Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Golden Nugget IPA - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Golden Nugget IPAGolden Nugget IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

146 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 1,255
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 23.33%
Wants: 180
Gots: 182 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AmericanGothic on 06-06-2011

This spectacularly golden, medium bodied IPA was crafted from a winning combination of Golden Promise malt and Nugget hops. Fall in love with the big hop aroma of our Golden Nugget as it mingles with fragrances of citrus and evergreen, followed by a floral sweetness. Tropical fruit flavors entice your taste buds before immediately captivating you with a bold, hop forward taste and a pleasant bitterness in the finish.

56 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 146 | Hads: 1,255
Photo of BigBadBaptist88
1.59/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

This beer has gone down hill big time!! So average, watery compared to the Gnugg of the Past. Back in 2014 I bought an entire case, I know what this is supposed to taste like. This 4 pack version is trash. I hope TG has a QC department because this is nonconforming. Sorry to be so harsh but... Real talk

 304 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice yellow with a off white head, very sticky and lots of lacing.

The smell is light and citrusy with mild hops and a light bit of bready malt.

The flavor is good, but nothing special, a light slightly bitter and a big centennial like citrus quality. The malt is almost non existant, just a light bit of underlying sweetness.

The mouthfeel is light and a touch resiny.

This beer doesn't have any real faults, but is a bit on the boring side, was hoping judging by the name that it would have some nugget hop charachters, but there is none to speak of.

 565 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 22 fl oz. Brown glass. Unbranded pry-off pressure cap. Courtesy of Duff27. Appealing label design.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015.
Style: IPA (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Tulip.
Expectations: Sky-high given the brewery's reputation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: None - just a white floater ring which recedes fully within 1 minute, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Nontransparent translucent copper of above average vibrance. No yeasty muck is visible.

Looks like most IPAs. There's nothing unique or special about it.

AROMA: Pale malts complement subtle hints of tropical hops - mainly mango and tangerine (both of which are faint). A kiss of resin, maybe a whisper of pine. Faint hop oil. Touches of floral character and grasses. Maybe some apricot?

Aromatic intensity: mild.

No yeast character, booze, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Has a nice leavened pale malt backbone which lends it the perfect amount of sweetness. The hop profile is subtly handled, not beating the drinker about the head with its hop flavour and bitterness like so many contemporary problematic IPAs. A kiss of garlic and onion. Overripe melon on the climax injects too much bitterness.

Depth of flavour: Above average.
Flavour duration: Above average.
Flavour intensity: Average, even downplayed for the style.
Flavour amplitude: Good.

While not gestalt, it's quite cohesive, with a deliberate build and fair balance. Some sticky pine resin in the third act makes it a bit too bitter there, which carries into the finish.

Subsidiary notes of floral hops and grass bolster the tangerine-dominant tropical hop profile. A hint of mango.

TEXTURE: Unnaturally rough on the palate, dragging a bit and parching. Its coarseness is lightly irritating, its dryness wholly unnecessary. Medium to full-bodied, with adequate weight and heft on the palate. Could be softer.

Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable as an IPA, but not worth going out of your way to seek out on account of its relative imbalance. Not a stellar or world-class IPA from Toppling Goliath, but certainly a competent effort. Still, there's no harmony of texture to taste, and it's not a gestalt beer. Won't impress the discerning drinker.

The melon becomes dominant as it warms, highlighting the troublesome bitterness (which is the beer's largest flaw). Drink cold.

High C+ (3.21)

 2,525 characters

Photo of clager
3.27/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

L: Light copper color, clear. Great lacy head.

S: A little bit of citrus and floral.

T: Similar to smell with nice crispness and mild bitterness. Minimal malt which is an attribute I appreciate.

F: Excellent mouthfeel and well-carbonated.

O: Decent IPA, nice and crisp but not particularly outstanding flavor.

 313 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear darker golden huhue ith a one finger whiter head that leaves a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of earthy, herbal, tea, faint pine and citrus. Light sweet malts, just really herbal. Not digging this.

T - Taste is the nose, just in my mouth. Sigh. Tea, herbal earthy, a rather unappealing bubblegum taste that doesn't really fit with this beer. Argh.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, would like some more.

O - Overall I was incredibly unimpressed by this beer. Was just a mess for me.

 571 characters

Photo of stakem
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Slatetank for sharing this with me. Ive heard a lot about this brewery and im excited that this was my first of their offerings. It pours a hazy golden color with an off-white cap. Some spotty lace clings to the glass.

The aroma includes notes of mango and caramel malt with plenty of hoppiness that comes across like melon or cantaloupe. Some alcohol adds to that fruity feel as it warms up.

The taste is pulpy and pithy with that previously mentioned melon or cantaloupe yeasty green feel. Some caramel grain sweetness with grass and fruity alcohol. This is modestly bitter and unique but im not completely sure if I like it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. It is very melon-like which I was not crazy about but overall it was decent and im glad I got a chance to try it. Thank you again Matt.

 841 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Straight up straw appearance with a fast breaking white head of 2 fingers.
S. Some malt, a bit of lemon, onion, garlic and a hint of weedy pine.
T. Sort of bland tasting - I get mostly onion and earth-like hops with some bready malt serving as a nice backbone.
M. Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
O. I don't quite understand the wetting of pants that occurs over TG. The two beers I have had from them so far have been okay (PseudoSue being the other) - call them nothing special. Add the fact that they're only available in bombers at 7 to 8 bucks a throw and you've got any easy pass on buying either of these beers in the future.

 650 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served in a tulip glass from a 12 ounce bottle. July 1 bottle date.

Head forms frothily and thick over the clear, golden liquid. Carbonation is aggressive and lacing is abundant. 4.75

Smells nice and juicy with that pungent passionfruit aroma. Sweet malt adds a dessert-like flavor. Very delicious to my nose. 4.25

Hmmm, where did the wonderful aromas leave to? This tastes like a shadow of the nose. Fainter passionfruit flavor and pineapple, a watery, flavorless middle, and then a pinier and danker finish. Not loving this flavor. But it ain't terrible. 3.25

Lots of lingering bitterness to deal with in drinking this and the dryness starts early at about mid-palate. The finish has a zesty bite like citrus peel that is a bit harsh and disagreeable too. 3.25

Smells and looks awesome but doesnt drink so well. Bummer.

 826 characters

Photo of Evilyak
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

chuck d summed up this beer in 1998. don't believe the hype.

clear and gold, with a white head and lots of lacing. smells like pine sol and rubbing alcohol. not getting any of the citrus mentioned below; just pine. it's surprisingly not offputting. taste is thin. the pine is there, but not as noticeable as the nose. there's something fruity there, too, but less pronounced. bitterness lingers just a touch, but not enough.

it's ok, but it's the second ipa from toppling goliath that i've had that just doesn't live up to the reputation of the brewery.

 556 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.64/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft service into a nonic glass at Red's Alehouse in North Liberty, Iowa.

A: Crystal clear, light amber color with less than one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Clean, but not really attention-grabbing; subtle hops qualities detectable in the smell include earth, spice, and vegetation.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with piney hops aromatics that give way to earth, savory spice in the middle that is almost cumin-like. Malt is understated--restrained--with a rye-like crispness. Clean flavors reign late, with mild bitterness and delicate floral hops that may have been stepped on earlier in the flavor profile.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly resinous on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer is more similar to the IPAs of other, ordinary, breweries than to many of the other pale ales produced by Toppling Goliath. Although it possesses less unique character than a beer such as Zeelander, it is found to be a solid, middle-range offering for the style. It is also found to be remarkably clear; the pale ales of Toppling Goliath used to have a reputation for rather extreme haziness.

 1,153 characters

Photo of spacecake9
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on my last trip through Decorah.
I have to say it is the first beer from TG that has disappointed me. Looks great and smells great. But this is the first beer I've ever tasted that has what I would call a "grassy" taste. I don't know anything about Nugget hops, perhaps that is part of the flavor profile. This is not a bad beer or drain pour (I drank the whole bomber), but it is not a beer I would return to.

 428 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber that's about six weeks old, enjoyed from a teku

A: Beautiful shade of bronzed orange; slightly opaque with a creamy 1-finger head

S: Lots of grass and flowers, along with orange peel

T: Grassy and lightly hoppy, with some faint citrus and pine notes underneath. A little on the bland side.

M: Slick, creamy, and chewy; lighter-bodied and very drinkable

O: I thought this was a well-made beer whose flavors and aromas I didn't care for.

 452 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Jac's and served in a pint glass. My desire to drink fresh Toppling Goliath beers continues.

Very light straw yellow with a cover and some skim.

Smell is much lighter than anticipated, though I will go on record claiming the deepest depths at which I hate that shit that bars spray into upside down glasses in the name of what, disinfectant? It sucks and I firmly feel it detracts from a positive tap experience. As is, light pine and malts.

One of the sprucier IPA's I've come across in quite some time. Floral, herbal pine and the Spruce Moose. I said "get in!" Hefty malt spine supports the evergreen and the finish shows some light orange citrus. Bready caramel all over as a firm prop.

Lightly sticky and aptly carbonated.

Truthfully this was a bit of a letdown.Not a bad beer by any means, just not what I look for in an IPA. On the maltier side and really not especially fresh tasting. Still looking forward to more TG beers and happy Madison seems to be in the plans.

 991 characters

Photo of n2185
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Zeledonia for this nice IPA.

A: Pours a golden yellow with half a finger of white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Grassy hops dominate with some herbal and apricot aromas underneath.

T: Grassy hops here as well with some pine, herbs, and a bit of grapefruit coming through. The finish is clean and lightly bitter.

M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, this beer is very drinkable.

O: A solid IPA that isn't overly complex or in-your-face, but instead is simple and easy to drink.

 534 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle brought to me by the ever generous @mr-jj. Served in a snifter. Date is 01 July 15. I assume that's bottled on, not best by.

Pours hazy golden amber with small head that doesn't seem to fade at all. Not much carbonation. Smell is pretty nice, but pretty mild. A little fresh cut grass, a little citrusy flower, a little hay.

Taste is mild, too, but also good. A bit more of the citrus comes out. A bit stronger zest bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick, but light. Overall, good beer.

 504 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a Hopleaf tulip. Clear golden color. Forms a moderately large bubbly white head. Decent retention. Lots of lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Citrus forward with notes of orange and grapefruit. A faint hint of pine in the mix as well.

T: Taste is the typical IPA flavor. Mild caramel malts, grapefruit, and pine.

M: Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: This beer tastes like the stereotypical American IPA. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like I've had this beer a dozen times before.

 534 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy golden orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and slight tropical aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus fruit and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice citrus forward hop presence that makes this one easy to drink.

 634 characters

Photo of Taybeh
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%

From notes on 8/2/2014, poured from a Growler scored from Casanova's just before they stopped supplying. My first TG brew:
A: Vigorous pour into imperial pint glass. Well, light golden; nice 2 finger head that quickly dissipates, leaving decent lacing. Looks good.
S: Floral, earthy...definitely a change of pace from the tropical and/or piney hop bombs.
T: Follows the nose. Some biscuity malt backbone balancing the earthy, floral hops.
M: Medium, resiny.

Overall: This is good, it's well made, and it's a nice change of pace from other IPAs in the vicinity...I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt it down, but I'd happily drink it again. To be fair, Nugget hops just aren't my favorites.

 699 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Orange/Amber color, thin, tight head
S: lots of citrus and trop fruito
T: Tremendous upfront, lots of citrus, mango, etc
F: light bodied, easy drinking
O: I like it better when it warms up a bit...would recommend

 215 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date on the bottle of 9/1/15.

Appearance: Mostly translucent golden/caramel color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Classic mix of caramel malt and slight citrus.

Taste: The balance is fantastic between the sweet caramel and bold earthy bitterness. Citrus on the finish rounds out the hop character. Aftertaste of ebbing earthy bitterness. Adequate depth of flavor for 6% ABV. Reminiscent of 60 Minute and Celebration.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with unobtrusive carbonation. Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: An example of how great beers can be made with few ingredients. A no frills american IPA that's solid all around. Would I drink it again? Yes.

 658 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Appearance: Clear gold, big head.

Smell: Piney, citrus rind, vegetal.

Taste: Mildly sweet malt, then piney, vegetal hops. Low bitterness.

Overall: I was extremely surprised to find a bottle of this in Ankeny, IA. I wasn't blown away by it, but it is a solid IPA and definitely gives a ton of piney flavor. It reminds me of another beer, but I just can't place it.

 373 characters

Photo of chefbrady
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic appearance, aroma is light, some citrus, some toast like. It's a nice drier styled ipa, not overly hoppy. Pleasing to drink just not mind blowing.

 154 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Toppling Goliath makes a lot of outstanding IPAs and APAs. Although for me, Golden Nugget ranks behind both SOSU and PseudoSue when comparing TG brews, this is still a very solid IPA. I guess I didn't think it was quite as crisp and refreshing as Sue so that is what downgraded it for me a bit. It didn't go down quite as smoothly as I would like. It was still rather enjoyable!

 378 characters

Photo of Stevem68
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color. Has a mild aroma of piny hops and sweet malts. Flavor is hoppy with a slightly sweet finish and a lingering pine hoppy aftertaste. Smooth to drink and just a nice IPA overall

 196 characters

Photo of Hendry
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden hue with tons on tiny bubbles rising to the top,half finger of white head that reduces to a permanent cap,splotchy lacing in the tulip.

Aroma is relatively subdued for such a fresh bottle: not much excitement in the nose with mostly malt with a touch of grass and citrus in the background. There is a sweetness in the aroma reminiscent of an iced cinnamon bun. It seems like this one could have benefitted from some dry hopping.

Taste is an improvement over the aroma, nice crisp citrus flavor as it warms albeit sort of a one note melody. Slightly piney that lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel is light medium and crisp. Brisk carbonation with a dry finish.

Not really understanding the World Class rating in this solid but one dimensional IPA, but it was enjoyable and worth a shot. Nugget isn't one of your sexier hops, but it is a time tested one that fits the bill when utilized properly.

 909 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Golden Nugget IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.