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Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale
Very Good
964 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 964 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

New Belgium's Hoptober Golden Ale Pours into a thin wall Bass pint glass with a crystalline light pumpkin color and plentiful airy off white head. Head disipates as I write to a thinner and denser layer, leaving significant lace.

First notes of floral and piney hops develope with the addition of bready malt, but hops still dominate.

Strong hop impression in both flavor and bittering. The grassier hop elements come to the foreground, while biscuit malt lurks behind.

There is more body to this beer than its color, clarity, and aroma might lead you to guess. The carbonation is just right, doesn't mask any of the flavors.

After a half a pint, the beer tastes better than ever. The opening of each sip is smooth biscuity sweetness. Then the tag team of hops and carbonation bring the beer back into balncce before the hops charge on alone and leave with your mouth prepped for the next round.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal-clear, golden-amber body capped by a little over a finger of near-white head that features good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy and tropical-fruity hops over a biscuity malt body. If you'd presented this to me as an India Pale Ale, I wouldn't have thought twice based on the aroma.

Taste: Moderately bitter, green, and citrusy hops up front. Underneath, a toasty, biscuity, and caramel-like malt body keeps everything nicely balanced. The aftertaste is citrusy, a little leafy, and biscuity with a nice bitter kick. In the flavor department it ends up resembling a Pale Ale, rather than an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy with good carbonation. A dry finish.

Drinkability: A very quaffable brew that would be make for a great session choice.

Verdict: It's always nice to see New Belgium playing on the hoppier side of the spectrum, and Hoptober ends up being a tasty, easily drinkable, and cheerful little beer.

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Photo of bboven
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
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 morimech
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is like no blonde ale I have ever had before. Pours a clear yellow, slightly darker than macro color, with a large white head that had excellant retention. Heavy spotty lacing is left on the glass. A lot of hops in the aroma with the customary New Belgium malt bill lingering in the background. Light, crisp flavor from the "C" hops give some citrus notes, also some spice and grassy notes as well. Slight sweetness at first but finishes bitter and clean. New Belgium packed a lot of hop flavor in this beer. Light body with lively carbonation without being harsh. One nitpick I have with this beer is the unnecessarly high ABV. Is it because it is a Fall seasonal? If it could be at 4.5% ABV or lower I could drink these all day. This has been my favorite New Belgium beer to date, and it is a Blonde Ale!

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Photo of chetripley
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the New Belgium beers is something that will take me a long time. They are very expensive, but they are available at recent tastings, which is what I did and subsequently was not as hesitant to pay 9$ (on-sale) for a six-pack of Hoptober.
This was in true New Belgium fashion, dark, hearty, slightly bitter yet finishing smooth.
Aromas of spices and wheat, slightly yeasty, with a one inch head dissipated quickly leading to a creamy taste, with a wide variety of flavors, including rye, and I think oats.
A good finish with solid hop flavor making for a good measure of drinkability.
So far so good on the New Belgiums as far as I am concerned. A good solid brew.

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Photo of irish53b
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Wonderful brassy yellow color with a tightly bubbled head. The foam dissipates quickly but those tiny bubbles stick to the sides of the glass all the way through.

Smells of pine, citrus, and cut grass with that typical New Belgium biscuit note. Appearance and smell is the basis for this beers appeal.

The taste is almost savory, a blend of tart grapefruit or raspberry a note of salt and sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin. The carbonation enhances the tartness and give a nice little shock to the tongue.

Darn near dangerous drinkability. The flavors are unique and will not leave you bored. The taste isn't overbearing and nicely refreshing. I would pair this with a healthy plate of pasta and chicken with a white sauce.

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Photo of enbotellabuey
2.76/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It has the hops. There's no doubt about that. Unfortunately, that's about all it has. There is definitely a lot missing from this beer in the flavor department. The aroma is inviting. It has the aroma of a typical (good) IPA--plenty of pine and citrus filling the nose. The initial hop bite is pleasant, but is not backed up by any appreciable flavor. The hops linger on the tongue to give it a decent finish. But, again, it seems like the middle is completely missing--like a nice glass of water with 40 IBUs.

I am quite disappointed because NB is one of my favorite breweries--especially for the Belgian styles. I was hoping for something really flavorful and delicious. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had it in my mind that it might be a little bit like Duvel--which is delicious. But, unfortunately, this beer misses the mark. Sorry, NB! I'll still buy plenty of Abbey, Trippel, and 1554, but I won't be picking up this one again.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden color with a creamy head that left nice lacing on the glass. The color made me think this was not going to pack the flavor it did. It had a nice citrus flavor with the hop bite being present, but not overwhelming. Very balanced and easy to drink. You could have several of these and enjoy each one.

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Photo of rye726
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper with a thin beige head. Nose has floral hops over candy malts and spices. Taste is also on the hoppy side for a Marzen, but still has some nice malt characteristics. Body is a bit light, but well carbonated. I like the addition of extra hops to the style, but would also like to see a stronger base beer.

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Photo of Guyute
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is a little bit pale yellow, but the thick head and lacing are nice. I could smell this one from across the room, tons of hops and fruit to it. Mouthfeel is a little too thick for me, kind of syrupy but definitely not so bad as to be a deal breaker. 6% abv makes these a little less drinkable, but the taste is good enough to want another one.

A good beer on a cool fall evening, maybe paired with a chili dog watching the world series.

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Photo of GirlMeetsBrass
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Creamy head with tons of soap bubble lacing. Really pretty light golden color that smells strongly of hops and fruit. Not an overpowering sweet malty smell that comes from some seasonals of this style.

Taste follows in lockstep with the aroma - lots of hops up front with crisp fruity overtones. Finish is somewhat oily and leaves me with a sensation of dry mouth.

Oily mouthfeel is kind of off-putting. My only knock on this beer's drinkability is the hoppy oiliness that would keep me from enjoying more than one at a stretch.

Otherwise...pleasantly surprised with the contrast this beer poses to other fall seasonals.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - very clear light golden color with a thick foamy head that settles, but leaves a very nice lacing

S - strong American hop aroma with a touch of malt

T - wonderfully strong full hop flavor from start to finish with a moderately strong hop finish but not extremely bitter like a double IPA would be

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a very unique beer, somewhere between an APA and IPA, with a little too much strength - alcohol and hops - for a blonde ale in my opinion. It's quite wonderful when you're in the mood for hops, and quite sessionable to a certain degree.

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Photo of gabe23
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep golden color with a soapy white head. Decent lacing.

S - Fresh, citrusy hop aroma with just a touch of breadiness. I also pick up some sweet apple notes, which was unexpected.

T - Piney hops dominate up front, and as the beer coats the tongue a malty sweetness balances things nicely. The finish has a nice bitterness that prepares you well for the next sip.

M - Quite thick with mild carbonation. Heavier than I expected, but not offputting.

D - I enjoyed this one, though it's hoppier than any other blonde ale that I remember drinking. I'd probably call it a pale ale, but whatever it is, I liked it. The flavor is clean and fresh, and I could easily drink a few.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow ,clear, with a larrgish frothy white head. Nice fresh hop aromas from this one smells at least way above 40 IBUs! Flavour has a strong lemony hop combination..plenty citrus but not too bitter, slightly fruity, Malts underneath. Lot of peppery goodness in the end after taste. Also slightly salty adding to the drinkability. I liked the palate on this it is light but not really highly carbonated. Very drinkable , good Golden Ale.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a sparkling bright golden hue with a full two fingers of white mousse set atop, falling away gracefully to leave behind a thick cap that holds for dear life to the walls of the glass, draping them in a sheet of thick lace as it fades away.

Fragrant citrus and faintly floral hop notes dominate in the nose, leaving virtually no room for anything else to show through. The hop bouquet is powerful and pleasantly inviting.

Hops come to the foreground again on the palate, but this time with a coarser, herbal-grasslike character, with just a touch of grapefruit. Oddly enough, it seems as if the usual "up-front" malt character and "in-the-middle" bitterness seem to trade places, as it is in the middle that the grainy malt shows itself, just as the hops wash away to dry out the finish and leave some lingering bitter grapefruit. Body is light and carbonation effervescent, further accentuating the dryness and seeming to become a bit watery near the finish.

Overall a decent beer and a nice celebration of hops and their varied characteristics. Nicely drinkable, the dry finish leaves one reaching for more.

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Photo of wedge
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear gold with a beautifully thick and sticky head. Crazy sheets of lace. The aroma, at first, is light leafy hops over a bit of sweet malt. The more I sniff, however, the more the hops open up...citrusy, spicy, grassy, and juicy. The grassy, leafiness of the smell carries over into the flavor right off the bat. Sweet citrus pulp and sugar cookies. Hoppy, but fairly delicate. Nicely crisp and medium-light bodied...drinkable for sure.

Simple, tasty, and satisfying.

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Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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 Beejay
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A beautiful pale yellow, chardonnay perhaps. With a full 2 fingers of fluffy white head. This my friends is an excellent looking beer.

S: Hops are at the front. It smells like a grass-field somewhere out on the plains.

T: Not as hoppy as you would think. A bit of grass and citrus, and a nice sweet and subtle malt backbone. A little plain perhaps, but well crafted in it's balance.

M: Medium bodied, a but creamy, and very smooth.

D: A good beer overall. I would drink this any day.. It is a nice between beer, something for when I want hops, but not as much as a pale ale or IPA. Good balance, and a pretty good gateway beer.

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Photo of patobandito
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely light golden color, which is expected from a golden ale, but not a fall seasonal. nice fluffy white head. Smells very hoppy, which is always a plus in my opinion, but again, not something you expect from a seasonal this time of year. Great taste, with some hoppy citrus, some various malt flavors, and of course the requisite biscuit flavor that New Belgium is known for.
Its a little thinner than I would like, but easily drinkable. A nice change of pace from sweeter, maltier fall seasonals.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Big white fluffy head, bright white. Light clear golden body, good lacing as well.

S: Nice, clean citrusy hops, very little malt. Very strong, perhaps too much hops though.

T: An odd first taste, and a terrible balance, but that kinda works here I guess, it is "hoptober." There's a nice clean citrusy finish and a great hoppy burp.

M: Dry and light

D: It was good, but I would have liked it better without the hops.

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Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden with a creamy eggshell head of different sized bubbles that lasts awhile and leaves fine lacing on the glass. The nose is fresh with piney hop and caramel malt. Nice mild hop forward flavors are balanced with toasty malt. The oats impart a smooth mouthfeel on this one. An easy drinker, I dig it.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoptober flows very clear and lightly golden in color slightly warmer in tone then corn yellow. The head is tan and built out of medium sized bubbles. It fades fast and leaves little reminisce of it's existence.

I was expecting something a little heavier for a seasonal beer this time of year but I guess it's not that kind of style. The nose is warm and grainy with notes of caramel and sweet steeped grains. A firm hop profile is also present that consists of citrus and awesomeness. I'm glad to see this brew cutting through the fat beers of october.

Taste is along the same lines of the nose. Creamy toasted grain with a nice sweetness and light caramelized notes. The hops are strong in the taste with a firm citrus note and a lovely bite of bitterness.

Creamy and easy to drink, hoptober is a beer's beer. It has perfect amounts of ingredients and is very well balanced. An absolute pleasure to drink and one that goes down smooth and finishes strong.

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Photo of champ103
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden/yellow color. A small white head forms and leaves some light lace.
S: Citrus, grassy, and floral hops. Some grapefruit bitterness. Not much sweetness for balance.
T: Follows the nose. Citrus, grassy, and floral hops again. Some bread and grain. Not much else, but still enjoyable.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. A little watery. Not hard to drink. Something I can session.

Not bad at all. I can see the appeal for this beer. It just does not do a lot for me. This really is worth a try though.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

recieved as an extra in a trade with briarscratch, thanks brad!

a- bottle poured into a pint, two fingers of creamy white head, wonderful retention (best i've seen in awhile), one eighth inch layer of head the whole beer long, clear goldeny yellow color, loads of bubbles, tons of head cling to glass.

s- very flowery/powdery, little bit of dryness, hoppy, interesting mix of a kolsch and a lager.

t- earthy, less flowery than the nose, not sure exactly how to word it, but it tastes very fresh, delicate hop bitterness hits the back of the mouth, lemon rind, delicate overall but definately drinkable for the fall, it's a nice change of pace from oktoberfest beers.

m- very smooth and silky in the mouth, light crisp body.

d- much better than i thought it would be, definately sessionable, i'm glad i got this included as an extra in a trade, solid beer overall.

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Photo of nms1987
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was initially fairly disappointed that something called "hoptober" would be yet another golden ale (the bottle calls it this) from New Belgium after their summer brew was a pretty weak golden ale.

I was pleasantly surprised by this stuff. I'd actually call this an American Pale Ale more so than a Blonde ale.
Golden, clear color with a brassy shade to it.

Fairly pungent nose, esp for the style. Some sticky, resiny hoppiness really coming through. More pine than citrus to me.

The hops come right through on the palate too. Not overwhelmingly but in a very nice firm, but not overdone manner. The beer is medium bodied and the combo of that and the hoppiness makes it fairly crisp and refreshing but there is a lasting oily hoppy-ness to the finish that is enjoyable.
The flaw is that there is a slightly sour, out of place, edge to the finish as well which mars it a little.

Overall quite good... Crisp and fairly easy drinking but not lacking in body or flavor and the lasting hop oil thing on the finish is enjoyable

Paired well with chips and bean dip around 6pm on a fall day : )

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 964 ratings
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