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

243 Ratings
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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: 243 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of cpetrone84
2.8/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is transparent golden yellow with a white ring. The nose has strong lemon, a touch sweet but an assertive spice to it. Zesty, peppery, peppercorn. The taste is even sweeter and the spicy balance is much less. Notes of honey and candied sugars mix with the lemon. The finish is extremely carbonated and muddled, the body is a touch syrupy and crisp. Overly sweet and singular beer.

 385 characters

Photo of carrollmel7
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of Tumble
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of inbierveritas
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of stampfler07
4.5/5  rDev +34.7%

Photo of Jordanbryan10
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of MONARK1981
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of xxcarpxx
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of dowen44
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of animal69
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of brandoman63
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle. Light golden haze with a decent white foam head.
Smells of yeast and orange.
Taste is surprisingly ok. I say surprised because of all the negative reviews. It says on the bottle a Belgian Style with a Florida twist...I'm thinking the twist is orange. If that's the case its spot on. But that doesn't make it a great brew, but it does taste as advertised. Nice belgian yeast but deff over sweet and orangey.
I would say my favorite style is belgian, but this just doesn't do it for me. Its average all around.

 531 characters

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 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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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 Snorlax
1.34/5  rDev -59.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass. I picked it up since the bottle kind of looked cool.. lesson learned. The smell was sweet with a yeast funk that was not unpleasant, but with a solvent alcohol smell that foretold of things to come. This beer's glaring flaw is that it has no balance whatsoever. There is a conflicting disparity between the sweetness and hoppiness that really makes this seem like an amateur homebrewer's attempt at complexity which fell flat on its face.... and then that solvent alcohol aftertaste. This is the worst attempt at masking a high abv I've ever encountered. The sweetness combined with the abv honestly makes this stuff taste like lemon pledge. I really TRIED to like this beer, let it warm gradually to see if it hit a sweet spot in there somewhere... it never did. I had to drain pour it.. Will never try again

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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.

 1,007 characters

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.

 466 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl, 2011 vintage. Pours a heavily hazed orange color with a small off-white head. Not much lacing.

Nose is sugar cookie dough with some pretty hefty Belgian yeast fruit esters. Alcohol is there along with an orange peel-like aroma.

Sweet and pretty rich, lots of tropical fruit flavors I am guessing can be attributed to both the alcohol and the yeast. Malts and body are pretty sticky and I dont find it to be overly refreshing, as the label claims it to be. Not horrible, and the strong yeast presence is actually fairly appreciated, but is isnt exactly in the pantheon of Belgian Goldens either.

 631 characters

Photo of spree92
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A dirty orange with lots of carbonation. Small head but good lacing. The smell is heavy yeast and slight alcohol. Overly carbonated. Bland flavors, not a very strong Belgian Pale Ale. Mouthful is also bland. This is a pretty weak attempt at this style.
I guess I can chalk it up for another brewery and state.

 310 characters

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.

 358 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Pours a hazy orangish color. About of a finger of white head that quickly disapates to a thin film, thicker around the edges of the glass.

S: Belgian yeast, citrus, lemon zest, grains..maybe a little big of candi sugar.

T: Largely follows the nose. Mostly sweet with bitter finish. Belgian yeast, lemon, apple, pears, grains, bready. Pretty nice taste.

M: Well carbonated and bubbly. Medium body. Leaves nice aftertaste.

O: Pretty good, easy drinking beer. Not sure that'd I buy this on a regular basis, but I'd drink it again. Thanks Jesse.

 600 characters

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.

 513 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drew

A: poured a golden yellow with pale yellow highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I sniffed out some belgian style yeast, banana, spice, coriander, various grains and mild apple notes asa well.

T: apple sauce character dominates the taste with spices and coriander accents. It did have a little banana flavor and a touch of grains.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a grainy, slight fruity but sweet finish.

D: pretty solid belgian pale brew that decent all around and drank good.

 596 characters

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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