Vale IPA - McLaren Vale Beer Company

Not Rated.
Vale IPAVale IPA

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BA SCORE
82
good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 9.97%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McLaren Vale Beer Company visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MrKennedy on 06-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 19
Photo of Decko
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad AIPA but just felt a bit unbalanced to me. Citrus and earthy aromas and pretty much same in the taste with the hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer for the price but doesn't quite hang together to be a great one. Happy to have a few as a session beer but won't seek it out.

Photo of Andrewziggy
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

grapefruit citric and pine hops, with the sweet malts coming through

Photo of baumaxx1
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-
Pours a clear red/amber colour, 2 finger thick off-white head and strong effervescence. Lots of lacing - like glue to the glass.

Smell-
Hop resin, spice, orange peel, rosehip, with a bit of bran and malt sweetness.

Taste-
Balanced, a bit of hop bitterness, lemon peel, pepper, and cut grass but the bitterness is balanced. A good malty body and a hint of almond oil and earthy flavours. The alcohol is balanced and the hop resin flavours linger. Slightly medicinal result, but this doesn't dominate. The spicy IPA flavours are front and centre.

Mouthfeel-
A good tang on the tongue thanks to the effervescence. A good medium body, and smooth creaminess thanks to its tendency to froth. Clean, crisp and dry - a good light and refreshing beer for the summer thanks to the hop resin.

Overall-
A very sessionable beer and an easy drinking one. It's also on the affordable end of premium beers to boot. Nothing revolutionary, but a solid example of an IPA. Seems to have earthy and malty flavours that carry across the Vale range to set it apart - not the most bitter IPA out as a result.

Had to follow up the Vale Ale review with a positive - skip that and get the IPA. Get this instead. It doesn't cost too much down under and it's my go-to IPA.

Photo of Manzier
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark coppery, light reddish. Medium carbonation with a small but lingering self sustaining head. Which is a good sign of an IPA or high hopped beer.

S - Spicy and Fruity hop aroma. Fairly strong. Maybe a little bit of resin aswell. A small amount of malt sweetness on the nose as well.

T - Fairly malty. Crisp finish with good bitterness that lingers. Very refreshing taste. No hint of alcohol. Actually it is very malty but is well balanced with the bitterness. Very enjoyable. Resiny hop aftertaste with the bitterness

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation. The resiny hops provide a good mouth-feel.

O - A solid IPA that I am definitly a fan of. This is the first time i've tried it while writing the review and I'd recommend it. Well balanced and can easily drink a few of these in a row.

Photo of admiral
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An excellent beer, made for everyone to enjoy - very sessionable.

aroma - malty and lemon blend

Taste - A very tasty beer with low bitterness, for this style of beer, and a nice lemon and malt flavour with orange marmalade and pepper to compliment these flavours. Made for easy drinking - nice and sweet for the style.

Photo of SmashPants
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: standard brown 330mL bottle, semi-macro label with a touch of classic minimalism. Stylish.

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy deep copper in colour with minimal fine carbonation. A one-finger off-whiteh ead pops up and hangs about for quite a while with sporadic lacing. Looks good.

Aroma: everything is there that should be - citric and pine hops, and some sweet bread malts. The only problem that I can see is that it is a bit light compared to most AIPAs. Still nice though.

Taste: pretty much follows the nose - grapefruit citric and pine hops, with the sweet malts coming through stronger than in the aroma. A good-quality, textbook AIPA again, but also a touch on the demure side.

Aftertaste: flavours drop away pretty quickly, leaving a decent amount of bitterness.

Mouth feel: a medium body with a decent whack of carbonation. Carries the flavour well without being too 'spritzy'.

Overall: a good compromise between making the hops-forward flavour intense enough for the beer tragics whilst not overdoing it for the everyday consumer. A good beer, and certainly worth a 6-pack every now and then, at AU$65 a case (2013)

Photo of doktorhops
2.87/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Another Aussie brewers take on the holiest of holy American beer styles - the India Pale Ale. Now McLaren Vale is renown for its wine so it is interesting for craft brewers to set up shop there, especially as brewing beer is less tied down by the region it is made in - with brewing ingredients like hops, barley and yeast being easier to transport than grapes.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Cloudy deep amber body, hints of copper, with a frothy white head that leaves a sticky lace around the glass.

S: Strong caramel malts mixed with buttery Diacetyl and burnt sugar. The hop aroma is distant and earthy. The Diacetyl on this is like nothing I've ever smelt - it's a full on butterscotch party here.

T: Flavour is interesting, not sure if I like it, very much like those cough lollies "Butter Menthol" it is primarily a mix of butter and menthol. Caramel malts and earthy, medicinal hops are in the background but they never really come to fore. Finish is medicinal bitter, along with the after taste.

M: Mid to light body, medium carbonation, likely the best aspect of this brew for me.

D: Hmmm, I had a quick look at other reviews and they describe a completely different flavour profile to me. Perhaps I got a 'skunked' beer, it was reduced to clear and half price after all. Taking this into account I may have to re-review it in future, however as it stands the beer I'm drinking now is not good at all, I thought I would like a Diacetyl-bomb but in combination with the menthol taste and the medicinal bitterness it is a no go for me.

Food match: With food this one is a total miss, however it is good on the sore throat I'm experiencing now (I'm in the early stage of a flu at this moment).

Photo of PolarBear3
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -Pours a darkish copper/honey colour with a frothy head the dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thin film

S - Citrus and floral like aromas including passionfruit, honey and some caramel.

T - passionfruit very prominent with some peach, mango and lemon giving a mild bitterness at the finish that I reckon balances fairly well.

M - Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation

O - Didn't mind this beer at all. Good balance of hops and light malts with a little bitterness to finish.

Photo of soju6
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with a fair head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of pine with some caramel sweetness and bit of grain.

T: Taste has some pine with bit of citrus, caramel sweetness and a trace of grain. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, crisp and quite smooth.

O: Nice IPA, nothing fancy.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.

Pours a surprisingly deep copper-toned amber hue, with a bubbly, and inconsistent head of off-white. This settles down remaining large-bubbled and relatively full. Minimal lacing and a very light body. Carbonation is patchy and, again, large-bubbled. Overall, it looks decent, without being very exciting.

Nose is a pleasant bouquet of hops, with a slightly unusual mixture of the citric and fruity with the earthy and dank. There's some greenness there, but also a more herbal turn to it. This mingles with some rubbed citrus peel, a suggestion of passionfruit and some grainy tones from the malt. It reminds me of the East Coast American IPAs: not the dense, buoyant fruit aromas, but more lively and sweet than the dusky, purely earthy tones of an English IPA. All up, it's actually very pleasant.

Taste is much lighter, and very much lacking bitterness for an IPA. There's a clean, slightly nutty grain character running throughout the palate, and a tingle of slightly metallic, slightly bitey citric tones around the edges of the palate. But it's very much lacking body, roundness and integration: it feels like empty, isolated characters clanging around in a large empty space. It's not a bad thing overall, but it's a much more generic and less interesting beer as a result.

Overall, this is solid enough stuff. The aroma is very pleasant, and it's clean and inoffensive on the palate. But it's also lacking real oomph: it's a very tame IPA, and one which would be much better classified an APA. But then maybe it wouldn't sell as well.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a large head.
Nose shows some tropical fruit along with grapefruit. A fair bit of peach too. Some clean malt underneath.
Similar flavours; some tropical fruit and a bit of caramel malt.
Carbonation is too high.
Good to see Vale do a good beer.

Photo of ADZA
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must admit when i first saw this i was hesitant to grab but since i like the style asnd havnt tried to much from these guys i thought id give it a go anyway pours a hazy amber hue with a bubbly three finger head and lacing everywhere,the aroma really jumps out at you with smells of grapefruit,peaches,nectarines,kiwifruit,boiled candy and piney hops,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and easy to drink with tastes of grapefruit,stonefruits,blood oranges,boiled candy,some caramel malts and finished with a nice pine hop bitterness and overall what a suprise you definately cannot judge a book by its cover thats for sure and id drink it again cheers.

Photo of heygeebee
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No BB

Pours a hazy deep copper gold. One finger fluffy white coarse head looks the part. Clingy lace.

Aromas of citrus, grapefruit/pineapple. Good blast of hops, hint of pine.

Taste is a good example of fresh beer. Not outstanding, just balanced and fresh with hops, citrus, pine, and moderate bitterness. Aimed at entry-level IPA drinkers for sure.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, with light almost spritzy carbonation.

Surprisingly good beer from these guys. Odd to note tho, the flavour 'dies' as the bottles goes down. Odd

Photo of Toffman
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep copper with redish hues. Good head on pour that quickly dissapates to a light dusting.

S- something doesn't smell quite right. Cheesy? Vegetal? I get a sweet malt aroma as well as what might be a yeast derived aroma. Certainly not hoppy on the aroma as one would expect from the style.

T- sweet malt. Caramel and fruit notes. Very tame bitterness, and hop flavour. Finishes sweet with the hop bitterness making itself more present. No real change as the beer warms.

M- light to medium with a good level of carbonation.

O- A disappointing beer from an otherwise great brewing company. The beer too restrained in hop character to be considered an IPA. It might be possibly more in style with a APA however some rogue flavours/aromas spoilt the beer for me.

Photo of mulder1010
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ML poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a dark, hazy orange amber color. Half finger of off white head, when swirled got a good, thick two finger head. Held up well at the one finger mark. Noticeable ABV legs for a 5.5% hopbomb. :) Pretty nice looking actually.

S-- Galaxy hops. 'Nuff said. Lots of pineapple and passion fruit. Quite tropical fruit sweet nose. Good malt backbone nose also. In all honesty this borders more on the APA side but a good nose.

T-- Kind of old, stale pungent orange. Somewhat soapy also. A bit thin and watery to start but does pick up a fair bit. Wonder how fresh this is/was. A bit earthy as get tree bark and other things like that. Touches of lemon come into play at the finish of the taste. Grows on me a bit.

M-- Medium carbonation and medium heavy earthy feel. A bit like the Dundee IPA in the feel. Malt is pretty heavy and a lot of lemon citrus in the mid and back. Finishes with tropical fruit and pungent orange finish that cleans up to bright citrus.

O-- Overall not bad. Just flashes of the US aromatics and touches of English in the taste and feel. Interesting blend really. More on the border of a APA than an IPA but not all that bad and a big pick up from the other Vale offerings. Not as good as US counterparts but on par or better than a lot of Aussie IPA's on the market.

Photo of dgilks
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colour with a billowing, off-white head. Great head retention.

Moderate floral, passionfruit aroma. Really clear and crisp. Hints of malt. Touches of mango. An excellent APA though possibly a touch light for an IPA.

More fruity hops on the palate with a very light malt backbone. Mild bitterness. Some hop resins. A brilliant APA.

Medium-light body, somewhat creamy, moderate carbonation. Good.

A delightful APA but it lacks the punch of an IPA. This is certainly the best Vale beer yet and is something I would happily drink. I'm marking this down a little for not being an IPA as billed but it is still very good.

Photo of goodbeerallday
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: light musky brown/orange tinge, small layer of head about 1 1/2cm with off white appearance.

S: to be honest im not getting a huge aroma in any way off this beer.

T: the taste for me is quite good, bitter in the front pallet but diminishes as it moves to mid then back, although at the end i got a little more bite. im almost getting hints of pineapple in this and and passion fruit is predominant.

M: carbonation is quite strong and the bittering puts a bit of a tingle around your mouth at first but the beer has a creamy feel and goes down quite pleasantly.

O: i quite enjoyed this beer. very sessionable but a nicer scent would have really made it something quite nice.

Photo of dansmcd
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Clancy's Fish Pub overlooking City Beach in Perth.

A - Cloudy amber with a finger of dense creamy white head. Nice sheets of lacing throughout.

S - All hops but not massively intense. Pine needle more so than tropical fruit.

T - Quite fruity on the palate, passionfruit and mango up front then a strong hop bitterness finish.

M - Creamy full body, nice carbonation.

O - Not a bad IPA. Lacks imagination, impact and balance when compared to the top tier American IPAs but I could have another one without argument.

Photo of MrKennedy
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

425ml glass purchased from the Australian Hotel, The Rocks.

Poured with a centimetre of white foam that turns to film within a minute without agitation. It is a murky looking, orange coloured brew with a touch of amber.

Initial smell is quite pronounced, tropical fruit, passionfruit mostly. Dies down after that.

Fruit tasting early, passionfruit being the most noticeable. Not a lot happening after the initial flavour hit.

Everything seems early with this, bitterness too. Some carries over mid palate but doesn't really hit you with any back end bitterness that a US style IPA should. Seems more US APA in this regard.

Overall it is a tame US style IPA. Playing it pretty safe. Maybe it is the IPA to transition people across. Could be, but I wouldn't bank on it.

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Vale IPA from McLaren Vale Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.