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Rio Blanco Pale Ale - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rio Blanco Pale AleRio Blanco Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

462 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 462
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.04%
Wants: 2
Gots: 29 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 462 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skittlebrau
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

skittlebrau, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

JDV, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of alexgash
3.35/5  rDev -2%
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.

alexgash, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of dirtsocks
3/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

dirtsocks, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of hiikeeba
2.2/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours up amber with gold highlights. The head is off white and dissipates rapidly.

S - Piney hops dominate. A hint of sweet malt. Not particularly appetizing.

T - The carbonation tingles the tip of the tongue and a slightly sour bitterness finish on the back of the tongue.

M - Very good.

D - This particular batch? Not very. It's harsh and unappealing. I'm disappointed. I've had this before and never thought it was bad. I almost want to erase all this and pretend I never drank this beer.

hiikeeba, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this beer to be rather mediocre. A tan/copper body with a medium amount of head made the promise of a good APA, which I felt was undelivered in taste and aroma. Odor was pretty much non-existent; the smell that was present was very malty and a bit sour. Flavor slightly sweet maltiness that was hard to place; still I was not a huge fan of the taste. Mouthfeel was unremarkable. This beer is just OK - nothing to write home about. I can't recommend this nor counsel you to avoid it.

BeerBelcher, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice pale ale. Nice head retention and nice color. Smell is malty with a slight hoppy aroma

Taste is a little dry. Not very bitter at all. More English pale ale ish on the bitterness, but not a thick maltiness. Kind of a dumbed down apa

Mouthfeel is pretty decent and this beer is fairly drinkable. Not a lot going on. Not a tongue shocker, just an easy to drink, decent beer.

jasonjlewis, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of allengarvin
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been a few years since I last had this... it only recently returned to the Dallas market, but now it's city wide instead of just at Whole Foods. The pour, into a .4L chalice, is a lovely copper coloar with a solid topping of dense foam and excellent lacing. Nose is a bit faint and understated, with a nutty, earthy hoppiness. Good dry nutty, very lightly-caramel maltiness up front. Bitterness is moderate, more along the lines of an English pale ale than American, but with a noble hop flavor instead of English or American. Clean yeast character with a medium-dry finish. Neutral texture with modest carbonation.

A good every-day drinking beer.

allengarvin, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of diamondc
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one in one of Real Ale's sampler packs. The appearance is standard issue Pale Ale .. golden-orange pour, not that much carbonation, but the head did last all the way down to the last drop.

Couldn't smell much.. just some spicy hop aroma which is unmistakably Saaz.

Taste is bland, reminding me of slightly watered down orange juice, but drinkable thanks to the hop bitterness. Warming up just brings up a not so pleasant butter flavor, so this has to be drunk slightly cold.

Update: 06/11/08:

Upgrading old "C" grade

Something changed with my palate, they changed the recipe (doubt it ..), or maybe I just had a bad bottle on my first review.

This beer (best before Aug 08) had no trace of that butter flavor (diacetyl) and had a nice citrus aroma and taste too. A little less spicy this time around, this is a great example of an English Pale Ale.

diamondc, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of malcontent
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy, off-orange body capped by a thin layer of head. Head retention is rather poor although the unfiltered appearance of the beer is interesting.

Nice malt quality to the nose; soft hop scent blends with a richer, honey aroma and musty grain hulls.

Solid taste; malt up-front with tingling bitterness on the finish. This seems to be more of a true pale ale in the English fashion than many produced here today. Sweetness is what separates this from its American contemporaries.

Mouthfeel manages to combine a thinness with a slick quality. Not a good partnership in my estimation. Drinkability on the whole though is fairly high and, if it's your style, you could polish of a few bottles with relative ease.

Thanks to chadspivey for the bottle.

malcontent, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this bottle courtesy of mushroomcloud, via secret bunny '07

A - dark golden yellow, near light brown, with a roacky foamy white head that is about a finger thick, surviving on plenty of swift carbonation

S - strong malt profile, with hoppy, floral notes with some sweetness as well, a strange nondescript sweetness, like generic candy

T - a sickly sweet malt profile, with a decent hop balance, not an even stage, but a nice balance, the floral notes add a strange but distinct note, a lemony sweetness seems to also be present

M&D - smooth, but a strange flavor combination, one that would be better a bit colder, a decent session brew, and a good summer beer

sinstaineddemon, May 31, 2007
Photo of ttu94
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a cloudy copper color. Darker than I expeced but nice. Head is small and retention is less, with slight to no lace, Smells good. Has a very citrus sense with a bit of roasted malt to it. Lemmony flavor wth an actually pleasant aftertaste. Not very hoppy in my oppinion. I could drink a few of these at a time, but I can drink a few of a lot of things.

ttu94, May 22, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, 5.2% ABV, best before June. Hazy copper color, with a thick foamy off-white head. Head holds together briefly, then disappears, leaving a few spots of lace.

Grassy, herbal, and slightly citrusy hops stand out in the nose.

Caramel flavor to start, and some odd slightly tropical fruit flavors. Malt seems bready, with an herbal hop character to balance it out.

Decent body and carbonation. Not bad, but not an abundance of flavor either.

Bierguy5, May 02, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Slightly hazy deep amber color with a thin head that lingers for a bit. It finally settles to a thin cap.

Piney hops along with a sugary malt base, along with a hint of maple syrup.

Light and thin toasty cracker like malts lead off to a middle-of-the-pack bitter hop presence. A little bit of diacetyl can be detected. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is quick with some lingering maple flavor and a little bit of bitterness.

The Saaz hops mix well with the slightly toasty malts. It's not the best American Pale Ale I have had, but it's definitely a local beer worth supporting. It's very easy to drink and not overpowering like others in the same style.

BeerSox, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of mcallister
2.2/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

What you would expect from a pale ale. Nice mahagony caramel colored with a small white head with little lace yet good thick retention.

Pale ale all the way. Full of pale malts and aroma enticing hops that are laid back and ready for the taking. Than a bold whiff of piney, rustic, earth swallowing hop follows through the end. Everything is there just too laid back.

Malt is overly sweet and leaning towards caramel. Almost completely overpowers the forest induced hops, therefore no balance at all let alone complexity. Some stone fruits in the mid palate but nothing to destinguishable.

Mouthfeel is a little better but the cloying sweetness hurts it overall. It is full and rounded. Couldn't drink more than one of these.

mcallister, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a clear burnt orange color that was pretty clear overall, but I added a tad of cloudiness because there is some yeast sediment that I let through from the bottom of the bottle. There was a small head of off white bubbles on top, but this didn't stick around in its full form but for about 30 seconds.

Aroma: Some citrusy hops and a good bit of sweet caramel malt there to back it up. It reminds me a bit of their Rye ale in that I get a mild metallic bite. As the beer warms a bit, there is more emphasis on the hops, and they get a bit more citrusy.

Taste: The flavor is pretty well balanced with more hop emphasis in the flavor than the bittering which I find refreshing for an APA. There is a bit of oxidation to this beer, so this detracts from the hops flavors. The flavor starts out with a clean and sweet malt presence that has a subtle toasty bite. After the malt finishes with your palate, you get some of the bittering hops to give balance to the lead in to the finish. There is a bit of a struggle between the malt and hops in the finish, but the malt subtly wins out late in the finish. There is no alcohol apparent.

Opinion: I suspect that this metallic note must be the combination of the hops that they use that gives me this impression and this may be an interaction with the water they use as I don't get this in their Brewhouse Brown. Their water may need a bit of a rebalancing for the lighter beers, but it is still good. I would drink this beer again, and I would like to try it fresh in Blanco. We’ll see if that happens.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of BeerZack
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

BeerZack, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Csims for the brew.

Pours a cloudy deep orange color, nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy white head, which then leaves some islands and sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, malty, citrusy, and slight caramel. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, and slight citrusy. Medium body, nice balance between hops/malts. Drinkable, a very nice APA.

Wasatch, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of beeragent
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review is based on a bottle, that has been aged at least three years. I aquired it when my brother-in-law had to move, and couldnt take his beer with him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a hazy yellow, forming a 1 inch fluffy head, that quickly faded, leaving medium rings of lace on the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet, smelling mostly of hops, and maybe a little fuit. The taste is a little less than expected. Not nearly as much hop presence as expected. Light hops, with an almost grainy aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty standard APA. Nothing really extrordinary about this one. A good brew though.

beeragent, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees. Picked up in a trade from Csims - thanks!!

A - Pours a hazy pale-golden color with a 1-inch, off-white head...no real retention, but a beautiful color for an APA. Good carbonation.

S - Smells primarily of malt, with a little hop tone in the background. Not too strong, but leaves something to the imagination...

T - Toasted malt and sweet fruit up front. Less hoppy than the aroma let off, but still a good balance of hops-to-malt.

M - Creamy, medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Unexpected warming feeling upon finish...good for an APA.

D - Very good session beer...could use a little more individual flavors (either malt or hops)...just a little more would put it in the upper class of American Pale Ales. Still, I'd pick one up if I saw it in the store.

JohnnyM2002, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle at The Onion in Houston.

Slightly hazy, true gold color. Off-white head, medium in size.

Pretty mild aroma, beer is quite cold. Citrus like hops, and some spice - pepper.

Very well balanced in flavor. Malt slightly less prevalent than hops. Biscuity. Hops mainly at finish, citrus - lemon.

Medium in body and carbonation. Fairly dry.

A really good session beer. Great balance. Why do I find beers like this when I have to drive...

, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark honey to pale copper body with ascending bubbles that get bigger as they rise. Sturdy 1/2" head that leaves swirling lacing designs. Smells of sweet malts, with herbal and floral hop aromas. Flavors are a little lighter than I expected. The malt is there but seems to get washed out a bit too quickly. Hops pull through at the end with herbal and floral notes and a crisp finishing bitterness. I get a little citrus in there as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, having been bottle conditioned, but it's a bit too thin. This is surely a great session beer.

goochpunch, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of irishtimepiece
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with persistent, short, white head. Laces here and there. A few bubbles rising in there.
Smell is quite average, some floral hops, some malt.
Crisp hop bitterness with a bready malt presence. Lasting bitter aftertaste.
Carbonation is on the low side, but is otherwise pleasant.
Overall, highly drinkable.
Not terribly eventful, but an accurate representation of the style.

irishtimepiece, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of Bierschenker
4.38/5  rDev +28.1%
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.

Bierschenker, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of pweis909
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up as part of an assortment pack while visiting Austin.
Drinkable pale ale. Hops are assertively aromatic and flavorful, but not aggressively bitter, and the malt flavor is nicely layered under the initial hop taste. There is some bitter to the finish, but it does not bite. This one works well with local Tex-Mex cuisine.

pweis909, Nov 15, 2006
Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.