Duckpin Pale Ale - Union Craft Brewing Company
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -4.1%
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.
02-27-2014 06:05:04 | More by BEERchitect
4.2/5 rDev +8%
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.
06-05-2013 14:50:01 | More by jlindros
District of Columbia
4.08/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
07-05-2012 22:54:07 | More by yourefragile
4.26/5 rDev +9.5%
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.
09-08-2013 22:07:42 | More by woodychandler
3.9/5 rDev +0.3%
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!
07-14-2012 20:15:02 | More by John_M
3.23/5 rDev -17%
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.
09-26-2013 22:03:53 | More by smakawhat
3.74/5 rDev -3.9%
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.
Thanks again to Clint for a great trade!!
02-18-2014 06:36:18 | More by JohnGalt1
4.04/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
08-10-2013 05:39:46 | More by tone77
3.28/5 rDev -15.7%
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.
02-22-2014 01:19:45 | More by twiggamortis420
3.89/5 rDev 0%
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.
02-23-2014 16:32:11 | More by clayrock81
4.19/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
06-06-2013 00:21:36 | More by rudzud
Duckpin Pale Ale from Union Craft Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.