Hook & Ladder Golden Ale - Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)

Not Rated.
Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale

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154 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 154
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.15
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2) visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cichief on 04-28-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 154 | Reviews: 119
Reviews by Johnwf110:
More User Reviews:
Photo of generallee
3.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a very clear appearance with some visible carbonation and a bright golden color. Its head is light and sudsy, bright white in color and fades out quickly leaving no lacing at all.

Smell: Its aroma is mild and brings only a light hint of grain with very mild hops in the background.

Taste/Mouth feel: A simple but nice light grain flavor and a very mild wheat twang mixes with a good balance of bitterness from hops. The body is fairly light and highly drinkable with a thin texture and average carbonation.

Notes: Its overall appearance is a bit dull and its flavor was simple and light making it a nice summer time beer.

Photo of nem2006
3.41/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, yellow-gold with good carbonation visible. There is a good head that fades a little and nice lacing was left on the glass.

The nose is sweet with a little orange.

The beer is light bodied, but fills the mouth. It is slightly sweet with a little orange hint to it. It is quite smooth without much hop finish.

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.45/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a good golden color. Head stayed until first drink, was very similar to that of a pub ale.

S: Slight sweet, but dull smell. Overall, fairly apeasing.

T: For an ale, which is one of my favorite beers, this tends to be up top. The beer had a quality to be surprising each time, but yet something that I remembered.

M: The beer was somewhat syrupy in my mouth, but still left me wanting a bit more full feeling. I still feel that it is on par for other ales that I've had, but I wanted the taste in my mouth a bit longer.

D: I feel that this beer was something that I'd reach for on a regular basis. I was able to consume more than half the bottle without thinking about it, while still enjoying each drink.

Overall, I'd suggest this beer as a regular drinking beer for my friends, and to you as well. Best of luck in your findings, and as always, Cheers.

Photo of far333
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear straw yellow colored with a thick foamof bright white head. A fine stream of bubbles rises up.

Very low aroma of creamed corn, some fruit and lemon.

Non-complex flavor of buttery, biscuity malt, a little doughey, some hints of corn and lemon.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Average to slightly above-average, all around. Not complex at all, okay to try once but I won't seek this out again.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comparing this one to the Backdraft Brown, this one is stellar. Overall a very solid golden ale, more interesting than your typical version. Appears a slightly hazed pale yellow golden body with a bright white foamy head, after dwindling minimal lace is left behind. Aroma has tart apples with a slightly grassy hop presnce with a mild refreshing citrus note. Pale malts provided a biscuit malt sweetness but those esters from the yeast are very nice. Flavor has a delicate yet flavorful approach that I really enjoyed with a slight green apple tartness with notes of herbal and citrus light but hoppy appeal, nice semi sweet balance acheived with the pale malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied even stream of carbonation very easy going and refreshing. Drinkability always good to get more outta of a beer than you were expecting especially out of a Blonde Ale.

Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a clear, coppery amber color and pours a creamy white head with fairly good retention and light lacing.
The smell is some light malts with a crisp apple on the nose. Perhaps pear? Hops were also present, though not heavily. Light grains are detected as well.
The malt and hops balance well. The crisp apple / pear melds with a light bicuity malt. Hops bitterness is light. There's even a little spiciness to the hops. Husky grains are present in the back.
The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Body is light to medium and carbonation is quite active.
Don't let the rating fool you. This one is worth a try.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.17/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yet another brewery/beer that pays homage to firefighter's, seems like a very popular thing to do these days. "A penny in every pint" says the lable. "For evey barrel we sell, we make a donation to a local burn foundation" Seems like a good cause. This was brewed by Mercury Brewing Co. out of Ipswich, MA.

A yellow golden color with only a slight haze, very fizzy with a one-finger, thick, smooth and dense head that dissipates slow to only minor lacing.

Musty scented spices over sour dough bread, wheat 'n grains with a semi-sweet,red berry scent and a pine-tree resin hop edge.

The flavor at first is a toasted sour dough malt that is quickly dominated by an sweet 'n sour, lager like yeast effect that throws off the balance a bit. A semi-sweet, red-berries hop flavor does it's best to bring back balance but the musty herbal yeast tends to pop back in the picture and finshes with a lager-esque tangy yeast flavor. This one tastes much like an Australian sparkling ale but a bit fruitier.

Feel is light and crisp but ends pretty smooth.

I can't say i really enjoy the overall effect due to the balance being askew with a dominating yeasiness.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy golden yellow. White, 2 finger head. Average retention. The resulting lace hangs well and is somewhat clingy.

Smell - Grainy notes. Somewhat grassy.

Taste - Grainy malts and grassy hops. That's it, from start to finish. Fairly boring.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Carbonation is on par for the style.

Overall - There's nothing bad about this beer, but there's nothing great, either. Simple and straight forward. Drinks like a German pilsner.

Photo of Rootdog316
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale golden with a dissipating white head. Typical pale lager aroma. This has a decent amount of body and is not overly carbonated like it's peers. The maltiness has lots of sweet and pale wheat breadiness, with some hints of biscuit, and honey. Hopping rate is very low and puts this somewhat out of balance for my personal tastes. Short and clean finish.

Photo of cjgator3
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S- The aroma is pale malt, wheat with some fruits and just a hint of hops.

T- The taste features some wheat malt and is a bit fruity with a very mild hop presence in the finish. Not overly complex by any means, but an easy drinker for sure.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This one is pretty damn drinkable. Not much flavor in this beer, but I could see myself easily consuming a few bottles in a sitting.

Photo of tempest
1.95/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The beer looks good enough with a light gold body with a little white head, but this beer reeks of plastic and cholorphenols. The flavor at least has some pale malted barley and wheat in the aftertaste, but plastic and cleaning chemical notes are way too strong. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, but the drinkability suffers from the flaws. If this beer was contract brewed for me, I'd be pissed. I haven't come across a beer flawed this badly in a long time. Avoid.

Photo of wsunate
1.56/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The only redeeming value of this beer is that they donate 25 cents to a burn victim fund. Other than that, I just burned $5.50 on a disgusting, offensive tasting, flavorless beer. The lemon really is quite disgusting for this beer.

You really do get what you pay for. For two more dollars I'll take something local, something great.

Photo of HalfFull
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. twist off into a pint glass, this beer pours a light golden in color with half an inch of soapy foam. Nice and clear in appearance with a steady carbonation to keep a thin surface cap and yield some decent temporary lacing.

Bit of orange on the nose along with a light and sweet hint of banana couple with a prominent maltiness. Nice hop notes after some warming and agitation

Light citric sweetness carries forward to the taste. Wheat is evident in the flavor though I was unable to pick it up in the smell. A touch of simple sweet fruitiness offers a decent finish which lingers briefly. A light bitterness on the finish is quickly quenched with a final bit of citrusy malt. Excessive warming does deter a bit as a bit of a metallic nature reveals itself.

Overall somewhat sweet and full bodied for the style, but an interesting take nonetheless.

Photo of Gmann
2.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a small but dense egg shell colored head that dissipated into a light cap. The aroma is sweet with grains and honey, some cookied veggie smell. Overall kind of odd. The taste is of cooked veggies, quite grainy, a stale grassy or tea hop bitterness can be detected towards the end. A jumble of off-putting flavors. The feel is light with fizzy carbonation, finishes malty/grainy sweet. Not sure what they were going for with the brew. It seems to be a failed attempt at a Kolsch.

Photo of philipquarles
2.71/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours clear gold with a surprisingly large, fluffy white head. Smells slightly grainy with some off-putting metallic notes. Pretty faint. The taste is similarly non-descript. Hints of malt, some slight tang from the wheat, but all-in-all, not a lot going on. Light-medium body. Unoffensive, but so characterless that one doesn't want to drink it.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malts with a touch of citrus. Taste is light, mild, slightly sweet. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good brew.

Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours from a 12 fl. oz. bottle with no lot code or expiration date. Sampled on May 6, 2009.

A - A glittering gold with good clarity and a moderate half-finger off-white foamy head that lingers for most of the tasting. SOme positive lacing.

S - Wheaty and grassy with a slightly hoppy boost and fairly pleasant overall.

T/M - The mouthfeel leans medium and smooth on the inner mouth. The taste has a good balance of wheat, hops, and distant malts.

Photo of beerthulhu
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear pumpkin orange with a 1 finger frothy egg shell white head that settled to a thin, whispy covering after the first 2 minutes. No visible lacing was observed while the visible carbontion was moderatly strong and fairly rapid.

S: fresh oranges with perhaps some dried pears. Honestly there really wasn't a lot of complexity or scent to this and came off rather mundane, light in strength and rather boring. Yawn.

T: The flavor was fresh sweet oranges, dried pears with a decent spicy hopping. Some lemon and orange citrus with some sweet ripe fruit skins were detected. The oranges tasted more artificial like those sugar coated orange candies you buy at the store which only cheapened the flavor for me a bit. Some fruitiness of honey dews with a touch of muskiness and a honey suckle flowery hopping. Overall was light , sweety and fruity.

M: a light viscosity with a slick buttery texture and a good deal of tingly carbonation. Leaves a sweet orange honey malting behind on the swallow. Ok but doesn't get any better the longer you hold it so there really is no incentive here to savor. Average at best.

D: While the flavor was average it certainly doesn't warrant a repeat and falls short per style when compared to other staples of this style. shoulder shrug here.

Photo of diabecktic
3.82/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This light gold beer yields an airy, white head which is ~1 finger thick. Retention and lacing are both minimal, as only a very thin rim remains near the edges at the top of the brew throughout the course of the tasting. I see minimal rising carbonation, too.

There's nothing too complex here. It smells like a biscuity malt with a hint of grain and light citrus. I also detect a bit of yeast and hops, but no strong spices.

The malt is fairly astringent, with biscuity notes and a hint of lemon. Subtle hopiness becomes apparent towards the end of the tasting. The balance is pretty good, and any taste of alcohol is well-hidden.

This might sound odd, but the beer is a bit heavier than it "looks." There's minimal dryness, and a subtle crispiness imparted by the hops. It's of medium body, so it's not too dense.

Good balance makes this a very drinkable beer. Minimal alcohol flavor and a nice aftertaste make imbibing quite enjoyable.

Though it's not too sightly, this is a fairly good beer. Even though the taste wasn't exceptional, it definitely wasn't offensive. So, this beer isn't too generic, but it isn't of exquisite quality, either. I also enjoyed the balance and mouthfeel, as reflected in my rating. Again, it's good but not great; I might not go out of my way to drink this beer again, but I most certainly wouldn't refuse it if offered to me.

Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I guess I thought more of this than some others did. Tried on tap at Hard Times in Germantown over a steaming Cincinnati Chilicheeseburger. I know, heart attack on a plate. But the beer was great. Served in the tall (20 oz) tapered glass with a nice foamy head and a deep, shimmering gold color. Smell was immediately subtle, fruity hops and fermented malt ("beer") in the nose. Actually very appetizing, as if saying "Drink me!" Body was moderate, which said immediately "craft brew." And the taste did not disappoint. Almost all malt--rich, smooth (from the wheat) malt--right to the last drop. Others at the table were equally impressed. One suggested it would be a fantastic session beer, though the moderate body and craft-brew price would prevent it from being a "binge" beer (which is OK by me). By the way, H&L products now available in bottles. This one is OK (though definitely not as good) in the bottle.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler pint. No visible date on the bottle.

A - Clear gold that pours out highly effervescent with a one-finger loosely packed off-white head. The action goes down quickly as the fizz and head recede to a ring with no lacing.

S - Sweet honey overlaps crystal malts and a grainy aroma. There is a kiss of hops on the nose but nothing impressive. Faded into the background is a dry straw huskiness.

T - The lack of hops on the aroma is immediately made up for in the flavor. It's subtle noble hop flavor rounds out the sweet honey and maltiness with background grains. Not bad in flavor, a bit above average.

M - Smooth and slick on the mouthfeel, it has a crisp finish to it but it's not outstanding in any way.

D - I wouldn't have been too disappointed had I purchased a six pack of this beer. It really is a daily drinker much like a Miller Lite but a bit more flavorful. Not shabby but don't expect to get hooked.

Photo of altgeeky1
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden color with tangerine highlights, not much head, but the lacing is stable both around the rim and across the surface. Hazy as in cold haze.. clears up considerably as the beer approaches 60+ degrees F.

On packaging, I was expecting typical American Pale Ale - The packaging does not even indicate this is a Wheat Ale - but whatever... a wheat it is. I can see a lot of consumers being thrown off when they see a 'golden ale' which is hazy like a wheat. No bottled-on or best-by date disclosed anywhere.

Weak wheat smell, and you know there are hops inside.. and that's about it.

T - All I can taste up front is hops for a second. This is followed by by some strong sweet wheat bite with fruity and banana hints. Spices might be in there, or maybe it's residual from the yeast profile. Finishes with a heavy hops feel and a slight burn to the tongue from the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is sharp when served cold, and gets better around 55* F when some of the CO2 has dropped out of suspension. Drinkability is average. This is a bit sharp on the belly unless it's served cool instead of colder.

What I'd suggest here is more aroma, less spice, less carbonation, and maybe letting the consumer know what kind of ale it is besides being 'golden'.

I have to imagine this is almost a rushed reaction to the Pennichuck firefighter ale, because of the packagine really. There is nothing wrong with inspiration on this concept (indeed, I'd like to see the marketing duplicated further for police, returning troops and schools).

Photo of MLasoski
3.73/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this golden ale into a pint glass, with a very minimal head. It looks a crisp, golden color but doesn't give off any special aroma. It is slightly hoppy, which I don't mind. It adds flavor and doesn't take away from its drinkability. It's actually somewhat refreshing for a non-light beer. I could probably enjoy a couple of these in the summer with no problem. Being this golden ale was my last beer from my variety pack I bought, it ended it on a good note. The Hook and Ladder Brewery is not bad at all, they brew up some good ones.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours aclear gold with a thin head and no lace. It's aroma is fruity with hints of vanilla, dough, and honey. The flavor has lemon, cream soda, honey, and hay notes. The mouthfeel is light-medium and dry in the finish. Hook And Ladder Golden Ale is a good beer, recommended.

Photo of smakawhat
2.24/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Are you drinking a Blonde Ale? Yeah you are.. at least you didn't buy it, ok what's this all about, into a nonic pint glass to go.

A slightly hazy pale amber yellow, lots of carbonation. Head is shocking white, foamy, seems to fall slowly. Pour makes a lot of noise and snapping. Cap manages to keep for a short while.

Bouquet is rank. Smells like bile and vomit, not pleasant at all. Gross. I am trying to find something at least worthy, and I get nearly nothing.

Taste is very lacking. No malt presence, hop, chewiness, density, horrific aftertaste highlighting the nose nicely. Slightly numbing in the aftertaste and even grainy sour. Borderline wet, but with a little bit of seltzery feel.

There is nothing to enjoy here for me.

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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
73 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.