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 Portertime
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this soley for the charity factor. I had low expectations going into this one...So we have a golden ale brewed by a bunch of firemen. Maybe they should have made a smoke beer! Poured a bright, lucid gold color with a few bubbles dancing within, very Bud-like. Smell was faint of cereal grain and soap suds. Taste was muted hops and a corny aftertase that stung the tongue. I like the charity aspect but I will take a lot of choking down this beer to make it worth while.

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Photo of thekanna
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Jaleo in Bethesda, MD

A: Thin, clear yellow with some active effervescence and a very small, white head.

S: Some aromatic citrus aromas, general clean malt smell.

T/M: Watery and actively carbonated malts with some honey sweetness, some faint citrus. Much more like a lager to me: thin and crisp.

D: I've tried some other blonde ales before, but this doesn't taste much like them. This is much more like a lager for me (especially since I followed it up with Stella Artois and found it similar).

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Photo of matjack85
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.39. There was no freshness date.

The beer poured a hazy straw yellow color and made a 2 finger white head that lasted several minutes. It left lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

Not much to the smell - faint citrus is all I get.

"Lite" is the key word to describe this beer. It's lite on malty sweetness, lite on hop bitterness, and lite on lemony citrus. It has some flavor, just not enough of it.

This is a weak and watery beer. The carbonation level is decent but the drinkability is only so-so. There's just not enough flavor. I did discover that this will taste better as it warms up a bit, so don't drink it ice cold right out of the fridge.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a good deal of carbonation. It had little to no head and left no lace.

S - It smelled of grains, caramel and mild floral notes.

T - It had a sweet caramel flavor with a toasty malt flavor. It had a very, very mild spicy hop bite to balance it out.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A light bodied ale that is very sessionable.

D - This is a nice blonde ale. It is refreshing and easy drinking.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.01/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden color with very good carbonation and decent head.

S: Pretty clean smelling. Reminds me of a pilsner or lager.

T: Clean tasting, but a bit too bland. I'm wondering if they miscategorized the style of beer they made. This easily tastes like a pilsner to me.

M: Very light & refreshing. Would make a great beer in the summertime. I still wish there was more to it.

D: It is very drinkable, but again it's a bit too bland for me. I could see myself drinking lots of these; however, if I didn't know what brand I was drinking I could likely easily think this was a mass produced beer. For a craft brew, I wish it defined itself some more.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. twist off into a pint glass, this beer pours a light golden in color with half an inch of soapy foam. Nice and clear in appearance with a steady carbonation to keep a thin surface cap and yield some decent temporary lacing.

Bit of orange on the nose along with a light and sweet hint of banana couple with a prominent maltiness. Nice hop notes after some warming and agitation

Light citric sweetness carries forward to the taste. Wheat is evident in the flavor though I was unable to pick it up in the smell. A touch of simple sweet fruitiness offers a decent finish which lingers briefly. A light bitterness on the finish is quickly quenched with a final bit of citrusy malt. Excessive warming does deter a bit as a bit of a metallic nature reveals itself.

Overall somewhat sweet and full bodied for the style, but an interesting take nonetheless.

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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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Photo of jsprain1
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden color with a decent head that disappates quickly. Typical looking golden color.
S- Smells clean. sweet and bready, but very subdued.
T- pretty simple. sweet dough. faint taste. not much going on here, but not bad.
M- Good carbonation and substantial body.
D- Light body and plenty sessionable.
It's not a terrible beer, but there isn't much going on. Simple and good, but there's nothing special or extraordinary about the beer.

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Photo of flexabull
3.23/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are pretty faint. Kind of sweet, bready, and creamy. There is also a dusty note as well.

Taste is pretty clean and simple. Soft malty flavors, kind of sweet, creamy, and dough like. Finish is pretty fleeting, with not much in the way of hops. Just a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is actually fairly good. Well carbonated, and with a nice full feeling.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is a pretty decent golden ale. It's fairly mild, but also refreshing.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 11/4/2009- from notes.

A- A bold, gol color topped with a tight one finger white head. Pretty active carbination, some lacing.

S- A faint grassy/citrus aroma was about all I picked up.

T- Pretty much the same as the smell with the addition of a light biscuity note as well as a little almost metallic tinge at the end.

M- Light to medium, pretty smooth despite the carbination.

D- Pretty easy to drink as a BMC alternative, but not much else going on. Wont be picking this one up again. Pretty middle of the road to me.

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Photo of Offa
3.1/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale is decent and pleasant, but very simple, one-dimensional, and a bit sweet. It does not give much for the listed 5.5% ABV.

Dark gold, it has a small faintly off-white ehad soon dissipating to a thin foamy ring and leaving no lace.

The aroma is apples, apple juice, with a hint of grain and grass.

The taste is basically apple cider, a bit thin, sweet, with faintest hints of mineral water and grass in the finish. The aftertaste has light apple with a hint of crackers lurking underneath. It is exceedingly simple and, though pleasant, fairly drinkable, and not bland, it's lacking in other character or interest of any sort.

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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 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 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 katan
2.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a clear, highly filtered, medium golden color. Head formation very strong, light white in color. Carbonation is obvious.

S - A light malt note combined with some yeast scents. No hopping.

T - Starts off rather dry, flat, wheaty and grainy. Very boring. Mid-stream develops some bitterness, but no hopping is detected. Finishes with a more sweet malty note.

M - Medium to light bodied. Carbonation sensations are quite evident. Leaves behind a light film on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable from an abv standpoint, and it isn't very filling which runs against its carbonation profile. If only the flavors were worth sessioning.

Not bad - just - boring.

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Photo of thain709
3.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a copper body...I don't know if it was the lighting but this is not "blonde"...a white foamy head that settled into a spotty ring...some lacing

S - Lacking here...some earthy notes along with some sweet bread aromas

T - Lacking here as well...I'm getting a lot of bready flavors coming through...not yeast but sweet bread as I described in the nose...other sweet notes are toffee/caramel flavored malts...the earthy flavor isn't there as it is in the nose...I was expecting a little hop bitterness...but was left hanging

M - Medium bodied...surprisingly smooth and crisp

D - Not one of my favorites...but with this "Penny for a Pint" thing they have going why not drink to support firefighters!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler pint. No visible date on the bottle.

A - Clear gold that pours out highly effervescent with a one-finger loosely packed off-white head. The action goes down quickly as the fizz and head recede to a ring with no lacing.

S - Sweet honey overlaps crystal malts and a grainy aroma. There is a kiss of hops on the nose but nothing impressive. Faded into the background is a dry straw huskiness.

T - The lack of hops on the aroma is immediately made up for in the flavor. It's subtle noble hop flavor rounds out the sweet honey and maltiness with background grains. Not bad in flavor, a bit above average.

M - Smooth and slick on the mouthfeel, it has a crisp finish to it but it's not outstanding in any way.

D - I wouldn't have been too disappointed had I purchased a six pack of this beer. It really is a daily drinker much like a Miller Lite but a bit more flavorful. Not shabby but don't expect to get hooked.

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Photo of bmwats
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium dark golden color. Pretty heavy carbonation. Pours into a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Quickly settles. Spotty bubbly carbonation remains on the surface. Substantial carbonation continues to rise throughout. Decent dispersal of lacing remains.

S: Grass, hay, and a cornucopia of malts and grains. Kind of a sweet, buttery bread. . . but subtly put together.

T: Light, sweet malty flavor. A little piny, but very subtle. Light hoppy flavor.

M: Light, refreshing. Has a full palette, and a dull slightly rubbery aftertaste. Maybe a bit too carbonated, also.

D: Pretty good. Again, light body, nice balance of grains, aftertaste is okay but fades quickly if you're offended by it anyway.

Pretty solid atmosphere. Solid appearance, really pleasing nose with a nice mix of grains. Solid flavor. Light and malty, a little sweet, mild hops. Overall, pretty good quaff.

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Photo of philipquarles
2.71/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours clear gold with a surprisingly large, fluffy white head. Smells slightly grainy with some off-putting metallic notes. Pretty faint. The taste is similarly non-descript. Hints of malt, some slight tang from the wheat, but all-in-all, not a lot going on. Light-medium body. Unoffensive, but so characterless that one doesn't want to drink it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honeycomb gold with a tincture of tangerine. Three fingers of yellowed ivory foam follow the pour. The crown looks fluffy, but still manages to hang around for a spell. What lace manages to stick looks just okay.

The nose lacks a hook and is nothing special as a result. Golden grain and a slight whiff of musky hops (Willamette) is about it. Although Cascade hops were used for bittering, their distinctive citrusiness isn't appreciated.

For starters, Golden Ale is an amber ale, not an APWA. It uses wheat, but doesn't taste the least bit wheaty. Pale malt gives the beer a bland sort of untoasted graininess and a hint of underlying sweetness. Hop flavor and bitterness are at a low ebb. It's as if the brewers did everything they could to wring all traces of personality out of this brew.

Please don't drink this offering 'ice-cold', as the label suggests. Only when it gains a few degrees does the beer develop any sort of flavor: cereal grains and earthy hops. Still no hint of Cascade. If American macro ale was a recognized style, then Golden Ale would be its poster child; never mind the size of the brewery.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for the style and the ABV. It's light without being watery and the carbonation adds some excitement without being annoying about it.

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale is only slightly better than Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown. The labels and the cap are well-done, and I have a soft spot for any brewery that contributes proceeds to worthy causes, but the beer itself leaves quite a bit to be desired. Average.

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Photo of dmamiano
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very light yellow om the eyes, with just a wisp of head and plenty of bubbles.
Faint aroma of wheat mixed with flour slightly malty with no hops detected.
Taste is thin on the mouth. Very slight malt noted, maybe picking out some caramel and graininess.
Not real bad, but not real good either.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, thanks to chaz over at realbeer for this one. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. This ale appears a clear bright straw yellow color with about a finger of quickly fading bone white foam. Aromas and flavors are reminiscent of earthy grassy mildly bitter hops, lightly toasted bread, slightly fruity (think pear). At the least, this ale is medium bodied and amply carbonated. Worth a try, I suppose.

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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 puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours from a 12 fl. oz. bottle with no lot code or expiration date. Sampled on May 6, 2009.

A - A glittering gold with good clarity and a moderate half-finger off-white foamy head that lingers for most of the tasting. SOme positive lacing.

S - Wheaty and grassy with a slightly hoppy boost and fairly pleasant overall.

T/M - The mouthfeel leans medium and smooth on the inner mouth. The taste has a good balance of wheat, hops, and distant malts.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.41/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- crystal clear dark golden color. eggshell colored foam looks nice for a second but quickly shrinks down to a thin haze. no lace.

S- fruity and grainy, very aromatic wheat here, like italian bread, citrus and pear in the background. slight earthy hop. a bit of peppery spice.

T- fruity, wheaty just like the aroma. some lemony citrus, white pepper, but very toasty and malt flavored. barley & wheat. bready & biscuity. some mild earthy hop flavors goin on too.

MF- just under medium bodied, with the feeling of wheat protein. medium carbonation and slightly filmy.

D- crisp and refreshing when cold, a bit cardboardy when it warms.

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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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