Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Hoptober Golden Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

496 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 496
Hads: 957
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 51
Gots: 70 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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: 496 | Hads: 957
Photo of Chaney
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Welcome to DC New Belgium.... earthquake and all....

NB is new to the DC area and everyone's excited.... including me. Not only is it in the craft beer gourmet markets, but I bought this one over at Safeway!

Presently #3 in the Blonde Ale category huh? Hell, I thought Victory Summer Lover was much better.

A: Golden ale for sure! Crystal clear, with a slight foamy head that died down within seconds.

S: Not much.... maybe some slight puffs of malt.

T: Hmmm... Slides down the throat VERY well. Blonde Ale huh? I can see that. Mild hop profile, but overall, this was very lager-like.

M: First of all, the lacing was ridiculous! After that, the carbonation was great for the style, and the brew had a very clean finish, but nothing special.

O: I think the other reviews on BA are totally in line with my experience overall. Good, but not great. Someone would have to twist my arm to order this one in a bar....

 917 characters

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

On draught poured into a shaker pint glass. There’s about a finger’s worth of head that takes its time to die down. Nice mellow aroma with some piney notes. Pours golden and clear. Is this a fall quaffer or a seasonal sipper? Light body, pleasing balance but dialed down to light music levels. There’s a maltiness to this that’s neither chewy nor overpowering. An enjoyable beer for falling leaves and cooler weather.

 425 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up as part of a mixed six pack last week on a whim. Poured a light golden color with a huge white head that poured over the sides. Light hoppy aroma, with similar hops on the palate, along with a little sweet malt. Decent, but ultimately forgettable.

 257 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly hoppy for a blonde!

Pours a very light hazy white/gold/yellow. Big white tightly bubbled head.

Smells like ground up dirt/grass/flowers, with a bit of pine. Interesting. No sweetness in aroma.

No sweetness in flavor, either. Just a pleasant, one-note, lightly bittered pine, almost herbal/earthy in quality, with a bit of a very gentle acrid aftertaste. Maybe some lemon rinds or bitter citrus, as well.

Well carbonated. Pleasant.

 447 characters

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

 403 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice.

Attractive pour, with a straw golden, lager-esque look that sports sedate carbonation. A thick cap of foam initially, bone white in color and well-retained, but it eventually settles to an off-centered patch of large bubbles. Great lacing, too. Subtly hoppy nose, with soft & sweet grapefruits leading the way, backed by a hint of peppery spice from the rye and sweeter crystal malts. Enticing, but it makes you work for it...digging this one so far.

A damn tasty beer New Belgium has crafted here. Although it's called "Hoptober", the grain bill is the highlight for me, as the rye and oats meld perfectly to form a sublime, earthy smoothness to the body. Suggestions of wet hay and raw oatmeal, before a spicy kick from the rye hits mid-palate. Hops take charge of the finish, adding a great, bitter balance with notes of citrus flesh and green mint. Mouthfeel is a bit aggressive for the style, but that's not too much of an issue for me. Although this won't be the most in-your-face brew that New Belgium has to offer--far from it--but the flavor of Hoptober is both original and superbly well-balanced. An easy choice and easier drinking...seek this one out if you can!

 1,223 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: light golden body, trace head on top, zero lacing.

S: hint of floral aroma, mild grain

T: sweet grain and floral front, mild finish

M: med/light body, good carbonation

O: Fine, but not great nor awful. Good session brew for a newbie.

IF SEE IT, TRY IT, BUT NOT A MUST HAVE!

 283 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprise surprise, some members of the local tasting group told me this beer sucked, then I tried it and it wasn't half bad.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, the appearance of this beer is everything you'd want in a golden ale. Brilliant clear golden color, a well-formed one-inch white head, and excellent lacing. Stunning.

The aroma is rather grainy with spicy rye notes and a nice earthy hop profile. A little corn maybe.

The flavor is very nice and interesting for the style. Pale malt and a slight graininess, rye, a subtle wheatiness, orange peel, and earth. There's a lot going on if you take the time to appreciate it.

The finish is bitter, crisp, and clean. Medium body with a nice smoothness on the mouthfeel.

Great golden ale overall! This is one of the better beers I've had from New Belgium recently.

 830 characters

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

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp pale yellow with a slightly frothy off-white head. Aroma is a mild blend of sweet malts and citrus hops. The taste is a nice subtle blend of citrus hops and pale malts with a nice subtle lingering sweetness. The beer is on the light side of medium with decent carbonation. This is certainly an interesting beer, one that would also be good in summer.

 414 characters

Photo of jsprain1
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A very nice looking golden/amber looking beer with a very thick white head that sticks around for quite a while.
S- smells very floral, with a little citrus, particularly grapefruit integrated in. a little bit of cookie smell hidden in the background, but the scent is definitely hop oriented.
t- very tasty. starts citrusy, moves to a little bit of a bitterness and finishes with some floral and bready flavors.
m- I like my beers to have some presence to them, and this one does, but it was a little overagressive. the carbonation left a little bit of piercing feeling on the pallate. mouthfeel was slightly above average for me.
d- overall a very good beer. one of new belgium's better beers. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will likely enjoy it again soon.

 759 characters

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

A - Light, clear, sunny gold color with a large, fluffy, foamy, marshmallow fluff like, bright white head. Good retention leaving a thin, patchy lace.

S - Nice bready and grainy malt provides a good base. Strong floral hops along with some grassy hops and a hint of orange citrus. Not what I was expecting from the style, as it is quite hoppy.

T - A lot like the nose with a strong bready and grainy malt backbone. This mixes well with a good floral, and grassy hop flavor. A touch of mineral and spice toward the finish. Very well balanced, simple, and refreshing beer.

M - Lighter side of medium body and about average carbonation. Crisp, zesty, refreshing feel.

D - Pretty drinkable beer with a very crisp and refreshing taste. Simple and well balanced beer with a nice mix of bready/grainy malt and floral/grassy hops.

Notes: A little surprising for me, given the style and the brewery, I wasn't expecting a whole lot. Fortunately I got an enjoyable, refreshing beer. It isn't going to blow anyone away, but is going to be a simple beer I could drink a couple of and enjoy. Would be a really nice introduction beer with its nice balance (especially for introducing to hops), and it would be nice for non-intro reasons too.

 1,232 characters

Photo of JamesS
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice light yellow/semi-gold color with nice head and a bit of nice lacing. Nice scent, clean and fairly crisp with a nice sweetness and a faint bitter hop aroma. Nice taste, clean and clear with a nice mixture of hops and malts, although nothing really stuck out; balanced but not strong. Goes down quite well, nice and smooth. Would be a much better summer beer, I think, than a fall brew.

 398 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to see another NB brew on the shelves here. Pours a light gold with a big frothy white head on top. Great retention and it leaves some nice lacing on the glass edge. Smells like oranges, lemons, and candy.

The mouth is crisp and clean. Plenty of carbonation on this one. The taste is interesting. Pretty citrusy and hoppy. This is like a tamed down IPA. This is not bad. It's not your typical "October" beer, but it's good. Refreshing and tasty.

 452 characters

Photo of rye726
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper with a thin beige head. Nose has floral hops over candy malts and spices. Taste is also on the hoppy side for a Marzen, but still has some nice malt characteristics. Body is a bit light, but well carbonated. I like the addition of extra hops to the style, but would also like to see a stronger base beer.

 324 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was mostly golden. About ¾ inches of head. Nice lacing. Film stayed on the glass throughout.

Full of flavorful smells. Citrus hops with orange coming through. Some light wheat in there as well.

Not as good as the nose. Citrus still is the main taste and still seems to be orange. Kind of a flower feel in there, too. A very slight bitter finish. EDIT: Next time I tried it (three hours later), butter was dominant. To the point I had to drop the ratings. Pretty gross.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Still that slight abrupt bitter finish.

I had big expectations for this after the smell, but it disappointed me a bit. I’d probably give it the old college try again, though.

 749 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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 GilGarp
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Initially skeptical of this one for some reason, possibly because their recent seasonals have been "crowd pleasers" in the worst way.

Best before Apr 2, 2010.

Served cold in a pint glass. It's very pale yellow in color with great clarity and white head. The head sticks around a good while leaving some very nice lacing on the glass. Otherwise a pretty average looking beer.

Aroma is sweet with light malts and mild hops. Nothing too exciting here but it's pleasant.

Flavor is still mild and not as hoppy as the name might suggest but it's good in the long run. Pale malts start the beer off sweet but it soon becomes surprisingly bitter. It's not a big 'west coast' type of hop bitterness. More british or pacific NW with an earthy/grassy character. Nice balance to it.

Mouthfeel is light in body and heavy in carbonation. I prefer the opposite but it's not too bad for this style.

Drinkability is very good. This could easily be a summer seasonal and I would greatly prefer it to their current Skinny Dip although, given the way it sells around here, I know it's not going away.

Overall a more impressive offering than I expected. A great session beer. I just don't know how it works as an autumn seasonal.

 1,215 characters

Photo of armock
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of citrus hops on a slight malt backing

T - Follows the nose citrus hops on a bready malt backing

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - One of the better NB beers that I see around the hops definitely add some life to this beer making it fairly good to me worth a try sometime

 398 characters

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

Appearance was nothing special, very light colored and clear, with little head or lacing.

Smell and taste were pretty good, with a floral hops presence and some bready maltiness. There's a bit of a grainy/grassy aspect as well.

Feel wise it was very light and super easy to drink, although it seems a bit more of a summer beer to me.

Overall it's not bad stuff at all, but may not make the headlines. It's plenty drinkable though.

 435 characters

Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw colored with a white head that sinks quickly. Aroma of bread dough and citrus, some notes of pine.

Flavors of hops upfront, mix of citrus and floral, notes of honey and cinnamon. Some grapefruit rind in the finish. Piney notes linger. Full mouthfeel, tingly carbonation, a bit dry, good beer.

 304 characters

Photo of hardy008
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear gold color with a small white head and a decent lace. Smells of floral hops with some malt. Taste is mostly floral hops with bit of a malt backbone. Light bodied, decent carbonation, but overall, nothing very exciting. I won't be buying this again.

 254 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold with great clarity and lots of carbonation. A rocky alabaster cap has tremendous retention. It slowly falls to a 1/4" pillow that sticks the whole way down the glass. Leaves a nice amount of chunky lace.

S: Smells mostly of pine, plus a little citrus. A light caramel sweetness can be found if you let the nose linger.

T: Piney hops dominate the flavor, but don't overwhelm with bitterness. Malt is dry and subdued. Finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness.

M: The medium body is slightly slick. The carbonation feels a bit high and a bit too harsh to me.

D: This is a nice beer overall. It's fairly light and goes down easily. I'll be revisiting this when it comes back around next year.

 708 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.77/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dull yellow/orange with a thin white head, no retention or lacing.

The nose is very hoppy with a big lemony and juniper smell.

The flavor is thin and one dimensional with some grassy lemony hops and a some very faint pale malt. Diacytl comes through as well.

The mouthfeel is thin and oily.

Not very good.

 318 characters

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

Pours a relatively clear deep straw in color, perhaps light golden on tap into a pint glass. Offers an inch or so of rather resilient foam which casts off some solid lacing.

Quite hoppy on the nose with pine, earth and a bit of citrus. Slight sweetness emanates but doesn't overwhelm and is in fact masked well by the hops.

Full flavor with some hop spice and a bit of citrus on the finish. Rather full bodied given the color of the beer due to the rye addition I would gather. Somewhat bitter on the conclusion given the robust hop nature as well. A bit filling given the coarse and bready texture of the beer but quite drinkable otherwise, though the bitterness may deter in time.

Surely not what I was expecting yet an interesting beer that seems a bit homeless in the style department. Or perhaps more appropriately it has many homes in that regard.

 856 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says best before 18 December 2011. Into the glass it goes.

Pours a medium golden color with an orange cast. Clear, with a one-finger white head that fades fast but leaves good lacing.

Smells awesome. If this tastes anywhere near as good as it smells, I will be happy. Smells more like a Belgian golden ale to me than a blonde, but what are style categorizations anyway? Has a sweet fruity richness, heavy on the stone-fruit. Lovely peach aromas, with some pleasant tropical notes. Topped off by light citrus hops. Pure, sweet, crisp, balanced, and delicious.

Taste is hoppier and less balanced than the smell. The peach and sweetness is still there, though it's more subdued. Hops are present mostly as a tingly bitterness. I find that light bitterness clashes with the rest of the flavor, though, so it comes off as two different beers banging heads with each other. Very dry, clean finish with only a little lingering bitterness.

Light body. Carbonation is evasive; sometimes it feels fizzy, at other times flat. Dries out quickly but leaves my mouth slick - a strange combination.

Another beer that starts strong but loses ground. The smells are simply fantastic - if I have another bottle, I may just let it sit and inhale the fumes rather than actually drinking it. The flavors don't blend well, leaving it unbalanced and hard to enjoy.

 1,353 characters

Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.