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 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 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 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 dball
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light golden color as to be expected. It does not lace in the glass and has a quickly disappearing head. The Golden IPA has a hint of an unfiltered musky flavor that scores it some points for me. It is not a hoppy IPA. I'd be curious to know the IBUs. The unfiltered hint improves the mouthfeel and makes it an interesting beer. Over all it's just an average craft beer. I prefer the Legend pale and most appreciate thier barley wine.

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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 Vdubb86
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a mug

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this beer

This pours a cloudy orange color with a frothy white head of foam on the surface. This beer smells faintly of orange peel and not much else. The flavor is pretty weak, what used to be hops has faded into nothingness. The mouthfeel is bitter without the aromatic flavors to help it go along. The overall experience of this beer is highly week. I must admit i really don't care much for this beer. It's an okay beer, but a horrible IPA.

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Photo of engagechad
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

This bottle was purchased as a single 22oz from a gas station (really good beer selection.. they had duck rabbit too) - poured into a pint glass

Poured very carbonated, nice lacing but really thin looking brew. Smelled of faint hops and phenolic notes. Tasted fine, but really kind of like an IPA flavored american lager. Mouthfeel was thin and the brew itself was very drinkable.

Overall. It was just okay. If you're going to get a Legend brew, get the Brown.

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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 StoneTSR
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: True to its name, the Legend Golden India Pale Ale poured out of a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass with a brilliant and transparent golden color. Topped by a thick, fluffy head this beer looks appetizing and refreshing.

SMELL: Typical smell for an IPA. Nothing complicated, just a sweet, floral aroma.

TASTE: The sweetness detected in the nose does not come through in the flavor, instead the Golden IPA is bitter and hoppy. Ordinarily, this is how I would like most IPAs to be, however, the lack of any complexity caused me to grow bored of this beer. There just seems to be something missing.

MOUTHFEEL: What the Golden lacks in complexity, it does make up for in feel. Refreshing, crisp, clean and bubbly are the first words that come to mind. The carbonation rips your thirst away with each sip.

OVERALL: This beer seems to be the exact opposite of the Brown Ale which I reviewed earlier. Whereas the Brown Ale lacked in look and feel, the IPA shined in those two departments, but came up short on flavor. That said, if there was ever an IPA to simply quench your thirst, this is it. Maybe the perfect choice to grab your buddy's just after they've spent the day moving you into your new apartment.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Braudog
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rerated on draft at the brewery, 3/25/07 ... much better than my original rating. It’s very light, looks like a macro with a poofy white head. This is 7% ABV? Wow. I’d never guess. Smooth. Lightly tart and acidicly citric. Nice big gooey consistency. Sessionable. Good.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
2.52/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am guessing this is the right beer...the label says "Golden Ale".

This first one from Legend...pours out a golden color with good clarity. Nice, thick white head leaves good, chunky lacing around the top of the glass.

The aroma is really light. Very faint citrus/floral hops and some lightly roasted malt and grains. I can smell the clementine my wife is eating two rooms away better than I can smell this beer.

The flavor is only slightly better than the smell. Same citrus/floral hops and grainy malt. The flavor is light and lacking. The hops are barely noticeable in this one.

Wow....I hope the Pale Ale I have from them is going to be better. This one is disappointing. I am hoping I can get through this bomber, but I doubt I will.

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Photo of nickss
2.77/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy golden color eith a large 2" foamy head... nice.

Nearly no aroma... where are the hops?! Actually, a light malt presence. Odd and very boring.

Light citrus hop flavour... a little bitter.... not as much malt as in the nose. Interesting, but still pretty boring.

The mouthfeel, while low on carbonation, is hurt by being too light and not having as much in the hop department as I would want from an IPA. There is none of the usual tongue puckering sensation I expect from IPAs.

This brew is drinkable, but for me, not enjoyable.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.43/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to ChuckCook for the chance to try this. Must be the Legend IPA, though only says Legend Ale on the we go!

A: Pours a clear amber peachish color with a frothy one finger white head. Nice sticky lacing forming with good retention.
S: Floral and citrus hop notes. Sweet butterscotch notes and an undercurrent of banana bread. Malt notes? hmmm..
T/M: Floral and citrus fruit hop notes cross the palate. Good hefty background of toasted grain. Slight spicy flavors with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg--what the hell are those flavors doing in there?. Dry grassy finish leads right into a sweet almost pumpkin ale-like aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel--loads of butter. Medium bodied. This is an IPA? Where are the Hops man!?!
D: Drinkable, though a bit too buttery and fruity. I was suprised by the slight spice notes that were detected. An interesting offering from the south, though a bit off for some reason. To me it seemed like a Frankenstein cross between a Pumpkin ale and a Pale Wheat Ale. Weird experience...

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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 copasetic
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a fizzy (large bubbles) head that disappears in a few minutes. Aroma is sweet carmelly malt with a hint of alcohol and minimally hoppy. First taste is rich, fruity, and full of esters with slight hints of banana. Is this an American IPA or some take on Belgian ales? It's hard to tell. There is a core bitterness that endures with this one, but the flavor and aroma components come through weakly.

Overall, this is an interesting brew. In no way is it true to the style of an IPA, but it tastes pretty darned good, nevertheless

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