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Mighty Arrow Pale Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Mighty Arrow Pale AleMighty Arrow Pale Ale

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

588 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 588
Reviews: 402
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 01-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 402 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright orange that isn't too far removed from bright amber. The crystalline beer is crowned by a wonderful looking chunk of ivory colored foam that fills almost half the pint glass on the initial pour. All kinds of stickiness leads to an abundance of attractive lace.

The aroma is pure American pale ale. Interestingly, the brewery's website lists the hops as Amarillo and Cascade, while the label says that Cascade and Goldings are in use. One sniff tells me that the website is correct. Mininally toasted malt rides along beneath a grapefruit and orange citrusiness.

Mighty Arrow Pale Ale tastes exactly like its ingredients say it will and exactly like it smells. That's a very good thing. It's a little surprising that NBB has taken this long to release an APA, something that is standard fare for just about every craft brewery in the U.S. Then again, they don't call themselves New *Belgium* for nothing.

First attempt or fiftieth, this is a solid example of the style. The malt backbone is nice and sturdy, with a gently toasted grain and honey vibe. The hops, while nowhere near IPAish, are fine for an APA. Mighty Arrow is roughly balanced, with a slight nod toward grapefruit zesty bitterness.

There's no letdown when it comes to the mouthfeel. No surprise there. It's at least medium for the style, features a light creaminess, and hangs on well through the finish. Spot-on carbonation helps bring all that about.

This beautifully constructed ale proves that good breweries brew good beer, even if it's outside of their (supposed) comfort zone. Mighty Arrow Pale Ale flies true and hits pretty close to the exact center of the bull's eye. If there was any justice in the world, this brew would outsell Fat Tire 10:1.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 12:42:28 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The new one from New Belgium. I had been wanting to try this one to be honest and stumbled upon it the other day. Decided a glass was not going to hurt anything I dove right in. Always up for a good Pale! Nice pour, deep amber color with loads of carbonation that could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass to continually reinforce the two fingers of white foam that was sitting on top of the glass. Settling down it coated the inside with a light string of fine lacing and left a decent bit of broken crown across the top. Nice aroma, fresh, light, hints of grapefruit and light piney hops are the most dominant. Warming seems to bring out a hint of balance to it, but again nothing crazy here, in fact it was the lack of anything really blunt that made it work. Crisp, very clean and light refreshing flavor was what it was all about. Each sip was light and very well carbonated and the piney hops and light citrus notes really took over and gave you a great little session able summer ale.

Overall much better then me though going in. This was really very drinkable and very well rounded. I would have no problem with a couple of these over the course of an afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 23:26:34 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with two fingers of solid off-white head.

S: Smells of citrus hops and a bit of stale bread. Plenty of floral hop notes, which are probably the best part of the aroma. A light toast note and just a little bit of bread. Not much else...

T: The flavor is a bit grassy with a moderate bitterness. A little bit of citrus peel flavor along with some floral hops. Bready malt with some toast and pale, cracker malts.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: Just an okay example of a pale. Don't think I would make this one a repeat beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 06:30:47 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a frothy head that nicely laces the glass

Smell: Enticing fruit aromas of grapefruit, mango and pineapple

Taste: The grainy and fruit flavors battle it out up front, with the raw grain ultimately downing the citrus flavor that was so enticing in the aroma; by mid-palate, the flavor profile becomes really harsh; after the swallow, the sweeter caramel and honey malt flavors start to build but never completely offset the harsher grain elements

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is one schizophrenic beer; if it only tasted like it smelled, it would be terrific

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 03:30:30 | More by brentk56
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very light copper-toned body sporting tiny streams of continued effervescence and topped with a finger of white foam.

Smell: Largely hoppy scent smelling of pine, flowers, and citrus fruits, pith and peel included, with the light toasty, grainy notes from malts tucked in back.

Taste: Mild pale maltiness with slender suggestions of lightly sweet honey and whole-grain bread. Beyond a medium-plus bitterness, the hops deliver a taste of pine and a citrusy, citric mix of lemon and tangerine peels. Drying, lightly crisp finish with a bit more bitterness and lingering citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight smoothness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Here there's no fuss, no fancy tricks, just a good, easily drinkable APA that leans light on the malts and gives a good dose of citrusy hops.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2010 22:20:35 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear light to medium golden,a nice one finger fluffy white head atop,broken shotty lace was left behind as it settled into a creamy mass.Passing leafy and citric hop in the nose,its a bit light though,some caramel tones also showed itself.Mild on the palate with decent flavors,again that leafy hop presence mixed with a tinge of grapefruit,biscuit and honey sweet malts keep the beer balanced all the way thru.A tad light but its drinkable,not the biggest in the falvor department buts decent.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 01:47:34 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Mighty Arrow? The hell? Anyway, it pours a clear golden amber topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit peel, light orange zest, wheat, and a touch of mild caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything is rather provisional, lasting but a few fleeting moments on the tongue. Oh, and there's a hint of honey in there, too. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice little pale ale, but nothing really exciting enough to grab for again.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 02:23:02 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, pale orange appearance, big, lacey white head, high carbonation.

Highly hopped aromatics, citrus & spice. Cascades? Really lively, clean, piney. Lemon zest & orange rind.

Soft and lovely on the palate. Lush, tasty malt holds it down, a tender pillow for the hops to spring off of.

Nice and smooth, tasty, hoppy, light bodied, and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 02:45:46 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from turfy so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off- white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character up front that is quickly followed by a mild caramel and citrus sweetness. Then a complimentary hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is poundable beer with enough flavor and substance to stick with for a whole evening.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 01:37:11 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD of 30 May 08, 6.0% ABV

Pours a slightly effervescent honey/bronze with a fluffy 3 fingers of creamy white head. Very good head retention & good lacing

S: Citric hops & a touch of breadyness & a bit of honey once warm

T: Lemony hops, plus a touch of grapefruit & some biscuitty malt up front. Slight fruittyness is there as well as this warms along with some grapefruitty & piney hops, plus a bit of boozey warmth. Finishes with more booze presence, grapefruit & honey malt

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & great balance, a bit hot though

Drinks pretty easy, but I believe the 6% abv would get to you sooner than later. This is a pretty good APA & a nice addition to the NB stable. This was pretty good on draft too

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 04:29:12 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours orange gold with a one-finger white head that hangs around until the beer is empty. The aroma is hoppy, with orange citrus being predominant. The flavor is hops - both orange and pine - with a nice caramel malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 00:48:12 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy golden color with a small, white head that left small amounts of lace.

S - It smelled of Goldings hops - somewhat floral. There were also malty notes.

T - It tasted quite hoppy with a tocuh of light caramel malt. A bitter kick at the end.

M - It was sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - I thought this was pretty good. They need to package it in six-packs.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 18:46:28 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By July 2009; Sampled March 2009
A solid pour yields a three finger thick, lightly tanned head that has some staying power as well as leaving some nice lacing patterns on the sides of my glass. The beer is a clear, light copper hue that shows a brilliantly clear, deep gold, copper hued color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of citrus hops, a backdrop of caramelized grain and some toasty pale malt aromatics. The hops make me think of bright fruit notes of apricot, ripe tangelo, lychee and other tropical fruit notes as well as candied citrus peel. The aroma is quite vibrant and alive, and is really quite nice.

My tongue is greeted by a biting hop bitterness that continues on into a long finish, though the bitterness is pretty well balanced for a Pale Ale. As the beer flows across my tongue bright fruit notes of lychee, tangelo zest and peach also tend to linger on the tongue, but they are cut by an herbal, almost menthol like hop flavor as well. The malt plays a secondary role here, but provides a hop boosting like sweetness, a nice texture and body to carry the hops, as well as some cracker like grain to help dry out the finish. This is light and refreshing, yet with enough body to carry the hops.

The first time I had this I remember the aroma being really nice but the flavor not really delivering, this was caused by me serving the beer too cold (which really killed the fruity hop flavors). This time I served it at a more appropriate temperature and I have been rewarded with a really tasty brew. This is my kind of pale ale (though I would likely enjoy this more if it was boosted all around into IPA territory) and is in fact a great representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 03:37:10 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with some golden highlights. A 2" head lingers around a while.

Smell: floral hop bitterness and some orange citrus are mild on the nose.

Taste: mild caramel notes with some stronger orange citrus. Bitterness is bright and upfront.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, lightly crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this is a basic APA that hits the spot when you are in the mood for the style. Nice sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 14:40:57 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mildly cloudy with a solid golden hue. Modest start to the head, settles into a single bubble layer. Leaves stringy lace.

Good malt base with a distinctly floral hop nose. Nice appeal.

Excellent body for the style, rich and above average carbonation. Lighter malt than the smell suggests. The hop flavor is prickly and peppery. The aftertaste is relatively short given the hop aggressiveness.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 00:47:41 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark shade of goldenrod, small white head, solid lacing.

S: Citrus dominates, orange zest.

T: Earthy hop note initially (similar to NB's own 2 Below), with sweet bready malt. Light note of phenol in the finish. Spicy hop flavour overall, the sweetness come out more as the beer warms up.

M: Prickly carbonation, smooth, light/medium body.

D: A middle of the road pale ale for me, probably won't buy it again, but an easy to finish brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 17:26:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber ale with nice white head. Sprightly in the glass and on the tongue. Fresh and fruity hops to start, long harsh bitterness to finish. Some touch of biscuit flavor. Sharp fruit and resin. Grapefruit pith in the aftertaste. Thin body and just a hint of malt. Label notes Cascade, Amarillo, and Golding hops.

Nicely made, clean and crisp, but the first sip is better than the last.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 05:17:47 | More by mactrail
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bright gold color with good carbonation and a nice white head. Nose is big with fresh citrus hop aroma, with a light touch of toasty malt. Taste is light, with hops, floral and citrus notes. Very smooth, very West Coast on the flavor. Very good and drinkable

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2010 23:10:10 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked that this was something different, but overall, I didn't really dig this beer. The aroma was all fresh dry-hop of something that was a little grassier and more herbal like EKG. It was like when you stick your nose in bag of hops while you're homebrewing, that sort of a fresh. The flavor focuses again on the hops, but with a mild and sweet malt undertone. I guess it reminds me a little of Surly's Bitter Brewer for being a lighter beer with a balance of fresh hops and light malt, but this isn't as good.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 17:06:56 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas


3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generally appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired yesterday as part of the new Folly pack; I guess this is a revival beer. 6% ABV. Reviewed as a pale ale because the label clearly identifies it as such. Best before: April 27, 2014. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Served into an Avery stem-tulip - satisfying the label's stated ideal glassware.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Has a fluffy consistency. Low frothiness. Decent thickness. Slight creaminess. Retention is pretty good - about 4 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent transparent copper-gold of above average vibrance. Appears adequately carbonated. Very clean; there are no floating yeast particles nor any visible sediment.

Overall, it's an inviting appearance for a pale ale, though isn't unique or special compared to most examples of the style. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: They used some of my favourite hop varieties (amarillo, cascade) in this pale ale, and I'm pleased to find they're showcased here. I pick up some oniony character from the amarillo, which may bother some. I happen to like it. There's ample floral hop character as well as some unexpected herbal notes - including dank oily resins evocative of cannabis. It has a lovely honey malt character with an accompanying ideal level of sweetness. There's some nice pale malt character in there too to give it some more body and presence.

This is the kind of fragrant, pleasant aroma I look for in a good pale ale. There seems to be a good marriage of hops to malts, and the moderate strength of the aroma is sufficient to entice. I'm really looking forward to the first sip.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable; it's quite a clean focused aroma profile.

T: The taste largely delivers on the promises of the aroma, providing a multifaceted hop profile spread over a honey malt base. The cannabis-esque dank resinous character dominates, with floral and herbal character not far behind. It's a bit timid in terms of citrus given Cascade was used, but it does feature a mild grapefruit twang which is a bit of a departure from the general vibe of the rest of the flavour profile. As such, the build isn't quite gestalt, but it's very cohesive.

It's pretty balanced, but I can't say the ingredients seem all that carefully selected. The honey malt is a huge success here, lending just a bit more sweetness than the complementary pale malts provide. It's got notable complexity and intricacy compared to your average American pale ale. That said, it's not a real subtle brew. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Oily, smooth, and wet, with a slight overcarbonation bite. It's aptly crisp, which helps the mouthfeel complement the flavour profile. Has adequate body and thickness to support the flavour profile.

Not astringent, harsh, gushed, boozy, hot, or stale.

Dr: This pale ale from New Belgium surpassed my expectations. It'd make a great beer to pair with pizza and is quite drinkable for its above average ABV. It's the kind of beer I'm happy to find in a variety box and would be happy to see come back to New Belgium's lineup on a less limited basis. For its price point and availability, it really delivers. While I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again and wouldn't recommend it to friends, it's a pretty solid pale ale for a macrobrewery and will satisfy the discerning drinker.

Low B-

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:37:26 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer with best before dating on the label. Pours clear light honey amber. Loose fluffy eggshell head that leaves thick rings of froth and sheeting. Bread in the nose and more then a hint of cascade induced citrus. Pleasing APA, respectable hop bite, with more cascade notes. I like it, flavorful, dry bit in the finish. Sessionable hoppy ale. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 02:09:10 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear orange body with a creamy off-white head that turns lumpy but last and last. There is a slow carbonation that pops off the base and glides to the surface.
S- The juicy green floral hops fill the nose and seem to get brighter as the beer opens up.
T- The soft biscuit malt flavor has a touch of sweetness to it with a mellow pungent green hop finish. The green hops linger after each sip and take on a green watermelon rind quality aswell.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a light crisp carbonation that boost the hops in the finish.
D- The biscuit malt is just enough that it is not offensive and supports the leader of this pack, which is all the bright fresh hops. It's big hops are nice but still it is very drinkable without staining your taste buds.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 03:00:56 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, deep golden colour with a somewhat filmy, but fine-bubbled head of white foam. Lacing is good and there's a nice amount of large bubbled carbonation keeping it active.

Pleasant fresh hop character on the nose, a little fruity west coast aroma with an underlying hint of grainy malt, almost akin to an amber ale - fused with a sweet depth a little like cookie dough. Nice. Subtle but nice.

Clean and softly sweet base malt character on the front palate, which is sliced and counterbalanced with a fresh hop note through the centre, finishing with a light bitterness, very dry. It doesn't taste as though it's substantially more bitter than the average pale ale, but it has a sharper and slightly rougher hop character that beefs up the hop presence. Overall, very tasty and crisp.

This is a nice APA - clear and fresh and quaffable, but with a robust hop presence to keep it flavoursome and enjoyable. Very nice drop.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 01:27:33 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Zorro


3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light amber colored ale with a small off-white colored head.

Smell is good and herbal with a perfume of Pine added, smells like English and NW style hops were used. Floral and minty smelling there is a very mild malt scent but this is mostly hops.

Taste starts out very neutral at the start with no particular taste. Very dry with just a little hop and biscuit malt flavor. Either my sense of taste is shot or this is lacking in flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable but I must say I wish I didn't have 5 more of these. Doesn't taste bad but under-flavored compared to what I am used too. A good gateway beer I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 04:04:06 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this one.

Pours a very nice golden dark yellow color, nice one finger creamy thick off white head, lots of nice thick creamy sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty/hoppy, some citrus/pines, with some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, a very nice blend of hops and malts, more citrus than pines, with some caramel notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very nice pale ale, way to go NB.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 02:08:17 | More by Wasatch
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Mighty Arrow Pale Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.