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Rio Blanco Pale Ale - Real Ale Brewing Company

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale
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483 Ratings
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Ratings: 483
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | 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: 483 | Reviews: 249
Photo of Oxymoron
3.37/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The green guy on Mortal Combat right? Pours a darker yellow color with a orange hue throughout. Even with a good pour is very cloudy but did leave a soft white head with good staying power. Although the foam did hide to the edge of the glass but did not dissipate entirely. Decent lacing.

The nose limited overall but a nice balance. Some grainy generic malt notes with a mostly citrus but some light earthy notes as well. As it warmed some lighter biscuit notes as well. Some yeast aromas as well, with a little bit a fruit, pears and bananas in particular.

The taste is more present than the nose indicated. The malt is light with hints of bready and biscuit notes but some soft pale malt notes as well. Subtle but balanced well with a citrus hop note. Some cascade flavors for finishing. The yeast notes come on stronger as well. Some fruity notes with pears, apricots and lemons. A minor peppery note as well. A bit too much with the yeast notes.

The body is light to moderate with a good carbonation. Easy to drink with some nice soft flavors and balance but some overly yeast notes is a bit of a deterrent. No really.

Photo of errantnight
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


It doesn't bother me as much as some other Pales with which I find fault, but it doesn't really seem like it knows what it wants to be. It lacks the hop character of a good American pale, or the toasty malt or fruity esters of a good English pale... it's its own peculiar beast.

A golden slightly amber with thin head and not much in the way of lacing or retention... which kinda sets the tone.

Aroma is peculiarly yeasty, a bit fruit... although there's a nice hop note, that is more spice and earth than citrus.

Flavor is well balanced. Bready malt characters and hops, mixing with an extremely yeasty character. It doesn't really coalesce. Clean finish, nicely carbonated.

I'd drink without complaint, but while I often like (nay, love) beers that defy description, this seemed convoluted and a bit flat, and when dwelling in those special realms between distinct styles, that's a flaw, to my taste.

Still, if this is the worst beer I've tasted from this brewery of the three, it's still eminently drinkable, and I'd like to try some more.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark orange/red color with ridiculously huge lumpy light brown head. Excellent retention and good lacing. One carbonated beer.

S - Funky hop aroma. Very earthy. Something just doesnt quite smell right but I cant place what it is.

T - Strong malt backbone with an earthy hop bitterness. Hops come on very strong at the end.

M/D - Medium to full bodied but way overcarbonated. A decent pale ale, nothing more, nothing less.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to turbine2475 for the chancee to try this brew. Pours amber with virtually no head. Smells more like a lager than an ale, with lots of lagerish yeast and some pale malt in the background. The taste is a bit better. Still quite yeasty with some light malt, a light coppery taste, and somewwhat sharp herbal tasting hops that aren't all that well integrated with the rest of the beer, but at least give it some flavor. Fairly crisp in the mouth, but light-bodied. Quenching for hot Texas day, but lacks anything to sustain my interest.

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 mhewes
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice amber color with minimal head

S : Not much here, some malts and a little bit of hops

T : Starts off with malt and has a nice hop bitterness at the end. A great balance

M : Very light

D : Really good. I think it's a great example of what a APA can be

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

Pours an amber orange hue with a white head that falls to a sheet atop the beer. Smell is buscuity malts and crisp green apple with a hint of a floral hop. Taste is very much the same... light, buscuity malt sweetens the forefront with hints of ripe apple and a touch of a floral hop finish. I suppose a touch more hops could balance it out but for what it is, it certainly is good. Mouthfeel is light and finish is dry. Enjoyable overall.

Photo of dedrinker
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amber/ copper color with a thin - oops it's already gone - white head. Faint aroma of nuts and caramel. Flavors of candy apple and graham crackers. This is an English style Pale Ale fer sure. Medium body, very mild hop presence on the finish. I wouldn't seek this out again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cantelope orange with a sparse shower of fine yeast and very few slowly moving bubbles. The pale beige cap tops out at less than two fingers after a high-altitude pour, but has no problems when it comes to longevity and lace. I like the look.

The aroma isn't that special, largely because it's so hard to appreciate. The only thing that reaches my nose is a mild ale yeast fruitiness. To be fair, the label does read 'accented with' Czech Saaz hops, not 'bursting with'. Maybe flavor will make more of a splash.

Believe it or not, Rio Blanco Pale Ale tastes exactly like an English pale ale, just as the Real Ale website claims. I'm not sure why that's so, since the various ingredients aren't listed. Actually, they call it a 'Texas interpretation of an English-style pale ale'. I wonder what makes it Texan? The use of Czechoslovakian hops? Odd.

Once hop flavor and bitterness expectations are ratcheted back (based on the EPA style), this is pretty good stuff. The malt tastes almost 100% pale, with a hint of lightly buttered white toast, and the hops are ripe apricot and peach fruity. Fuggles and/or Kent Goldings? There's a little grapefruit as well, and perhaps a hint of lemongrassy Saaziness. 26 IBUs seems about right.

The mouthfeel could use a little more heft and a little more lift, but it really isn't that bad. And here I thought that everything is bigger in Texas. Even though the ABV isn't below 5.0%, this is quite the sessionable pale ale.

After being let down by Full Moon Pale Rye (relative to expectations), I didn't expect much out of Rio Blanco. It's a pleasant surprise, though. Bottom line: this is a dandy American-brewed English-style pale ale that beer drinkers in the Lone Star State should enjoy.

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 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 BigJTrucker
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA "Turbine2475".

Pours a slightly hazy orange/honey color, thin white head settles very quickly. A light fruity aroma and some faint floral hoppiness. Taste is just a light bit of hops, as it should be. Mouthfeel is very light, moist, very little aftertaste. Fairly middle of the road as far as apa's are concerned. Would be very easy to put a couple of these back.

Photo of Atlas1
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A recent move back to Texas has given me time to become more acquainted with some of the newer local craft breweries down here.

The Rio Blanco Pale Ale pours a nice copper-orange color, with a thin, one-finger, slightly off white head that fades quickly. Some, but not much, lace. The nose is of light citrus and other fruits. Maybe some very faint spice. Malty and floral, but not very pronounced at all. The taste is mostly malty, but with a dry hoppiness to it. The hops are there, but they are a bit muted. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean up front, fading to a smoother, more relaxed feel. Not bad at all.

It's a solid beer, this Rio Blanco, but it lacks a bit in the overall delivery. We have access these days to so many good pale ales, and this is definitely one of them, but it does nothing to distinguish itself from the myriad others on the shelf. I prefer the Real Ale pale rye ale over this, for many reasons, but mostly because it's good and it presents something different. This beer, however, is other "also ran" in the campaign for real ale. (yeah, I know, that was a ridiculous last sentence)

Photo of rowew
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, white label with a drawing of what I assume is the Rio Blanco. Best before month notched on the label, drinking this just in time.

Appearance: Pours orangish red, slightest hint of haze. Small head fades, leaves just a bit of lacing.

Smell: Noble hops, bready malt, just a bit of DMS.

Taste: Bready malt flavors dominate, but the DMS flavor is unforunate.

Overall impression: Average beer, one that I wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of hwwty4
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a great trade from an RB.

Poured an orangey amber with a thin head that disappeared way to quickly. Smell is bland. A bit of hops and bread but nothing really strong. Taste is biscuity with a bit of yeast and hops. Nothing exciting but nothing offensive. Mouthfeel is nice and yeasty and finishes dry. This is what I would consider an absolutely wonderful session beer. It would go down very easily in large quantities on a hot day.

Photo of kcillini77
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Whole Foods in Austin as part of a mixed sixer and brought it back home.

Poured into my SA Boston Lager glass.

Small head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is pure hops - good for an American Pale Ale.

Taste is standard pale ale. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing to write home about either. Easy to drink - definitely sessionable. Glad to try it but not anything I'd go out of my way to get.

Photo of Redrover
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Gingerman in Austin. It was served in a standard pint. The beer is copper with a chill haze and a smallish white head.

Nose of biscuits, grass and citrus. Fresh but a bit underpowered.

The taste is semi-sweet with building bitterness. Almost stealthy in how the pine taste sneaks-up on you. This beer is a strong finisher and become tastier as I worked through the glass.

The mouth is decent with a nice level of carbonation. It is an easy drinker that should pair well with pizza, bbq, etc.

Photo of Ryanbob
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- gold with a small head.

S-malts and a slightly hoppy aroma.

T-hoppy bitterness is overpowered by malty, sweet smooth flavors, some almost grapey fruit hints, well balanced, not very bitter at all.

Mf-carbonated, a bit harsh

N-while not steller, not the best Real Ale, this is a very drinkable brew. Its kind of like Pale Ale light, but I could definitely take a few of these on a summer afternoon. Not a beer to think about too much, but better than many pale ales I've tried.

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 jhammerly
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this down in Kemah, Texas. Included in a mixed sixer along with two other offerings.

A huge head came up with a mild pour, had to sit awhile to let it settle. Golden body with some haze. Aroma was of piney hops and some butterscotch-like notes as well. Taste is kind of like a hoppy Pilsner, just not as crisp. The pine taste took a little getting used to, but after a bit it was good. Kind of light-bodied for this style. A nice take on the Pale Ale.

Photo of cartdan
2.69/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Slightly hazy, with a huge head. Definitely overcarbonated.

Aroma is very nice, surprisingly fruity, almost like a Belgian Pale.

Taste is pretty basic, almost like a lager. Basic malt profile.

Mouthfeel is medium light.

Overall it's different but nice, low hop bitterness, very drinkable.

Photo of skittlebrau
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this pale ale out of the Real Ale mix pack, for indecisive beer advocates.

A: Nice, pale color with a foamy head that didn't last very long.

S: For once a beer that smells really good. Both malt and hops come out in the smell.

T: Tastes pretty good. Saaz hops are a nice addition and give it some pilsnery taste.

M: Normal.

D: Pretty drinkable. Hops aren't too assertive.

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this, and wasn’t expecting to be too crazy about it. Had a nice, apricot-like fruity nose, and poured a deep golden color with a white shorly lived head. Slightly bitter up front, with a juicy fruitiness, almost hefeweizen like taste. Very easy to drink, and a quick finish. Not too bitter, which is what I was afraid of. Would get this beer again. Looked and smelled great, and tasted good too.

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

Barely hazy dark golden body with a small, well-mannered, off-white head. Soapy, cookie dough, butterscotch and pear malts backed by pineapple and vague citrus hops. Toasted biscuit malt up front. Some butterscotch and fruitiness. Citrus and herbal hop bitterness in the finish with lingering toasted biscuit malt. Moderate body with a slightly thin mouthfeel. Not bad.

Photo of dirtsocks
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a real ale 6 pack sampler. it pours a golden color with little head that disappears quickly. Some lacing left in the glass and it has a slight aroma of hops. The taste is OK with this beer but it lacks taste in hops that most pale ales have. I would recommend this beer to someone that might not like strong flavors of pale ales and maybe a american macro drinker.

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 483 ratings.