Pale Ale - Backcountry Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale

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very good

79 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Backcountry Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-06-2003

Formerly known as Telemark India Pale Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by chugalug06:
Photo of chugalug06
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Mild, dense, and foamy head rides atop foggy orange-red brew. No lacing and decent retention.

Creamy, milky, mildly floral, light, crisp.

Smooth, mild carbonation, crisp bite, not too bitter. Sweetness is also quite relaxed, yet mild and well done. Flavors are very floral, peach, red apple. Smooth and fluid. Solid.

Well, apparently you can't judge a beer by it's label... Definitely recommended as a mild easy drinker for a relaxing evening. First Backcounty Brewery experience I'd consider a great success.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Photo of DogFood11
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best product I've picked up from this frisco colorado establishment.

It pours a copper tone with nice head and decent retention. Tastes like a huge hop profile but watery. it doesn't have that zing I would hope for. very drinkable and smooth

Notes: Most IPA nuts would be dissapointed by this but I found the drinkability and ease of this brew to be fascinating. Good sunday footbally brew without the hangover.

Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bronze color with a thick, white head of thick foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, grapefruit and pine. The was a burnt toast aroma, too.

T - It tasted of citrus (grapefruit) bubblegum and burnt toast maltiness. Nice caramel flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that was quite easy drinking.

D - This is a really good IPA. I wish I had tried it on tap while I was there.

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has an awesome hop aroma along with a solid pale and crystal malt base. This is what an IPA should smell like. It's bitter, but well balanced for a fuller aroma. The taste is no different. It has a great flavor. The malts are crisp with a light sweetness. The hops are present in the mouth and in the finish. This is one smooth brew. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a near perfect IPA. I could drink this one all day.

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

I had never even heard of this brewery until I came across this bottle.

Telemark IPA pours a clear golden amber beneath a thin, white head. Fruity hop aroma. Not much complexity, a little malt sweetness, but mostly spicy, citrusy, PNW hops. Notes of apricot. Medium body, a bit chewy. Not bad, just not very deep.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at beer fest in Dillon. I'm not sure if it's the fest or the town, but this seems like a perfect mountain IPA--whatever the hell that means. Anywho...

A clear amber pour with some caramel colors. Expected head; white and semi-dense. Lacing is appreciated.

Aroma is most hops and I get pine and green citrus. I think the malt gives the hops more of an earthy quality to it.

And I think this is why I said 'mountain IPA'. It has the NW hop character with some pine and earthiness to it. Light caramel and sweetness. Dryness is as crisp as the mountain air, eat your heart out, Coors.

A solid IPA

Photo of Domingo
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those beers I probably should've reviewed years ago but probably drank them too fast to remember that I needed to. For an IPA, this is about as drinkable as they get. Right now they're only in bombers, and I usually split bombers, but this one I can drink a bomber ...or 3 pretty easily.
Pours a honey golden color. Foam and lacing? Yup!
Piney hops hit initially, followed by a bit of citrus zest. Oddly enough, the bready malt character hits on the back end. It fades with a mix of that white bread character and the hops. Pretty interesting how the the hop flavors and bitterness work independently and shine apart from one another.
It's just clean, and one of those IPAs that really illustrate what the American IPA style is all about without trying to go crazy with 10 different hops or a million IBU's.
Easy drinking? Unbelievably so. I like IPA's, but they aren't usually my go-to beer. However this really could be. Hopefully this one starts showing up in 6 packs soon as I can imagine this as a good beer to keep in the fridge all of the time.
An under the radar tasty IPA.

3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my 4th of July beer. Well ok so it was the first beer for me on the 4th. Good smell, lively with notes of grapefruit, hops, and something sweet....honeysuckle?. Surprisingly very tasty and well rounded for a $3 bomber of IPA. Smooth hop foreground throughout with caramel, cirtrus, malt, and again a nice sweetness.
Very smooth for the style and I'd drink it anytime.

Photo of briman
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a slighltly hazy light copper color. A quarter inch white head forms which retained fairly well, settling into a good bit of lacing.

Aroma is mildly hoppy, with an abundance of orange and citrus notes.

Taste is mildy hoppy, with the orange evident upfront. The finish is slightly bitter with some grapefruit coming through. The bitterness in the finish is mild, and lingers only for a moment.

This is a very mild medium bodied IPA...carbonation seems relatively light. This and the mild hop bite, and abundance of citrus makes this very refreshing to me, and for me makes this a highly drinkable beer...easily multiple in a session.

Certainly not as hoppy as some of the more well-known American IPA's it will no doubt be compared to. I think this is what they are shooting for though, as the label points out this is supposed to be geared towards a more "British" style IPA.

Photo of schoolboy
4.79/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What an interesting beer. Nicely balanced but yet full of unique flavor. I wish I had more of it.

It has a subtle aroma that hints of floral and citrus (it's just good finishing hops, I would guess). Great finishing taste too.

Everyone in our group liked it, so it will please a variety of beer snob pallettes. Great stuff!

Photo of filabrazilia
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper yellow with a thin white head that leaves a blanket of lace on the glass.

There is a distinctive floral hoppiness in the nose.

An excellent balance of malts and hops swirl in the mouth to create a delightful taste experience.

This is a medium bodied beer with nose tingling carbonation and a great hop finish.

This drinkable IPA is worth seeking out and trying. It's a good representation of the style and a credit to the folks in Frisco. I may need to drive out there in the near future to spend a weekend and sample their drafts.

Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle label data: Please refrigerate (looks like an) 8/19/2014

Clear, honey-colored body with a moderately thick yet dense, white head. Mild, zesty and peppery aroma with some hints of malt grains; pine resin. Bread crust flavor; mildly toasted grains; soothing hop bitterness. Medium body; soft and smooth with a clean, semi-dry finish.

All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying pale ale. Deceptively light yet well-balanced between the grains and hops flavors. If this was formerly marketed as an IPA, I'll assume it was an English style. In any case, it's very easy drinking and worth repeat visits...

Photo of gmcfarre
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Light amber with a yellow hue. 1/2 inch head with good lacing and lots of carbo bubbles.

S - Smell is very sweet and floral, quite enticing. Hops are obviously the source of such goodness, and they add a touch of citrus fruitiness.

T - Sweet hops flavor that doesn't knock you out, but isn't totally subdued. A nice compromise between a British version and a hopped-up West Coast version. Mid-taste and finish are somewhat lacking in flavor, so I reckon this IPA could use a greater malt presence to balance things out. Aftertaste is not too bitter.

M - Nice medium carbonation with a light mouthfeel. Lack of a super bitter aftertaste makes this more appealing to non-IPA fiends.

D - Refreshing but not memorable. Wouldn't turn down another, but there are better options around.

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Pale Ale from Backcountry Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.