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Rio Blanco Pale Ale - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rio Blanco Pale AleRio Blanco Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

481 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 481
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 34 | 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: 481 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
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 drunkboxer1
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep yellow color with a white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing. Smells very "bright" I guess? Citrus, grassy hops. Pretty inviting. Those hop flavors come thru upon tasting as well, paired with a fair amount of bitterness. Malty sweetness is enough to balance it out. Clean enough finish to encourage me to have a few dozen of these. I like this beer: too many American pales go big on hops or malt, and don't balance it out.

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

Pours a clear golden color with an average looking white head. Aromas are of sweet malt and a little hop. The aromas were a little hard to detect on this. The flavor followed the aroma, it is very muted except for the spicy bitterness in the finish. It starts with somewhat of a sweet malt flavor and the an earthy hop followed by a spicy bitterness in the finish. The carbonation might be a little too much, the spiciness it creates contrasts with the "light" flavors in the beer and leaves it a little unbalanced feeling. Drinkablility is ok.

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.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite sure how, out of >125 reviews of this beer, this is only the third from an on-tap source, but here goes:

Rio Blanco is enticing for a Pale Ale, with a golden-copper body that shines against the darkly lit backdrop of the city of Austin (Did I mention I was on a hotel bar balcony?). Nice head retention, and the light tan bubbles leave some speckles of lacing. Nice aroma, too, but a bit faint, with some citrus peel, tropical fruit, fresh hops, and a caramel malt backbone.

Not quite sure why this beer gets so dogged, maybe it's a bottle vs. on-tap phenomenon, because the pint I had was quite flavorful, with a nice presence of citrusy hops balanced by a solid base of caramel and biscuit malt. Aftertaste gets slightly stale, however, and the light body dries out a bit much. Yet the crisp, zesty mouthfeel & carbonation make for a refreshing, quaffable beer. Best Pale Ale I've ever had? Not really, no. But would I buy this beer again? You bet.

Photo of jpaltan
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two fingers of foam. Hazy yellowish, amber, muddy brown. Head is gone. Minimal lacing. Little to no smell, but some piney notes are present. Some maltiness there too. taste is a bit malty with some bread like characteristics that float out into a weak bitterness. Mouthfeel is alright and the drinkability is certainly there. Overall, not bad.

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

Bottle im reviewing is a week past its best by date, considering its a pale ale, review might not reflect its true characteristics

Pours a big 2 finger white head. Beer is golden orange in color. Medium amount of bubbles rising to top

Smell is a mix of hops and some malt. Starts off with a maltly bread, straw smell then switches to hops, not too piny or citrusy

Hops have definitely faded since this was bottled as they are still present but taste a bit old. Im assuming they were once piny, very herbal. There is also a slight sourness taste to it, not too bad thought. Malt is light and tastes of straw

Mouth fell is light , refreshing, and smooth. Carbonation isnt too aggressive, head has a good texture also.

Over all good, even though its past its prime and slightly skunked. Really need to try this fresh, but still its good the way it is, definite summer beer

Photo of PDXHops
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to goatgoat for this 12 oz bottle, poured into a pils glass.

A finger's worth of bright white head on top of a hazy golden body. The head disappears pretty quickly, leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge. Not much lacing.

Smells of corn, grains, a hint of lemons and noble hops. Not a powerful bouquet, but pleasant.

Tastes much better than it smells. This would be a great "lawnmower beer". Lightly sweet and corny, some sweetness, a hint of lemon, biscuity malts. Nice noble hop bite.

Moderate body, medium carbonation. Nothing lingers at the end, as this one finishes quickly and crisply.

Overall impression: Interesting take on the APA style. Very refreshing- I can only imagine how easy these would go down on a hot Texas afternoon.

Photo of 7ways
2.49/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

If I drank this without knowing what it was, I'd say it was an American lager.
It looked decent, but the first whiff threw me off, kind of dirty, and the taste was about the same: old acidic fruit, some kind of evergreen other than pine, and a bit metallic. I would say grassy, but that element was more like a bitter weed than fresh cut grass. But really, it was just plain bland, hence the lager comment. Best thing I can say for this is that it had a pleasing level of carbonation.
What the hell, I'm still glad I tried it, thanks to JDV for the extra.

Photo of bobsy
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light amber with a rocky white head. The faint aroma of grass and spice lets you know that the beer is indeed accented with saaz hops. Underneath them there's also a pleasant fruitiness. The flavour is dominated by a strong grain taste, but this is rounded off by berry flavours, before tailing into a mild grassy and citric bitterness. Its well-balanced and reminds me a lot of an English approach to beer, but with a Czech twist. The body is medium to light and the carbonation is around medium... not to bad, about average for the style.

IU quite liked this... understated for an APA, but its a broad category. Thanks Bryan.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color, clear thin wet persistant head. Neutral aroma, a little spicy from saaz, a little yeasty fruit (but just a little). Flavor is balanced, a little saaz spiciness and maybe some grassy aftertaste. Not filling but not meant to be as an APA. Actually not a bad pale ale but perhaps more English than American due to the low hops presence. A good summertime beer for the deck.

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to armock for this!

Best by 03.09.09:

Pours golden amber with a fluffy off-white head. Web-like lacing sticks.

The smell is grassy, lemony/citric with a grainy malty aroma.

The taste is grainy - towards caramelish - maltiness balanced by zesty lemony citrus and grassy/herbal bitterness. The Czech Saaz hops, while mild, add a nice twist to a well-balanced, mild but tasty brew.

It has a light-to medium body that is crisp and refreshing. Light, but not watery - holds together well with medium carbonation. Smooth.

An easy, yet tasty, "sessionable" ale. I like the Saaz twist, though mild it is enough to give it a "something different" character that works well here.

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

Pretty clear copper body with a good amount of active, fast-moving carbonation bubbles. Only about a finger of off-white head, with some retention. Leaves some spotty lacing behind.

Smell isn't too impressive or strong, just a touch of fruity yeast and lemony hops that smell a bit musty.

Taste is surprisingly pretty good. Lots of fruitiness, as the aroma would suggest. Some of this fruit flavor is yeast, and some comes from the hops. The lemony or lemongrass flavor in here is definitely an attribute that comes from the hops. Just a touch of grapefruity bitterness too. Underneath all of that is a biscuity malt profile.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium body, but the carbonation is a little low. Maybe a little too low, but nothing that is terrible.

Pretty drinkable. I was pleasantly surprised by this one for sure.

Photo of joshuadlight
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange, and cloudy. Creamy head falls down into a thin covering that lasts throughout. Think Dead Guy Ale as far as color is concerned, these are almost identical.

The nose is is grassy and weak, not a whole lot of smell, probably the weakest aspect of the beer.

The taste is malty and grassy as well, but it is a pleasant taste. The mouthfeel is full of carbonation which aids the mild spiciness of the beer.

Definitely drinkable, I reviewed this Feb, but it seems to me that this would be an exceptional summer beer.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/24/2009 (bottle BB Feb):

Pours a very clear amber colored body with a small white head. Malty grainy fresh malty aroma. Fresh grainy taste. Somewhat watery body. Sweet spiciness. Almost like a peppermint taste. Fresh tasting, reminiscent of summer. Sweet tasting. Very carbonated.

Photo of spithrash
2.46/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy deep gold color from a 12oz bottle into an American pint glass with approx 1/2 finger of off white head.

Smell is somewhat hoppy, but subtle. It's hard to put my finger on what I'm smelling, but it is telling me this is not going to be my favorite beer.

Taste is better than the smell. Starting with sharp spicy notes which then turn bready and malty.

Fairly light on the palate with the flavors lingering for a while after each sip. This is a drinkable brew, but I'm just not wild about it myself. Your milage may vary.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rio Blanco Pale Ale pours a pale golden color. With a thin frothy white head.

Aroma is of light florals and spice.

This beer is pretty malt forward. Big earthiness, upon a layer of doughy bread. Floral and spicy hops take the back seat and really only provide balance. Finishes clean, with more earthy malt.

Not a bad beer, just nothing spectacular.
The flavors in general never get too intense, especially the hops.

Photo of Bagman007
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Somewhat hazy golden orange appearance with very little head.

S- Not really much of a scent detectable here. Smells very faintly of hops and spices.

T- Kind of a weird taste here. Not really very hoppy at all. Honestly this tastes more like a light lager than a pale ale.

M- Smooth beer, but not the mouthfeel you would expect from a pale ale.

D- Very smooth and very drinkable.

Overall sort of a weird pale ale. I wouldn't even really call this a pale ale. Very bland and not hoppy at all.

Photo of Jablonski
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A slightly below average pale ale. Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: clear golden color; decent head but no lacing

S: hops dominate the smell; there is a faint smell of honey and some spices as well

T: Not as strong of a pale ale as I would have liked. Hops and spices make up this beer, but the spices are too overpowering. I could barely taste the hops at all. Also leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.

M: The beer is too watery, but the carbonation is good

D: The bad aftertaste makes this beer not very drinkable. One is okay, but no more.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprising 12oz received in trade from Wasatch.. very nice.. Thanks a bunch John... Poured into my shaped SA glass.. Relaxing and listening to Digweed's Transitions 3.

2 finger head was very nice.. meringue.. foamy and pretty nice lace .. the brew is slightly hazed deep golden honey.

The nose is dominated by bready pale malts.. no caramel.. just doughy malts.. spicy hops are there and add a great compliment but more are needed... quite a bit of yeasty fruits.. apricot.. but not fresh apricot.. sorta smells stewed..

The flavor is better.. there is a honey essence that moves from front to back.. the same bready maltiness is there but lesser.. spicy and grassy hops flavors are present. but again.. more are needed to ramp this one up.. the yeasty esters are too much.. apricot and yellow peach with a weird honeydew melon quality... the finish is short lived with minor spicy hoppiness and again. the yeasts.

body is fairly nice.. I am liking a sorta thicker mouthfeel and the carbonation is on the light side for the style.. really.. this is a pretty good brew. but it needs some work.. drinkability is fairly high..

Thanks John.. this is one I've wanted but probably never would have traded for..

Edit: my review was pretty shitty.. the brew is much better, it just should not be in the APA category.. I'm not sure what else.. just definitely not an APA.. and the exclamation of Saaz on the label should be screaming move me somewhere else.

Photo of everetends
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle I got as an extra in a trade with hopsleeroy. Served up in a shaped pint glass from DFH.

A: Pours pretty nice, dark orange color that is actaully pretty damned hazy and has some debris in there. Got about a finger of bright white head that quickly diminishes to a thin ring. The head and ring both leave some decent lace on the glass. Good amount of carbonation movement going on in here as well, creating some nice swirling effects. Pretty good looking brew.

S: Not a whole lot going on here at all. The first thing that hits me is mostly sweet corn and a lot of it. Smells dangerously like a macro. There is touch of spicy and lemongrass notes coming from the hops I imagine. Pretty weak.

T: Taste also has some of the sweet corn hitting you first as well. Really pale malts coming out with a touch of sugary sweetness. Hops are very muted and take a back seat to the malt. A touch of peppery spice and lemony notes come out a bit. Zero bitterness in this at all. There are also a touch of fruitiness going on here with some melon and maybe a touch of peach?

M: Light side of medium in body with just a slight slickness to it. Carbonation is pretty high and really has a nice refreshing, thirst quenching crispness to it. ABV is no where to be found and there is barely any aftertaste to mention in this clean finisher. No real bite at all in the palate.

D: Well this beer is not very challenging but very accessible. It goes down easy, has some pretty good flavors going on and is high drinkable. This is a good brew to get a sixer of (depending on price of course) and drinking during a game or something. It doesn't have the greatest of aromas or flavors, but still it does the job as an easy drinker that doesn't taste like cardboard. Pretty nice.

Photo of drxandy
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in trade from ben4881, 12oz to standard pint, pours a really nice looking semi-opaque reddish peach, foamy white head

smells of crisp, sweet, citrus, nice malts, spicy saaz, smells fresh and flavorful

taste is of good sharp citrus, biscuit maltiness, hops play in nice, lots of good flavor, smooth and sessionable, refreshing, not too overpowering but loads of flavor

mouthfeel is of good weight and carbonation, spicy finish, blended nicely

Photo of zdk9
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours pale orange w/ a half finger of head that leaves just a touch of pocadotted lacing.

S- Touch of corniness pervades a good malt flavor and a smidge of earthy hops.

T- Somewhat weak on the tastebuds. There is a bit of malt, and a bit of hops.

M- Average.

D- As I look over this review I notice how many diminutives I used and I think that really sums up this beer. It's not particularly bad just quite underwhelming.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, amber body with a smallish, whitish head.

Smell: Nose of pale malts, grassy Saaz hops, and fine fruity notes.

Taste: Customary pale maltiness with a pinch of sugar sweetness. Pleasant fruitiness displaying flavors of apricot and even a bit of melon. Saaz hops bring a spicy taste of lemongrass as well as a mild, slight bitterness. Short, bittersweet, but crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty, well-balanced, highly drinkable pale ale utilizing Saaz hops instead of the standard American hop profile. I can dig it. This one stands to lose much of its subtle charm due to lack of freshness, so, provided you can find a fresh sample, I rather recommend it.

Photo of maximum12
2.63/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew ranks way down the list of fine pale ales for me.

Smell is a bit off-putting, like someone tossed a few hops into a Mich Light, not promising. Maybe I don't like Saaz hops & just didn't know it? Taste is about the same, light, dry, easy to quaff, but taste is scraping the bare underbelly of OK.

Glad to have tried it. Strictly average.

Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.