Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
498 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 498 | Ratings: 964
Photo of argock
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.99.

A: Pleasing light amber with 1-2 finger foamy light beige head with good retention and plenty of lace up and down the glass.

S: Very nice rounded aroma with good balance of hops and malt aromas. The hops are a little more pronounced with citrus, herbal, and floral most prominent, but the maltiness is no slouch with a good dose of crystal malt which provides a good balance of caramel and toffee along with the pretty substantial pale amlt base.

T: This beer is one of my biggest surprises of the year. It is balanced and highly drinkable. I don't think blonde ale is correct for this beer as it screams APA with the strong orange citrus and floral flavors. It has some English pale ale flair as well with plenty of tea-like and herbal flavors. Maltiness is not forgotten, and caramel, toffee, and some soft chocolate flavors come through. This is a really nice rounded brew that really fits the APA style more in my opinion as it promotes hoppiness foremost but also doesn't neglect malt complexity. Hoptober is the best APA I have had this year.

M: A nice coating mouthfeel to this beer with even carbonation and a firm medium body, supported by generous malting.

O: This beer does not get enough respect -- it is a very good APA with plethora of hops and malt aromas and flavors. I am really impressed with this beer. Will I spend the money to buy this over a now $12.49/6-pack FW Union Jack -- probably not as I think UJ is one of the best IPAs around. But Hoptober is a sneaky good IPA that I would love as an everyday beer for its balance, body, and fresh hops and malt flavors.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear straw hue with a thin and sticky pearl white head.

Lots of grapefruit and pineapple in the aroma, with only a little bit of soft bread in the background.

The hops have a strong bite to them, along with plenty of flavor. The malts sit in the background, with the slightest toastiness to them. Relatively full bodied, with a lot of carbonation.

This is sort of like the barley malt of a very hoppy wheat beer. This is the hoppiest American Blonde I've tasted, and it's one of those beers where you can really only taste the hops. If you're into that then this is perfect. A departure from you're typical Blonde Ale, and an enjoyable one. This could probably also be classified as an American Pale Ale, but whatever it is, recommended.

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Photo of HoosBrews
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very light and highly carbonated; true to it's Golden Ale naming. The nose is sweet with a clear presence of Belgian yeast and just a hint of floral hops. Taste is semi-sweet and moderately hoppy. Slightly dry finish with a fairly complex mouthfeel, a little suprisingly considering the appearance. Highly drinkable and very unique for a fall seasonal!

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Photo of secondtooth
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean and golden, with a thick and frothy head of whitish bubbles. Supremely beautiful and detailed lace.

Nose says citrus-hoppy. It's clean, fresh, and enticing.

Taste is zesty --- hops present up front, with citrus (lemon and orange) coming up prominently. Malts seem to balance well, giving a highly drinkable, session-worthy feel.

Delightful, light, and quite tasty, Hoptober's a winner any way you look at it.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet.

A nice show on the pour - produced a good, nice hoppy flavored head of > 2 fingers. pours a crystal clear amber color
SUPER respectable lacing BTW!

S: nice interesting bitter hoppiness (piney?)

T : falls a bit short here but not too much, really good but not up to the nose's promise

M: very nice. velvety smooth. rich body

D: easy to down this by the six pack.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Filtered-clear dark-golden color with a nice big head that leaves amazing sheets of lace

S- Fresh, bold hops with aromas all over the spectrum from floral and spicy to citric and bitter.

T- Clean and bitter, quite unique. Spicy hops dominate the taste, with flavors of garlic and pine. Slightly earthy

M- Light and crisp with a balanced carbonation

D- It's new to me, and I like it. Clean and simple with hops taking the lead role.

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Photo of Soonami
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
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 DrinkSlurm
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into tulip.
Golden wheaty color with thick white foam. Nice lacing remains as I drink.
Smell of belgian yeast, wheat, hops, and pear.
Taste is of fruity hops with straw undertones.
Easy drink.

Overall a really great brew and full of flavor. There is a lot going on with this...straw notes, slight belgian yeast, hops, and pear aftertaste. I would almost prefer a bit more hops, but overall this is a great brew. Another good one from New Belgian.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Clydesdale
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, clear golden color. The frothy, off-white head is fairly tall initially, with medium density. Retention is good, and several nice rings of lacing stick to the glass.

S: Lightly sweet, doughy pale malt aromas up front. Zesty hops provide citric (lemon), floral, and spicy notes. A faintly tart note is also present; I'm not sure if it's from the yeast, or the wheat and rye, but it's interesting.

T: A bit of sweetness, along with some grainy/bready/doughy malt flavor. Faintly toasty. Hop bitterness is firm, and the hop flavors strike an unusual and interesting balance between textbook citric and floral notes (from the American C-hops) and more subtle spicy and zesty notes.

M: Medium bodied. Quite smooth and creamy - extremely well done. Carbonation is slightly soft, and the finish is moderately dry.

D: This may not be a traditional fall style, or a hype-conducive beer, but it is very good. As a hoppy blonde ale, this works really well.

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Photo of AEArider
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured crystal gold, with a white head that sparkled.

Where this beer really excelled was its balance- the first wiff makes obvious the flowery and citrus notes rooting from the diversified hop profile, but once this touches your tongue the malt facets become just as obvious.

The mouthfeel was fine, although I expected creamier based on the bottle's label. Very drinkable.

A refreshing balanced beer, perfect for the Libra scales of 'Hoptober' (heh, heh?)

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Photo of JMad
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours yellow, has a big white head with good lacing.
Smells of citrusy hops and is sweet, sour and malty.
Taste has hints of rye and wheat, citrus and pine.
Feels medium bodied, it's very smooth (I guess from the oats) has a lingering bitterness and leaves the mouth dry.
This beer is very tasty, I expected a marzen this is more of a pale ale.

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with hints of lacing, over crystal clear pale golden color.

Nose has some nice light but plentiful hops, light floral noble hop style, bit of earthiness, slight hint of grassy and fruity hops, with hints of golden malts and toasty straw.

Taste is nice as well, starts with light golden malts, hint of toasty straw, juicy. Then come the hops with some light floral hops, a bit grassy and earthy, juicy fruit hops with hint of musty resin and slightest hint of citrus fruit. Finishes dry with more bitterness and some light musty hops with hints of citrus.

Mouth is med bodied, dry and slightly crisp, with good carb.

Overall pretty nice, a nice light end of summer / early fall style beer with nice hops, light on the malts but they're there, a nice American twist on a nice fall style beer, and I'm happy how they kept the hops from going overboard.

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Photo of mralphabet
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into pint glass.

A: Nice Golden color, great looking 2 fingers worth of nice fluffy white head. Head settles to a nice layer and ring. Wonderful lacing... Little to no bubbles.

S: First thing I smell is very floral hops with a touch of caramel like malt, with a little saltine cracker smell mixed in.. Smells pretty balanced.... But I love the smell of the hops here.. little more hops than most ABA I've had.

T: The hops are right up front, much like the smell.. nice floral hops with a hint of citrus, the mid palette has a nice balance of malt.. Touches of caramel, toffee and a little biscuit.. Finish is clean with very little hop bitterness. A well rounded and balance brew.

M: Med bodied, carbonation is mild, leaves a little oily coating on my tongue... Strangely feeling a little heat from the ABV. Very nice feel over all.

O: Very nice beer from New Belgium Brewing... Good mix of hops and malt... good balance, good flavors and feel.. Cannot ask for much more... I was really impressed with this one, but I should not be surprised.. They make some great beers. The ABV was pretty good so 1 or 2 Bombers could be thrown down. Worth looking for...

Hey New Belgium Brewing welcome to VA.... What took you so long..

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Photo of tapman
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear and golden in color, the head on this one is very thin and is gone quickly. A hint of orange gives a darker than average tint, but for golden ale that's alright. Very clean looking.

Hoppy, though it's them noble hops so a lot goes a little way if you catch my drift. Delicate but not subtle. Grain is subdued with a little of that biscuity aroma that I get in most of the N.B.s.

Hazelnut and vanilla matched by some earthy hops and a chocolate-like finish. Is this some N.Brewer in here? I never got chocolate off of it, though I have heard that some people have. No mint, however. I lose the biscuity taste that I find in most of their brews and I do appreciate that.

Crisp and sharp. Very clean and neat in the finish. Soda-pop bite, though perhaps a little softer.

Despite my scores I really like this beer. Another one that reaches a little beyond the style, but I really like the taste of this one. Not too bland like many a golden ale I have tried.

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Photo of porterwoobie
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: straw yellow color, very clear, slim white head, good lacing

S: hoppy smell initially with a malty aroma following. the hop aroma is citrusy.

T: some biscuit-like character, malt notes, and citrusy hops area detected. the hop flavor is moderate as it has more malt character in the taste, but the bitterness is prominent in the finish.

MF: medium-light bodied, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: very smooth drinking beer. i would drink it again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Polished gold with bright yellow highlights and a crown of lemon-tinted ivory colored foam. It's a quality look that any American blonde would be proud to have. An extensive and attractive array of lace seals the deal on a good score.

A hop lineup that includes Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier (and 40 IBUs) suggests that New Belgium named this beer with a purpose. It smells wonderfully citrus zesty and has a mildly spicy undertow as well. Good things are expected.

Hoptober Golden Ale doesn't taste like the typical American blonde ale. The malt has more character and the hoppiness is APA-like in terms of quantity. Given the fact that the 'best by' date is just several weeks from today, it might have been IPA-like immediately after bottling.

The flavor derived from malt is toasted and spicy. According to the label, four different grains are used: barley (pale malt), wheat, rye and oats. Sweetness is easily exceeded by a white grapefruit-lemon zesty and grassy hoppiness. White pepper notes are also noted. Hmmm, I would have guessed Saaz in addition to the C-hops.

The mouthfeel is at least as accomplished as all the rest. It's easily big enough for the ABV and is one of the finest of this style that I've ever experienced. Guess that means that 4.0 is too low.

Hoptober Golden Ale is the real deal and is a fantastic addition to the brewery's seasonal lineup. Along with Mighty Arrow Pale Ale, this is my new favorite New Belgium brew.

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Photo of whynot44
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright, clear golden color with a decent foamy white head that retains fairly well and manages some nice lacing all the way.

The aroma is pine needles and grapefruit with some nice light malt in the background.

The taste is likewise led by the pine and citrus hops and hints of grassiness with a very nice lightly sweet, slightly spicy malt backbone for a very nice balance.

Medium bodied, smooth and very drinkable, a really nice fall beer but I could do this year round with no problem.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium glass.

A - it's damn hot and muggy here right now, and the bright golden body and thick, fluffy white head 'atop this beer looks really damn good.

S - hops, some wheat, but not much else. And not very pronounced.

T - pretty dang good as a matter of fact. Light but bold hop flavors meld nicely with refreshing crispness of the wheat aspects. Light and refreshing yet not lacking flavor.

M - feels good. Nice carbonation, smooth creaminess to it. Crisp.

O - this isn't the best beer I've ever had, and it's definitely not the worst. Going down really nicely on this hot-ass day.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden color with a thick bubbly head and good lacing. Excellent appearance for this type of beer.

S - A blend of malts and hops, some sweet citrus and caramel notes.

T - A well-balanced mix of citrus hops and caramel malts. A crisp wheat taste as well. A little sweetness as well.

M - Medium bodied, crisp. Pretty nice hoppy finish.

O - New Belgium's Hoptober was a tasty blonde ale. It's a unique take on a fall seasonal and it's a beer I'll keep an eye open for next Fall.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber golden with a decent white head. Aroma is richly hoppy and just slightly fruity. Flavor is seriously hoppy but not too bitter and has both malty and fruity hints. Texture is fizzy and leaves a nice hoppy finish that is only slightly bitter.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the El Dorado Walmart Supercenter on a routine grocery run.
Pours to a 1-inch white head that falls to about 3/8-inch layer with ample lacing. Brilliantly filtered golden color. Smells like an IPA. Aroma is a strong hit of citrusy and slightly spicy/catty "C" hops (centennial, cascades, etc.) some sweet grainy/honey-like/biscuits in the background. Flavor is quite surprising. With all the hop aroma, the mouth expects puckering IPA-like bitterness. Not here, it is hop flavor and enough alpha acids to balance the sweet specialty malts, rye and oats. It tastes almost like a dessert wine with the crisp sticky sweetness that fades fast to a bittersweet balance. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side for the style and strangely satisfying. Easy to drink and enjoy year-round, IMO. Why make this seasonal? it could be a great crossover to hoppy pale ales and IPAs for Fat Tire and Newcastle Brown drinkers.

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Photo of jsh420
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

best by feb 26 2010

pours bright clear golden with a 2 finger head that cakes the glass with lacing

smell floral centennial hops along with some wheat - very nice nose which i would have rated higher but i picked up on that NB must that i get in most of their beers

taste - yep thats the stuff - hands down the best american blonde ale i have ever had - quick citrus then pine hops that lead into those floral hops right along the nice blend of rye and wheat

mouthfeel is a medium body - lots of hop resin - good carbonation creamy finish

drinkability is great i only wish this was not just a seasonal release

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Photo of ccrida
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Monty's, Hoptober is gold with a white head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is nice, very interesting, floral notes, some sweetness, wildflower honey, clean cereals.

Taste is similar, a nice bit of hop snap, more of the nobles then the west coast style hops that are often more assertive. Similar to the nose with the potpourri and honey, cereal, very clean and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a bit slick, with some dryness, and a medium light body.

Drinkability is good, a tasty beer that is subtly complex, sessionable but satisfying.

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright yellow in color. Pours with about 1/2" of off-white, creamy thick head that eventually reduces down, but never really goes away. Nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit and citrus. Lemon. Heavy aromatic hops.

T: Slightly sweet with very light malts. This one is all about the hops flavor. Orange-lemon citrus mixed with some floral notes. Sweet corn. Virtually no bitterness at all.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation. Clean and crisp.

D: A very good beer and a good alternative to the typical American adjunct. Lightly malted, a little sweet, and bursting with hop flavor without any hop bitterness.

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.83 out of 5 based on 964 ratings.
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