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Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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very good
497 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 497 | Ratings: 960
Photo of tdm168
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark gold with little head that quickly fades. Smells of floral, earthy hops with faint wheat notes. Taste is malty and bready with mild grassy, earthy, floral hops; slight bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied, well carbonated, and refreshing.

Overall a nice beer. Definitely a nice change of pace from the marzen/pumpkin soaked fall market.

 365 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hoptober Golden Ale, New Belgium

It's golden, alright, bursting with effervescence, capped with a solid and sure head of snowy white, lacy foam. Beautiful.

Lovely, outspoken aromatics. Floral, honeyed, and lightly spicy notes meet big, beefy citrus esters from the Pac NW hops at play. Bitter, sweet, enticing and intriguing.
I'm loving the nose, now, let's move on to the drinking part.

Taste: Bitterness leads the charge, then steps back and makes with the mellow. Soft, sweet malt flavor is the pleasure below. Lemon and pepper remain.
Citrus and spice come back, sip after sip. American pale ale meets Belgian golden, without some of the latter's finer attributes.
Medium bodied, soft finish, starts big and brash, ends smooth and quiet.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very shocking large white head with some fairly good retention and foamy, sits on a crystal clear lager like straw gold body.

Sweet grain and almost corn like, but goes more to honey on the nose. Faint hint of grass like hop, but sweetly dominant smelling.

Taste is a hop and grass mix of crispness. Sweet grain in the mid palate and doesn't bring a hind of adjunct suggested from the nose. Small lingering hop bitter on the finish with some citrus zest in the aftertaste. Texture is a nice mix of smooth and crisp.

Overall pretty enjoyable, and highly drinkable as well.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying the New Belgium Hoptober which is one of my favorites this time of year. The appearance is a pale clear yellow....the head is very thin and white. The beer laces nicely down the glass. The smell is good...it contains light hop with some citrus. The taste is good...contains citrus and subtle pine supported by some floral tones. The mouthfeel is decent...medium to light body with good carbonation. Overall a very good beer and highly recommend above all the marzen bs that is out now.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #3 American Blonde Ale on beeradvocate.com best of styles lists. Served in a New Belgium goblet because I am one sick bastard and this sort of thing gets me off.

Beer is amber to blonde....clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing moderate carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet and a little grainy, eh...

Beer is light in body with a grainy finish but not offputting. It is an interesting and decent beer, I drank the whole bomber of it out of my awesomeness tulip and I'd have more. It is mildly hoppy even on the midpalate, minimal yeast contribution.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/21/09- Purcahsed at Safeway in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, did not look for a freshness code. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Nice medium golden colored pour with a sparkiling white 1/2 inch head and some minor lace streaks and spots remaining.

Smell- Some slight grassy aromas, a bit of toasted malt and a decent cascade hoppy aroma.

Taste- Not as hoppy as expected. Fairly light in flavor with a split between a lightly toasted malt and some lighter grapefruit spiked hops. Maybe a touch herbal.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level with a light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Thinking more of a lighter APA rather than a Blonde Ale, but still drinkable and better than average.

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Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, earthy malt, and sweet malt, and some citrus. Fits the style of an American Blonde Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops (not too strong or bitter), earthy malt, sweet malt, citrus (fruit-loops), and some more hops in the finish. Overall, good bodied, smooth, inviting, well-blended blonde ale.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly clean and crisp beer, and darn good representative of the style, imho. Pours a light golden, clear body with a 1 finger head. The white foam settled down to a respectable collar, although I'd like to see more of it.
Fairly weak aroma. Citrus and slight bubblegum are a nice surprise from a New Belgium beer that are typically malt and yeast driven.

Flavors follow suit. I wouldn't guess this to be a NB product. The malt is light and the yeast provides just enough spice to accentuate the hops. Citrus hops; grapefruit mostly, but subtle.

Clean finish. Good for late summer, sitting on the porch.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quickly, on to the beer:

Dirty yellow colored with a short head that leaves lots of dotty lacing onto the glass. Nose is subtle, but refreshing. It's grassy and has an appealing honeydue aroma.

The subtlety theme continues into the taste, which is a little bit of a surprise for a beer at 6% ABV. Melon rind and a little grassy bitterness are the dominant flavors in the bunch. Also a suggestion of wildflowers. Slight spice, perhaps from the rye. Or maybe it is the carbonation, which is medium-high. Its clean finish with some melon leftovers in the aftertaste are appealing and leave the beer with a good note.

As is the case with most of New Belgium's line of "regular" beers, Hoptober can appeal to a wide variety of personal tastes. This is something to keep in mind for future falls.

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Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Solid see-thru golden color. One inch white head. Drink-by-drink step lacing.

S- Definitely get the spice from the hops. Clean, fresh...if those can describe a smell.

T- Taste isn't as aggressive as the smell would lead you to believe but that's alright. Piney. Slight honey.

M- Medium carbonation...maybe even a little on the watery side. Still has a bite to it though.

D/O- I found this one to be extremely drinkable. Wouldn't mind making an afternoon of this one next fall if given the opportunity.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.56/5  rDev -7%
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 LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint Pours a light to medium orange yellow amber, thin fine head the slowly dissipates to a ring, lots of lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt and hops. Taste follows aroma, sweet bready malt, light orange and lemon citrus hops. Light to medium bodied with light carbonation. Finishes with a mild hop bite on the back of the tongue. Subdued, but pleasant. Nicely hopped for a blonde ale.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus notes. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts, some citrus, a touch of sweetnesss. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a three finger this, lightly tanned, off-white colored head that sticks around for some time and produces a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is red-tinged, rich gold color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep gold color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite hop dominated with notes of pine, a sharp herbal quality, notes of tangerine, essential citrus oil. This has a very slight malt character to it in the nose with just a touch of cracker like malt towards the finish.

A solid, biting bitterness greets my palate as the beer first hits my tongue; the bitterness lingers throughout the flavor profile and the beer is quite dry which accentuates the bitterness. The soft malt mutes the fruity hop notes a bit and instead focuses the flavor on the more herbal and pine like hop notes. That said a sort of herbal citrus character contributes oily notes of bergamot, tangerine zest and lychee. The finish has a nice, dry, biscuit maltiness along with a cracked wheat grain character. The body of this has a touch of viscous heft to it, especially for how dry this tastes, it seems the whole grains are adding some texture to the body here; this is still a beer meant to be quaffed though.

This is a nice, solid beer. I like that New Belgium has started to release a few more hop focused beers. This isn't nearly as good as fresh Mighty Arrow, but it definitely satisfies my inner need for hops.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz picked up today at the COOP... poured into my Delirium goblet.... Crystal clear gold... nice foamy head and pretty good retention and lace...

Nose is grassy and floral hops out front with (I think?) some sorta menthol notes... pale malts help out but are more second string.

An interesting beer.... I'm having a hard time with it... Good bitterness at the front with some spicy/lite oily/slick notes also sorta at the front... nice floral hoppiness mid palate and a lingering spiciness that I would guess comes from the rye and oats... The body is on the medium side and a nice sorta creamy carbonation.. Reminds me of an over-hopped, rye-dominant cream ale I brewed eons ago.. I haven't thought of that beer in years :-)

Still don't know what to make of this beer other than I like it... definitely in my mind this a blending of at least a few different styles.. that said, I would have bought this many times to have something interesting and very drinkable in the Boise heat... the fact that it's out now in very late summer will probably limit my drinking, but as long as it's on the shelf, I'll almost certainly make sure to have some in the fridge... good beer for sure.

 1,186 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear dark yellow. Head is light (one finger), with solid retention, leaving moderate lace.

S: Has a rye spice note, and also a little bit of what smells like cinnamon and oranges, sugar cereal, intriguing.

T: Direct grassy & citrus hop bite upfront, fresh tasting and very clean. Some cereal notes and a bit of an earthy hop note (Sterling?) with banana on the back end.

M: Crisp carbonation bite, though it balloons in the mouth a little bit. Light enjoyable aftertaste of hops. Creamy, medium-bodied ale.

D: A solid beer, but nothing like a traditional Oktoberfest. Clearly an ale with the fruitiness and has a definite American influence. A crowd pleaser for a fall party.

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Photo of Zorro
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smell is all Northwestern style hops. Strong grapefruit and other citrus aromas, this isn't very piney to me. Little bit of menthol and wood in this one with a minimal amount of malt scent.

Starts out dry and malty with a woody flavor. Slightly warming in the chest some of that is from a menthol and mint sensation from the hops. Slightly sour taste from the hops this is almost all citrus. Bottle says only 40 IBUs.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Flavorful and quite easy to drink. Smells stronger than it tastes, basically what we have here is a hoppy pale ale. Tasty beer I can recommend.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/18/11
*From notes

-- This bottle was generously shared by my Pops --

A: Rich straw golden. The beer's pretty clean in presentation. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head and some really nice lacing.

S: A bit sweet. The grains are present, yet there's a hoppy profile that provides decent balance.

T: Pretty low key, there's really nothing here that stands out as being a "wow" factor. It's easy drinking and approachable for sure, as the hops are minimal yet juicy. There's also a minute herbal streak in the brew that's quite refreshing.

M: Decent mouthfeel. The carbonation is surprisingly off and low. It feels like someone took the bottle, shook the living hell out of it and my Dad purchased it a few days later.

O: New Belgium's Hoptober Golden Ale was a nice, if not unspectacular, little beer. It should be called "Hopril", as this would be much better as an April release/Spring seasonal. It's too light and playful for the cooler weather. Maybe NB's trying to pull in the BMC crowd with this?

Regardless, I'd take opportunity to give this a try as it's well-assembled, but it's not even close to the best Autumn seasonals.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-cloudy gold w/ decent head and no lace on top of a nice mix of earthy hops and dry malt. Medium-bodied and chewey, it's real smooth w/ a wheat twang as well as having a piney, resinouse hop feel. Balanced brew as a touch of of chewey, doughy malt give off some fullness and dryness as a little bit of sugary sweetness. Throw in the touch of citrus and tart fruits and while a tad simplistic this is a very tastey beer that I enjoyed sipping on.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a glass dimple mug) best before 09 jan11
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden yellow body with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head is a cobweb that last for a good while.
S- The slightly tart hop hint turns into more of a pungent but bright hop aroma followed by some dry biscuit and lightly toasted malt aromas.
T- The pale malt give way to a soft green hop flavor and some light sulfury notes in the dry finish. As the beer opens up the sulfury note takes on a citrusy and green herbal hop flavor.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a crisp texture.
D- This beer has some nice light dry fresh malt flavors with a good pungent hop flavor that is a bit stronger than the malt. There are some nice clean lager qualities and it is very easy to drink but also has some good character.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle, newly released, from Chip's.

A: The blonde ale is quite blonde, pale golden yellow that is nearly transparent. Two fingers of white head, densely packed, result in several bands of lace.

S: A passing whiff revealed plenty of fresh hops, earthy and citrusy. The aromas are crisp and sweet, plenty fruity. Pale breads and a bit of wheat are counterpoints to the hops.

T: The addition of wheat to the malt bill creates a refreshing, mildly tart body that sets up the hops nicely. The hops, plenty strong, lack the kick that the nose emits. Instead, their citrusy flavors are soft with a floral zest. A nice summertime ale that needn't wait for the chilly days of Oktoberfest.

M: The ale starts out strong and coasts to a blonde ale finish. The wheat body is a nice aspect.

D: A strong summer beer, nice flavor-wise with a killer aroma. For a blonde ale, it kicks tail.

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Photo of beertunes
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Best before date of Jan. 29 2010. Poured into NB goblet. Poured a clean, clear, bright golden straw color. Even with an aggressive pour, less than 1/4 inch of white head appeared and had poor retention but left attractive lacing.

A very pleasant and pleasing grain aroma greets the nose, then is followed by an interesting hop scent. The flavors were very tasty, a pleasing mix of the malt and hop.

The body was typical for the style, but still crisp and refreshing. Drinkability is excellent, You want to, and could have, a bunch of these in a row and remain pleased throughout. This will be a great beer for tailgates and fall parties in the backyard.

Overall, a very pleasant surprise from a brewery that I don't have high expectations for. I'm sure this beer will be near you soon, I think you'll be as happy with it as I am.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a bright yellow gold with 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is very hoppy with some spice..probably the hoppiest nose of any NB brew I've tried. It's like you're holding the hop in your hand and taking whiffs. Sticking my nose into the glass, I can just make out some malt but it's very very faint.

The taste is more balanced but them hops are dominant. Very floral, light citrus, very light maltiness that's really struggling for attention but it ain't getting much according to my palate.

Medium bodied for the most part(it does get a bit watery in the finish) with medium carbonation, it finishes quite bitter with just a tad of honey like sweetness. The head retention is good as is the lacing.

Drinkability? It's easy enough to put this bottle away. A tasty brew that may be a little too aggressive for the style but it works alright for me.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lightly clouded gold/amber color. Poured a 2 finger foamy white head with good retention. Decanted continually. Laced in thick rings.

S: Grapefruit, citrus up front. Sweet malt in the background with some orange.

T: Flavoring hops and malt prominant with plenty of grapefruit and citrus hops. Sharply bitter in the finish for balance.

M: Light-to-medium body. Ample carbonation. Good malt and hop flavoring balanced with bitter.

D: Very easy to drink. Smooth and nicely balanced. Moderate ABV makes it very sessionable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice foamy head topping two fingers an sticky lacing. Just exceptional bubbling, hundreds of tiny columns of bubbles rising to the top of this foamy brew. The color is a golden hay with light copper hues mixed in. Medium hoppy nose, adding light citrus and heavy earthen grass aromas to a dry pilsner malt smell. The taste is mildly bitter to start Repeats of the earthen grass, but no citrus. The malts add a dry toasted gristy taste and mouthfeel. Pretty good balance for a hoppy blonde ale. Good tasting beer, but the hoppiness makes this beer falls a little short for drinkability on my scale. Still very good overall.

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.83 out of 5 based on 960 ratings.
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