Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Hoptober Golden Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

485 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 485
Hads: 897
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 43
Gots: 45 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hoptober Golden Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 485 | Hads: 897
Photo of GRG1313
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (401 characters)

Photo of cnjohn19
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served on tap in a tulip glass at tyler's in carrboro, nc...

first thing to note is my pregnant wife sitting next to me immediately commented on the smell of this beer when it came to our table...and i have to agree...fruity esters dominate with citrus hops hit you pretty strong...extremely surprised at the hop level in this golden ale which completely dominates any malts/yeast flavor trying to get through...it was just a tad too bitter, but beyond that everything was pretty excellent...i really think this is one of the better brews i've had from new belgium and i'll definitely get a six pack next time i'm out...

in all this is a great beer to share with friends who like hoppy beers and want to try something out of their normal selection...would probably serve as a good cross-over beer...

cheers! (810 characters)

Photo of Tunafever73
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy crap! This is kinda what I said after the first sip of this creamy elixr of the heavens.

Poured into 20oz glass, I could only empty 3/4 of the bottle before the rich creamy head spilled over the rim. It then stayed there until I couldn't take it any longer and waded past it. The nase is hit with strong citrus, mostly grapefruit, without losing the hoppy aroma. The taste was exactly what it should be, creamy, smooth, and citrusy.

After the second bottle I knew for sure.
This just earned a spot on my favorite list. Superb! (534 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear pale orange beer with a lots of visible carbonation. Nice two finger snow-white head on top that leaves a holey blanket of lacing down the side of the glass after dissapating. The smell has a nice sharp piney hoppiness to it backed by a very pleasant malted barley aroma. Clean, balanced nose.

Up front there is a nice clean feel that tastes almost sweet, like there's a twinge of tangerine almost. Bold and bitter hops take over the back of the palate. Piney hops are the main feature, but they are almost matched with a nice smacking of caramel malts that come close to balancing this one. Certainly a hop-forward beer, but there is that balancing factor in the malt bill. Every now and then, a sip will just remind me of tangerine as well, adding a layer onto the complexity. The carbonation level is right on for the style at medium-high, but despite that, there is a wateriness to the feel that is just a smidge out of place. Otherwise, it finishes crisp and dry, fitting for a beer featuring the month of October in its name. Very good beer, and definitely worth the 3.99 price tag. I will almost certainly be picking this one up again. (1,160 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours crystal clear, golden-straw, with a creamy, thinnish white head and significant lacing; nicely persistent as well. Loads of bubbles streaming from the glass' nucleation points creates a very nice looking beer.

Nose is very fresh - grassy, floral, with a clean resinous quality, and a lemony zing to round things out. Just a beautiful, vibrant noble hop bouquet, with just a hint of grainy malt underneath. Really beautiful nose.

Taste is dry, starts out with the light sweetness of pilsner malt, a bit of a grainy quality but quickly moves to the prominent but almost delicately dry hop note that pairs a big, lemony zestiness with a refreshingly grassy undertone, and a light bitterness that lingers dryly on the palate for the long finish, alongside shadows of the earlier cereal notes and a nice final dose of lemony goodness.

Mouthfeel is light, with a subtle creaminess. Moderate carbonation brings out the hop notes nicely.

Beautifully balanced and drinkable beer; normally, I'd see this as a fantastic summer beer, but the unorthodox release time does nothing t take away from what it is, which is a tasty, light-bodied beer that goes great with a huge variety of food. (1,229 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Pours a clear golden color. Very bubbly with a large white, frothy head. Smells of a lot of hops and some wheat. I'm digging the scent on it. Very subtle yet intriguing. Taste is initially a sweet, malty flavor with some definite rye notes. Then you get the hop flavors. Not very bitter, but hoppy at the same time. At the end you get some caramel and some very delightful fruitiness. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing. A perfect beer for a warm summer night. The drinkability is VERY HIGH. (512 characters)

Photo of pweis909
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a perfectly transparent golden ale with billowing pillows of foam and multiple tracings of lacings left behind as the foam recedes. There is some graininess and grassiness to its aroma, which leans towards the citrusy hops of Sierra Nevada. There is a bit of carbonation bite to its taste, but beyond that, there is soft subtle malt sweetness. Perhaps the word soft comes to mind because the texture of this beer, especially the initial foamy layers, reminds me of nothing less than soft lips of a sensual kiss. In this sense, this may be the sexiest beer I know. The beer is worth experiencing for that reason alone. A blonde? Maybe more like a pale ale, but I'm sure some will think of blondes when they spend time sipping this delightful ale. (753 characters)

Photo of bboven
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful crystal clear golden body with over a finger of head that leaves tons of lacing.

Grapefruity C-hops abound. I like hops, so it's cool with me, but the malt is overpowered.

Same the flavor. Lots of complex hop taste, but little malt.

Highly drying and crisply carbonated.

All in all, if you like hops, you'll love this one. (336 characters)

Photo of Erish
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: brilliant golden color, 2-finger white head falls into a persistent cap, excellent lacing.

S: pine, citrus, slightly funky earthy yeast (very New Belgium).

T: lemon, orange, light cracker-like malt, the middle brings the funk, and also a sour, lemonade note, the finish features grass and pine hops and a dry, slightly bitter finish.

M: light-bodied, smooth, moderate carbonation.

D: this light-bodied beer seems more appropriate for the summertime, but is damned tasty and refreshing any time of the year. (570 characters)

Photo of anchordrinker
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- transparent golden with a cloud-white two fingered head that dissipates to a thin layer. good lace.

S- piney, ester-y, resiny, grainy

T- citrusy, spicy, delicate floral sweetness, toasted grains (oatmeal and rye come through here). incredibly complex for the low abv.

M- silky smooth, but a little too much carb bite for my taste. (probably could have poured it more aggressively)

D- exceptionally drinkable and light while being highly complex

this is a great seasonal offering, especially if the prospect of a moderately-hopped complex golden ale sounds up your alley! (579 characters)

Photo of captainfroth
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very tasty blonde; super silky mouthfeel and excellent hopping converge in New Belgium's Hoptober Golden Ale. I would love to get a number for the IBUs on this one. Also, I would love to see this on draught, it may lose something coming from the bottle; nonetheless, a perfect beer for the end of summer and start of autumn. (326 characters)

Photo of iSip
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Belgium Hoptober: Great name and a great beer! The Hoptober pours with a clear deep golden color and light carbonation. The head is thick, pure white, pillowy and leaves a beautiful lacing. Aroma is very present with lots of hop. Hop flavor comes on strong at the start and lasts all the way through. The underlying malts are subtle and stay that way – the Hoptober is not too sweet as many types of ale are. There is a bit of bitter in the aftertaste. All in all, this is just what ale should be if you like complex hops winning over malt sweetness. (556 characters)

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a cloudy golden with a 1" pure white head with great lacing.

S - Pine & citrus and all that comes with a fully hopped ale

T - Terrific malt and oat flavoring gives way to a dry bitter finish.

M - Light carbonation and smooth

Over-hopped? perhaps. Wonderful malt and crisp bitter finish - YEP. (309 characters)

Photo of ElmerBruisery
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh (1/8/12) 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass

Puffy white cap raises to 2 fingers and slowly fades leaving plenty of lacing. Color is golden, crisp and clear. Half an inch head remains throughout leaving thick lacing when the beer is finished.

Nose is big fresh piney/citrusy hops, light yeast, very nice. The 5 hops beat out the 4 malts in the super fresh beer.

Taste is piney and some citrus hops, bready malt, very smooth, dangerously drinkable. The rye is noticeable and enjoyable.

Overall this is a great and very drinkable beer. (544 characters)

Photo of rmdunlap85
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks very nice, clear, deep golden color with a clean white head. The head stays until the end of the beer, at least it did for me.

S - I loved the nose on this beer. It smelled strongly of citrus and smelled very appealing.

T - The overpowering citrus character of the nose is evident, but not overpowering in the taste. It also has some grassiness and floral notes.

M - It is creamy mouthfeel, not very heavy carbonation

O - I really enjoyed this beer, it is unlike any other fall seasonal that I have had. It is light and crisp with very nice citrusy flavors. I wouldn't necessarily have this on a colder fall day, but it is pleasant when the weather is still warmish. (680 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Closest looking to a regular macro that I've seen. Light to middle hued golden color and a short fizzy head. Head did retain decently.

S- Definite floral tones along with a light lager type of smell. Slight sweet smell along with light malt smells.

T- Makes me think of a lighter beer with actual flavor. Good hops bitterness mingles with quality malts, no adjuncts. 40 IBU seems a little high for this, but according to the bottle that's what it is. Finishes clean and refreshing.

M- Slightly creamy, yet still light and refreshing. Great compliment to the taste profile.

Overall, I really liked this beer outside of its appearance. The appearance made me not expect much, then, boom, great beer. I'll have this again for sure. (735 characters)

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange that is brilliant, clear, with a nice white head that laces.

Smells of floral and citrus hops with some malt character coming through. Not completely complex, but a nice, strong floral hop nose.

Tastes of grapefruit, pear, slight tropical fruit, a hint of pine. It's all hops in the taste with the malt balancing and coming in just in the back.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied...easy to drink. Maybe a bit more body would be nice. Smooth finish.

This beer really showcases its floral, fruity hops and has enough malt sweetness to keep it almost perfectly balanced. It's easy to drink yet slightly complex, but more than anything, the flavor is just fantastic. If only there was some of the oily-ness of Pliney, this would be to the next level. I look forward to this one every year. (808 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, earthy malt, and sweet malt, and some citrus. Fits the style of an American Blonde Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops (not too strong or bitter), earthy malt, sweet malt, citrus (fruit-loops), and some more hops in the finish. Overall, good bodied, smooth, inviting, well-blended blonde ale. (466 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice foamy head topping two fingers an sticky lacing. Just exceptional bubbling, hundreds of tiny columns of bubbles rising to the top of this foamy brew. The color is a golden hay with light copper hues mixed in. Medium hoppy nose, adding light citrus and heavy earthen grass aromas to a dry pilsner malt smell. The taste is mildly bitter to start Repeats of the earthen grass, but no citrus. The malts add a dry toasted gristy taste and mouthfeel. Pretty good balance for a hoppy blonde ale. Good tasting beer, but the hoppiness makes this beer falls a little short for drinkability on my scale. Still very good overall. (622 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent pale gold with a forced 1-finger head. No retention. Laces well.

Very bright nose. Lots of hops here, which I should have guessed from the name. Definitely not your standard fall beer. Faint citrus, mostly lemon, and some very faint pine. Picking up toast as well, maybe some toasted malt thrown in.

Thin up front, but the hops kick in quick. Very nice flavor. I get the roasted malt that was there in the nose as well as some bready yeast and a slight lemon-apricot zest. A fall IPA.

Feel has a smidge less body than the flavor demands, but not a big detraction.

Overall, a very nice beer from NB. Well worth a try. Or two. (643 characters)

Photo of KMcG
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear straw color with nice 1-2 finger head that settled quickly.

S: The aroma is sweet with citrus and very mild (faint) floral tones

T: The malty and hoppy components are quite balanced at a medium range. There is an earthiness to this beer and the hops are noticeable, especially toward the end.

M: medium-light body and definitely creamy. A little heavier than I would expect from a blonde, but it works for fall style. (435 characters)

Photo of BeanBone
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal-clear, golden-amber body capped by a little over a finger of near-white head that features good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy and tropical-fruity hops over a biscuity malt body. If you'd presented this to me as an India Pale Ale, I wouldn't have thought twice based on the aroma.

Taste: Moderately bitter, green, and citrusy hops up front. Underneath, a toasty, biscuity, and caramel-like malt body keeps everything nicely balanced. The aftertaste is citrusy, a little leafy, and biscuity with a nice bitter kick. In the flavor department it ends up resembling a Pale Ale, rather than an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy with good carbonation. A dry finish.

Drinkability: A very quaffable brew that would be make for a great session choice.

Verdict: It's always nice to see New Belgium playing on the hoppier side of the spectrum, and Hoptober ends up being a tasty, easily drinkable, and cheerful little beer. (961 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a perfect golden color with a very fresh head and nice lacing the smell is malts and spice and hops a little citrus..taste is the same it has a smooth malty start followed by a crisp hop/citrus flavor ..its quite tasty very drinkable...to me its like a hopped up wheat ..this brew would be great all summer instead of the fall its a very solid beer and its the 1st one from new belgium that does not have the proprietary yeast taste ..i like all of NB brews but have not found one that is over the top.. again this is a great blonde/pils/lager/pale?..and is recommended (575 characters)

Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptober pours a golden tone of amber. Almost light orange-butternut squash. Great October tone Beautiful thick head, medium high carbonation.
Smells of Cascade, pepper, Centenial, lemon, orange,malt, hint of toasted grain/ fruit that create a beautiful nose of an fall brew. The peppery spice at the finish really sets of the whole nose.
Flavor is a noticeable step above most standard NB offerings. Spiced grains, floral hops, maple, toasted bread, tangerines, squash, peppep,coriander seed, bit of clove honey and orange round out the finish, spiked with a hop profile that is assertive and extremely well balanced.
Mouthfeel is medium. Malt is kept in check by the spice/hops. Carbonation could be a touch higher but is very good the way that it is.
Excellent beer, excellent fall beer. Great overall. (806 characters)

Photo of argock
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.99.

A: Pleasing light amber with 1-2 finger foamy light beige head with good retention and plenty of lace up and down the glass.

S: Very nice rounded aroma with good balance of hops and malt aromas. The hops are a little more pronounced with citrus, herbal, and floral most prominent, but the maltiness is no slouch with a good dose of crystal malt which provides a good balance of caramel and toffee along with the pretty substantial pale amlt base.

T: This beer is one of my biggest surprises of the year. It is balanced and highly drinkable. I don't think blonde ale is correct for this beer as it screams APA with the strong orange citrus and floral flavors. It has some English pale ale flair as well with plenty of tea-like and herbal flavors. Maltiness is not forgotten, and caramel, toffee, and some soft chocolate flavors come through. This is a really nice rounded brew that really fits the APA style more in my opinion as it promotes hoppiness foremost but also doesn't neglect malt complexity. Hoptober is the best APA I have had this year.

M: A nice coating mouthfeel to this beer with even carbonation and a firm medium body, supported by generous malting.

O: This beer does not get enough respect -- it is a very good APA with plethora of hops and malt aromas and flavors. I am really impressed with this beer. Will I spend the money to buy this over a now $12.49/6-pack FW Union Jack -- probably not as I think UJ is one of the best IPAs around. But Hoptober is a sneaky good IPA that I would love as an everyday beer for its balance, body, and fresh hops and malt flavors. (1,720 characters)

Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.