Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale | Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers

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77
okay
143 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers
Florida, United States | website

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
Reviews:
143
Ratings:
239
Avg:
3.34
pDev:
17.96%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
23
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 239
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.7/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a: light orange color, head never really appears, lots of bubbles around the edge, little lacing
s: hard to discern; hoppy aroma to start with some sweet malts coming out
t: sweet fruits, belgian yeast with some light hops, finishes weakly with mix of bitterness and strong alcohol
m: medium body with some carbonation but a little too flat
d: decent flavors, just doesn't come together well for a highly drinkable brew

 419 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.82/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp pale yellow with a thin head that quickly diminishes to a ring. Aroma is sweet malts, citrus hops and slight spice. The taste is citrus hops in front with sweet malts and Belgian yeast right behind. The beer is medium bodied and a little on the gelatin side. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but a certainly a sipper.

 330 characters

Photo of rorjets
2.37/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This was a disappointment, considering the price for a four pack. I guess my expectations were too high, but it advertised a 8.5% ABV, and it just didn't deliver the taste or buzz. It says that it originated as a award winning home brew, and is now brewed in SC, so maybe that's the problem. But if this is really 8.5% ABV I must have jaded tastebuds. It sure didn't taste like it.

 381 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.29/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a recent trade with Kiefdog. Thanks!

Pours a murky deep gold with a very small head on top. No retention, no lacing. Smells of banana's, pineapple, cherry, and yeasty bread. Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly. Carbonation level is med-high. Flavor is fruity right off the bat with pineapple and some plum. But this mellows to a warm breadiness. I'm not huge into Belgians, which is maybe why this tamed down version one sits well with me. Not bad.

 467 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my standard shaker glass. The ale appears a hazed golden yellow color with about a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavor are of fruits such as apples and pears, both sweet, sour and dry as well, lightly toasted grains/biscuits. Nicely carbonated, but a bit thin bodied, especially considering the ABV. Worth a try.

 348 characters

Photo of portia99
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
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 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.

 752 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden with little head retention for a belgian

smell: sweet, carmael

taste: not bad. but a weak one if you compare to other in this category

mouthfeel: light to medium bodied

drinkability: overall I appreciate it and it's a solid belgian pale

 259 characters

Photo of JISurfer
2.65/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I read on the bottle that it's actually brewed by Thomas Creek Brewing, up in Greenville, SC. Anyways, this was a disappointing Belgian Pale in my opinion. Not much to the appearance. Yeah, it had the haziness that's associated with the style, but other than that, nothing really. There was no real head to speak about. What "head" there was, died out rather quickly. The smell wasn't as strong as I'm used to. It was kind of faint, had to smell it quite a few times to get anything to register in my brain. Taste was the same, but even more bland. Nothing really stood out, not even the higher alcohol, which I guess is good. I was hoping for more with this one. Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, because everyone else seems to enjoy it.

 743 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.26/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Holy Mackeral pours a golden color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is lacking, in that there isn't much of one. A bit of malt, perhaps a bit of esters. Same goes for the taste, it's not bad, just lacking. The Belgian yeast character is there, some hops are noticeable, and I'm getting almost a wheat beer flavor, banana or clove type thing. There are some estery flavors. Overall, it's okay, worth a try.

 434 characters

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.

 688 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.47/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Piraat tulip glass. Beer is dark golden and slightly hazy with a small white head. A good amount of lacing is present but the retention is a bit drab.

Aroma is full of bubble gum and a touch of vegetation. A touch of Belgian candi sugar and not much else.

Very sweet upfront with about one second of goodness: bubblegum fruitiness, banana. Immediately becomes very chalky and weird. Sour and almost like a dry, bark-like characteristic (yes, I had bark as a child).

Really weird and odd mouthfeel. ABV is noticeable and isnt very pleasant. This is the first beer I can remember that was above average on appearance and aroma yet went completely into the tank on everything else. Barely finishable. Sweet and chalky and like liquid bubblegum. I dont care for this one at all.

 812 characters

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.

 1,069 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
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 Goblinmunkey7
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slight chill haze that drops as the beer warms. Gold. Head is bright-white. Tight, creamy head that lingers and lingers. Lively carbonation pulls from the bottom.

Smell: Cereal grains, grass, and a touch of skunk. some faint spiciness sneaks through the back. Earthy, gritty, with a solid malt backing. Some sweetness. Not too much going on here.

Taste: Corn and Belgian spice. faintly peppery. Earthy up front. Falls to grass and pale malts. Sweetness sneaks up after each sip and never really leaves. A touch of alcohol bite on the back. Flavors don't really meld. It might need some time like the bottle says.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, and although the carbonation is a bit high, it works overall. Crisp on the back. Nice compliment to the flavor profile.

Overall: It's kind of a mess, but manages to pull through without falling in to complete disrepair. ABV sneaks up in the end, but all in all it could be worse.

 928 characters

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.

 285 characters

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.

 854 characters

Photo of KensWorld
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2008 bottle. Has lots of sediment. Almost no head. Clear Amber in color with good carbonation. Smells sweat. Taste of molasses and honey. Alcohol burn. Was not expecting this to hold up all these years but I am impressed. Though very sweat, it was very enjoyable. It's been years since I have tried this fresh, but I think it has improved with aged. 3.75

 354 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.75/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very light yellow in color. Not a whole lot of head on the pour, but plenty of carbonation. Smell is almost "lagerish". Completely not what I was expecting. Taste was a little off as well. Some hops were present in the taste. Very thin on the mouthfeel. A little tough to finish.

 287 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
2.7/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a weak head. Orange color

Smell is of sweet malts and very few esters and spices.

This beer isn't worthy of a big descriptive review. It's boozy, the esters aren't there, the malts are sweet, it lacks dryness of the style.

Crisp and dry mouthfeel

This is a poorly done example of the style, it could be worse but I won't bother with this again.

 355 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty golden color with hardly any head. Instead, there is a thin ring in my glass.

The aroma is of Belgian yeast and lightly fruity and funky.

The taste is good. It's sweet and grainy with a hint of biscuit, alcohol and spice. Classic Belgian flavors.

The body is creamy and hefty.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, especially being one originally brewed in Florida.

 383 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy copper with a medium head that falls away quickly to poor lacing. The aroma is strong and floral, with a little mediciney bite. It is overripe and note terribly appealing. The flavor is strong, apricot and clove, but tending toward medicinal and boozy, not particularly refreshing or pleasant. It has a phenolic, slightly spicy feeling, but lacking in the kind of balance that makes this a pleasant characteristic in Belgian beers. The mouthfeel is fairly slick, leaving a spicy prickle along the tongue.

This comes close to being a good beer, but its lack of subtlety and balance torpedo it.

 604 characters

Photo of KajII
3.32/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy golden amber with a small (less than 1 finger) white creamy head that reduced quickly down to a thin puddle and a small collar with good sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt and a sweaty Belgian yeast with notes of citrus (lemon), banana, apple, pears, cherry, honey and a slight alcohol tinge.

The taste was mildly sweet and a tad acidic with hints of banana, honey and apple early on with the finish being yeasty, spicy and a bit sour with a mild citrus presence and a moderate fruity ester towards the end. The flavor lasted an average time following the swallow with the mildly tart fruity alcohol taste left to fade away slowly.

Mouthfeel was a few steps above light in body with a watery texture and a lively carbonation.

Overall a nice fruity Belgian Ale with a huge alcohol presence at the finish...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 930 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.69/5  rDev +10.5%
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 SFLpunk
3.95/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dimenhetfield for this one!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. 2010 on front label. "HMFL: 1838A" stamped on shoulder.

Appearance: A hazy amber gold with some thin bone-white head. No lacing or spotting.

Nose: Rich fruit Belgian yeast. Smells dense and creamy with some bready notes and a little spice (coriander?).

Palate: Crisp with some acidity (orange peel?). Big bold Belgian yeast and fluffy carbonation. Orange is a predominant flavor with some lemon zest backing it up. Herbal notes round things out and the finish is moderately long.

Notes: Seriously impressed with this beer. Never heard of it before, but this was a very pleasant first experience. I would happily drink this again.

 705 characters

Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers
77 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.
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