Full Sail Pale Ale - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Full Sail Pale AleFull Sail Pale Ale

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361 Reviews

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Reviews: 361
Hads: 632
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 18.38%
Wants: 28
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002

Not to be confused with their English Style Pale.

"Our Pale Ale has a fresh, hoppy aroma that comes from two (top secret) Northwest hop varieties, while two-row Pale and Crystal malt give it a mild sweetness that finishes clean and crisp. Feeling out of whack? Put on some music, crack a Pale Ale, and readjust your balance.

ABV 5.4% IBU 37"
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 361 | Hads: 632
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.77/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This excellent American brew pours a wonderful burnt golden color. There is a nice tan head that is satisfactory in life. The nose is very hoppy, There are fruity undertones as well. The flavors are very complex with fruity malt that is not so dry as to match the nose. There is a strong well balanced hop flavor here and notes of spice. Very satisfying and hearty beer.

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Photo of TXHops
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Full Sail Pale Ale (January 2003)

Malts: two row pale and crystal
Hops: Centennial and Columbus
ABV: 5.4%

Full Sail Pale Ale is the epitome of the American Pale Ale style, in my humble opinion. Having tasted probably hundreds of examples of the style, this is my favorite so far. I drink this stuff frequently, so I've got a fair idea of what to expect and this beer always exceeds those expectations.

The textbook amber body is brilliantly clear and supports a perfectly white cap of foam. The lace-prone head actually lasts throughout the whole drinking experience--a rarity in the style. The aroma is simply out of this world--a perfect combination of malt and hops existing in unity to produce a citric, then sweet aroma that instantly makes my tongue float on my mouth's watering... The best is still to come though, because the flavor is the pinnacle of this beer's exceptional existence. Full Sail Pale Ale is the definition of balanced beer. The crisp, sweet, biscuity malt is chased almost instantly by the grapefruity-orange presence of American hops. Not to be overdone, the malt returns almost as quickly as it gave way, easing back into the awareness of my palate. The hops also linger enticingly, weaving complexity and subtlety into the malt backbone. The crisp, but longish finish is almost dry, but at the same time sweet and hoppy--with neither flavor ever even coming close to dominating. If I was a novice beer drinker, I'd have no idea this APA had more ingredients than just beer sweet beer, because no ingredient's flavor ever dominates long enough to establish itself as obvious. It’s almost impossible for me not to drink this beer in about 2 minutes because the flavor is so perfect and the taste is so addictive.

Simply an amazing beer. This is the epitome of brewing as a careful, loving, highly-demanding craft. I'd give this beer all 5's if I didn't worry that someday, I might just find better...

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Photo of anotherpg
4.73/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz brown bottle, with a throwback label, boasting of 47 employees. This was easily one of the cleanest drinking beers I've had recently. Smooth, pale color, clean smell, and it went do so easy. No bitterness, but a full clear flavor. An excellent overall beer. I was sad that I had but one to drink.

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Photo of loren01
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color into my pint glass. Good head and lacing, also good carbonation bubbling up from the bottom. Smell is great!! Very fruity, maybe some apricot scent as well has hoppy. Taste is even better, nicely balanced malty at first with a nice hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is good as well, I would say carbonation is moderate to heavy, has a good bite to it. Overall, one of the better pale ale's I've had in quite some time.

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Photo of tbone53
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the folks up in oregon really due know how to make beer.it helps that im a homebrewer and like ale.easy to read drink before date embalsed on the bottle.had a twist cap that i had to use a opener on.like the catchey label its not the one shown on this page.
a:clear ambor color moderte head that laces nicely down the glass.
s:can smell the flower aroma of hops.no doubt of what this is.
t:tas good explouds with flavor nice citrus taste.
m:good mouthfeel this is a good ale.
d:as with all ale you arent going to drink these all night long but this is a good enjoyable beverage.
needless to say i liked this one and will get more.
cheers yall

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Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliant pale amber gold under a cream to off-white 1” moderately persisting head with multi-sized bubbles that produces thick lacing on the glass.
S: Citrusy-grassy American hop aromas with bread to slight biscuit malt lurking in the background.
T: Very light caramel from the malt. finishes dry with a touch of sweet and hops. The hops linger. A little grapefruit from the hops. Light fruit in the aftertaste.
F: medium body to a little less, medium to medium low carbonation, smooth
O: clean, refreshing, and very drinkable.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 0.355 litre (12 oz) bottle, with the generic Full Sail Label. This one is darkish blue. Listed as 5.4% By Vol.

Appearance: Pours easily into my Pint Glass, the head stopping just below the top of the glass giving a beer with a superb initial presentation. Crystal clear amber body with an off-white head. The head soon settles to a thin collar, but good levels of dissolved carbon dioxide help to recreate a covering when the beer is swirled.

Nose: PALE ALE! This has just the perfect nose for this style. Fresh hops mixed with clean lemon-citric aromas all intermingled into a light malt nose. Very nice.

Taste: Wow, this beer totally surprises me all round, maybe the rather plain label does this beer an injustice. Starts with a very refreshing quality that is initially extremely thirst quenching. Fresh hops, with a lemon & lime character. Light malt intermingles and threads through all of these flavors. Has a mild sweetness in the crisp, clean finish that does not detract from the supremeness of this beer at all. Extremely well-balanced, so much so nothing is really dominant, nor is it left out – how do they do this?

Mouthfeel: Above average, the high carbonation lends help to a beer that already has a solid backbone.

Drinkability: Very high, maybe the hot weather aids my drinkability marks, I sometimes feel it does, so I have had two bottles, and the Drinkability is for the second, after my thirst was well quenched. Yet I still found this to be a great beer to knock back, probably because it is just so well-balanced.

Overall: I cannot believe that I walked pass this beer in Trader Joe’s so many times without ever picking it up! A superb Pale Ale that does not cost the Earth, it is advertised I note on the neck label as “...balanced to perfection”. I agree totally, this is no marketing BS. Extremely well-balanced, clean, and very, very, very quaffable. Investing in a 6-Pack of this from Trader Joes is Highly Recommended. Bloody Good.

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Photo of Jordan
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nose biting hoppiness and a faint aroma of pine. Quite a refreshing sensation, it made my eyes open a little wider. The palate is immediately spicey up front with fresh and grainey hops cruising along till the end(it never really stops). Very well balanced start to finish. Skillfully rounded character. Excellent beer!

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Photo of kindestcut
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a revelation. As someone who is not a huge pale ale fan, although I do appreciate a crisp P A once in awhile, I can truthfully say that this is not only my favorite pale ale I've ever had, it's also a damn good beer in it's own right.

The Full Sail Pale Ale pours a clear gold with a substantial white head. The head stays suspended for several moments before receding very slowly.

The aroma is hoppy, of course, floral and fruity, a clean nose that predicts bitterness. However, there is a malt characteristic evident that also leads me to the glass hoping for a balanced flavor some PA's lack.

The flavor of this beer is what sets it apart from other American pale ales, especially the more common Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. What tingles in hop bitterness, lacking in a sweet release in the Sierra Nevada, the Full Sail delivers on the promised balance. The dry hoppiness seems to rise and then descend at first taste, giving way to a subtle sweetness that finishes like a setting sun...with light shimmering but not blinding. It's hardfor me to place every flavor...I know there are specific ones that pass me by but every taste is an invitation to try again.

An excellent beer.

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah yes. Full Sail Pale Ale.

not a bad beer.

A - A lot like fresh harvested, filtered honey. In a glass, with a foamy head on it. Nice lacing. Yum.

S - There's a good amount of pine in here, Take your average bread factory, and teleport it into the middle of a sage/pine forest. The smell that you would get 300 yards downwind from that place is probably a lot like what this beer smells like. Also, there is something in there that smells a little bit Triscuits and puppy mouth.

T - Bready and hoppy, and goody.

M - Soft and chewy. like liquid velvet.

D - Drink a hundred...see if I care.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.44/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/amber color with a large cream-colored head that is lasting. The aroma of citrusy hops and light sweet fruit will make your mouth water. The flavor mirrors the smell with the light sweet fruitiness with a perfect amount of citrus flavored hops, and faint roasted malt. It is light-bodied and finishes just with a hint of sweetness. Superb beer in my opinion! Cheers!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its clear, amber body rests gently beneath a short head of creamy, ivory-colored foam that holds fairly well before receeding to a collar. The nose is quite welcoming with a soft, piney hop character and light yeasty fruitiness over a delicate, biscuity malt. It's smooth across the palate with a very fine, restrained carbonation that allows all of its flavors to come through. It's piney and fruity up-front with its lightly sweet biscuity malt becoming dominant as it cross the palate into a dry finish where the pine returns and some of its firm bitterness lingers. Impeccably balanced! A smooth beer from start to finish. Refreshing and satisfying! More fruity and round than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; and certainly worth trying.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great example of an American Pale Ale. Copperish gold in color with an off white head. Good aroma of floral or piney hops. This beer has a really good flavor. The hops make their presence known right away and finish very well. Generously hopped for a pale ale. Enough hop character to keep this beer interesting, but very drinkable. You can knock this one back without even blinking. This is one of my favorite American-style pale ales.

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Photo of kkoz
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance & Aroma: It was clear and slightly amber colored with a creamy white head, which left some good lacing. There seemed to be a pretty good amount of carbonation in it, revealing a bready-malty aroma with some hints of caramel malts.

Taste & Feel: The body was light and it had a crisp mouthfeel from the carbonation in it. There was a bready and caramel flavor in the middle, leading to a nice bit of floral-piney bitterness in the clean finish.

Food Pairing: Like a lot of clean pale ales, it makes me think of pub food. It’s light and refreshing enough to drink on its own, yet it can be a good pairing to help wash down many fried or bready foods. For me, a good solid pub burger and this beer go great together.

Overall Impression: There seemed to be a good balance between the bready, malty flavors up front and the bitterness finish. I enjoyed the mix of flavors in every sip, and found it to be very drinkable. It would be easy to have a few of these at a time, especially on a nice hot summer afternoon like this.

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Photo of chriscolby
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear beer with a deep golden to light amber color and a moderate head. The aroma nicely balanced between hops and malt and this balance follows through to the flavor. This is not quite as hoppy a beer as many American pale ales, such as Sierra Nevada or Red Seal, but shows a degree of finesse many lack. The malt character is grainy (in a good way) and slightly sweet from crystal malt. The hops show a very faint hint of mint. The aftertaste floats along, still maintaining the delicate balance of malt and hops. (Usually, one or the other comes to the front in the aftertaste.)

This is one of my favorite pale ales and a definite go-to beer.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came in trade from loren01. Thanks man this is another dam fine beer!

The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer is a golden orange coloration. The beer has a long lasting whitish colored head. The head resolved fairly fast. The beer left thin streaks of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The beer has a quick bursting citrus juicy smell with a bit of zest. The beer has a good supporting malty sweet smell. The beer has the suggestion of fruityness in the smell.

Taste: This is a extremly well balanced hoppy and malty beer. The hops come forth with a crisp lemony citrus hit. The beer goes malty sweet briefly. The beer flashes bitter and dries out.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied. The beer is well carbonated. The beer is very well balanced. This was a easy beer to drink. I am glad I received another in the trade. This would make a dam fine sessionable beer. This will please both the BMC drinker and the beer geek.

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Photo of grapemaster
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oh, the pure unmitigated joy that belongs to this beer. Oh how I do enjoy this brew. It pours out and I shed a tear, not of sorrow but delight. This beer is by far one of my favorites. It is not heavy, or has special, exotic ingredients, instead this beer is simply one of the tastiest beers I have ever had. What are you still reading for? Go buy one for yourself.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Lots of hops, strong, inviting with some lemon tones.
Appearance: Clear, dirty blond, good head and carbonation, but settled down and laced nicely.
Flavor: Crisp, bitter, yet refreshing. Bit of grapefruit? Classic pale ale style in my book.
Mouthfeel: Clean, a bittering pucker that’s expected given the style. Some carbonation prickle, but average body.
Overall Impression: As pale ales go, this is toward the top of my list. Clean, smooth, well made. A nice example of an American Beer.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I've yet to do a side-by-side, FSPA seems to be equally solid on tap and in the bottle. Light copper in color, clear, plenty of lacings. The aroma mostly fruity -- not just your typical bright citrus, but also faint berries as well -- and typically hoppy as an APA should be. On the palate, a moderate bitterness arrives along with a faint sweetness, until the former takes the reins into a mildly bitter finish. Along the way, a fruity, juicy hop flavor combines with some supporting malt, ever so deftly.

This is an APA that I've rediscovered recently and have enjoyed quite a bit. Nothing too outrageous, I suppose, but hey it's an APA, and stylistically, I must say that there's just about nothing I find in this beer that's unappealing.

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Photo of marc77
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Copper in hue with crystal clear, lager like clarity. Covered by a well retained one fingered off white head that leaves Belgian lace. Rounded citrusy, juicy, vitamin C rich Centennial hops hit the nose at first, then are followed by a lightly herbal tinge of Columbus and mellow medium caramel malt. Whiffs of bready pale malt and butterscotch surface as the beer breathes. Quintessential in appearance and aroma. Smooth and lightly buttery caramel malt sweetness is perceived at first, then is ensued by a judicious and balancing hop bitterness along with a pleasant citrus rind hop flavor. The neutral yeast strain lends few qualities of its own, and lets the simple, yet balanced hop and malt profile to shine. Subdued diacetyl complements the mellow caramel malt presence. Moderate in body, with plenty residual dextrins for a smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with a pleasant lingering light bready sweetness and marmalade impression. Full Sail Pale is nearly the perfect embodiment of the style. A marriage of simple malt character and citric hops. It's as close to a 1:1 malt : hop balance I've encountered in an APA. Clean, light, delicious and highly drinkable. Superior to the ubiquitous standard that is SNPA. Big thanks to TXhops for reuniting me with this fine brew.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4th of July Beer

Poured into a random glass at in-laws house

Appearance-Light goldy body with a 2 finger off white head. Pour head retention and decent lacing.

Smell-Light citrus and floral hops. Sweet honeyish malt. Very nice aroma.

Taste-Wow. Huge suprise here. Amazing fruity flavors, every sip is something different. Peach, Pear, Orange, Grapefruit, Apple. Nice sweetness and nicely balanced. Light floral and piney hops.

Mouthfeel-Crisp, Clean, Refreshing. Medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. Goes down so smooth. Perfect mouthfeel

Overall-Quite possibly my biggest suprise of 2011. I'm really glad that every now and then I pick up some random singles b/c this will now be one of my go to session beers. Up until now I've been dissapointed with Full Sail, but this beer was great. An excellent brew.

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Photo of jadpsu
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very light or pale amber with a foamy, slightly off white head, with better than average retention. Does show some nice side lacing.
aroma leads with some acidic fruity, spicy hops and then some bready maltiness.
Taste provides a well balance of hops and maltiness. Detect some licorice in there, along with some mild spicy, bitter hops. Very dry finish, which I like.
Mouthfeel is creamy and then followed by the bitter dry hops.
Very good beer/ale. I liked this one alot.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full Sail Pale Ale has a thick, frothy, slightly off-white head and a clear, yellow-orange appearance, with a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of citrus (orange) and bready barley malt, but, overall, the smell is faint. Taste is of citrus, bread, some pine notes, and a good amount of pleasant hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Full Sail Pale Ale finishes easy-drinking and sort of wet. Drinkability is very high with this one. Overall, it’s a great beer.


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Photo of Reidrover
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the 12 oz brown bottle with the simple yet effective Full Sail type label.
Wow I must have shook this baby up..as it pours with a massive head that overflows the glass..requiring some "Brawny" papper towels!!..when it settles down it is indeed an attractive beer..nice clear copper colour and the head though shrunk from "taking over the world" proportions is good.
Great floral hop aroma here wonderfully fruity ..very fresh.
Wow this Pale has one great taste to it,,very balanced yet its spicy, sweet and bitter at the same time..sweetness predominates though..but the malt bitterness is always in the background..I am pleasantly surprised by this beer.
Very nice on the tongue well balanced indeed ( as it says on the neck label)
Wow Ive seen this beer for 4 years now this is the first time I have had it..its exceptionally drinkable..a great North West Pale..i prefer this to SN Pale

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Photo of jhtipton
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this imported beer at the Navy Club in Seoul a few weeks ago. Well, it's imported to me... Drank it from the bottle but I think it is worthy of better glassware than that. Wonderful hoppy flavor and smooth to the palate. Have not been drinking enough of this lately but I believe I will revisit as it is a good candidate for a session beer.

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Full Sail Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.