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Petoskey Pale Ale - Leelanau Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Petoskey Pale AlePetoskey Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

46 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 10
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdogmrb on 09-07-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by techfed87:
Photo of techfed87
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, big frothy head. Color is a cloudy amber. There is a small cloud of heavier sediment that deposits itself near the bottom of the glass, so right off the back you can tell this is an unfiltered beer.

Smell is somewhat sweeter than what I thought it would be. Its almost grape juice like. Very, very tart. Almost like a smartie tart.

First sip is bitter and has the same tart flavor. It's light, flavorful and has a nice kick to it. Very satisfying.

Not as complex as I thought it would be, this still turned out to be a pretty good beer.

techfed87, Mar 09, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of brewdogmrb
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark for a typical Pale Ale -- on the brown side of golden, with a fluffy, rocky white head. Mostly clear, a bit hazy, decent amount of bottle sediment -- funked out for sure.

S: Pure barrel aged, rock infused, Belgian influenced bliss -- Lambic sour and acetic notes, citrus, tropical fruit, etc. Beautiful.

T: Dry, lingering bitterness, relatively light bodied, most of the Lambic like qualities stay in the nose. Like an infected Pale Ale with a more artfully constructed balance.

M: Decent carbonation, balanced body.

D: Very drinkable, refreshing, interesting.

Another score for Leelanau, brewed by Ron Jeffries -- how could it be bad?

brewdogmrb, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of PatrickRNH
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- great look to this brew, big head and cloudy
S- wood and spicy
T- Different from many pale ales I have tasted then again its barrel aged in oak. sweet taste, woody after taste
M- Sweet and woody like the smell
D- wouldn't be a beer I would have to many of.
Overall...I enjoyed it but wouldn't be my type of beer

PatrickRNH, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged several months. Pous medium yellow with lits of white frothy head that leave a lacey trail down the glass. When you get past the funky sweaty smell, its a tasty beer. The thick creaminess, with malt, cushion the mouth. A bit of a funky taste, with oak, with a workout on the tastebuds, some enzymes, lemon, and melon.Enjoyable wild ale.

Sammy, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass. This beer pours a cloudy golden yellow with 2 fingers of thick rocky head. First smell is predominantly wild yeast, very bretty with some crisp green apple in the forefront. It's very musty almost overpowering but not in a bad way. As a fan of sours, its a very addictive smell.

The taste is very different from other pale's, obviously from the spontaneous fermentation, but not as bitter as I'd expect. There's a strong taste of tart green apples, citrus pith and a touch of soap.

It's very carbonated, each bubble giving way to another burst of flavor and calling me for another sip.

This was a great beer, I'd go after this one again.

RocPorterFanatic, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of sbrotschul
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at House of 1000 Beers (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15450) in New Kensington, PA. It was my first time in the store, so I picked up a few guilty pleasures beer -- including three from Leelanau Brewing Company. I had lived in the county and know of the brewers through friends. This was my first time trying their beer.

Appearance. I loved the bottle -- the Petoskey stone on the beach, a "true find" for the lucky beachcomber. The bottle poured smoothly, with a golden to the orange color and a head of beer that was a combination of foam on the water and the color of the white sandy beaches of the shores of Lake Michigan. The head dissolved quickly.

Smell. Belgian, fruits and flowers, the crisp smell was refreshing. Made me wish I was drinking at sunset on the beach rather than on a rainy night in western Pennsylvania.

Taste. Dry, slightly bitter with undertones of citrus (again, making me want the beach). Cool finish ... crisp.

Mouthfeel. A little too bubbly; I do not prefer champange and the first few sips had too many bubbles. The middle of the glass we better.

Overall. A nice, but pricy, bottle of memories for me. I long for my days and look forward to returning to my land in Leelanau County, overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan and the great Sleeping Bear Dunes. When I build my house, I'm picking up a few of these beers to celebrate. Thank you Leelanau Brewing Company -- keep up the great work!

sbrotschul, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

claaark13, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of SpdKilz
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to erikkoppin for getting me this beer. Cheers Erik!
Appearance - Pours a surprisingly dark and cloudy tawny color into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of tan head is achieved that dissipates rather slowly leaving decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Slight lemon zest, brett, must, barnyard funk, a bit of oak, hops, peppery spices, and at the end some caramel and sweet malt. As the beer warms up I smell some leather (more earthy notes), and some berries shine through. A damn fine smelling beer.

Taste - Damn, did that first sip hit the spot. I get a surprising blast of oakiness right off the bat which is followed quickly by the Brettanomcyes in the beer. There is a definite hop oiliness which adds a uniqueness to this beer seeing as this was brewed, I believe, by Jolly Pumpkin and as we all know, JP does not really have hop forward beers. The combination of the hops and brett is a delightful treat. The more I drink this the more the citrus and berries appear, only to be taken over by the must and earthiness. The beer also has a unique malt, caramel, flavor and characteristic. This is an extremely complex beer - much more complex than I can articulate seeing as I am still relatively new to beers but damn, each sip is unique I swear.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, relatively creamy, prickly carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Drinkability - Easily quaffable, though I'm trying to enjoy the subtleties of this beer seeing as I will most likely never be able to try it again. A must try if you come across it and like brett spiked beers that normally aren't. Very enjoyable.

SpdKilz, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tracked down a bottle of this in Ann Arbor, and it was pricey, $12.49/16.9 oz.

Nice shade of auburn orange, lively with dancing streams of bubbles. Sturdy, fluffy head that has a meringue sheen to the surface. The surface actually holds together and shifts to one side as a sip is taken, the whipped cap still intact. Foam has a creamy texture, as does the mouthfeel. Fresh herbs and a dry herbal hop aroma in the nose. Smells good, not unlike Luciernaga or Bam, with some clean pilsner malt and noble hop aroma also. Light bitterness, herbal hops that come through like sage or oregano, dry and leafy. More of a Belgian yeast comes through, and a lightly malty flavor is there in the middle. Very dry finish, with a light tartness. Not sure what the petoskey rocks really contribute. They are a type of fossilized coral native to northern MI, so hey, I learned something today.

You'd think for a nearly $13 pint, there would be a kick from the ABV, but the 5.5% is barely there. It's quenching as most Belgian Pales are, but I could get twice as much Duvel at that price. Strangely my bottle didn't levitate over the ocean at sunset, like it does in the picture above.

emerge077, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of Surlington
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A little more brown than most pale ales. Creamy head with good brussels lace.
S: Biting and floral.
T: Strong hoppy bitterness with an understated citric character.
M: Moderate carbonation, light feel.
D: Easy to drink, but the flavors are extremely assertive, so you might not make it through 2 bottles. At 11 or 12 bucks a pop, they're a little cost-prohibitive for that kind of drinking anyway.

Really distinctive pale ale. Very nice.

Surlington, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of BierFan
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 ounce bottle into a cervoise. The label lists an abv of 5.5%.

Appearance: Huge creamy looking light tan head sits on a hazy orange body. The head never comes close to vanishing, and it leaves lots of foam on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The smell is a combination of oak and sourness due to the wild yeast laden oak barrels at Jolly Pumpkin(where this beer is brewed).

Taste: The taste is sour from the wild yeasts, a little sweet from the malts, mild bitterness and some floral character from the hops, and a little salty tasting probably from the stones put in the barrels during aging.

Definitely the most unique and original pale ale that I've ever had. Pretty tasty too.

BierFan, May 27, 2009
Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy orange amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high white head that has excellent retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Moderate aromas of oak are present in the nose along with hints of brett and associated sourness.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of French oak from the barrel aging and also has a light amount of sourness along with slight amounts of bitterness. Hints of wild yeast and spices are also perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little tart and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This pale ale does a very good job of showcasing the oaky aromas and flavors and the sourness lends some complexity. It was very easy to drink.

metter98, May 13, 2014
Photo of vrazionale
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Very hazy golden brown - definitely one of the murkiest pale ales I've come across. The edges are a bit lighter. Poured a thick head that is reinvigorated with each sip. Bits of head remain on the side of the glass after each sip.

S - First sniff is all yeast. The yeast strains are different here than in other "wild yeast" smells: I get even more musk than usual, less citrus complements, and a touch of minerality and even salt. I'm reminded of a dusty attic with lots of artifacts in boxes: so much to explore! I've never smelled a brew like this one.

T - The minerality really comes to the forefront here - you can actually taste the rocks that were adding to the aging brew! Less tart than I expected from the nose, but still crisp on the palate. The finish is a bit lacking for me - it just dropped off, leaving me with a slight mineral/salt aftertaste. Points for originality, though - not too many drinkable beers can be described as having "minerality," in my experience.

M - This brew doesn't roll off of your tongue like other pale ales, and nor does it try to do so. The steady carbonation is pleasing to my palate, but the disappointing finish left me wanting more.

D - I'm really happy that I tried this beer, for the sake of having tried another of Ron Jeffries' beers. This is a very creative idea for a beer that both hits and misses in different ways. A beautiful look and an exciting nose are met with disappointment at the unbalanced taste profile. I would love to get another bottle, and age it for a few years to see how the flavors develop together. Get your hands on this beer, but don't expect a life-changing experience right away.

vrazionale, May 02, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Thorpe429, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of hopdog
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growing up in MI, I remember there was always something special about having Petoskey Stones. When I walked in the bottle store, while visiting family, the first thing that caught my eye was the picture of the Petosky Stone on the label. It brought back some memories for sure. Not having this before, the Petosky Stone, and knowing Jolly Pumpkin is behind this, made me look past the $11 price tag.

500ml bottle. Poured a medium and cloudy amberish color with a larger sized, frothy, off white head. It also had a pinkish tint to it. Aromas of some funkiness, bretty, wood-oaky, light citrus, cheese rinds, and Petoskey Stones. Well not really on the stones. Tastes of some funkiness, oak, cheese, and lighter fruitiness. Lightly sweet with a light tart finish. Some lacing left on the glass. This one grew on me more and more as I drank it.

Wow, if every American Pale Ale tasted like this one! I wish I bought more of these.

hopdog, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of llikkrad
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is unfiltered and is super complex. The head on this beer is the most amazing thing I have ever seen on a beer as well. I like to watch it fade away until it becomes this little puffy island and then sip away on this delicious beverage. It has slightly sour mineral notes behind subtle hoppy bitterness. The aromas are very outgoing and leave you craving more. This is the kind of beer to serve in a big bordeaux wine glass and just keep smelling it. I also believe that this beer has great age potential. It is great now but I can't wait to watch those mineral earth notes from the Petoskey stones and the open fermentation, wild spontaneous yeasts develop more complexity over the next 5 years.

llikkrad, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Artisinal to its core, the Leelanau brewing adventure leads to the doorstep of Pale Ale- not the Pale Ale of American brewpubs, but the Pale Ales of Belgium. Distinctive with fruit, spice, effervescence and earthiness, this ale has a hidden oaken-soaked story to tell.

Petoskey pours with a billowing and frothy pour that is patient to separate. As it does, a creamy but arid head floats above a rusty copper body beneath. Cottony in its head structure, the lace trickles behind every sip while the hazy beer beneath offers a caldering glow.

Its earthy aromatics perk right up with notions of red grape, apple, nuttiness, and a highly earthy waft of attic wood, cellar must, sea air and fragrant cedar. Spicy notes of pepper, tangy fruit, and gamy mushroom carry across the nasal senses as the first sip looms.

It's early and steely caramel taste seems of light Dubbel ale, but the character of dry malt quickly takes command- its dry grain taste is greeted with a toasted earthiness that harks to the wood usage- cinnamon, sawdust, brine, dried limes and peppercorn frame the middle palate before its taste dives into a finish of piquant zinfindale, straw-like bitterness, and drunken cork.

Dry in its body, the early starchy creaminess is short as the carbonation, acidity and spicy cut right through its sweetness and ushers in a dry and bubbly body that makes the bulk of taste much more appreciated in aftertaste with echoes of dried wood, floral blossoms and earth.

Petoskey is a highly formidable ale that competes on the stage of Matilda, Orval and Maudite, yet it needs a little higher character to garner more traction. It's a bit of a sour-ish beer on training wheels.

BEERchitect, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/10/2013. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy deep orange copper color with a 2-3 finger dense and fluffy off white head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of tart green apple, lemon zest, orange peel, pear, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, oak, musty funk, bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, oak, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart green apple. lemon zest, orange peel, pear, clove, pepper, oak, hay, straw, grass, herbal, musty funk, bread, and yeast/mineral earthiness. Good amount of earthy tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of green apple, lemon zest, orange peel, pear, clove, pepper, oak, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, bread, herbal, and yeast/mineral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, oak, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly prickly/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian pale ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, oak, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of toyfull1
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

toyfull1, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Gtg642
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Gtg642, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of MarcatGSB
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

MarcatGSB, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of SykDoc
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a nice copper/amber color. A 1.5 inch light-tan head forms and reduces to a full coverage lacing. No sediment and mild visible carbonation.

The aroma is very good with a unique mix of citrusy hops and oak, as well as the sourness from yeast.

The taste is again, sour with some citrusy hops and some malty sweetness mixed with oak. There is a raw component to it that I would associate with tap water from a well.

The mouthfeel seemed to be high on a fizzy carbonation which works okay with the taste. It goes down cleanly and leaves a mild tingle on the palate at the finish.

Overall, this is a drinkable beer but room for improvements that could make it more enjoyable. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to get more, but I have at least one more waiting, albeit briefly.

SykDoc, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of TheBronze
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

TheBronze, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this sounds like it might be interesting.

Pours a very foggy brown hued orange with a thick frothy creme head.

Nose is very wild ale-esqe. Funky. And it almost seems like grapes are there too.

Flavor is interesting. Very dry. Definitely high amounts of minerals. I feel like there are two personalities competing in one bottle with this. There's the wild ale side that's standing firm as expected. But the pale ale side is trying to make itself known too. But I just don't think they are a good match. Citrus tones are evident, but seem to be under restraint.

Feel has a full carbonation and the liquid is good.

An interesting beer to say the least. Definitely tasty, but the wild seems to be in conflict with the pale ale IMO.

And hey. Why is it that Brooklyn's dropping reviews before anyone else on this? I would have guessed that someone from Michigan would have beat us to it.

RblWthACoz, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Rempo, Sep 24, 2012
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Petoskey Pale Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.