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Pale Ale | Backcountry Brewery

very good
41 Reviews
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Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Backcountry Brewery
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Telemark India Pale Ale.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-06-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 86
Reviews by Snow81:
Photo of Snow81
3/5  rDev -21.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The Telemark pours a light amber color with a smallish, frothy white head that quickly dissipated to a collar that left some lacing.

The aroma is some bitter hops with some grapefruit notes.

The taste is some sweetness up front with a pretty big bitter finish. It had some citrus as well. The flavor was a little off...kind of skunky. Not what I remembered from drinking it on tap at the brewpub.

It's a little watery and thin. Overall, I didn't care for this too much. I think I may have had a bad bottle though. Either that, or it was a lot better on tap.

 566 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer name/Brewer: Backcountry Telemark IPA

Serving info: 22 ounce bomber. Best before info notched onto the side of the label. Poured into my brand stinkin' new New Belgium glass

Nose: Fresh hops, freshness quite apparent.

Pours: Clear, lighter orange hued amber. Lacing: Thick sheet down low and then striating and scattered above on the glass

Head: Head is puffy, long lasting, and frothy

Body: Pleasantly carbonated and medium thickness on the tongue

Flavor notes: Lots of fresh hops make me glad I gave this one a try. Pleasantly bitter, resiny and pine mostly. Balancing malt quite readily apparent as well. Making this one a quite tasty as well as appropriately balance. Nice brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Nose: Minty pine over malt.
Brilliant gold to amber under a ½” foam cap that dissipates to a film.
Palate: This is a rich and malty pale ale. It starts with big malt flavors and then some hints of spice. Well balanced with a nice blend of sweet and hops.
Medium body and medium carbonation.

 294 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This from notes, turkey day weekend a bttle purchased at the BP & consumed in my hotel room in Vail:

Pours honey/bronze with 1/2" white head. Good lacing & avergae head retention

S: Big-time citrus & piney hops

T: Piney & citrus hops up front, then a little fruittyness. Finishes hoppy & dry

MF: Medium bodied, with good balance & carbonation

Drinks okay, just a little heavy to session on . I a good/not great take on the style

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Photo of zonker17
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A touch hazy light golden color, white head and little to no lacing. Not fragrant with some hop and more grain. Very light flavor and body. Slight bitterness on finish. Low carbonation.

 185 characters

Photo of stampfler07
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of u2carew
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber. Consumed 10/18/10.
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles quickly. Lacing semi-sticky and big bubbled. Some dull haze. Copper in color.
S) Floral notes. Grapefruit. Lime. Subtle hints of caramel.
T) Caramel. Toffee. Flavor thins out toward the finish. Hops not as robust as the aroma.
M) Fizzy. Slightly syrupy. The lighter side of medium body.
D) An average brew.

 383 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of HeroJH
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was really good. They said it was an award winner and I can see why. Really nice and flavorful but not over the top or tongue splitting.

A - Gold, nice lacing
S - Fresh flowery washington hops. Slight background of maltyness. Really nice.
T - Perfect amount of bitterness. Malt Backround, hoppy middle and a real nice linger of flavor.
M - thicker, dry
D - Great! yeah, I could have quite a few of these.

 410 characters

Photo of SalukiAlum
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of cam12
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of cbcrunch
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Darhawk
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of riored4v
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 1/11/10

Poured into a pint glass. finger, white head, that faded quick. Clear, with a dark copper body.

Smell was of floral and citrusy hops. Mild maltiness. Very pleasant smelling although the aroma was a bit on the tame side.

Taste had a nice maltiness accompanied by some caramel malts. Flavors are well rounded. Nice floral and citrus hops mimic that of the aroma. Mild bitterness. Nothing overwhelming with the flavors.

Mouthfeel had a medium body with a medium carbonation.

Drinkability was good. Good balance of flavors and was overall easy to drink.

Good IPA overall. Nothing "fantastic" but definitely had the west-coast characterisics without being bold.

 679 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Backcountry Brew Pub.

Poured a medium and clear amberish color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of floralness, citrus, and light pine. Tastes of pine, light caramel, and citrus. Lighter bitter finish.

Notes from 12/15/06.

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Photo of victorj2002
1.65/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Where's the flavor? This may be the most non-descript microbrew I've ever had. What is this, a pale ale, or Milwaukee's Best?

127 characters

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

The IPA sported a thin, off-white head that slowly disappeared during the session forming a light lace on the glass. Orange / copper in color with a very light hop aroma. The sign behind the bar said 5.6% ABV with 60 IBU. Light maltiness was noticed during the inital taste followed by a weaker than expected hop flavor, but was nicely balanced. Simple and mellow malt aftertaste. Very drinkable and would probably go well with the pizza they serve.

 449 characters

Photo of famous_mortimur
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Tolann
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A hazy nut brown color with a creamy white head. Kinda reminds me of a light root beer. Not much head, but little lacing.

S - faint grassy hops and roasted nuts, apple? A more fresh hop scent.

T - Easy on the pallet. pure bright hops. Some bitterness in the back of your tongue.

M - lively and light for the style. little to no aftertaste.

D - Easy to drink. Not too complex.

 383 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, thanks unionmade. this one pours a golden dark yellow with intense amber highlights in the middle of the pint glass. not much head, more of a thick, viscous haze atop the liquid. indicates serious gravity. aroma here is very appetizing, very floral and screaming amarillo. hopped up ipa aroma, nothing out of the ordinary if you grasp that description. mouthfeel is the first thing i notice and it's a bit watery. impedes what should be a blinding bitterness.. makes for sort of an off-putting herbal earthiness in the finish. overall kind of sweet with balanced honey, caramel, and hop flower resin. not too aggressive at all although it begs for more substance to match the ingredients. drinkability increases while mouthfeel falls a bit. would drink this again and would certainly invest in a dipa by these folks if i ever saw one.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.97/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

"Formerly Telemark IPA." Hmm. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generally appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Colorado bottle shop and served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. 5.6% ABV confirmed.Bottled 11/7/2013.

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

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

Pours a three finger wide head of white-light khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head is full and healthy.

Body colour is a clear textbook copper of above average vibrance. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's a pretty standard appearance for a pale ale. I'm optimistic, but it's not unique or special. There are no noticeable egregious flaws.

Sm: Resinous hop character. Pale malts. Hints of piney and nectary hop character. Some caramalt. It's a biteen bready. Lighty estery. A biteen oily.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I don't find any off notes.

A clean, appealing aroma of mild strength.

T: Pale malts, a dash of caramalt, hints of grapefruit. Hop character is floral and resinous, with some accompanying pine and nectar. Slighty bready. The malty sweetness is decently balanced with the hoppy bitterness, but the balance is far from ideal here. It's not a gestalt build, but it has a loose general cohesion and the beer is pleasant to drink.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. There are no overt off-flavours.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It's got fair complexity, but I wouldn't call it subtle, intricate, or nuanced. It's an enjoyable pale ale with enough hoppiness to satisfy fans of the style, but there's nothing unique or special here. I do like it.

Mf: Surprisingly full-bodied and thick for a pale ale. Smooth and wet. Lightly oily. Has a refreshing approachable presence on the palate. Overcarbonated. Texture suits the flavour profile generally well, but don't expect the texture to be custom-tailored to the taste. Execution is pretty standard.

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

Dr: I think it says a lot that this beer used to be labelled an IPA and had the same recipe. Backcountry has delivered a run-of-the-mill pale ale and seems more concerned with marketing than with brewing quality. I'll easily kill this glass, and it's drinkable enough, but there's just nothing remarkable here. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, and I'm in no particular hurry to try Backcountry's other beers.

A very forgettable pale ale that won't offer much to the discerning drinker.


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Pale Ale from Backcountry Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.