Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale
Very Good
967 Ratings
Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Riccymon on 08-20-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 967 |  Reviews: 501
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmm, New Belgium Hoptober... I've gone through a 12 pack and a half before I even thought to reviewing this gem. And it IS a gem. Fat Tire haters, you may want to avert your eyes.

A. Crystal-clear appealing yellow-gold, with a few lazily rising bubbles. A smack-dam gorgeous full porcelain head fluffs up a half-inch about my glass, looking quite well-fed and falls seductively, leaving lots of sticky white lace all 'round the glass. The head never fully dies. Simply wonderful.

S. Just flat out interesting: a wonderful earthy, dry and hop-complex aroma. Notes of honey, wheat and grain, with a rawness that is eye-opening and full. The hops are spicy and layered, but keep from overwhelming - this is not an IPA, or even a Pale ale, although it has more hop character than plenty of beers in those styles.

T. And where has this beer been all my life? You could be forgiven if you said Hoptober was a "hoppy blonde", and it is, but it's just so much more... no doubt, the 4 advertised malts (pale, wheat, oats, rye) and 5 hops (buy one and read the label) go a long way to the delicious layered hop and malt interplay here, but it rather defies easy description. Hoptober is dry, and grainy, and rye-spiced, and hop-bitter, and lemony, and earthy, and sweet, and full, and wet, and easy, and... and... well, I'm on my second bottle and not yet done with the review, that's what. This is exceptional, raw and fresh-tasting stuff.

M / D. Wet, medium-full, finely carbonated and crisp, quite easy to drink - in fact, superbly easy to drink. Just sorta slides down on its own. The 6% is too high and is just barely noticeable, I'd much prefer this be in the high 4%, but I shan't complain too much.

Hoptober is my sleeper hit of the season; a deliciously subtle and complex session brew that resists easy pigeon-holing and absolutely is memorable. Give this one a few more years and it very well be THE go-to Autumn brew for many more folks than just myself. This is one of the top beers I've tried in 2009. Please go buy some Hoptober.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheRealBigC
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was sort of misleading. I was expecting something strong and outlandishly hoppy. While the hops definitely hit my nose, the taste is actually pretty tame. It is, after all, a blonde ale. The hops hit you up front, but it goes down smooth with a little aftertaste from the hops. It's actually a pretty refreshing autumn beer, a good way to transition from the crisp summer ones into the typically darker, warmer beers of the fall.

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Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This usually isnt a style for a fall seasonal so a nice change of pace.Poured into a standard pint glass a light to medium golden with a thinner quick to fade white head that left some broken lace behind.Big citric hop aromas along with some sweetish caramel.Hmm the hops dont seem to hit home as much on the palate as the nose,pretty citric in its hop profile,a big caramel/biscuit malt layer stands up to the hops making it pretty balanced.Not bad but to me its not as hoppy as others have suggested,still a nice change of pace for fall.

As I drank more the more I noticed the creamy,lush mouthfeel the oats imparted so I gave the mouthfeel a higher score.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #33 (Oct 2009):

An ample amount of hops is a good thing any time of the year. 40 IBUs come from five different hops; Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier are the paint for this canvas. Sweet aroma of wildflowers and citric zest with a trim graininess. Earthy citric bit- terness and flavor from the hops; nice little sting in the middle. Creamy, smooth medium body. Quick kiss of honey from the sweetness of the malt. A little bit of warmth from the alcohol. Long-lasting trail of hops and malt show that aftertaste is a good thing.

Brings memories of the Pale Ales we have tasted in West Flanders; hoppy, earthy, sweet golden beauties. By far one of the more interesting fall seasonals to be had.

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Photo of danthehopslamman
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of equinox1
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Chuggs
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good blond. Nice color, nice aroma , and nice flavor. More of a warm weather beer than what you expect for the fall but good to sit back with and watch a game. Best of the New Belgiums, in my opinion. Drinking from the bottle and poured it in a glass. Skimpy on the hops but overall a nice and smooth palate. I have to put this up as one of my favorite; however I am patial to blonds.

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Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 1/12/12

A - Pours a clear light golden brown with almost two fingers of white head. Head has good retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Floral and grassy hops, a bit of citrus and a faint spiciness.

T -- Pretty strong hop presence up front, again grassy and floral. After the initial hop punch comes some rye spiciness and and a bit of bready malt.

M - Medium crisp mouthfeel with a semi-dry finish.

O - A pretty good blond ale, but not something I would come back to.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best by 2/26/10. Pours a clear yellow gold with a smallish creamy white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is bready grainy malts and fruity resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with citrus fruits leading to a medium fruity hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a solid NBB brew. Pretty hoppy for a golden ale. I really like the hop flavors and think this would rate as a solid well balanced pale ale.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Mora2000
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very clear golden color with a white head. The aroma is wheat, light lemons and some grain notes. The aroma is a little bit lacking overall. The flavor is more prominent. I get some lemon and orange citrus notes, as well as some wheat and some grassy hops. The overall bitterness level is low, but it is nicely done. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of livewire05
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bsp77
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very clear, light yellow-gold with nice foamy stark white head.

Smell: Citrus, apple, candied sugar, dry pepper, and very light metal.

Taste: Very light semi-sweet caramel and fruity malts, which are quickly overshadowed by spicy, peppery hops with just a tinge of citrus. Ends bitter and a little metallic.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body, very dry finish.

Drinkability: This is a crisp, fairly bitter beer, but the hops don't have as much taste or complexity as I would have hoped. At least it doesn't have that damn biscuity Fat Tire taste that most of their American-style beers do.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark golden and amber--almost a light copper. Thin off-white head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.

A pleasant though simple aroma consisting of grassy, floral, and earthy hops and simple, grainy, bready malts.

Light bitterness throughout along with an earthy and floral hop character, though this beer remains quite bready and biscuity.

Medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Great drinkability.

An unexciting, though well crafted American blonde. The name is somewhat misleading however, as this is not a very hoppy beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden yellow with lots of rising bubbles. Huge five finger white foam head with good retention and lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very vibrant aroma of citrus and piney hops. Some grapefruit and pineapple with lots of lemon zest and some pine. Pale malts and wheat back things up. Also some hints of coriander spice.

Taste: Lots of grapefruit and pineapple hop flavor up front that is sweet and mildly bitter. A moderate amount of pine adds some bitterness. Solid backing of wheat and pale malts. Light hints of spice. Tropical fruit sweetness stands out and the hoppy bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp and creamy.

Overall: A very solid wheat ale from New Belgium. Nice balance of fruity sweetness with some mild bitterness.

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Photo of blaze8
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw colored with a white head that sinks quickly. Aroma of bread dough and citrus, some notes of pine.

Flavors of hops upfront, mix of citrus and floral, notes of honey and cinnamon. Some grapefruit rind in the finish. Piney notes linger. Full mouthfeel, tingly carbonation, a bit dry, good beer.

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Photo of LvanB
1/5  rDev -73.6%

Photo of moundbz
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Soonami
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoptober Golden Ale is very good for an American Blonde. This doesn't mean that it would necessarily be a great beer compared to more flavorful beers of different styles, but for what it is, it's very good.

This beer is beautiful! It pours a bright, clear lemon color with voluminous white head that billows out and leaves fine lace all over the glass. The beer has very interesting hop aromas, from the unmistakable woody Willamette to the fruity of the Cascade and Centennials. The hops are definitely featured in this 40 IBU beer with the spicy Willamette and citrusy C hops. The mouthfeel and body is full with nice creamy carbonation.

Tasty beer, I would buy more if it were available to me.

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Photo of wo87810
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of spd3350
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of centbeerfest
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass from a newly tapped keg.

Nice frothy white head that held out for a good time. Not a lot of carbonation. Crystal clear appropriately gold color.

Gives a bit of citrus to begin with a nice depth of character. Excellent blend of hops and a very good refreshing balance.

A hint of butterscotch at the very finish. A very good beer that was a nice surprise from an excellent brewery.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, didnt expect to like this beer so much. Appearance was pale straw yellow, usually not the greatest sign in a beer. Smell, aroma, didn't give me anything to think I was getting into anything good.

But alas, the taste, not very complicated, light, but a good little hop zest and mild bitterness. I don't know that I would call this "hop" tober and all, but for an all access type of beer like New Belgium makes (this would be a good alternative to the fat tire hags), this makes sense to bring them in another direction.

Mouthfeel and drinkability rate higher, because it doesn't fade, nor does it get tiresome.

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Photo of damuts222
3/5  rDev -20.8%

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 967 ratings