Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
964 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 964 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of Tballz420
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptober Golden Ale is a clear, golden colored brew with a big, bubbly white head. Lots of lacing sticks to the glass. There's just a slight chill haze, and no rising carbonation bubbles. The scent is pretty nice and consists mostly of a variety of hops, ranging from floral to citrus and just a bit of bitter. The taste starts off with a pale malt start, toasty, pretty spicy, I guess very spicy for the style. Nice floral undercurrents, some wheat grains, I think some rye as well. The malt profile is getting fairly complex the more I let this one run around my mouth. Some lemon zest and some grassy notes as well. The hops finish bitter. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light yellow with a one inch head. It had absolutely amazing lacing, some of the best I've seen. Smelled of hops like the name suggests. Very piney with the malt smell nearly absent.

The taste, for an American Blonde Ale was out of this world. The piney hops came through perfectly, with a malty backbone. The only knock is the malts kind of a had a sour taste that I can attribute to adjunct grains. If it wasnt for this flavor, the taste would be perfect. The aftertaste's only problem is that off flavor tends to linger, but the piney hops stick around just as long as you want them too.

I would drink this beer any day, even if it were an APA. Solid brew all-around.

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Photo of elniko
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into New Belgium glass. Bottle marked best by 2/5/2010.

A: As the bottle foretold, golden amber coloring with relatively minimal head. Good lacing and light carbonation apparent. Solid looking brew.

S: Wonderful citrus notes from the nose, an interesting melding of the various hops that were used in the brew.

T & M: Relatively light bodied, citrus tones in the nose come through in the taste as well. There are some spicy hints in the finish. Malt never really become apparent even as the beer warms.

D: Very drinkable, not sure why this is fall seasonal as I feel that this is an awesome summer sipper. Quality new brew from New Belgium.

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A hoppy Belgian blonde ale is the best name for this one I think. Instead of having pale malt characteristics, this has the fruity Belgian blonde ale characteristics. Notes of ripe peaches are prevalent, as is a smoother, rounder mouthfeel as compared to West Coast Pale Ales. The hop character is present on the nose, as well as the palette, but is much less assertive. It tends to be a backdrop instead of the main event here. An easy drinking ale that has a beautiful rich, sweet, and smooth character, while still being refreshing.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a one finger white head and decent lacing. The aroma is of citrus hops and floral hops. The aroma for a blond is great. The taste has a sweet malt backbone and then a nice ctirus hop bite along with a piney hop bite. The taste is crisp and refreshing. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall for a blond this is a very solid beer. One of the best blondes I have ever had.

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Photo of brewanddrink
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i am a fan of all oktoberferst style or spin offs so i had to try this one. It pour smooth golden into my glass and had a great malt smell with hop notes following right after. It is good with food or by itself. Just one more great beer put out by the awesome New Belgium brewing co.

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Photo of schleprock
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle.
A: This beer looks more like a pilsner than a blonde ale with it's crisp golden color and lots of bubbles. Very nice lacing in the glass.

S: As the name suggests, plenty of fresh hops, earthy and citrusy. The aroma is crisp, sweet and full of citrus.

T: Lots of fruity esthers and a pleasant mild bite from the hops.

M: This beer starts out strong and finishes nicely. A bit of lingering bitterness from the hops and the carbonation give a nice feel.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. This could be a year round brew, or at the very least, available during summer and fall.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into SN tulip glass.
Very attractive golden with nice white head and reasonable stamina. Lots of bubble action from the nucleation.
Balanced malt hop aroma, but I especially like it when the sweet, spicy, citrus, fruit of the hops is most forward. Malt backing is biscuit, toast, nuttiness similar to Fat Tire and some of the other beers from New Belgium. Just a touch of yeast.
Balanced flavors, as with the aroma. I really enjoy the hop character as it blends best with the interesting, yet familiar malt character. Hop as flavor (citrus, spice, mild grassiness) and bitterness (blending, yet laying flat on tongue as the long dryness of the finish kicks in).
Rather fully carbonated which gives a touch of fillingness (if that's a word). Surprisingly heavy body, closer to moderate than light.
The best bottles of this I've had approach Gumballhead. It's not quite there, but it's easier for me to get and I know it will be fresh. An easy beer for me to pick up annually, if it continues to be like this.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A very nice looking golden/amber looking beer with a very thick white head that sticks around for quite a while.
S- smells very floral, with a little citrus, particularly grapefruit integrated in. a little bit of cookie smell hidden in the background, but the scent is definitely hop oriented.
t- very tasty. starts citrusy, moves to a little bit of a bitterness and finishes with some floral and bready flavors.
m- I like my beers to have some presence to them, and this one does, but it was a little overagressive. the carbonation left a little bit of piercing feeling on the pallate. mouthfeel was slightly above average for me.
d- overall a very good beer. one of new belgium's better beers. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will likely enjoy it again soon.

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Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, typical New Belgium label and bottle. As usual, they have all the relevant information easily available.

Appearance: Clear golden and a bit effervescent. Nice sized head, dense with pretty good retention.

Smell: Peppery hops, some varied grain flavors. Definitely appealing.

Taste: Definitely hop forward, but not bitter. Spicy and peppery hop flavors, with a bit of the flavor I associate with rye beers.

Overall impression: Definitely a drinkable offering, I tried this on draft and wasn't impressed - but I'm really enjoying the six pack, so maybe it was my taste buds or the lines or something.

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never wanting to risk buying the 6 pack (which is unusual), I came across a single and picked it up.

Getting close to the exp..

Best Before: Mar 05 2010

Brite white fluffy and light white head that is staying and holding up nicely. Light fuzzy golden in color. Looks great. At the end of my glass that is no shortage of lacing on my glass. It is well covered.

Before I even went in for a smell a great crisp hoppiness crossed my nose from the pour. Really sweet caramel/ caramel malt with a citrusy hoppiness. A good impressive hop nose like an IPA.

Mmm. That is my first impression. Very flavorful. Delicious maltiness with a great tasting soft hoppy finish. Slightly sweet. So similar to me, to an IPA, but less bitter hoppiness. Thats why I love it so much- instantly. So smooth and goes down easy. I could drink these all night happily. I have to say this is my favorite beer Ive tried from NB, and Ive had around 5-10.
Sweet slightly tangy hoppiness fades into sweet caramel hues with a delicious lasting finish.

Medium/light bodied, silky smooth, slightly tongue tingling carbonation. Mouthfeel is great and fits the beer/style perfect.

I guess it was my loss that I never bought it all the times I saw it.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice.

Attractive pour, with a straw golden, lager-esque look that sports sedate carbonation. A thick cap of foam initially, bone white in color and well-retained, but it eventually settles to an off-centered patch of large bubbles. Great lacing, too. Subtly hoppy nose, with soft & sweet grapefruits leading the way, backed by a hint of peppery spice from the rye and sweeter crystal malts. Enticing, but it makes you work for it...digging this one so far.

A damn tasty beer New Belgium has crafted here. Although it's called "Hoptober", the grain bill is the highlight for me, as the rye and oats meld perfectly to form a sublime, earthy smoothness to the body. Suggestions of wet hay and raw oatmeal, before a spicy kick from the rye hits mid-palate. Hops take charge of the finish, adding a great, bitter balance with notes of citrus flesh and green mint. Mouthfeel is a bit aggressive for the style, but that's not too much of an issue for me. Although this won't be the most in-your-face brew that New Belgium has to offer--far from it--but the flavor of Hoptober is both original and superbly well-balanced. An easy choice and easier drinking...seek this one out if you can!

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Photo of beerphan
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
Best Before: 05DEC10 is screened on the label

Pours a clear pale yellow with some orange tinges. Fills the pint to the rim with head and deposits rings of lace that drop together forming a spiderweb coating on the glass. Carbonation is intense, robust and unheeding.

Nose: Faint pale malts and citrus hops.

Much bolder body than expected. No thin blonde ale here. A hopeful and smooth pale malt base teases, before being back handed by a orange-citric hop blast. Finishes quick as the bitterness doesn't hang around for long but does deposit a orange malt float flavor on the mouth. The wheat and oats leave their mark in the remarkable smoothness of the brew. I really like this beer.

We can't get New Belgium in Pennsylvania and that is a shame. Thanks to Simon for bringing the beer over for tasting at the after Big Pour 4 hangout, oh yeah and his cousin for bringing it up from SC. ( Yes, i stashed a couple so i could do a review proper )

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Photo of Duttonic
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 10/30/10.

A- Golden, one finger white head, aggressive bubbling, great lacing.

S- Citrus (orange peel), hops, sourdough bread.

T/M- Light body, airy, mild hoppiness, great flavor.

D- This is a solid fall session for me. It breaks up the monotony of Oktoberfest for me and gives me something different than the usual enamel removers I love so much. Thank you New Belgium.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice gold color with a decent white head.

Nose is nice yeast nose with a hint of sea water.

Mouthfeel is wonderful with perfect hop/malt balance; big and rich.

Full big hop character and flavors of pine and grapefruit but fully integrated with other flavors.

This is a big brew yet elegant. Finish is short grapefruit with undertones of pine. This could easily be a "go to" daily beer.

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Photo of cnjohn19
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served on tap in a tulip glass at tyler's in carrboro, nc...

first thing to note is my pregnant wife sitting next to me immediately commented on the smell of this beer when it came to our table...and i have to agree...fruity esters dominate with citrus hops hit you pretty strong...extremely surprised at the hop level in this golden ale which completely dominates any malts/yeast flavor trying to get through...it was just a tad too bitter, but beyond that everything was pretty excellent...i really think this is one of the better brews i've had from new belgium and i'll definitely get a six pack next time i'm out...

in all this is a great beer to share with friends who like hoppy beers and want to try something out of their normal selection...would probably serve as a good cross-over beer...


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Photo of Tunafever73
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy crap! This is kinda what I said after the first sip of this creamy elixr of the heavens.

Poured into 20oz glass, I could only empty 3/4 of the bottle before the rich creamy head spilled over the rim. It then stayed there until I couldn't take it any longer and waded past it. The nase is hit with strong citrus, mostly grapefruit, without losing the hoppy aroma. The taste was exactly what it should be, creamy, smooth, and citrusy.

After the second bottle I knew for sure.
This just earned a spot on my favorite list. Superb!

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Photo of Rschis16
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear pale orange beer with a lots of visible carbonation. Nice two finger snow-white head on top that leaves a holey blanket of lacing down the side of the glass after dissapating. The smell has a nice sharp piney hoppiness to it backed by a very pleasant malted barley aroma. Clean, balanced nose.

Up front there is a nice clean feel that tastes almost sweet, like there's a twinge of tangerine almost. Bold and bitter hops take over the back of the palate. Piney hops are the main feature, but they are almost matched with a nice smacking of caramel malts that come close to balancing this one. Certainly a hop-forward beer, but there is that balancing factor in the malt bill. Every now and then, a sip will just remind me of tangerine as well, adding a layer onto the complexity. The carbonation level is right on for the style at medium-high, but despite that, there is a wateriness to the feel that is just a smidge out of place. Otherwise, it finishes crisp and dry, fitting for a beer featuring the month of October in its name. Very good beer, and definitely worth the 3.99 price tag. I will almost certainly be picking this one up again.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours crystal clear, golden-straw, with a creamy, thinnish white head and significant lacing; nicely persistent as well. Loads of bubbles streaming from the glass' nucleation points creates a very nice looking beer.

Nose is very fresh - grassy, floral, with a clean resinous quality, and a lemony zing to round things out. Just a beautiful, vibrant noble hop bouquet, with just a hint of grainy malt underneath. Really beautiful nose.

Taste is dry, starts out with the light sweetness of pilsner malt, a bit of a grainy quality but quickly moves to the prominent but almost delicately dry hop note that pairs a big, lemony zestiness with a refreshingly grassy undertone, and a light bitterness that lingers dryly on the palate for the long finish, alongside shadows of the earlier cereal notes and a nice final dose of lemony goodness.

Mouthfeel is light, with a subtle creaminess. Moderate carbonation brings out the hop notes nicely.

Beautifully balanced and drinkable beer; normally, I'd see this as a fantastic summer beer, but the unorthodox release time does nothing t take away from what it is, which is a tasty, light-bodied beer that goes great with a huge variety of food.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Pours a clear golden color. Very bubbly with a large white, frothy head. Smells of a lot of hops and some wheat. I'm digging the scent on it. Very subtle yet intriguing. Taste is initially a sweet, malty flavor with some definite rye notes. Then you get the hop flavors. Not very bitter, but hoppy at the same time. At the end you get some caramel and some very delightful fruitiness. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing. A perfect beer for a warm summer night. The drinkability is VERY HIGH.

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Photo of pweis909
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a perfectly transparent golden ale with billowing pillows of foam and multiple tracings of lacings left behind as the foam recedes. There is some graininess and grassiness to its aroma, which leans towards the citrusy hops of Sierra Nevada. There is a bit of carbonation bite to its taste, but beyond that, there is soft subtle malt sweetness. Perhaps the word soft comes to mind because the texture of this beer, especially the initial foamy layers, reminds me of nothing less than soft lips of a sensual kiss. In this sense, this may be the sexiest beer I know. The beer is worth experiencing for that reason alone. A blonde? Maybe more like a pale ale, but I'm sure some will think of blondes when they spend time sipping this delightful ale.

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Photo of bboven
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful crystal clear golden body with over a finger of head that leaves tons of lacing.

Grapefruity C-hops abound. I like hops, so it's cool with me, but the malt is overpowered.

Same the flavor. Lots of complex hop taste, but little malt.

Highly drying and crisply carbonated.

All in all, if you like hops, you'll love this one.

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Photo of wo87810
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of beerbrains
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Erish
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: brilliant golden color, 2-finger white head falls into a persistent cap, excellent lacing.

S: pine, citrus, slightly funky earthy yeast (very New Belgium).

T: lemon, orange, light cracker-like malt, the middle brings the funk, and also a sour, lemonade note, the finish features grass and pine hops and a dry, slightly bitter finish.

M: light-bodied, smooth, moderate carbonation.

D: this light-bodied beer seems more appropriate for the summertime, but is damned tasty and refreshing any time of the year.

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