In The Tasting Room: Holy Mackerel's Special Golden Ale 2012

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Friday's here, so it's time for beer.

Every Friday, so long as the creek don't rise, this beer enthusiast will take a look at a Florida beer that, hopefully, should be readily available in a local shop or on tap at your favorite bar.

Time to delve into another Floridian made beer. This week we're going to focus on a bottle entry from the Fort Lauderdale founded Holy Mackerel Brewery. First, a little history!

The varied series of Holy Mackerel beers comes from a lineage built in homebrew. Bob Gordash, a local from Fort Lauderdale, began homebrewing in 1993 and entered his extra special bitters in the 1996 Sam Adams World Homebrew Contest.

"Out of 800 plus contestants," he says. "I was one of 10 chosen as semifinalists and flown to Boston to brew my beer on their system. In the end I was one of three selected winners with a free trip to Europe, a cash prize and my recipe being bottled and distributed in the marketplace under the 'Longshot' label."

So with that historical precedent, in 1999 Gordash founded Holy Mackerel, and produces the beers we know today. Panic Attack and Mack in Black may be more well known in the area, especially when being poured out of the fancifully colorfully clad 'tap car', but we are going to look at a 'vintaged' Special Golden Ale 2012.

This is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale that asserts itself with a 'strong' 8.5% abv. We start by pouring into a snifter glass. There's a nice foamy head that dissipates at a moderate rate. It's got a very pleasant orange-straw color. Aroma of candy sugar and that signature pilsner malt smell. The taste begins with a little sour apple, then delves deep into the grainy mouthfeel that is highly carbonated, very bubbly. It finishes with a yeasty character, with sugar notes still around. The lace and foamy head don't stay around too long; this is no glass clinger.

As it warmed up, more of the fruitiness opened up, which is appreciated from a Belgian styled beer, but be warned not to let it get too warm. It does not hold up closer to room temperature. This should be enjoyed on the cooler side.

All in all, this Belgian pale carries with it a bit of a high carbonation (Maybe younger bottles will be less aggressive?) and some grainy yeast character to make it enjoyable for those seeking a milder Belgian-style beer to take in.

Want to try the beers local? Luckily we have the Mack House, the nano brewery component to the Holy Mackerel family. There, beer lovers can sample the core flavors of the Mackerel brand, as well as experience the one-off and limited supply creations we've all come to love and expect from our local brewing establishments.

The Mack House is located at 9118 W. State Road 84 Plantation. Call 954-474-5040.

As always, drink good beer, and #drinklocal.

Beer things in your Twitter feed - Follow me @DougFairall

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