Duckpin Pale Ale - Union Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Duckpin Pale AleDuckpin Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

263 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 51 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Union Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: yourefragile on 07-05-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 36
Photo of vincehayter
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rather plain pale ale with a surprisingly sturdy hoppy flavor and refreshing taste. Drank with smoked barbecue and the pairing was perfect!

Photo of jmasher85
2.21/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clearly not my type. I won't waste words on this one, and only say that it's a bitter, hoppy pale ale in not the way that I enjoy. Little in the way of any interesting smell, and the taste is almost obnoxiously East-Coast-style hoppy - all bitter burn and not much else. Nothing offensive about it per say, and I guess if you like straightforward hoppy pale ales, go for it, but I certainly won't bother with it again.

Photo of chefhatt
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very well put together pale ale,hoppy but smooth and crisp

Photo of GOBLIN
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A well put together pale ale. These days everybody is over hopping everything and barrel aging the rest . . . A solid brew here and a style probably needs more attention.

Photo of bluehende
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really like this one. Hoppier than most pales and borders on a low alcohol IPA. If they marketed this as a session IPA they would be closer to the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Photo of BuccoFan
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had the Double Duckpin this past weekend and enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought some other Union beer.

Their Pale has a decent look to it, but is a little light looking. Aroma is very good, with nice floral and malt scents. Body and lacing are good as well. My only issue is that the finish is a little tangy for my tastes. It didn't quite finish very smoothly. Still a good beer, though.

Photo of handcrafty
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Not Double Duckpin. But a solid session pale ale. Wish the galaxy hops were a little more prevalent.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can. Orange body with hints of amber and a half inch of head. Citrusy aroma with a touch of grass. Mild earthy character with cracker & biscuit malt notes. Fairly balanced, in favor of hops. Juicy and relatively light in body with zesty carbonation. Decent.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can I got from a good buddy...Robert A. Thanks!

I could smell the pine as soon as I pulled the tab on the can. It's a slightly hazy honey gold colour with a firm 1" head of foam. It started off bigger but refuses to get smaller.

Smell? I already covered that above. ;^)

The taste is as piney as any I've had in a Pale Ale with more than a hint of some tropical fruit going on in the background. I get a bit of bready malt but nothing that I would remotely call sweet. As in sugary sweet, not as in sweeeet, this brew is good.

Perfecto mouthfeel, this is one heck of a delicious hop forward Pale Ale!

Photo of MNishCT77
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. can purchased at Whole Foods in Fog Bot, unknown brewing/packaging date, drank out of my BBA tulip-style glass over 30 minutes

Photo of Immortale25
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours and orangeish amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing.

S- Sweet, citrusy hop aroma that's slightly musty.

T- Soft hop flavor with a moderate bitterness and a sturdy, bready malt base. The hops beat out the malt but not by much since this is a very juicy, hop-forward IPA.

M- A bit thin which is its only real downfall. Medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Great pale ale by a brewery I've never heard of before. Would be interested in trying some of their other offerings.

Photo of HeartofMiami
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Thanks to a buddy who picked it up fresh from Baltimore. Can into snifter. Look and smell of a good IPA. Dank, grass, citrus. Nice carbonation. Taste is flat, falls off. Very little flavor. A hint of lime, grass. Caramel finish. Glad I got to try but not my favorite.

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

good local brew. nothing exciting. but great nonetheless

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

EDIT: The second review in two weeks I've had to go back and edit. I've had a couple more since my first, and although it doesn't have a great malt backbone, the New Zealand hops shine through and make this delicious. I will be picking up more this summer, too bad I can't find any can dating, but I'll trust the fact that this is a local beer.

Poured from a 12 FL OZ can into a pint glass. No canned on nor best by dating.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light orange with a thin white head.

Smell: Sweet biscuity malts and tropical fruit hop aroma. Definitely notice the "Southern Hemisphere" hops. Inviting.

Taste: Not a ton of flavor as the aroma would suggest. Slightly sharp, tart taste from the hops. Thin malt flavor. EDIT: I really like the tropical fruit flavor from the New Zealand hops.

Mouthfeel: Very light, thin bodied, not a great execution. Certainly refreshing. EDIT: I have to keep in mind this is a pale ale, no more no less.

Overall: Not bad, but far from a favorite. EDIT: I am enjoying this more and more and will certainly buy this again.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clearish amber color. The head is a finger high with a shade that's barely off-white. Not much in the way of retention - it fades to a thin film rather rapidly. At least there are some streaks of lacing left on the glass.

S: Some of the citrusy and even tropical fruit hops come out pretty well - it's not an explosive hop aroma, but it's a good one. Also piny in spurts. Like most pale ales, malts appear with notes of caramel and even some sugary wisps.

T: This is a decent mix of tropical/herbaceous/piny hops (I'm even getting those high falutin' Galaxy hops, which I love) and candy-like malts. Hops on the front end, malts near the finish. I wish the tropical notes were more vivid - they're kind of getting lost within the more generic grapefruit and caramel tones. Still, this is a very good pale ale that I'm not getting tired of drinking (if I ever get tired of drinking a single pale ale, then we have serious problems!)

M: A gentle lingering sweetness helps make this crisp, clean brew quite refreshing. Honestly, it starts to linger a bit strongly after a while. Take that out of the equation and the feel is very nice: carbonation is just right, fullness of the body is just right, and the finishing dryness is just right.

O: My buddy Nick swears by this beer as "his Bud Light". I know for a fact I'd much rather drink this over Bud Light (other things I'd rather be doing than drinking Bud Light also include stapling my ear to a wall, taking a kick to the groin, and bathing in cement). Still, this is a very good and very quaffable local pale ale - and as we all know, local equals good, except when it's not. As I continue to drink it, it just seems to get better and better; hell, I'm just done finishing my second can in this session.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

They're pulling that old homebrew trick- the one where you make an IPA but you enter it into an American Pale Ale competition catagory, because you know that the IPA is more flavorful and seductive that Pale Ale, so you know you'll win, right? But Union Craft Brewing is actually on the right track. Where that might not go over on the homebrew circuit, our palates are trending hoppier and hoppier. So the more that you make you Pale Ale taste like IPA the more fanfare they'll likely receive. After all, consumers are not judges.

Regardless, the "Pale Ale" kicks off with a deep goldenrod hue that approaches light amber through its center. A mid-statured column of foam builds upon the beer and easily lasts the session even after receding to a sheet across the glass. Lacing with ladder-like patterns- there's nothing to the beer's appearance that suggests anything other than a well built Pale Ale.

And then the nose reaches the rim and everything changes. The citrus mounts, and mounts, and mounts- grapefruit everywhere, orange peels everywhere, grass and pine everywhere. So where's the malt balance? Its props up the hops with notions of graham cracker, caramel and light biscuit. Light stems, leaves and bark-like scents are perfumy yet piquant and seems a little lemony, tea-like, kinda like sassafras.

Similarly in taste, the malt focus is early and short- caramel and toasted grain gives a hearty sweetness. That is, until the hops rise in the middle. The sharp and tangy taste of white grapefruit, unripened oranges and lime peels goes all bitter in a hurry- ushering in a fast finish with a stemmy, dry resin, and acutely bitter finish. Its vegetative taste is just as characterful as its smooth bitterness as the hops trail in memory.

Even its malty-dry texture is more testament to India Pale versions that that of the maltier American Pales. Its creamy carbonation separates early and leads to a resinous-dry finish, but first it leaves a watery draw between. Mostly clean, crisp and refreshing; the ale pierces the gullet with glimpses of hop-derived astringency and assertive bite.

Duckpin Pale Ale is a rewarding taste for those who prefer the taste and balance of American IPA but with the body and semi-sessionability of standard Pale. Its light body exposes some earthy qualities, however I tend to celebrate such rustic and raw qualities.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clearish golden body with two finger head that died quick with minor lace. Soft, balanced aroma of both citric hops and some fruit and malt sweetness, although not as much caramel malt as a tropical fruit essence. Beer is light and smooth, but not watery, and the hops are evident and provide a crisp finish but I really enjoy the sweetness in this beer (again, something like tropical fruits). A simple but real enjoyable beer.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can courtesy of mwrecording pours a hazed copper collar with a creamy cap of foam that leaves sheets of lace, pretty nice...

Nose is caramel malts and light herbal hops. Leans malty with some nutty yeast.

Taste flashes some toasted malt first and finishes bitter and leafy. Not much hop flavor and the yeast is definitely apparent. Mouthfeel is fine, though a little astringent. Just ok.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received this beer in a great trade with DeutschesBier.. Thanks a bunch Clint!! Glad we crossed paths!!

Pours fairly clear straw golden ... short lived white head leaves pretty good lacing.

Big citrus for a standard pale ale with a lightly balanced pale malt presence... Smells great.

Flavor mirrors the nose with an extremely drinkable well balanced pale ale... nice citrus and perfect bitterness.

Body is a good light/medium... carbonation is light/medium... very quaffable.

3.5/3.75/3.75/3.75/3.75

Thanks again to Clint for a great trade!!

Photo of reebtaerG
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Lures

A-Clear, medium amber with an off-white head and excellent lacing.

S-Hoppy aroma of pineapple, fruity hops and caramel.

T-Taste of fruity hops, pineapple, citrus, caramel, tropical fruit more hops.

M-Nice mouthfeel with medium body and medium/high carbonation.

O-This was my first time having Union. Nice job, curious how the others are?

Photo of MattFoley
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I needed a six pack to take tailgating and saw this was local so I picked it up. Not too impressed.

A - Clear, golden. Nothing special but nothing to really complain about either.

S - Good hoppy smell. This has me optimistic that it will be on the hoppier side of Pale Ale's, which I like.

T - Total let down. I don't know how to explain it. The hops are there but there's something else getting in the way. They taste muted, even for a pale ale.

M - Good carbonation, refreshing.

O - Unremarkable, middle of the pack. At $12 for a 6 pack of 5.5% beer, I don't see myself buying this again.

Photo of smakawhat
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A bit lifeless looking here. Dull. Murky amber yellow and brown, with barely one finger of off white colored head presented. Manages to settle and leave a pencil thin collar and puck. Not very good looking brew.

Nose though impresses with a big 180. Lots of pineapple and fruit hop action. Clean and juicy smelling with a nice sweetness and citrus aroma. Very nice and unexpected.

Aroma doesn't quite seem to translate into an enjoyable palate. Chalky feeling palate with a dirt and earth bitterness. Faint hint of mint on the swallow on the hop realm, but this is quite watery and wet for even a pale ale. Malt depth non existent on the mid palate. Quite carbonated mouthfeel a bit and nearly seltzery.

Not sure what happened here the beer has a great bouquet too bad it just didn't translate on the palate.

Photo of cyclonece09
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a light orange with a small head that dissipates quickly. Smells of piney and floral hops, very nice. Tastes of earthy hops with very slight barley and citrus undertones, very well balanced, very nice hop bite. Beer is light body, nice clean finish, no weird aftertastes, carbonated heavily. Overall, a very good beer.

Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Once more, the indomitable tone77, my local, in-person trader, comes through with some CANs that I had not even heard of before he dropped the off in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)!

Does anyone else remember Duckpins and Dollars on WBAL-TV (Ch. 11) from Bawlmer, hon? How about CAPT Chesapeake? We were too poor to afford cable when I was a kid, so we had an antenna and rabbit ears and picked up Balto with no problem. I shared this with John Waters when I met him for the first time, in Harrisburg. He threw back his head and remarked that Balto was affecting little kids in PA without even knowing about it, or words to that effect. My brother and my best friend's brother were the big Balto fans when we were growing up, but my Mom-Za did grad school work at Johns Hopkins and my aunt lives in DC and hooked me up with a colleague who was a beer vendor at Memorial Stadium later Camden Yards. As such, I am more connected to Bawlmer than I would have ever imagined, knowing the curator at the Babe Ruth Biramythplace and Museum as well as the BAL and MD Hall of Fame. A picture exists of me holding the Super Bowl V trophy when room to publicly exhibit it did not exist and it was mouldering in a museum basement. I still hate the Browvens as a lifelong Stillers fan, but Balto is always a good, wild time. Onward!

From the CAN: "Smooth & Hoppy [...] That's How We Roll"; "A Baltimore Original"; "Stay Out of the Gutter Recycle This CAN"; "This generously hopped pale ale is a strike in your mouth! Brewed with lots of Pacific Northwest and Southern Hemisphere hops, this beer is ten frames of big citrus and tropical fruit aroma and flavor. A strong malt backbone rounds it out and makes this pale ale a delight for the senses. The pins may be small but the flavor is huge! In our town, we roll Duckpin - a true Baltimore original."

Jesus! The Crack revealed a CAN so brimful that there was a) no headspace and b) a spritz across my fingers as a result. I began with an inverted Glug, but I had to back off as the French Vanilla-colored head threatened to overflow the lip of the glass. Upon settling, I had two-plus fingers of head with a creamy aspect to them. Color was a deep-golden shade (SRM = > 7, ~ 9) and as the triumvirate of Mammon, Midas and Croesus fought over a sip, I took note of its clarity. I would like to be able to say "bright" since I could see through it, but it had a slight haze that prevents me from saying so. Nose smelled like fresh tropical fruit. I do not know if they still make Tropical Fruit Life Savers, but they, along with Clove Life Savers, were my favorite as a kid. I would tear back the roll to expose each of the five flavors and pop one of each in my mouth to really get a kicky taste. Man, the nose on this took me back - mango, papaya, a slight earthiness, wow! I remember a chica in Trinidad that tasted like this smelled, perhaps as proof that you are what you eat. She subsisted on a diet of fruit, vegetables and seafood and was probably one of the healthiest people with whom I have come in contact. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was really earthy and fruity! Holy ... The CAN mentioned "citrus and tropical fruit" and I will grant you tangerines and grapefruit, especially on the finish, but the initial taste was of mangoes and papayas. Wow. Finish was dry, but not like gasping, fish out of water, asthma attack dry. Instead, it was a reminder that I had had liquid in my mouth and now it was gone. Just dry enough to pull me out my reverie. It certainly meets the Cooler Question criteria and especially if I were going bowling, to play bocce or even croquet. I also want to give a nod to "The Duckpin", a former squeeze in San Francisco who was built like one. She had not heard the term before I gave her the sobriquet, but she was very happy with it.

Photo of BobbyKem
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my go to summer beer. Easy drinking and very smooth. Just enough hops and not too overpowering. The malt tones are low in this beer which is a plus by my standards. Citrus hops come through in this beer. Not as hoppy as some of its rivals, but holds it own.

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Duckpin Pale Ale from Union Craft Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.