Golden Era | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

296 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Golden EraGolden Era

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Golden Shower is brewed with all continental pilsner malt and hopped with the finest noble hops.

This beer is dry-hopped in the conditioning tank for 8 weeks.

80 IBU

Added by Jason on 03-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 325
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is essentially a more hopped pilsner and a lot of malting. You get the bitterness in the finish, the malt up front. To the European I shared with, it certainly was not a pilsner. My notes show I did not think as much of this as the Samuel Adams in this style. It was still a good way to kick back a summer day on a long weekend, with the alcohol kick setting up a very long nap. Body and medium plus mouthfeel.

 415 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one back in early 2009, bought it from a local 6 pack shop when I was first getting into beers. For some reason this one was kept behind the counter and out of reach by the common customer. When it caught my eye I bought a bottle of it along with a 120 Minute IPA just for the hell of it.

Got the bottle home and chilled it, poured it out sometime after and looked over it's typical pale golden yellow color. The head was foamy and white, leaving a slight lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer wasn't like a traditional pilsner aroma, there seemed to be a lot more to it than that. The smell of honey and fresh grains were in there and a pretty good amount of hops too. The taste of the beer had a nice sweet malt base with some booze in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very drinkable, one of the smoother beer I had tried at the time. Overall this beer actually had a good kick to it, I remember feeling a good buzz after drinking it. I kind of wish this one wasn't retired but I guess there isn't much I can do about it.

 1,040 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A welcome addition to the Central KY area (the state; not the jelly). Despite the controversy of the name of the beer, I had wondered if the beer was worth the hype. Turns out fine; nothing to jump up and down about, but little to criticize either. A brighly colored straw beer with vibrant co2, airy head retention that laced well through the durration. Aromas of strong Pilsner malts, pears, apples, and raw corn syrups set the tone for the sweetness in the nose and flavors. A strong freshly-cut grass aroma result from the comlementary hop additions. Not overly complex, but characterful in it's boquet of earthy hops, defyant alcohols and nectar-like sweetness. Somewhat cloying sweetness gives an oily sensation in the mouthfeel, leaving the beer less clean and drinkable than prefered. Finishes much the same, with the alcohols working hard to thin the beer while the hops try to dry it out. This beer reminds me much of the Liquor De Malt. A neat brew, but not one that I would go for often.

 999 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer porn to look at - pours a hazy golden color with a prodigious head that lasts and lasts and leaves thick gobs of lace along the side of the glass

Smell: Tremendous caramel graham cracker aroma, with a touch of grassy hops and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a rich graham cracker flavor with a developing bitterness arriving at mid-palate; after the swallow, more bitterness arrives but this beer is more about the malt bill

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I was really hoping for more hops in this brew but it is very sweet and fails to hit the style very well; nonetheless, I'll drink it but I expected something very different

 690 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High clarity golden tone, crystal clear. A finger of foam settles, and thin rings of lacing easily form. Mild aroma of pilsner malt when the bottle is first opened, but over time it gets a little too boozy.

First impression is that it is like a Czech Pilsner, but with a much bigger body and lush mouthfeel. Mildy astringent noble hops, clean and lightly malty at first. It's strength is apparent in the taste, amplified some by the dry, bitter hop bite in the finish. Herbal and floral character to the hops, a little grapefruit rind, pretty nice.

Once is enough for me, the ABV is a little high for the style, although it is balanced and enjoyable.

12 oz. single from Dicarlo's in Mundelein.

 698 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a small foamy head with some retention but no lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some dry European hops. Taste is a weird mix between a very sweet malt base with some dry hops at the end. Body is quite full with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I thought this was way too sweet and not the best form this usually interesting brewery.

 389 characters

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

A - Large white head. Settles to a thin film, but leaves very thick lace clinging to the walls of the glass. Orange/ amber color, slightly hazy.

S - Sweet and fruity. Spicy belgian yeast smell.

T - Syrupy sweet, spicy/ yeasty. Finishes hoppy.

M - Fairly high carbonation and heavy, mouth coating body.

D - The sweetness and thickness of the body make it hard to drink a lot of this, but the flavor is quite nice. I would consider it more of a strong golden ale than an imperial pilsner. Quite good, but it would be better if it was dryer.

 551 characters

Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner a deep clear rich golden with a large blooming sticky white head that clung to the glass as it settled slowly.Big vinious hop aromas herbal and citric with that green tea element that a few others have noted a bit of iron and residual sweetness as well more like a APA to me really.Hops dominate the palate as well cascade-like citric tones and some soft herbal notes,there is an underlying sweetness wich becomes more prevelent as it warms.Iam a hop head no doubt about it but when I drink a impy pilsner I want more pilsner qualities,Sam Adams version was more raw and not so "Americanized",still not bad.

 629 characters

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

He who hesitates is lost.... well, at least I lost my very funny review because I took too long to write it. Anyway, the basic premise was this, that DFH's GS is surprisingly restrained for the style given their propensity for going overboard. And, unless I'm mistaken, this is "Prescription Pils" re-named as the ATF wouldn't allow "prescription" on the label.

I tasted it from a fresh bottle (15 days past bottling) and was initially surprised that it's filtered. The head could have been better. It had the smell I thought Liquor de Malt should have had (where are all of the hops in this one?). The malt character was nice; and the alcohol was well-heeled. I thought it could use more hop flavor and aroma, but I appreciated the fact that it wasn't overloaded with bitterness. I enjoyed it. I didn't think it was a good value - I'm more interested in the beer than the packaging - but I'd drink it again. I guess mostly I'm interested in the idea of a "double pilsner".

 976 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 pint-9.6oz. bottle into a pilsner pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very fruity (citrus & berries), with a heavy background of malt, hops & grain.

T: A fruity sweet and boozy flavor hits you first and dominates the taste. Caramelized malt and some hops follow as the alcohol burn flares up a bit. It tastes like a dialed down version of their 120 Minute IPA.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Tasty, a little bit filling, definitely a sipper, not quite what I had expected, but DFH seems to have that effect with their beers. A good beer, but it’s not one that would choose right off the bat.

 796 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2007. What do you know, while rifling through the pockets of an old suit coat (mine, not a dead man's), I found these notes for Golden Era from either late '07 or early '08. It leaves me wondering where else I've randomly stuffed away beer notes.

Appearance: Pours a clear, appropriately golden-hued body with an inch and an inch alone of snow white foam.

Smell: Sweet-scented pilsner malt aroma yielding some honeyish tones, along with notes of orchard fruits and zesty Continental hops.

Taste: Generous addition of pale and pilsner malts, developing some flavors of honey and grain to culminate into a taste reminiscent of the honey variety of Teddy Grahams. Hint of Honey Crisp apples. Spicy, floral, subtly herbaceous Noble hop character with a moderate amount of bitterness. Increasingly dry as you head towards the finish, though the beer still finishes a bit sweet and heavy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A bit heated, a bit heavy, though years later from these old notes, I've had hotted and heavier. Ah, Golden Era/Shower... back in a simpler, bygone time when the notion of a Double or Imperial Pilsner was really quite a novelty. Now, they're pretty much mainstream, but is the world a better place for that?

 1,301 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Equal parts orange and gold with nary a hop fleck to sully the pristine nature of the beer. I prefer hop flecks. Bubbles of various sizes and speeds ascend to a wonderful looking, hop resinous cap of pale banana. Although it has barely fallen in the several minutes since the pour, I'm beginning to see a tremendous array of lace-like lace on every available square inch of glass. It's hard to beat the head and lace combination on hopped-to-the-gills beer.

What happened to the hops? This bottle is still less than 5 months old so there's no way that a supposedly gargantuan amount of noble hops have had time to fade this completely. DFH may have used nothing but pils malt, but it smells like they toasted it pretty generously. The hops are more fruity than anything else (odd for nobles) and are on the bottom few rungs of the pungency scale.

Golden Shower is, by far, the worst of the now four American Double Pilsners that I've had. I had hoped for a massive, raucously hoppy hop bomb, but didn't expect much more than a moderately hoppy one. The result is quite a bit south of my expectations. Like the nose, I can't believe that this beer was ever very hoppy if it smells and tastes like this well shy of its half year bottling anniversary.

Like far too many of this brewery's other offerings, alcohol is a prominent member of the flavor profile. In fact, it tastes as if a fair amount of Liquor De Malt found its way into this bottle. The beer is much more malty than it is hoppy and tastes like a 'golden' barley wine or a strong golden ale. Actually, a big ass helles bock is closer to the mark. I'm stunned at the lack of hops in what is meant to be a hop-focused style.

As might be expected with so much malt onboard, the body is on the full side of medium and each mouthful finishes with a great deal of slickness, without much actual stickiness. Trouble is, the carbonation is too fine-bubbled to lighten things up sufficiently and the mouthfeel is rather drab and lifeless as a result.

I have an exceptionally high tolerance for the stupid and the sophomoric, so the name of this beer doesn't bother me in the least. It's a bit over the top, though, to put a spurting bidet on the urine yellow label. I can't say that I'm broken up that the next iteration of Golden Shower will have a different name. That's of much less concern to me than that DFH come up with a better beer. It shouldn't be all that difficult.

 2,433 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes. Thanks to Greg for opening this up for us to try.

A: Golden era was a clear copper/brown color with a small, slightly off-white head on top. Decent retention, but minimal lacing.

S: Overloaded with caramel and butterscotch, a bit oxidized. There was a little bit of pilsner malt and some light fruit.

T: Similar to the aroma, but the caramel and butterscotch were not as strong. The pilsner and pale malts came through stronger, also with a little bit of grain and some honey. Slight floral hop presence.

M: Medium bodied with slightly low carbonation, probably due to age.

O: Wasn't expecting too much out of this one, but not bad at all. Would have loved to have tried back when it originally came out.

 733 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a goblet at the brewpub in Rehobeth.
A - Appears golden w/ a thin white head. There is relatively little lace to speak of.

S - Malty, pilsner scents.

M - Medium to full feel w/ a dry slightly bitter quality and mellow carbonation.

T - The lager really begins to shine when the taste kicks in. Big flavor of hops up front which are bitter and piney w/ a spice aspect in the finish. I tasted this in the bottle at Gaithersburg and it had more malt presence, but the hops really shine in the draft version. I enjoyed the malty pilsner flavors. The malts take over as it warms. The taste is big yet very smooth. Pleasant herbal hops are the focus of the flavor overall.

D - Very tasty and big Pils flavor. I could see this getting old...probably never. A very drinkable beer for one that is 9% Maybe the easiest drinking 9% I have had. This is the only double pilsner I have tasted, but is not one that should be missed.

 930 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark straw/light gold color, clear. Modest but long lasting head that leaves steady ring lace on the glass.

Very mild aroma for an extreme beer. More malty than hoppy. It looks like this might just be starting to skunk.

This is a drier beer, but the malt makes a presence in the beginning. The hop finish is not overpowering but leaves a lingering aftertaste that is very favorable. This beer has the body of skim milk with nearly a perfect level of carbonation.

This is a very deceptive beer. There is no indication of the alcohol level and it is very easy to drink.

 570 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After missing out on the DFH Prescription Pils at the Penn Brew Fest a few year's back, I'm glad to finally track down Sam's interpretation of the Imperial Pils in a 750ml portion. Appearance is Deep golden almost amber transluscent with huge billowing white head seems thick upon the pour retention is great lacing left behind is even and symmetrical in rings with each sip. Aroma contains a great vinous hop character off the bat with herbal and grassy highlights coming through very aromatic but the malt seems heavier handed here than the hops do with big syrupy biscuit malt layers and presence of alcohol tinging the nostrils. Taste is full of unrefined raw malt sweetness infused with raw grassy herbal hop flavors and a bit of citrus fruit. Balance is lost with this one, the malts definitely shine over the hop profile but it's still enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied syrupy texture with oily hop resins apparent on the palate. Drinkability...I had not trouble with the 750ml portion I wish that the malt layers would have subsided abit to the hop profile other than that it was a great interpretation of the style, although I preferred Sam Adams version for both taste and value. I spent ten bucks for this one and I don't feel jaded definitely worth the experience especially after looking forward to trying it for so long.

 1,346 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber with a crème head that leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is, well, boring really. Flavor is just okay. It is smooth and even, but interesting? Definitely not. I would expect much more from DH. But hey. At least it is smooth. Feel is low on carbonation. Liquid is okay as well. I figured this was going to be more interesting than it turned out being. There really ended up being little that impressed me with this one.

 441 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nacir69 for this bottle...

Pours bright golden yellow with plenty of clarity and a one-finger white head that eventually becomes a patch. Head retention not bad for abv.

The smell is of grainy malt and fusel alcohol. Some fruitiness - though it seems like it's coming more from the alcohol than from the hops.

The taste is of grainy malt with alcohol. Some metallic notes come through (reminiscent of some Czech lagers). It supposedly has noble hops - the grain and alcohol overpowers them. The metallic notes are there even as it warms to room temperature. Fruitiness comes from the noticeable alcohol. Sweetish finish.

It is full-bodied, but slick.

I'm surprised at the drinkability for abv and for lack of full flavor. More grassy/hay (pilsner) qualities would be welcomed, as would more noble hop character. An "interesting" "experimental" brew that was interesting enough to experience, but went in the wrong direction for a repeat.

 953 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, bottled on 3-21-06, pours orangey amber, clear with an eggshell (thanks venom) tiny bubble head, leaving plenty of fine and sticky lacing as well as long lasting sheeting. Hope nose with just a hint of alcohol lurking in the rear. Green apple sweetness, grassy hoppyness and definite alcohol warming going on. Strong, heady, flavorful and bold. Probably would benefit from a nice one year rest in a cool dark place, but well worth enjoying now.

 458 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/28/06- Purchased at a specialty store in Missoula, MT.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Bottle date is listed on the bottle. Poured into my Westmalle chalice.

Appearance- Golden as it gets. Deep molten gold in color. 1/2 inch very creamy looking head with large patches of lace.

Smell- Good amount of alcohol fumes. Strong grainy nose. The same goes for the pungent hops. Good combo.

Taste- Fresh havested grain with in your face hops. The alcohol is there, but you can't tell as much in the taste as you can the nose. Seems a touch sugary as well.

Mouthfeel- Thick and coating with a medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- One of the better example of the double pils I've had. Very quenching and drinkable. Hope they decide to make this one again.

 766 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear orange in color with a thick 3" head that lasts quite a while. Nice lacing develops. No visible carbonation.

Smell: tons of floral hops, citrus, and grass.

Taste: very malty with a big floral bitterness, orange and grapefruit citrus, grass, and a bit of alcohol and overall dryness. Definite big flavor beer here.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp and dry throughout. The aftertaste is long on the bitterness and malts.

Drinkability: Nicely drinkable for a beer that acts like a meal. Definitely worth seeking out.

 558 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to wheelinshirt for this brew.

Golden Shower
750ml Bottle

Poured into a DFH glass a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger white head, lots and lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight hops, some spices, pepper, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, some spices, and caramel. Has a nice sweetness at first, and finishes a little bitter and dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, I like this one, very tasty, recommended.

 493 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich pale malt scent along with some bisquit notes and a light hop aroma. The taste is decent. It's a real basic recipe. It seems like there is a butt load of pale malts along with some Munich as well. It's rich and sweet with a bold warming finish. The hop flavor is mild. I guess the continuous hopping acts to mellow it out a bit instead of hitting you all at once with a bold hop taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer, but like most DFH beers, it's one and done for me. They're too big and not that good IMO. I'd like to see these guys go back to making session beers that are extreme.

 779 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is not my favorite style, as I often think it intensifies the lager tanginess in a way that I don't like. This beer and the Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner are two of the exceptions. While this beer is decent, I have to say I like the Sam Adams better simply for its sheer hop extravagance. This beer pours a dark golden with a wispy head that fades a little too quickly. Some slight lacing. The smell is of spicy, tangy malt. The flavor is an interesting blend of tangy lager yeast and a big hitof bitter, earthy hops with a touch of citrus. Quite dry finish. The mouthfeel is creamy, crisp, and full bodied. Nicely balanced. If it weren't so hoppy, the tang would get to me.

 686 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head curved pint glass.

Golden Era is a glowing beer, casting a big bright golden color bordering on straw yellow like hay. It's pilsnery with a bright white billowy head that's a inch up with staying power, and sticking power as well. Smell is str8 forward, pilsner malt blasting out the ying yang, knowing dogfish, they used a ton of this variety and it shows in smell and taste. Some tropics and bubblegum as well. This tastes a lot better than many imy pilz out there, they just don't cut the mustard, Era gets the job done while remaining in style with a big back. Tastes include pilsner malt up front, light fruits, a nice faint earthy hopping with some tropics. I like how the hay I get in alot of pilsners is muted here. The feel is a nice medium, greatly carbed and lively on the tounge, kinda bitey, not killer though. Gotta knock some points on drinkability as I cant gulp this like a lighter pilsner, It's not a knock on the beer, it tastes good, but not as easy going as most in style. I like DFH better when the beer is under 10%, beyond that, things get fishy.

 1,103 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Golden Era from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 325 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.