note at the end. Well done.

A very good session beer and it manages to avoid that biscuit tone that alot of NB beers get. Rye and oats play nice with each other here. Very satisfied with this bottle.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by Nov 20, 2011. Pours hazy golden straw color with a nice 2 finger dense white head with great retention that reduces to a cap. Some nice lacing down the glass as well. Aromas of grapefruit, floral, orange, apricot, light caramel, bread, and a bit of wheat. Some nice aromas with decent strength. Taste of nice grapefruit, pine, floral, orange, bread, light pine, spices, and wheat. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, spiciness, bread, and light caramel for a bit on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel that drinks smoothly. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall a nice and drinkable blonde ale. Quite enjoyable and definitely a nice option for a session. It is nicely balanced in flavors and not anything extreme that would make it unpalatable after a few glasses.

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Photo of KajII
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a hazy golden yellow with an average sized (1-2 finger) frothy white head that diminished to just a little residue left floating on top after about five minutes or so, which created some really good sticky lacing.

The aroma was very mild of floral, grassy and pine hops with a grain malt and a soapy yeast and a note of citrus.

The taste was lightly bitter with a hint of grapefruit in the beginning and then became a tad more on the bitter side with a mild sweet orange citrus note at the end. The flavor lasted a really short time after the swallow and mostly consisted of a hoppy citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel was light in body and a bit watery in texture with a medium carbonation.

Overall a beer with a lot of different hops working very well together so not to overpower each other, or the rest of the flavors in this well rounded brew.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear as glass and golden. A big rocky head that shows no signs of dying anytime soon.

Plenty of hops in the aroma. Earthy and floral. Plenty of pine resin and citrus as well. A very robust hop aroma that leaves almost no room for an malt to come through.

Oily and dry. Earthy and bitter. Almost chalky with citrus, resin, and floral flavors. Smooth and hoppy throughout but with a sudden sweetness toward the end and the finish has a dry bite. Not a bad beer overall. Big hop profile and a lingering hoppy flavor.

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Photo of confer
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Close to pale yellow and crystal clear. Big fluffy head that lingers.
S- Citrus hops at a low level.
T- Starts with small hop bite but it doesn't last. The hoppiness fades away almost as soon as it starts.
MO-Overall an okay beer. It' seems like a pale ale to me.

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Photo of u2carew
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a finger thick head that settles to a big bubble lacing on top. Slight haze. Consistent upward carbonation. Bronze in color.
S) Robust hop aroma - sweet floral, hints of spruce, and citrus fruit.
T) Bold hop bite upfront. Pleasant sweet caramel and grainy undertones but a bit overpower by the hops. Linger hops in the finish.
M) Light body. Fizzy. Tannin.
O) Overall a good brew. The hops overpower the Blonde characteristics but I guess that is why it's call "Hoptober".

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Photo of scratch69
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance- Clear golden color with a fingers worth of head. Small amount of lacing.

Smell- Piney hop aroma.

Taste- Strong hop flavor with a hint of malt.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall- A little too hoppy for my tastes. Not a bad beer but I probably will not try it again.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: golden/yellow hue, very slight haze, nice layer of off-white tight-beaded foam, good head retention

Aroma: apple-y fruitiness with a touch of grain and herbal hops

Flavor: smooth, biscuity malt profile with a really mild hop flavor and just a touch of finishing bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, sparkly carbonation, crisp texture

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus notes. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts, some citrus, a touch of sweetnesss. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden color with a thick bubbly head and good lacing. Excellent appearance for this type of beer.

S - A blend of malts and hops, some sweet citrus and caramel notes.

T - A well-balanced mix of citrus hops and caramel malts. A crisp wheat taste as well. A little sweetness as well.

M - Medium bodied, crisp. Pretty nice hoppy finish.

O - New Belgium's Hoptober was a tasty blonde ale. It's a unique take on a fall seasonal and it's a beer I'll keep an eye open for next Fall.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Transparent golden color with a finger of head.
Citrus smell, with a backdrop of malt. Grapefruit and sour (good) dominate the citrus.
Strong bitter taste throughout, a little sweetness rounds it out. Straightforward profile and enjoyable.
High carbonation, light body and crisp.
As a golden ale it bring more flavor than normal, which is good. Not my favorite style but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of UnderPressure
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden yellow. One finger fizzy head. Melts to a quarter inch.

Citrusy hop aroma. Lightly malty.

Smooth citrus hop flavor. Appropriate bitterness for American pale ale. Malt backbone gives adequate support for style.

Medium bodied, nice mouthfeel. I like the carbonation level.

Overall, this is basically a (good) standard American Pale ale. I'm not sure why New Belgium chose this style as their Autumn seasonal, but it's good. Just more of a spring or summer thing for me.

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.