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Copperhead Pale Ale - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Copperhead Pale AleCopperhead Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

168 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 8
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Silver Medal Winner 1997 World Beer Championships - India Pale Ales.
This flavorful beer is made in the style of the India Pale Ale Style originally manufactured in Great Britain for their colonies in India, but with an American twist. The harsh travel that the beer had to survive required a strong, hoppy beer. The Hops and the high level of alcohol helped buffer the beer through its long travels. Made with flavorful and full bodied Pale Ale malt combined with a touch of caravienne for color and carapils for body, the rich flavor of this beer is matched and enhanced by a very generous portion of Centennial and Cascade hops. The Cascades give this beer its distinctive floral aroma and a uniquely American character.

48.5 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alalvarez75
5/5  rDev +30.5%

alalvarez75, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of klotzilla
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

27 reviews and an A- overall rating testify to this beer's worthiness.

This is one of the marquee beers for Free State and it is always available on tap year-round.

It's a great American IPA. It reminds me of Samuel Smith's IPA from the UK, and that's high enough praise.

klotzilla, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of SirPlunkett
5/5  rDev +30.5%

SirPlunkett, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of goates
5/5  rDev +30.5%

goates, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of mmthompson33
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The name says it all. It's unique copper color and strong hoppy aroma and taste give this beer a distinct personality. Nothing in a bottle is quite like a fresh Copperhead poured from a tap.

mmthompson33, Oct 16, 2001
Photo of Crash_the_Dog
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Crash_the_Dog, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of Pedalsteel
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Pedalsteel, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of TIMMA87698
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

TIMMA87698, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of RMKsBeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

RMKsBeer, May 26, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warmly glowing coppery apricot. This is beautiful beer that is especially attractive because it's filling my genuine Free State logo pint glass. The toasted almond colored cap was never very large, but it's a looker. The upper surface is moonscape-like and is depositing some pretty impressive looking lace... that isn't as clingy as it first appeared to be.

The aroma's only real fault is its shyness. Maybe it will become more bold at the beer gains a few degrees (it does). The malty portion of the nose is nicely butter caramel-like. The hoppy portion features the citric, cheesy, weedy, citric qualities of Cascade more than the pure grapefruit pithiness of Centennial. Since I like them both, all is well.

Copperhead Pale Ale is a fantastic American IPA (APA? IPA?... doesn't matter). I was pretty sure it would be, which is why I brought home this growler. Only $6.25 for refills? Are you kidding me?! I know where I'd be most days if I lived in Lawrence. I'm amazed at how much better beer this is than the two Free State offerings that I had at the brewpub last week.

Again, buttery smooth caramel malt provides sweet, toffee-like flavors and keeps thing from being a pure hopfest. I normally like my IPAs to feature nothing other than hop flavors, but there are exceptions. This is one of those exceptions. The malt gives the beer a solid foundation and a depth that lesser versions lack.

Hops, of course, are the stars of this blockbuster of a show. The Cascade are still dominant and have been used to great effect, both in terms of flavor and bitterness. Caramel and pine sap-soaked grapefruit chunks, along with freshly zested lemons and oranges, give CPA a hop oily, resinous deliciousness that only truly fresh beer can manage.

I don't understand how this mouthfeel can be so superior to the mouthfeels on the rye beer and the oatmeal stout. A softer carbonation (cask) might have something to do with it. This may not be the biggest IPA on the block, but it's considerably creamy, supremely silky and lingeringly sticky. Sorry, I couldn't manage another alliteration on that last one.

Free State's Copperhead Pale Ale has exceeded the high hopes that I had when I decided to make it my one growler purchase. It's a fantastic IPA that I plan to savor over the rest of this rainy, dreary November Sunday. The only trouble is, I now feel the need to head back down to Kansas sooner rather than later. This stuff was well worth the trip.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice amber color with a thick, tan, one-finger head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass as I drank it down.

S - It smelled of grasses and hops. Also, a roasted malt aroma.

T - It had a good bitter hop flavor at first sip. The roasted maltiness was understated but clearly a presence. The hoppiness maintained its bitter bite throughout.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good beer. Possibly the finest regular brew at the Free State.

zeff80, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of beernut7
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color of deep copper under a light white lace. The bold aroma is significantly spicy. Hop heads would really enjoy this one. Right up front is the aggressive spicy hopping supported by a good malt backup. The hops definitely come out more than the sweetness, but the hops made it good.

beernut7, Oct 13, 2002
Photo of bditty187
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, coppery-tawny-gold in hue; the liquid was pleasant in appearance. It was served with almost two fingers of frothy off-white head. Head retention was excellent, a half finger cap lasted the entire consumption. There was a tremendous amount of subsequent, sticky lacing. On cask this Pale Ale looks great. It is eye candy for the beer fiend.

The nose is powerful with a hoppy blast that only cask beer can offer. It is citrusy-grapefruit and piney with a fruity underbelly. The malt backbone is solid; it supplies a toasty but soft caramel biscuit aroma. Solid potency. I found the bouquet to be very inviting.

The palate is the same wonderful combination as the nose. This Pale Ale is put together perfectly… it is a cask queen. The hops are assertive; they just jumped down my throat. They were bitter and flavorful with grapefruit rinds, orange zest, and pine needles/spruce bark. Yeast fruitiness. The belly is malty; caramel and toasty biscuits. The aftertaste is long and relaxing. This beer was so damn tasty on cask.

Medium in body, the cask-conditioning created a low but natural carbonation level and it produced a pliable and relaxing mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Yell yeah. I order two of these and I’m not sure I set my glass down. It was quaffed at the brewpub in Lawrence, KS. I wish this were on cask every time I went... this is a “must try” if you see this beer on cask. Yum.

bditty187, May 23, 2005
Photo of marc77
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive clear copper color. Off white, soapy, yet persistent head leaves rough, frothy lace. Assertive, but clean citrusy Cascade nose dominates the aroma, with agreeable hints of pine sap secondary. Definitely dry - hopped. Token medium caramel malt sweetness with faint biscuit notes is offset by assertive, but clean hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly high, leaving a slightly prickly mouthfeel. Sharp, but enjoyable grapefruit hop flavor is tapered by a firm, dextrinous malt backbone. The body is fairly light overall, but this adds to the drinkability of this brew. Finishes quite dry, crisp and lightly toffeeish. Copperhead is one tasty and well brewed APA, and certainly straddles the boundary between pales and IPAs. Unique, and certainly well crafted.

marc77, Apr 05, 2002
Photo of damuraus
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An impressive deep amber, almost reddish hue. The nose was fruity with hops coming through. Taste of grapefruit at the front. The finish was smooth and while there was sufficient hops, there wasn't much bitterness at the end. Mouth feel was substantial enough to support all the flavors. A very pleasant quaff.

damuraus, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ideal Pale in the middle of nowhere. Had with the Brewery's blackbean quesadilla. Perhaps not the best accompaniment, but it works.

Little head, which makes it drink easier. Just enough bite to notice, but not overwhelming. Same with a hint of malt. Just when you think its thin, it bodies up and gives a good aftertaste.

Taste is better if not served straight from their tap as they use freshly washed glasses (unchilled) which are warm. Get a growler and chill it for a day. You'll finish the bottle toot sweet.

Mebuzzard, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of JEdmund
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rusty amber, small head that settles quickly

S: Big spicy hop presence; familiar Free State quality that's hard to describe (house yeast?); some light biscuity malts and maybe a touch of honey. Very nice

T & M: Initial flavor is a balanced mix of hops and malts, but then the hops blast ahead and the beer finishes with a pronounced bitterness. They're calling it a pale ale, but its hop levels sure seem in IPA territory. The hop bill really works in this beer (Cascade, Columbus, Chinook): I'm getting primarily spicy and herbal qualities. The body is light-medium, further allowing those hops to shine. Finish is really crisp.

O: This is my favorite Free State mainstay, and I think a lot of other people's too. Only recently have they come out with some IPAs that I think are better. Definitely worth seeking out and trying. So nice to see these in bottles finally!

JEdmund, May 31, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Best by the 4th week of June.

A nice golden amber coloured PA with a small head of foam and some lacing.

It has a pretty hoppy smell to it; lemon citrus, possibly a light nose of grapefruit, some malt comes through with a touch of a sweet note or 2.

The taste, well, is awesome. Very well balanced taste with both the malt and hops working pretty much perfectly together. Sweet, bitter, smooth throughout. Gawd, this is so good. Noticing a bit of pine now. Yum.

Medium bodied, carbonation on the lighter side of medium....very nice mouth feel and very damn drinkable. A hidden gem is what I have here. Thanks again, Russ!

Bitterbill, May 29, 2011
Photo of mvforegonian
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Oh Freestate your genius never ceases to quench my thirst. Hops all the way through to a lingering finish. Pours a beautiful dark golden with aromas of American hops done up right! This beer is wonderful both bottled and off tap.

mvforegonian, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of midwestbrewers
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours with a nice copper color and has a small one finger head

S: slightly citric with a malt note. Grapefruit almost

T: the taste is wonderful. Very hoppy but not too overpowering. Wonderful grapefruit taste and very smooth. Slight malty notes throughout, just enough to keep you satisfied.

At first glance, and review I thought this was just a pale ale. I'm not a big drinker of IPA's as they are just too bitter for me. I prefer not to not have my mouth abused by my beer. That being said, this is a perfect example of what I'm looking for in an IPA. I am astounded at the quality of this beer. It all goes so well together and doesn't overpower you in any one area. Goes great with spicy dishes, like gumbo or Mexican cuisine. I will buy this beer again. GREAT BEER FREESTATE!!!!

midwestbrewers, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of mistroth
4.25/5  rDev +11%

mistroth, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of dradair
4.25/5  rDev +11%

dradair, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Cyberhoptic
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Cyberhoptic, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of KimbarkBrewCrew
4.25/5  rDev +11%

KimbarkBrewCrew, May 12, 2012
Photo of pjbfromkc
4.25/5  rDev +11%

pjbfromkc, Jun 24, 2014
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Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.