Hook & Ladder Golden Ale | Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)

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Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
Maryland, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cichief on 04-28-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 154
Photo of JMScowcroft
4.44/5  rDev +41%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Artwork is relatively basic. Pours pale yellow and settles a lighter amber in the glass. Little to no carbonation and a massive, frothy head.

Smell - Smells light and crisp. Mouth-watering in a hydrating sense.

Taste - Creamy, crisp, light, and refreshing. They balance the flavors with the refreshment just right here.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and clean, very clean. Perfect in this sense.

Drinkability - Perfect drinkability here.

Very impressive, simple, and done right. A lot of people don't understand that this kind of ale doesn't need to be hearty and even necessarily full of flavor, it's supposed to be light.

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Photo of JoKo
4.13/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a bright clear golden color with a white frothy head. The carbonation is very high.

Smell: Some pale malts, not getting much in the nose.

Taste: Malts up front, very little hop presence. The taste is reminiscent of a wheat ale. Nothing too complex with this brew.

Mouthfeel: The beer lingers around on the palate after each sip, it is light in body.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, good summer styled beer. Overall, it was enjoyable.

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Photo of Risser09
4.12/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a zotten glass - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden yellow color with lots of active carbonation. The head is 1" tall, white in color, and shows decent retention. The head is quite cakey with no lace left behind.

Smell: A strong cereal grain aroma is sweet and nutty at the same time. Almond, pecan and brazil nuts combine with very fresh pale malt sugar. No hops to speak of.

Taste: Excellent grain flavor includes nutty Munich malt and a little bit of hop bitterness. Almond and even peanuts explain the taste sensations that are coming from this beer. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Delicious malt with a medium, smooth body. Ample sweetness and a tad bitter, this beer has a distinct grain flavor. Good carbonation, too.

Drinkability: Excellent. I did not expect much from this beer, but was well surprised. A very tasty beer that could be consumed in sessions. Nice.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I guess I thought more of this than some others did. Tried on tap at Hard Times in Germantown over a steaming Cincinnati Chilicheeseburger. I know, heart attack on a plate. But the beer was great. Served in the tall (20 oz) tapered glass with a nice foamy head and a deep, shimmering gold color. Smell was immediately subtle, fruity hops and fermented malt ("beer") in the nose. Actually very appetizing, as if saying "Drink me!" Body was moderate, which said immediately "craft brew." And the taste did not disappoint. Almost all malt--rich, smooth (from the wheat) malt--right to the last drop. Others at the table were equally impressed. One suggested it would be a fantastic session beer, though the moderate body and craft-brew price would prevent it from being a "binge" beer (which is OK by me). By the way, H&L products now available in bottles. This one is OK (though definitely not as good) in the bottle.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.07/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this to style, not going to compare it to iipas or impy stouts...

Got a mixed variety case of this from the local second-tier grocery store (An Aldi-type place with either expired or generic food...tough econony and all...)

Started with this one, the lightest, which poured a crystal clear lager-looking golden amber.

Aroma is mild, as per the style, with some malty grain character. Nothing off or unappealing here.

It's got a decent sweetness from the malt, and a good slight bitterness to bring it right into balance. Finish is smooth, drinkability is supurb.

A well made beer, clear and crisp, it's true to style and after brew1, im glad I paid $7 for this 12pack!!! bring on the next one!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.98/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. The pour is a slightly-hazed golden color with a really tall white head that persists for quite some time and leaves oodles of lacing down the side of the glass. The nose isn't too much, but is much better than the majority of blonde ales that I've had. Some light grain and bread plus a touch of fruit. The taste is a bit more plain with a bread-like character. The feel is really nice with a good body and carbonation level. Nice and sessionable. For what this is and against its competition, I really enjoy it.

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Photo of confer
3.92/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very nice golden color with a small off white head that disappeared very rapidly to a small ring that stayed with the beer throughout.

S- The aroma was nice , a little bit of hops and a little bit fruity.

T- It tasted like an old time ale. Not overpowering, again a little fruity with an aftertaste that really lingered.

M- Again was ok, a little creamy.

D- A perfectly drinkable beer. It went down easy, would have liked another.

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Photo of MS2k
3.9/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear and golden with a frothy white head. Decent retention, sleek lacing.
S: Sweet and wheaty. Hints of pear, possibly some apple. Honey.
T: Very wheaty, with a solid toasty malt taste and only some hops bitterness. Also a slight apple-like fruitiness.
M: Has some weight to it. I'd say medium-bodied, but smooth. Nice carbonation makes this a crisp and refreshing ale.
D: Gone before I finished this review. Excellent in the afternoon, and a very sessionable beer. Quenches thirst and tastes great. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A: Medium golden color with nice white head and heavy lacing.

S: Mostly a mild malt sweetness with a faint citrus hop scent.

T&M: Medium bodied with nice medium carbonation. Like its smell the ale is mostly malty with very mild hop bitterness. Nice flavor, nothing extra special but very good for a golden ale. Finishes with a more sweet malty note, almost fruity in character.

I am not a fan of golden ales, but this is one of the best I've ever had from an American brewer. Not sure if there is inconsistency in brew batches from looking at other reviews, but it is definitely worth a try AND the proceeds go to a good cause.

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Photo of billybob
3.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy golden color with a two finger off white head that holds fairly well with some good lacing on the glass. nose is the weak point mostly wheat and yeast with a small hint of spice. taste is bready, wheat malt, with a slight tang from the yeast on the finish. light to medium body and carbonation ok. not special but a good wheat beer just the same i would buy it again.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Hannaford in Gardiner. Pours a hazy golden body with a half inch of whiteish head. Smells biscuity and citrusy with a slight hint of DMS. Tastes biscuity and sweet with a fair amount of lemony citrus, and a hint of pith toward the finish. Light to medium in mouthfeel with plentiful carbonation help make this one an easy drinker. Spot on for the style, and one of the best examples of it I've had. Little wrong with this one, and a good one for a hot summer day, I'd think.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.83/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes: 0.5L German glass, cellar temp
Aroma: Light maltiness, very little on the aroma.
Appearance: beautiful creamy-white, four-finger head. Clear, golden-yellow in color.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-full body. Light carbonation.
Taste: Very clean. Nice maltiness balanced with earthy hops. Biscuity notes.
Drinkability: Flavorful and very drinkable. Excellent session beer.

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Photo of diabecktic
3.82/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This light gold beer yields an airy, white head which is ~1 finger thick. Retention and lacing are both minimal, as only a very thin rim remains near the edges at the top of the brew throughout the course of the tasting. I see minimal rising carbonation, too.

There's nothing too complex here. It smells like a biscuity malt with a hint of grain and light citrus. I also detect a bit of yeast and hops, but no strong spices.

The malt is fairly astringent, with biscuity notes and a hint of lemon. Subtle hopiness becomes apparent towards the end of the tasting. The balance is pretty good, and any taste of alcohol is well-hidden.

This might sound odd, but the beer is a bit heavier than it "looks." There's minimal dryness, and a subtle crispiness imparted by the hops. It's of medium body, so it's not too dense.

Good balance makes this a very drinkable beer. Minimal alcohol flavor and a nice aftertaste make imbibing quite enjoyable.

Though it's not too sightly, this is a fairly good beer. Even though the taste wasn't exceptional, it definitely wasn't offensive. So, this beer isn't too generic, but it isn't of exquisite quality, either. I also enjoyed the balance and mouthfeel, as reflected in my rating. Again, it's good but not great; I might not go out of my way to drink this beer again, but I most certainly wouldn't refuse it if offered to me.

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Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a clear, coppery amber color and pours a creamy white head with fairly good retention and light lacing.
The smell is some light malts with a crisp apple on the nose. Perhaps pear? Hops were also present, though not heavily. Light grains are detected as well.
The malt and hops balance well. The crisp apple / pear melds with a light bicuity malt. Hops bitterness is light. There's even a little spiciness to the hops. Husky grains are present in the back.
The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Body is light to medium and carbonation is quite active.
Don't let the rating fool you. This one is worth a try.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A-Golden and clear. Two finger head rises and settles leaving spotty lacing.

S-Interesting....Citrus and sweet malts hit the nose first. The yeast and some other fruity aromas are in the background.

T/M-Refreshing...The malts hit you first and they come off as an apple and caramel flavor. The hops have a small presence at the end giving it a good citrusy taste. I can see drinking this beer after I have mowed the lawn.

Overall this beer is a good refreshing summer beer. Pick a six pack up. It won't knock your socks off, but you won't be disappointed.


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Photo of MLasoski
3.73/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this golden ale into a pint glass, with a very minimal head. It looks a crisp, golden color but doesn't give off any special aroma. It is slightly hoppy, which I don't mind. It adds flavor and doesn't take away from its drinkability. It's actually somewhat refreshing for a non-light beer. I could probably enjoy a couple of these in the summer with no problem. Being this golden ale was my last beer from my variety pack I bought, it ended it on a good note. The Hook and Ladder Brewery is not bad at all, they brew up some good ones.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.68/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden color pour with a short lasting, two finger fizzy white head , leaving some spotty lacing, light carbonation . Aroma is of light pear skins , corn and herbs . Flavor is slightly fruity , like apple or pears , corn bread and a little cereal at the end . Light body with a smooth clean mouthfeel , short fruity finish , quite sessionable and an easy drinker .

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comparing this one to the Backdraft Brown, this one is stellar. Overall a very solid golden ale, more interesting than your typical version. Appears a slightly hazed pale yellow golden body with a bright white foamy head, after dwindling minimal lace is left behind. Aroma has tart apples with a slightly grassy hop presnce with a mild refreshing citrus note. Pale malts provided a biscuit malt sweetness but those esters from the yeast are very nice. Flavor has a delicate yet flavorful approach that I really enjoyed with a slight green apple tartness with notes of herbal and citrus light but hoppy appeal, nice semi sweet balance acheived with the pale malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied even stream of carbonation very easy going and refreshing. Drinkability always good to get more outta of a beer than you were expecting especially out of a Blonde Ale.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.57/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold as advertised. Mildly carbonating. There does not appear to be much in the way of lacing.
Smell: An aroma of wheat is strongest here. Not much else.
Taste: Wheat predominates with a touch of balancing hops in the background. Taste actually gets a bit stronger through the middle of the taste, then drops off at the end. A little light in all.
Mouthfeel: Just a tad on the light side.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable. refreshing with good taste.

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Photo of Procrastinator
3.56/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle with Aug 05 2008 stamped on bottle neck (barely visible). Poured into a Nonic pint glass. This is the first I've seen of this beer in Florida.

Appearance: deep golden colored body with a creamy small-bubbled white head with a multitude of lines of carbonation . The surface is constantly covered with a fine layer of foam. Very refreshing looking beer.

Smell: soft subtle scents of lightly toasted grains and faint smell of grassy hops in the background. I didn't get anything that resembles a pale wheat ale, according to the style given by BA.

Taste: flavors are sweet cereal grains and corn followed by a dry crisp hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: generally on the lighter side of medium in body and well-balanced. There's a dry crisp finish with very complimentary carbonation.

Drinkability: all around easy drinking golden ale. Alcohol is barely detectable. I enjoyed this and will drink it again, but at about $8 a sixer, it's not that great a deal.

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Photo of generallee
3.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a very clear appearance with some visible carbonation and a bright golden color. Its head is light and sudsy, bright white in color and fades out quickly leaving no lacing at all.

Smell: Its aroma is mild and brings only a light hint of grain with very mild hops in the background.

Taste/Mouth feel: A simple but nice light grain flavor and a very mild wheat twang mixes with a good balance of bitterness from hops. The body is fairly light and highly drinkable with a thin texture and average carbonation.

Notes: Its overall appearance is a bit dull and its flavor was simple and light making it a nice summer time beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer overflowed the bottle when opened--lost about an ounce. Relatively tame head after that, but it did last. Good lace. Very attractive light amber color. Crystal clear.

Mostly light malt aroma. Some hop (and cream) in the background.

Ah, some wheat shows up here although it is in the background. I'm reminded of a cream ale--lots of malt with some lactose sweetness. A good dose of hop that shows up in the swallow, but dies quickly. Probably the biggest negative is the over-carbonation, particularly for the style. The body is okay.

This is definitely a mixed bag. Worthy of trying, if you're not looking for a wheat-ish offering.

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Photo of jettjon
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle with no ABV listing or freshness date into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). This one's a clear golden color with a fluffy, two-finger head of off-white cream that fades at a moderate pace leaving a decent cap and some clingy lace. Mild precipitating carbonation. Not much on the nose, just a general bready scent with some malty-honey sweetness. In the mouth, the semi-sweet honey bread flavor carries through, neither overly sweet nor bitter. No real hops in evidence. Finishes clean and slightly sticky-sweet. On the tongue, a bit bubbly yet crisp, and definitely wet and thirst-quenching. Drinkability is good overall; it's a good all-purpose beer and certainly a step up from any macro.

Overall: Nothing special, but not bad, either. Definitely improves as it warms beyond fridge temp. I'd probably pass on this one again, but it's OK.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.49/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is golden in color with a thin head and nil lace. Smell of light sweet honey and some fruits. Taste has that same sweet honey maltiness with light hop followed by a crisp carbonation. Mouthfeel is light with good body. A mellow slightly sweet blonde ale, nothing complex just a easy drinker.

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Photo of NicholasCasber
3.45/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a good golden color. Head stayed until first drink, was very similar to that of a pub ale.

S: Slight sweet, but dull smell. Overall, fairly apeasing.

T: For an ale, which is one of my favorite beers, this tends to be up top. The beer had a quality to be surprising each time, but yet something that I remembered.

M: The beer was somewhat syrupy in my mouth, but still left me wanting a bit more full feeling. I still feel that it is on par for other ales that I've had, but I wanted the taste in my mouth a bit longer.

D: I feel that this beer was something that I'd reach for on a regular basis. I was able to consume more than half the bottle without thinking about it, while still enjoying each drink.

Overall, I'd suggest this beer as a regular drinking beer for my friends, and to you as well. Best of luck in your findings, and as always, Cheers.

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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
3.15 out of 5 based on 154 ratings.
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