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Hoptober Golden Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

879 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 879
Reviews: 484
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 32
Gots: 32 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Riccymon on 08-20-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 879 | Reviews: 484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow with a 1 inch puffy white head that settles to a thin cap. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some herbal/floral hops. Taste is of malt and rye (slightly spicy), citrus zest, and a variety of herbal and floral hop flavors. Almost zero bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good blonde ale that packs a nice hop punch in the aroma and taste.

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle at Rustico Alexandria yesterday during the New Belgium kickoff. Served in a goblet.

Pour brings a light yellow liquid with a good white head and a bit of foam on top. Nice lacing as it goes down.

Nose brings forward some light floral hops and a touch of citrus. Light malt base. Flavor is slightly hoppy with some light bread to back things up. Just a touch of sweetness.

Light body with crisp carbonation. I guess the hops are the biggest component, though they're not all that strong.

Pretty good for a blonde. A nice summer brew that could serve well as an introduction to craft.

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice gold color with a decent white head.

Nose is nice yeast nose with a hint of sea water.

Mouthfeel is wonderful with perfect hop/malt balance; big and rich.

Full big hop character and flavors of pine and grapefruit but fully integrated with other flavors.

This is a big brew yet elegant. Finish is short grapefruit with undertones of pine. This could easily be a "go to" daily beer.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with three fingers of head; both lacing and retention were impressive

Smell: Floral and citrusy, with just a hint of the light malt underneath

Taste: Four grains were used in the malt bill and the complexity that brings is apparent, up front, with a light toasted, shortbread character that has a crisp rye element to it; the malts, however, quickly move to the back seat, with the floral, citrusy hops taking over; nicely balanced, into the finish and the floral character lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: Never thought I would rate a blonde so highly; this one re-defines the style, however

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Of the few classifications that this beer can fall under, the Blonde Ale wasn't one that I thought.

The color falls between straw and golden making me think that it was done with a lower kilned Brittish pale malt rather than pilsner. Especially since I don't get any of the grainy, vegital, or sulfury notes that come along with pilsner malts.

Malts aside, this beer is all about those precious Cascade hops. At the proportion of a strong Pale Ale, this beer definately takes on Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale aromas and flavor because of those signature hops.

Higher abv gives a solid dryness and crispness further emphasize the lighter body and low levels of sweetness. I just wish this beer was a Summer seasonal to quench my thirst for easy drinking hoppy beers.

Although this beer uses different hops, it reminds me a lot of Goose Island IPA with it's light color, crisp and clean flavors, and dry hoppy finish. Though Goose Island's is more full and stronger, they are in a similar class.

Thanks dpodratsky!

Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

A: single finger head, clear amber color with little lace

S: pale malt and some earthy hop notes.

T: excellent flavor and nice hops with a semi bitter finish. Grain notes.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: A drinkable beer that is relatively simple.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Polished gold with bright yellow highlights and a crown of lemon-tinted ivory colored foam. It's a quality look that any American blonde would be proud to have. An extensive and attractive array of lace seals the deal on a good score.

A hop lineup that includes Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier (and 40 IBUs) suggests that New Belgium named this beer with a purpose. It smells wonderfully citrus zesty and has a mildly spicy undertow as well. Good things are expected.

Hoptober Golden Ale doesn't taste like the typical American blonde ale. The malt has more character and the hoppiness is APA-like in terms of quantity. Given the fact that the 'best by' date is just several weeks from today, it might have been IPA-like immediately after bottling.

The flavor derived from malt is toasted and spicy. According to the label, four different grains are used: barley (pale malt), wheat, rye and oats. Sweetness is easily exceeded by a white grapefruit-lemon zesty and grassy hoppiness. White pepper notes are also noted. Hmmm, I would have guessed Saaz in addition to the C-hops.

The mouthfeel is at least as accomplished as all the rest. It's easily big enough for the ABV and is one of the finest of this style that I've ever experienced. Guess that means that 4.0 is too low.

Hoptober Golden Ale is the real deal and is a fantastic addition to the brewery's seasonal lineup. Along with Mighty Arrow Pale Ale, this is my new favorite New Belgium brew.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another one from whole foods yesterday, and i really did like this one alot. served cold and consumed on 08/17/2010.

really just a very, very nice pour here with a pale golden amber and a two finger head of white foam that left a nice little cap on top and some good lacing.

aroma is light herbal hops, grasses, hints of light cereal grain and smooth caramel tones. very nice and tight, clean profile that really did not dissapoint at all. really well balance with light grassy notes leading the charge and wonderful light malt bill that kept it clean, lean, and crisp while providing a good bit of balance as well. quick hitting and very clean finish left me very happy with this one all the way around.

overall a really, really well done beer and a new favorite from new belgium for sure.

Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a light copper color with hints of gold and a nice big white head.

S: The nose offers plenty of toasted biscuit malts with a clean, light, floral hop aroma and a touch of grass. A hint of spice to the beer as well that I'm guessing is from the yeast.

T: A well balanced flavor with some good floral and earthy hops along with a touch of bitterness. The pale malts offer up some biscuit flavor and ties everything together.

M: The body is medium with a nice carbonation that leaves a crisp, dry, refreshing feel on the tongue.

D: New Belgium's beers are sort of hit or miss for me and blonde ales are not really my favorite, but this was quite enjoyable. I'd happily have this one again.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Best Before: Feb. 26, 2010.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper-hued body with a tall, frothy, white head. Modest display of soapy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Simple pale malts let in airy, aromatic hop scents of fine florals, juicy tropical citrus fruits, and meager spice with just a little bit of bashful rye hiding in there as well.

Taste: Light pale maltiness paired with a soupçon of spicy rye and a relatively mild overall sweetness. Predominately citrusy hops (that starts off lemony and gradually develops into a taste of fresh, sliced grapefruit) with a bit of additional hopspice to it. Medium-light bitterness. Finishes dry, lightly bitter, lightly crisp and with a lingering taste of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Pleasant, tasty blonde, golden, whatever you want to call it that goes down fairly easy. It's one I could drink down in substantial quantities and would love to pair with food of some kind.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This usually isnt a style for a fall seasonal so a nice change of pace.Poured into a standard pint glass a light to medium golden with a thinner quick to fade white head that left some broken lace behind.Big citric hop aromas along with some sweetish caramel.Hmm the hops dont seem to hit home as much on the palate as the nose,pretty citric in its hop profile,a big caramel/biscuit malt layer stands up to the hops making it pretty balanced.Not bad but to me its not as hoppy as others have suggested,still a nice change of pace for fall.

As I drank more the more I noticed the creamy,lush mouthfeel the oats imparted so I gave the mouthfeel a higher score.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now that it actually feels like October, and not early September (not that I'm complaining), it's time to crack this souvenir from my most recent border crossing.

This beer pours a clear medium golden hue, with two fingers of creamy white head, which leaves a nice paint job around the glass as it falls away. It smells strongly of sweet, fruity citrus and green hops, and mild bready malt. The taste is another large rush of varied hop flavours - sweet, bitter, floral, leafy. There's a decent malt under there too - biscuity and sourdough like. The carbonation is moderate, the body nice and hefty for a blonde ale, smooth, and somewhat creamy. It finishes surprisingly even, the hops thinning out a bit against the sweet bready malt, with some latent warming.

Definitely one of the better examples of the style that I've encountered thus far. Big and hoppy, but still light and easy to drink. A very nice bridge, or lead-in, to the coming winter and its warming requirements, beer or otherwise.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

turns out hoptober isnt very octobery at all. the tap had autumnal colors and fall leaves all over it, i thought this beer would do much more justice to the season. poured a watery yellow into a pint glass, nice lacey head. aromas of hops are robust and somehow also seemingly delicate. mouthfeel is light, this beer doesnt have much of a body to speak of. taste is good, not as unique as other new belgium beers, but its a nice pint. i enjoyed it with a burrito, but i find it not too fall. might be better as a spring seasonal, light and growing kind of, like spring itself. it worked out well enough though, given that october 1st here in denver was sunnny and 80 degrees.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Another random gift bottle from my brother. Sometimes family can pay off, amiright? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is a very simple and straightforward blast (okay, blast is a strong word...more like a light breeze) of lemon zest. I'm gettin' nuthin' else in my 'strils, baby. The taste is similarly simple, with the aforementioned lemon being wrapped in a soft blanket of mild pine and grapefruit rind. It's exceedingly light, and the flavors don't even try to linger on the tongue. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, an okay beer at best, something akin to a lemon-flavored macro (that was originally handled decently well, admittedly).

Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stable in St. Louis.

A - Poured a clear golden hue with a white, one-finger head of soapy foam. It left a little soapy lace on the glass.

S - Great aroma floral and citrus notes with a hint of sugar cookie. Really unique and really good.

T - It had a sweet caramel backbone (like most blonde ales) but it had a hop presence that was befitting its name. Good bitter citrus hops were delicious.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - Simply put, this is the best "American Blonde Ale" that I've ever had. A great hop presence with a sweet caramel taste that all blonde ales have.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold, with 2 fingers of foamy eggshell white head. Retention stays creamy and rich, leaving a great looking cascade of lace back. The aroma has a huge freshly hopped bouquet on it, being floral and spicy up front before settling into a much more pronounced dank mix of herbal character and citrus. Grainy sweetness hangs on the edges, giving this some extra earthy tang.

The bitterness in the taste is livey and spicy on the tongue, with some extra gritty earthy character going on as well. This is balanced by sweetness and bright citrus flavors, with a bit of toasted breadiness creeping in on the backend. Finishes spicy, earthy, and VERY dry. The type of dryness that sucks the moisture out of your mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly feel that spreads out in the mouth that then gives way to a much sleeker and oily texture which runs throughout the body. This is pretty easy moving overall.

This was nice. A Blonde Ale infused with a hearty amount of dank and earthy hop character, this reminded me a lot of a wet hop beer at times. Good drinkibility on this as well. A fine fall seasonal from New Belgium.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with hints of lacing, over crystal clear pale golden color.

Nose has some nice light but plentiful hops, light floral noble hop style, bit of earthiness, slight hint of grassy and fruity hops, with hints of golden malts and toasty straw.

Taste is nice as well, starts with light golden malts, hint of toasty straw, juicy. Then come the hops with some light floral hops, a bit grassy and earthy, juicy fruit hops with hint of musty resin and slightest hint of citrus fruit. Finishes dry with more bitterness and some light musty hops with hints of citrus.

Mouth is med bodied, dry and slightly crisp, with good carb.

Overall pretty nice, a nice light end of summer / early fall style beer with nice hops, light on the malts but they're there, a nice American twist on a nice fall style beer, and I'm happy how they kept the hops from going overboard.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours straw colored with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Very good head retention & good lacing

S: Grassy, citrussy & leafy hops

T: Grassy & leafy hops up front, pretty much follows the nose, plus biscuitty malts & dryness, much like most NB offerings. Grapefruitty & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes crisp & dry with kiss of grapefruit

MF: Medium body, light carbonation & good balance

Drinks really easy, nothing too exciting here, but a decent session ale, none the less

Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden/light amber color with a finger of thick white head. Good head retention with some nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops with a bready malt background. Mildly sweet.

Taste: A nice hop bitterness up front, citrus and mild herbal hop bitterness. As the hops fade, there is a bready biscuit like malt that shows up. The finish is a bit bitter and slightly underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. I would have liked the finish to be a bit more dramatic, but the taste was very nice and easy to drink. I would have another.

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #3 American Blonde Ale on beeradvocate.com best of styles lists. Served in a New Belgium goblet because I am one sick bastard and this sort of thing gets me off.

Beer is amber to blonde....clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing moderate carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet and a little grainy, eh...

Beer is light in body with a grainy finish but not offputting. It is an interesting and decent beer, I drank the whole bomber of it out of my awesomeness tulip and I'd have more. It is mildly hoppy even on the midpalate, minimal yeast contribution.

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.