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Pale Ale - Okanagan Spring Brewery

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

154 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 154
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 16.2%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Okanagan Spring Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2003

Clear and copper coloured, it is fruity on the palate and hearty in hops with a nice, round finish. We are honoured that Pale Ale continues to be BC’s most popular craft brew.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 154 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by DoctorStrangiato:
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.05/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - copper, as the name suggests. A moderate pour created a 1/2 inch soda-like head that subsided quickly. Some surface bubbles remain as a result of the high carbonation.

Smell - sweet, creamy malt aromas with the slightest detectable of cotton candy, believe it or not. Fairly gentle nose with just a hint of alcohol.

Taste - some active sweetness up front that gives way to a modest taste profile of sweet malt and a fading finish. Subsequent tastings suggest a near-fruit flavour toward the end.

Mouthfeel - on the whole a little too active and lacking balance. Goes from peppery to an extended sweetness - not a great segue.

Drinkability - nothing wrong with this brew but not the best and nothing special either. I've enjoyed a few and likely would have it again if offered.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.14/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at McGinnis FrontRow in Waterloo. My third choice bar of the evening (the other two were full), and, having been given a slate of boring macros available on tap, was given a rare chance to try something different.

Poured an amber hue, left about an inch of head, and surprisingly, it stuck around, at least in the form of a ring around the glass until the end. Actually, nothing wrong with it appearance wise.

The smell was non-existent. Maybe got a bit of malt and floral notes, but almost nothing. Not offensive, just...nothing.

The taste wasn't bad. Never found it offensive, and considering the horrible alternatives, I was rather pleased with this brew. A bit of skunkiness, but generally a good mix of malts, caramel and lemon. Not exciting, but decent.

Mouthfeel was thin, but it did the trick.

Actually, not a bad beer. Had no problems getting this one down, nothing offensive. A good pitcher beer, and one I'll probably get again. Like running into a friend after leaving a bad blind date, this beer wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it saved the evening.

Photo of chickenm
2.96/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium amber color with a thin white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. This had very little aroma, with a tiny bit of caramel sweetness and some faint floral hops. The taste again is fairly mild and bland with caramel malt and a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is decent with a medium-light body. Overall this this isn't too bad of a beer, but it's boring with very little character.

Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle. The 'Extra Special' seems to have been dropped from the name of this beer, as of their most recently packaging update. That said, the new label has way too much stuff going on, as the different angles of text practically make me dizzy before even partaking in the product itself.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and even a little creamy off-white head, which leaves some undulating streaks of cloudy lace around the glass as it quickly melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet biscuit and caramel malts, some decent, yet muddled orchard fruitiness, and a wee bit of earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is more biscuit malt, a bit of removed bready caramel, faintly astringent apple cores, and surprisingly mild earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, if a bit fizzy at times, the body a tame medium-light weight, and kind of blandly smooth. It finishes off-dry, with a bit more of that now dominant, yet still understated biscuity malt.

Not a particularly full-flavoured pale ale, but enjoyable enough on a warm patio, in a much warmer season and locale, as the memory of this offering will stay in my mind, if not exactly so for now, and moving forward.

Photo of Sammy
2.38/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very pale, minimum fizzy head. Carbonation like soda. Metallic and dry, with minimal hops. Not finishable, a drain pour. More corn than malt, a drop of fruit but overridden by mustiness, and yes I did detect some brown sugar.
The whole thing is feh. Mediocre effort.

Photo of dirtylou
3.47/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz draft at "The Keg" in Vancouver, BC

appearance: surprisingly dark mahogany-amber...body struck me as very full for a pale ale, light tan head

smell: mostly bready malt on the nose, just some light faint hops, a little musty

taste: nutty, bready, caramel and toasted malt, not too much hop to speak of...just not a very strong APA

mouthfeel: medium bodied, above average carbonation

drinkability: decent

Photo of ozmodium
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More of a pale all for your everyday macro drinker. But suprisingly good nonetheless. Nothing is going to offend anyone here, but not challenge anyone either.

Poured from the bottle an orange brown colour, minimal and slightly off white head...disipated quickly and left a tiny amount of lacing. Bubbles are small, but numerous.

Smells kind of weak. What's there though, is roasted malt, earth and a suprising lack of hops.

Rich malts and a molasses flavours this pale ale. Slight nuttiness. Not exactly a substantial flavour burst in your mouth, but its good.

Darned good carbonation and smooth character make this a winner to me. This just agrees with my mouth.

This is one drinkable beer. For a macro you don't get much better than this stuff. Deliciously different than your run of the mill. I'll drink 3 or 4 of these and still want another.

Photo of ChrisCage
3.13/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color that is crystal clear and with lots of carbonation rising to the top of the glass. The head isn't super impressive, being about a finger thick at first, and settling fairly quick into a patchy ring over top the brew. The lacing looks very good, as lots of soapy bubbles cling to the glass, and stay there too!

S- This smells very similar to an English Brown, with sweet toffee like malt goodness hitting the nose immediately...and the sweetness continues with some banana esters, and some other various dark fruit. Outside of this, I don't detect any hop presence that has any substance so a little disappointing in that regard.

T- For an APA, I find this very sweet without any bittering balance. The primary flavor is all malt....gooey, caramel flavors with just a hint of bitterness at the end of the swallow....right on the back of the throat. I don't find the flavor offensive or anything, but I just don't feel that it represents what the style should be.

M- The carbonation is plentiful and palate scrubbing. As far as the body goes, I'd put it right in between lite and medium, and probably lean it towards the medium side more. The aftertaste is what really makes this malty beer feel like I was eating melted toffee prior to this drink.

O- Overall, I don't mind this beer, but I just don't think it represents the style well. I'd drink this again, but most likely will not buy it. Add some more hops to the recipe and I think we'd have a winner here, but I will say that this is nothing more than a slightly above average beer in a broad sense, but it doesn't stand out.

Photo of Stocean1
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One finger head in a pint glass, this is a copper amber brew with decent retantion and good lacing. It is relatively clear and a decent looking beer.

The scent is malt and caramel and stale biscuit with little in the way of hops for the style.

The taste follows the nose with some bitter hops coming through, light fruit, and mineral funk.

Relatively light bodied with plenty of carbonation, there is a stale dry mouthfeel although it is still easy drinking. It really reminds me of a weak english pale ale or worse a lager.

This is one of those brews that is better than the macro alteratives in a pinch but not worth seeking out with decent alternatives.

Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a large 20oz pint glass (god these things are huge) at le Feu Sacré in Quebec City.

Amber red to orange body, quite clear with a solid off white to caramel head. Some cola carbonation from the sides, but mostly a nice streaming crawling pin head bubbles. Not bad.

Nose is quite dry and bisquity. Fruity esters of slight cherry, with a good balance. Smells fairly inviting surprisingly.

Palate mixes most of what is expected on the nose. Toasty malt body with classic ester fruit. Mouthfeel seem rather ordinary but tolerable, with about medium carbonation. Some density in the palate but big on yeast it seems.

Overall this really reminds me more of an English style. It's alright you could do a lot worse.

Photo of evlu1441
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is becoming increasingly popular in western canada. It's now easy to find in almost any liquor store and many restaurants. One of the "classic" craft brews in this country. It's been a long while since I've had it.

It pours a transparent orange-amber colour. There is a goof amount of bubbles floating up to the top, culminating in a thing creamy-ish head. It's fairly standard looking, but in to way is that a bad thing.

The aroma is warm and malty, though it ventures dangerously close to wet/grainy. there is some slightly fruity hops coming through too. Not bad at all.

The flavour is slightly underwhelming. Slight toasty malts up front to start, it fades into some faint hoppy aroma that comes through as the malty notes become sweet. It finishes with some faint bitterness.

Overall, I can see why this beer is so popular. Sadly, it seems to be because it is kind of inoffensive on all counts, while being slightly more of an adventure for people who are into Alexander Keith's, etc. I'm not thrilled with this one, but maybe my expectations were too high.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a really nice looking pale ale, a clear amber colour topped by a short tuft of creamy white head before it recedes. Aroma contains some buttery malt and with a sprig of hops added. The flavour is somewhat subdued, but it is a subdued blend of malt and hops. In fact the flavour tends to become more pronounced as the ale starts to warm. It all starts to redeem again from a satisfying full mouthfeel. Would make a good summer session ale while standing in front of the barbecue.

Photo of Antilochus
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had it at the Alex P. Keaton in London, Ontario. On-tap, in a Okanagan Pale Ale branded pint glass. Nice.

Pale amber, almost nonexistent head. Moderately dry, not nearly enough hops for this style. Metal, something a bit off about it. Still, I found it decent. Perhaps because it was on tap. Sweetish finish. I find these bland APAs have too much abv given their flavour profile.

Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size frothy and fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some fair/good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone completely.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer comes across as slightly watery and thin. I can taste lots of caramel sweetness and malts. There are also some notes of tea and a slight hop bitterness. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Not a bad beer by any means.. just not really anything worth revisiting. I suppose I would have it again if my choices at a restaurant were limited.

Photo of liamt07
2.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Fanatics in Kingston, served in an imperial pint.

Pours a clear amber with a dense white head, mild retention and leave some spotty webbed lace. High carbonation visible in the body. Nose is almost nothing, some mild hops, plain pale malt and some grain. Taste is similar, some general sweetness, grain, plain malt and some odd red apple notes. Medium high carbonation and a lighter medium body. An easy drinker and unoffensive, but truly unexciting and definitive of mediocrity.

Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint on-tap at Fogg 'n Suds in Vancouver.
Color is dark gold with a short white head that disappates quickly. Not as hoppy a smell as other Pale Ales, good mix of malt and hops. Blend of malt and a subdued hop flavor. Doesn't have the same kick as many other APAs. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not quite full flaovered and bodied as expected. A slightly more flavorful step up from most macro offerings, and works as a option to other main stream beers.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle that claims this to be BC's #1 craft brew; this APA is a clear copper colour without much of a head (I feel that this was probably a result of my pouring style though). A thin island of foam in the center fights a losing battle to maintain cohesion. Some lacing on the sides, but not much. Looks fairly heavily carbonated. Smell is very faint but otherwise ok; pale malts, light caramel sweetness, maybe some floral hops but that could be my imagination.

Taste is nice but nothing exciting. Despite the fact that malts dominate the smell, there is an acceptable (if muted) hop presence throughout the sip. Grainy malts and faint caramel notes mix with this slight hoppy bitterness, which lingers for a bit in the finish. Earthy is a good way to describe the overall profile. Light to medium-bodied with a good bite from the carbonation.

I like this, but as other reviewers have noted there is nothing Extra Special about it, which I suppose could be why it was removed from the name. The flavour could be described as both balanced and subdued, and both adjectives are equally accurate. Worth one try; very sessionable, and potentially a good gateway beer, but will probably not impress serious beer geeks.

[Updated Nov. 8 2013]

I picked up a brewery sampler with 2 bottles of this inside it, and figured I'd give it a brief comment since it's been two and a half years. This pale ale is not even remotely interesting, but it is inoffensive and easy to drink. I'm not changing the score - I could drink this in a pinch and it's better than typical macro ales, but from a realistic perspective it's very forgettable.

Final Grade: 3.30, a B-.

Photo of Voonder
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep copper colour with two finger off-white head which dissapeared quickly. Smell - bready, toasty, malty, slightly sweet. Taste - malty, slightly toasty. Quite nice flavour, but this beer is messing hops big time. Pretty smooth, creamy. Fairly drinkable.

Photo of CrazyMike
4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-copper apperance with medium head that sticks around for awhile, decent lace. Has a carmel, grain smell with a hint of malt.

Taste is overpowered by malt and carmel. Small hint of brown sugar And grass. Very earthy taste overall. Moderate body with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste has a lingering maltiness.

Overall, a this is a decent and well rounded pale ale. Nothing spectacular or bad, just good to drink. Would highly recommend.

Photo of Wintermute
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very short, cream coloured head. Average head retention and there was some lace.
Light brown with amber/red tints. Very clear and no chill haze despite being served ice cold.
Had a malty sweet smell that overpowered the hops. The faint hops aroma was kind of soapy. My impression at the time was that they were using both American and British hops.
Decent body, smooth texture, moderate carbonation.
Fairly clean tasting. There was a nice mild bitterness at the start that carried through to a more prominent finish. There was also a slight bitterness left in the aftertaste. It had a subtle sweetness as opposed to maltiness.
My review may be slightly off/biased as I had this on my way back from 4 weeks in SE Asia.

Photo of Highbrewer
1.16/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had it on tap. Appearance is okay. Smell is next to nothing. Tasted sour like it had some kind of bacterial infection. Waiter said it was supposed to taste like this.

Any more effort for this review is a waste of time. This beer sucks.

To the brewers: Try a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you want a decent example of this style. Maybe they tried to achieve a Belgian-type sour APA? Don't know, but the experiment failed. Why is so hard to get a decent ale in this beer wasteland of Canada.

I could not finish this beer. I don't think I've ever sent a beer back. Just terrible.

Photo of Long813
2.85/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Pours clear golden body with some bubbly head and lacing.

S: Decent amount of malts and grainy hops. Pretty generic.

T: Some notes of malt and straw grain. Not the greatest taste.

M: Lightbodied with load of carnonation. The grain aftertaste is horrible and made it hard to drink even one glass.

D: Not impressed, the aftertaste was not sitting well with me.

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.16/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time with the new system so bear with me.

A - Amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
S - Not too much, a bit of a floral aroma, but nothing extremely notable.
T - Nice balance of hops and malts; I would have to say that the flavors are somewhat muted.
MF - Clean and crisp. Real easy drinker, pairs very well with fish and chips. Cuts through the grease really nicely.
O - Nice, but nothing to write home about. C+.

Photo of bryehn
3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now re-branded as "Pale Ale" and sports a completely different look than currently listed. Says it was first brewed in B.C. in '89 and recommends a serving temperature of 9-11C.

Nice honey-copper colour with a big tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lace and settles as a long-lasting collar.

This really reminds me of the two 40-50s-style ales McAuslan from Montreal makes. Extra sweet, overripe fruits, toasted malts, a smoky woodiness. Sort of chalkiness. Honey comes through after warming.

Quite sweet. Lots of malt with a decent dryness. Nice buttery note in the finish. Hoppy crispness/tartness comes through long after it warms. Definitely tastes best warm.

Malty, yet crisp. fairly low in carbonation, but the long-lasting film creates a nice creaminess on the back-end.

Would make a better modern red lager/amber than a "pale ale" that most people these days associate with a hop blowout, however this is a pleasant old-school North American take on the style. Maybe a bit pricey to be a regular, but could be a hit at dinner parties with less, but somewhat adventurous buddies tired of Kieth's.

Photo of Noxious26
4.07/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, amber-copper in colour. Light beige head is 1/8 inch on the pour, but quickly reduces to a splotchy, thin cap.

Aroma is a nice, lightly hoppy scent with undertones of malt and fruit giving it a subtle sweetness.

Well balanced and easy to drink, things start off with hops in the foreground on the swallow and hints of malt in the background. Finish is balanced and even with both hops and malt making an appearance. Aftertaste is lightly bitter, with sweet-ish undertones.

A light-medium bodied mouthfeel nicely complements the light-moderate carbonation.

Although this beer is placed in the American Pale Ale category, I think it is a better example of the English Pale Ale. I have found that typically the American style is hoppier and crisper, while the English is more balanced and displaying more malt. This beer certainly won't blow your socks off, but I'm not certain that this style is capable of doing that. Instead of challenging your tastebuds, this pale ale is nice, easy going, well balanced, and highly drinkable.

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Pale Ale from Okanagan Spring Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.