Rio Blanco Pale Ale - Real Ale Brewing Company

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale
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489 Ratings
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Ratings: 489
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-17-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 489 | Reviews: 252
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 6/2/09.

Pours a clear light gold color. 2 fingers of off white head fall pretty quick, leaving a maze of sticky lace at first.

Aroma is crisp, honey, toast, grass, herbal and a hint of lemony citrus.

Flavor follows aroma. This is a very balanced brew, not at all hop-forward like most APAs. Starts with a light sweetness, a little nutty, then a very gentle bitterness that sticks around just long enough to be called a finish.

Medium light body with lots of carbonation, which gets a little prickly but not too bad. Clean and refreshing.

Looking for an APA that borders on IPA? This isn't it. Which would explain why it's underrated, imo. It's a tasty, well-balanced, refreshing brew. The hops are different from your typical APA, but very tasty.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.14/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very attractive orange kool-aid body with a thin, sticky bone head.

Aroma is mildly sweet and very faint. There are just restrained notes of malt and floral hops.

Taste is mild too. Unoffensive but not terribly interesting. It's bright with a light body and faint flavors of sweet malts. Finishes medium dry with floral/grassy hops. Clean and crisp.

Easy to drink and not off putting but I would not seek it out. Very average.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops and bready malt. The flavor is earthy and grassy hops with some nice toffee and bready malt notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not one of Real Ale's better beers, but not a bad beer by any means.

Photo of Soonami
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks davacano for sending this in the Refreshing Summer BIF.

Poured into a 16 oz Brooklyn tulip. A hazy golden orange with a thin layer of head. The aroma is dominated by the Saaz, which is almost a little skunky, but definitely earthy. It's not an aroma I'm accustomed to in an APA. There is a bit of buttery, toasty biscuit in the nose too. The beer tastes kinda weird. It has a good bit of sweet, grainy malt, with a little citrusy hop and some herbal Saaz. To me it really reminded me of sushi rice. It certainly didn't taste bad, just interesting.

Not a bad beer, not a great beer, but no clear brewing faults--just not the recipe that does it for me.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By Date 6/2/09

Poured into pint glass clear burnt orange with a one finger white head that lasts a good amount of time with great lacing.

There's a light floral scent, but not very strong at all. Taste has a slight malted sweetness upfront with a well balanced hop bite. Not much to it, but it's not bad either.

Mouthfeel is average, just the right amount of carbonation.

Photo of jeonseh
2.86/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle with a best by July '08 and poured into a tulip Glass

A - A nice golden amber color that is rather clean looking and has a bit of a reflective sheen to it as well. Can see a good bit of carbonation floating up through this one. The head is about 1/2 of a finger of white foam one that sits on the top of that amber body.

S - Smell was surprisingly banana like. At first, It reminded me more of a hefe than of a pale ale. There was a hint of caramel malt in there as well and there is also a huge hint of lemon that cuts through all of it. It is not a pleasant citrus though but instead reminds me a bit of a household cleaner.

T - Hmm, the taste up front is just like a hefe. I get hints of bubblegum, clove and banana. The only thing that actually reminds me of a pale ale is a light hint of hops on that back end that give a slight hint of pine to the beer. That lemon that I got in the nose was still there but it really made the whole beer seem unbalanced in my opinion. There is also a bit of a floral hint to the beer as well but it only shows itself here and there and other times it manifests as bubblegum and clove.

MF - There is a light hint of carbonation to it. The mouthfeel is actually rather smooth and creamy. There is a nice medium body to it as well that seems to fit the style and this beer.

D - Overall an okay beer that was worth the try but I would definitely pass on this as my choice for an APA. I don't really care for the floral taste in this one and would rather go for a different kind of an APA. The lemon mixes in a bit too much with the hefe like flavors for my taste and makes the whole thing seem a bit out of balanced for me.

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle consumed at Pedicab in San Antonio, TX.

Pours a clear light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of muted pale malts with hints of darker caramel malts and floral and leafy hop aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light pale malt flavors kick things off with just a hint of dryness. Midway through the sip leafy and slightly citrus hop flavors make their way into the profile and carry through to a mildly bitter ending. As the beer warms hints of light fruit flavors come out.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinakbility is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I think this beer could benefit more from a crisper profile than anything else. A little more hops wouldn't hurt either. Worth a shot if you see it around.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks good, it is a dark amber yellow with a full inch of fluffy cream/tan colored head. My first impression is that this doesn't really look like a pale ale but more like an IPA.

The smell is not great. I get a little nuttiness and some weak malts but they seem to fight each other.

Taste is much smoother and quite pleasing. Initially there is some nutty flavors that is followed by slight caramel and sweet malts. A slick mouthfeel that fades into a nice dryness.

I don't hate the smell and it doesn't ruin the beer for me. I think that this is another damn decent beer and not a bad one to offer friends that come over looking to try something more then Miller or Coors.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice golden orange tea color with a slightly off-white head about 2 fingers tall. Head slowly melted to very sticky lacing.

Aroma is very malty...sweet amber malts...almost like a red or brown with no noticable hops in the aroma.

Taste is sweet amber malt that finally is followed with a nice little hop bite, but not nearly as much as I am used to in an American Pale Ale

Mouthfeel is almost slippery-slick. Nice hops, however is all the memory you are left with in the aftertaste and it's very refreshing.

Photo of hansenme
4.45/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent hoppy pale ale recipe

Photo of Stigs
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a quarter inch of fluffy, white foam which quickly falls to a thin film and ring. the beer is slightly hazy, dark gold in color.

S - strong and potent biscuity malts, some honey and caramel add sweetness. some light noble, grassy hops dance in the background, only picked up if sought after.

T - noble hops are in the forefront, though come attached to a weird, wet grassy, hint of citrus hop profile the whole way through. tastes a bit "green" and sweet, like unfinished wort. grainy in the finish, with some light caramel and toffee.

M - medium, slightly oily body. carbonation flashes quickly before falling apart, perhaps overtaken by the rich malty sweetness. slightly dry and clean finish.

D - a little confused by this one, a bit of an overdone malt profile and lacking in American hops - not so much missing balance rather than personality. goes down easy enough, though.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Even a gentle pour brings up a full head of big-bubbled off-white foam over its hazy amber robe. The head holds well, however, and leaves some streaky lace throughout the glass. And that's the nature of bottle conditioned beers... some are very fine, and others are on the cusp of over-carbonation depending on how they've been handled. The nose is restrained for the style, offering only a mild fruitiness, a limited maltiness, and a touch of floral hops. It's crisp in the mouth and medium bodied. There's more caramelish malt in the flavor than the aroma suggests, and it pairs nicely with the unusual choice of Saaz hops that gives it a touch of grass, straw, flowers, and some very mild spice. Some yeast character is apparent as well. It's well-balanced with a solid bitterness, and it finishes short and dry. An easy-drinking pale ale with an unusual twist.

Photo of rooost
4.82/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Most if not all of the products from RA Brewing are unpasteurized, therefor you guys that are too far from Texas or have mailed beer are not getting the best example.

Then add their flexibility within traditional styles and when compared to like style beers you get a different perception.

Taken fresh and with a clear mind (preferably in the Texas Hill Country on a spring day) Rio Blanco Pale Ale is as good as it gets!

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got a bunch of Real Ale brews from Jeffers5000. Thanks man

Pours a cloudy golden color. No real head. Little bit of film on top. No lacing.

Not that much aroma. More malt aroma. Needs more hop aroma.

Taste is good. Tastes like a typical brew pub pale ale though. Nothing to set it apart. Needs a little more hop flavor and less hop bite. Good though

Mouthfeel is ok. Little viscous for a pale ale.

Overall an ok pale ale. Nothin special. No need to really seek it out. Typical brewpub type beer.

Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep honey with bronze color with effervescence& a 3 fingers+ offwhite head. Very good head head lacing & good head retention

Smell: Sweet malt & floral hops. Fruittyness grows as it warms

Taste: Sweetness followed by piney & floaral hops. Slightly bitter & floral finish

MF: Great balance, medium body & very good carbonation

Very drinkable nice APA & a super session ale. This brewery really impressed me when I was down in San Antonio

Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden copper with a finger of foamy eggshell colored head. Thin and soft layer of retention stays sturdy, leaving a great looking cascade of lace back. Good look here. The aroma is floral, citric, and a touch spicy smelling, mixing in well with the scent of bready pale malts to give the nose some tang.

The taste is a somewhat even blend of bread and citrus, with a more moderate (yet still crisp) hop bite. Despite the bitterness that is present, this is coming off as a touch unbalanced towards the malt side. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamier carbonation yet still has a firm and crisp feel in the mouth. Nice.

Not bad. Like I said, a little too much sweetness at times, which held the taste and drinkibility back a bit for me. Otherwise this was a fairly decent Pale Ale.

Photo of bditty187
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, bright gold in hue peachy-tawny highlights, I really like the color of this ale, there is loads of animation racing northward. The head was massive in size; uncontrollable actually, it reached three fingers in size, easily. It was white in color, rocky, foamy. It took many pours to get all the beer into the pint glass. After a long while the head rested to a modest cap. This cap remained the entire consumption. There was no subsequent lacing. After a lengthy delay I got around to smelling this beer. The bouquet was weak; hints of sweetness dominated, some fruitiness too and the back was some Saaz hops aromas, lightly spicy, herbal. The hops were very faint. The nose is decent; I would never say the aromas are indicative of a Pale Ale. Apathetic. The palate is kind of plain. I get a suggestion that this was a Pale Ale, in like another life. I really don’t know what this beer is. The hoppiness is very soft, distant even. The bitterness is low. With Saaz hops added was expecting more pizzazz from these glorious hops, all I got has a hint of herbs and spice. Just like the hops, the malt is very soft as well. Pleasantly sweet which works in harmony with fruity notes of peaches and lemon. The palate is pleasant but it lacks bite or a leg to stand on. Everything is agreeable but way too soft. It is tasty and enjoyable but it is also close to boring. Medium/medium-light in body, the carbonation is very low, and the mouthfeel is weak and soft. It is too pliable. I didn’t find much about this beer noteworthy. It is almost a dud.

Thanks Morris729 for the sample!

Photo of BeerZack
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours a good white head that sticks around a bit. Color is of a dark honey.
Not too much smell in this one, but it reminds me of a sparkling wine... a closed-up yeastyness and almost a steely maltiness with some generic fruit.
The taste is pretty malty sweet, but there are definately hops here. Not nearly enough to satisfy the hopheads but a good compromise beer for the malt lovers. If I were to order only one Real Ale, it would probably be the Full Moon Pale Rye, but if I'm drinking a whole 6-pack, I will likely go with the Rio Blanco 3 times outta 4. The drinkability of this beer is what makes it shine in my opinion.

Photo of Bierschenker
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I traded this bottle with HardTarget.

Pours in a misty peach and amber coloured beer. A small head slowly develops, and fades away just as slowly. A very thin and bubbly head stays on top. Still looks creamy.
There’s hardly any carbonation, but this beer doesn’t need that.
The beer has an overall soft odour. It has a full bouquet, while the hops are the strongest, many smaller elements bring life to this beer (peach, mint-liquorice, cinnamon,…).
Taste gives strong hops. Subtle watery bitterness. Peach, lemon and pumpkin.
Mouthfeel is strongly creamy.
The aftertaste lingers on: it’s creamy, mild and refreshing.

A super beer within it’s genre, give me more.

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to optimator13 for sending me this one as a part of The Small Aquatic Mammal BIF '11! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger bone white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, caramel, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, fruit, citrus hop, and slight skunky hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The flavors in this one weren't overly strong, but were definitely making their presence known. If they were a little more robust this would have been quite the awesome brew. Still pretty good nonetheless though. I would suggest giving this one a shot without hesitation.

Photo of KTCamm
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4/3.....dark copper color, layer of white foam. Islands sit on top. Fruity nose. Grassy taste, odd bitter. Sharp citrus close. Fairly nondescript pale

Photo of imasloth
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Little white head at first but steady replenishment allows it to persist. Hazy orange color with slight tendency toward brown.

S- Well-balanced. Sweet malt with some light floral hops and bitterness.

T- Sweet malt with floral hops followed by bitterness. Follows smell quite well.

M- Medium-bodied with evident carbonation. Sight bitter afterfeel.

O- Very good in all respects. Not groundbreaking but a brew and brewery I often pick up.

[Retried 8/2012. Similar, though I did notice a toastiness in the aroma and a biscuit-like component in the taste. Body seemed a little lighter than before. An especially good choice in the Real Ale 6-pack sampler.]

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to oakedcanuck for this bottle!

A- Pours a golden amber color. One and a half finger head shows light retention. Light streaky lacing left on the glass.

S- Smell is pretty basic and simple. Citrusy hops are a little in the background but seems to me is the biggest aroma. Sweet caramel malts in middle and backing of the nose with a hint of grain lingering around the middle as well.

T- Bready malts start this one off with a hint of citrus hops. Middle of the beer is more bready malts a little stale tasting. Ending is well some light grains with more of a citrus hop burst than in the front. Short simple and sweet for the style.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light hops and sweet malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is more of a sweet malt and alcohol combo. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are a little off balance to the style with malts showing more off. No off flavors could be found.

D- This beer was easy drinking and felt light in the mouth and on the stomach. The ABV is low enough that a sixer of this would be an easy goal. Not the most in your face flavorful beer but I could drink a lot of this during the summertime.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Neil!)

Appearance: The pour is an amber and burnt orange color with just barely a finger of head showing up after my aggressive pour. Plenty of splashes of lace sit on the side of the glass. The beer is just ever so slightly effervescent

Smell: The nose makes me think it has the body of an imperial IPA and not a pale ale, though the hop profile seems to fall in line. This is an actual pale ale; it's not a pale ale in disguise as an IPA like you might get from a brewery such as Three Floyds. There's a bit of caramel malt sitting up front with some earthy hops sitting in there too.

Taste: The caramel malt that I found in the nose doesn't come out during the tasting. Pale malt and just a bit of toffee comes through at the beginning, with a nice wave of earthy and spicy hops finishing off the tasting.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation level gives it a medium body feel, though I suspect this beer is more thin than it would appear. The carbonation level is a bit too high for my liking; I would have liked to have seen it lowered.

Drinkability: This is an incredible easy beer to sip on. It may not be the boldest pale ale I've had, but hey, that's okay by me. I think Real Ale got this one right, it's a good representation of the style.

Photo of TAMU99
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Golden pale amber that pours an all too bubbly yellow. Doesn't smell bad, just doesn't have much smell.
Taste is balanced hops, light malt but not a lot of depth.
Leaves you with a bitter/acidic taste.

Moderate drinkability. Really just a fair beer. Try the Brewhouse Brown for a better beer from this brewery.

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.