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Golden Nugget IPA | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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Golden Nugget IPAGolden Nugget IPA

Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This spectacularly golden, medium bodied IPA was crafted from a winning combination of Golden Promise malt and Nugget hops. Fall in love with the big hop aroma of our Golden Nugget as it mingles with fragrances of citrus and evergreen, followed by a floral sweetness. Tropical fruit flavors entice your taste buds before immediately captivating you with a bold, hop forward taste and a pleasant bitterness in the finish.

56 IBU

Added by AmericanGothic on 06-06-2011

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 1,551
Photo of Florida9
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a Hopleaf tulip. Clear golden color. Forms a moderately large bubbly white head. Decent retention. Lots of lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Citrus forward with notes of orange and grapefruit. A faint hint of pine in the mix as well.

T: Taste is the typical IPA flavor. Mild caramel malts, grapefruit, and pine.

M: Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: This beer tastes like the stereotypical American IPA. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like I've had this beer a dozen times before.

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single hop IPA using Nugget hops I believe. From a 1 liter or so swing top growler. Hazy, amber with medium head and poor retention. Tastes/smells sweet, soft and only slightly hoppy. Medium feel, low carbonation and very smooth in general. However, bland.

They make better beer than this and I have had it so I can't say what went wrong here. Regardless it will not stop me for seeking them out!

Tried it again on tap at the brewpub... this is a much superior beer on tap compared to the growler that had carbonation issues, probably a mistake at my end. The carbonation was spot on and it had the bite of an IPA in every way. The sweetness is complemented very well by the hops... very very fruity and very good.

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Photo of jegross2
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Golden Nugget IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewery out of Decora, Iowa. Toppling Goliath is a relatively new craft brewery to the scene, but is making a bold early impression and making some exciting brews, such as Mornin' Delight (a CBS killer, if you ask me) and Zeelander (a super lemon-forward IPA).

Score: 94

Growler pour from a growler filled the week before FOBAB 2012. Served in a Founders snifter and enjoyed on 12/01/12. Shout out to my friend Mathieu LaFontaine for hooking me up with this brew as part of my "winnings" from the fantasy baseball beer league this past summer.

Appearance: Pours a light amber color that is clean and falls between translucent and transparent. Only a thin layer off head off the pour, which settles to a pencil-thin ring around the glass. Below average lacing, but excellent cling. 4/5

Smell: In-your-face lemon, pine and grapefruit! Not just a lot. I mean its like someone took a sledgehammer made of lemon juice, pine needles and grapefruit and whacked you upside the head. Ample doses of dank, resinous hops as well. Very West Coast IPA-esque. Candied caramel malt, mango and sweet non-descript tropical citrus too. The aroma on this beer is an absolutely intense beast; and I love it! It is much more lemon/pine forward than most IPA I have had. 5/5

Taste: The taste is more subdued than the aroma with less citrus and more maltiness, leading to a more balanced profile on the tongue. Upfront is caramel malt, grapefruit and lemon, with a strong piney backbone. The back half is bitter, resinous hops, pine and mango-y lemon. Lots of lingering piney bitterness with a dash of candied caramel. There is a faint amount of non-descript residual black pepper-like spice in the finish as well. Some dirty hops come out in the finish/aftertaste as the beer warms. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous and oily! This is one of the more full bodied IPAs that I have had to date with a nice low level of carbonation that nonetheless gives the hops a good kick while leaving the bitterness on the tongue to layer. Very bitter, and the hops prickle the palate. 4.5/5

Overall: This one blew me away. The nose on this brew is absolutely unreal. This is one of the tastiest IPA I have had in a long time.

Recommendation: Hop heads need to seek this beer out, though it is likely too intense (in a good way for IPA fans) on the bitterness for the casual beer to truly enjoy. Toppling Goliath is a brewery you may not have heard of yet, but need to check out ASAP!

Pairings: Thai chicken pizza.

Cost: $13 for a 64 oz growler fill (if you bring your own growler).

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Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler purchased at Casanova's Liquor in Hudson for $10. One heck of a deal. Being that I got the fill at Casanova's, I was prepared for a rather poorly carbonated beer after just one day. And it happened yet again.

Pours a very hazy golden color with a minimum of head that settled to a thin film. Some spotty lacing is left down the glass. I have had this beer on-tap and it performs much better than what I was displayed today. Will not give a harsh score for a bad growler fill not within Toppling Goliath's control.

Very hoppy aroma. I get a lot of fresh citrus, tropical fruit, and floral qualities. I am not picking up any malt aroma.

Tastes juicy. Notes of oranges and grapefruit. Has a bit of a Juicy Fruit flavor as well. The malt adds sweetness but not really much flavor. Feels moderately bitter which is helped by the sweet malt. Really showcases the Nugget hops.

It is undercarbonated, again caused by the growler fill. I do remember this as being medium body and robustly carbonated.

I will take Nugget hops over Citra any day. This beer proves why it is a superior hop for the citrus fix.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer on draft at 3 different places during a short business trip to Iowa: El Bait Shop (Des Moines), Share (Iowa City) and Short's Burger & Shine (Iowa City).

A: Lightly hazy golden/pale color, topped with 1/2-1 finger of fluffy whitish head. Long-drawn ribbons of breaking lace, moderate carbonation.

S: Strong 'nugget' aroma: juicy & pithy, slightly piney, spicy. Sniff, sniff, sniff again. Very good cool, even better as it warms.

T: LOTS of citrus, tropical pineapple and orange, then green bitters and herbal grassiness. Captures all the best traits of these hops, and is backed by sturdy caramel/pale maltiness. Terrific balance.

M: Medium body, with a succulent 'juiciness' like freshly-squeezed citrus. Hop oils lend a sharpness and spicy bite, but overall balance is excellent and the bitterness wanes quickly.

O: A 'wow' beer ~ one of the most 'drinkable' IPAs I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. I'm a huge fan of a new brewery in Oregon called Boneyard; I think their RPM IPA is amazing --- but this Golden Nugget stuff? Damn, every bit as good. Very happy to have had the chance to (repeatedly) try... I'm singing its praises all the way back to the Pacific Northwest.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at Red's outside of Iowa city thanks to the recommendation of Damian, the head of beer operations at that fin establishment.

The beer has a nice orange color with nice lacing has well. A good but not amazing head. The aroma has plenty of nice pungent nugget hops, some sweet breads, and overall platforms the hop bitters in a west coast ipa manner, which I didn't expect from a Iowa brew! The taste follows the smell with fresh hops taking center stage, grassy and dank weed tastes that are great and sort of remind me of an Alpine brewery beer. A very good feel that is slick, bitter and semi sweet.

A very nice beer overall that needs to be had if you find yourself in the great state of Iowa.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Augusta in Oxford, IA; served in a shaker pint.

Brilliantly clear gold liquid with two fingers of lasting ivory merengue. Superior retention; dense sticky lacing.

Tropical fruit, citrus, passion fruit...immensely fresh hoppy aromatics. Words do not do it justice.

Palate closely follows the nose - suffused with fruity herbaceous hops, balanced by a touch of honey-like malt. Finishes dry yet fruity and minty. Moderately bitter throughout.

Thick, oily, creamy, perfectly carbonated...

Super-impressive, fresh, hop-forward, balanced, expertly crafted highly aromatic IPA. Rivals the best the West Coast has to offer with a slight increase in drinkability.

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Photo of grandbeerdaily
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

his beer its excellent on tap art their brew pub. The highlight of the entire experience its the decor. If you haven't check.. it out.

Color its golden and perfectly clear. The light Shines through and turns golden with this full, 7.2 percent IPA.(not 6 percent)

The aroma is lacking. Very few floral notes in the background, mostly malty. Better as out warns with citrus and pine.

Flavor its very full. I'd call this an IPA and a half. Very full with a smooth well balanced mouth feel that isn't over carbonated. Simple malty flavors start that let r the golden malt shine. Earthy flavors balance the sweet immediately and allow for citrus, grapefruit, and pine to come through. A little too bitter for the style but not overly astringent, leaving a smooth bitter aftertaste that lasts.

Overall an awesome beer to have on tap. Super fresh really n makes this a drink to remember.

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Photo of jera1350
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Root Note.

Golden color with egg white head and sticky lacing. Big citrus and floral fruit scents along with tropical fruit. Plump juicy hops with medium bitterness. Loads of citrus and tropical notes. A taste explosion. Medium body, a bit of prickly carbonation. Overall, love this beer. A top tier IPA for sure and I want more!

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Photo of bwiechmann
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Growler. Pretty spendy- $16 for G-nug refill, $20 including new growler.

Pours a beautiful amber color with a gorgeous fluffy head.

Juicy citrus notes abound- loads of hops cover most of the malt backbone which is how it should be. Very inviting.

In the taste department- with IBU's in the mid 50s its clear that the truckloads of hops were added at the end of the boil. Huge hop notes without immeasurable bitterness. Malt profile does a good job of trying to balance everything out.

Overall- awesome, awesome IPA. This brew almost makes me wish I lived in Iowa. Almost. Worth seeking out- if more people were exposed to this beer it would be one of the power-player IPAs in the beer world.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bomber into a glass stein.

Appearance- The same cloudy, golden-orange body greets me when poured. There is something about pale ales that TG make where they just shine through the glass, luminous and awesome.

The head is really pillowy and rather dense, with a good smattering of bubbles on the lid. It is about two-fingers in width with very decent web lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell- It is just oozing pine and citrus notes. The citrus is most noticeably some grapefruit rind. There is also just a slight sweet tinge to it that could come off as oranges. A slight must also brings to mind passion fruit. Wonderful!

Taste- It is not a palate wrecker, but the hop forward character is certainly here. The front of the drink has the hop tingle and flavor of some grapefruit and passion fruit. The pine also starts to mingle as it rolls over the tongue.

The finish is just as strong with these same notes, but breaks out the sweeter malt flavors and a slightly floral character. The malt is most like a caramel malt, and even imitates vanilla a little bit. Hop forward, but still showcasing a good malt quality. Awesome!

Mouth feel- The beer has a great medium body that goes well with this IPA. For the slightly bitter finish, it still finishes well; it is not too dry and goes down easy. This is really well done.

Overall- I think I enjoyed the bottle of Golden Nugget better than my tap experience, as my score will indicate. Honestly, the biggest difference was the great head and lacing that was not present from having it on tap.

That and the flavors were hoppier, yet seemed less bitter than I remember. I am not one to complain though. It is still a great IPA and one of the best I have had.

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Photo of daledeee
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes the best things are discovered by accident. I went to Elkader and the OTHER bar was closed. Walked into a different bar that featured mostly Iowa beers.

I ordered a large. It came with a beautiful white head and a cloudy bright yellow body. Lacing was good thorughout the glass.

Nose was really fresh with floral, citrus and hops all the way.

Taste....Well.. In a nutshell, this is why we drink our beer fresh. This has the most beautiful fresh citrus blend of orange and lemon and the lemon rind bit you hard at first. There wasn't much spice but the hop profile was as good as it gets. I am told this is made with Golden Nugget hops. My mouth was loaded with hop flavor for some time after the visit. And it was a good aftertaste. A rare treat.

Mouthfeel was just heavy enough with good carbonation. I can't say enough about this beer. I truly think that for me personally this is the best IPA I have had. Just shows what fresh quality beer can do for you. I could only have one, I will go back. Next stop may be the brewery.

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Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice yellow with a off white head, very sticky and lots of lacing.

The smell is light and citrusy with mild hops and a light bit of bready malt.

The flavor is good, but nothing special, a light slightly bitter and a big centennial like citrus quality. The malt is almost non existant, just a light bit of underlying sweetness.

The mouthfeel is light and a touch resiny.

This beer doesn't have any real faults, but is a bit on the boring side, was hoping judging by the name that it would have some nugget hop charachters, but there is none to speak of.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 22oz bomber of Golden Nugget from the brewery in Decorah. Poured into Globe glass.

A. Poured a 1+ finger of head. Nice golden color. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

S. Great hop aroma. Really nice floral citrusy hop smell. Grapefruit and orange. A little piney hop smell, but mostly tropical fruit citrus. Impressive hop aroma. Not a lot of malt to pick up with all the hops. Another reviewer of Golden Nugget compared it to Two Hearted, and I can see now why.

T. Taste is very good as well. Has a nice bitterness as well as a lot of hop flavor. More of the citrus fruit flavors of grapefruit and a little orange. Has a pretty dry malt presence, almost biscuity. Tongue coating bitterness though.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness.

O. Have had this on tap a couple of times at different places in Decorah. TG does not allow growler sales of Golden Nugget, so that they do not run out of it. They are now bottling in Bombers so got an opportunity to take it home. This is a very good IPA, on par with some of the big boys. Keep an eye out for Toppling Goliath.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Wonderful crisp golden color with a nice, creamy, tight white head. A nice thin lace is left behind.

S - Hop aromas jump out of the glass. Juicy grapefruit and other citrus along with some floral hops. Very sweet fruity aroma with a bit of bitter notes. Base malt provides a background but doesn't provide much aroma.

T - Similar to the nose. Wonderful hoppy flavor with a lot of juicy grapefruit and orange along with some other fruity flavors. Slightly bitter on the back of the taste. Mid sip, some more of the floral flavors come out.

M - Light to medium body with good carbonation. Pretty crisp with a nice refreshing finish.

D - Wonderful hop flavors with a nice balance between sweet and bitter citrus and nice floral hints. Very easy to drink and refreshing.

Notes: Had this on tap at The Sanctuary. Wonderful hoppy IPA. Great flavors, especially fruity flavors. Another wonderful beer by Toppling Goliath, these guys keep impressing me.

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Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sanctuary, served in a shaker pint.
Review from written notes.

Golden Nugget has a bright clarity, true to it's namesake. Shiny orange with yellow gold edges. A thin cap of white foam forms a tight head on the surface, with tiny rounded arcs of lacing left in the glass. Halfway through the glass, there's a bit more lacing in concentric rings on the sides. Trails of carbonation visible.

Pungent, resiny hop aroma, almost catty. Deep citrus, fresh sliced oranges and grapefruit, weedy florals, dandelion. Very fresh and aromatic.

Flavors of bitter pink grapefruit, leafy green botanicals, hint of pale malt lends a touch of caramel, lingering bitter finish with potent hop resin. Medium bodied, finishes dry and bitter, clean and sessionable, no flaws. A great American IPA, true to style. Probably the best from Iowa i've tried. Would love to see this in 6 packs or spend an afternoon sharing a growler of this.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap a second time at Toppling Goliath

A-Golden straw with a touch of haze, decent head and extraordinary lacing

S-A touch of peach and grapefruit, intriguing

T/M First taste is nice, bitter grapefruit and a bit sweet.A touch creamy at first, but with a bitterness that is not to be unexpected for the style

A very good IPA and I can see why it is a local favorite.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a nonic at Red's.

A: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange color with one finger of off-white head. Very good retention and lace.

S: A nose full of nice, fresh peaches. Very promising.

T: Interesting. Starts with bitter grapefruit and then goes quickly to the peaches from the smell, lingers, and then a fast swoop back to the bitter grapefruit. Oh, yeah, that's what beer is about.

M: Light, creamy and fizzy at the same time.

O: Outstanding, one of the best single IPA's I've had. In a league with Two Hearted in terms of quality, though a more bitter profile overall. Find it and enjoy.

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Golden Nugget IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,551 ratings.
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