XPA (Extra Pale Ale)
High & Mighty Beer Co.

XPA (Extra Pale Ale)XPA (Extra Pale Ale)
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Pale Ale - American
3.46 | pDev: 17.63%
High & Mighty Beer Co.
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
XPA (Extra Pale Ale)XPA (Extra Pale Ale)
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Omnium
Omnium from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle > Alpine Spring bow-tie pint.

A - Hazed straw yellow, half a finger of fizzy white head, medium lacing.
S - Lots of spice and wheat, some biscuit, pepper, dark earthy tones. Not really appealing.
T - Mild biscuit malt, pepper, rye, some clove, a little grassy.
M - Medium feel, nothing outstanding.
O - Not going to return to this one. Really missing the hops.

Nov 20, 2013
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jneiswender from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer out of a 12 ounce bottle. Say and smell appraisal was done through a small plastic glass just a sample size. Served cool

Pours a decent white foam head and a yellow orange body old gold

Smells of grain cereal with a distinctive British hop aroma

The green flavor certainly in front with the medicinal herbal hop flavor pervading the rest of the way

Medium to high carbonation

Overall not a bad beer at all I would certainly drink this again the choice of which seems like mostly British house feels a bit one dimensional though. This is a great beer for anyone who likes British hops

Oct 13, 2013
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scotorum from Massachusetts

3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bought a bpttle of this yesterday to try because it's by a young local brewery and this particular beer is top rated as "most popular" of all beers at a local shop.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into my new Innis & Gunn stemmed glass.

a: Translucent light gold with a finger thick head which vanished rather quickly to a thin ring and a little lacing. Not too impressive so far.

s: Almost none, can't put my finger on what.

t: Mild to moderate pine/grass hops, reminiscent of Genesee or some other mainstream mass-produced brew.

m: Light to moderate.

o: Disappointing. I read reviews here where the color is described as darker, and all sorts of other flavors are reported than what I found. Can't explain that.

Jul 19, 2013
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tsturm from Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

High & Mighty XPA has been my go-to, every day all-purpose beer for a couple of years now. It is currently my favorite pale ale, perfectly mixing hops and malt for an absolutely smooth, delicious combination that's neither too sweet nor too bitter, neither too light nor too heavy, and neither too weak nor too strong (in terms of ABV). In an unusual twist of fate (for better or worse), they are building a brewery right next to my house :)


May 23, 2013
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barczar from Kentucky

3.12/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky golden color with a dense one inch eggy head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Grain, grapefruit, and tangerine comprise the initial aroma. Reminiscent of fruity pebbles.

The flavor has a fairly citrusy base, with lime and tangerine underlying a somewhat stake, bready malt body. There's a grain character at the finish, which is slightly dry and bitter and tinny. Alcohol is evident.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a touch of harsh astringency.

Overall, a pretty citrusy version of the style, but there are some offputting flavors that detract from the experience.

Nov 19, 2012
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Malty-sweet, bitterly hopped, medium bodied, somewhat English and somewhat American... and at five percent, High & Mighty's XPA wants to be all things to all beer lovers.

Starting with its bright straw appearance, the beer showcases a non-filtered hazy appearance with creamy white foam to cap the liquid and with light speckled lace left behind.

Aromas of fresh barley, light caramel, and honey rise first, but then is balanced by earthy and citrus hop notes. Background starch and leafy matter round out the sweeter than expected scent. Fruit jammy scents only amplify the impressions of sweetness.

The sweeter and fruitier notes that point toward English ales govern the early taste. Complementary orange and honey notes weave in earthy tea flavors that later lead to bitterness. Balancing hops rise at mid palate and give a citrusy snap to its taste before developing into smooth balanced bitterness to finish.

Medium bodied throughout, the beer's light carbonation gives more texture and richness than higher carbonated versions would. But the malt trails slightly in finish and allows for the mild alcohol warmth and mild broad bitterness to close the beer semi-sweetly.

Where the beer tries to do it all, and all while remaining highly drinkable- it falls in the domain where it lacks identity, or a signature, or a thumbprint that would otherwise keep it from falling into obscurity. But as a nondescript ale, the beer is drinkable enough.

Sep 21, 2012
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davewlfpckfan29 from Massachusetts

3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I mostly drink this beer out of the bottles.
Its widely available all over Western Mass.

XPA pours a dark orange, and tends to always be fresh because you are getting it local.

It smells great! I love the bitterness smell, and the hops that stand out.

The taste is nothing too crazy, it really is a basic pale ale. It is kind of bitter though.

High and Mighty puts out some good stuff. I really like the fundementals and backbone of this brewry and what they do.

Apr 20, 2012
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champ103 from Texas

2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear orange/red color. A large white head forms with good retention. Sticky lace clings to the glass.
S: Toasted malt, caramel sweetness up front. A simple grassy hop aroma lingers.
T: Tastes like unfermented wort. Dirty malt, caramel sweetness. A generic bitterness lingers on forever.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Very dirty, and way to thin. This needs to be much cleaner. Not hard to drink if I had no other options.

Not a fan of this one. Tastes like it is not finished fermenting and a little green. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but I doubt I will revisit.

Apr 17, 2012
Photo of TonyC
TonyC from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Anther local offering, that I was truly hoping to love, but it fell way short of love. High & Mighty boast a mixture of American and English profiles, but to me, the ingredients just do not work together.

A: This gets the highest marks from me, I poured this one into a traditional pint glass and got a hazy orange/gold body with an excellent white head, that left subtle lacing.

S: A sweet aroma that did not elude to a high hopped offering.

T: I was looking for an awesome hops flavor, but was let down because of a hops conflict (in my opinion as a home brewer). The clash of hops did not allow me to truly enjoy this offering.

M: Decent carbonation, but again, too much of a hops/malt conflict.

O: I was "one and done" with this one. One sixer was enough. I found this a conflict of profiles and tastes. Sorry High & Mighty.

My thoughts for the brewer would be to tweak this one to work. Stick with only Maris Otter for the malt. It rises above American 2 row in flavor and paired with US hops, would be a true winner. East Kent Goldings is an awesome hop (let me repeat, an AWESOME hop) but does not work well with Simcoe and Palisade. These two Yakima hops are way too over powering to be paired with such a subtle and flavorful hop. So drop the 2 Row and East Kent Golding, and pair the UK malt with the US hops and brew us a winner.

Feb 27, 2012
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TwelveOunces from Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy orange with a two finger mixed bubbly head.
S- A lot of pine in this one and Dark fruits? Raisins and plums are not what I was expecting but. Brown sugar and a bitter dry finish.
T- Interesting hop variety in this hoppy pale. Im getting a lot of pine, A lot of grapefruit citrus and darker fruits flavors. Some dry breaddy notes, kinds reminds me of a Belgian IPA. Taste seems to change with every sip. Not much of a malt presence. Something different every time.
M- very carbonated, Feels alive, A lot of mouth numbing feeling from this one but at the same time, not too bitter.
O- This is a good, unique Pale ale, Worth checking out. I wish this brewery was more available in my area.

Dec 15, 2011
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #54 (July 2011):

Their hoppiest beer, though we’re still expecting balance and drinkability, as High & Mighty aims for flavor rather than strength. Pale golden yellow color, faint haze and a white head. A tad fruity and leafy, with blond tobacco, nutty yeast and a hay-like maltiness, making for a mouthwatering aroma. Smoothness has depth with a dry palate; hop bitterness and flavor are broad with a long linger. A tad yeasty with some fruit in tow. Hop flavor stays through the finish and ends up helping with the drinkability. While XPAs might not be as straightforward as most Pale Ales, this one certainly packs the flavor in.

Dec 15, 2011
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OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark gold with good white foam head. Some slight lacing.

Light malt and mineral bitterness in the nose.

A bready brew for sure. Medium maltiness, but none of the toasty edges I hoped for. Some white bread sweetness and grain, leading to pure unflavored bitterness. The hoppiness is there, but there is no distinction of what kind. Finish is long and bitter.

Medium bodied. Good carbonation.

Just ok with this one. The bitterness got in the way of the lackluster malt. Off balance a bit. Not even sure under what circumstances I would have this...not a summer quencher, not a great food beer, not a sipper either. I don't hate this, but I'm not impressed either.

Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Cavery
Cavery from California

3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz given as an extra by AleLovinRuskie; cheers! The bottle was split into taster tulips with Klym.

A: Soft very foggy burnt orange body with some extremely white foam, basically ivory bubbles. A respectable finger and a half head rose like hot biscuits, and left small islands of lacing. Looks standard for the style, with nothing really sticking out.

S: Sugary malt crystals with some fairly bright but ambiguous berry notes. I want to say strawberry, but it comes off more like an artificial strawberry. Some orange juice marinated malts, heavy on the crystallized sugars. Really an ephemeral nose at best, where sweetness dominates before it disappears.

T: Big malts up front with a bit milder sugar than I thought there would be considering the nose. The flavor is two-tone with the sweetness and the seed-like creamy flavors. A late presence of hops makes this drink like a reverse IPA. the notes actually come in with a soft whoosh, instead of transitioning straight into a linger. They eventually disappear behind a fairly palate cleansing beverage. Wish there was more here, but not bad.

M: Very light in the mouth, and it does go down very easy. That said the body feels underdeveloped. There seems to be an initial sensation of prickly bubbles that then complete disappear into a very watery body. It's not horrid, and it still has some fairly smooth/silky textures, but I think the flavor dies off with the carbonation.

O: I honestly found myself getting bored really fast with this one. At first I thought there might be a malt forward theme to this beer, but ultimately the malt didn't provide enough depth of flavor to make this interesting. Furthermore, the weaker/thin body compounded upon the flavor problem. I wouldn't ever complain about having this in my glass, I just wouldn't take it as a favorite in style. Enough decency to be good, but nothing to rave about.

Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Klym
Klym from California

3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Shared with Cavery.

A: Pours a classic pale golden with a small micro and medium bubble head that dies shortly after, leaving a ring of head.

S: Lots of bready malts, some hops, a little grain, a little mango and citrus spritz in the mix.

T: Kind of bizarre. An initial hit of malty sweetness, tropical fruit, and grain that then suddenly peaks with a citrus-rind like bitterness and dies down with a hop bitterness, mellowing out into a slightly bitter maltiness.

M: Mouthfeel is probably the best part of this, perhaps because it's a hot day and I'm enjoying this chilled bottle. It almost slides off the tongue and splashes against the sides of my tongue underneath and spreads the coolness smoothly. Carbonation is slight but plenty for the style and the bitterness never seems to pain any parts of the mouth.

O: Refreshing, not unenjoyable to drink and even has some distinctly unique flavor development, but it mostly underplays its best features and leaves itself forgettable.

Jul 24, 2011
Photo of smcolw
smcolw from Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that settles to rim bubbles. Leaves only spotty lace. Very cloudy, golden color.

Smells like a blend dry crystal malts and older hops.

Quite spritzy with a moderate body and high carbonation. Relatively dry beer with bitter hop finish. Rather run-of-the-mill.

Jul 04, 2011
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DrinkingDrake from Massachusetts

2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured cloudy dark golden brown with a small amount of tan head that went away quickly. Nose is a weird mix of fruity and piney hops along with some crisp, slightly toasty, pale malt. The flavor is similar to the nose but balanced better by the malty body. I still don't like the hop character. It just doesn't seem like a good combination of hop flavors. A light body but I wouldn't grab one again.

Jun 19, 2011
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mcguirmn from New Jersey

3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. Pours a honey, dark golden color. About an inch of foam that took a while to fade.

Smell: Smells really good. Hints of fruit, citrus, and hops.

Taste: Definitely noticed more fruit after tasting it. Almost tasted like apricots. The brew was definitely hoppier than I expected. And surprisingly bitter upfront. But the fruit makes up for the bitterness at the end. Not really sure if I would call this beer an extra pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Nothing to complain about. Went down smooth.

Overall: Not a bad beer. The name XPA was definitely misleading, but once I got over that, it was actually quite enjoyable.

Jun 02, 2011
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alenonbeeradv from California

3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - murky tan gold and straw hues. Minimal but inviting head.

S - slightly fruity and floral. Some grapefruit. More on the sweeter side of an ipa. Maybe it's not super fresh or maybe I'm just spoiled with California heavy ipas.

T - a little lighter than I thought. Kinda metallic which is something I didn't get from the smell. Not bad. A bit of a perfume on the aftertaste.

M - a creeping carbonation that's actually medium high. As it has warmed up a tad bit the hops are coming out a little more.

O - nice nice. I'd be interested to try on cask or tap. Other than that I don't think it quite deserves the xpa title but definitely a nice single or double.

May 13, 2011
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden orange with a foamy white head that builds to a nice size and retains well. Lots of sticky suds and a few nice spots of lace.

S- Grassy, floral and citrus zest hops with light caramel malt backbone.

T- Grassy, fruit, citrus and floral hops notes atop a faint sweet caramel malt backbone and some yeast bread hints, grainy as well. Has a very sharp Euro hop bitterness in the finish.

MF- Creamy light body with nice foamy carbonation. Bitterness is a bit too pronounced in the finish for me.

Sort of reminds me of a pilsner or German style mixed with an APA. A very sharp Euro hop bitterness and flavor profile.

Apr 20, 2011
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thekevlarkid from Maryland

3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a very cloudy, honey-gold color with lots of visible carbonation. The head was a one-finger of off-white foam that clung very tightly as a cap and as a result barely left any lacing at first. As it warmed up it began to lace in sheets. The aroma was of citrus hops and dry grains. The flavors were well balanced but rather subtle with more malt emphasis than usual for a Pale but the hops did really appear at the end when the finish became bitter. The body was medium, the mouthfeel creamy and I found it generally sessionable.

Jan 12, 2009
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Durge from Connecticut

3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This somewhat odd offering poured a light yellow golden color, cloudy with a huge white head and good lace. Aroma is a healthy banana malt with piney hops, marvelous. The flavor is bright with an interesting smoothness, yet somewhat aqueous and easy drinking. Despite this there is also a dominant dryness from the hops which detracts a lot for me. Here you get more of a cereal grain overtone, more of an herbal hop deal but sort of non-descript. I didn't hate it like my drinking buddy did (as he dumped it down the sink) but I sure wish it tasted as good as it smelled. Needs some help but I was glad i tried it. The feel is middle level stuff, fairly refreshing, good carbonation, has potential.

Jul 17, 2008
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey colr with a modest head that tosses a few shards of lace on the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Bready, with honey and lemon elements; surprisingly sweet

Taste: Tastes a bit like Grape Nuts, with the lemon and honey in the nose also appearing up front; by mid-palate, some earthy bitterness kicks in to balance out the sweet flavors, but after the swallow, the flavors fade rather quickly

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather odd for an APA; more in the English style, IMO; still, it is enjoyable to drink even though it is not in the upper echelon for its style

Thanks, LittleBreeze, for the opportunity

Jun 21, 2008
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Zorro from California

3.37/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled through sinstaineddemon and Secret Bunny '08 BIF.

Chill hazed gold colored ale with a small white head.

Smell is malt and honey on toast with a mild herbal hop aroma.

The taste is malty and woody at the start. Little bit of vanilla and candy here, and not any citrus or pine. Woody after taste, this gets more bitter as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Pretty much your run of the mill Pale in really a more British style. OK but no reason to travel for a taste.

Apr 09, 2008
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Derek from Canada (BC)

3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Gold with a fizzy white head, very little retention, slight lace.

S: Lemony spice & a biscuity grainyness.

T: Spicy, lemon rind, slight floral soapyness, light caramel flavour with a crisp bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: A good drinker.

Apr 06, 2008
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bosox1120 from Massachusetts

3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got on tap and poured out nicely, leaving some lacing on the glass. Floral and fruity aroma and taste from the hops made it easy drinking. Very smooth, but wouldn't be able to drink more than one or two at a time.

Color was golden and pretty clear. Not much foam when poured, but it did stay and as stated left lacing.

Overall, would recommend as it was very drinkable and had a light taste.

Feb 12, 2008
XPA (Extra Pale Ale) from High & Mighty Beer Co.
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 84 ratings