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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Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Latarnik
3/5  rDev -4.8%

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 dgherm
3/5  rDev -4.8%

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 braddeshong
2.98/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had a pint on draught at at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria, VA.

Appearance - Light yellow color small CO2 bubbles slowly rise to the top creating a white, quarter to half inch head.

Smell - Not much to speak of (though I don't think smell is really my strong suit)

Taste - A light, crisp brew with lots of carbonation. The aftertaste had a slightly smokey taste that faded quickly.

Mouthfeel - Hook and ladder has a decent mouthfeel...nothing to write home about. The carbonation was a bit much for me, but once things settled down you're left with a crisp clean beer.

Drinkability - Overall, the beer was decent, and I could probably drink another if there's wasn't much else available. I didn't catcht he ABV of this one, but I don't think it was much maybe 4-5%.

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Photo of williamherbert
2.98/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Darker yellow color. Thin, watery head. Icy lace sticks to the glass like cold weather on a window.

The smell is a lighter, golden ale/lager aroma. It's like a lighter, weaker pub ale smell. Nothing unpleasant, just a bit wimpy.

The taste is an English light ale, along the lines of a Bass. Has a decent sweetish malt that is bready but with a dollop of molasses. It leaves a bit of an aftertaste.

The feel is watery and leaves a minor bitter film. Underwhelming on the palate; a light lagery film at the end. All told, it's an okay beer. Not overwhelmingly awesome, but drinkable I suppose.

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

Poured a crystal clear bright golden color with respectable white head. Very poor retention and some spidery lacing.

Smell is mild and virtually non-existent.

Taste is also very light. This is a mild fruity character, but little else.

Litmited taste retention. Very thin in the mouth.

Would probably qualify as an expensive spacer.

 335 characters

Photo of Gavage
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at McCormick & Schmick's in Baltimore.

Appearance: only a thin surface foam for a head. Pale yellow in color with a load of fast rising carbonation bubbles. No lacing developed during the session.

Smell: little to no aroma, as only some very faint grain tones were detectable as your nose hits the surface of the beer.

Taste: mild graininess here with some very soft hop bitterness. Some pear and golden apple sweetenss lingers softly in the background. Very mild flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and a bit smoother towards the finish. Light in body. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: figured I give this a try since the restaurant had it and I wanted something mild with my appetizer. The beer was so-so at best as I didn't finish my pint. Not worth a try unless there are only macros on tap.

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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 treehugger02010
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this at a "tasting" at the faculty club I am a steward at.
Appearance: A pale gold colored body with a frothy white head having decent retention and leaving a fair bit of lace.
Smell: It certainly smells like a Wheat Ale, but I'm not 100% sure that's what is should be classified as. Obviously the wheat is what stands out, but there is a bit of spiciness (not much) that probably comes from the wheat.
Taste: Kind of watered down, but there is more of a hop spice present with a very week backing of wheat.
Mouthfeel: Way to smooth, I was looking for more of a crisp mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Ok, but certainly not "case worthy."
Don't drink and review.

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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 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.

 1,293 characters

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

Pours a nice golden yellow color with a medium sized white head that laces pretty well. The aroma is more malty than hoppy and the taste is the same as well. It is a very malty taste. A bit rough on the mouthfeel as it could be smoother which would make it more drinkable as well.

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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 DIM
2.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a slightly hazy yellow. It was served to me with a short lived, creamy white head.

s: Pretty bland, I found a little sweet wheat and not much else.

t: Things are a bit better here, with mild banana wheat flavors and faint peppery tingle.

m: Decently carbonated, but a bit thin.

d: This isn't one I'd try again, but it wasn't offensive at all.

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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 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 budgood1
2.83/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out a slightly hazed golden colour with a minimal mead and subsequent minimal lace. sweet toffeeish aroma...a bit buttery showing off some grainy and sugary notes. upon tasting...more characteristics of the golden ale style present themselves...sweet maltiness, cloying at times; a strange spicy boozy note i wasn't expecting...and more buttery diacetyl that really isn't all that welcome. minimal hopping...just enough to notice...and no real bitterness. bigger body than most other golden ales with a slick and sugary mouthfeel. drinkability is ok...i'm drinking on a very warm day in spring after work and it's having a hard time hitting the spot.

overall i would say that since this is a delicate style, with subtle nuances being most important...this is a heavy handed stab at the style and misses the point. oh well...i didn't have to pay for this.

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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 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 deltatauhobbit
2.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden yellow with a bit of haze.

Smell is the least savory of the features. The combination of a slight hop smell and other aromas does not meld well that leaves the nose a bit off-putting.

Taste is decent and the beer is light to drink but has enough hops to be pleasing, little more than usual carbonation though.

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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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