1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone Pale Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,542 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,542
Reviews: 963
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.43%
Wants: 76
Gots: 168 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,542 | Reviews: 963 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of necoadam
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark copper/amber color with a fizzy head.

Smell was a solid malt aroma, with a light sweetness in the background. Some citrus and hops mingle together. It all blended together so well.

Taste was an almost perfect balance of malts and hops with an underlying sweetness to it, but then the bitterness of the hops blended in. Nothing is overwhelming, and underwhelming too.

Mouthfeel was medium with a good check in carbonation. Finished with a little a little hops hitting the palate.

An excellent beer. A staple for pale ales for sure.

Photo of TXHops
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone brews an APA??? Since I live in a state where Arrogant Bastard is the ONLY Stone product available and I get most of my Stone info from beeradvocate.com, I had to admit that I was a bit surprised to learn that Stone brews an APA when I visited their website a few months back. On a recent trip to Tucson (in a state that actually receives most of the Stone line), I grabbed me a sixer of the Pale Ale while making drooling, repetitive trips to the cooler for Stone’s more "discussed" beers. The afterthought paid off…

Stone’s Pale Ale is the color o a textbook American Amber Ale, with a head that wanted to stay around, but couldn’t be bothered after about 3 minutes. The sedimented body produced an aroma thick with caramel, diacetyl, lightly toasted malts, non-Cascade hops, a myriad of ripe fruits and a malt-yeast interaction that would make most seasoned English brewers green with envy. Mr. Koch could just have easily called his American Pale Ale an English Style Pale Ale, an 80 Schilling Scottish Ale, an American Amber Ale, a Best Bitter or even an ESB and gotten rave reviews for it. This is a great use of malted barley, water and God is Good. The fruity diacetyl is what realty sets this one apart. Diacetyl is a flavor component that most brewers of American style beers shy away from with the hesitation of a Bavarian brewer listening to the merits of ale yeast. I know that it’s viewed as a flaw in many AHA and BJCP style guidelines, but it really adds a tremendous rounded, butterscotchy creaminess to British style ales allowed to generate just a bit of it. Stone’s use of it really accentuates the fruitiness of their yeast and allows the malts the hops to stand on either side of a dividing line of immaculate balance, mingling only later in my mouth, challenging my taste receptors to pick out individual flavors that aren’t typically described in libations as pedestrian as beer. Anyway, waxing philosophic aside, I really dig this beer’s use of diacetyl and balance and I’ll be awarding a few extra points for a brewery with a reputation like Stone’s to continue to produce a “flagship beer” with a hopping rate achieving IBU’s less than their Levitation Ale (if I were forced to guess).

Sweet beer…

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a killer pale ale.

It pours slightly hazy orange color with a fantastic eggshell froth that drapes the glass in lace. Citric hops and honeyish malts make up the nose. The taste is chock full of fragrant, pithy, grapefruity hops. A slight woody/herbal notion is also detectable. Perfect balance is acheived by a generous dose of cookie dough malts. Hop bitterness is restrained, ensuring this brew never strays into IPA range. The mouthfeel is light and generously, yet delicately carbonated. Floral hops and a bit of bitterness make up the finish.

One of the best Pale Ales Ive yet tried. Definitely worth a try, it rivals SNPA in deliciousness.

Photo of DrJay
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear deep coppery amber beer topped by a dense light tan/off-white head. The foam showed excellent retention and left thick rings down the sides of the glass. Aroma was a nice mix of grassy/floral hops, light citrus and caramel.

There's a lot going on in the flavour. Caramel sweetness starts things off with hops becoming dominant soon after. Some fruitiness peeks through as well. Bitterness is quite strong all the way through and give it a dry, medium length finish, with a bit of piney hop resin that sticks around a while after that. Medium body and served at medium-low carbonation. The texture was smooth and delicious.

This is a great beer that I could see myself drinking on a regular basis. Lots of flavour and quite refreshing. Too bad it's made so far from home...

Photo of goschool
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I drank a Stone Pale Ale was on the train, riding home from Pizza Port's Real Ale Festival. I went into the dinning car to get a snack and I was pleasantly suprised to find such a worthy hair of the dog. I really enjoyed it then, but I haven't had one since, until now.

It pours a deep reddish-copper, slightly hazy, with a robust off-white head. The aroma is fruity with bready malts and floral hops, but the nose is a little subdued overall. There's no chance I would ever have guessed, in a blind taste test, that this was brewed by Stone. Where is the west coast hop bitterness? This is creamy and smooth. The taste is sweety and fruity, with a big malt body and enough grassy hops to bring this together nicely.

I think it's because I drink so much Stone, that when I'm looking for something less assertive then their other brews, I'll go with a different brewery for varity. Maybe that's not the best idea. I'm going to have to try Bear Republic's pale ale now.

Photo of TheBigE5
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a sniffer. Thin white head, about a half finger. Perfectly clear light brown amber color.

S - Very hoppy in the nose, floral, sweet. A bit of malty notes. Great smelling beer.

T - Perfectly balanced. Malty at first, the the hops enter later. A bit of sweetness in the finish.

M - Smooth mouthfeel, not overcarbonated. Get a little bit of tingle in your throat. Very drinkable.

O - Wow, great nose and perfectly balanced. Add its drinkability. Excellent beer.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange amber with a surprisingly dense foamy head.

Aroma is mellow citrus hop and toasted malt.

Taste is a complex bready toasted caramel malt with a lot of subtle flavor. Then a pleasant sweet tropical fruitiness - notably orange and melon. Finishes with a spicy, earthy bitterness with lingering tobacco notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall smooth and flavorful. A great example of an APA. Easy to drink with a lot of subtle flavor that I look for in lower gravity beers. Hops are apologetically west coast in character without being overpowering.

Photo of tbbrown
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copper, with slight haze, a great, thick, foamy off-white head that retains and creates nice lacing to the end

Smell: Some caramel, malt nose, fruit, hop

Taste: Strong hop at the end for the style, some nice malty flavors, too

Mouthfeel: great, smooth. Great carbonation, silky, a bit more course toward the end.

Drinkability: Great, love it.

Photo of Offa
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red-gold-amber, it has a med.-big off-white head slowly shrinking to a foamy ring & wisps with some nice lace.

Aroma is very West Coast but excellent, not only clean but with good depth, balance, and complexity. It has caramelized grapefruit, light pine, lemon pith, caramelized toast and caramel.

Taste is excellent example of a classic West Coast style APA, with excellent body, character, depth, balance, and complexity. It has spicy-peppery grapefruit-pine bitterness with caramel and toasty sweetness, juicy yeastiness.

Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Best by date of June 8, 2011.

Appearance: Clear amber with moderate, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Grainy and toasted malt, nice orange-driven citrus and some spiciness.

Taste: Very citrusy and fruity, with orange, grapefruit and possible some darker fruits as well. Semi-sweet overall, with a malt backbone of caramel, toasted and grainy malts. Turns more spicy and bitter on the finish with lingering grapefruit and pine. Well balanced.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, fairly creamy body, very dry on the finish.

Overall: One of the best APAs I have had. Complex, yet very drinkable. Slightly bitter but the sweet core keeps it well balanced. This beer actually improves my opinion of Stone more than all the extreme beers. Making a mouth-wrenching IPA or Strong Ale is easier than the subtle balance needed for this APA.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy, very deep reddish amber/copper in color with a creamy bone-white head that holds well and leaves some nice lace. The aroma is limited but offers some light fruit (berries & citrus) and a mild caramel note. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that leaves it surprisingly creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly sweet and fruity, reveals some biscuity caramel malt and bright citrusy hops as it warms in the mouth, and finishes dry with a lingering sweet & fruity citrus maltiness. Well balanced. The bitterness is appropriate for the style but not-overdone and the maltiness & tight carbonation are exquisite. This beer caught me off guard. I was expecting something more "full throttle" from Stone's. But then it occured to me... of course they have a more straightforward beer! It's their flagship (and they do make the Smoked Porter as well). And, I actually loved it because it wasn't abusively hoppy. If it was, what would be the point of having all of their other, more aggressive beers? This is easily my favorite beer from Stone! Well-rounded, fruity, and highly drinkable.

Photo of bbkd3b
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dare I say this is the best looking beer I've ever seen? It pours a deep amber-red with great clarity and awesome carbonation. Nice 1.5-finger white head with great retention that leaves just fantstic lacing.

Smell: It's got a fruity/hoppy aroma. There's orange citrus, an earthy aroma of some sort. Oh, and those hops add a nice touch, too.

Taste: Hops on impact, but it gives way to a frutier taste that makes up the main part of it. A real citrus flavor, almost sour in a way. There's great balance here, and a nice pleasant aftertaste, too.

Mouthfeel: Disappointing all other things considered. Carbonation was too sharp and the body was thin. Not quite watery, but thin. Average.

Drinkability: Fantastic, really. It's not a heavy beer, and I could keep drinking it as long as I had one.

Overall/notes: Wow... just wow. This is a great beer! It's a shame I haven't found any Stone in Columbia, but when I get back, I'm scouring the town! A great APA.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to my pint glass, The liquid is a cloudy Yellow with good carbonation. the head is 3 fingers and rocky, great retention, small lace.

The smell is a big hop statement, Getting to be average.

The taste is.... WOW Zing POW! Dang! Got me.. Nice, smooth, well balanced not the hop bomb I was expecting. Hopy but not over the top. Well Done!

The mouth feel is Coating and creamy. Excellent body. not too sharp a bit.

The drinkability in way high, nothing holding it back. Prosit MK

Photo of tugdriver7
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best APAs I've had. Interesting, cloudy orange/tan in the glass, with some head retention, but a nice lacing the whole glass through. Taste was a fascinating balance of floral/fruity hops, deep malt, and a touch of sweetness that made it extremely drinkable. One could easily blow through a bunch of these in a session and enjoy every swallow. Fantastic.

Photo of MLasoski
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served: In a bottle, poured into an ale glass.

A: It has an unfiltered and hazy body with a light amber color.

S: Smells of citrus and faint pine.

T: Tastes just how it smells. The yeast isn't as apparent but it has a nice malty citrus flavor.

M: Starts out fruity and ends with a pine aftertaste.

D: A very good pale ale indeed. I would definitely buy this beer again, most likely in a six pack instead of a single. Give it a try.

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty funny that this beer is called a pale ale. This brew has more going on then most breweries have in what they call a IPA. The Head was a good two fingers and the lacing is small.
The taste: Nice malty mouthfeel then the hops come and spice up the finish. This beer has more malt and mouthfeel than fat tire and they call that a amber ale? Cheers to Stone even if this is there bottom of the line entry level beer this just shows there runt is better than most brews best offering.

Photo of francisweizen
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From recently discovered notes:

Wow, I forgot to review this one for a while. So here it goes. A dark amber/copper colour with a thick white head of foam that lasts for a while and leaves very nice lace patterns on my arrogant bastard pint glass. The aroma is definately hop-heavy but the biscuity, bready malts are in there as well. The taste is hoppy up front, but this is a very balanced pale ale, especially for Stone. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the drinkability is very good! An awesome, balanced, pale from Stone Brewing Co.

Photo of Natural510
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, no dating.

Pours a murky bronze with billowing white head.
Equal amounts of malt and hops to the nose, with sweet, fruity tinge.
Fruity, biscuit malt meets a sharp, herbal hop. Hop bite mellows, leaving a dry yet crisp finish. Notes of toffee, tea-leaf and cherry make up the flavor.
Very full in body. Hoppy yet smooth; this one is bulkier than most IPAs.
Wonderfully balanced yet complex pale ale. This one picks up where the SNPA classic left off. Possibly the best of the "regular" pale ales brewed in the US.

Photo of ism
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper-orange, slight haze but otherwise pure, with very tiny bubbles swimming upwards. Off-white, lush, bubbly head leaving spotty lacing. Floral hops upfront on the nose, with caramel behind.

Smooth and medium-bodied, hops edging out the sweetness, in a nicely balanced way, and fully emerging in the aftertaste with a heavy citrus punch. Slight grassiness indicative of dry-hopping. Solid lingering notes.

Finished this 22oz bomber wanting more. Smooth and just short of being too interesting, perfect for sessionability.

Photo of Crosling
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Pale Ale poured a dark dingy orange with a modest white head that laced up well throughout the session. Beautiful color!

Faint fruits in the aroma, slight caramel and a lot of citrus flavors in the nose. This really doesn't smell that well to be honest.

Lovely flavor! Really drinkable and a great session beer for sure. Starts pretty sweet with some tropical fruit flavors. Caramel comes out in the mid-palate. Sharp hops on the finish, slightly bitter but very pleasant. The most moderate beer Stone offers. Very mild and a good "warm up" to the rest of their beers.

Not bad.

Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I vaguely remember trying this on cask at the Stone 7th Anniversary party, but it’s a little fuzzy (too much Speedway Stout that afternoon?). Anyhow, I’m sure it was great based on how much I liked the bottled version, which…
Pours a deep, yet bright, copper with a sticky, thick, light-khaki head.
Smells of maple syrup, caramel apples, and sugar, but also has a substantial hop balance to it.
Tastes much like it smells. Sweetish fruit and waffle cone malt. Hops come in, seemingly un-intimidated by the big maltiness. Bitter resin and citrus flavors carry into the finish, with lingering butterscotch/fruit. Yum. This is a big-bodied APA, that actually reminds me of some breweries IPAs. Very drinkable, just wish I had more.

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The deepest of ambers. Pours with a generous head and leaves attractive lacing.

Smell: Lotsa hops! Also registering a sweet caramel malt structure.

Taste: Straightforward without being too simple. This is a very hoppy number, but it's not overwhelming at all. Great balance.

Mouthfeel: A wee bit sticky, but very refreshing nontheless.

Drinkability: I can & have downed many of these. This is a rare brew whose appeal to me isn't affected by the season. I could drink this anywhere.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is orange/amber palish. It has nice head and great retention. It has a nice hop scent. Sort of citrusy. Taste is incredibly well balanced. This beer was sooo perfect to relax with it is highly sessionable. One of the best pale ales I've had. Go try one.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, cool Sam Adams glass. 60 degrees because I like them that way.

Beautiful copper color, clear as can be. Off white head lasts a while and lacing is pretty good. Overall a great presentation!

A nice earthy hop aroma, like a stroll through a pine forest after a light rain. Nothing overwhelming in the hop nose, just pleasant and a bit of maly sweetness for balance. Really balanced well while not being overpowering in the least.

Tastes of those earthy hops, and caramel malt. A bit of alcohol mixes well with the bitter hop finish that does it's best to linger but fades quickly nonetheless.

Medium body, not too carbonated, a real slick mouthfeel. This is a tasty APA on the low end of hop craziness, which I appreciate. It would be my daily drinker if I could buy it in my lame State.

Photo of dfillius
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of white head with nice retention. Clear red-amber liquid. Pretty!
S: Nice malt up front - bread and butter/buttery waffles with mellow hops behind.
T: Bitter in a strong herbal way - Cascade and Euro hops? Very nice malt sweetness also. This tastes like a hoppy Bitter, maybe an ESB or an English IPA. I would give it a 4.5 if it was an EIPA or ESB. it is not really hoppy enough to be an APA. Full flavor and delicious regardless though.
M: Very nice carbonation level. Full body. No heat. Nice dry bitterness.
D: This is a session beer all the way. Great flavor for such an easy drinker.

Edit 7/27/2013:
Had a bottle 3 months shy of it's best by date. Strongly bitter flavor in a grapefruit rind kind of way with hints of Arrogant Bastard in the finish. Not balanced enough to be sessionable - quite aggressive! Enjoyable still. Would give it a 4.25 as a "had".

Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,542 ratings.