Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
985 Reviews
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-23-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 2,715
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear, summery gold-red with a nicely forming eggshell white head that leaves intricate lacing down the surface of the glass.

Smells of butterscotch, honey and fresh-cut grass, a warm, sweet, enticing smell.

Taste is homey and malty; It has a significant character of grass - a wheaty, malty flavor, a honeylike sweetness - it's backed up with a small, nicely balacing bitterness of piney hops, This beer has a very full flavor, but is very easy to drink - tasty and unoffensive.

Smooth and slightly spicy mouthfeel - finishes slick with a small lingering sweetness and bitterness.

This is a nice one - Stone continues to be my favorite brewery - my favorite Californian brewery, at least. A San Diego staple.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big bomber poured cloudy orange under a great big white head which left great lace along the sides.
Citrus and pine lead the aroma which blends to malt and toffee. A little yeast is detected but not a lot.
Again with the pine and citrus (grapefruit) leads to a sticky sweet malt backbone.
All in all nice crisp clean and very drinkable. I enjoyed this IPA and will recommend.

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Photo of Todd
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, painted label. Cheers to Greg's fridge for the sample. Pours an inviting, shimmering with some initial haze, copper-hued beer topped with a massive 2-finger slightly off-white head - creamy, some stick, great retention and settles to a lacing that lasts the entire beer.

Malty nose, distinct caramel, hints of wood, and delicate floral aromas. Fruity and veggie with some grainy tannins.

Incredibly smooth and a bit silky on the palate. A roughness builds with a leafy hop feel and backing hop flavor. Oily coating. Bitterness is balanced and well placed. Fruity undertones proceed and even malt foundation of moderately sweet grain with bready / biscuity edges. Mild toasty caramel with some slick buttery lingering throughout. Raw hop, oils, grains and some tannins in the finish, but nothing unappealing. It's all good here.

I dig it. Stone's "pay the bills" beer and something that can appeal to novices and geeks.

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Photo of Bcant
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber/orange color with a thin white head comprised of varying sized bubbles. Some lacing is left on the pint glass as the beer is consumed.

The aroma is very well balanced. Citrus hop smells mingle nicely with malt notes of toffee. For an APA, the flavor is less well balanced. While there is a nice woody, earthy malt character, the hop profile is very long and finishes with a crisp hop bitterness that is very refreshing.

This pale ale has a bit of size and effervescence in the mouth but it tapers off and finishes very soft. This, along with the crisp hop tail, make it very refreshing. Some brewers might call this an IPA, but it is a nice APA offering form Stone.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/amber color, some carbonation, nice creamy tan head which sticks around, tons of lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malts, and citrus. Taste of bitter hops, and malts. There is a nice dry sweetness aftertaste. Medium body. Very drinkable. Another strong offering from Stone.

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Photo of baiser
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The staple beer of my trip to San Diego. Pretty much every bar in town has Stone PA on tap. Pours a clear copper colour, with a rich white head. Moderately carbonated, smooth mouthfeel and super drinkable. Hoppy, fruity against malty goodness. Very well balanced, fruity and an all around classic. Good session ale.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12 oz'er of Stone's Pale Ale to check it out. Pours into the glass with a clear carbonationless amber red pour topped off with a settled spotty light khaki head cap, leaving impressive lattice lace in the glass.

Aromas are in the ballpark of an ESB initially. Some light wood notes and a sweet leafy tea.

First swigs: Soft caramel meets a slight grapefruit dryness. Well balanced. Falls 60/40 onto the side of a citrus hop profile backed with a husky sugary tea malt. There is even a touch of berry fruit in here.

Just makes a foothold into medium bodied, briskly carbonated and easily drinkable. A slight lingering finish that leaves a clean aftertaste.

Last swigs: Sugary tea and berry finish pale. Expert craftsmanship for an American Pale. When Stone makes a Pale Ale, it translates into an IPA for other breweries.

Beer is good. Happy pale ale beering.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out to a clear deep amber, forming a tall whipped beige head with excellent retention and delicate yet sticky sheets of lacing. A little darker than I would expect for a pale ale; more akin to an amber in appearance. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma has a strong Cascade and Fuggles hop nose counterbalanced by a nicely expressive and distantly sweet malt body. Fruity esters of apple, strawberry and a touch of melon are subtle. An "English" yeast ester is noticeable but not distracting, combined with some faint Rogue "Pacman" residual sugars. Medium bodied with a fairly smooth initial mouthfeel followed by some slightly astringent hop bitterness in the finish. The taste is more bitter than the aroma would suggest with some mildly harsh English hop finish (I suspect East Kent Goldings) and aftertaste of overly-extracted grain husk tannins. The hop character is earthy and somewhat ruddy.

This is really a bastardized version of an English Pale and it doesn't turn out all that well. I much prefer Stone's IPA and will stick to that in the future when it comes to staple brews. Not that this is bad (I would drink it if it was provided at a party), but I can't stand most brews made with English yeast and hops, and this falls into that category. I would think that Stone, of all people, would avoid having a staple, "dumbed-down" brew, but this is it. I would pass on this again.

Rereview 12/11/07-
Finally, Stone products have arrived here in TC. This one was $1.80 for a 12oz bottle. Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark amber, forming a modest light yellow head with good retention and nice sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Tightly beaded bubbles. The nose is better than I remember it...the dreaded Cascade twang is absent, but still is akin to Cascade. I dunno what hops they use. There is some interesting sour milk character akin to alot of English style pale ales, fruity apple and pear esters, and some distant vanilla. Mouthfeel is rounded, kinda earthy, with a medium body. Taste is somewhat a cross between an American Amber and an English pale. I think most people would think of this as a hoppy American-style amber. Finish is kinda herbal, with some nice residual sugars and very distant grain husk. Nice counterpoint of sweetness in the finish to offset the bitterness. The aftertaste is kinda ruddy and cardboardy.

Compared to my prior review, I think I like it a little more than last time. Not something I would drink on a regular basis though.

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Photo of Quaffer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This was an amber-copper beer with the slightest hint of haze. The off-white head rose up to three fingers with an easy pour and then settled very, very slowly. It became a little fluffy as it did so and clung tenaciously to the side of the glass. There were some thin tendrils of lace left behind as I drank.

Smell: A nicely balanced mixture of thick, bready malt and citrus hops. The malt was very strong after the pour, but settled down to more evenly match the hop aroma after a few minutes. There was a slight herbal characteristic to the hops. That was about it. Not overly complex, but it had a great depth and fullness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but just barely. It had a full, mouthfilling smoothness along the tongue and picked up a firm carbonation as it hit the throat.

Taste: Just a hint of sweet malt hit the tip of the tongue. The main malt component was roasted, dry, and lightly husky. In the middle, a little more sweetness developed as the herbal and floral hops kicked in. The sweetness lingered into the finish as the hops gained strength. The aftertaste became kind of medicinal with the combination of sweet and herbal.

Not overly complex, but a good, solid, and highly drinkable pale ale. I think that I enjoyed the Levitation a little more, though.

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Photo of UberWasser
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date, served in a Stein.

Pours a reddish amber, a very pretty color. A thick head, probably four to five fingers, bubbles up with an vigorous pour. A shower of bubbles from underneath feed it and keep it in the one finger range at least halfway through. One of the better looking Pale Ales I've had, mailny due to the color.

Smells of sweet malts, sour hops, some spice, and some bread yeast. Nothing is particularly dominant.

Great tasting beer, best Pale Ale I've had so far. The hops get you up front in a wave of smooth citrus. They are followed by a nice wave of malt sweetness to balance. The aftertaste is all hops and dryness. Behind it all is a nice bread flavor. Great stuff! Mouthfeel is also very nice, with a slick thickness that flows over your tongue, and transforms into a bread flavored dryness that coats your mouth. Great.

Such a nice Pale Ale. Definitely a great effort by Stone, and a great introduction to their quality for an initiate. I could drink it all night.

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Photo of goschool
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I drank a Stone Pale Ale was on the train, riding home from Pizza Port's Real Ale Festival. I went into the dinning car to get a snack and I was pleasantly suprised to find such a worthy hair of the dog. I really enjoyed it then, but I haven't had one since, until now.

It pours a deep reddish-copper, slightly hazy, with a robust off-white head. The aroma is fruity with bready malts and floral hops, but the nose is a little subdued overall. There's no chance I would ever have guessed, in a blind taste test, that this was brewed by Stone. Where is the west coast hop bitterness? This is creamy and smooth. The taste is sweety and fruity, with a big malt body and enough grassy hops to bring this together nicely.

I think it's because I drink so much Stone, that when I'm looking for something less assertive then their other brews, I'll go with a different brewery for varity. Maybe that's not the best idea. I'm going to have to try Bear Republic's pale ale now.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a clear light amber color with about a quarter inch of off white bubbles. The head fell pretty quickly to just be a small white layer across the top of the beer.

Aroma: Quite a bit of floral and citrusy hops in the nose along with a pretty generous helping of caramel malts.

Taste: The flavor is surprisingly mild and refreshing for such an aromatic beer. It starts out with a noticeable balance toward the hops with some flowers and fruits to entice the palate. Then in the middle, there is a bit of the malt that starts to come like it is actually going to do something. The hops then step back in to smack the malt around a bit and finish with a bit of bitterness. The beer comes across as light, and the mild carbonation doesn't "over lighten" it.

Opinion: I am really impressed with this beer. I didn't think that I would like it much, as I am not a hop-head. Stone notoriously produces seriously hoppy beers, and I popped the top on this one thinking that I was going to get a watered Ruination. Not true. This is a beer that has a substantial malt backbone that is reminiscent of their Arrogant Bastard. I think that this is a really nice beer, and it is one that I would definitely try again.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear medium amber with an off-white and very frothy head which lasted very well to coat the glass.

The aroma was light with a nice caramel malty aroma and an earthy and slighty grassy hop aromatic.

The flavor was light and malty with a crisp hop bittering that was lower than expected. The flavor contained a nice estery flavor a light citrusy and grassy hop flavor and some light hop spice. The flavor also contained a mineral component. The bittering was more substantial that first meets the palate and really shined through in the finish.

The finish was dry with lasting bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium and well done. Very easy to drink and more of an ESB than an APA, no matter, still a very good beer! If one expects a big huge APA, you will not find it here...

12 ounce bottle, sent to me from mentor!!! I have wanted this one for a long time, many, many thanks. Dunno why it never makes it East from the brewery, but it should!

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Photo of JMazzic
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Golden amber color, little carbonation. About a quarter inch of head that quickly vanishes. This looks very inviting.

Smell - Great hops aroma, it'll perk you up a bit. Alcohol not too strong. Pretty refeshing smell.

Taste - Light bitter hops, not too harsh, quickly disappears. Kinda sweet aftertaste. Tingles your tastebuds, light carbonation. Refreshing, really enjoyable. Nice balance of bite and sweetness. Seems a bit sweeter as it warms up.

Mouthful - Pretty thin, tingly. Slick, and foams up nicely

Drinkability - Very nice beer. Not too bitter, goes down easy. I can drink this all day long. A good "go to" beer for a session.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/11/05- Received via BA member RKhaze upon return from SoCal.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Stone Ruination pint glass.

Appearance- Golden approaching amber pour. Nice thick and creamy white head with very good lacing.

Smell- Very laid back. Light hops and light malt. Hmmmm, suprised at this.

Taste- Wow, an actual mellow beer from Stone! Was waiting for the hops to destroy my pallete and the malt to follow after. What I got was a very tame and well balanced pale ale. Not to hoppy, not to malty. Right in between...nice.

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated.

Drinkability- This could be a very easy session beer. Not as good as some of my favorites IMO, but still a great example of a truly balanced pale ale.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a great dark orange and brown that was practically glowing. The medium head lasted fairly well, and left a few big lines of lace.

The smell is very nice, being full of rich malt and slightly floral hops. The taste is also quite good, being rich up front and fairly bitter in the finish. While the hops are definitely assertive, they are somewhat less sharp than in comparable beers. I think this suits the style very well. The mouthfeel is pleasing while the drinkability is very good.

I believe this is what every other american pale ale wishes it was.

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Photo of karst
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from . Beer poured a bright copper amber with a 2 finger rocky head head that slowly faded to a thin ring around the edge of my Stone Barleywine glass. Left good lace and some beading was noted.

Fruity aroma and faint caramel.

Moderate hops but assertive enough to balanced malts and provide bitter aftertaste with lingering grapefruit.

Light body no diacetyle noted. Well done keeping with the style.

Very drinkable after a mid summer morning of picking blueberries as the temp and Rel. Humidity climbs toward the nineties in Mid-Missouri's Dog days.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant, flawless, coppery orange with a head that is the epitome of quality. It's light ecru in color with a slight orangish cast and is impressively firm and sticky. It deflates tantalizingly slowly and deposits thick slabs of foam as it does so. The lace begins to melt even before being disturbed by my drinking, but it's still a lovely display.

The nose doesn't venture anywhere near hoptastic IPA-land. Having said that, I can't fault a beer for staying true to its APA roots. It's wonderfully balanced with lightly toasted caramel working in concert with citrusy, floral hops. While it doesn't leap out of the glass, I don't have to go in after it either.

Stone Pale Ale is balanced on the palate as well. I was going to say 'balanced to a fault', but that isn't entirely fair. This is clearly a well-crafted pale ale that doesn't quite fit my most preferred flavor profile. The firm, toffee-like malt backbone is easily the equal of the hop side of the equation. I'm not in love with the hop bill (Magnum and Ahtanum), although it does make this beer unique.

The middle is akin to brown sugar-crusted grapefruit, while the finish is more orange fruity and slightly more hoppy. Even so, it stays pretty damn balanced all the way to the bitter end. The medium mouthfeel is beautifully structured with a willowy, wispy, supple feel. Mouthfeel is one of the best indicators of true brewing talent as far as I'm concerned.

Stone Pale Ale, like all Stone beer, is wonderful stuff. I'd tweak it a little here and there, but as is, it's a delicious, perfectly balanced pale ale that is exceedingly drinkable. As I pour the last few ounces into my pint glass, I find myself wishing that I had another bomber waiting in the wings. What better recommendation is there than that?

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some beers just need to be re-visited, kind of like a family or high school reunion. You know, just to see how much things may have changed.
Presented in a 12oz bottle taken from a case with a brewed on date of 03.27.05 on the box. Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass, Stone's pale ale showed off a clear dark amber color, copious carbonation, and a firm off-white head that slowly faded down to a ΒΌ" of foam and left sheets of lace down to the bottom of the quickly emptied glass.
The nose had a robust fruity aroma backed by toasty malts and soft floral hops. A few pulls and I was rewarded by the wonderful blend of toasted grains and sweet caramel-laced fruits. Hops are definitely mild, surprisingly so, and have a floral flavor vice the citrus bite of Stone's other brews. Quite well balanced but the malts are the main component here. The feel was medium in body and velvety smooth.
Overall, Stone's pale ale is one of my main beers of choice for a session brew or dinnertime beer. So easily quaffable and easy to pair with a good range of meals. Last night it paired nicely with grilled pork chops and baked potatoes. One of my favorite go-to beers.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a light brown. Maybe a reddish color. The head is tan with a slight orange tint to it. It fades very slowly leaving very thick laces. This is probably the darkest pale ale I have ever seen. It has a floral aroma to it. The presence of malts are also apparent. There is a slight citrus scent to it as well. It tastes less hoppy that I would expect froma pale ale. It is more of an amber really. It had a very good balance of hops and malt flavor. This beer is very well balanced. It leaves a creamy feeling and citrus like taste on the palate. This beer wuld be a great session beer. It has a low alcohol content, so you could drink quite a few. Also, the flavor is not so strong and aggressive that you might get tired of it. I think I could drink this beer all night long. It is definately well worth trying.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark ruby color with a golen hue when backlit. thick 2 cm head that is stiff and lasts a long while. very pretty beer in the glass. each sip brings the head to life just from the movement. a light swirling also revives a good bit of foam.

Smell: layered floral hops and sweet maltiness. the aromas go back and forth trading places in the front of the smell. the maltiness has a slight caramel note to it and a bit of roasty caramel malt character.

Taste: Rich flavor, slightly roasty with a bold malt profile. there is a slight metallic flavor that is quickly covered over by some hop bitterness. this beer is sweet in a subtle and respectable way. it does not exhibit candy-like sweetness, but rather a clean, bready sweetness from the wonderful blend of malts. the bitterness never really fades in this beer and it lasts long into the aftertaste where it passes the baton to a nice malty aftertaste. the hops lend themselves to a more earthy character than piney or fruity. clean cascade hops seems to be the dominant hop flavor if i had to guess. a bit sandy but still fruity and citrusy so as not to be one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully clean and unoffensive. The flavors blend together so well that there are no rampant or biting flavors. Very well balanced.

Drinkability: This is simply an outstanding pale ale that would go quite well with food or on its own. It's bolder and more robust than most pale ales, but still is quite good for the masses who have only been exposed to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden amber, much darker than any other pale ale I can ever recall seeing. Robust head from a medium pour drops off rather quickly.

Aroma is rich, malty, some spiciness. Perhaps a hops profile, but not as much as I expected (but why did I expect that? Because it's Stone, of course).

Flavor is where this one wins the race. Rich, full, nicely balanced (if you like a hoppy pale ale). This one is hoppier than most brew-pub style pale ales that I've had, maybe similar to the caliber of some other widely distributed California Pale Ales. But this is outstanding. The hops at the end give notice that they are there and are not to be missed, but they don't overpower the senses.

Mouthfeel is as rich and full and creamy as you might want. I can see this being too drinkable, and becoming a problem tomorrow if I'm not careful. Another winner from Stone!

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good amber colour and head, floral hop aroma, and well-malted taste. Medium mouthfeel. Drying spicy finish.Appropriate carbonation. Quite drinkable.
Another very good Stone brew, very good pale, fresh from California courtesy of Rudolf. Radekfest #8.

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Photo of rowew
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Silk screened bottle with a whole bunch of text on the back - typical stone bottle! ABV listed on the front, and they have started laser etching a best by date. Nice to see more brewers adding freshness info! Nice lacing.

Appearance: Clear orange color - very slightly effervescent. Nice frothy off white head.

Smell: Aroma contains both grain and subtle hops - this beer comes across very balanced on the nose. Slight citrus aroma.

Taste: Lots of bread and biscuit flavored malts balance a good level of hops. From any other brewer this might be considered hoppy - from Stone it is on the low end of hops. Incredibly balanced and drinkable, with a great creamy mouthfeel.

Overall impression: This beer seems to disappear by the six pack from the fridge. I'm not sure where it's going, but I keep buying more!

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many months old. Reddish dark amber hue. fine lacing off-white cover. Soft cedar hops unveil a generous maltiness (caramelic) in the nose. Biscuity malts are the main flavor on the palate, but never dominating. Medium body, creamy texture, soft carbonation. Great mouthfeel. Soft floral hops change into a resinous earthiness covers the teeth in the finish, but all remains mellow and diplomatic. Surprisingly well balanced, but perhaps unexciting as well.

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Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,715 ratings.
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