Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
186 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Full Nelson Virginia Pale AleFull Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 degrees Plato
60 IBUs

Added by Todd on 11-02-2007

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 573
Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First.. scroll down and read the review of this by irs. Nice info on the brew and a good review.
Poured from tap into pint at sharkeys in Radford VA. Copper color with ever so small head then lacing. Nice piney resinous hop aroma. Taste is piney hop with a hint of candi hop sweetness and a good malty backbone. Really flavorful pale ale and easy to drink. Worth a try for sure. Nice session brew..well bordering session limits...

 431 characters

Photo of irs
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single can of this from Canal's after seeing it mentioned in Joshua Bernstein's Brewed Awakening (nice beach reading, btw, not too deep, just what you want to read when you don't care if you get interrupted by your kid the next minute, but still a nice distraction).
I like the idea of brewers getting closer to their ingredients -this was Bernstein's section on Breweries that grow their own hops. This is a nice, coppery colored PA with a good initial head that fades to nice lacing- though I'm no judge, I'm more impressed by nose, taste and mouthfeel. Nose I like; just like Bernstein says, nice specimen of cascade - at least as far as the nose. The taste was somewhat dissapointing to me as the hops just show up as bitter, not much more there, but its well balanced against the malt, so I'm just saying I've tasted better, but this is not negative, just not as good as the nose promised. Mouthfeel is fine, on par for an APA, fairly light, but enough hint of hop resins to remind that its not something else. Certainly worth considering if the price is competitive.

 1,085 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle obtained from the brewpub for me by coworker. Thanks Steve!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the clear coppery brew. Head recedes to an uneven layer of bubbles, with leggy lacing. Aroma is sedate and balanced.

Taste starts sweet, orange citrus in the middle, with surprisingly robust bitterness through the close. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is easy. Nice brew from a place I had not heard of before, yet heard about from two people in the last two weeks.

 523 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD of 7/01/13

Pours an effervescent amber with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing, above average head retention

S: Breadyness & a bit of grapefruit pith

T: Pineyness, breadyness & woody hops, plus orange rind up front. A touch of caramel, pears & pine as this warms, some woody hops as well, a bit of grapefruit as this warms. Finishes piney with, caramel & a touch of orange peel

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nice balance

An easy drinking & well-built APA. Easily one of the better beers I had over the 6 days I was in the DC area. This is very hop forward

 582 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, perfect amber color in the tulip. Modest but persistent foam with some lacing along the glass. Pleasantly spritzy on the tongue. Flowery aroma with that Cascades scent.

Quite resiny and earthy right off the bat. Some malty sweetness with more of the classic browned biscuit taste. A little murky and vegetal with a touch of lemon-lime. A little of the nutty bitter taste. Lots of hops and a lingering bitter aftertaste. Nothing special about this, but it is well made with great creamy carbonation and a nice robust, beery sensation. Quite drinkable.

From the 12 oz can purchased at Whole Foods in DC.

 610 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: bready, fruity, caramel malts.

Taste: Pretty much along the same lines as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, light to medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: More along the lines of the English pale ale, but still a decent beer.

 499 characters

Photo of 5thOhio
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown-amber with a slight head that reduces to a skim of foam. Aroma has a quick rush of fresh hops, and then dissipates like the head.

Mouthfeel is solid & rich with nice crisp carbonation.

This is one of an increasing number of pale ales that comes across as more of an IPA---not that there's anything wrong with that. Taste is strikingly malty for an APA, with a deep musky flavor. Strong hops bite follows, mostly piney and resinous. The heavy malt and hop combination pairs well with the mouthfeel. Hops linger quite a bit after a sip, aided by the malt base for emphasis.

Overall a strong APA whose rich appearance is a pretty good predictor of its taste. Bet this is a treat fresh on tap.

 712 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a caramel colored body beneath the foamy, off white head which slowly dissolves to leave a scattered lacing around the glass.

Aromas of woody and herbal hops float from the glass. A seemingly fairly generous malt backbone seems to be present as well perhaps a bit toasted or biscuity.

Flavors are similar to the nose with more woody and herbal hops, perhaps a touch spicy, and more toasted malt. Ther is also a very faint malt sweetness, and perhaps a touch f straw or wheat. As it warms ther is a touch of sweet fruit as well.

Medium in body with medium carbonation, and a nice hop biting finish that is still refreshing.

A fairly nice American Pale Ale. A unique hop profile versus some of its counterparts but one can clearly see what the brewer was aiming for.

 774 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden-orange to red-orange in color. Quite pretty, and almost tropical in appearance. Color is midway between a pale ale and an amber ale. A 3-1/2 finger off-white head tops it off, and leaves plenty of lacing. Carbonation is very apparent.

Fruity on the nose. Mainly over-ripe citrus at the start, but then seems to become more lemony. A touch of roasted grain rounds it out.

Well-matched tart citrus, lightly sweet roast malt, and bitter hops Tartness predominates, but then fades in the end, leaving sweet and bitter mellowing out together.

Peppery carbonation with light syrup, light burn in the throat. Somewhat drying on the tongue.

This beer grew on me. I notched up the taste on the second bottle. Judging from this one offering, I'd say Blue Mountain is, in my experience, one of the top four breweries in Virginia, along with it's sister brewery Blue Mountain Barrel House, Parkway Brewing Co., and Williamsburg Alewerks While it's perhaps slightly heavier than most pale ales, it's still light enough, and has enough character to be a good choice for a late spring or summer sampling.

 1,108 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium pumpkin orange with a pristine clarity, Dirty white foamy head is about 1.5 inches high and moderately lasting providing minimal window dressing. Light spacious rise of carbonation comes at a fairly quick pace.

S: Small citrusy toasted grain presence on the nose. A hint of dry flowery hops.

T: Dry citrus and dry lemon hops mixes with some sweet toasted grains for flavor upfront. Sweet piney-lemon hops come on strong for the finish.

M: Light bodied, very little carbonation detection with some toasted grain warmth on the inner cheeks. Bite of spicy hops and toasted grain with a dry hop warmth.

O: Overall some strong hop presence for a pale makes up for some other short comings, visually, and depth wise. Sweet, wet, toasty upfront follows through with a dry lingering citrus finish.

 807 characters

Photo of Camjmorton
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer on tap at Blue Mountain Brewery. It's darker than most pale ales that I have seen. Overall, it's a got a great hop flavor, balanced well with caramel malts. It is very easily drinkable, and one of my favorite beers from Virginia. Plus, a growler fill at the brewery for 7 or 8 dollars is a pretty solid deal.

 324 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear orange glow with big bright white sticky head. Interesting sweet and fruity nose. Caramel, some pine and tropical fruit. Lots of malty caramel sugar up front followed by bright fruitiness and moderate bitterness to balance. Bitterness is a nice contras to the bright sweetness. Slick mouth feel, hop resin, dull carbonation medium to full bodied. A super complex and pretty good pale ale but at the price of $12.99 a 6? You can find better pales.

 460 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can served in a snifter. Dark, clear amber -- a bit darker than average for style -- with a near creamy bone colored head that has moderate retention and very good lacing. Fine spicy/floral aroma. More flavorful, including a tad more hoppy, than average, with a nice mix of fruity/herbal/grassy hops. Restrained bitterness until the mild-moderately bitter aftertaste. Nicely smooth feel, with medium body and near medium carbonation.

 439 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to HeadyHops81 for this one, yay craft beer cans!

Pours a frothy but thick and creamy 2 finger head that fades semi slowly with plenty of layered lacing, over hazy auburn tan orange beer.

Nose has some light amber malts, a little toasty reddish and sweet caramel candy malts, as well as light hops, earthy and fruity mostly, light candied citrus.

Taste brings sweeter malts, candy like caramel and toasty reddish almost amber malts, sweet and smooth, hint of a nutty toffee. Then hops, lighter side of the hop flavors but some bitterness, slight earthy grassy hops, little bit of candied citrus and some fruity flavors, and turns a bit to chewy hops. Finish is fairly bitter, more chewy earthy slightly grassy hops lingering, somewhat dry, but plenty of candy caramel malt flavors too.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of fluffy carbonation.

Overall meh, it has quite a bit of malts too malty overall IMO, hops are lighter in overall profile and mostly just bitterness comes through so it doesn't have a great hop profile either, and even the carbonation is a little too much I think. The balance is at least nice, but the sweetness and bitterness both seem to go a bit too far.

 1,183 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice rich malty pale ale. Pours an amber orange color, fairly clear with a big frothy white head. Good retention and some lacing.

Smell is a bit mild, mostly sweet malts.

Taste starts off mild, sweet, malty and with a little metallic taste. After a sip or two the rich malt flavor takes over and the beer appears more rich. A little piney hops at the end.

Mouthfeel seems a bit weak at first taste, after that it is crisp and rich enough.

A pretty good Pale Ale. I would drink this one again. Cans is a good idea. This one would be fine as a six pack in the great outdoors.

 577 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice deep brownish-orange color. Full head that lingers around fairly well and leaves a little lacing on the wall of the glass. Aroma is a bit hoppy for a pale ale but good - pilsner and pine. Flavor is nicely balanced and refreshing - hop pop to start and then a nice fade to malts and a bit of pilsner on the end.

 323 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my friend Christian for bringing this and a few other Blue Mountain brews up my way.

A pretty standard pale ale here, not bad overall. Clear amber pour with a half-finger of fizzy white head that sank to a ringlet; minimal lacing. Aroma of toasted grains, caramel malts, grassy hops. No surprises. Basically the same on the palate, caramel malts, toasted grains, earthy and grassy hops, with a subtle touch of stone fruit. Light-medium body. Not the best of its class, but a pretty easy drinker overall.

 514 characters

Photo of tbeckett
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at Capital Ale House in Fredricksburg. From notes.

A - Poured gold to dark gold but might have seemed darker b/c of the lighting. Mild carbonation coming up to the one finger white soapy head. Good sticky lace and a ahalf finger of retention. Good lookin' pale.

S - Floral and citrussy. Very smooth, bright, and enticing hop aroma.

T - Nice light malty sweetness and lot's of floral notes and grapefruit. Straightforward but pleasant.

M - Nice fairly strong bitterness and lingering grapefruit pith flavour. Nice mild carbonation and a medium body. Seems about right.

O/D - Nice pale ale. Seemed more like an IPA though. I'll rate it very slightly lower for seeming a little to extreme for a pale ale. Regardless, it was very tasty and worth a try. Well crafted.

 783 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks for sharing Jason!

Orange-amber hued with good head and head retention. Candied citrus, sweet malts, generally fruity but not dominantly hoppy. The hop character appears only in the citrus notes but that's not too out of line for an APA I suppose. Bitter at the end with a dry finish. Nice.

 298 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Interesting production. So we're using estate grown Cascade hops for this? Right on. Very clean ride on everything. The flavor profile is earthy above all else, but it stays that way throughout the whole ride. The beer takes its course but never wanders. Feel is smooth. Extremely drinkable. I can't say that flavor-wise this beer gives me something above all else. But I feel like it gives me a ride, via the brewer's vision, that gives me something above most others.

 469 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark clear amber, head is off white and decent but not huge.

Smells of piney hops, hints of orange and grapefruit citrus, some vanilla/oak maltiness. Also smells a little smoky?

Taste has that same slightly smoky oak character, decent pine-oriented hops, faint hints of citrus. Pretty decent, might be a few weeks/months last freshness.

Mouthfeel is great, lots of carbonation, very refreshing and drinkable.


 427 characters

Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer comes to me from the legendary woodychandler. Poured from a 12 z. can. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is full of hops, a hint of malts. Taste is hops, pine, a touch of citrus, a bit of malts as well, easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality brew.

 310 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear, reddish golden brown with two finger head that died quick and left lace down the glass on top of a of citrusy hopped and mild sweet malt aroma. Taste is more of the same as there is balance and it goes down easy, but I must say the sharp citric hops slightly overpower the bready and sweet malts for a dryer beer with a crisp finish. A good beer, nothing spectacular to write home about, but I enjoyed it and would have another if offered.

 455 characters

Photo of VTFriar
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Niceburnt orangewith hint of amber color.
Overwhelming malt aroma - like sticking my noose into a bag of dry malt.
Light hop aroma - faint.
Light/Medium body - finishing rather watery...Not a full mouthfeel
Feel bad, but overly sweet / heavily malty beer that I was going to pour out.

 284 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A- Clear pale amber colored body with a bubbly bone white head.

S- I really don't smell much of anything, maybe some sweet malt and a dash of citrus, but not much.

T- A little more hop flavor comes through in the taste. Mostly sweet caramel malt, with a dash of piney hops at the end. Still nothing much going on though.

M- Medium-carbonation and medium bodied. Very drinkable.

O- Really lacking aroma and flavor. Almost tastes like it is an old pale ale, but the freshness sticker on the bottom says otherwise.

 515 characters

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.