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Panic Attack | Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
78
okay
55 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Panic AttackPanic Attack
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by adkirkish on 07-03-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
163
Avg:
3.35
pDev:
33.43%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 163
Photo of nickfl
2.81/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - poured with one finger of white foam on a slightly hazy, orange amber body. The had settles slowly and leaves leaves light lace.

S - lightly sweet malt, some clove and a hint of licorice.

T - sweet malt up front with some toffee and tart caramel. Clove and a hint of cherry in the middle. Finishes with more clove and lingering sour caramel.

M - medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - not well made. Way too sweet and lacking in complexity for the style. Not much of a belgian, as expected from this brewery.

 542 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My friend bought one of these the other day and liked it, so I thought I would do the same.

A: Pretty serious looking stuff....: Cloudy, brown/caramel in appearance and with a measly head that didn't add up to much.... maybe a mere white pepper formation.

S: Straight up stomach acid actually, with a bit of apricot, honey, and ginger throw in to the kettle as well. Faint, but still present.

T: This reminded me right away of an ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra sweet version of DFH's "Sahtea." Lots of ginger, honey, nutmeg, and others that gave this sort of a holiday flair. However, all throughout the session I kept asking myself, "Where's the Belgian funk?"

M: Measly carbonated, which didn't really bother me, and not much lacing. The uber sweet, stomach acid quality REALLY grated on my taste buds!

O: I definitely wouldn't have this one again, but I don't think it was quite as gross as many others have mentioned here on BA.

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Photo of aorloski
2.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a little darker than a BSPA, orange in hue with about a half finger tight white head.

Smell - God damn this is a damn sweet smelling beer. All candied fruits, almost like a quad. Big sugary presence, i do get some darker fruit which i was not expecting.

Taste - Again, this thing is way to sweet for its own good. Candied dark fruits for sure, heavy on the candied side. I do get a touch of cinnamon and clove however which is pleasant but incredibly subdued. This is like drinking a big thing of sugary thick alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Thick, sticks to your mouth.

Overall - Meh. This isn't anything special and really not anything good either, i am having a hard time getting through a glass of this it is so damn sweet, one dimensional, lacking any character. I only bought this stuff because it was on sale for 4 dollars a 4 pack at a local store for 2010 bottles. Was it worth it? I think so haha, but definitely not good.

 945 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy light copper color with a light tan head and fair amount of lace. The nose is extremely sweet, candied sugars galore, notes of peppery spice, sweet caramel, strong notes of alcohol with some citric orange and dried fruits. The flavor is much of the same, overly candied sugars and dried plums making it too sweet with some nice citric notes behind. The spice is all but gone in the flavor but the alcohol is a bit more subdued. The body is full and heavy, lower carbonation, oily finish.

 500 characters

Photo of angelogarcia3
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at Studio 84 in Davie, FL. It pours as a nice amber colored beer that is unfiltered (cloudy) with a thin creamy white head. Aromas of raisins, grapes, and sweetness. This syrupy beer has good flavors of raisins, plum, and hints of honey, vanilla, and sugar water. A very good beer that will sneak up on you and knock you off your stool.

 350 characters

Photo of Heatwave33
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: An orange-gold color with a whitehead.

Smell: Tart, hops, malts with a little sweetness.

Taste: Slightly tart with malts, hops. Slightly sweet at the end. I believe it's honey.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, smooth with a slight dry finish

Overall: A nice tartness and sweetness to the flavor. Just not as well balanced as it should be though. A nice brew to sip. Cheers!

 436 characters

Photo of bramsdell
2.74/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into imperial pint glass.

A: A decent, cloudy golden color. A very full head that recedes after only a couple minutes down to a thin line. Very little lacing.

S: Actually, it smells a little like Natty Ice. So...

T: It tastes pretty average for a beer but pretty below par from a BSPA. On the first sip, there isn't much immediate flavor. First flavors are the saison influence. Sweet, maybe a little earthy. Then a bit of spiciness come through. This is the most pleasant part of the flavor. Then there is a sweetness that stays on the tongue. There is certainly a warming from the booze, but not too much boozy flavor.

M: About that flavor that stays on the tongue, it just leaves this sugary coating. It's not as full as I would like, but it isn't watery. The booze can definitely be felt, but only for an instant each sip.

O: This beer is ok. It doesn't really smell great and it's not really a saison or a BSPA. It should really choose what it wants to be and just try to be that.

EDIT: After reading some of the other reviews after I posted this one, it is possible my bottle was not good. The other reviewers seem to find many more fruity notes that mine ever indicated.

 1,202 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

Brewer’s intention is to merge a Tripel and a Saison. The head sticks around, with a hazed orange amber color underneath. Spicy, fruity nose of musk, lemon, honey, mango, wild herbs, rose water and a big hit of estery alcohol. Moderate-sized body. Very spicy and alcoholic, the honey-like sweetness and exotic fruit go hand-in-hand. Cinnamon and roses come to mind. Alcohol just doesn’t want to let go, very warming ... almost hot. Maltiness has a decent base but gives itself up for the fruit, alcohol and spice. No real balance here—an off-the-wall Belgian that struggles to be even somewhat drinkable. Still worth a try.

 687 characters

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2010 bottle into a pint glass - a fluffy white head sticks on top of a medium honey gold.

Sweet candi, almost peachy nose.

A sip is prickly and sweet, with a little hop spice on the finish. Alcohol pretty present with a hint of Belgian yeast, but not offensive as other have said due to the prominent almost bubble gum sweetness that lingers on the finish.

Medium slick body, medium light carbonation.

It's too sweet - but other than that I think this was a fair example of that end of the style.

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Photo of DUBinMIA
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a goblet. opaque deep orange like brown color. minimal foam head. very low carbonation.

smells of floral herbs and spices, slight liquorice aroma. some yeast aroma as well... complex but ehh

taste smooth with little to no hop notes.. mostly malt and yeast characters. lots of residual sweetness and yeast flavor. has some apple juice like tart flavors without the zing...

medium to full bodied but lacks carbonation with is usually high for a Belgian ale...

kinda a disappointment on this one... i like the brewery but this beer just didn't sit well with me.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange-amber hue and is topped with a short-lived khaki head that recedes to a faint encircling wisp. The nose is very strange, but nice, and reminds me of baked goods or petit fours. The taste is, for a lack of a better description, Christmas-y. There is a sort of chocolate mint flavor atop a sugar cookie or pretzel-y malt, and the booze is very well-hidden. The feel is pleasantly slick and softly carbonated; it works well. Overall it is a very unusual brew, but pretty nice.

 494 characters

Photo of beals
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[12oz bottle - 2010 edition]

A: poured yellow-orange with a 2-finger head. plenty of carbonation evident -- head retention seems really good, but lacing is pretty minimal.

S: peaches, banana, yeast. surprisingly not a boozy aroma, given the ABV (and the taste, see below).

T: whoa, alcohol. i read the 10% on the label, but this one hits you in the face with it. also quite a sweet beer -- helps to balance the alcohol. middle is banana, clove and distinctive bubble-gum flavor. finishes with a slowly fading warmth, which is what i'd expect from this style.

M: pleasantly smooth given the amount of carbonation -- slides around your tongue. explains the lack of stickiness in the head.

O: a solid beer, but i'd probably stick to one bottle. might benefit from more aging. there are certainly better American-made Belgian strongs out there, but this one is worth trying -- and a good effort from a small brewery.

 917 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours honeyed orange with a big beige foamy head with tons of sticky foam caking the side. Bubbles rising.

Some fruit/apricot nectar, some fermented fruit, a little yeast and maybe some hay/barnyard.

This reminds me of a domestic poor cousin of Gulden Draak. Fruit up front, then some syrup sweetness that seeks some bitterness and alcohol to clear the palate...and you don't get any. Alcohol is surprising to be 10%. Some palate clearing light bitterness and fruit -- like the bitter part of a peach pit. Not bad (wtf, some previous reviews are unkind). Just a bit mushy and over sweet.

Needs a touch more carb and crispness. Fuller bodied and tacky.

Didn't hate it, and not a bad version of the style, just not a great one. Ok at best

 740 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
1.47/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle of the 2011 vintage courtesy of fthomasl, pours a hazed and glowing orange color with a small cap of off-white head. Nice lacing. A fusion of tripel and saison, eh? Well, it does not really look like either!

Nose is interesting, smells alot like grains of paradise might have been used here. Very spice-oriented with cola, cloves and brazil nuts in tow. Not much else, I am a bit disappointed at the lack of yeasty esters.

Taste is sweet and definitely has a plethora of spices going on...too much actually. I am fairly certain this has grains of paradise in it, a spice that I personally cannot stand...never had a beer with it that I could drink. BSPA is a better fit than either saison or tripel, unnecessarily high ABV is prominent but buried along with malt and yeast flavor. There is not much else I can discern besides the spices so I will just leave it at that. And no, I will not be finishing my 12 oz sample.

 933 characters

Photo of Matt1516
3.07/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had low expectations of this one: Not my favourite style and it's had some poor reviews. That said, it wasn't half bad.

Pours dark-orange and the smell is of cloves, coriander and yeast.

The 10% ABV is a bit overwhelming but fairly true to style. Solid body, yeasty and lots of fruit--esp. banana.

If you like this style, it's not bad.

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Photo of KajII
3.54/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a dark amber/orange with a small fizzy white head that was fully diminishing and had poor lacing. The aroma was of light grain malts, a mild citrus hop and a sweet belgian yeast with notes of banana, apricot, corriander, maple syrup and had a mild alcohol tinge. It tasted moderatley sweet with hints of banana, citrus and corriander from the begining and stayed pretty much throughout with the finish having just a little sourness to it. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and syrupy and creamy in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall all it was a good tasting brew that did a great job of concealing the high ABV, although it was just a little sweet for my taste.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerlando for this extra. Served in my Westvleteren chalice. 2010 vintage.

A - Looks like a Belgian Strong Pale (or even a Tripel) to me. Finger of creamy yellow-tinged foam settles to a thin cap and chunky collar. Good retention, but only spotty lacing. Body is an unfiltered copper orange collar. Quite an attractive brew.

S - Coriander and other spices, bananas, estery Belgian yeast, bubblegum, some perfume and floral notes. Maybe a touch of alcohol as it warms up, but nothing out-of-place for 10%. Again, quite tripel-like.

T - Taste is unfortunately a bit less exciting. Mostly sweet cereal grains and bubblegum, with only a bit of Belgian yeast character. Finishes surprisingly clean with a hint of anise bitterness and thankfully little alcohol.

M - Body is medium, with medium-low carbonation, a dry finish, and light residual sugars. Light warmth sneaks in after about 4oz. Could actually use a bit more spritz, as this starts to feel heavy.

D - A quick check of Holy Mackeral's website reveals that they consider this a cross between a Tripel and a Saison. I guess Belgian Strong Pale Ale is probably the best description in that case. A bigger question is regarding the pervasive negative reviews for this brew. It's not stellar, but it's not a bad beer either. Perhaps six months in the bottle has cut some of the spice and alcohol noted by other reviewers. At $2.99 for a 12oz it's not a bad value either. I had no problem finishing a bottle, and I'd certainly have this again if it was the best option at a bar in one of Florida's beer wasteland.

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Photo of GDBEERMAN
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip.
A: Light copper body, which looks a little light for style, white head pours good formation, and holds nice head retention. Light carbonation presence.
S: A dry and bubble gummy aroma, very much like a Belgian tripel.
T/M: The front is smooth and well balanced with a nice yeast flavor and hop and malt balance. Pretty mellow for the abv. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth, while not being to sharp and strong. Missing a strong yeast character of many other classic Belgians.
O: Over all a nice drinking brew, but a bit missing the lingering taste of other classic Belgians. For a brewery in the United States, this is a very nice example.

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Photo of afogg0855
4.11/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has not gotten the respect it so deserves! Holy Mackerel has blown me away with it's ability to put a new spin on an old recipe. This, to me, tastes like a mixture of a Belgian Strong Ale with a Belgian Wheat.

The whopping 10% ABV is careful not to mask the distinct flavors of citrus, oakiness, and even as you would expect in a nice glass of a deep Shiraz a hint of "earthy rubber" is the best way for me to describe it.

I'm sure to buy at least 2 bottles of this everytime i hit the liquor store because I simply love it!

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Photo of WesWes
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a sweet, pale and crystal malt scent along with a fruity, citrus yeast aroma. There seems to be some star anise in there as well. The taste is average as well. It has a syrupy, pale and crystal malt flavor. It's overly sweet and overly spiced. It has a coriander and star anise flavor that doesn't seem to belong in this light of a beer. The alcohol warmth is well hidden, but the taste is all over the place. The mouthfeel is average. It is a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a forgettable Belgian-style beer. It's like a experimental homebrew gone wrong.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

I will review this as a strong pale ale, not dark.

Pours a nice rich golden red with a thick white head.

Smell is a metallic, yeasty, sweet with some bubble gum, clove, and banana.

Taste starts smooth, but then a rising heat comes in. Grainy booze dominates but has some yeast and fruit in the back.

Mouthfeel is good, but drinkability isn't so good.

This is scorching hot, so maybe a year or three might help.

Not as good as the other offerings from gordash.

 503 characters

Photo of chaz410
3.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours not even close to "dark", more like a thick bodied golden belgian ale. Moderate thick white head. Head disappears pretty quick.
Smells very clean and balanced. It's full of belgian musk, musty, fruity, hints of red fruit and red grapes. Slight prune character, all layered over a fair amount of bitter orange peel.
Taste is far more spice pungent. There's some continental based crystal malts, like caramunich/carapils and some belgian funk but there's a ton of cardamon and orange peel. The spice is over done and if dialed back a little, I'd think this would be a great beer.
Mouthfeel is moderately thick and smooth. Very clean finish.

 644 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rising fizzy fluffy head that peaks at almost 3 fingers before quickly fading back with lots of big bubbles, over slightly hazy copper golden orange color.

Nose has some light Belgian malts, sweet syrupy like almost corn syrup, a light orange zest, slightly boozy, a light buttery diacetyl and very slight band-aid.

Taste is also pretty bleh, starts with Belgian malts and a little yeast, with citrus fruits, orange peel, etc. Pretty sweet and syrupy, candi sugar, and bitterness which blend to give that icky flavor from those orange gelatinousness orange wedges I used to have when I was a kid. A slight band-aid taste and some booze. Finish brings a bit more bitterness, a nagging icky bitter orange peel and jelly flavor, and boozy.

Mouth is medium body, syrupy, lots of carbonation, and some boozy warmth and tingle.

Drinkability is meh, with some boozy feel and taste, bitterness, and some bleh flavors. Also somewhat sweet finish but very sweet start.

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Photo of cbutova
2.84/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Hazy orange with a massive creamy head. Retention is superb and a big coat of lace is left behind.

S- Slighty medicinal raisin and dark fruit as well as a large amount of spice. Some zest.

T- A huge profile of dark raisin and spice from a strong Belgian yeast. Slight medicinal feel. Tons of clove and some zest. Apple makes an appearance.

MF- A fairly hot light creamy body with moderate carbonation.

DB- An exampke of Americans trying to make Belgian beer and it being too spicy and out of balance. Drinkable but strong and tiring.

 540 characters

Photo of gfsufb
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Fifty Brews. Overall a very nice belgian amber. Can taste the alcohol in the tongue which is about the only thing that prevents this from being one of my top rated brews. Overall smell and color are very nice with a complex arrangement.

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Panic Attack from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers
78 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.
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