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Pale Ale - Napa Smith Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale

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BA SCORE
76
okay

81 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aforbes10 on 11-29-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.69/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, a can of mixed nuts, and some very mild herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an earthy and nutty flavor on the finish. There is a very mild hop bitterness that quickly fades with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor example of a pale ale and I don't know if it's and old bottle but it sure tastes that way.

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale tangerine with pale amber highlights and one especially vigorous bubble stream in the exact center of the glass. The alabaster colored crown has plenty of character. It's firmly creamy, a bit rocky, and is doing a fine job laying down lace. A solid start.

The aroma is pleasant enough, though it could be bolder. Pale Ale doesn't smell much like the stated style thanks to the use of European hops. Grassy and spicy don't work as well as citrus fruity when it comes to APAs. To be fair, a modest amount of citrus zestiness is noted.

Napa Smith Pale Ale is not a classic American pale ale circa 2009-2010. It takes more of an old school approach and tastes like the style might have tasted years ago. It doesn't use the usual hop varieties and it isn't anywhere close to over-the-top. Oh yeah, it's pretty good beer and is obviously well-crafted.

The malt side of the seesaw tastes exactly like the malt bill says it will... almost exclusively pale with a hint of caramel. The hoppiness (est. 30 IBUs) tastes fresh and bright and tight. The key to the whole shootin' match is a perfect combination of grassy-herbal-spicy Euro nobles and white grapefruit zesty Americans. There's excellent sweet-bitter balance as well.

While the mouthfeel could be a little bigger, there's no faulting its light creaminess or its exceptionally well-calibrated carbonation. This brewer knows his stuff, there's no doubt about that.

If you have any interest whatsoever in a well-crafted Anglo-American pale ale that won't blow your head off with alpha acids, but delivers excellent flavor and drinkability, then locate a bottle of Napa Smith Pale Ale, crack the crown and enjoy.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.09 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, burnished orange body with a goodly-sized, white head. Pleasant-looking laceworks on the way down.

Smell: Sweetish, caramel-scented nose with some pale malts yielding minor hints of bread and even less toast. Mild earthen hop note throughout.

Taste: Pale and sweet caramel maltiness with a scant toasty breadiness. Lightly earthy, very lightly citrusy hops with a somewhat restrained bitterness to it. Spreading, but still fairly mild graininess on the latter half. Sweetish, somewhat fruity finish hinting at dried apricot.

Mouthfeel: Falls just ever so shy of being medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A basic, light, easy-drinking American Pale Ale. Not particularly memorable (except for being the first Napa Smith beer that didn't want me to race towards the nearest sink), but it works.

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with citrus and pine notes. Some caramel sweetness in the nose, too

T - It tasted fairly spicy with sweet caramel flavor. There was a nice maltiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty nice APA. Solid but not spectacular.

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is... Ah to hell with it. I don't know what this is. But it sure isn't a pale ale. Loads of malts. Barely any noticeable hop tones. This is my third beer from this brewery and I'm kind of bored with having to think up something to say about one of their beers. Again (I feel like I'm a broken record), drinkable, but nowhere near the style parameters. It's just a "beer." Thank goodness it was so cheap at BevMo.

Photo of russpowell
3.36/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New addition to the state, picked this up at Mid Town in Tulsa

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of ivory colored head. Fantastic lacing & average head retention

S: Light floral hops

T: Breadyness, citrus & floral hops up front. Flinty dryness & biscuitty malt dominate as this warms, plus a touch of toffee & a kiss of grassy & herbal hops. Finishes slightly grainy, dry, lemony & a with a whisper of DMS

MF: Medium bodied, well balanced, aggressively carbonated, tone that down a bit, gets a bit prickly. Thins out as this warms

Easy drinking APA, not blowing me away, started falling apart a bit at the end, detracted from MF, drinakability & flavor. Napa Smith; you were so close...

Photo of mactrail
2.51/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Slight haze on the light amber brew. AVerage head with decent carbonation. Kind of fruity and herbal smell.

Flavor heads off into the cardboard territory. Some bitterness which doesn't go well with the tart taste. Faint traces of malt and suspiciously dry. "Flaccid" is the word I would pin on this. Bitterish aftertaste. More like dishwater with a squeeze of lemon. Very peculiar stuff.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Wine & Liquors on Monaco. Big sale item, but this is the only one of their major discount items I have had a problem with.

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.1/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's a pale ale from the land of wine. On to the beer:

Dullish washed out orange with grapefruit skin hues. It seems a little hazy in the body. The foam on top does some clinging to the glass and retention is fine. The nose has some intersting aspects...well, it's a little different per style. Nonetheless, it does seem disjointed at points. It's earthy with moderate herbal and a small kick of diacetyl.

Its flavor intensity is rather low, and coupled with the sparkling bubbly, seems more like a sparkling ale than a pale ale. Earthy, toasty, and buttery tones run together, herbal as well. Crisp carbonation adds a refreshing factor to a beer that is otherwise indifferent.

Not exactly good nor bad, though given that's been my expectation of Napa Smith, I'm not really heartbroken. Good thing this pale ale came in a 12 ounce bottle.

Photo of Zorro
3.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden to light amber colored ale with a small white head.

Smell is light and freshly hoped. Very perfumed and flowery smelling and not a typical west coast hops truck run over. Light caramel and vanilla scent One hard to identify scent here smells like bitter orange.

Starts out dry and lager like with a mild bitter snap. Mild hop perfume only not much more than a mild cracker malt otherwise. Really light in the flavor department.

Mouthfeel is light.

Pretty drinkable mostly because this is light and light flavored. Worth a try but not really all that great.

Photo of beerthulhu
2.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pumpkin orange when backlighted, shows a good clarity and strong sense of effervesce of macro-bubbles within. The head is frothy, slight on size and retention leaving a short lacing behind. For aroma there is not much to speak of in terms of complexity and strength. More English style which is what im guessing they were shooting for. Floral scents mixing with a light dried orange skin aroma. Overall weak.(guess im wrong this is labeled an apa)

T: For flavor there is a bit of spiciness, fruggles fruity with some tropical fruit notes. Definitely seems to be leaning more towards the English variety pale,hop wise but with an American malt base of toasted grain base rather a biscuity backing. Seems to have a bit of influence from both sides of the pond but really doesn’t grasp a clean defining flavor and seems more confused. Nice level of maltiness but overall a middle of the road flavor.

M: Light boded but with some malty tones. Quiet carbonation, spicy with dry toasty afterthoughts.

O: Wish I had better regards for this but this is at best a middle of the road, ho-hum beer that doesn’t want to stand out, rather hide in the back of the room hoping not be called upon. Does the minimal to get by on, rather unexciting and cant recommend a 6 pack for the pale ale enthusiasts.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazy, pale golden coloring with a rosey tint to it. Pours with a considerably thick, dense, white, bubbly head. Aromas of hops and citrus, but both mild and balanced. Also some juniper essence to the nose. The beer has an initial bouquet of flowery flavors riding lightly on the hoppy foundation. On subsequent tasting, the hops continue to reveal themselves, as well as a light peppery spicing and some citrus highlights. The beer is extremely light bodied, with a medium feel to it. The aftertaste is the slightest hint of hops and a little bit of citrus. Slightly lingering finish, but very pleasant to drink. Weak on the hops flavors when compared to other Pales, but being not overpowering makes this an easy beer to pair with almost anything.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.31/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out looking pretty much like BMC with a tan and thinner head. Aroma was just totally devoid of dry hopping. These dudes brag on being traditional, not over the top or whatnot, but they just seem to make that old guy homebrew mild shit. To their credit, I've never encountered any off flavors, but the aroma for a CA pale ale being "grainy" is disappointing.

A light graininess with mild bitterness. A mild ride, like walking down a .5% grade hill. But sometimes you just wanna walk with the wind at your back and not put much, if anything into your experience that day, might as well just chill and let the day take you where it may, thats kind of this beer. Carbonation seems on the high side. Something has to have life in this beer am I right? Doesn't have that wet heavy wood malt bill at least that many traditional English styles do, so that has me even further confused if they were going for traditional, why is this so highly carbonated and light bodied?

And why is this beer so expensive relatively speaking?

Photo of WoodBrew
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Duff27
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a good inch thick white fizzy head. Beer is a hazy light orange color. Decent head retention and lacing.

S- Smell is fruity...citrus, lemons.

T- Not too big of a hop presence. Grassy. Hints of caramel malt. Thirst quenching if nothing else.

M- Carbonation is good. Feels nice in the mouth.

D/O- Not a lot of stuff going on to me. No bottling date so who the hell knows how old this is. After reviewing this I checked others reviews and I'm right in line with the nothing sticks out as good or bad, just kinda there.

Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Never seen this brewery before. Regardless, it looks about right for the style.

Grassy hops followed by sweet malt with a buttery touch. Hops aren't overpowering. Very basic.

Drinks very good with a crisp hop bite followed by malt that isn't as sweet as I thought. Again, a beer that is elegant in its' simplicity.

The malt finishes sweet with just a bit of grassy hop character. Not bad. A little dry.

Well, it's simple, it's drinkable and the ABV isn't too shabby either. Sounds like a good beer for a midsummer's lazy afternoon.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is gold and copper as one. Hardly any head or foam or bubbling after this pour. The only nice thing about this beers appearance is the color.

The aroma has a little musky, earthy hops and a sprinkle of bread crumbs mixed together well.
The hops also add a little citric aroma as well.

The taste is a musty and musky orange peel and earthen hops mixed with some simple toasted Wonderbread. Very simple tasting pale ale with a watery somewhat grainy palate thats pretty easy to drink.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a translucent golden orange in color with yellow highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma was composed of mostly malts but did have very little citrus, spice, and faint booze.

T: the taste had very little hop character as well but stil had citrus spice accents but had lots of sweetness from the malts.

M: the brew was medium was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citrusy, and malty finish.

D: just a decent pale ale that was not so tasty but drank like a session beer.

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a majestic hazy orange in color with a nice, white head that fluffed up beautifully.

Smell - The grain bill comes over immaculately at the nose. It is rich and shows great depth without being overly sweet or corny. The hops are mild and almost European. I enjoyed the delicate take on the hops but oh my God this grainy malt base is amazing and probably one of the best that I've ever smelled.

Taste - This grain takes everything that I've ever complained about American grain and turned it around. It is rich, luscious, sharp grain without being harsh, and shows a depth of flavor that I've never tasted before. This truly is an amazing ale.

Mouthfeel - This is in between light and medium-bodied with very mild carbonation and no bitter bite. If you're looking for a classic baby IPA from this pale ale then you will be sorely disappointed, but if you want balance, creaminess, and a terrific mouthfeel than this can't be beat.

Drinkability - This beer really defines this category. You just can't stop drinking it until it's gone.

Photo of ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of illidurit
2.86/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Perfectly clear with a rather light gold color. Nice modest cap of creamy off-white foam. Aroma is grainy and almost would be pilsener-esque if it wasn't for a whisper of caramel and floral hops. Flavor is pale malty with a hint of banana sweetness. Bready and mildly spicy with a dry mineral finish and a light bitterness. Not a lot of substance at all. Definitely underhopped. Sorta tastes like an ESB. Pass on this one.

Photo of maximum12
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chickencoop who dropped this in a massive atom bomb box of beer that stressed the concrete of my porch last week. An extra I haven't tried from a brewery I hadn't heard of. Perfect.

Pours an off orangish that isn't terribly clear without appearing unfiltered. The pale malts leap out of the nose along with the mown remnants of a local ditch. Almost hefe-level grassy.

This pale is nice! The pale malts are very forward, but lack the grainy, acidic bite that I find unappealing in most pale ales. Instead, the grains are white-glove refined, & along with the very restrained use of hops, gives the beer a smooth, easy-drinking quality that you'd expect from a macro (except it tastes good).

Very good pale, one of the favorites I can recall off hand. This is a classic lunch beer, or a brew that you can have one (maybe two) of if there's an hour's drive home in your future. If there were more tasty, low ABV brews like this in the States, I'd happily seek them out more often.

Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Clear golden color with a large head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Does not smell like a typical APA. Has the hop aroma of the European variety. Spicy, grassy, and herbal. A little bit of dry malt as well. I like this so far.

The taste does not do as well. Just too much caramel malt. And no beer that brings that variety out in the flavor more than anything else scores very well with me. The hops bring a herbal and grassy flavor.

Lighter body and a nice lively carbonation. I enjoy it that way when the ABV and bitterness is low.

The thing about this beer that really bothered me was the pricing and packaging. It was $6.99 for a 4-pack of 12oz bottles. If we were to expand this price to a 6-pack, it would cost $10.50. That is Stone IPA prices. Too much money for this low ABV beer. I will not be buying any beer from this brewery again at this price.

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Pale Ale from Napa Smith Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.