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 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 Contagion
3.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There is a nice golden straw coloring to the beer. It is clear, with no signs of cloudiness of floaters to it. When I poured it into a pint glass, almost no head formed. What head there was consisted of tiny white bubbles and faded quickly to nothing, not even a ring around the edge of the glass. There was no lacing at all.

The scent is a mainly a dray caramel malt with a slight graininess to it. There were some floral hops in the background that helped enrich the overall scent. The flavor is a subtle and a little week. It's mainly of malted grains and a very mild hop finish. The combination of ingredients gives the beer a very mild pear flavor in the background.

This is a light bodied beer. Almost no coating to the mouth and it passes over the tongue very easily. The carbonation is a little strong and bites on the tongue and lips.

Overall this is a nice, gentle beer. I think this would be a good one for a hot summer day. The thought of sitting out on the front porch kicking back a couple of ice cold ales or even sitting around a campfire on a cool summer night with friends. I enjoyed it, and could see myself picking up another six pack sometime in the future, especially since each purchase helps a burn foundation.

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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 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 beerthulhu
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear pumpkin orange with a 1 finger frothy egg shell white head that settled to a thin, whispy covering after the first 2 minutes. No visible lacing was observed while the visible carbontion was moderatly strong and fairly rapid.

S: fresh oranges with perhaps some dried pears. Honestly there really wasn't a lot of complexity or scent to this and came off rather mundane, light in strength and rather boring. Yawn.

T: The flavor was fresh sweet oranges, dried pears with a decent spicy hopping. Some lemon and orange citrus with some sweet ripe fruit skins were detected. The oranges tasted more artificial like those sugar coated orange candies you buy at the store which only cheapened the flavor for me a bit. Some fruitiness of honey dews with a touch of muskiness and a honey suckle flowery hopping. Overall was light , sweety and fruity.

M: a light viscosity with a slick buttery texture and a good deal of tingly carbonation. Leaves a sweet orange honey malting behind on the swallow. Ok but doesn't get any better the longer you hold it so there really is no incentive here to savor. Average at best.

D: While the flavor was average it certainly doesn't warrant a repeat and falls short per style when compared to other staples of this style. shoulder shrug here.

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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 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 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 allergictomacros
2.56/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Clear gold with a sticky head of white foam. Nose is floral and lemony hops, light maltiness, and some grass. Don't like the mouthfeel in this - fizz seems a bit harsh and the body a bit watery. Flavour is ... well ... low. Some muted bitterness, dry husky grain and a bit of a lemon hop. Somewhat astringent. Good looking beer, but not much else good to say about this one.

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Photo of Pleepleus
2.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The fourth of four in my sampler pack. Poured from bottle to pint it had a clear golden color with a half inch of white fluffy head. Minimal sweet corn in the smell. Tastes ok. Nothing spectacular, has sweet flavor with some mild hops. Medium body with crisp, dry finish. Better by itself than blended as in the Ember Amber.

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Photo of argock
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased in a 12-pack sampler from Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA) for $12.99.

A: Bright orange-gold with thin foamy head, with below-average retention and skimpy lacing.

S: Hints of wheat tang and caramel malt makes for a bit too much sweetness. Herbal hops are present but too light.

T: The flavor is a carbon-copy of the aroma which is to say too harshly sweet. Caramel and light wheat flavors coupled with surprising graininess give this the flavor of drinking watered-down honey. A faint herbal hops twist is present in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with a bit too much carbonation and the same sickly sweet aftertaste.

D: Slightly below run-of-the-mill. H&L has better options for easier drinking.

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

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice golden color with a really nice white head head. The lacing was good also. The beer did not smell fresh and had a skunky smell. However the tste was not. In fact it was buttery smooth and nice, a little sweet but very refreshing . i will buy again.

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Photo of Proteus93
2.99/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one was brought over a couple weeks ago by dkachur... thanks, Dan!

A: Nice here... not as "pale" as I might have expected. More of a crisp golden yellow, with a nice and tight creamy looking white head. Retention is pretty decent, and it leaves a good sheet of lacing behind.

S + T: Soft, malty aroma... I don't pick up the wheat grains very much here, at least not right away. The flavours come through a little more, with a candy-like caramel flavour. Candied corn? It's a pleasant flavour, either way. I don't mind it at all.

M + D: Carbonation seems a little much. Sharp and somewhat conflicting the more mellow flavour. Were it to have a little more creamy smooth feel, it could do quite nicely. Not too bad, but it seemed to be a little 'all over the place' It comes across as being something with a great potential to be something more, but misses the mark.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The second of the three beers that are now offered in Lexington from the brewery. BeerAdvocate have five beers listed from this brewery. I just finished the Lighter and now drinking the Golden. You'd think that they would go out on that limb a bit.

This beer does fare better than the Lighter. It begins with a stronger straw color with some golden highlights. The same formitable head, retainage, and lacing gives the beer a lot of promise, as they did in the Lighter.

Aromas start with a caramel, butterscotch character that fades as the session continues. A part-malt, part-grain blend gives good balance to the nose. A little corn-like later, but no fruitiness to mention in the nose.

Flavors of caramel-corn candies sets the tone for the beer. Malt flavors are light and allows grain flavors to persist too much. Again, no fruitiness or hop flavor. Honey-like flavors come thorough at mid-palate and helps to move the beer along.

Slick textures throughout, which compromises the would-be crisp, dry, malt character-- too bad. Still a light grain-like bite over-rides the hop bitterness and causes yet more distractions.

This beer has some of the same off-flavors as the Lighter, but also delivers a diacetyl character that dominates the beer-- sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It's worth a try...once or twice. But not a drain-pour by any means.

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Photo of stockingcpl
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This selection came as part of a 12 pack sampler box.

Appearance: Out of the bottle this brew pours dark golden with a creamy yellow head. Head retention was moderate with minimal lacings. Spiderwebs observed on the surface. Fairly heavy carbonation bubble threads observed.

Smell: Sweet matliness is the predominate aroma which is highlighted by a faint skunkiness. Aroma strength was fairly light. Nothing too strong. The skunkiness tends to blur the malt presence.

Taste: There is a strong sweetness during the initial hit of the flavor. This tapers fairly quickly into a nice malty smooth flavor. Finish it characterized by aromatic hops. Not bad...not excellent.

Mouthfeel: Presence on the tongue is pretty nice. The initial zing hits the palate pretty well. Taper is pleasant and sustain does NOT turn into skunky aftertaste as I had expected.

Drinkability: Overall this is a fairly light airy brew. I rate the overall presence and desirability high. Not a bad selection. This would be a good session beer.


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

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a filtered, crisp yellow with a mild, soft-looking one-finger head with below-average retention that fades fairly quickly to a snowy slick and leaves no lacing. Carbonation is plentiful, fast, fairly large-bubbled. Not a terrible start.

Aroma: Sweet, simple grains and a fair amount of skunkiness are pretty much all I get out of the nose. A disappointment.

Taste: Sweet, with plenty of pale, simple cereal grain notes - perhaps wheatlike in some places, but mostly just a little artificial tasting - and a few spicy hop notes that are accompanied by a faint hop bitterness. Not a lot going on here really, and though what is here is in balance, what is here also doesn't taste very high quality.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, very large-bubbled, and therefore very uneven. The body itself is thin, but though the carbonation and body do make for a very light, refreshing beer, it's almost distractingly carbonated. Tone it down a notch here.

Drinkability: As a volunteer firefighter, I kinda wanted to like this one a little more than I did. It's not a terrible beer if you excuse the skunkiness in the nose, but it is terribly simplistic, which of course doesn't hurt the drinkability. I can't say I'd see myself buying this one again, though.

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

Saw this beer sitting all by its lonesome in a beer cooler at my local watering hole...thought I would give it a try.

Appearance: Nice golden color, slight head, moderate lacing.

Smell: Nothing really stood out. Had some malty sweetness to it.

Taste: Again, nothing really stood out. Very average, not offensive at all. Did have a slight sweetness to it from the malt, good clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, mild carbonation. Par for an ale I suppose.

Drinkability: Not a bad brew. Average seems to be the best way to describe it. I had been drinking a nice porter for most of the night, so this ale was a good change of pace. That being said, I probably won't be going out to buy a case any time soon.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 12 oz. glass. Deep golden color with a 1" white head which quickly withdraws. Some moderate lacing and a nice film head persists.

S- Definite malt presence which is a bit on the sweet side.

T- Fairly well-balanced with malt dominating early and some minor hops bite in the finish, which makes it somewhat drying.

MF- MF is ok, with moderate carbonation, pretty full for the style.

D- Overall not a bad beer. Nothing special, but no significant flaws are present. Not a bad session beer if you are not looking for anything special. This is a good transition beer for the macro drinker who wants to embark into the "real" beer world. All of the H&L beers I have sampled fall into this category, IMO.


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Photo of Drew966
2.68/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale pours a golden yellow with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There isn't much to the aroma, a little bit of malt. There isn't much to the flavor either, a little bit of malt and that's it. Easy enough to drink, but not especially compelling.

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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 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 cjgator3
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S- The aroma is pale malt, wheat with some fruits and just a hint of hops.

T- The taste features some wheat malt and is a bit fruity with a very mild hop presence in the finish. Not overly complex by any means, but an easy drinker for sure.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This one is pretty damn drinkable. Not much flavor in this beer, but I could see myself easily consuming a few bottles in a sitting.

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Photo of becktone
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 10-28-08

Eye: Golden coin in color and the beer is nice and clear. Head formation and retention are super poor. It looks worse than algae growning over a pool of shit water. After pouring the Lighter from Hook and Ladder I'd expect a much better eye appeal from a beer that has less adjunct and more flavor.

Nose: Huge buttery notes, over the top in my opinion. In addition to that there are fruity esters floating round in there. Coupled with a caramel malt sweetness the previous two aromas combine to create a cloyingly sweet aroma. Not quite what I'm looking for in any beer. The aroma is potent, however, its just too much.

Tongue: Big caramel notes, fruity esters, and buttery. If it weren't for the hops here to give some balance it'd be pretty much undrinkable. Hop flavor is just about non-existent. Pretty uncomplicated in flavor, and really nothing outstanding about it. Nothing that really makes me want to drink another one. Nothing that damns it and nothing that makes me want to celebrate it.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium-light body and fizzy. Finish is pretty dry. Average nothing more. Easy enough to drink, though I don't think that I'd want to drink more of it. Just nothing worth coming back to.

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Photo of deereless
2.21/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: As the name would lead you to believe this is golden in color, the thinnest of layer of foam, crystal clear - 3.75, Aroma barely discernible, the faint smells that I get involve grain husks and wet corn stalks = 2.50, T: Tastes like a grain infused tea, reminds me of some of the less than enticing Asian ales, really lacks much in terms of flavor - 2.00, M: Watery - 2.00, D: My second beer from Hook & Ladder and another utter failure, tastes like a very sub-par beer - 2.25

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that maintains. Mild lacing on the glass.

Very light and fresh aroma. Very mild fruity, wheat beer smell. A bit of hops sneaks through as it warms.

Tastes like it smells. Fresh and light, fruity wheat flavor. Just a touch of hops, very mild bitterness. Finishes clean and dry.

Light body, mild carbonation.

Very easy to drink. Equally as easy to forget.

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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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