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Golden Era - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Golden EraGolden Era

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324 Ratings
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Ratings: 324
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 34
Gots: 4 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 03-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Golden Shower is brewed with all continental pilsner malt and hopped with the finest noble hops.

This beer is dry-hopped in the conditioning tank for 8 weeks.

80 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 296
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes. Thanks to Greg for opening this up for us to try.

A: Golden era was a clear copper/brown color with a small, slightly off-white head on top. Decent retention, but minimal lacing.

S: Overloaded with caramel and butterscotch, a bit oxidized. There was a little bit of pilsner malt and some light fruit.

T: Similar to the aroma, but the caramel and butterscotch were not as strong. The pilsner and pale malts came through stronger, also with a little bit of grain and some honey. Slight floral hop presence.

M: Medium bodied with slightly low carbonation, probably due to age.

O: Wasn't expecting too much out of this one, but not bad at all. Would have loved to have tried back when it originally came out.

Photo of davey101
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner, 750ml, Bottled on: 03/22/06. Poured into a DFH signature glass at fridge temperature. "The continually-hopped Imperial Pilsner. Brewed (against our better judgement) in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516". Huge thanks to bobbypaulson for this!

A - Dark copper/amber body. Very cloudy and thick looking with a lot of rising bubbles. Looks very similar to an apple cider. A dirty yellow/off white head with an impressive amount of lacing. Just tons of tiny little bubbles and it has legs when given a swirl.

S - Holy faded hops! This smells like a tamer version of an aged raison d'extra, fort, olde school or 120 minute. Its just this very unique aroma that I always attribute to these "green capped" DFH beers. Very barley wine like. Mildly bitter hops, figs, brown sugar, and sweet caramel malts. The finish is slightly grassy, almost medicinal. Very interesting aroma, however its not super inviting.

T - More of the aged DFH hop flavor. Faded hops and sweet dark fruits. There really isn't a whole lot else going on. The finish is slightly alcoholic but its consumed by that huge sweet profile. Syrupy and thick with low carbonation.

O - An interesting beer that I'm glad I was able to try. I would imagine that this beer tasted completely different when fresh..perhaps it actually resembled a pilsner. But at its current age it drinks like a lighter version of an aged 120 minute. Which isn't a bad thing at all. I would love to have another on hand as its actually help up pretty well over the 5 years.

Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one back in early 2009, bought it from a local 6 pack shop when I was first getting into beers. For some reason this one was kept behind the counter and out of reach by the common customer. When it caught my eye I bought a bottle of it along with a 120 Minute IPA just for the hell of it.

Got the bottle home and chilled it, poured it out sometime after and looked over it's typical pale golden yellow color. The head was foamy and white, leaving a slight lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer wasn't like a traditional pilsner aroma, there seemed to be a lot more to it than that. The smell of honey and fresh grains were in there and a pretty good amount of hops too. The taste of the beer had a nice sweet malt base with some booze in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very drinkable, one of the smoother beer I had tried at the time. Overall this beer actually had a good kick to it, I remember feeling a good buzz after drinking it. I kind of wish this one wasn't retired but I guess there isn't much I can do about it.

Photo of THECPJ
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Thanks goes out to Greg for bringing this one out of the cellar.

appearance: copper orange brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: caramel, butterscotch, sweet, malts,

taste: sweet malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: I dont think this beer held up so well over time. It was only bottled in 2007 so it's a tad past it's age in my book. But so glad I finally got to try it.


Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head curved pint glass.

Golden Era is a glowing beer, casting a big bright golden color bordering on straw yellow like hay. It's pilsnery with a bright white billowy head that's a inch up with staying power, and sticking power as well. Smell is str8 forward, pilsner malt blasting out the ying yang, knowing dogfish, they used a ton of this variety and it shows in smell and taste. Some tropics and bubblegum as well. This tastes a lot better than many imy pilz out there, they just don't cut the mustard, Era gets the job done while remaining in style with a big back. Tastes include pilsner malt up front, light fruits, a nice faint earthy hopping with some tropics. I like how the hay I get in alot of pilsners is muted here. The feel is a nice medium, greatly carbed and lively on the tounge, kinda bitey, not killer though. Gotta knock some points on drinkability as I cant gulp this like a lighter pilsner, It's not a knock on the beer, it tastes good, but not as easy going as most in style. I like DFH better when the beer is under 10%, beyond that, things get fishy.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2007. What do you know, while rifling through the pockets of an old suit coat (mine, not a dead man's), I found these notes for Golden Era from either late '07 or early '08. It leaves me wondering where else I've randomly stuffed away beer notes.

Appearance: Pours a clear, appropriately golden-hued body with an inch and an inch alone of snow white foam.

Smell: Sweet-scented pilsner malt aroma yielding some honeyish tones, along with notes of orchard fruits and zesty Continental hops.

Taste: Generous addition of pale and pilsner malts, developing some flavors of honey and grain to culminate into a taste reminiscent of the honey variety of Teddy Grahams. Hint of Honey Crisp apples. Spicy, floral, subtly herbaceous Noble hop character with a moderate amount of bitterness. Increasingly dry as you head towards the finish, though the beer still finishes a bit sweet and heavy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A bit heated, a bit heavy, though years later from these old notes, I've had hotted and heavier. Ah, Golden Era/Shower... back in a simpler, bygone time when the notion of a Double or Imperial Pilsner was really quite a novelty. Now, they're pretty much mainstream, but is the world a better place for that?

Photo of chaz410
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle was a three year old version.
Pours a golden yellow body with a thin white head.
The smell is full of intense grassy/corn based malt character. Lots of dried grain on the smell as well. Alcohol smell is pretty present, Lots of starchy rice layers. Slighthly funky yeast character.
Taste of earthy-woody malt character with some german spicey hop character. Nice alcohol warmth and rounded lager yeast punch at the end.
Pretty smooth which I'm sure is helped by the age.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a date of 2007 on it, under the Golden Era label.

Pours a golden orange color with a fair sized head, fades really fast though and doesn't leave much lacing, although some patchiness remains as it empties the glass.

Smell is lacking in hops, but is to be expected in an aged imperial pilsner, the aroma is replaced with sweet malt and a tinge of what I make out to be orange zest.

Taste has an odd vegatable-ness to it, but it's only in the aftertaste, for the most part it's sweet malt with a light fruitiness, carbonation is crisp, not much in the way of bitterness, easy to go down but I'm sure this was much better fresh (had it fresh years ago, just can't remember what it was like).

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.24/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I was the only person of four or five who hated this outright. I'll admit it was an aged sample, but judging by crowd reaction, I would've always had disdain for this, as likely as everyone else I was with may have liked it even more when it was fresh.

A - Cloudy orange-ish with decent off-white head; looks like DIPA

S - Golden shower. Ewww. Why does everyone else in this room like this? What kind of alternative lifestyles are these people living?

T - Cidery, grassy, cabbage-y and onion-y, with strange honey sweetness.

M - Nothing terribly wrong with the mouthfeel, except for the taste it imparts.

D - This must be what people think when they have a negative reaction to GUBNA. I am in the minority tonight in my aversion to this brew; ironically, I am also the one who gets excited about the Imperial Pilsner style. Huh.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 2 Dec 2007.

Medium off white head. Medium carbonation. Color of a urine sample (per A). Candied pineapple aroma. Lots of sweetness and hoppiness throughout. Some lemon and pineapple. Very rich beer, residual sugar seems high. Coats the tongue like 1% milk. Finishes with a lot of nice hop bitterness all the way down. Medium body. Alcohol quite noticeable.

Like liquid hop candy.

Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, was hunting for this one for a bit to add to my DFH bottle collection before BA'er aglose45 came through with a huge favor in hooking me up. served in a standard pint glass.

A - poured about a quarter inch of loose frothy, slightly off white foam. the beer is hazy, dark straw colored.

S - loads of grains, grasses, hay...very natural and earthy. some sweetness...caramel and lemon candy.

T - starts off a little sweet, caramel and honey play with some sharp biscuity malts. big and grassy in the middle...also picking up some rice, lemon rind, alcohol. finishes with some slightly bittering hops, minerals, wet cardboard and peppers.

M - medium to lighter body, mild but sharp and tight carbonation. a bit oily going down, turns to slightly crunchy and chewy as the alcohol takes hold.

D - still figuring out this style...this one is a bit unique. would love for them to release this again so i could try it fresh as a gauge to see how this developed. pretty refreshing but the alcohol reduces it to somewhat of a slow sipper.

Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle dated 3/12/06 under the name "Golden Shower".

A- Deep golden/slightly orange color- the first pour was a thin head, but it got thicker and fuller with subsequent pours from the balance of the bottle. Subtle lacing when the head dissapated.

S- lots of suble sweet scents- grassy, slightly fruity, a bit of hops.

T- slightly sweet, reminded me a bit of the Dogfish Sahtea. Caramel, toffee- slight hints of candy-like flavors.

M- thicker viscosity- good light fizz.

D- this was my first Imperial Pilsner- I could have easily ordered another bottle, but had to drive home! It went well with my meal- I found it to be very drinkable.

This ale (IMHO) is what I like about Dogfish- something different and "Off Centered" that was a pleasant surprise.

Photo of tuckevalastin
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750 from 3/21/2006

A: Orangish gold with a nice, long lasting, foamy, off white head

S: Smells of fruit with some sweet malty tones and some spicy hoppy tones. Has a bit of a boozy smell.

T: Initial taste is of honey and a biscuity malt. Some fruit and caramel flavors build upon this. Ends with some spicy hop flavors that don't take over. A very heavy taste for an imperial pilsner.

M: Full bodied with ok carbonation a thick feel. No bitterness, subtle spice, and not much heat (after 4 years anyway)

D: I have a feel the age has helped alot but at this point it's quite drinkable. It's heavier than your average pilsner and has a decent alcohol content but it goes down quite smooth.

Overall, I liked this one more than expected. I would guess the age is responsible for mellowing this beer down but it really is a charm to drink. The taste is interesting and original and seems to go beyond the limits of an Imperial Pilsner. The sweet malt flavor is definetly dominate and this beer has definetly become something near to a barleywine. Not the best beer in the world, but I'd be lieing if I said I didn't like it.

Photo of wedgie9
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 12oz bottle. Bottled in 2007

Appearance - Pours a cloudy, golden orange. The head is a rocky, lasting off-white.

Aroma - There is a very distinct lemon curd aroma. I also get the almost sweet brown sugar malty aroma that I am beginning to associate with higher alcohol beers. It also has a slightly metallic smell.

Taste - The lemon comes through along with an orange pith bitterness. The mid-palate is much lighter on flavor, showcasing only a biscuit flavor. The back of the palate and the aftertaste are dominated by a very pleasant brown sugar malty flavor.

Palate - The beer is full-bodied, and coats the palate as I expect the higher alcohol to do. The carbonation is average.

Overall - This beer is great. Very fun to drink, and I think that the age has really helped the alcohol to integrate and to harness the bitterness of the lemon present when it is young.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2007 vintage 12 oz. bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip glass.

A: Burnt orange, carbonation looks and holds up like soap suds.

S: Barleys, malts, faint citrusy notes.

T: Nutty, like mashed up Honey Nut Cheerios. Malty once it warms in your mouth. Finishes a little bitter.

M: One of the better features of this beer. The carbonation hits your tongue with tingle and the dryness makes your lips pucker a bit.

D: The best feature of this beer. Not sure if it was the age that did it, but for 9% it's pretty damn drinkable.

Overall, I didn't think an Imperial Pilsner would hold up this long and sort of resembles a barleywine. I'm glad I got to try this offering from DFH.

Photo of gford217
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, bottled 3/21/06, poured into a tulip.

Pours bright, hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that recedes very slowly and leaves delicate lacing on the side.

The aroma is extremely sweet, mainly with caramel and syrypy pilsner malts. Some light citrus hops and grass as well as some bready dough.

The taste is light citrus up front with lots of sweet caramel malts and sugar in the background. There is a mix toasted bread and grassy hops before the sugary sweetness of the malts lingers through the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation and almost syrupy as it starts to build up on the palate after each sip.

This is one of the better imperial pilsners I've had and, after this amount of time, is starting to taste a bit like a barleywine with the big sweet malts starting to dominate. Another interesting beer from Dogfish Head.

Photo of nickd717
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml Golden Shower bottle from March 2006 acquired via trade from truehumand, and poured into an Anderson Valley tulip glass.

A - Nice hazy golden-orange with a large creamy white head and good lacing.

S - Very sweet with pilsner malt, lemon, cider notes, and mild grassy hops. Maybe a little oxidized.

T - Sweet and almost barleywine-like in a a way with loads of pilsner malt, honey, sugar, and a solventy lemon finish that detracts from the flavor a bit.

M - Fairly full and syrupy, a little much for the style. A little astringent.

D - Average. Not bad for a strong beer.

Overall, above-average beer, although the people I shared this with had mixed feelings about it.

Photo of baggio
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: Golden orange with a thin foam and lots of sticky lacing.

S: Caramel, Citric notes, Hops, Rum.

T: Orange, Caramel, Dried fruit, Spices and alcohol.

M: Very sweet with a modest bitterness at the end.

This beer is a bit too sweet for my liking but it's still very drinkable. Maybe i need to try a really fresh bottle of this beer.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Slightly hazy, just a shade darker than gold. 2-3 fingers of white head rise. Great retention and lots of lace.

S - Big spiciness from the hops. Pepper and a touch of grass clippings are accentuated by a noticable alcohol presence. Soft aromas of honey and biscuits hide in the background.

T - Quick honeyed sweetness starts things off followed by a blast from the spicy hops. Pepper and grass from the nose, along with slight herbal notes and touches of citrus peel are all present. Late palate a general pepper/orange peel flavor persists alongside a growing alcohol presence. Alcohol becomes extremely strong and imparts a sharp bitterness. Bitterness begins to fade with soft bready notes from the malt and a strange combination of spiciness and weird herbal/medicinal flavors.

M - Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Carbonation level is refreshing though bigger body brings the crispness down a notch. About what I'd expect from an imperial pils.

D - A decent beer and exactly what I imagine an imperial pilsner to taste like, though it's all a bit intense for me. The strong alcohol presence plus the abundance of noble hops make for a unique and unfamiliar experience. Not a quaffer, but not exactly something to be sipped either. A great imperial pilsner? Of course. But this begs the whole question of whether a pilsner should even be imperialized...I for one believe it should not. Golden Era is a curiousity at best.

Photo of Buebie
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up from tprokop7 in a trade. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date, into my long since used pilsner glass.
Forming a very foamy 2 inch off white head. The color is a darker golden pale with some chill haze. Very constant carbonation rise.
The head takes several minutes to settle, leaving mounds of clumpy foam and plenty of very thick curtains of sticky lace.

The aroma is a sweet, floral honey smell with plenty of light cereal grains and a hint of somthing citric, or orange like in the backround. Some floral hops set off the aromas nicely.

The taste on this is quite good, my only complaint is some moderatly warm flavors from alcahol. The honey like sweetness does a good job at masking this and keeps it from lingering. The taste upfront though is actually pretty sweet with plenty of unfermented honey like flavors and alot of great grain taste, not husky or overbearing, but just right.
Finishing with bitter hop bit in a piney citrussy snap. Dry and crisp on the tail end with lingering bitterness.

The mouthfeel is carbonated, yet still somwhat creamy with a bit of slickness.

Delicious brew! This is the first pilsner I can actually say I adore. Very good indeed.

Photo of marvin213
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This is a dirty brown-lookin' pilsner. The head is purty thick and it impresses me as it sticks to the sides of my pint glass. Had the beer not overflowed upon opening (taken from a cold mini-fridge), I might rate it a 4. Minus 0.5 for spilling on my newspaper.

The smell is weird. Lemon rind, watermelon, cucumber...seriously, those are the smells that come to mind with this one. I know it was originally called "Golden Shower" so perhaps one other smell comes to mind.... Really, the smell is not very appealing to me. It's interesting and unique and, therefore, slightly impressive, but I can't say it smells good.

For a pilsner, this is really thick. The taste, particularly for Dogfish Head, is blah. I don't really sense all of the fruits (and vegetable) I smell. I taste a thick plisner. It's like a double pilsner. Is that what it means by "American Double" on this site? I figured that meant DIPA, but perhaps this is the first double pilsner I've encountered. That makes it more appealing to me, but I'm simply unimpressed with the taste of this one. I'm trying to be fair as I cope with the fact I don't really like pilsners that much so I think, considering that, that this one tastes slightly better than your average pilsner.

The mouthfeel is actually good. If I refrain from looking at, smelling, and/or tasting this beer, and just let it sit in my mouth, it does feel good. It's that aforementioned thickness that just lets it sit well. This is like the fat girl hook-up in college--it feels good but the details are worth overlooking.

Drinkability ain't so good. It's a cool beer because that's what Dogfish does. Still, it's named after piss. That's less cool. I can't imagine ever having more than one. I probably won't buy this one again. Though I like the thick mouthfeel and I admire and respect DFH brews, this one is perhaps the least impressive.

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Golden Era from Dogfish Head Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.