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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: 148
Photo of brentk56
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with two sturdy inches of foam on top that leaves some dots and strands behind

Smell: More caramel malt than hops and what hops there are have a piney/minty edge

Taste: Opens with a fair amount of caramel malt flavor that is joined, in the middle, by pine and mint, as well as some diacetyl; hoppier, in the finish, though the caramel lingers throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Per the website, this is supposed to be an English IPA, though it tastes more like a hybrid to me; not too excited by the hop profile or the intrusion of the malt

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Photo of oberon
2.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden with a big fluffy white head that leaves a generous amount of lace behind,aromas are not of an IPA very buttery with some toastiness but not much hop profile at all.This is no IPA flavor wise,buttery and a weird smokey like flavor with some toasted malt no hop flavors showing thru really.I wonder why this brewery calls this an IPA its no where close to an IPA there are some decent flavors but IPA no way.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.24/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of foamy bright-white head. This retains with a sturdy ½ finger or so, leaving back some light spotty froth down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells really tangy in the nose, with citrus, toast, and a good bit of butter being present. There is also a leafy spiciness present here but this isn’t very airy feeling at all in the nose. Just has a flat feel to it.

The taste is similar, with an earthy and citric bitterness that prickles the tongue. This is surrounded by a sweet malt graininess, which has a light toastiness to it, and even more butter flavor. There is a good bit of residual sweetness to this in the finish, while some unwelcome lingering pith and spice sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied; with a smooth creaminess that then pulls in off the sides and gets sharper on the tongue. There is a bit of warmth to the body but it overall isn’t too bad.

Even for an English-style IPA, this had way too much diacetyl present and this overall just had a flat and unrefined to it. I struggled to get even half way through the bottle. This isn’t a very good beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.41/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a golden body with a foamy, creamy white head.

Smell: Oh dear, here we go again... an aroma of butter and soiled socks.

Taste: The flavor passes back and forth between greasy butter and abandoned cheese. Sure, there's hops. Yes, there's light caramel malts. It just not worth putting up with all that unpleasantness to get to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Another utter failure from this brewery. I have yet to come across a bottle from Legend that wasn't a totally spoiled disaster!

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Photo of Rifugium
2.89/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

First had: on tap at Legend

Clear golden pour with a moderate cap of foamy white head; minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet malts, light grassy and piney hop notes. Quite weak for an IPA, even an English IPA. Taste was also a bit off-balance with a pale malt sweetness taking the foreground to mild grassy/piney hops; decent bitterness lasting in the aftertaste. Light body, moderate carbonation. Perhaps this was a failed attempt to make a DIPA and they just labeled it an English IPA? Or it's just a so-so addition to the category. Not undrinkable, but not that great.

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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 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 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 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 ppoitras
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the clear golden brew. Head lasts very nicely, with adequate lacing. Aroma is fruity hops. Taste is slight pale malt upfront, with tangy citrus fruit juice dominating, bitterness coming in for the close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are limited by the tartness, just overpowers what may or may not have become pleasing hops character. I will note that the alcohol (7%abv) is well hidden.

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Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of hops, with a lot of grass and malt as well.

T: Tasted of hops, malt and citrus, but these are offset by some unpleasant grass and grain elements. While this isn't the worst flavored IPA I've tried it is one of the most unbalanced.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not an IPA I would readily return to.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a golden yellow with a one finger slightly off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, subtle citrus, skunk, and earth hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, skunk, and subtle fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty average brew. There were a lot of nice aspects going on in this one, but there were also quite a few that weren’t so appealing to the palate. The skunky aspect in particular… Didn’t really go into this one expecting much based on beeruser’s comments and I was disappointed. Glad I got to tick it, but doubt I would personally pick it up.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
1.81/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is decent and just a little bit of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Not a lot of hops for an IPA. In fact, there's barely any. There's a light soapiness with a mild breadiness. Not much from the malts either. Nose just sucks.

1.5 T: Soap and bread. Mild bitterness. Not much hops and not much malts. The only thing that is there is ample amounts are the off flavors. Shitty.

2.5 M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Somehow this is a bit chewy.

1.5 D: God awful beer. Do not buy, do not drink, do not collect $200.

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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 blackie
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter pour, nice little off-white cap of carbonation, about a fingers width, gradually recedes to a nicely retained layer, the beer itself a light-medium golden amber color

s: body of light caramels, somewhat sweet, citric hop aroma mostly earthy, not terribly pungent but it works alright, then there's that ever present Legend buttery aroma, wish they could do something about that, it's not too heavy at least

m: carbonation just under moderate, smooth, body medium

t: lightly caramelized malt sets the stage for a full but balanced dose of citrusy, earthy English style hops, adequately strong for the style but well balanced, finishes with a moderate bitterness and glimpses of pine, there's a diacetyl/butter flavor throwing things off, pretty annoying as it starts to pull out more with warming but at least it doesn't override everything else

d: not too bad, hadn't purchased this one because I knew it'd have some diacetyl going on, things are otherwise in reasonable balance and the alcohol doesn't show too much, would love nothing more than to nail them for the butter flavors - how could they not fix this problem that runs throughout most of their line? - but it was a reasonably enjoyable beer

single from Corks & Kegs, Richmond, VA

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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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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 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 sholland119
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Green Leafe Cafe, 8/11/10.

A-Pours a golden amber with a thin white head and good sticky lacing.

S-Toasted malt and caramel, some noble hops and a hint of citrus.

T-Crisp, sweet malt with some slight bittering in the finish. A bit buttery and rather underhopped.

M-Medium bodied, crisp and wet.

D-Pleasant, though I would not seek it out again.


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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not bad to look at, tannish-auburn in color, crystal clear, with a few rising bubbles, smooth, slowly dissipating head, and average lacing.

Smell is quite odd for an IPA, smells and tastes more like an ESB or English bitter to me than a typical IPA. Still, it both smells and tastes pretty good. Caramel malts and a nice fruitiness fill out a sweet and easy to drink brew.

Body is medium and easy to down. Smooth and pleasant, with a very mild bitterness and balanced hop/malt profile. Ample carbonation.

Overall average, but interesting anyway.

Seems to be a mis-match for the style if you ask me.

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Photo of rangerred
2.91/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a crystal clear light gold with a fairly thick one finger head. Pretty good head retention and lacing.

Not much of a smell with this one. Caramel malt is definitely present along with a slight citrus hop character reminiscent of apricot and orange.

The flavors are all a bit odd. Fairly strong caramel malt up front along with some citrusy hop notes but then everything just disappears. All that is left is a sharp bitterness finishing with a strong alcohol note but no other flavors. Mouthfeel is decent, though.

Overall I think this could be a pretty good beer with some tweaking. It is just too unbalanced now to be a pleasurable drinking experience.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.91/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: brilliant bright copper. decent carbonation can be seen. some particulate can be seen as well. one finger white head dies pretty quick. so-so retention.

S: mostly fruity. dried raisins and apricots. not citrus. an earthy note as well. grass.

T: interesting hop flavor. not typical to an AIPA. mild fruit, not a pungent earth or citrus or pine. a little grassy on the palate as well. a touch of rich sugar in the raw right at the finish.

M: soft creamy carbonation on a medium body.

D: seriously lacking the american hop blast i was expecting from an AIPA. definitely better examples out there.

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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 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 meathookjones
2.41/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz Bomber. This pours out an extremely clear golden yellow color with a nice sized white head of foam. Head retention is decent and it leaves a nice lace about the glass. The nose is fairly mild with a grassy hop aroma being the main ingredient and a slight caramel malt starts to come through as it warms. A very yeasty and grainy taste to this, very similar to many macros. Not much else going on with the taste other than a foul after taste that does stick around for a while. Mouthfeel is fine and drinkability is defiantly put off by the taste. Not recommended.

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Golden IPA from Legend Brewing Co.
3.32 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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