Burning Bird Pale Ale | Sonoran Brewing Company

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12 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sonoran Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Burning Bird is our tribute to the Phoenix and to our capital city. This perfectly balanced, copper in color, smooth and refreshing Pale Ale will lift your spirits and much like a Phoenix, your love of Pale Ales will be reborn.

33 IBU

Added by BeerBeing on 03-31-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by harpus:
Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -16.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Litre. Resin heavy nose of in the west coast range, diminished and indiscriminate. Pours a clear amber peach, with bright wheat slick soap. Flavor is a nice refreshing hop balance. Some of those artificial tasting styro hops peak in amongst the citrus, pine and grass, but then this tangles with a subtle honey malt background. Gentle and warming. Body is full, yet nicely dry. Yeast plays clean. Smacks not bitter, but with good hop residues, warmed in a high floral manner. Good job executing hop flavor. Rich, flavorful and rounded. Delightful. Thanks Rudy!

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Photo of Yesdog
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Lucklys
4.48/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I barely poured half of the 22oz bottle into my snifter before the foam had built itself up to such magnificent proportions, I didn't even want to add any more liquid for fear of the head overflowing. The thick, fluffy, easily 4 finger thick creamy head of nice, big bubbles sat upon a lovely, lightly hazy, golden-orange liquid. It stuck around until the very end with great retention and left behind thick sticky sheets of lacing - everything about this brew is just as Sonoran as the others. They are nothing if not consistent!

I love watching the head continue to build upon itself in layers, only to fall slowly back down to a thin layer just on the top of the beer. It makes the whole drinking and reviewing process that much more satisfying. Sonoran brews are probably my favorite to drink thus far, and I am really eager to try the rest of their flavors and styles. The Burning Bird carried early wafts of a bright citrus that closely resembled grapefruit, a little bit of pine, and a very light malty sweetness that hid behind a delicately bitter blanket of refreshing hops. It was so summery in smell alone, I couldn't wait to taste it and quickly dove in.

I was not disappointed. Sure enough, I was definitely given what I paid for, and much more. The beer tasted just like it smelled, only with a bit more of a kick. There was the citrusy grapefruit right at the front of my tongue, but I found that as I sipped along, the grapefruit was pushed to the back of my tongue by some very light sweet malts and accompanied by a slight bitterness, probably due to the hops. The best part about the strength of the flavors, was that although they were more robust than the scent, the whole drink itself leaned more on the mellow side with a medium to light body and a very fine carbonation.

Burning Bird starts off with a zesty beginning and smoothly melts into a dryer, bitter ending. I'm becoming a huge fan of bitter lately, which is not something I expected to happen throughout all of this tasting and writing. It is so easy to drink, I doubt I would have any problem (gracefully) sucking down two or three bottles on a hot summer evening here in Arizona.

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Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigbelcher
2.22/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Color was dark gold with a huge white head, overcarbonated, the bartender had to pour out about three glasses to get one glass. Aroma was that of stale citrus hops, kind of like old wet shoes, kind of musty. No malt aroma. Flavor was that of undercooked malt. Kind of like a bad, possibly infected homebrew. This beer must have been very old because it wasn't like the old burning bird I remember. Mouthfeel was ok, still overcarbonated. Some belgian lacing. Not a good beer. I've noticed consistency problems with Sonorans beers for the past couple of years. Take a chance and you might get a good one, or a bad one.

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Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This review is of the 20th Anniversary version with 6.8% ABV. Not clear whether this replaces the original or is a one time beer - the brewery doesn't seem to believe in digital marketing to provide much information about its products.

Appearance: Arrives clear and amber colored; the head is modest but it leaves swaths of lacing

Smell: Very pithy, with just a hint of caramel

Taste: There is a touch of caramel on the front end but the pithy flavors take over quickly; increasingly bitter, through the middle with the hint of sweetness remaining in the finish; the residual flavors are bitter, however

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I searched and searched for the citrus and tropical fruit flavors so common in IPAs these days but all I found was pith and bitterness - seems a bit behind the times

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Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/21/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very clear filtered amber color body. Small white head. Piney, hoppy aroma, but some sweet hoppiness too. Some alcohol in the nose too. Thin body, dusty bitter chocolate taste. Some hoppiness but mostly bitter. A little sweetness. Somewhat clean aftertaste. Some nuttiness as it warms.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this as an extra in a trade with Guezedude. Thanks for the opportunity to try this beer!

A-Body is a crystal clear golden yellow hue that pours with a massively soapy, foamy, puffy white head. Head eventually fades to 1/2 finger and has great retention from there. Lots of lacing is left all the way down the glass.

S-Lots of citrus comes through first. Lemon orange and grapefruit juices are definitely the highlight of this but it has a nice accent of floral hops and a sweet pale malt backbone.

T-Taste is similar to the nose. Juicy citrus flavors are upfront and the highlight of the flavor but there is a nice pale malt backing to it upfront. The hop profile almost immediately changes to floral as this one ends with a sharp floral hop bitterness and slight piny refreshment. What lingers on the palate is a long lasting minimally invasive resiny bitterness, piny refreshment, and citrus flavor.

M-Medium tingly carbonation and nice smooth, oily body.

D- This is a great APA and a great session beer. I wasn't expecting too much from this brew but got a very nice, sessionable classic APA. One of my favorite APAs overall actually. My 2nd from this brewery-and I definitely like this one much better. Well done by this brewery I wouldn't have ever known existed if not for this trade.

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Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine and More in mid-March for $5.99.

Beer poured a golden-orange with a fluffy white head that is lasting quite long. Nose is grapefruit and orange tinged west coast hops all the way. Taste is light in the malt bill which leads to the heavy pine and citrus hop finish. Mouthfeel is thin, is moderately carbonated, and glides across the palate quite well. Drinkability is good. If you are looking for a tasty sessionable highly hopped APA this is the beer to try.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2/1/2010. Bottle thanks to Sparky27. Pours a cloudy orange with a super thick, foamy white head. Aroma of caramel malt, toasted malt, floral hops. Flavor of smoke, caramel malt, pale malts. An odd tasting beer, possibly infected. It was still drinkable though.

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Burning Bird Pale Ale from Sonoran Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 12 ratings