Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale | Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"

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244 Ratings

Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very slightly foggy light orange amber with a thin white head that falls fast. Nose is strong with yeast and dough. Kind of overpowering though. Flavor is bright with citrus tones. Noticeable sugar. Minor spice tones. Overall a very vibrant flavor profile. Feel has a good carbonation to it, but the liquid is a bit sticky. The verdict is that this is actually a pretty decent BSPA. I have certainly had some real bombs of this style when produced in the U.S., but this is not too bad. Round the edges out a bit, and you've got one hell of an ale. Much potential.

 571 characters

Photo of fishguyac
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of andy1701
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of SalMineo
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Lukass
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Beermaine
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of cottonkoozie
3.74/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep honey golden color, some slight cloudiness. Not much head or lacing though.

S - Strong fruit and coriander smells, also smell the alcohol.

T - Much like the smell. I taste pretty much all fruit, and somewhat of a fermented boozy fruit taste. Unlike any beer i have tasted. Almost reminds me of wine in a way.

M - Nice feel, doesn't look very carbonated in appearance, but has a very full carbonated feel.

D - Pretty drinkable, especially considering the high alcohol content.

At first sip, I didn't think I was going to like this, but it grow on you quickly. A pretty good beer, and very unique. Worth a try definitely.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.74/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 12 oz bottle purchased in FL and consumed near the contract brewer in SC.

Pours with a murky orange-amber body topped by a decent off-white head. The head is semi-durable and leaves respectable lacing.
Appealing fruity aroma with a better and more complex flavor. Notes of soft ripe fruits as well as dried fruits. A little yeast and faint spice in the flavor.

Medium-full body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First sampled at the local beer vending establishment, where the brewmeister was showing his wares. Tasty, so I picked some up for enjoyment and further review. Smell is yeasty with a zesty hoppiness on top of a light malt base. Pours to a hearty golden colour with not much head. Mouthfeel is very thick and heavy like a beer of the style warrants. Carbonation is present and accounted for but not overly done. Flavor is sweet then then tart with a good sweet but zesty hop taste that finishes mildly bitter and slightly dry. Definite excellent use of local flavors, orange and lime. Yeast taste is present throughout. A good HG Belgian for the hot climate. A little pricy but hey, with the AC it's a 2 for 1.

 710 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very standard to the style. Pours copper, smells funky, tastes like spiced brown sugar with a boozy finish. Very dense and sugary feel. A sipper for sure.

 156 characters

Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of fruits and spices. Taste also has some fruits coming through, alcohol is present, a touch of spices. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of jettjon
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at a local pub in Florida that is pretty good about getting new stuff in.

From a 12 oz bottle marked "2007," into a pint glass (unfortunately). This one would have benefited from some decent, non-frosty glassware, but oh well. Hard pour yields a 1-finger white head that fades quickly leaving a thin ring and no real lacing. Hazy golden color with no carbonation. Average appearance at best. No real nose either; serving suggestion is 45 degrees, but the beer's character doesn't come out until it warms quite a bit. Just a touch of sweet malt on the nose and a vague, sweet fruity aroma. Taste is straight up strong pale ale, instantly recognizable and actually rather well done. Up to this point, I was not terribly impressed, but as the beer warms, the flavor and mouthfeel come into their own. Firm alcohol warmth (8.5%) asserts up front, followed by a good, middle-of-the-road hop burn, balanced nicely against a malt backbone that follows it down to a rich, malty finish. Notes of citrus/grapefruit and hints of coriander. Mouth is unassuming yet definitely present in the form of a semi-creamy, lightly and crisply carbonated slick liquid. Drinkability is good; the taste and mouth really bring things together, though the ABV precludes having too many too fast.

Overall: A good interpretation of the style, but not exemplary. Best served warmer than the suggested 45 degrees. Definitely worth a try, if you can find one.

 1,453 characters

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty blah for a belgian golden ale. Right color, but lame head, no real puffy carbonation, no lacing and no retention. Aroma is lack luster, probably a result of the poor carb. The right aromas are there, just not in the right strength. Flavor saves this beer. Nice yeasty showcase, some good esters, banana and clove, ginger, spices, clean finish. Just a little biscuity. Good feel, dry and clean as it should be. Yeah its drinkable. Plenty happy to try this beer from Florida.

 480 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.69/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark marigold orange yellow with a healthy white head on top that later subsided to a ring around the edges.

Smell of belgian yeast, pepper, banana
Taste of banana , doughy belgian yeast, pepper, and pale and pilsener malts.
Quite a drinkable golden ale for 8.5 with medium carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.

 320 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of Holy Mackerel last night as part of my farewell FL tour of beer. Served in a Holy Mackeral glass (wine glass), the beer is light in color, cloudy, with a minimal head and steady carbonation. No lacing on the glass to speak of. The aroma is interesting, a hint of yeast, possibly nuts. The flavor is almost slightly yeasty or nutty. Easy to drink, but overall unremarkable (ironic that I am remarking on it in that case).

 438 characters

Photo of portia99
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (2009) poured into a Russian River stemmed Belgian glass.

A - Pours a hazy, yeasty pale golden orange color...no head (not too surprising given the 8.5% alcohol here), just a thin white collar and a few wispy swirls on the surface of the liquid.

S - Spicy on the nose - cinnamon, coriander, some cloves, Belgian yeast character for sure, maybe some wintergreen, a touch of black pepper. Definitely Belgian in character...very solid.

T - Good hits of alcohol, spices - cloves and cinnamon notably...tons of Belgian yeast character and a bit phenolic. Good underlying malt character - sweet and bready...hop bitterness is good - crisp but not overpowering. Can't quite place it, but there is some kind of off flavor on the swallow...maybe a bit of oxidation, but not sure either....only a 2009, but don't know when in the year it came out...

M - Thin to medium in body...carbonation is medium too. Lots of spiciness that stays behind after the swallow, unfortunately along with the strange (oxidized) off taste.

D - Good smelling and still good, but to a lesser degree tasting strong Belgian ale...enjoyable overall, but I am spending most of my time trying to identify the off flavor more specifically. Alcohol is on the high side at 8.5% but not at all hot, but definitely noticeablei in the flavor profile.

 1,324 characters

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its been awhile since I had some Florida wares at least 3-4 years,this Belgian goldan style poured into an oversized wine glass a dull light to medium golden with a well defined 1/2 finger white head atop leaving spotty lace as it settled.A little phenolic bubble gum quality in the nose along with some juicy fruit with a tinge of smoke again from the phenols,pretty basic flavors quite fruity like overripe pineapple and mango phenols produce a bit of clove and ginger-like spice but its held in check pretty well.Basic but not bad really the alcohol is very well hidden,I wouldnt go out of the way to get it but its decent.

 626 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Malty sweetness with a Belgian spice

Appearance - Light pale orange with a good amount of carbonation.

Taste - Light with a definite Belgian yeast influence. The taste has some fruit like qualities I did enjoy.

Notes - Good mouthfeel. I've had this beer three times now and every time I really like it at the beginning but by the end I'm tired of the spice. So that's why drinkability takes a hit.

 408 characters

Photo of krkearney
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. Pours golden with a slight orange hue, capped with a fairly large off-white head. Aroma is fairly sweet with notes of tropical fruit, honey, banana and yeast. Flavor is sweet as well, with citrus and tropical fruit. White pepper and spice round out the palate and stick around for a fairly long finish. Drinkable, but a bit too sweet for me.

 368 characters

Photo of aubuc1
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a orange/brown with a quickly disapating head.

Smells of sweet malt with banana and yeast.

Tastes of bread, banana and clove. The alcohol is present.

Nice mouthfeel, but nothing special.

Pretty sweet to be too drinkable, but a recommendable FL beer.

 296 characters

Photo of jspruit
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle I received as a gift from family in Florida. Plenty of carbonation in the pour with lots of little bubbles but didnt amount too a large head-a small white one really.

Smells of a fruity ale-a bit like you would expect from a Belgian, but not quite as full.

Initial taste is a bit of a Belgian with some wheat hints. There are some sweet hints too and it is a bit malty. 8.5% ABV comes through a bit strong. Hops come through when the beer lowers in temp a bit and it is a nice drink.

Drinkability is nice, but because it does come off a bit strong, I wouldnt select this as a session beer. I would definitely have another if given the opportunity-I like the idea of local Florida made beer.

 724 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 1,069 characters

Photo of drunkmonk
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
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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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 244 ratings
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