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Essential Pale Ale - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.
Essential Pale AleEssential Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

158 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.61%
Wants: 3
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ahalloin on 02-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Clydesdale:
Photo of Clydesdale
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazed golden color, with a slight orange tint. The off-white head is medium sized, with a frothy consistency. Retention is solid, and some sticky lacing clings to the glass in a thin ring.

S: A fair amount of cookie/biscuit malty aroma. Light grain and caramel. Some nondescriptly herbal/spicy and fruity hop notes are present, but this is a pretty clean and balanced ale nose.

T: Fairly malty up front. Biscuity, crackery, and grainy flavors dominate. A touch of sweetness. Hop bitterness is medium, with herbal and somewhat soapy flavors. A somewhat muted secondary wave of bitterness arrives into the finish.

M: Fairly firm body. Carbonation is moderate. Hop bitterness contributes to a fading, almost sticky dryness.

D: This is completely drinkable and generally well balanced. It does lack a bit of pizzazz, and I'm not wild about the predominantly soapy hop flavor. In all, it's a serviceable brew but not a standout.

Clydesdale, Aug 11, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint a dull medium golden with almost no head to speak of,what there was of one was gone quickly.Very light floral hops in the nose along with faint caramel malt,very underwhelming.Leafy hops on the palate and they are light,some earthy tones as well,more of a dryer crisp malt base.Average in all aspects,a no brainer that lacks fullness in just about everything.

oberon, May 24, 2012
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

SmellsofMahagony, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Nearly clear pale golden color, ample stickage of lacing

SMELL: Clean, bready, macadamia nuts, clementines, piney hops, ripe passion fruit, faint spice

TASTE: Very smooth, fresh grain, dried grass, citric peel, mint, biscuity, nutty yeast, faint ripe fruit, spicy dry finish

Very well balanced with a good use of hops, this pale ale is a step or two ahead of the pack and is something I'd go for on the regular basis.

Jason, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of ChadwickHines
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Great taste and wonderful flavor

ChadwickHines, Saturday at 12:09 PM
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

IrishGermanAmerican, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Bike2work
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Bike2work, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of richkrull
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

richkrull, May 05, 2012
Photo of dcbeers
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

dcbeers, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of Jeffreysan
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty golden color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer in wispy clouds.

Aroma: Not much of an aroma at all, either that or I’m congested. I get some faint hints of biscuits and honey and clover, but not much else.

Taste: Not much in the flavor department either. Again, some malty biscuit notes with a nicely balanced hop bitterness. There is a just a hint of sweetness, but overall it’s a very underwhelming flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin, but with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.5%, there’s no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent pale ale, but not really memorable either. There are better pale ales out there and there are certainly better Port City beers out there as well, especially, Port City’s Porter and Oktoberfest.

Jeffreysan, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of Loveyourbeer
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Loveyourbeer, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of KenC
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

KenC, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of Psberrier
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Psberrier, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of tanner1980
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

tanner1980, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

DOCRW, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of hophugger
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Ok, a beer brewed in my state and it did not disappoint. Head and color and lacing aside(they were ok), the aroma and flavor of this beer were very nice. There was a good amount of citrus that was balanced out well at the end with a nice amount of hops. Pale Ale??. Yes it was!!. A touch of malt helped bring this beer to the great balance that it is. Good Job !!

hophugger, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of KTCamm
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium copper with light white foam. Laces. Nose is grassy pine, citrussy. Mellow malt, pushy hop, latent bitter. Easy drinker with enough hop to make its presence felt but not overpower. Straightforward pale but certainly good.

KTCamm, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Hesperus
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy and golden with a two finger white head with decent retention, leaving behind a layer of residual foam. Fairly good lacing.

Smell: Piney hops with some resin, grapefruit, some herbal notes and perhaps a little bit of spiciness.

Taste: Similar to nose, pine and grapefruit make up the bulk of the flavor profile, with some herbal and malt notes in the background.

Mouthfeel: Wet with middling carbonation. Highly drinkable and moderately refreshing.

Overall: A very serviceable pale ale that is certainly on the hoppier side of the spectrum. That being said, this is far from the best I've had.

Hesperus, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of Swift989
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Swift989, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of dexterk1
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

dexterk1, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of johnpdennis
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

johnpdennis, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of apasternak
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

apasternak, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Hockey_Fan, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of zp6167a
4/5  rDev +12.4%

zp6167a, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle at RFD, poured into a glass.

A: The pale ale is a darker amber color, closer to nut brown than pale. Paired with the darker appearance is an off-white head that leaves a few layers of lacing behind.

S: The aromas are caramel and grains, a little biscuity, with a small hop afterthought. The hoppiness isn't a big feature of the beer, instead it opts for subtlety.

T: More grainy chewiness. Caramel and biscuit together with darker breads. Hops aren't that strong, more of a balancing aspect. Overall, the flavor is solid but doesn't come with any frills. Content in what it is, an accessible pale ale. Although, truth be told, a few more hops wouldn't hurt.

M: The mouthfeel is malty, very little in the way of citrusy hops. Too bad too, there are few things like a nice well-balanced pale ale.

akorsak, May 21, 2011
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Essential Pale Ale from Port City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.