Chad9976 (1583) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 16, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
One of the best parts of this job is re-reviewing a beer that was originally bad, but I now find to be pretty good. I originally reviewed Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale back in 2010 and was not impressed by it. In retrospect it was probably just a poorly-handled bottled. Drinking it in 2015 I find it to be a surprisingly solid Belgian Strong Pale Ale. It has all the qualities you want in the style; it just doesnít go above and beyond is all.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. I couldnít decipher the bottling code, though the label bears a 2015 vintage indication. It cost $2.49 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark gold to orange in color. Body is initially quite clear with consistent carbonation visible at all times. Pours to a fairly nominal, white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.
Smell: The usual Belgian characteristics of banana, clove and general spice; only mild.
Taste: Looking back at it, Iím surprised I disliked this beer so much when I first tried it. Though not exactly a shining example of the style, I will say it at least conforms to the style pretty well. Just like the nose, thereís flavors of banana, clove, cinnamon, and apple cider in the palette. Though some of those components might be due to flaws of some sort. Itís sweet but not overly so. The spiciness from the yeast helps to balance it out, though I donít get much in the way of hop distinctiveness other than a subtle, dry bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable and creates for slight rum-like flavor, but itís tolerable.
Drinkability: Though quite big at 8.5% ABV, Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale is not a challenge to drink. Effervescent to be sure, though I find the carbonation to complement the palate quite well. It helps accentuate the spiciness. Thereís warmth from the alcohol, but it is not distracting or burning. It finishes rather dry, too, which is nice.
rumproasts (4698) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JUL 7, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Golden orange with small head. Reminds me of a Tripel. Sweet with Belgian spice. Decent.
ICEatALAMO (1243) - Troy, Michigan, USA - JAN 23, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle '11 vintage. The pour is a dull hazy orange. The aroma is belgian yeast, with plum notes. The taste is bold belgian ale. This nails the style and maybe the age has done this very well.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
blackflag321 (611) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 14, 2014
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draft with meal. Okay strong, golden ale. But not one I will need to try again.
elbernays (1110) - Dublin, IRELAND - OCT 23, 2014
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle from Kings supermarket orlando. Pours cloudy yellow. Aroma is banana, bread, yeast. Flavour follows nose. Light body. Short finish. Not great.
NallePalle (416) - Uppsala, SWEDEN - FEB 20, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle, restaurant in Fort Lauderdale FL. Worked nice with Mexican-style food.
frlrv1020 (88) - Miami, Florida, USA - FEB 4, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not as good as Mack in Black but excellent nonetheless. Fruity aroma, we'll balanced. Peach and banana linger on the palate. Medium body.
Jesterdeal (1985) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - AUG 13, 2013
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma of bread, orange peel, and slight clove. Pours hazy blonde with a yeasty small head. Taste is banana, orange peel and a harsh yeast. Nice mouthfeel and not too much booze. A decent offering.
ben4321 (5355) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 9, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Location: 12 oz bottle at a restaurant in Florida, 7/25/13
Aroma: The nose has some yeast/spice to go along with sweet malts
Appearance: This one pours a gold-orange color with a small off-white head
Flavor: The taste is mid-sweet, yeasty, with a good amount of spice, fruit, and a little alcohol
Palate: The body is medium, it has a bit of heat, some stickiness, and a spicy tingle
This was a solid one. It wasnít an amazing beer, but it is certainly worth trying. I could certainly see drinking this one again.
suprchunk (2845) - Crestview, Florida, USA - JUL 31, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy golden colored pour. Big, frothy, white head that slowly fades. Plenty of lacing. Nice sweet malty aroma. Slight fruit notes. Sweet malt taste with some tasty yeast character - fruit mostly. Nice beer.