Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
964 Ratings
Read the review
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: 498 | Ratings: 964
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 Zraly
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a two-finger head into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Nice citrus and earth notes.

Medium-bodied and quite smooth, this is a citrusy and earthy ale and warms up a bit in the middle. The addition of oats adds a nice silky touch to the mouthfeel. Bready but balanced.

A really nice early fall drink to help wash down a good spicy spaghetti dinner. I could see this also working well with grilled seafood.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

A: Clear golden color. Decent head and lacing.

S: Light and lemony. Nice citrus and floral aroma.

T: Same as smell. Really nice citrus flavor. For a "blonde ale" this is surprisingly hoppy. I like it.

M: Light and crisp. Very refreshing. Good carbonation. Would be easy to drink on a hot day.

O: Excellent blonde ale. I will try to pick up a few six packs

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was mostly golden. About ¾ inches of head. Nice lacing. Film stayed on the glass throughout.

Full of flavorful smells. Citrus hops with orange coming through. Some light wheat in there as well.

Not as good as the nose. Citrus still is the main taste and still seems to be orange. Kind of a flower feel in there, too. A very slight bitter finish. EDIT: Next time I tried it (three hours later), butter was dominant. To the point I had to drop the ratings. Pretty gross.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Still that slight abrupt bitter finish.

I had big expectations for this after the smell, but it disappointed me a bit. I’d probably give it the old college try again, though.

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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 samie85
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear amber color with two and a half fingers of white head.

S-Light caramel malt with some honey with grapefruit and orange hop notes.

T-Light bitter grapefruit notes with some caramel malt backing and a crisp, bitter finish.

M-Light bodied with light, prickly carbonation and a crisp, drying finish.

D-Incredibly easy drinking for those last few hot days of the year; not an in your face beer by any means, but still a solid beer.

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

A - Clear, golden ale, with a fizzy one inch white head. Lacing slid down the glass.

S - Quite nice...floral, lemon peel zest.

T - Good flavor, a little bit of malt up front, followed by a toasty flavor. Finished with a good balance of hops.

M - A refreshing beer.

O - A good solid beer.

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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.

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Photo of keethrax
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A stone soup of a beer. Barley/What/Oat/Rye with five varieties of hops.

There's a lot going on, but all in balance and somewhat muted. Think of it as a quiet conversation amongst a group of friends, with no component shouts over the others.

Considering the hop aromas and flavors, the bitterness is muted, allowing the different malts to come through.

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

Fresh (1/8/12) 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass

Puffy white cap raises to 2 fingers and slowly fades leaving plenty of lacing. Color is golden, crisp and clear. Half an inch head remains throughout leaving thick lacing when the beer is finished.

Nose is big fresh piney/citrusy hops, light yeast, very nice. The 5 hops beat out the 4 malts in the super fresh beer.

Taste is piney and some citrus hops, bready malt, very smooth, dangerously drinkable. The rye is noticeable and enjoyable.

Overall this is a great and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Easy flowing amber ale, pleasing if a bit unremarkable.

Presentation:22 oz brown capped bottle. New Belgium paper label design with a n image of a party bonfire framed by hops. Side paragraph goes over intent, main ingredients and serving notes. Show best before date 01jan12, and 6% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Clear gold pour with a rig frothy head, good retention and surface memory with showy lacing.

S - Fresh hoppy nose, nothing too pungent but pleasing range of pineapple, and grapefruit,

T - Flavors offers a soft if correct biscuity pale malt sense with a lighter touch of hops… very light notes of grapefruit and a muted bitterness.

M - Medium/light body… In fact probably lighter but held by a medium carbonation that sustains the brew well. Light prickly finish with a tiny bitter touch.

O - Pleasing flow, a bit generic and safe for a mass audience, in that sense the aroma and looks are the most notable qualities, as an entry craft brew this might work well.

Notes: It's quality but I'm not crazy about it by far… Logically this can be part of the massive launch of NB brews in the region. Price/quality ratio is remarkable and in that context this could do very well. Having said that… If only for that nose, I'd take this over their pervasive Fat Tyre any day.

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

Bottle into pint glass.

A- Light golden. Well carbonated with a finger and a half or so of light, loose white head.

S- Lots of grapefruit up front completely dominates the smell profile. And this isn't just hints of grapefruit, it is more like diluted pink grapefruit juice. Some slight malt notes in the background, the grapefruit is just so distinctive it is almost all I get.

T- A lot of grapefruit right up front and on the finish. A bit of pineapple. Some bready malt notes in the background.

M- Light of medium. Nice for the style. Easy drinking.

O- I like this NB fall release. Not a huge Marzen fan, although I do enjoy them now and again, so a non-marzen fall seasonal is a nice alternative.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic case of something that is more than the sum of its parts.

It looks like a clear golden color - like apple juice or pee - with a thin white head. Not bad, but not great.

Aromas of mostly fresh grain and a mild fruit/diacetyl note I can't quite place - again, not bad, but not great.

What follows is nothing short of the most fresh and delightful simple top shelf training wheel craft beer I have ever tasted - forget Fat Tire and its legions of thoughtless enthusiastic craft beer philistines - this stuff is liquid gold in the mouth (as far as mild middle of the road craft beer goes).

A very soft and smooth medium body with some hop bitterness on the finish. The over all flavor goes nowhere fast, but is everywhere at once. I think it's just the freshness and the meticulous brewing regime of New Belgium that makes most of their beers stand out despite not being particularly noteworthy for aggresive flavors (excepting La Folie et. al. of course). In terms of pure craft, the man in the brewhouse is walking a razor thin line of craftmanship.

Don't get me wrong - I'm no New Belgium fanboy, I just know a solid, superlatively designed and executed beer when I taste one - regardless of how hoppy or roasty or barrel aged sour and funky it is or isn't.

It's one thing for Evil Knieval to land an impossible jump, but another thing for your neighborhood redneck to execute an endless and flawless wheelie.

The only downside is that even the best beers don't taste good when they aren't fresh. New Belgium is mainly successfull on their purity (and safety) of flavor and freshness.

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Photo of TwinButte
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a beautiful clear golden color color with a nice head on it. Stays well carbonated throughout the full glass.

S - Pale Ale 'ish hop aroma. Not overpowering like an IPA though. Some wheat notes do peak through too.

T - Tastes like an IPA but with a Belgium twist. Its a nice change up to the IPA's I have drank all summer. Not too bitter on the back end.

M - Very smooth. Is more complex than I expected. Carbonation is right on.

O - This is a great transition into the fall browns, and marzens from the summer IPA's. It has a strong hop aroma and taste but is well balanced with the four malts that are used. I find it hard not to like anything from New Belgium and this one is right near the top as well.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was nothing special, very light colored and clear, with little head or lacing.

Smell and taste were pretty good, with a floral hops presence and some bready maltiness. There's a bit of a grainy/grassy aspect as well.

Feel wise it was very light and super easy to drink, although it seems a bit more of a summer beer to me.

Overall it's not bad stuff at all, but may not make the headlines. It's plenty drinkable though.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with three fingers of head; both lacing and retention were impressive

Smell: Floral and citrusy, with just a hint of the light malt underneath

Taste: Four grains were used in the malt bill and the complexity that brings is apparent, up front, with a light toasted, shortbread character that has a crisp rye element to it; the malts, however, quickly move to the back seat, with the floral, citrusy hops taking over; nicely balanced, into the finish and the floral character lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: Never thought I would rate a blonde so highly; this one re-defines the style, however

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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 DCon
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Wolf Public House in Ballwin, MO for $2.25 (Employee Beer Price). Tapped from the Brown Tap Handle that has Hoptober- Fall Seasonal on the Handle with Leafs on it into a .47l New Holland Tulip Glass and has a Keg Date of (2011).

Aroma- Medium hops and not like the name... Why is this called Hoptober when its a Blonde Ale. Good fruitness and sweet malts. Perfect!

Appearance- Received with a 1.5 Finger head that dies quickly. Has a deep golden body that has good clarity and huge lacing.

Flavor- Good overall malt sweetness that is bready and biscuity. Low esters are present and has a low bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, Smooth, and has an easy Blonde finish.

Overall Impression- Like my blondes, I like them easy and approachable. And this one is and you will think so to! Grab one of these seasonals while you can! Definintely recommend on tap, and will be reviewing a bottle shortly.

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Photo of droomyster
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fascinating beer. Pours a clear golden body with white head with decent retention. The aromas are fascinating: lots of tropical and assorted fruits like pineapple, mango, kiwi, even some strawberries come through quite prominently, with floral notes and a lime-like zestiness in the background. The hops are more prominent in the flavor, which has a well-balanced hop to malt ratio. Fruit, grain and honey flavors are equal to the assertive hops. This is easily the best blonde ale I've ever tried. Brilliant stuff.

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

12oz bottle poured into perfect pint glass

A: The beer is a very crisp, clear golden color with lots of bubbles rising quickly to the top. I got a finger and a half of creamy white head that dissipated to a nice little cap after about two minutes.

S: There is a light hop scent. I am getting a fresh hop scent, slightly resiny, and some floral and citrus hints. Overall the scent is clean but subtle and nuanced.

T: The taste is crisp at first followed by some hop bitterness and then followed by citrus notes. A pleasant, very light citrus aftertaste is left on the palate.

M: The beer is pretty light on my palate and smooth. It grows (gains a bit of body; loses some crispness) as it warms. The carbonation is perfect in my opinion. Quite an easy beer to drink.

O: This is another solid offering from New Belgium and well suited to the cool fall evenings that are quickly approaching. I enjoyed the way it started out crisp and then grew in body as it warmed. The hop bitterness was also very well balanced with the final citrus taste and aftertaste. A very well put together and interesting beer.

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

I 100% agree with jayhawk73, he took every word right from my mouth, especially the part about tasting and feeling like an IPA.

...except I pump this one up to an A-.

IMO, if you don't mind an IPA inspired beer, this would be the best bang for the buck.

Thanks guys, keep up the good work.

New Belgium does it again!

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden yellow w/ a good two finger off white head that quickly disappears. Little carbonation and decent lacing. Super clear, and very easy to see right through. Smell is of hops, malt, spice, grass, grain. Very distinct nose to this beer. Not particularly balanced, but a nice smelling brew for the style. Hops, lemon, fruit, and some malt really come through in the taste. Definitely a different taste profile from the nose. Almost IPA-like. I expected a little more malt in the flavor. Mouthfeel is fairly full w/ a spicy bite from the hops carrying into the aftertaste. Overall, this beer drinks more like an IPA to me. I enjoyed it, and the price was right. Recommended, but I probably won't seek this one out again. Cheers.

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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 goldbot
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 01 January 2012.

Pours crystal clear and golden. Good carbonation, thick, white, sparkly (almost soapy-looking) foam. Plenty of lacing. Crisp, clean hoppy aroma. Grapefruit, some pine resin. Some caramel malt in the background. Flavor is light and hoppy - more grapfruit with a nice planty, floral bent. Caramel/toffee sweetness. The mouthfeel is very delicate and silky. The beer explodes into a light, carbonated foam in your mouth. A great well-balanced, light beer, although it seems to be missing some of the boldness that I look for in autumnal offerings and that is promised on the label.

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