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Duckpin Pale Ale - Union Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Duckpin Pale AleDuckpin Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

43 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 322
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 30.13%
Wants: 8
Gots: 66 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 322
Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

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Photo of bensbeers
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had for the first time on tap at Golden West a few months ago...and had to have two more! Haven't seen it anywhere else since, so I walked over to the brewery for a growler.

Pours a slightly hazy, amber color. Somewhere between orange and brown, but more orange. Smell is slightly hoppy, slightly malty, citrus peels. Taste is about as perfect as an American pale ale can be - well-balanced but leaning to the hoppy side with a splash of earthy orange. Felt nice going down. Medium body but still a thirst quencher. Overall I think this is how an APA should be - hoppy and refreshing with a touch of sweetness. Cheers, Union!!

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Photo of illpass78
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can poured into a becker.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear glowing orange/gold with a one-finger white head and some decent carbonation. Not a ton of lace on the way down.

Aroma: Nice nose. Grapefruit, hops, resin, maybe a little mango. Nice hoppy, fruity aroma.

Taste: Really tasty pale ale. Follows the nose, with fruit and hop stickiness. Strikes me more as a mild IPA than an APA. Either way, it's a really tasty and very sessionable pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Nice all-seasons depth. Has the appropriate amount of body for the style.

Overall: Great beer named after a wonderful game. I don't think you'll find a better domestic pale ale in 12 oz. cans.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Buffalo Wild Wings in College Park, MD out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden hue with a nice white head that leaves a decent trail and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Hoppy aroma with hints of citrus.

T: Tart and hoppy aroma that finishes on the bitter side.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: Really good pale ale – I would grab this again.

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Photo of BobbyKem
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
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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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can with a 7/16/15 sticker on the top of the 6 pack. Pretty damn fresh. Standard pale ale color. Aroma is outstanding. Citrus, mango from the hops with a little breadiness. Taste is no surprise. Great balance and a beer I could drink all the time.

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Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light fizzy head, mostly clear pale slight amber colored

Nose nice floral fruity hops, some tropical fruit nice citrus like tangerine and hint of tropical passion fruit, etc. Light sweet malty base.

Taste nice hops again, citrus, bit of tropical fruit, some grapefruit, hint of passion fruit and musty fresh slightly resinous hops, fair bitterness, a bit of leafy grassy fresh hops. Mild sweet malt base. Finish is dry and quite bitter starting to get astringent, but nice lingering citrus hops, orange, grapefruit, etc.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall great beer, great hops that balance well with the malts. Nice citrus, tropical fruit characters, good resin, great flavors when fresh. The first time I had this it was fresh and delicious, then I had it again in 2 other bars with varying degrees of success, you can tell how well a bar treats the beer and how fresh it is.

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Photo of rudzud
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this.

A - Poured into a tulip a crystal clear honey hue with a light thin white head that fades to leave a thin halo and lacing.

S - Aromas of very fresh grains, fresh hops nice citrus, faint tropical notes like mango, light sweet malts. Very inviting.

T - Taste is nice and clean/crisp with more of those good grains, light bubblegum notes faint citrus peel, very light tropical notes. Quite clean and drinkable with solid balance.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice and super drinkable.

O - Overall this was a pleasant surprise. Glad to try...mmm I love fresh beers.

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Photo of MerriweatherRaven
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I often get this on tap, but started buying it in cans this summer.
It's become my go to favorite beer (in a can) for outdoor actives like tailgating.
It's just the right balance of big hoppy taste in a low 5.5 ABV sessionable IPA.
Not too overpowering so I can knock 6 back in an afternoon, nor too weak that the taste washes out after the first 3 or 4.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very similar to flying dog classic pale ale.

Pine and fruit flavors from the hops are prominent with floral notes.

The bitterness is up front and assertive with malt at the tail end of each tasting.

This beer smelled fruity and enticing. I would like to say that this beer was noticeable for its lack of dryness.

Would recommend

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Photo of Immortale25
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Kubishark
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

An almost cloudy, orange color, this beer looks great and tastes pretty darn good too. A good mix of malts and hops, both in the smell and taste. It's got a feel that's perfect for the style and overall I can't think of too much that's wrong with this beer. I was very pleased with what I had. Good job, Union. Showing that Baltimore has more than just Natty Boh.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Max's Taphouse, on to the beer:

This pale ale light orange colored, topped with a half-inch of head, and leaves good creamy lacing around. Good things come to those who smell, and I smell pleasing crisp pine, cantaloupe, and honeydew in this one. The beer is plenty hoppy alright, but the beer also doesn't go overboard with the lupulins and is extremely refreshing. Somewhat light in the mouth, this beer brings pine, melon, honeydew and light dry biscuits notes to my palate, allowing them to sing and replenish from the brutal summer heat of Baltimore. There's quality in Duckpin Pale Ale.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Metropolitan.

Pours a hazed golden orange with a thick creamy head that fades to a thin collar and beautiful intricate webs of lace. Well balanced nose of pale and biscuit malt, NZ hops, lemon, citrus resin and grass. Medium thick creamy and chewy body, well carbonated with an aggressive dry and mildly bitter finish. Flavor starts with a strong earthy and grain presence before blending with citrus rind and resiny hops. Mildly tropical fruit sweetness mid palate, but the earthy and resiny flavors dominate. A more traditional APA than the recent trend of APAs that are actually IPAs. On par with DC Brau's Public (I might prefer this on first impression) and will be a vital local beer once it starts getting canned.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of tone77
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell of citrus and hops. Taste is very good, lots of citrus, hops, a strong malt backbone, tasty and disappearing fast. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a fine beer.

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Photo of Jawn-Doe
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden amber with a thin, creamy cap. Nice lacing. Light caramel and toffee on the nose. Creamy texture and sweet malt up front, light citrus and pine slowly comes in. Prickly, dry finish. There's a really nice balance here. It's really the best of both worlds-seamlessly mixing sweet, caramel malt with biting, grassy hops.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up never having heard of it while in DC. Was pleasantly surprised with the more complex flavor profile than I expected. Drinks more like a heaver IPA than one would expect with this ABV. Nice citrus flavors and hop aromas, nice bitter aftertaste all on a solid malt backbone. Would buy again.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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?

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

A-Good looking golden-orange color, slightly hazy. The 2-finger head just won't quit and leaves thick lacing.

S- Pale malts, breads, and more malts, kinda heavy.

T- A true pale malt flavor down to the bone.

M- Well carbonated and chewy for solid body and feel. Malty dry from start to finish, not a hint of hoppiness.

O- I can't find the hops advertised in this brew as you can tell by my comments above, but it holds up and isn't bad.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hudson St. Stackhouse today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, peachy amber color with good head retention and lacing. The beer certainly looks attractive enough. I don't pick up a whole lot in the nose... just some sweet malt and some light, underlying dry citrus. The beer smells as if it might be on the malty/sweet side. On the palate, the beer is much better, as there's a nice dollop of perfumy, hoppy bitterness to buoy the malty sweetness. The flavor profile is pretty interesting, as initially the beer seems fairly malty/sweet, but then the hoppy bitterness comes on strong, leading to a dry, bitter finish. It gives the beer something of a layered flavor profile (not a bad thing). Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, but with a long, hoppy bitter, slightly spicey finish. Alcohol is no more than an after thought in this well crafted pale ale.

This is really quite tasty. Well done!

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Photo of Florida9
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear golden in color. Forms a minimal white head. Decent retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Very hop forward, but still restrained. Mostly citrus: grapefruit and orange with some light pine notes to round things out.

T: Taste is similar, but not as well developed in the hop department. Grainy malts with just a touch of caramel. Grapefruit and grapefruit pith. Some mild pine and. There is also a bit of a tropical fruit sweetness to the beer.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation. Medium bitterness. Slightly grainy mouthfeel.

O: A very respectable APA. Easily drinkable and at 5.5% its a sessionable beer as well.

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Duckpin Pale Ale from Union Craft Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.