Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale | Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers

144 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers
Florida, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 06-02-2008

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 242
Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The slight, white froth quickly appears and diminishes over a clear orange beer that becomes hazy as the bottom yeast enters the Dogfish Head snifter. A viscous film coats upon swirling while a glow from within backlights minimal yeast in suspension.

This one is sweet, similar to a Reisling white wine. One can clearly pick out apples, crisp cider, honey and assorted spices.

Sweetness dominates with just enough bitterness to keep it drinkable. Crisp apple juice with some spices linger throughout. Overall, there is a light, sour tang in the finish. This one warms to bring out more wine-like flavors as well as peach and apricot.

The texture is full and supple, reminiscent of fresh peach juice. The carbonation is light while the alcohol is as expected.

I would consider this a dessert beer and, if one were to use a wide interpretation of style, I could understand it as a Strong Pale Ale. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable.

The label states 2009. If this is true, my bottle had three years of age. The above ratings are clearly my personal taste, not by style.

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Photo of drunkmonk
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden bronze, with thin creamy head. Thin sheet of lace. Spicy corriander and some bannanna, tofee and some earthy hops. Flavor follows suite with some sweet malt and corriander and spices. No hop presence. Finishes a bit on the sweet side. Alchohol is very well intergrated. Light and crisp, maybe a little to light, with ample carbonation. Overall an easy drinker, but a bit on the sweeter side. Not bad

Thanks to Paulthebeerguru for the throw in.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy but transparent golden color that produces a small head that doesn't hold for too long. Lacing is not too great either. Lots of bubbles rising from the bottom, so I assume this will be pretty damn carbonated.

S: Strong Belgian yeast notes; candy, bubblegum, spearmint, and come spices that smell like coriander and cloves.

T: Very similar to the nose, not very complex at all, in fact its pretty one dimensional. Very yeasty, bubblegum, spearmint, cloves, and some candy sweetness.

MF/D: As the pour suggested, a little over carbonated, light in body, smooth and long spicy finish.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light copper to gold in color, perfectly clear, with a small white head that fades quickly to a faint covering. Smell is a strong lemon and honey sweetness that shows a bit of alcohol, also a more subtle banana bread sweetness behind this. Taste follows suit with a nice bready sweetness in the background blending with the lemon and honey. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly cloying sweetness, small amount of hoppy dryness in the finish. A good beer, a little thick for my preferences within the style, has hints of crispness and dryness that try to cut through. Look forward to seeing how a little age affects this one.

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Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't sure what I was getting with this one based on the name and label, but the Belgian strong pale character was unmistakable. Alcohol was up front and lent a bit of a rough edge to an otherwise reasonably smooth beer. Some candy sugar notes toward the end, wiht a little powdery finish. Not great, but not bad, either.

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Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle dug out from behind the bar at The Celebration Town Tavern in Celebration, Florida, this brew shows a golden iced tea color, hazy with a solid white foam cap and good lacing. The aroma is coriander wheat and bayberry. Alright if a bit weak. The flavor brings big clove and vanilla banana with a sweet lemon-like touch. It’s near full bodied, with fine and sturdy carbonation. Medium drinkability and very decent for an American version of the style.

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Photo of nickfl
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Light gold color, good clarity, somewhat small head for the style.

S- sweet, malty, honey like aroma. Some nice yeasty esters as it warms up.

T - Malty, grainy flavor. A little bit of hops. Definitely some belgian golden flavor here, but the sweetness is distracting. Sweet syrupy finish.

M - Thick and sweet. Way too heavy for the style, not quite enough carbonation to lift it off the palate.

D - Overall not bad. It is too thick and sweet for the style and a sad substitute for Duvel flavor wise as well. An ok effort, about the same level of quality as the rest of FBC's beers.... at least they are trying something new.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sending me this one awhile back.

A: The beer pours a clear yellow/golden color with a finger's worth of white foam.

S: Yeast is the first thing I smell followed by bread. There are some nice fruit notes of oranges and bananas. Some slight spice notes of clove are present too.

T: Sweet and fruity is the best way to describe this one. Lots of banana, pear, oranges, and apples. I get a fair amount of yeast, but not as much as the nose showed. Definitely some bread and candi sugar there to provide more sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation.

D: Not bad, but not terribly good either. I probably wouldn't care to have this again.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice golden color into a tulip glass with a nice white head that held up pretty well with plenty of lacing.

You can smell fruits and hops with the first whiff. The taste is crisp with plenty of hoppiness, a good front end and a better finish. Fruity and light on the front, with the hops coming in on the finish. This is a pretty sweet tasting brew, which is not my standard fare, but not unpleasant.

Decent mouthfeel, maybe a bit on the thin side.

I could drink a couple of these on a hot day, as it was I enjoyed the heck out of the one that I drank.

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Photo of number1bum
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #13.

Poured into a Chimay goblet it's an orangey golden color with decent clarity and about a finger of off-white head. Keeps a thin lace and leaves some stick on the sides.

Smells of sweet malt, some yeast, quite fruity with a buttery/bubble gum like aroma.

Taste is sweet and quite fruity. A bit too one dimensional in the sweetness, which seems to have some honey in addition to the pale malt, but the multi-layered fruitiness (passion fruit especially) helps. There's a buttery quality to it, and not much in the way of spice or yeast. Mouthfeel is a hefty medium body, pretty slick on the palate. It feels sort of chewy and bready in the mouth even from the abundance of sweet malt.

Not too bad...a bit too sweet and not very complex, but it's drinkable. Not something I'd go out of my way for again, but it's worth a try.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet... it's a hazy orange color with a really small white head.

Smell strong of wheat, with a little hint of apples. No real Belgian spices that I'd associate with a Belgian ale.

The taste is better, spicy, fruity, floral notes... pretty good. Certainly better than expected after the aroma.

Pretty solid mouthfeel too, bubbly, carbonated, not too thin... good.

Easy to drink, the alcohol doesn't come through strong at all. Ended up a pretty decent beer I think.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Lost Kangaroo.

Poured dark hazy amber with average rocky off-white head tkat mostly lasted with god lacing. Medium sweet malty aroma of citrus. Medium body with a sticky texture. Medium sweet flavor and small hops and light alcohol bite for a finish.

Good brew and high ABV.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

Pours golden with a nice little white head and some happy carbonation. There is a little lacing, too.

Smells heavily of bananas with a touch of light grape and yeast. A little one-dimensional, but pleasing.

The taste follows the nose to the letter. Lots of banana up front followed by grapes, yeast and a banana blast in the finish. Tastes like a cross between real bananas and Runts. Kinda weird, actually.

The feel is light and creamy. Good feel for the taste and style.

Overall not bad, especially for the price. I'd try it again, especially on tap. I do wonder what it would be like with a little age, but I have a feeling all the non-banana Runt flavors may disappear. Worth a try, though.

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Photo of ordybill
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a murky pale orange color with a small white head. The aroma is light citrus and alcohol. The taste is yeasty with some citrus.

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Photo of jlindros
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice fluffy 1 finger head rises and fades slowly, with a slight Belgiany fluff, and fades semi slowly with a decent lacing. The color is a mostly clear slightly hazy golden orange color.

Nose of light Belgian malts, a little spicy dry saison like malt, golden Belgian yeast, light spices and citrus, little lemon grass, sweet malts and touch of booze.

Taste is fairly sweet with some warming and tingly booze, and boozy taste, Belgian malts, light dry saison malt flavors, sweet malts, a bit of candi sugar, light citrus, orange peel, and Belgian fruity yeast. Finish dries a bit, lingering sweet malts, light spices, and some booze.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation and pretty boozy warmth and tingle.

The drinkability is meh, with more of the tingly and warming booze, drinks higher than 8.5%, and a slight sticky feel over the dry finish.

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Photo of zeff80
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden amber color with a small, tan head of bubbles. There was very little lacing or suds left behind.

S - It smelled fruity with some bready maltiness. A hint of yeasty spice.

T - Fruity with notes of pear and apple. Sweet breads, caramel and toast with a mild spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is an okay Belgian-styled ale. It just lacks the complexity and depth that I like in the style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2009, poured into glass chalice:

Pours orangeish amber with a thin head that becomes a wispy patch. Trailing lace slides down the glass. Tight, small bubbles rise to the top.

The smell is of bubblegum, cotton candy and just a small hint of a grassy touch.

The taste is of bubblegum, cotton candy - fruity with just a slight touch of grass. Sweet with a bready, slightly funky, dryness in the finish.

The feel is carbonated - almost effervescent. Body holds up. Sweet, but not cloying.

Alcohol isn't exactly covered, but not too sharp or dominating. Leans towards too sweet, but has some dryness in the finish. It has some characteristics that put it as a "Belgian-esque" brew. Not a bad American attempt, could be more refreshing, though has some refreshing quality.

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Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a golden pilsner color with a thin foamy white head. Spicy aroma with hints of light, crisp fruit and alcohol. Flavor is spicy and contains a bit of citrus peel and peppery zestl as well as hints of apple and pear. Slightly dry finish.

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Photo of mwa423
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy golden color with some white head that well enhanced aroma.

S - The aroma has some light Belgian notes but little else.

T - The taste is quite pleasant, one of the better in style I have had. The taste is a bit beefier in the taste with yeast, and sweet maltiness along with some alcohol burn.

M/D - Mouthfeel is thicker than most in the style, leaves a nice taste in the mouth. This is decently drinkable that was a great trade extra!

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

This beer poured a dirty-orange color with little head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin film at the top of the beer. Aroma is very fruity, but which kind of fruits is hard to nail down; I think maybe pear. The belgian yeast is also detectable. Mouthfeel is a little thin. It does hide the the 8.5% abv very well. Drinkability is okay, but taste is sort of one-dimensional sweetness. Decent, nothing more.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.49/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up this beer in Panama City, I was in the area to see my friend from Sweden and his family. Poured into my De Garre snifter.

A - Pours a golde yellow, with a bit of haze but not enough to not see through. Not a bit of head even after a vigourous pour. No lacing.

S - Nice aroma, though nothing great. Smells a bit spicey, with a hint of sweet malt. A tiny bit of that Belgian yeast aroma.

T - Nice tasting beer. A bit too sweet for me, and not enough of a yeasty presence, but it is actually noticeable. A little bit of spice, perhaps coriander and orange peel; a bit "wittish".

M - Very light and crisp.

D - Exceptionally drinkable. Despite the low ranking I give this beer, I could definitely drink several of these in a sitting. I will pick this up again if given the chance.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Cigar City

A - Pours an orange-golden hue, a bit hazy with a nice little white foam.

S - The aroma is a little funky and zesty with a lemony aroma like a Radler (Shandy). This is interesting at first, but when reinforced by the flavor it becomes a bit unfortunate.

T - The alcohol is well-hidden, because my first impression is that it tastes a bit overly lemony, like a Radler. Overall, a mixed bag; credible Belgian funkiness, contrasted with de rigueur flavors of orange and lemon zest. It seems a bit uninspired and underachieving.

M - On the refreshing side of medium-bodied, well-carbonated.

D - Although there are no glaring flaws, I am not crazy about this. Something is off. It is close to being good, but it is not quite there.

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Photo of weeare138
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a transparent gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a small collar. Mild speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of apricots, apples, meyer lemons, cloves, coriander, doughy bread, nectarines, and caramel.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of an estery flavor that reminds me a little bit of the Unibroue yeast strain with a pilsner malt base.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hot of alcohol, spicy, and yeasty.
This one is in need of some age.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. 2011 vintage.

3.0 A: Deeply hazed light orange color. About one finger of frothy white head that falls very quickly and leaves but a touch of lacing.

3.5 S: Overripe peaches, peppery spiciness with a touch of clove, red apple, pear, and sugary sweetness with honey. Overall the malts are lightly biscuity.

3.5 T: Fruit to begin this with strong peach and, in decreasing order, pear, red apple, and orange. A touch more clove than in the nose with about the same level of peppery spiciness. Moderate honey flavor with moderate Belgian yeastiness. Again, biscuity malts. Booze is pretty well hidden.

3.5 M: Medium body. There's a richness to this that comes off as a little bit chewy. Lightly spritzy carbonation that would be great if there was a bit more of it. Otherwise, smooth.

3.5 D: Not a bad beer by any means. It doesn't impress, but it doesn't disappoint either. Based on the scores, this must have been different or had problems in the past. In any case, worth a try.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was advertised as a Belgian Beer with a Florida twist. I'll admit I was slghtly intriqued. Also claimed on the label to use German Pilsner malt and Saaz hops.

Poured a dark golden color reminiscent of a quality Belgian but the head was lacking, dissipating to almost nothing within nanoseconds. That familiar pilsner smell does rise from this beer, along with a weighty malt nose and some tendrils of yeast and alcohol both.

The taste is interesting, with the promised heavy malt and expected alcohol notes. Buttery, thick texture with an oily finish. Not Belgian but maybe "Belgianesque". This is a cool beer if you can find it. Not awesome but worth trying and has a nice kick.

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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers
3.34 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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