Cutthroat Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

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Cutthroat Pale AleCutthroat Pale Ale

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72 Reviews
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Reviews: 72
Hads: 158
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 0
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tree Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: IronDjinn on 04-03-2005

West Coast Pale Ale. The perfect balance of five diffent malts and hand selected Hops. The distinctive flavour and aroma make this one truly smooth and inviting beer.
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 158
Photo of LampertLand
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tree Brewing 'Cutthroat West Coast Ale' @ 5.0% served from a 500 ml can purchased for $2.10
A-pour is gold from the can to clear gold in the glass with a small off-white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-very mild smelling Pale ale
T-malty , not so Pale ale tasting , big bitter (harsh) swallow
MF-ok/mild carbonation , feels bigger than a medium body
Ov-ok beer & Pale ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's a good beer, but the "West Coast" name leads one to expect a lot more of a hop presence than is actually here. Indeed, like the other brews I've tried from Tree, this seems to lean more toward the malty, English style of the Pale Ale spectrum. There's some citrus and floral here, but it's really pretty restrained compared to the big malt character (the can says this is 36 IBU; I'd have guessed closer to 20-25, tops).

Colour is light, bright copper, with a decent, fairly persistent head of about a finger. Smell is the weakness--lightly grassy, with an almost musty, milk-y lactose kind of note lingering, with not much else. Taste is a back and forth between vegetal hops and sharp, toasty malt. Carbonation is a bit heavy. Tasty brew, but not earth-shattering.

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Photo of -steve-
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Perusing BA and the top beers in Canada, we in Ontario seem to be missing out on the greatness of BC and Quebec. Both well represented in the lists of top beers. Perhaps this is simply a case of the grass is greener on the other side. Nevertheless, here in Hamilton I'm always eager to sample the craft beers of the West Coast. They seem to be too infrequent on the shelves of the LCBO.

This came in a 500mL can. So slightly different from the bottle shown here on BA.

It pours clear and slightly orange with a good inch or so of head. The head subsides leaving generous lacing on the sides.

Malty sweetness, caramel and pine resin assail the senses. I love that malty nose. This is a sweet beer with an underlying dry, hoppiness. Also tastes of pine and some steel. The finish alternates between the sweet malt and dry hops. I like the balance of those 2 sensations throughout the drinking experience.

BA calls this an American Pale Ale but I don't think it has enough hops to be an APA. But for me that is a welcome thing. Overall this is a really nice effort that I would drink again.

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Photo of ssmack
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Clear orange amber colour. One inch of yellowish head that lasted to the bottom. Good carbonation not but in streams. Great lacing with retention.

Mild citrus aroma with a touch of maltiness.

Generic citrus taste - orange and grapefruit. Slightly sweet. Not super bitter. Steely aftertaste.

Medium feel with a bit of chalkiness.

Not a hope bomb and not super citry. Some reviews slam it for not being a West Coast India Pale Ale (AIPA). But the label says "West Coast Pale Ale" which it is. Decent.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

This is very much a "time and place" beer. This ale is best suited to summer days dedicated to chasing its namesake trout. There is nothing special, but nothing wrong with Cutthroat. It's has a nice malt and caramel taste with minimal hop presence - similar to HopHead, without the bitter hop finish and complexity.

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Photo of KentCstrait
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

This is an Engligh IPA. Fine with me. But it claims to be a "full-flavored west coast ale"... No way this is a west coast ale! Not fine with me anymore...

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Photo of Jeffo
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this from the LCBO this past summer.

From a 16oz can into a snifter
IBU: 36

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-looser, foamy, off-white head with good retention. Clear burnt orange in color with almost no carbonation. Head fades to a full wisp and leaves some foamy lacing down the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end and leaves some decent lacing the whole way. Head is a bit foamy, but this is alright.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel notes, honeydew melon and touches of grapefruit. Medium strength.

TASTE: Light caramel and melon up front, then a medium but lingering finish of sweet bready malts and light caramel, floral flavors and some light grapefruit bitterness. Rather mundane. A nice caramel and sweet melon burst at the swallow is nice, but the rest of it is a bit boring and lacks the bitterness that was expected.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Good feel.

OVERALL: Okay. It’s labeled a “full flavored west coast ale,” but that really didn’t come to fruition. I guess it’s flavorful enough, but it’s rather boring in its sweetness and lacks the bitterness that was expected. Decent beer, but that’s it. Pass.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

A: Copper filtered with almost no carbonation, a huge 5 finger light yellow beige head, lots of chunky lacing.

S: Vanilla, honey, pine cones, cream, honey biscuit, malts like a good German Pilsner.

T: Honey, frankincense, honey biscuit, malts, a balanced dull bitter hop ending. Some grapefruit pith, a little spruce.

M: Medium light body with a resinous finish, low carbonation.

O: Great can, cool name. Was glad to find this one in Ontario. Brought it back to China where I am enjoying it on a warm night.

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Photo of davediff
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Don't get me wrong - this is actually a pretty good beer. I could even see myself buying again...but when I see a beer named 'Cutthroat' labelled as a West Coast ale, I expec some bitter hops to dominate, not sweet malts.

Pours a beautiful amber with some nice head & retention. Lots of toasty, multi-grain bread on the nose - should have been my first indicator that hops are not the stars of this show....there are some hoppy notes...little bit of non-descript citrus & tropical fruit.

Tastes...well...rather malty. Like a hopped up British ale, really...

Like I said before - this is not a bad beer, it's actually quite good! It's just not right for the advertised category. 'Our take on an ESB,' perhaps?

Good beer. Quite drinkable - especially for the Anglo-centric version of myself about 3 years ago.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.75

Appearance - Copper colour with a small size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Caramel, malts, breads/grains, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also a faint fruitiness and a grassiness.

Overall - Don't be expecting a 'west coast' fruity/juicy/hoppy flavour. It's an okay beer that is very drinkable, just not what I was hoping for.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for $2.80 for a 500ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours with a nice white head that dissipates to a film within 2mins. Golden good.

S- Light and airy. Good hops

T- A bit light on the hops compared to many other IPA's so expect that. Very light bodied IPA.

M- Pretty typical. Not very creamy at all

O- Pretty good. Will not buy again though but it is good. I just prefer more hops.

Food Pairing

This very good but light IPA went well with... Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Nice chicken broken into pieces, mixed with green onion and mayo with a sprinkle of salt and pepper on whole wheat.


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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.75 CDN.

Appearance - crystal clear beer, honey brown in color with golden and even orange highlights throughout. Small half finger of off white head is poured and doesn't stick around very long, leaving a small soapy ring around the edge of the glass. Some lively bubbles stampede towards the top of the beer.

Smell - nice blend of malty caramel aromas and some sweet tropical fruit. Not a lot else there but pretty solid and inviting.

Taste - given the aroma, this is actually what you would expect it to taste like. Light hop bitterness throughout. The tropical fruit flavours are light and subdued composing of some mixture of lime and a trace of pineapple. Very minimal sweetness. The taste is bold but subsides quickly leaving a clean palate.

Mouthfee - well carbonated yet light bodied brew. Slightly dry finish.

Overall-pretty tasty refreshing pale ale. Not really sure what makes this a west coast ale, but we'll rounded and excellent balance between hops and malts.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL can into a dimpled mug. This is billed as a "full-flavoured West coast ale" on the can.

Appearance: rich golden hue with no haze and a moderate effervescence. Head pours two fingers of pillowy ivory foam and has pretty good retention. I like it.

Smell: lightly toasty malt with a resiny, slightly herbal hop character. Not too bad.

Taste: sweet malt with just a little toastiness. Hops are subdued up front but build gently; they are herbal, piney, minty and green. Bitterness is moderate right at the end. Not bad; a pretty balanced pale.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess.

Overall: this is an interesting beer; I can't say that I love the hop combination here, but this beer also encourages me to keep drinking it. So, good, but maybe not my favorite, though definitely quaffable.

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Photo of TerryW
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking brew. Clear amber under a short head that settles to a full cap and gives plenty of lace. Nose is subdued, slightly fruity. Bready, yeasty, fruity to taste. Noticeably hoppy with a dry and bitter mouthfeel. Maybe just a tad too sweet by way of malt.

Decently brewed, but not too exciting, doesn't really stand out in any way.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear bronze with a crackly, chunky head that leaves plenty of lace trails behind. Fresh bread and All Bran mixes with a light floral, citrusy hop character in the nose. Caramel, mashed grains, cookie dough, fruity esters and lemon drop hoppiness in the taste. The mouthfeel is quite dextriny and full bodied, with quite high carbonation levels. The finish is lightly bitter with a clean residual sweetness from all the malts.

A good Pale Ale though imo more in the English tradition, with the yeast flavors and complex and dominant malt profile. Tasty stuff never the less.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tallboy can picked up at the LCBO and served slightly chilled; best before Aug. 26 2014. I vaguely remember trying to decide between a six-pack of this and Hop Head while shopping in Alberta a few years ago, but I opted for the latter and never got around to trying this one. Hopefully it's as good as its cousin!

Pours an attractive, golden-amber colour with beautiful clarity. Seated atop is nearly two fingers of puffy, sparkling off-white head that slowly seeps away over the next few minutes. Loads of lacing. A beautiful-looking pale ale, with a subtle aroma that includes notes of brown sugar, citrus fruit, and not a lot else. Certainly not unpleasant.

A very tasty pale ale, offering a satisfying mixture of West Coast hops and solid malt backing. This one is quite bready and biscuity, with some caramel sweetness and a touch of toasted nuts. The hops eventually grab my attention - orange and lemon are the most noticeable features, with a light resiny feel toward the balanced finish, which also includes some welcomed biscuity sweetness. The mouthfeel is my favourite part of this brew - medium-bodied, with mild carbonation and a very smooth mouthfeel. Whether the flavour profile tickles your fancy or not, no one can say with a straight face that this isn't damned refreshing.

Final Grade: 3.90, a B+. Tree's Cutthroat Pale Ale has a refined, understated quality about it that many APAs these days lack. There is nothing flashy about this one, but this blend of 10 different malts and hops comes together extremely well. This is an exceptionally balanced, sessionable pale ale that I will absolutely return to again. It's great to see some BC craft beer staples finally making their way to this corner of Ontario.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml can into nonic pint. best before august 26, 2014, enjoyed on may 9, 2014

a: an extremely clear light amber. a somewhat aggressive pour yields one and a half fingers of off-white head, full of fine bubbles, that dies down rather quickly

s: great balance between malt and citrusy hops. herbal, floral, tea leafy, and slightly piney too. nothing extravagant but smells pretty good

t: follows the nose. quick grapefruit and pine notes up front, with a delicious and prominent malt bill that enters shortly afterwards -- mostly caramel and toast. a tea-like bitterness (think green tea) begins mid-palate and lingers for quite a while. dry finish. balanced and tasty!

m: light-medium body, mild carbonation

o: under "cutthroat" on the label reads "full-flavoured west coast ale". i'm not well-versed in the field of west coast ales, so i can't really say if this is truly a west coast ale or not, but this brew is certainly full-flavoured. i'd like a bit more carbonation, but this is some really easy-going and delicious stuff

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cutthroat is a type of trout with reddish-orange markings under its jaw; the beer named after it has a similarly amber hue. Its head is only moderate in size but makes an excellent decorator; the lacing its leaves behind is impressively ornamental and almost sticky enough to beat gravity (it loses the battle rather slowly, as the droopy patterns on the glass display).

A blend of forest-y herbals, tree resin and candied fruit peels, this Pale Ale definitely smells like it's from the west coast. The amount of hoppiness in a beer's aroma doesn't necessarily indicate its bitterness, but this leads me to guess that this one lands somewhere in the thirties (answer: sure enough, 38 IBU). It's appreciably hoppy that's for sure.

It is also, however, appreciably malty. The palate reveals where all that orange-y colour and dense haze comes from: a tall order of toasted grain. Flavours of toffee, toasted bread, and biscuits control much of the taste while the leafy and resiny notes stay more or less confined to the aroma and aftertaste (which itself has a fair bit of caramelized malt taste, mind you).

In fact, there's enough caramelization and nuttiness that those 38 IBUs glide right over the tongue and into nothingness. This is considerably 'smooth' (by conventional standards) for an ale that retains a pronounced hoppiness. A beer like this needs balance and, indeed, this recipe has hit it with pin-point accuracy; the drinkability, so far as I'm concerned, is endless.

I already knew that Tree made a solid IPA (Hop Head), an even better hop-bomb (Double Hop Head), and an excellent dark hop-bomb (Hop Head Black), but it's nice to know they also offer a more conservatively hopped pale ale too. While it may be better suited to the average commercial drinker, it's still an enjoyable, highly quaffable ale that meets the high standards of craft beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a tulip pint glass.

A real serious looker of a pale ale. Crystal clear body, and glowing perfect copper amber, with nice minimal rising pinhead carbonation. Head is large, aggressive, but in control and builds large with good solid pinhead sized bubbles throughout, four finger tall, large retention and thick island clumping. Spider and soapy lacing is all over. One fantastic looking pale ale.

Nose is toasty, light grains and very dry. Some thrashing grains and ripped almost biscuit quality. Hop presence is not really large here or obvious, but with a large husky quality. If this is your thing, then things are going well.

Real interesting palate. Light bodied pale ale sensing malt, and sharp yeast. Hop finish a bit with a steely grapefruit character and bordering on metallic twinge. Good notes of soft hinting caramel and light sweetness. Dry grainy toasty aromas manage to escape tremendously making sugars/caramel downplay. Feel is borderline juicy but hits well with a good feel.

A large malty biscuity profile, and very unique pale ale. Real enjoyable one here.

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Photo of Olek4374
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought a can of this a long time ago and it has been sitting in my fridge ever since. I don't know why I've been ignoring it for so long. Perhaps it's because out of the dozen "sampling" beers I bought, this was the only can. Oh those cans.

The beer pours a very nice copper colour with a modest, two finger head. The head is very quick to dissipate. The beer has a very nice aroma, with citrusy hops making the beer have almost an orange-type smell. It has a bit of sweetness to it as well.

The taste is something else. When the beer first hits my tongue, I'm really unsure of what adjective to use to describe the taste. It is certainly quite hoppy with some fruity notes, but it tastes so much fuller, almost like a proper India Pale ale. I'm actually quite stuck on what words to use, but rest assured if I knew what they were, they'd be very positive.

The finish is very strong for such a beer, and it leaves a strong hoppiness lingering on your tongue for a good twenty seconds. The carbonation level is appropriate, leaving the beer with a little tongue-tingling goodness and a smooth finish down the throat.

Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into mug.

Appearance: Copper colored with white head and light lacing.

Smell: Toasted malts, citrus and some spiciness.

Taste: Grainy, toasted malts with light citrusy hops and lots of spicy and floral notes.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Overall: Very straightforward APA, which is solid but little stands out.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can strangely bought in Halifax last week with a date (which I assume to be "best before") of 19/11/12. May not have been perfectly stored during its trans-Canada sojourns, but from a date perspective not nearly as old as I would have guessed from the caramelized malt "breadiness" in the taste. Hope to head west and taste fresh on draught at some point, but not a beer I'd purchase in a can again if looking for the typical citrus and pine hop bomb of a typical APA.

Pours a beautiful near iridescent orange amber with a decent and sustained off-white head, impressive lacing. A very mild aroma of caramelized malts, even after it warms. Taste is a bit more complex, but also utterly "inoffensive" - caramelized malted barley sweetness transitioning into a dry hopped finish that doesn't linger long and maintains a sweet backbone.

Probably an excellent gateway or transition beer for someone just moving away from macro lagers.

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Photo of maclean25
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got a pair of 500 mL cans. It pours with big, white/slightly-yellow, creamy head. The body is clear with an orange-amber colour.

I love the aroma. It smells fresh with hints of fresh fruits like apricot/peach and citrus. The aroma carries through into the taste. Starting with a more citrus fruitiness, I get a dark chocolate taste (there could be some vanilla in there?) and a fantastic floral hops finish. It has a medium-to-full body and heavy carbonation.

Overall, I love smell and taste of this beer. I haven't particularly cared much for west coast hops, they work great here. The only downside is the feel which has too much carbonation and is a tiny bit thin.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange colour. Decent head of the pour and well-marked lacings.

Restrained hop aromas. Citrus and a surprisingly grassy, continental, note.

Grainy malt. Light citrus hops throughout, nice enough, but seems to be cut short.

Find most of the Tree beers are over-carbonated. Well made beers but they're not giving much support to the flavours they create.

I'd opt for their Hop Head. Pale Ale shouldn't be shorthand for something with less taste.

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Photo of Converge
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Foamy, yellow-white head; about one finger. Light orange-amber hue to the beer. Nice glowing pale ale look to it. Bits of lacing, but little head retention.

S - Right off the bat this smells fantastic. Buttery, bready malt, caramel, sweetness, light grassy hops. Like GIB's English Bay Pale Ale on steroids.

T - Heavier on the hops than expected, without as much malty characteristic as the aroma hinted at. The hops are done pretty well here though, with a refreshing and clean feel to them. Balanced pretty well between the malty backbone and the hops upfront.

M - A little thicker and drier on the finish than anticipated. Fitting mouthfeel for the ale.

D - Overall, a solid APA. Not quite as good as the smell had promised, but a great ale I'm sure I'll have again.

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Cutthroat Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.