It’s not exactly breaking news that Toppling Goliath makes deliciously hoppy beer. The Decorah, Iowa-based brewery’s signature pale ale pseudoSue and imperialized version King Sue are two of the best beers not only in the Toppling Goliath portfolio, but in the entire pale ale landscape.
As good as both Sues are, it was another one of the brewery’s flagships that captured my palate this year. Golden Nugget is an IPA brewed with a heavy dose of Golden Promise malt and Nugget hops that delivers huge citrus and tropical flavors with a bold bitter punch.
It’s hard to find a more gorgeous pour than a glass of Golden Nugget. It’s a vibrant, golden-orange color with plenty of haze and a creamy white head that sticks around. What separates Golden Nugget from other hazy IPA is how that haze holds the light and accentuates the color of the beer. It’s cloudy, but not turbid, and could never be mistaken for a glass of orange juice.
Golden Nugget makes the most of its 6.8% ABV and 45 IBUs while remaining smooth, balanced, and highly drinkable.”
The aroma is stunning—huge notes of sweet tangerine, pineapple, and mango fill the room. The sweet fruit is backed up by bright grassiness and bitter, resinous pine. Golden Nugget smells like a fruit smoothie with a dose of underripe mango.
Each sip of Golden Nugget floods the palate with layer of fruit flavor. Sweet orange and pineapple, bright mango and bitter grapefruit notes jump forward. All this fruit coupled with some floral sweetness steers Golden Nugget to the sweeter side of the IPA spectrum, up until a wallop of the evergreen flavor creates a bitter and earthy finish. Despite the heavy dose of flavor and bitter finish, Golden Nugget is easy to drink thanks to a creamy, soft mouthfeel.
Golden Nugget makes the most of its 6.8% ABV and 45 IBUs while remaining smooth, balanced, and highly drinkable. It packs the citrus and tropical fruit flavors as well as aromas typically reserved for the most sought after hazy IPAs, all without neglecting the bitterness and balancing all that sweetness. Not bad for a highly distributed year-round offering out of Iowa.