Pete's Wicked Ale | Pete's Brewing Company

370 Reviews
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Pete's Wicked AlePete's Wicked Ale

Brewed by:
Pete's Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 370 | Ratings: 511
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes at Old Chicago (2001): Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with a quarter inch wispy ivory head. Head is persistent and leaves some very light lacing. Aroma is caramel malt, hint of some bitter hops. Taste is dominated by caramel malt. Sweetish and finishes with some herbal tasting English style hops. It's medium bodied. This ia a surprisingly good brown ale. Straight forward and true to style.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.17/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I used to drink this back in the day when I was first introduced to beer. Recently heard they were phasing it out, so I snagged some for nostalgia sake. Here's how it seemed to me now.

Poured from a bottle, the beer is a clear ruby-brown color, with no head. Smells of slightly sour malt and toasted bread (or toast, I guess). The beer tastes sweet, with notes of raspberry and cherry, combined with a sharp roast flavor that is not overly pleasant. The beer is over-crisp, to the point of being sharp, in mouth. Very light and overcarbonated. The aftertaste is a bit clumsy, and leaves a fruity and slightly sour flavor in mouth. Lingering finish that is more than I care for, this beer also leaves an overcarbonated feeling after you swallow. Kind of a bummer for what I remember being such a classic so long ago.

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Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A red-brown beer pours into my glass, pretty clear and offering little activity contributing either to the head or the overall liveliness of this brew. Speaking of head, it's essentially a foam after having dissipated fairly, but not terribly, soon after pouring. It's a notch above average, and a touch of lacing is left behind here and there.
It's tough to get much out of the nose here. What I do get is a light caramel malt with some roasted notes . There's a bit of sweetness as well. While not as nutty as it could be, there is a note here.
The taste offers a bit more. The malt backbone is a little stronger and roasted, nutty and toffee flavors are all here with a light hops balance.
The mouthfeel falls a bit flat and is too thin. Not BMC overly carbonated water spritzy, but too thin for a brown. It's mildly smooth, but just.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Used to love this stuff around 15 years ago. Yeah, it has been around that long and I'm getting old. Hope it is still the same beer it was...

A - Dark copper or bronze in color. Very clear. Almost no head at all.

S - Earthy hops and sweet malt. Dicetyl is very noticeable in the aroma which I don't remember, but I like the English buttery overtones.

T - Malty sweetness with a little bit of cloying sweetness. Hops are earthy and bitter. Carbonic bite is very strong. Finish is dark fruit - raisins. Actually pretty complex. I'm noticing some bread like malt character as I work this one down.

M - Thin in body, stong in carbon bite, although it isn't very carbonated. So go figure that one out.

D - A lot of flavor, but not a big beer. This is pretty drinkable.

Overall - It never registered to me when I was younger that this was a British interpretation, but now I get it. I don't know if it is the same beer as it was a long time ago or not. Memories fade. It is a very good and complex beer. Surprisingly so actually. I'm going to let the rest of this beer warm up a bit so I can finish it. I think it will be even better as it warms up.

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Photo of Welsman
2.8/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this beer awhile back. Very bland, actually worse than bland, just unpleasant.
Color was ok, taste was unbalanced, lacking any
character, in my opinion a very weak beer.
Finish was chalky and tasted of burnt
caramel, maybe i got a bad batch.
Surprisingly awful.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.77/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a mostly clear coppery brown with a decent lived somewhat creamy beige head. some drippy lace reminiscent of the swooping flourishes of the "wicked" font stick to the glass, but it's really nothing special.

S- metallic, buttery, and earthy. brown sugar, sandalwood, butterscotch, and mineral water with dark cookies. as it warms a bit the aroma of very fresh toasted barley comes out and earns another point for the wicked one. cthulhu.

T- sweet and sugary, but not over the top. hops switch it to glide half way through with a very soft bitterness, just in time to check the malty sweetness. toasty, grainy, earthy and nicely balanced. finishes with mild leafy hop flavor.

MF- tight medium carbonation kinda controls the starship for the rest of the feel. not so syrupy at all, this is a lighter bodied and pleasant brown.

D- not being too sweet and having a drier body help this one fare better with me. much better than average.

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Photo of JCBears
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a good brew with a real good taste. It left a smooth after taste that was not altogether unpleaseing. I would recommend this at any tasting. The smell was a little strong for my taste. Taste was up front and assertive but not overbearing. Liked it didn't love it but good.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.13/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely and attractively unusual amber-red complexion here, as this famous brew pours with medium lacing. Nose is malty sweet with hints of caramel and biscuit. Flavor is well-balanced, mixing mild roastiness with a smooth hops snap. Delicious and a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.83/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a blast from the past. Poured reddish-copper, with less than a finger of off-white head, poor retention, poor lacing, and high carbonation. Very sweet, malty, bready nose with little else. The flavor confirmed this, with a sweet finish. Highly carbonated and thin-bodied. Unfortunately, still not a huge fan of this supposed classic.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, maple, nuts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character followed by mildly sweet flavors of maple, caramel and nuts. There's a mild but complementary hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are several others in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of drummstikk
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The real show here is Brewer's Gold hops, which are only found in a few beers. They deliver a beautiful dark and tart fruit flavor. People call it a black currant flavor, but you may think it tastes like cherries, or like the stone fruit esters that come from an Abbey Double, or like the hop-derived esters in Trumer Pils. Brewer's Gold also delivers an earthy pungent flavor, which would marry well with darker roast malts.
Speaking of roast malts, Pete's doesn't deliver the amount of chocolate malt that American Brown Ale drinkers are accustomed to. Today we'd call Pete's an amber, and the dominant taste really is sweet medium-caramel malts playing around with mild hop bitterness and earthiness. But in the 80's when Pete Slosberg was trying to make a beer like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown, his Wicked Ale was the first dark beer besides Guinness that many Americans ever tasted.
The company has been gutted by Gambrinus and may soon disappear forever. Enjoy a trip back in time while you can!

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Photo of gestyr
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown with 1" head that dissipates into lacing fairly quickly.

S: Malt, caramel, dark fruits, toffee, hint of butterscotch

T: Malty with a slight lingering bitterness. Some fruitiness

M: Rather thin with a slight carbonation bite

D: It would make a good session beer. Overall I would drink it again. Not perfect, but not bad.

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Photo of wahhmaster
2.86/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a light brown color with reddish hues. Has a creamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell: Has a sweet, fruity smell with hints of caramel. Has that kind of "processed" smell to it that comes with most cheaply made beers.

Taste: Only mildly bitter up front. Develops into a nutty, fruity, and caramel taste towards the back. Leaves a bit of a grainy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A bit light-bodied but not disappointingly so.

Drinkability: A pretty run-of-the-mill brown ale. Nothing offensive about it but nothing exceptional either. Probably a good, cheap session beer if you're in a pinch but nothing I'd seek out on a regular basis.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.77/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy cranberry brown. Small head that dissipates quickly.

S - Sugary malt, roasted walnuts, molasses, some unknown tart fruit comes through as well.

T - Caramel malt, pecans, woody figs, muted citrus adds some bitterness. Finishes slightly crisp with a toasted caramel aftertaste.

M - Light to medium body.

Good flavors going on here. This beer is nothing to look at and the nose is not great but it's tasty and goes down very smooth.

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Photo of wallaceandvomit
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- a sorta nice caramel color, small creamy head that lingers for a little while
s- caramel malty smell
t- caramel malty taste, sorta bland but isnt hard to put down
m- i was expecting a thicker creamier beer based on the head but its a little on the thin side
d- its a decent beer and it went well with my spaghetti but its not a great example of a brown ale

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Photo of bmwats
3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium brown. Pours a slight, bubbly, brown white head. Settles pretty quickly.

S: A little malt, and a hint of molasses. A little woody and a little peaty. Has the aroma of a glass of sweetened tea.

T: Tastes like it smells. Slightly sweet, malty flavor with a little peat.

M: Woody and peaty in the start. The peat kind of lingers throughout along with a strange synthetic cloying. Pretty light body. Seems a little diluted.

D: Decent drinkability. Doesn't put up much resistance, and doesn't have anything particularly off-putting about it.

Atmosphere is okay. Pretty average appearance. Nothing interesting. Nose follows suit...okay. Decent palette. Has a bit of a synthetic sweetness to it. Very light. Overall, this is an okay quaff.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to say the only connection I have to this beer is from Denis Leary's beer rant..."Who the fuck is Pete?"

This beer pours a clear dark copper hue, with one finger of dense foamy off-white head, which leaves some decent jet entrails of lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of sweet orchard fruit malt, and some mild nuttiness. The taste is big on the malt, the bready, nutty sort, with a mild leafy, earthy hoppy offset keeping things from devolving into a Wicked Diabetic state. The carbonation is a bit below average, the body medium weight, smooth, and it finishes off-dry, the nutty malt tempered by the leafy hops.

A decent enough brown ale, with some stronger American hop sensibilities. It ain't Bud, Mr. Leary, but at least it doesn't have any cranberries in it...

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Photo of vdread
2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pete's Wicked Ale pours a dark amber/red with a fizzy little head.

aroma is slightly sweet, with some caramel.

taste is just rank. super-grainy, slick on the palate, watery mess. watery caramel malt, a slight bitterness imparted from both hops and sour grain.

mouthfeel light, slick, nearly no carbonation.

would not and will not be trying again.

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Photo of LuthersMug
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Light chocolate, with the slightest orange tinge. Creamy, tan 1/2 head. Nice lacing.

S - Pleasant floral smell that really jumps out. Apricots also noted.

T - Nice malts, good flavor. A bit of bitter aftertaste that lingers.

M - Nice and smooth. Good carbonation.

D - Enjoyable beer.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 50 degrees into a tall thin glass, no freshness date on bottle.

A: Major bubbles rising through an orange-amber clear body. The head was initially two fingers, but with all the bubbles it grew up another inch above the rim of the glass. Impressive.

S: Hard to distinguish much other than the usual nondescript hop/malt balance found in most generic red lagers, browns, and ambers. Lets see if the taste has more to offer...

T: Less hop profile than I expected to be greeted with, which actually makes this fit better in its style. The overall taste isn't sweet, but isn't bitter either. Whatever is making it bitter is not very clear, but it is mild enough to resemble an English brown. Some pleasing and singular malts are in the flavor throughout, and make a show of biscuity toast near the end.

M: Feels like an English Pale Ale, and would be alright for that style. However, I would expect something a bit different for an English Brown. Either way, it is nice and smooth, with a bit of mild hop oil to smooth things out.

D: Highly drinkable, but not begging to be gulped.

Conclusion: Soft, tame, relatively cheap, and not the best out there for this style. But for what it is, I enjoyed it and would drink it over most any macro red, amber, or brown any day.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Look - dark brown, but with an almost-amber tint. Good 2 inches of foam, somewhat slow to dissipate. Good carbonation.

Smell - More on the malty side. There's a sour sort of smell that I can't quite place. Kind of musky.

Taste - Very nice and balanced sort of lager. Has a subtle sweetness to it, I almost thought I caught a bit of a cola type of taste, but definitely not in a fruity or syrupy way. Very mild on the palate.

Mouthfeel - a little fizzy, but otherwise maybe a little more on the creamy side.

Drinkability - I like this one! Mild all around, but still has a good taste. Easy to come back to.

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Photo of mcann2pu
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours into my pint glass a reddish-brown color with about a fingers worth of head, no real lacing remained behind on the glass.

Smell: I'm not getting much of a smell on this one, some mild malt basically.

Taste: light malty taste, some nuttyness in the finish, a slight vinegar taste lingers on too, not the best taste.

Mouthfeel: sort of smooth, but with some bubbles.

Drinkability: fairly drinkable, it's a lighter beer.

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Photo of Zebus0
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another vacation beer, go figure.

A- Pretty good, a lighter copper color. Nice head on it, looks pretty good.

S- Mild hop aroma. Hints of nut, not much else.

T- Pretty good brown ale. This one goes more towards to the nutty end than fruit like some ales. Nice hope bitterness to it, not too much but enough bitterness to have some taste to it.

M- Pretty standard brown ale. I never take mouthfeel into much account. Pretty smooth.

D- I've really started to like brown ales. A nice balance in between lagers and other ales and stouts. I really like this one, I'd drink it again for sure. Too bad I couldn't find it on draft.

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Photo of matty
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head,Aroma is caramel malts.Taste is brown sugar,caramel and a hint of nuts.Overall a decent beer with pretty good flavor that goes down relatively smooth.I would recommend and most likely would purchase again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a reddish-brown with about 1/4 inch of light tan head that had moderate retention and light lace.

The aroma is benign, but has a nice, basic maltiness and a touch of hops. The taste is the same, kind of meh, but not terrible. Some malt, some grain and just a trace of hops. The body was thin, yet clean and crisp. Drinkability was decent, but unspectacular.

Overall, a decent beer. Back in the mid-90's as more good beer became available, we would often sit on the loading dock after work and knock off a couple of sixers. Pete's was usually on the menu. I remember this brew being a lot bolder, crisper and hoppier. It's probable that both the beer and I have changed.

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Pete's Wicked Ale from Pete's Brewing Company
3.3 out of 5 based on 511 ratings.
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