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American Pale Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

42 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spanish Peaks Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jwc215 on 03-28-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marginally more orange than amber, with a surprisingly dense cloud of yeast. A few streams of fine bubbles can be seen rising through the haze and plunking into the underside of a pale lemon cap that looks acceptable enough. An average amount of sudsy lace manages to stick. In the end, the opposite side of the pint glass is almost entirely coated, resulting in a much deserved score increase.

I like the nose. It's both citrusy and floral, with a mid-range fruity thrum rather than a top end, high note brightness. I might have guessed good ol' Cascade as one of the contributors, but I would have been wrong. The hop bill consists of Crystal, Mt. Hood and Horizon. Solid so far.

And that is exactly the word that I would use to describe the flavor profile. Solid. Nothing more than a hint of caramel and Munich malt are appreciated on the palate. APA the APA is pale malt-dominant and is a better beer for it. I would have put the IBUs (stated as '50-55') at something more like 30-35.

The stars of the show are the three hops listed above. They provide an intriguing mixture of flavors that are reminiscent of grapefruit, orange and apricot. The floral muskiness of apricot peel is front and center. There's just enough hoppiness present to scratch that alpha acid itch, provided one drinks multiples bottles. Shouldn't be problem.

I wasn't too impressed with the mouthfeel right out of the gate. With time, though, it has come into its own and hits all of its marks with ease. A restrained amount of carbonation results in a light creaminess that makes drinking quickly (or slowly) a cinch.

Nothing that I've had previously from Spanish Peaks prepared me for the delicious American pale ale that is American Pale Ale. This is the first beer in their lineup that I'd consider buying on a regular basis. Having said that, it's extremely tough sledding when it comes to getting noticed in the world of California craft beer.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

jaydoc, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a golden/amber color with an off-white, two-finger head. Left some very nice lace.

S - It smelled of hops, lots of hops.

T - It had a very nice bitter hop bite. It was also very malty.

M - It was fairly crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A surprisingly hoppy APA. I've had one other offering from Spanish Peaks and was not overly impressed but this was pretty good.

zeff80, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a one-finger head that becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is fruity/citrusy.

The taste is of citrus balanced by sweet malt. The citrusy hops remain ahead until the caramel sweetness in the finish that rounds it out.

Nice texture, smooth, firm meduim body.

I like how the caramelish sweetness rounds out the citrusy hop character. Very appropriate and well-done, making this a good example of the style. A smooth, tasty "sessionable" brew.

jwc215, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a mixed Black Dog 12 pack for a sweet, clearance price.

First off, this beer pours a wicked cloudy light orange color with tons of floaties. I've never seen so much sediment in a beer before.. I thought Smuttynose IPA had a lot but nothing compared to this. Taste wise it's a kick of hops in the mouth.. pretty bitter for a pale ale, as its hoppier than a lot of IPA's I've had. Well balanced and very drinkable though, I enjoyed it a lot. A nice find for the price, above average beer.

oriolesfan4, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a slighty cloudy pale yellow with a small rocky white head that was fairly lasting.

S: On the nose was a smooth citrus aroma, with some grapefruit and floral hopping.

T: The initial flavor was light fresh grains with a slight pine hopping and lemon hints. The hopping was moderate and noticeable leaving a nice citrusy hop lacing on the tongue after the swallow.

M: light-medium, crisp and dry.

D: Not bad, could put down a couple of these, moderately good and respectable pale ale.

beerthulhu, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle in a Nonic. No date on the bottle.

A - Cloudy light amber color with a two finger, loose egg-shell white head with decent retention and a thick, sticky lacing.

S - Incredibly citrusy hop aroma bursting out. Smells a lot like powdered Crystal Light mix. Earthiness and dry straw notes too.

T - Great balance of flavors. A strong malt backbone that doesn't mind taking a back seat to the flourishing hop flavors. Pine, citrus, and light fruits.

M - Medium bodied and crisp with a light carbonation bite to the finish. Just a touch of dry bitterness.

D - I'm only half way through the bottle, if that, and the flavor is becoming overwhelming. I could sip it on a summer day as a refresher, but not an overly drinkable brew.

BeerFMAndy, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

barnzy78, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of tgbljb
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy light amber color with massive white chunky head. great retention, Perfect lacing.
Smell is loaded with hops, piney, grassy, citrusy.
Taste is also very hoppy. A profound dry bitterness is extremely enjoyable. Enough malt is present to present the perfect balance.
Very dry at the end. Begs for another taste.
Excellent beer.

tgbljb, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.15/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Spanish Peaks- American Pale Ale

Appearance- Light golden copper. Frothy head after the pour but quickly subsiding with minimal lacing.
Smell- Strong wort smell. Cascade hop pellets.
Taste- Exactly like fresh brewed wort with chunks of hop pellets floating around in it! Slight malt backbone. Weak pine flavor with a metallic finish.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and lemony/malty up front but becoming slighty metallic and bland in the end.

Overall- just a messy tasting beer. Brewed on 2-27-07.

NJpadreFan, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden orange, not a lot of head or very good retention.

Smell is light and fruity, not a ton going on. Some citric hop nudges in as well.

Flavor is a little on the light side, not very hoppy or with a distinctly strong malt profile. Citric hop is offset by sweetness in the malt, a slightly piney pepper hop and alcohol flavor in the finish. Smooth, a little on the light side for body style.

Sessionable, if a bit lacking in hops and overall flavor.

BretSikkink, May 11, 2007
Photo of Tucquan
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this poured into a glass from a 12 oz bottle in Lake Okajobi, Iowa

Poured a hazy orange with a small white head that didn't stick around long.

The smell is floral and mildly yeasty.

The taste is fruit tart, grassy and perhaps slightly medicinal. There's a fair amount of sourdough bitterness in the after taste.

The mouthfeel is average with a good balance between the malt and hops.

I liked the medium+ carbonation.

Overall, I enjoyed this ale well-enough to try more from the Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Tucquan, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I was unaware this was an unfiltered beer, so I got lots of yeasties in the beer which made it cloudy and sort of foreign looking. I dont really mind it, but it doesnt look good and could serve as a detractor for some. Nice white head and some decent lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and hoppy. Grapefruity and lemony. I cant quite put my finger on it, but there are some other fruits in there as well. Alomost like a berry or melon. Anyway, decent aroma.

Nice flavor profile as well. Malty and somewhat sweet. Lots of fruity esters. The hops dont come through as much in the flavor as it does in the aroma. Nicely balanced, but could use a touch more hop bitterness, imo.

A nice beer. Glad to have a sixer of this one. The next beer I will decant a little more carefully in order to perserve the appearance. Certainly recommended if you like the sweeter side of the style. I prefer the hoppy side.

SaCkErZ9, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of rowew
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, black labe on the label. Cryptic date code, and it only says its brewed in Denver, not who is actually doing the contract brewing.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange color, decent head. All 6 of these were gushers.

Smell: Very hoppy - lots of grapefruit and some floral aromas. Just a bit of breadiness in there somewhere, but the hops hide most of it.

Taste: Lots of hopes for an APA, grapefruit flavor dominates.

Overall impression: This seems more like an IPA to me, but it is a drinkable beer with some good hop flavors. If you aren't into hops, you probably won't like this - otherwise give it a shot.

rowew, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Shaw
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice light copper in color with a thick light tan head. This beer is slightly cloudy from sediment.

It has an earthy, musty aroma, which I think comes primarily from the sediment, with notes of caramel and hops.

The earthy quality is notable in the taste, too, along with a light bread flavor and a nice bitter hop finish.

The body is fine, with a nice amount of heft.

Overall this is a fine APA. I like that it distinguishes itself from the zillions of others in the style through the earthy notes.

Shaw, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Still more notes from the Great Midwest excursion. Damn, I bought a lot of beer...

It's a lightly hazy copper, yeast in suspension with a fluffy ivory head. Sweet, sweet hops in the nose, sweet pale malt too.

The sweet hop aroma does not hint at the herbal biting bitterness the hops deliver. It's like a turbo charged English style pale ale. Mouth is dryish lots of herbal hops in the finish and aftertaste.

Something about this beer doesn't mesh well, the hops (Crystal, Mt. Hood, Horizon) are not right for the malt profile or they overpower it too much. Whatever, it just doesn't work for me. Only fair.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Strix
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber-orange with a large, long-lived head.

Smell somewhat weak, but of floral hops.

Taste is well-balanced, with sweet malts and hops. I'd actually prefer a little more hop kick on the back end of this one, as the bitterness fades out pretty quick. Also evokes some other sorts of flavors..orange, even a little pumpkin?

Mouthfeel good, doesn't stand out as particularly amazing or deficient.

Overall drinkability on this is good. Not a hop bomb, but enough to keep it interesting. I won't crave it, but will gladly finish the other 5.

Strix, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle of this into a glass mug.

A: Pours a light amber body with a small, white head with no retention and minimal lacing.

S: A sweet, malty smell with slightly floral undertones. Hops are somewhat evident.

T: Slightly bitter, hoppy taste with a slight malts meant to balance I am assuming, but the hop presence overwhelms them a little bit. Malts and hops did not seem to flow well together.

M: An ok mouthfeel overall, but a little bit on the thin side. Slightly watery, but not too bad.

D: Not too drinkable. The taste was not too enjoyable as the balancing hops just did not flow well with the hops to balance it; kind of an awkward pairing. This taste combined with the watery mouthfeel did not make this beer enjoyable overall.

maddogruss, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of acrawf6
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It seems some of these reviews are quite different from one another, and I get something different than those others.

Pours out a very nice clear orange amber with a foamy white head that drops to a thick layer with nice lacing. The color looks a touch darker than others like it and richer, that seems to be quite appetizing to me.

Smell. Very much on the hoppy side- citrusy with lots of grapefruit. There is a small bit of caramel and slightly fruity (and tart) like strawberries.

Taste. Hops are again quite dominant. It is hoppier than some ipa's ive had. Lot more grapefruit than i would expect. But there is some malts that balance it out...but it is mostly the bittering hops that i taste. Behind the grapefruit there are more hops that comes out (as it warms) that is a bit more lemony and pine flavors. The aftertaste gets malty with a grainy flavor and some caramel taste.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium/slightly full with a small bit of chewiness to it. Balance is ok, but the hops are very dominant...giving it a bit one-dimension, but i fine that just fine for this beer.

Overall, a very nice apa that is a bit more like an ipa (on the level of redhook's), imo. I have not had an apa like this, which makes it nice to have. It is a very nice, but heavier apa that i would love to have more of. I would also really like to know how much alcohol is in this one as it hides the content well, but seems to sneak up on me very quickly whenever i have it.

acrawf6, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of kegger22
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spanish Peaks American Pale Ale was amber in color with tons of floaties, and a half-inch of off-white head that rapidly dissipated to a collar.

The aroma was a modest eau de skunque, nothing else rose above that.

The taste was citrus, lemon, but not very bitter or sweet; like weak lemonade.

The mouth feel was medium bodied with sufficient carbonation.

Drinkability was only fair, due to ambivalent flavor.

Not well balanced. This was one of the weaker APA's that I have tried. Not recommended.

kegger22, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of biggmike
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber color that didnt have a lot of head. Nice hop aroma and flavor. Good lacing on glass. Aroma was citrusy with hints of caramel malts. Mouthfeel was good, not too thin or thick. Pretty good pale ale. Drinkability was good on this one. Nothing I would seek out, but would have again.

biggmike, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first time i've ever heard of this brewery. A 6pack was actually 4.00 (1/2 price sale at the store), and for that price it's certainly the best damn beer i've had. For an $8 beer, it's fine, but not stellar.

Pours a dark golden amber with a decent head and nice lacing. Trailers of lace hang to the sides of the glass nicely.

Balanced and enjoyable aroma. bready malt and a small hop presence.

A nice body here, without leaving any holes or anything missing from the beginning to the finish. A rather creamy texture, which adds to the drinkability.

Full hearty malt and a hoppy citrus flavor. Nothing special or out of the ordianry, jsut a really solid drink. A fine example of an APA.

SurlyDuff, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of jackorain
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at The Drafting Room in Springhouse PA

A-Pretty dark brown for an APA w/burgundy highlights. Okay retneion and decent lace.

S-Clean scent with a lttle biscuit malt and mild green hops

T-Decent green hops and carmal and bicuit ,malts. Not complex but well balanced.

M-Light to medium body with nice carbonation.

D-I am fairly immpressed with this one, hopper than average APA

jackorain, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of danielharper
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow body tinged with orange. Very hazy, quite a few bubbles suspended in the liquid. Forms a thin white head that dissipates to soapscum quickly.

Smell: Sweet, fruity. Notes of apples. Quite a bit of malt, hints of hops buried underneath. A nice aroma, inviting.

Taste: Crisp bitterness up front, slight malty middle, dry finish. Aftertaste is malty, bready. Hints of apples and grains. Strong flavors of grapefruit and a few notes of banana as the beer warms. Overall an excellent flavor for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Some carbonation, a touch of dryness to the finish. Slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable, well-above-average pale ale. Well worth the spot in the fridge.

danielharper, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of BigRedN
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle with some type of freshness dating on the label into a pint glass. The beer is clear, golden in color, a little darker gold than a macro lager. My pour produces a white head, about 1/2 inch which slowly fades to a solid cover leaving some good lacing.

Smell: Minimal malt associated aromas. This has some hop related scents. Aromas are floral and citrousy (as I drink the beer the scent becomes more floral than citrous). Not overpowering my nose.

Taste: For me this is a touch one dimensional, leaning towards hops. Not much malt balance here, but this does have a good bitter hoppy finish. Taste lingers on the tongue for a while.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry.

Drinkability: A very drinkable APA, just not overly memorable. I purchased a single bottle to try as part of a mixed six pack. Bottle states it is brewed by Spanish Peaks in Denver, CO. I do not know if I wouold buy a full six pack. This is regularly $6.99 a six, a bit high considering I can get better for a buck less.

BigRedN, Jun 21, 2007
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American Pale Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.