Golden IPA | Legend Brewing Co.

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Golden IPAGolden IPA

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the image of an English IPA, Legend Golden is a big, full-bodied brew with the perfect balance between malty sweetness and hop bitterness. Years ago, as an experimental brew, this underdog of a beer found its way into the hearts of Legend patrons and became a cult classic in Richmond. Legend Golden has been described as a "high class malt liquor" by a notable source. This strong ale sports a rich gold color, an aroma of sweet malt and clean hops, and an earthy, fruity flavor.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2002

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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 149
Photo of nofunyons
4.53/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love Legend beers. they have a distinctive mouthfeel that other beers do not have. This is no exception. This is a keeper, have around, stock up , must have beer. I love it. This one has made me an IPA lover. It is full bodied and your tastebuds can get a grip on the taste. It is a solid IPA

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Photo of fitzy84
4.09/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at a bar. One could not see through this dark gold IPA due to its murky appearance. The smell was an apparent citrus aroma, very noticeable. The taste was above average: hard citrus at first, but then subtle bitter aftertaste. A nice carbonation made this a very crisp drink. Overall, its bitter/citrus divide might be unappealing to some, but I found it quite good.

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Photo of haver
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth and balanced for an I.P.A.. Creamy and very drinkable but the finnish is a little thin. A little husky sweet smell and you would think this would be lesser in alcohol because of the mellow sweet drinkability. A great slammer but not very deep.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice and strong malty English IPA with a bit of a hop bite to it. The smell is fairly fruity with a strong malt sweetness to it. The taste is the same as the smell that starts with a strong sweet malt taste and a bitter hop backbone. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for the style though.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 02/25/12:
Bottled: 11/29/11; Poured in a pint glass.

A - 1-1/2" of off-white fluffy head with very nice retention; Crystal clear in appearance and dark gold in color; Visible carbonation within the glass; Good webs of lacing left behind

S - Pleasant aroma containing lots of sweet caramel and toasted bread notes, with good balance provided by grassy and herbal hops

T - Excellent balance here between sweet caramel and toasted bread malts, and spicy, herbal, grassy, and very subtle citrus hops; There's a decent shot of bitterness that steps forward up front to provide a nice counter to the sweet caramel flavor

M - Moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Just a bit dry and minty in the finish

O - If you're seeking a heavily hopped American IPA, this beer won't quite be what you're looking for. Legend intended this to be more of a balanced English IPA, and I think they succeeded pretty well. I personally prefer to drink and enjoy American IPA's more than the English variety, but this beer proved to be an exception. The balance between the sweet malts and bitter Noble hops was well executed, and the drinkability is pretty high as well. Personally, I think this beer deserves more love than it gets and is one that I'll certainly enjoy again in the future.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber with a foamy, overflowing white head with awesome retention. Mild fruit and hop spice in the balanced aroma. The flavor features some rich yet smooth caramel (especially up front) along with some citrusy, fruity hops through out, though it’s especially pronounced in the lingering, bitter finish.

Another winner from Legend. I don’t know what it is but legend always manages to imbue many of their beers, particularly the lighter ones, with a caramel flavor that is both tasty and very smooth.


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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.91/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz from neorunner via BIF- thanks! Into Alpine pint glass.

A- Nice fluffy pillow-stuffing/marshmallow head on this one. Base is a brilliant golden hue. Sticky, thick lacing that looks like a snowdrift. Pretty good pour. Some of the thickest lacing rings I've ever seen.

S- Piny, spicy, and peppery hops. Nice.

T- More orangey with a hint of coriander. This reminds me of a dry-hopped witbier. Kind of a head-scratcher, but I'm diggin' it. Sweet sugary golden ale goodness with a heavy hand of hops thrown in the mix.

M- Good balance, kind of sweet but bitter hops keep it in check. Great mouthfeel, a bit bubbly but works well for the beer.

D- Moderately high. I really enjoyed this beer, I would keep this in stock if I had access to it. Worth seeking out. Not an all-out hop assault, but a great spin on a played-out style that shows you there's lots of room for experimentation.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice body color. Mustard yellow with a brassy bronze appearance and crystal clear. White head, slightly foamy makes three fingers off the pour and a large one finger soapy collar while settling. Very nice, and I really like this distinct body color.

Nose is interesting and perhaps a little unique. Tropical candy, and melon cantalopue smelling. Fairly sweet. Not sure what to think here, malt and hop angle seems an afterthought so I am leaving this neutral for a rating. Maybe even kind of mushy banana?

Palate is quite interesting. Mellow and juicy melon tasting, with a nice fruity finish. Good feel with some malt depth, and mild hop bitterness. Lots of melon fruit and mellow warmth to this also. Hop angle is only on the finish and it is fairly herbal and letting some caramel like malt sink in, with a little bit of graham cracker biscuit softness coming through.

Overall, I really enjoy this one for it's unique taste more than anything.

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Photo of oelergud
3.87/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden clear body, reddish tint. White rocky head, decent retention and lace. Good carbonation.
Sweet floral scent. Spiced honey and warm molasses.
Strong spiced malt up front, hops are coming through almost immediately. Aftertaste is a sweet lingering honey sensation.
Alcohol comes through just enough to be noticed.
Pretty good mouthfeel and coating.
Very drinkable and well crafted, I was starting be expect mediocre things from Legend, good to see they got this one right.


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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle with no drink by date. The color is a light orange with a good deal of cloudiness. The ample carbonation is present with rising bubbles. The head is off-white and thin, and, quickly dissipates to a thin layer on top. There are small traces of wispy lace spotted across the glass.

There is a present citrus (orange) aroma with hints of cinnamon and pine blended in. The taste is a dry grapefruit flavor with a nice hop bitterness. I detect a small hint of warming alcohol in the backend that is different from some IPAs. There is a small amount of blended malt mixed in. Overall, a light and refreshing beer. Good.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Legends shot at an IPA was fairly successful. Presented with a thin, beady head and some lace on top of a medium-golden colored body. Mildy hoppy aroma; doesn't overpower at all. Mouthfeel is well-rounded and fairly smooth. A mild hint of malt knocks on the door, but it's the hops that are let in. Nothing earth-shattering, but a pleasant, citrus/grapefruit hoppiness. Prosit!

overall: 3.8
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of danmouer
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew was a firken--a cask- conditioned real ale dry hopped with Cascades-- sampled at the Legend Brewery pub.

I really like the Legend Golden IPA, and this "real ale" version was quite a treat. However, if this were London, the CAMRA cops woild have been busting the landlord for servimg this firken too firkin' early.

The beer was very cloudy with sediment, and had not matured sufficiently to properly take up and "marry" the dry hops into the brew.

Mind you, this is a very nice beer, and I'd gladly have another, but better cellariing would have improved the experience a lot.

The bottled version of Legend's Golden IPA is an exceptionally well- balanced example of the style. No hop-bomb with cloying, mouth-wrenching astringency, this beer is beautifully hoppy while remaining hop-forward and sweetly aromatic.

The firkin was generally well-comditioned in that the pump pulled a fst two-to-three-finger head of pefsistent foam. Nonetheless, the beer was thickly cloudy. Full of excess vitamin B and the creamy mouthfeel of too much yeast. No off flavors, just a bit short in the mature and clear department.

The dry hops were a bit subtle. I could see thst, with another week's maturity, they wold have been marvelously fruity and rich. Imstead, they tended to promise more than the delivered..

This was a delicious beer. Thank you Legend for doing it. I'll keep on coming back to Firken Fridays, but please work on getting the cellaring right. You are my neighborhood pub, amd you are coming close to being one of the best in the country.

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Photo of jtd1969
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a cask that had Citra hops

A - Dark Amber with lots of carbonation and lacing

S - Lots of Citra hops with some sweet bread

T - Bready with some citra hops, resembled an Amped up Pale ale to me...

M - medium bodied, good carbonated

O - Good beer, but more of a "big" pale ale to me! Worth a taste or two

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Photo of byrd
3.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a great frothy white head that is rather sticky and very long lasting. The lacing is rather thick for quite some time but eventually transitions to a perpetual layer of thin froth that lasts until the last drop is drained from the glass. The color is a clear light golden amber. Loads of carbonation can be seen rising from the bottom. The aroma is rather nice with light camel malt and grain notes noticeable along side the hops. Hop aroma doesn’t blow one way like some other American IPAs. Citrus hops are noticeable, but they are light and share the nose with the malt. The start is short and smooth with the caramel malts dominant. Prickly carbonation then comes in with the hops, but the malt never quite disappears. Citrus notes and grapefruit are noticeable. The hops are very prevalent, yet they are rather mild compared to a hopmonster. Not over the top, but enough to stand out above the malt. The finish is fairly very long lasting and the mouthfeel is a little on the light side of medium.

I first tried a couple pints of this brew on tap at a Richmond establishment and was pleasantly surprised. So I purchased a bottle to enjoy at home. I think this is a better brew then it has been given credit for so far. It’s certainly not the best IPA out there, but it’s a solid enjoyable brew that would make for a great session beer or intro to the style. It much more mild then the “big boys” yet it’s more assertive then some English IPAs that I’ve sampled. All in all, a good, well balanced, and very drinkable brew.

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Photo of obywan59
3.71/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours crystal clear and orange in color with 2 1/2 finger substantial off white head that leaves attractive thick lacing.

Sweet malts and over ripe citrus in the aroma, almost doughy at times.

A bit subdued in the taste at first, but it grew on me. Sweet malts and bitter hops with amazing caramel and pine

Medium thick in body, luxurious with light syrup and good carbonation. Slightly warming as well.

I really don't get all the low reviews here. Although it was a bit disappointing at first taste, this beer developed nicely. While perhaps not as complex as other IPAs, It's well rounded, full flavored, and has impressive body. I would not hesitate to try this again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

More of a hazy, even murky orange than golden. Topped by four fingers of fuzzy off-white froth which can be sculpted into mountains.

Aroma is pine with grapefruits and apricots.

Malt up front tends to slip down a narrow river of the tongue instead of laying any foundation. Agressive hops are present from the start with both bitterness and juicy fruitiness. Certainly answers the question of whether this is a golden ale of an ipa. Hop bite lingers well into the aftertaste. Finish seems a little weak, more an "eh" than an "ahhh".

Mouthfeel is a bit disappointing due to the weak malt showing. Good drinkability though.

Overall, a bit sloppy, and mislabeled, but not a bad take on an ipa. If you're in Richmond, worth a try.

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Photo of hmph
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip, lets see what's going on here Legend!

A - super clear,yellowish with a 1 finger white head, carbonation streaming up from the bottom

S - slight fruit, with some candy notes and a bit of a spicey smell as well

T - some initial sweetness on the taste followed by a slow development into a lingering bitterness again with a slight spice again following the smell

O - A good beer and a quality golden ipa. It comes in at a hefty 7% but is extremely drinkable and enjoyable. I got a 6 pack and more than happy to have a few more tonight.

Not bad Legend...not bad.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark golden amber with a soft, foamy, white head

S - bready, caramel, very very faint citrus

T - bread and caramel with some faint, bitter hops

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is definitely a big, malty beer. The hops are there but can't contend with the big malt. A decent flavor profile overall, I just wish it were a tad more hoppy. It's worth a try.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This IPA pours a clear gold color. There is a thick white head at the end of the pour. It looks very nice but, the head did dissipate rather quickly and left a very thin lace to the end of my pint glass. The aroma is on the mellow side compared to most IPAs. There are the usual citrus aromas of the hops but this had some mild malt tones mixed into the aroma. The taste pretty well matches the aroma. It is not a wild hop attack but a pleasant one. Mild hops with a touch of malt. Nothing to overpowering but enough to enjoy. I think this beer would go good with a nice meal. This beer is also (to me) a good session brew. A nice IPA for those who are just starting to try this type of beer. Overall, a bit above average.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip.

A: pours more copper than golden, not much head
S: mainly malty and sweet, a light hop citrus
T: reminds me more of a pale ale, sweet malt, the hops mainly being a slight citrus and bitter, this taste was would be a good starter ipa because its not overly complex and more straight forward, reminds me of SNPA.
M: smooth some-what creamy yet light, if that is even possible, the lack of head makes me think the carbonation is low to medium.
D: im enjoying another local brew which is again making me wonder why i waited so long to try the brewery that is less than 20 miles from my house!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Another shade from my NoVa past still haintin' my fridge. It pours a clear golden straw (how thoroughly appropriate) topped by a healthy white froth. The nose comprises lemon rind, orange peel, light flowers, and either a rather light caramel or a solid honey. The taste is loaded with the citrus skin bitterness, matched meekly by that indiscernible maltiness. The body is pretty light, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid IPA, but a bit unbalanced. I wouldn't turn another down, but I wouldn't request one, either.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An odd but pleasant beer, quite unexpected for an IPA, but interesting and distinctive.

Pours a deep slightly hazy golden with a big fluffy head and great streamers of carbonation - this is a pretty beer, almost the perfect looking beer.

The aroma is strong and bready and nutty, with a distinct oxidized honey sting. The flavor has that same overripe honey feel, with bready malt and a burn of carbonation. The alcohol is hot a brandy-like, surprising considering the medium weight of the ABV.

The mouthfeel is extremely prickly and hot.

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Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle from The Cheese Shop.

A: At least this ale looks like an IPA, well kinda. An amber color, the IPA has an orange-brown glow that accentuates a steady stream of bubbles. Each pour of the bomber generated an admirable head, the last leaving lace around the mouth of the glass.

S: The IPA has a malty aroma that stresses its caramel base. Behind that strong aroma, hops are at a premium. They rarely muster the citrusy strength that a good IPA needs.

T: As blackie notes before me, this is the second Legend ale with a buttery presence. Trends are worth noting. I like the taste better than the nose, the hops add a little more dimension. Still, the maltiness and yeast (dare I say Ringwood, although it lacks a certain pizzazz that RW has) are the boldest elements.

M: The mouthfeel is malt-centric, bringing a smooth flavor glosses over any hoppiness. This ale lacks the overwhelming syrupy caramel flavors of the pale ale, a saving grace.

D: Another bomber thst was passable but not good. Light drinking for the beach.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

A - Golden indeed, almost a bronze coloration. Nice head and retention.

S - Sweet citrus notes and a nice bouquet of floral hops grace the nose.

T - Mild bitterness is masked by the sweet malty body. Not as hoppy as I was hoping. By the end I felt it was almost too sweet.

M - Dry light body and the right carbonation level.

D - Not bad, but not the best representation of the style and certainly not the best from this brewery.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a clear golden color with monstrous puffy White head. Smell is malty, with a bit of hops, but nothing over-powering. Taste is pleasurable but lacks the hoppiness I like in an IPA. Mouthfeel is slightly dry buth average at best. An easy to drink beer that hides the 7% well

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Golden IPA from Legend Brewing Co.
3.32 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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