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Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
984 Reviews
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

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: 984 | Ratings: 2,712
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice, slightly hazy, copper color. Pours with a dense white head. Not as aromatic as I was hoping. There is a nice bitterness up front, as I take my first sip, it is accompanied by some biscuit - malty notes. There seems to be a lot of complexity missing here. A straight forward pale ale with not real defining characteristics. It is not balanced enough to work on a subtle level. It is certainly bitter, fairly clean flavors (light fruit, malt and some hoppy flavor contributions). Seems to be missing that certain Stone 'pizzazz'. Overall a decent beer, but I was hoping for something with a bit more definition. I need to see if I can get a known fresh bottle of this, to see if perhaps this is just past it's prime.

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Photo of Dmann
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of the ultimate session beers in my opinion. On tap it is especially smoothe and crisp. It poured a nice light amber color with not much head because the bartender filled up the pint to the brim! Right off the bat I could smell the scent of floral hops and a slight spice that I cannot put my finger on. The taste was very good and reminded me a bit of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but with a much more balanced floral hop character and a nice malt flavor as well. Seeing as how most good bars around town have this on tap, this is now the new default beer =)

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dense, murky, dark orange color...a thick, creamy head...
Nose is fruity, and floral, vibrant and sweet, hops are nice, mellow, and very attractive, without standing out too much. Perfectly mild pale ale aroma. Zesty and citric, nice and fresh.
Taste...very nice. All those flavors found in the nose return on the palate. A certain spiciness sticks it out right next to the easy-going fruitiness, and, if you'll allow me, I'm reminded of a barleywine flavor, but without the alcohol. Mellow and tasty, light to medium in body, pleasant finish. Extraordinarily drinkable and smooth, but never skimping on taste!
What an appealing pale ale, I'm glad that Stone has such a friendly offering to appeal to those who aren't always aching for an abundance of hops and challenging flavors, something to keep the taps flowing and the coffers filled, allowing them to make those bad bastards we all love!

Big-sized doffing of the topper to El Bummerino for providing the bomber!

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

Appearance: Nice copper hue, with an almost non-existent head.

Aroma: Hoppy nose, with very small amounts of malt. Slight alcohol in the backround.

Taste: Great balance of hops and malt. Definately the little sibling of all other Stone offerings (except Levitation). Classic American pale ale flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mild coating flavors hit all parts of the mouth, creating great harmony. Quite enjoyable.

Drinkability: A great introduction of Stone's offerings. Would be my house brew if readily available to me.

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

pours a lovely copper color with a small little head which dies into a little lace which lasts the whole drinking sesh. smells of citrus, hops and a little sweetness. the taste is slightly fruity but mainly of hops. but the hops dont go crazy like in the IPA or the Ruination. theres also a touch of malty sweetness but mainly youll be getting a nice mild hop kick. it is very drinkable and not too intense, just right for drinking in mass quantities.

$2.99 a bomber.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty, fruity and sweet. A medium bodied pale ale. Very hoppy, medium bitterness. Nice balance of malt and hops, taste is slightly spicy. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Etched beer bottle.

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Photo of Mustard
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Handsome, 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" date; purchased as a stray single for $1.39 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, copperish brown with a fine, rocky, off-white head; solid, foamy ring lacing; good head retention.

Aroma: Predominantly marked by notes of citrus, grass and caramel.

Taste: Thick, toasty, caramel malt flavors upfront; vibrant, assertive hop bitterness in the finish; lightly sweet; citrusy, grassy, floral hop flavors; a bit nutty.

Notes: Demonic, ass-kicking, little brother of Stone's 7th Anniversary Ale; a stellar APA.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle.

An excellent California style pale ale.

Pours a bright amber transparent copper color. A small to medium head with decent lacing. There is a dry grass scent. Some nuts and floral hops enhance the scents with a deep caramel smell at the finish.

The flavors are a divided balance of hops and malts. There is heavy citrus and a nice bitter bite. Yet there is big malt, caramel, some butter and nuts. A sweetness and some dried out grass. The flavors do not form a line they all hit at about the same time. Take your time drinking this one to sort them out. The aftertaste is nice and dry.

It drinks with a crisp refreshing quality. I enjoy this ale with meals. A superbly thoughtout ale. It drinks oh so smooth.

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

Brilliant orange copper color topped by a lovely thick cream head. Aroma of floral hops and lightly roasted malt sweetness. Taste shows good bitterness, both citrus and somewhat floral/perfume in nature. Well balanced by a smooth malt sweetness that hints a caramel. Mouthfeel is good, not thin but not extremely rich either. Drinakbility is very good. Perhaps a little less bitterness would make this a touch better, but then less bitter wouldn't be much like a Stone brew, would it? Give this not-so-pale ale a try. If you like Stone (and who doesn't?), you'll like this slightly lighter (everything is relative) offering. That said, many IPA's wish they were this hoppy and this good. I'm about ready to give up all beers other than those from my Fab Five breweries. And each beer from Stone puts me a step closer to that day.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with authoritative-looking gargoyle on the label.

Pours a deep, opaque auburn colour, with an attractively dense tan head. Posses a strong pine / citrus hop aroma with wondrously herbal overtones. The taste is immediately a bounty of hops, followed by touches of toasted malts, and a glance of sweetness. The hops merrily linger on your pallet for as long as you let them, with a slick, coating mouthfeel that is moderately carbonated.
Wow! This is a terribly enjoyable beer. Its gratifying hop level is balanced nicely with the subtle sweetness and the floral notes that float around. Three more words for this beer: Session, session, session!

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Photo of BierReise
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this ale to be even better than their IPA. Outstanding slightly hazy deep amber colored with full size head. Excellent retention leaving a fully laced glass. Amazingly fresh aroma of grains and hops could have easily passsed for a draught beer. Full bodied and smooth with a slight crispness, fantastic mouthfeel. Malts are really standing out ahead of the hop aroma. Flavor is a terrific balance between the malt and hops, grainy,rich,slightly bitter and sweet at the same time. It's great to see an ale that is well balanced and can showcase good malt flavor.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After tasting Ruination and Arrogant Bastard, I expected all Stone brewing ales to be totally dominating and ruthless. This on the other hand was beautiful and poetic, yet strong. Appearance a beautiful white head resting on a rather dark orange body. And what a sexy body. The malt aroma was married with the hop. I have never had a beer with such fragrant malts. The flavor was outstanding, both the malts and the hops were aggressive, but not intrusive and announced themselves with grace. I think dry caramel. It is only on the finish that the hops come out ahead.

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

Originally sampled on 8 May 2002. ReRate 23 Feb 2003: This is a great example of an American Pale Ale. It has a hazy amber color w/ a nice, controlled, hoppy taste. This is a great session beer, or it can be used to convert BMC drinkers to real beer.

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Photo of Darkale
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy orange-red. Spare tan head that does not linger. Surprisingly sweet aroma and taste. Low carbonation; tastes faintly of oranges.

Very thin mouthfeel, and that is the most surprising aspect of this beer, especially for those who are accustomed to having to chew their Stone beers. This is a light, fruity, sweet and mild ale with a faint hops aftertaste.

Drinking a Stone Pale Ale after a steady diet of Stone's hardier brews is like leaving a front row seat at a Beethoven symphony and sitting by the window, listening to the birds in spring. At first, you miss the crash and thunder. Then you realize the complexity that is found in even small and simple things.

Marvelous proof that Stone can brew a nice beer that doesn't melt your teeth, dislodge your eyes, and stun your mitochondria.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

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

From The Drafting Room in Exton, Pa.

This beer poured a golden yellow with a thin white head. This was a very fresh and floral tasting pale ale. I enjoyed this one a lot and has to be my favorite Pale Ale in recent history. Strong hops and grainy aroma and more fuller bodied than, say Sierra Nevada’s Pale. Nicely done, crispy and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of MJR
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Has a perfectly clear body that's light amber with copper edges. A fair sized head retains well and laces nicely.

Smell: The aroma is a nice balance of hops and sweet malt. The hops impart lots of grapefruit and citrus notes. The malt aroma is sweet with a touch of breadiness.

Taste: Hoppy with a firm bitterness that's held in check by the sweet, caramelly malt backbone. Finishes bitter...

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin in body with a crisp, highly carbonated mouthfeel that finishes dry.

Drinkability: Above average. This is a good basic pale ale...nothing more, nothing less. I could drink a few of these, but would soon want of something with a little more 'oomph.' A bit on the plain side, but still a nice, solid example of the style.

This is quite a change from the 'over-the-top' character that Stone's brews tend to flaunt.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh yes, I do like Stone's brews. This is another one of their great products. Poured a beautiful dark amber with a nice white head that went to a thin film, but laced throughout. Good nose of malt and grain with a light sense of hopping. This came through in the taste as well, as the hops were there, but did crowd the rest of the flavors out. The mouthfeel was very nice, a good blend of body, creaminess with just a bit of a final crispness. More, please.

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

Pours a golden-orange in color with a head that resembles seafoam, both in color and consistency. A spotty lace is left behind. Crisp and clean aroma. Smells well balanced and slightly sweet. Mild floral hop notes. Taste is well balanced. Slight malt sweetness with a hint of a metallic taste. Finishes dry with a nice hop bitterness. Medium body and on the lighter side of carbonation. This is a nice drinkable pale ale, not as assertive as I was expecting. I'm working my way up the Stone line though so I think this was a good place to start. Thanks to Gusler for the sample. Cheers.

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Photo of Dantes
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: ~10oz. from draught in a tulip glass at The Blind Tiger’s Stone 12 event. Served a bit cold. Cost: $5.

Appearance: A lovely, classic appearance. I would have preferred it in a Shaker pint, but since I was pacing myself, this worked well. An appropriate orange-gold body, capped with a medium-thick ½” of foam, which resolved gradually to an opaque film.

Smell: The first whiff of this supplied a somewhat faint, but unexpectedly well-rounded aroma, with a billowy grain and malt aroma, corralled by good herbal hops.

Taste: This was surprisingly thin on the tongue. The rounded flavors promised by the nose did not materialize on the palate. I could barely detect the anticipated flavors of fruit, toasted malt, yeast; and missed the rounded, buttery flavors found in traditional British bitters. (NB: I wish I had had the bottle Schoolteacher had). This ale was by no means over-hopped or bitter, but was not super-flavorful. Lingered in the mouth a bit better than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Very nice texture in the mouth, with fine carbonation that lasted through the glass. Was refreshingly cool and crisp.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer, but not extremely remarkable. Would make a lovely refreshment on a hot day, but probably not worth expending a great deal of effort to find.

This was my first beer at the Tiger’s Stone event, after Greg recommended I avoid starting with the cask IPA. Maybe it was the anticipation, but this was a bit of a letdown. Perhaps it is better in the bottle, although it is somewhat rare for me to prefer a bottled version over the bottle (which I haven’t tried yet). I would rather grab a Young’s or Fuller’s before this, but I lean to traditional British bitters. I also think that samples of Rogue’s Younger’s Bitter or Brutal Bitter were better.

Bottom Line: Don’t get me wrong. This is a very nice beer, but the red-headed stepchild in Stone’s portfolio. As Goldilocks said, “This one is toooo ‘soft’.”

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Photo of TXHops
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone brews an APA??? Since I live in a state where Arrogant Bastard is the ONLY Stone product available and I get most of my Stone info from beeradvocate.com, I had to admit that I was a bit surprised to learn that Stone brews an APA when I visited their website a few months back. On a recent trip to Tucson (in a state that actually receives most of the Stone line), I grabbed me a sixer of the Pale Ale while making drooling, repetitive trips to the cooler for Stone’s more "discussed" beers. The afterthought paid off…

Stone’s Pale Ale is the color o a textbook American Amber Ale, with a head that wanted to stay around, but couldn’t be bothered after about 3 minutes. The sedimented body produced an aroma thick with caramel, diacetyl, lightly toasted malts, non-Cascade hops, a myriad of ripe fruits and a malt-yeast interaction that would make most seasoned English brewers green with envy. Mr. Koch could just have easily called his American Pale Ale an English Style Pale Ale, an 80 Schilling Scottish Ale, an American Amber Ale, a Best Bitter or even an ESB and gotten rave reviews for it. This is a great use of malted barley, water and God is Good. The fruity diacetyl is what realty sets this one apart. Diacetyl is a flavor component that most brewers of American style beers shy away from with the hesitation of a Bavarian brewer listening to the merits of ale yeast. I know that it’s viewed as a flaw in many AHA and BJCP style guidelines, but it really adds a tremendous rounded, butterscotchy creaminess to British style ales allowed to generate just a bit of it. Stone’s use of it really accentuates the fruitiness of their yeast and allows the malts the hops to stand on either side of a dividing line of immaculate balance, mingling only later in my mouth, challenging my taste receptors to pick out individual flavors that aren’t typically described in libations as pedestrian as beer. Anyway, waxing philosophic aside, I really dig this beer’s use of diacetyl and balance and I’ll be awarding a few extra points for a brewery with a reputation like Stone’s to continue to produce a “flagship beer” with a hopping rate achieving IBU’s less than their Levitation Ale (if I were forced to guess).

Sweet beer…

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Photo of Gusler
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I’m such a big fan of “Stone Brewery”, and always keep a bunch on hand, it seems a bit odd I’ve not had one of these fine Pale Ales in almost seven moths, strange. Pours a deep amber to copper color, the head is prodigious in size, frothy in texture and the lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Nose is nice a deep sweet malt, hints of caramel, and the little "Hop Flowers", I love so much. Front is malt sweet, top is middling in feel and the finish a “Hop Heads Dream”, spitefully acidic, the aftertaste dry as a desert bone and quite long lasting, ranks in my top 5 “all-time favorite Pale Ales”.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Somewhat hazed, copper color with a thinnish but surprisingly persistant head. Leaves a great lace down the glass. Aroma is hoppy and citric, with a caramel sweetness underlying. Malt sweetness hits you up front in the mouth as well, and is noticeable throughout the beer, contributing a nice nutty flavor. The dominate taste, however, is still the slightly acidic, citric flavors of the hops. They also give the beer a pleasant oily smoothness. The beer feels medium-bodied, finishes dry, and leaves you with a nice fruity/sweet aftertaste, with lingering hints of hop bitterness. This is probably more hoppy than the average Pale Ale, but this isn't an IPA or Ruination. There's a good deal going on here besides the hops, and this is a good thing. Extremely drinkable and pleasant.

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

It's copper with a big head that sticks to the side of the glass. The smell is noticeably hoppy but not overwhelmingly so, especially compared to other West Coast APAs. The taste is a bit on the bitter side, with the hops beating out the malt by a length or two. I'm starting to think that it's tough to make an APA that really stands apart from the pack. This one is better than most, but it's not a knock-out.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. After trying some of Stone's "bigger" beers like Ruination, Double Bastard and the Russian Imperial Stout this one seems tame by comparison. I found both the aroma and the flavor to be rather subdued. More malt character than the typical APA but still not a bad brew. A good intro to the Stone line.

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Photo of proc
4.82/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One word to start: Impressive.

Pours out to a beautiful copper color. Aroma is that of caramel, hops and fruit. The balance to this Pale Ale is nearly perfect. The hops are tasty, not shocking, and make this beer downright, delicious. I kept humming/singing "Stone Brew" to the tune of Foghat's "Stone Blue" (for the 70s challenged, Foghat was a hard rock act.) as I drank it.

One of, if not the best pale out there. Yum. A big thanks to Murph for sending this my way.

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Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 984 ratings.
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