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Mt. Tam Pale Ale - Marin Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mt. Tam Pale AleMt. Tam Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 03-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice Dark Amber color with a good creamy head. Light lacing. Okay retention. This head taste great. It's sweet like ice cream. The beer is somewhat opaque.

Smell: Sweet candied malts. The malts are very characteristic. Nice fruity hints. Not very hoppy. Slighty astringent but not bitter. Not a ton of character hitting my nose.

Taste: Good but not extremely exciting. I taste a caramel toast flavor. There is a breadiness here as well. I expected more out of this. It has a good feel and is definitely drinkable but lacks of a lot of character. The hops are fresh and mild. A bit piney. I think the balance is off with the malts overshadowing the malts. Not bad but not great.

Mouthfeel: Decent. Kind of creamy. I think the head is great. Finishes a bit bitter.

Drinkability: I expected more out of this live ale. I think I would try it at the brewery. Maybe this beer was sitting on the shelf for too long. After taking a few generous swigs I am willing to declare this beer drinkable. I would probably pick my go to Boonville Poleeko Gold over this.

BerkeleyBeerMan, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of climax
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one poured a pretty hazy burnt orange/bronze color with a good size foamy eggshell head. The retention is good.

The nose has a hop crispness, but seems a bit more on the malty side. It's mostly caramel and toffee with some floral notes and lemon zest.

The flavor starts off with a hop bitterness and soon fades to malt dominance towards the end. Almost Oktoberfest qualities come around the finish with the malt bill. Caramel, toffee, honey, and cereal grains to be exact. The herbal hop flavors come and go.

The body is on the light side with crisp carbonation. It's a smooth drinkable beer, yet a bit more personality would be appreciated.

climax, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Draft pour into a 0.5-liter mug at Hollingshead's.

A: Clear, light amber color with two fingers of off-white foam head that diminishes to a rocky residue that climbs the sides of the glass. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: The smell of hops dominates, with grapefruit citrus and floral aromas. However, the multiple layers of flavors to come are hinted at as well, with faint toasted grain and honey also detectable.

T: Begins dry, with toasted malt and mild acidity. Hop aromatics emerge more toward the middle as bright citrus and some pine foliage, even lingering on into the finish. Bitterness is present but restrained, leaving an overall impression that is clean and refreshing.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate at first but becoming sticky later, with moderate carbonation.

D: Marin's flagship pale ale is a beer that isn't talked about enough, or served out of enough taps, in California. It embraces balance wholeheartedly while still preserving a precise West-Coast hop profile. For example, it delivers the same intensity of hop qualities as Drake's 1500--a beer that seems to sacrifice balancing malt qualities for the sake of the hops. Mt. Tam should be considered the stylistic equal of almost any of Sierra Nevada's pale ales, while steering clear of the spicy notes that the uninitiated may find challenging. It is effortlessly approachable, yet remains interesting even after it has been re-visited on many occasions. If you can't get your hands on a Strand pale ale, then Mt. Tam is a fine second choice.

beagle75, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of earthling
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Mt. Tam Pale Ale is a really fantastic beer. Being a West Coast IPA lover, the hoppy aroma is an immediate attraction. Putting back a Mt. Tam is also like drinking a delicous loaf of bread. It's dry, lightly toasted but unroasted, moderate in strength with well-balanced malt.

This one is a drinker, a universal beer, worthy of riding sidecar to great company and a filling meal or simply keeping a lone drinker company across a long, wooden rail.

earthling, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of andyfrancis
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish gold with a bit of haze, nice thin, creamy head.

Smelt of orange and other citrus hops at first, now that the head has subsided, pale malt and wheat coming through.

Bitter up front, giving way to the malt. They do mingle nicely. If you're into "balanced" beer, you'll like this one. If you focus, you can clearly detect and separate the hop and malt flavors, but they're present at levels that work nicely together if you want to just sit back and enjoy.

I like it, but for me, it's not a stand out.

Paired with a Spring Hill Farms Dry Jersey Jack. Works pretty well. Fairly even strength of flavors.

andyfrancis, May 21, 2010
Photo of jmbranum
4.65/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An excellent, very drinkable,nicely balanced pale ale. Pretty in the glass, subtle aroma but lots of flavor. Surprisingly malty, with nice breadt notes supported by a backbone of hops. just a little bit of toastiness.

Enjoyed at gott,s sidewalk cafe on the embarcadero in san francisco.

jmbranum, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale golden with medium sized white head. Nose has some candied citrus, especially grapefruit-orange. More of that candied quality is noted on the palate with juicy-fruit malty goodness and some tangerine fruit from the hop influence. Easy drinking and a long tangerine finish.

yemenmocha, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the brewery on 2009-04-27

The ale is a clear, tea color with zero head as served and mild lacing.

I enjoyed the apples and jasmine smells.

The flavors are of toasted chestnut, citrus bitter and pine.

Carbonation and mouthfeel are light.

A decent APA but not remarkable.

Tucquan, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of mikey711
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber/orange with a half inch creamy white head. No lace

S: Big citrus hop aroma, lemon and peach mostly

T: SGood citrus hoppiness that is not too intense. Not much sweetness.

M: Light and slightly watery. Decent body.

D: Very quaffable. Could have multiple bombers if I truly wanted to

mikey711, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very slightly hazy dark golden with a thin fizzy head that fades pretty quickly to a thin ring. Smells thin, grainy, and slightly sour. The taste is quite bitter up front, and then segues into a slightly sour graininess. Thin overall, both in taste and body. I thought I'd enjoy this more, but I'd say its not something I'd buy again.

Georgiabeer, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 5.7%.

A-Pours a clear light amber color. Has a minimal off white head due in part to the bartender overfilling the glass. Visible bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Not much lace is left.

S-Lots of fresh hops. Seems hoppier than it used to be, which is not a bad thing. Lots of citrus and evn more pine burst out. It smells like a fresh IPA. Not getting much malt.

T-Lots of sticky fresh pine hops throughout. There is some light pale malt in the back which gives way to more pine flavor. It has a nice level of bitterness in between sips.

M-Mediumn bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. It has a comfortable level of carbonation.

D-Great session beer due to its lower abv. The increased hoppage is a nice bonus.

I have grown up drinking this beer and this was by far the best batch I have ever consumed. It really was much more in line with their IPA. Glad I revisited this one because it has really been tweaked for the better.

mjl21, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

RBSG09 on tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear deep amber color with a thin wet ecru head. Aroma is hop resins, pale malts, slight marijuana. Flavor is toffee malts up front, then herbal hops towards the end. When the bitterness fades the malty sweetness shines through again shortly. Decent pale ale.

illidurit, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy off-white head, with tons of sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, with a nice malt balance, slight citrus. The taste is hoppy, with some malts, slightly sweet/bitter, some citrus notes. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but was expecting more from this brewery.

Wasatch, May 11, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Shared with a friend.

A - Pours golden with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipates moderately and leaves nice lacing.

S/T - Grassy bready, and with moderate amounts of hop bitterness.

M - I can't describe the balance because there really was none. Hops and malts fought each other for control and left the mouthfeel watery and thin.

D - Not very satisfying. Too bitter and too thin.

MisterClean, May 11, 2009
Photo of Floydster
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased at Cooke's in El Segundo for only $4.19, consumed this past Friday, reviewed from notes, poured into my Stone pint glass, color is a light golden orangish yellow, 3/4 inch foamy white head that sticks around for a little bit, minimal lacing, smell consists of light hops, soft caramel and toasted malts, grassy accents, and mild citrus, flavor starts off with chewy malts, stays that way throught the middle, some mild bitterness in the finish, later on that fades into lemons and yeast, nice balance but could have used some more hoppiness, goes down easy and is refreshing though, light to medium bodied, toaasty, slightly dry, and malty mouthfeel, strong level of carbonation, could drink a few bottles of this no problem, smooth and light overall, welcoming, not bad for the price, would drink again, recommended

Floydster, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid APA. Pours clear copper with a good off-white head. Nice aroma of malt, hops, and wood. Lots of citrus and hoppy bite up front that mellows into malty sweetness. Nice beer. While the taste is similar to other APAs, this feels cleaner and fresher. One of the better ones in this category.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - hazy orange/gold color with a nice sized off-white head that left sheets of sticky lacing on the glass.

S - sweet tea and citrus aroma.

T - sweet and citrusy upfront with a malty balance midway finish is bitter-sweet.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - easy drinking and pretty tasty.

JoeyBeerBelly, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of popery
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very pleasant pale ale from just across the Golden Gate. It's a great looking beer with a strong golden color and a big sticky head. It smells of piney hops but could hit a bit harder. The hops are more citric on the tongue and nicely bitter. There's some good, balancing malt, but the whole package is a bit restrained and understated which is good and bad. It's a very drinkable beer with a smooth feel and an understated flavor.

Completely inexpert design review time! The label is kind of busy, showing off a grab bag of awards from various craft brewing competitions. I don't dislike label award listings as a rule, but it's hard to pull off. In my opinion, they should have shown off their awards on the back of the label rather than the front because the front is rather aesthetically pleasing otherwise. The label generally evokes Marin and Mt Tam's ecology. Marin is beautiful and Mt Tam is particularly so. The little scene of the wetland bird in a salt water marsh with small but lush mountains in the background is something that you could easily see just driving around Marin. It's more a scene of Mt Tam the park, than Mt Tam the mountain, but that's fine. The color scheme is greens and yellows and serves the aesthetic well. It's a big wraparound label on a bomber, so they have room for some information. I appreciate brewing notes. It's fun to know hop varieties and other such things, even if I have only faint ideas of what it means.

popery, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of ironlung
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal-clear copper hue. Small head, quick dissapition. No lace.

S: Can barely smell this one. Has just a faint floral scent.

T: A lighter even crisper version of their IPA. I'd call it a "Perrier pale ale" since it's so refreshing.

M: Carbonation it hoppin' with the hops! This beer would be great for people that think sierra nevada is to hoppy(not me!).

D: High&Easy. Lookin' for an all-day beer? You've found it!

ironlung, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked it up on tap at Jack's Cannery Bar in San Francisco.

This is almost as hoppy as an IPA. Strong pine flavor. Surprisingly tasty beer, though. I had never heard of the brewery before, and wasn't sure what to expect.

I'd still take Sierra Nevada Pale Ale over this, because Sierra Nevada is better balanced.

snaotheus, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a light amber with a medium white head with good head retention, light spotty lacing.

S: Robust pine resin comes out of the bottle, once poured I get a more malty character, and some citrus.

T: Great taste, similar to Sierra Nevada, but has more vibrancy. Pine Cascade hoppiness is the main force here, but the malt is beautifully done, with light caramel and a great but not overt brown sugar sweetness.

M: Light carbonation, medium body, light oil, very easy to drink, definitely could session this one.

D: This is an outstanding pale ale that took me a bit by surprise, even with all the high hop beers I've had in the past it holds up well. Only $3.19 for the bomber, what a deal.

Halcyondays, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of katan
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber bottle, undated

A - Pours a dark hazy color with a pile of carbonation. Impressively strong in fact as it about blew out of the bottle when I opened it. (Not sure how to demerit that) The head is massive and is strongly retained.

S - Incredible floral hops smell here - must be highly dry hopped. Seems to be warrior or centennial as it has the combination of grassy and floral notes.

T - Not nearly as strong in the taste as the smell would indicate. Starts off with some roasted malts - almost nutty. Mainly a hop bomb like bitterness from what probably are some mega high alpha hops. Finishes with a malt note that balanced out the hop strength. I also wonder if some oxidation made it into the beer.

M - Has a strong enough carbonation profile that the mouthfeel is stingy and strong. The body of the beer itself is generally light. Against the style, I think the carbonation hurts it here.

D - The beer is not particularly drinkable as the hops starts to get to me after a while. The ABV isn't all that strong, so that wouldn't bother me as much.

This one is really like my homebrew which recently got abused by the judges at the state fair. That is probably a confirmation of my opinion that this is not a particularly stellar beer.

The other thought I would have is if perhaps this beer should be considered an IPA. The strong hop profile would make me think its appropriate.

katan, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of WillClark
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle into your run of the mill pint glass. Nice golden hue to the beer- a creamy, thick head released big floral notes (gotta be cascades). Good strength of hop flavor without being too much. Little bit of tart citrus in the mouthfeel. Finish is classic bitter pale: dry and smooth.

The thing I like most about this beer is its drinkability. The body is along the lines of a medium without compensating texture in any way. Good pale.

WillClark, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Mt. Tam Pale Ale poured a cloudy orange with less than a finger foam head with some foamy lacing.

The aroma was pretty non-existent. Got a tad bit of hops. The flavor was a slight malt taste with a little bitterness in finish. Overall it was a average if best pale.

cswhitehorse, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.2/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Wow, very surprised at the ratings. Paid 4+shipping for a bottle I ordered online, and was very disappointed by the quality of the beer itself.
Slightly hazy, honeyed amber color with a mild white head. Smells like an amber with more malt than hops playing in, with some metallic scents too. Thin and VERY bland was my initial reaction. Not offensive, but just very poor in general. 1/2 a bottle later, no different and I didn't waste my time drinking the rest. Very watery hop flavor that made this drink just like a watery iced tea. Too muted a flavor in all respects. Not worth the price by a longshot. Hell, I wouldn't pay 1.99 for a bomber. Many better pales out there, and I wouldn't waste my time with this one.

JDV, Mar 01, 2008
Mt. Tam Pale Ale from Marin Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.