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

BA SCORE
78
okay
243 Ratings
THE BROS
51
awful
Read the review
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
Florida, United States
holymackerelbeers.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
243
Reviews:
145
Avg:
3.34
pDev:
17.96%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
23
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of Knapp85
1.45/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Another beer that i was not a fan of. I bought it because I thought it was clever name. Turns out it's a overwhelmingly sweet beer that doesn't really have a start or finish to it. It just hits you and doesn't really change. I was really turned off by this brew. It remains to be one of my least favorite of all time. It's golden but it's just way too sweet.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of brentk56
2.32/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2008 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear golden/rust color with one of the sorriest heads I have ever seen on a Belgian style - less than a finger, despite a hard pour, and it had disappeared within a minute; it did manage to leave a few shards of lace

Smell: Fruity esters of pear and apple, along with an undertone of juicy fruit gum

Taste: Sweet and fruity up front, with peach, pear and apple, followed by juicy fruit gum and a bit of hot cinnamon spice; a little yeasty, after the swallow, with banana and candy flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, almost syrupy, with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: Time to start over on this one, guys, if you are planning to brew in the Belgian style; needs better attenuation, a more complex yeast profile and much more carbonation

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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 dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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 oberon
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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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 NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy Mackerel!!! Good name. Great label (I think) - it even has the year on it (2009)... ... ...DOH! It also reads that it "will mature if cellared for 2 years". Oh well. Maybe next time.

It pours a hazy golden body with an orange cast that rests lazily beneath a short head of bright white froth. Every now and then a tiny bubble can be seen rising towards the surface. The retention is average, but the lacing is very good.

The aroma is malty and spicy with a touch of honey, and perhaps a far-off hint of smoke.

In the mouth it's surprisingly supple and smooth. Well, that shouldn't be surprising because the appearance insinuates that it will be of a lower carbonation, but it's also medium-full bodied and the two combined caught me off-guard as I was kind of expecting an effervescent tripel given the appearance and aroma.

The flavor delivers a soft blanket of malt that's gently threaded through with delicate notes of spice (seemingly all from the yeast), flowers, soft fruit (apple, apricot, peach), and a hint of vanilla. Its not sweet, but there's a lot of sweetish, doughy malt there. Nor is it bitter. Only a minor bitterness lays beneath the blanket, supporting it. And despite the thick blanket of flavor, it actually finishes dry with a flicker of spicy hops and a hint of honey-drizzled wood and flowers. Interestingly, the alcohol never shows either. It's at 8.5%, and completely concealed, even at the end of the glass.

It really grows on you, opening up as it warms and displaying different flavors. About 2/3 of the way I found a bit of a smoky plastic phenolic - not much, just a touch - "underlying" let's call it, but there's some real complexity and richness there. It reminds me of a Westvleteren in that way. Had I know I would have definitely bought more of this, and I think I will try to get at least a six-pack to cellar. Well worth trying, and I think, worth seeking out as well.

 1,918 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
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 TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Acquired via trade from paulthebeerguru, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a little pungent and contains light malts, Belgian yeast, some fruit and some spice.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of apples, bananas and spices, then some harsh flavors of Belgian yeast and hops come and cause a nasty bitterness. None of the flavors seem to compliment each other at all. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: I didn't find it tasty and it did not go down very well, not too filling, good kick, not a good representation of style, I would not choose this beer again under any circumstances.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
2.25/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Sugar-coated honey malt aroma with notes of orange peel, bananas, and a whiff of fusel alcohol.

Taste: Lightly malty with a sharply honey candy sweetness. Meager pinch of spice. Orange and banana fruitines. A hint of bitterness struggles to temper the sweetness. Light yeastiness. Semi-dry, boozey finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Quite warming.

Drinkability: This may come to the surprise of many here, but I didn't really care for this beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a modest head that leaves some slippery spotty lace. LOTS of yeasty beasties floating in the glass--looks like an old homebrew. The color is a dirty gold where you cannot see through.

Slightly lemony aroma to the otherwise pale malt smells. Very light Belgian yeast in the background.

Very high level of carbonation, spritzy like champagne. Sour flavor of stale grains hits first, think orange zest. Very brief aftertaste without any complexity. The tale of this beer is one dimensional--tartness. It's not bad, but it isn't interesting either.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra recently and decided to open it up last night. Served cold and poured into a wine glass, this one was consumed on 01/03/2010.

The pour was very nice, better then I expected with a light golden color that was capped by a nice head of of white that reached a height of around three inches before it settled back down to earth leaving a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma is light bready notes with hints of apricot and pear that seem to get stronger the warmer it gets. Nicely done I have to admit, but it could have been a bit stronger. First sip is clean and crisp with a smooth and well rounded flavor. Nice touches of light fruit and grassy hops lead the way here, light grain touches as well now coming into play. Decent carbonation as well all lends itself very well to a great combination of flavors, light easy to drink and the alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall a nice, and highly drinkable example of the style. I would have no issue with hitting this one up again.

 1,023 characters

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 WVbeergeek
3.22/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Floridian bottled effort to sample, I had a couple Jacksonville Brewpub down at the Landing that were pretty effin' unremarkable. This one appears a honey golden hue kinda glows with a bright orange tint bright white head and fine speckled lacing forming as it dwindles. Aromatics come with sweet honey & tropical fruit, bubblegum esters nice tones with yeast spicines, pale malts provide biscuit like qualities. Low herbal hop flow with a mineral note added, is what I'm getting. Flavor has syrupy sweetness with Belgian candi sugar added fruit esters thrive with pear and tropical fruit some herbal perfumey spices with minimal hop notes, warming alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is sticky with a medium body not cloyingly sweet or syrupy carbonation flows well but can't touch the effervescence that most Belgians have to offer. Very good sipping Belgian style especially outta Melbourne FL, I'm glad a took a stab at it decent offering.

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Photo of JAHMUR
1.75/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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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 Duff27
2.36/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 Vintage

A- Small fizzy off white head on a cloudy dark golden beer. Visible streams of effervescence rising from the bottom of the tulip. Poor head retention and below average lacing.

S- Weird smell, can't say it's "good"...somewhat oxidized perhaps?

T- I enjoy the Belgian yeast flavor of this beer...the before and after taste in my mouth I can do without. Slight booziness but that might be the only thing saving the flavor. Has an aftertaste that has hints of oxidation.

M- Good strong mouthfeel, adequate carbonation.

D/O- Label says it can mature for a couple years but I'm not so sure. What was I doing all this time instead of just drinking it? There's no way Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale could have been worse younger. NO.

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Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
3.34 out of 5 based on 243 ratings.
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