Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,416 Ratings

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU's: 20

Added by kbub6f on 06-01-1998

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Ratings: 3,416 |  Reviews: 1,235
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. I do like the old drinking party scene that comprises the label imagery.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which maintains rather sturdy retention, leaving some random coral reef enclosure lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of aged orange rind, banana chips, spicy wheat grain, warm bread, a bit of peppy yeastiness, a touch of dry drupe fruitiness, and soft leafy hops. The taste is bready caramel and pale malts, mildly denatured citrus, black pepper, underripe banana, soft, almost funky yeast, and more bitterly earthy and leafy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, perhaps a bit prickly here and there, the body a decently hefty medium weight, and pretty smooth, just a small tacky essence wiggling its way in. It finishes off-dry, the yeast-tinged malt hanging tough, against the threat of a rising, yet generally laid-back alcohol warming.

A nice, evenly rendered, and enjoyable New World take on a classic Belgian big-boy pale ale. Lots going on, and easy enough to put back, yet the joke's on you if you treat this like you would any normal 4-pack.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a snifter...this is one of my very favorite styles of beer, so it will be stiff competition for this particular brew to be in my fridge regularly.

Pours a pale golden color appropriate for the style with a generous billlowy white head. When I set the bottle back down, I can see yeast swirling around on the bottom. Thank goodness they did this the right way and bottle-conditioned it. I don't want to name names, but all too often an American brewery will try to make a "Belgian style" beer and they don't bottle-condition it.

Great sweet funk in the nose. Gentle caramel sweetness from the malt, funk from the Belgian yeast strain, and a touch of bitterness from the hops. Excellent aroma on this beer.

It's fun on the tongue too. Tastes lighter than the abv would lead you to believe and has an exceptional balance tending to sweetness more than funk or spice, although some solid spice comes through to.

As far as value, it's considerably cheaper than Duvel where I am, so I'll definitely pick it up again. I pay $8.99 for a Duvel this size, whereas this 750ml was $4.69. Ironically, I bet this beer would be twice the price of Duvel at a bar in Antwerp. I might prefer Duvel slightly if you made me choose, but maybe that's because I've been drinking it longer. Congrats to NC on this one, they've shown rare prowess among Americans in the Belgian beer foray.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ML into Tulip

A: clear, golden color with fine carbonation, minimal head (wonder if my glass was a bit off)

S: biscuit, apple peel, pear

T: very true to the nose, apple sweetness, a nice bitter/pine flavor that is very transient, clean malt profile

M: Crisp but not biting, slightly dry

D: All night and all day, this is robust yet light, almost a bit of a cider note

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Photo of JayS2629
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy dark copper with medium white head that quickly fades and leaves no lacing.

S- Fruity and yeasty. Citrus, lemon and orange with muted hints of banana and clove. Sweet malts, caramels.

T- Sweet rich caramels running throughout with floral notes and hints of vanilla and pear. Hints of lemon zest and peach, faint banana and cloves.

M- Medium bodied with slight creamy edge

D- A real treat. Very complex and sublte. Easy to drink, but be careful it will sneak up on you.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque golden color. There is a one and a half finger, off white head, that has sub-par retention. No lacing, but persistent carbonation bubbles.

S - Smells of sweet yeast and wheat. There are some light lemon and citrus notes.

T - Upfront there is some wheat with a yeast backbone. This layer gives way to a layer of grassy lemon with almost a creamy feeling. There is a very, very slight hop presence towards the end.

M - Great amount of carbonation makes for a smooth Ale.

D - This tastes great and has a way of going down easy. For the price, it's not bad at all.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter/over-sized wine glass.

Look - light amber, pretty clear, with about a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates quickly. Low and slow carbonation.

Smell - definite "Belgian Ale" type of smell. Fruity and fresh-smelling. Like a sparkling wine or a freshening Weizen.

Taste - Fruity/citrusy blends as it lingers on the palate. Floral and fresh tasting. Lovely aftertaste. Texture is well-balanced..not too watery nor too creamy.

Drinkability - very nice brew! I tend to love anything of the Belgian school, and this is a good American example.

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

orange and yellow in appearance....with a cloudy look....little head and nice lacing....

smells of a dark citrus....and classic belgian bready yeast smell...

has a nice classic belgian ale type taste....

nice thick mouth feel....with lots of dryness...

decent drink ability to it....although the alcohol will catch up

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Photo of MNJR
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy gold color, generous head, effervescent and fizzy pour. Smells of orange, yeast, flowers. Bright, clean, rich flavor. Yeasty typical of the style, very lively and smooth mouthfeel, flavors of orange, honey, slight grapefruit, caramel hinted at in the background, vanilla, very slight whiff of clove/mild spice, and cream. A real treat.

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Photo of phideltashaggy
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A-Hazy orange with tiny, fizzy bubbles and a light tan head. Decent lacing.

S- Sour fruits, kind of floral. A faint hops smell as well.

T- Similar to the nose. The main body is tart and fruity (pears come to mind). It ends just barely dry. Alcohol taste is present, but not overwhelming in the least.

MF- Thinner and fizzy.

D-There's a bite at the end of this, similar to drinking a soda, so I can't see me drinking more than one in a sitting. That being said, it's a wonderful beer for sipping on while conversing with a friend.

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Photo of gopens44
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy orange with a thin head

S - Not too much going up the nostrils. A bit of a yeasty smell, but little else.

T - Malty and mellow. Virtually no booze presence at all.

M - Highly carbonated with a thin, crisp finish

Not overly impressed here when compared to greater Belgian Strongs. It's not a bad tasting beer by any measure, it's just rather plain.

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Photo of afinepilsner
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle
7.6% abv

Pranqster was hazy and light orange in color. It had a short white head that didn't last with little lacing. The smell was yeast, fruit, and light malt. The taste was peppery spices and yeast flavors with some sweetness upfront and drying out in the finish. It was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The drinkability was good. This is a nice Belgian Ale and well worth a try.

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Photo of Vixie
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mainly yellow, with a nice hint of orange. Forms a large white head, and plenty of bubbles.

Fruity and spicy. Quite a few citrus notes in there, bit of malt, yeast, and spices.

Taste is a lot like the smell, fruity and spicy. There is citrus there, but also quite a bit of banana. Has a spicy bite as well, I taste mainly coriander and a hint of clove. The alcohol is well hidden, there is a slight warming at the finish, with hints of banana and spice lingering.

Has a nice solid feel to it, probably helped a bit by the high carbonation.

Very nice example of the style. A bit more fruity than Duvel, with less of a hoppy aftertaste. I really can't find any major flaws with this one, very drinkable and full of flavor. I am going to have to try more of this, it may end up being one of my favorites.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
2.88/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From notes.

A - deep golden color with some bright yellow highlights. The foam is less then a fingers worth but the white head has some good retention, very little lacing.

S - tart fruits, sweet malts, and mild yeasty spices.

T - sweetness is high. The tart fruits and spicy try to balance but the sweetness is still cloying.

M - high in carb. Medium bodied.

D - this was hard to drink due to its sweetness. Very cloying. Just not my glass of beer.

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Photo of portia99
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a bit yeasty and marginally hazed orange tinted golden color with a pinky finger of white head that dies quickly. A skim coat is left behind and a solid collar. Lacing is foamy and a bit sparse.

S - Tons of banana in the nose...almost totally dominates the aroma. Cloves are at a level well below the banana, but really are the only other noticeable aroma component. Not very complex, but it does smell pretty good.

T - Malty sweet, lots of clove, lots of banana...tons of Belgian yeast character. More boozy than the 7.6% on the bottle indicates...makes me think tripel. A bit of a tangy yeast component on the swallow. A bit light on the complexity here, although still enjoyable.

M - A bit boozy...medium bodied with a strong, fizzy carbonation. Slick and oily on the tongue.

D - Fairly drinkable overall. Flavors are good, but not quite up to the best in the category...just seems to be missing something. Overall, it works...but I won't be rushing out for more of this.

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Photo of DJHombre
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes of banana and wet hay, with a slight whiff of brown spice in the background give an intoxicating array of aromas that invite one to just indulge in this tasty brew.

The mouthfeel is that of cream, but of the lighter side, and finishes with a zesty uplifting note.

The finish is that of a clove studded banana cream pie. Balance is there, though a slight warming sensation from the booze does seep through.

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Photo of rpardon7
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the tap a nice yellow/copper color with a bright white active head that disapated into nice lacings for much of the beer. Smell is malty buiscuty and a little horsey/grainy which I presume is the yeast. Taste is light spiciness/corriander with a bit of citrus and a good amount of malt sweetness. Actually was expecting more taste and felt it was a little watery. Mouthfeel is smooth with a good balance of active carbonation. For its a ABV its a very drinkable belgian simple and clean and refreshing.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium orange-gold. Not too clear but not real murky. A short head collapses fairly quickly, but leaves some lacing.

The aroma is Belgian yeast, citrus and cloves with a fair bit of alcohol backing it up.

The taste has that Belgian yeast character, but it's a little watery. Wasn't expecting that. A little bitterness, some bright citrusy notes and more alcohol than I'd like. For all of that it really does taste pretty good but it could stand to be richer and have the alcohol hidden better.

The mouthfeel is very nice - smooth and creamy with just a little prickly carbonation.

It drinks fine, but with less noticeable alcohol and a little more richness each sip would leave you anticipating the next. As it is I don't dread the next sip but I'm not anxious for it.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a yellowish orange with pale yellow highlights that had a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was big on the citrus with sweetness from the malts and belgian yeast notes. It had bubble gum notes as well. The taste was also pretty citrusy with belgian yeast flavors and lots of sweetness from the malts however I still detected bubble gum candy notes on the palate. It was medium inbody with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, citrusy, silky, and sticky finish. It drank pretty good and was a decent belgian offering from north coast.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer itself was clearer than I thought it would be. I expected some cloudiness from the yeast, but I guess any sediment really settled out, and I only gave it a gentle pour. The colour was a deep gold, with a copperish hue. A bit of head, but none of it stayed save for a ring and wafer-thin central cake of it. Just a few spots of lace.

The smell had some spice in it, like nutmeg (in biscuits). Also some fruits, like peach & apricot.

The flavour is spot-on for the style. This is definitely a Belgian-style brew. Lots of creamy yeast flavour, and lots of spice (clove & nutmeg). The fruit takes a back seat to both.

The feel's good. A little strong fizz-wise, and almost a little bit of a heart/alcohol burn, even though it's not that strong.

Overall, very drinkable for a Belgian ale. Still not my favourite style, though.

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Photo of jsh420
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours cloudy golden yellow with a 1+ finger head that had good retention and left spotted lacing

smells light spicy fruity with some sweet malt

tastes like a sweeter saison - little funk from the yeast some sweet bready malt and sugary pears apples and hint of lemon

mouthfeel is light with plenty of carboantion - very crisp and refreshing

drinkability is ok - make the beer dryer and they have a winner - too sweet - i would grab a duvel

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Photo of TheLVBeerGuy
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I need to preface this review by saying that this is one of my favorite beers, and by far the best of the style I have ever tasted. Ironically its not my favorite style by any means, but this beer is almost flawless...

A-pours a cloudy orange/gold with little to no head

S-herbs and spices with a good dose of hops and citrus

T-sweet citrus in hte front followed by a spicy middle and a mellow hop finish

M-big in the mouth. I like to take in a huge mouthful and sense all of the carbonation deliver the spices on my tongue

D-what all others in the style should aim for. I love this beer.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label of Pranqster has a bunch of blokes from about the 19th century havin' a good time drinkin' beer on it. However there's this one face that really freaks me out. I turn the label the other direction. A finger and a half of foamy head. Faded, but left lots of nice, thick lacing. Golden with bubbles rising. Much prettier than their label.

Smells like fruity yeast, bananas and sweetness. The taste is a mixture of delicious pale malts, Belgian yeast and fruity goodness. This is a good ale. I've been drinking a lot of Belgian style ales lately and this is as good as any. Nothing about it stands out either. Just a good solid ale.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin and quite carbonated for the style. Very drinkable.

A good Belgian style ale, but I like too many others much more. There seems to be something missing in the flavor compared to some others. Still a really fine effort by North Coast.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 4-pack poured into a chalice.

If North Coast makes a bad beer, I have yet to try it, these guys really just don't miss.

L: Cloudy unfiltered hay. 2-fingers pure soapy white head. Decent lacing and retention. Pour is a touch on the thin side.

S: Tons of soapy crisp wheat right up front, slight twinge of booze in the back. Big in the middle, with just a twinge of funk. Simple.

T: Stinging sweetness up front fading into a simple and broad wheat middle. Slight bite of booze in the finish.

F: A touch undercarbonated, but light and refreshing for how high the ABV is.

D: Enjoyable, refreshing, and playfully simple.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, orange/yellow in color,

Smell: citrus, toasted malt, apple, hay, and cloves

Taste: Belgian spices, sweet toasted malt, honey, and apple

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very tasty and complex. One of my favorites in the style because the flavors just jump here. I will certainly get this again.

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Photo of alkemy
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy gold to orange color with about two fingers of white with not a lot of retention. Spicy nose mostly of clove. There's also candy-like sugars, banana, oranges, and some apple. Taste is similar to the aroma except that the fruit is more prominent. Sweetness is a bit in your face initially. Lots of fruity notes...a bit of an inkling of Juicy Fruit gum. Some warming alcohol on the end and then the sweetness kicks back in and lingers. Lots of carbonation helped this to go down easier for me.

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 3,416 ratings