Caldera Pale Ale - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Caldera Pale AleCaldera Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

385 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 385
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 12
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 08-22-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 385 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey orange with a 1 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of citrus zest and herbal hop flavors up front with a malt flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink but I prefer the way this one tastes over the way it smells.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to schmoopsbeer for sending this can out my way. Served in a tulip.

Pour yields a transparent golden-hued brew with a good off-white head with some large bubbles of foam. Good staying power and a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose is light and grassy with some citrusy hops coming through on the back-end. A bit of tangerine, as best as I can describe. The flavor profile is a bit grainy at first, followed by some grassy hops, and then there is a touch of bitterness in the finish. However, there is some grain tannin there as well. Not terribly pleasant. Light body with moderate carbonation. Can't get past the graininess of this. Not all too drinkable.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a modest head that quickly fades (just like the IPA; lacing is a bit better than the IPA but not much

Smell: As with the IPA, there is just something a little funky going on with the aromatics; the pale ale aroma is there, but there is a metallic and cat litter aspect that doesn't do it for me; this one is not nearly as rank as the IPA, however

Taste: As with the IPA, the taste makes up for the poor aroma; opens biscuity, with pithy grapefruit and pine flavors building by mid-palate; after the swallow, the two elements blend nicely and provide a balanced, somewhat woodsy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Another tasty beer from Caldera; as the aroma of the pale ale is not as off-putting as the IPA, I'll mark it higher on the scale

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well balanced between caramel maltiness and citrusy hops, this beer exemplifies the Pale Ale style nicely.

An expected deep golden to light copper color does the beer pour. Froathy head character amounts to an inch or so before settling it's white lace on the glass. Good retention, but great on lacing. A classic Pale Ale appearance.

Caramel, spice, and hops blend in the nose for the impression of graham crackers, orange rinds, and a touch of ginger. Very appealing aroma that doesn't let the hops nor the malt gain precidence.

Sweet maltiness sets the tone for taste with a medium caramel flavor, cracker-like breadiness, and a light grainy or crusty taste that gives a slight bite that ushers in the hop flavor and bitterness. Grapefruit, orange zest, and light grassy notes peak through early, but grow in intensity until the malt sweetness waivers, giving the finish and aftertaste a decidedly bitter ending to an otherwise balanced beer.

Malt sweetness gives a fuller, rounder sensation to the mouth, while the hops and moderate alcohol provide a drying and crispening finish. Though not complete in dryness or crispness in finish, the beer holds onto enough malt character to attempt balance deep in the finish and aftertaste.

With relatively low/no flaws in execution, the recipe formulation leads to a somewhat one-dimentional caramel malt sweetness that wears on the palate and hurts the sessionability of the beer. And with the standard malt/hop balance, there's not much intrigue to keep me comming back.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey with the slightest suggestion of orange. The attractive, cream colored head looks to be high in hop oils; at least I hope so. The glass residue is so fine and spider web-like that it resembles actual lace. Drinking this beer out of the can and missing an appearance like this should be a criminal offense.

The nose is outstanding (see 'drinking... can... criminal offense' above) and puts a huge number of IPAs to shame. The pithy pungency of the Cascade hops fairly leaps out of the glass, with the overall aroma made deeper and more interesting by a much lesser quantity of spicy Perle hops. Great job Caldera. Even if the flavor is on the pedestrian side, the nose is a world-class sprinter.

The flavor doesn't measure up to those stratospheric heights, but that's not to say this isn't a deliciously hoppy pale ale. Emphasis on hoppy. The brewers made sure their beer would last a good, long while by packaging it in light-rejecting aluminum and by adding an impressive amount of hops. Sweet, spicy and juicy white grapefruit is front, center and back. I love the slight variation on the usual Pacific NW flavor profile that the German hops provide.

APAs don't need to be complex to suit me (this one isn't), they just need to be bursting with pale malt-supported bitter hoppiness (this one is). There's enough sweetness on hand to keep things kinda, sorta balanced from a hophead's perspective, although the pucker factor is still decidedly high. The mouthfeel is light-medium and perfectly carbonated; the better to down a few cans on a hot summer day without a second thought.

Caldera Brewing Company is anything but a household name (unless one lives in Ashland, Oregon or its environs), but this little brewery has just provided me with the best beer that I've ever had out of a can. I was tempted to say 'that I'll ever', but ever is a long time. I do know this, it's unlikely to be topped for a very long time.

Photo of jaydoc
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one in a BIF recently and it was the first thing I grabbed out of the fridge when I got home on Friday. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 07/31/2009.

Appearance - One of the best pours from a pale ale you could possibly ask for. Seriously. Big head of white foam on top that barely falls back down to earth. Wonderful clear amber color that really just looks the part perfectly. Lots of carbonation creeping up the glass throughout And a really nice coating of spider like webbing.

Smell - Aroma is lighter then I would have thought. Nice light grains, a touch of piney hops. As it warms a bit of citrus starts to come though, but again, lighter then I would have thought.

Taste - Crisp, clean, the first sip has a biting touch to it as the pine and citrus start to roll through. Nice grains come in mid palate and then it rolls right back into a nice and dry bitter finish. Clean aftertaste leaves you to come back and look for a bit more.

Feel - Light, airy and well carbonated. I had no issue at all with going forward with this one. The feel matched the overall experience very nicely.

Drinkability - Session able, very nice and clean and easy drinking. Again had really no issue at all with putting this one away.

Overall - Solid. Nothing earth shattering here but very solid. I would not mind at all grabbing a six pack and heading to the beach. Really very well done.

Photo of womencantsail
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: An amazingly clear, golden pour from can into glass with a fluffy white head that sits on top.

S: Just as a pale ale should be: a refreshing citrus aroma with a mild pine to let you know that it still means business.

T: Again, a perfect example of a pale ale. A nice clean, refreshing citrus flavor followed by a nice bitter bite on the finish.

M: The beer is light and moderately carbonated, but still has a fairly substantial feel on the tongue.

D: This must be what Bud is talking about. These guys sure know how to make a great session pale and IPA. I'm glad to see these beers become more easy to come by in CA.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, yellow-orange body with a thin, wispy white head.

Smell: Aroma of herbal, citrus hops accompanied by a honey-laden maltiness.

Taste: Mild pale malts with a bit of toastiness and a soft honey-like sweetness. Citrus and bitter herbs. Medium bitterness. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fair pale ale, but I gotta say I enjoyed the Caldera IPA far, far more.

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fellow BA Roger for giving me this can the other night,poured into a standard pint glass a lighter pale golden with a thinner white head that left minmimal lace as it settled quickly.Fresh cascade hop aroams pine and leafy with a bit of firm biscuit malt,again fresh hoppy flavors quit citric and subdued pine with that firm lightly sweet biscuit/caramel base.An old school left coast pale here alot of hop flavor with a dose of lightly sweet malt,solid.

Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden amber with the slightest haze and a nice sticky two finger head.

Smell: Lots of signature cascade aroma - citrusy with a touch of pine.

Taste & mouthfeel: Juicy citrus hop flavors supported by a dry biscuity malt backbone. Medium-light in body, crisp, dry. Moderate bitterness in the finish, though it doesn't linger too long. Very clean stuff, and incredibly drinkable. This reminds me quite a bit of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but more raw and flavorful.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Thinking "caldera" was uniquely defined by the volcano feature, I was surprised to find the dictionary telling me that the term came from the Spanish word for "cauldron", hence the image on the cans. (The more you know...) Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunshine amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mildly-sweet biscuit, pine, and plenty of flowers. Something about these Caldera beers, they all have a pleasant floral quality. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a hint of lemon peel in the background. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a tasty little pale ale, nothing special, but an enjoyable little can.

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with gold highlights. It had a foamy, fizzy, one-finger layer of white foam that left minimal lacing.

S - It had a moderately grassy aroma with notes of orange. It also had a gentle caramel scent.

T - It tastes of bitter grassy hops with a snappy, spice flavor. The ale also had a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was sharp and lively on the tongue. A light bodied pale ale.

D - This is a pleasant tasting pale ale. It's nice to have a sessionable ale in a can.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although my can sloshed about (it was short-filled and measured exactly 11 ounces), it didn't seem to affect the flavor or carbonation. I noticed no oxidation whatsoever. It poured a just-slightly-hazy golden body beneath a short head of frothy white foam. The head dwindled down to a creamy surface covering, and then shrank away to a wide collar and whispy surface covering; leaving behind tiny-spotted walls of lace. Bright hops, sweetish malt, and yeasty fruitiness greeted me in the nose, expressing soft citrus, sweetish grainy malt, berries, and cut-grass. It's soft carbonation and medium-light body left it remarkably smooth across the palate. The flavor delivered a rich maltiness upfront that wasn't quite caramelish or toasty, but headed there; followed by an influx of grassy and citrusy hop flavors; and then some berry-like fruitiness at the swallow. The bitterness roses up strong, and although some sticky malt lingered in the mouth, it was bitter, dry, grassy and spicy in the finish. It lingered momentarily with some strength, and then faded to a dull bitterness, leaving me ready for another sip. Quite the little charmer, I say! I love the flavor transition from quaint, sweetish, straight-forward and non-caramelish maltiness, to bold, grassy, citrusy, and bitter hops!!! The apple-ish and berry-like fruitiness is just the icing on the cake that ties the two together. Well-balanced with a very nice complexity and full character, and still not overdone. Worth trying!

Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold with several fingers of foamy cream colored head. 1/4 finger of smooth retention stays strong, leaving some good spotty lacing back. The aroma is very pleasant smelling, being floral and a touch spicy with a steady underpining of citrus and toasted malts.

The taste is citric with some buttery bread and a dab of caramel. This tightens into a firmer bitterness towards the back of the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an easy and creamy overall feel but I was pleased to find a bit of firmness underneath as well that adds some gravitas to the body.

Very solid Pale Ale here with a nice tight profile that is solidly drinkable. I'm digging the portibility of this in cans as well. I'm definitely looking foward to more of these.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very malty on many ends on this one. On the flavor profile, I get a lot of twig and wood tones, but not wood as in barrel; wood as in trees. But not trees as in "trees", but as in trees. 420 nerds, you'll get that last part. Anyways. this seems to come up a bit short honestly. I'd hope for some more bite and vibrance coming from a beer out of Oregon that utilizes hops. That aside, it's an alright ale, I suppose. Wish they'd put some dates on the bottom of these cans.

Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach DE, poured chilled from the 12oz can into a half pint.

A - A moderately clear pale golden w/ a 2 1/2 finger cap that is cream colored. The head is rocky w/ a fine bead, light haze (hops) w/ light lace that collects like dripping paint streaks

S - More pine scents from hops than anything but full of aroma all the same w/ mild malt accent and hint of floral aroma

M - The feel is medium w/ crisp effect of sufficiently bitterness, medium carbonation w/ mellow toasted notes and a semi-dry finish w/ mild alcohol in the feel

T - The crispness of the flavor in the malt is noted and followed immediately by a pine + citrus hop taste. The bitterness is prominent and subsides gradually into a light toasted note like baked biscuits which is well blended under layers of bitter tasting spicy pepper and pine. The flavor has a mild citrus pinch in the finish w/ more rind taste than flesh of fruit. The bread crumb-like malt taste is trailing w/ dry leafiness and mild alcohol as it finishes

D - A bitter pale mainly to put it lightly, more like a light IPA. A tasty ale no matter which side of the fence it's on, though. I would probably try this again.

Photo of russpowell
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden with 1 finger of eggshell white head. good head retention & lacing

S: Slight lemony & grassy hop notes, plus a bit of breadyness

T: Lemony & grapefruitty hops; plus a bit of honey malt up front. Some grainyness & grapefruit hops as this warms. Finishes crisp with a load of grapefruit

MF: Light/ medium bodied with lively carbonation that really show cases the hops, for better or worse. Skews too hoppy, makes me think IPA more than APA

Drinks pretty easy despite the OTT hoppyness.. still a solid APA

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of WesWes
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent with some bisquity notes and a mild citrus hop aroma. There is a creamy/bready character to it. The taste is good as well. It has a good hop bite up front along with a balance of pale and bisquit malts. It's quite a hoppy APA. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking pale ale. It's crisp and bitter and very enjoyable.

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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Caldera Pale Ale from Caldera Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.