Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
983 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.

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Reviews: 983 | Ratings: 2,714
Photo of bditty187
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, coppery-bronze in hue, an off-white head reached two fingers in height. This is a very lovely looking beer. It had steadfast head retention, it took a moment before it started to collapse, and a firm cap remained throughout consumption. The subsequent lacing was very webby and quite rampant. The nose says “Pale Ale” but it doesn’t shout at me with hops alone, yes there are the typical hoppy notes of citrus, flowers, and pine. But the caramel malt is more than just a passing fad. The bouquet is well rounded and very inviting with modest potency. Like the nose suggested, the palate confirmed, this is a Pale Ale! Hell yeah! The bitterness is firm but not out of hand, citursy and piney hops flavors start the taste off on the right food, caramel, slightly toasty malts follows, ale fruitiness too, and by the finish the hops and malt blend in perfect harmony. This is quite the flavorful Pale Ale, very balanced and one of the best representations of the style I have ever had. Medium in body. Natural, soft but filling carbonation, the mouthfeel is very encompassing, relaxing. This is an ideal beer to drink on a regular basis. Stone Pale Ale is every bit as tasty as SNPA. When I was in Fort Collins I was smart enough to purchase a six-pack of this nectar, I figured this would make a great beer to chill with in the hotel (it was). I did save one bottle to review. Now I realize I should have bought two six-packs or a case or a one-way plane ticket to San Diego.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to my pint glass, The liquid is a cloudy Yellow with good carbonation. the head is 3 fingers and rocky, great retention, small lace.

The smell is a big hop statement, Getting to be average.

The taste is.... WOW Zing POW! Dang! Got me.. Nice, smooth, well balanced not the hop bomb I was expecting. Hopy but not over the top. Well Done!

The mouth feel is Coating and creamy. Excellent body. not too sharp a bit.

The drinkability in way high, nothing holding it back. Prosit MK

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Photo of yankiac
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy golden amber with a thin lace

S - Slight hints of citrus hops and a hint of maltiness

T - Slightly malty up front with a piney hop finish

M - Light body for easy drinking

D - This is a session beer for sure.

Notes: Not as bold as the other stone brews which is nice. Good to see that not every brew needs to push the limits.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

My first experience with Stone, as it just hit my local Total Wine today. It's got a lot of hype going for it...or working against it? We'll see!

A - Clear copper. Large, 3 finger, beige head rises with great retention. After 5+ minutes there's still a thick cap atop the beer. Lots of lacing.

S - Not what I expected, but quite good. A good bit of buttery, toffee malt is present with a slight toasty quality. Predominately floral hops ride atop with some citrus aspects.

T - This is nearly the epitome of balance. The malty smoothness takes hold early palate with a buttery and slightly caramel flavor. The toastiness is a great contributor but doesn't overtake. The hops come next; it's a little unfamilar to me but I'm getting a very interesting balance of grapefruit, grass, tea, and a little bit of cheese. Very good though. The hops go out on an herbal note, leaving some trace bitterness and a smidge of graininess.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. At first I was put off by the heavier body and lighter carbonation as compared to other APAs, but it works extremely well with the flavor profile, and though a little unconventional I couldn't imagine this brew any other way.

D - One of the best session beers I can think of. Extremely well balanced. Not too weak, not too intense.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single 12 ounce bottle of this from La Cav Du Vin. Poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear medium amber copper color with a nice foamy head about 2 fingers thick that settles to about a finger and then half a finger thick before settling further to a decent ring lining the inside of the glass. Has some nice lacing indeed. Aromas of hops and malt are present, not much else though. Some light hints of caramel, citrus, and spice are present as well. I expected the smell to be a bit stronger. Hops and sweet malt are the tastes upfront, followed by some bitterness, and some hints of spice and citrus. The malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness are very well balanced. Has a nice crisp, smooth, and full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. As with all of Stone's beers, this one is certainly unique. It is also the most mellow, non ass kicking & non in your face type of beer that I have ever had from Stone. This is a good beer for a macro BMC drinker to try who has never had anything from Stone before. Overall I think this beer is a unique, if not good ,representation of the APA style of beer. I will drink this again. A mellow & subtle beer, especailly for Stone, but quite enjoyable as well.


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Photo of johnwarne
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer haiku for you:

"What a nice surprise!
A California taste treat;
Winner from the West".

I have walked by this beer and brewery so many times, believing it to be one of myriad pricey but underwhelming American breweries with delusions of grandeur. To quote my dear old Aunt Sassy from the Panhandle: 'well, slap my mouth'! Extremely drinkable and tasty APA.
Such a pleasant surprise--will definitely check out more of the Stone Company's offerings.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extremely under rated American Pale Ale that epidomizes what the balance means between bready and caramel malts with citrusy and resiny hops. Neitehr offend, but neither back down from the challenge of balance. Bold and synergistic throughout.

Redish copper colors carry a mild haze, but explode with mousse-like head character of ivory-white foam. Stubborn and persistent until the glass is dry, the blanketed retention and lacing are as formitable and sticky as can be expected for any style.

Very rich and characterful malts (light caramel and bread crust) and compimentary hopping (citrus, pine, and resin) all apease the nose and taste buds. A well balanced blend of these characteristics captivate the nose and carry a consistent demeanor throughout the taste. All the while, showing intermitten and varying degrees of flavors: citrus one minute, then bready-toast flavors the next, then over to malty sweetness a minute later, and then back to resiny bitterness to finish. A true exploration for the taste buds from sip until malty-dry finish

With all the swirling in the mouth, the body remains rich, full, and firm. Finishing with the same semi-dry, citrus crispness that profounds me in the nose.

The beer never deviates from the Pale Ale style in order to stand out or get above the competition. Instead, relying on a well formulated recipe and quality brewing techniqes. A delicately blended brew with power and variety. Oh, by the way, one of the best appearances found in any beer, not just pale ales.

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Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that is complimented with an equally good hop aroma. It's slightly bitter smelling with some citrus notes. The taste is great! It has a wonderful mix of malts and hops that goes down smooth and finishes bitter with some hop residue. It has enough malts to balance the hops, but they really shine through all the way to finish; very nice. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good American pale ale. It's got it all; a fine drinking beer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a killer pale ale.

It pours slightly hazy orange color with a fantastic eggshell froth that drapes the glass in lace. Citric hops and honeyish malts make up the nose. The taste is chock full of fragrant, pithy, grapefruity hops. A slight woody/herbal notion is also detectable. Perfect balance is acheived by a generous dose of cookie dough malts. Hop bitterness is restrained, ensuring this brew never strays into IPA range. The mouthfeel is light and generously, yet delicately carbonated. Floral hops and a bit of bitterness make up the finish.

One of the best Pale Ales Ive yet tried. Definitely worth a try, it rivals SNPA in deliciousness.

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Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear deep coppery amber beer topped by a dense light tan/off-white head. The foam showed excellent retention and left thick rings down the sides of the glass. Aroma was a nice mix of grassy/floral hops, light citrus and caramel.

There's a lot going on in the flavour. Caramel sweetness starts things off with hops becoming dominant soon after. Some fruitiness peeks through as well. Bitterness is quite strong all the way through and give it a dry, medium length finish, with a bit of piney hop resin that sticks around a while after that. Medium body and served at medium-low carbonation. The texture was smooth and delicious.

This is a great beer that I could see myself drinking on a regular basis. Lots of flavour and quite refreshing. Too bad it's made so far from home...

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange amber with a surprisingly dense foamy head.

Aroma is mellow citrus hop and toasted malt.

Taste is a complex bready toasted caramel malt with a lot of subtle flavor. Then a pleasant sweet tropical fruitiness - notably orange and melon. Finishes with a spicy, earthy bitterness with lingering tobacco notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall smooth and flavorful. A great example of an APA. Easy to drink with a lot of subtle flavor that I look for in lower gravity beers. Hops are apologetically west coast in character without being overpowering.

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Photo of Crosling
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Pale Ale poured a dark dingy orange with a modest white head that laced up well throughout the session. Beautiful color!

Faint fruits in the aroma, slight caramel and a lot of citrus flavors in the nose. This really doesn't smell that well to be honest.

Lovely flavor! Really drinkable and a great session beer for sure. Starts pretty sweet with some tropical fruit flavors. Caramel comes out in the mid-palate. Sharp hops on the finish, slightly bitter but very pleasant. The most moderate beer Stone offers. Very mild and a good "warm up" to the rest of their beers.

Not bad.

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Photo of tbbrown
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copper, with slight haze, a great, thick, foamy off-white head that retains and creates nice lacing to the end

Smell: Some caramel, malt nose, fruit, hop

Taste: Strong hop at the end for the style, some nice malty flavors, too

Mouthfeel: great, smooth. Great carbonation, silky, a bit more course toward the end.

Drinkability: Great, love it.

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Photo of alexgash
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I vaguely remember trying this on cask at the Stone 7th Anniversary party, but it’s a little fuzzy (too much Speedway Stout that afternoon?). Anyhow, I’m sure it was great based on how much I liked the bottled version, which…
Pours a deep, yet bright, copper with a sticky, thick, light-khaki head.
Smells of maple syrup, caramel apples, and sugar, but also has a substantial hop balance to it.
Tastes much like it smells. Sweetish fruit and waffle cone malt. Hops come in, seemingly un-intimidated by the big maltiness. Bitter resin and citrus flavors carry into the finish, with lingering butterscotch/fruit. Yum. This is a big-bodied APA, that actually reminds me of some breweries IPAs. Very drinkable, just wish I had more.

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Photo of Offa
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red-gold-amber, it has a med.-big off-white head slowly shrinking to a foamy ring & wisps with some nice lace.

Aroma is very West Coast but excellent, not only clean but with good depth, balance, and complexity. It has caramelized grapefruit, light pine, lemon pith, caramelized toast and caramel.

Taste is excellent example of a classic West Coast style APA, with excellent body, character, depth, balance, and complexity. It has spicy-peppery grapefruit-pine bitterness with caramel and toasty sweetness, juicy yeastiness.

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

This one must’ve just made its triumphant arrival in the Buckeye state because suddenly six-packs are showing up everywhere. While I was glad to see it, I found it rather silly that a 5.4 percent pale ale would cost two dollars more than a 6.8 IPA! Ratcheting up production? Or is it the Levitation that is relatively rare? I digress.

From the new brewery, best before 1/17/07. Quite fresh. Physical presence is immaculate polished bronze. Streaming bubbles under a clingy white head.

Aroma is sedate, at least by Stone standards. Fresh, clean, and clear (wait, isn’t that a Budweiser ad?) and its hop profile reminds me a bit of tapered-off IPA.

I’ve drank a million pale ales in my time and it takes something special to get my attention at this point. This one does; it’s the rare pale ale that’s excitingly hoppy and malty…you don’t get sick of either of the strong and competing flavors. Crisp, hoppy, but not thin or overly bitter.

This could easily convince people to come over to the darkside. Really good.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. Pours a clear amber color with a thick and frothy two finger off-white head that settles slowly and heavily laces the glass. Aroma is malty and sweet with notes of honey, caramel, citrus, grapefruit, spice and floral hops. Flavor is also sweet and malty with notes of floral hops, honey and caramel, bread, yeast, slight citrus and hop overtones. Generally light to medium body with a pleasing malty finish. One of my favorite Pale Ales!

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Deep amber hue, creamy white head that is mostly diminishing, tiny thin particles, slight lacing

S- Nose is malty and caramel with some subtle citrus hoppiness

T- Very light caramel malt predominates throughout, short dry hoppiness very subtle in the finish. Well balanced and enjoyable. Spoke with a Stone employee who said this beer has won recent competitions as an ESB, go figure.

M- Smooth, medium body with a short, dry finish, soft carbonation

D- Great, easy-drinking APA (ESB?). This is a very refreshing beer that I will continue to enjoy. I have also found this is a great 'gateway' craft beer for friends used to the macrobrews. I took some friends to the Stone Brewery and the hoppy IPAs were too much for most of them, but they all enjoyed this beer. One friend even bought a case of Stone Pale Ale the following week (this is a Texan who only drinks Bud!). If that isn't an endorsement, I don't know what is. . .

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a sampling goblet.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a clear amber with an average head & decent retention. Fair carbonation can be seen, and leaves some sticky broken lacing. Smells of bright/crisp grape, apple, following is a nice semi pungent grapefruit/pineapple/orange fruitiness, it's a bit spicy with herbal hop characteristics. Underlying sweet grainy, malty notes as well, mildly spicy with earthy notes overall.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of sweet grainy notes, slightly bready, soft notes of molasses, finishing flavors consist of sweet fruit juices, grapefruit, pineapple, and orange juices, and a slight earthy characteristic. Lingering finish of bread a slightly burnt biscuit like hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, smooth with a small bite to it, it's slightly crisp and lite-medium bodied. Contributes a nice crispness to the flavor profile.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Well it's pretty good if not ever so slightly underwhelming. It had a different earthy flavor characteristic with a nice roasted hop bitterness on the finish, it kind of reminded me of Winter Warmers. The appearance was definitely better than allot of APAs Ive had, and one could probably drink 2-3 pints of this tasty brew. I think I would have appreciated a slightly fuller, more slick of a mouthfeel, but overall this beer is drinkable & sessionable. Very tasty. Cheers!

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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, 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 Zaradog
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Visual:Dull copper color, SRM value somewhere between 13-17.

Aroma: Slightly sweet smelling, not sure where that is coming from. Also has a moderate citrusy smell (Grapefruitish) but you don't sense a bitterness from the smell.

Taste: There is definitely a bit of hops in there, but it is nearly perfectly balanced with the maltiness. I'm actually surprised at bow little bitterness I pick up. I can sense it is there but it is hidden to the entire tongue with the exception of deep in the back 1/2 way down the throat. And this bitterness comes in way late and then lingers for a while. I guess that is what they call "malt forward"

Mouth Feel: To me I think they nailed the right amount of carbonation. It borders on tingly, but isn't quite there. And to me that is a good thing.

Drink-ability: I like it enough to make it my sole drink for the night. However, I would want to either have something different at the end of the night... or just eat something. The back of the throat bitterness just lingers if you don't swallow something else to clean your throat/tongue.

Impressions: If you like Troeg's Hop Back or Two Brothers Pale Ale then this should be right up your alley.

Serving Type: Out of a bottle, poured first into a brandy snifter, then the second one was poured into a pint glass.

Reviewed on: 5/12/2011

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

Appearance: Crystal clear copper, big rocky white head, inviting, bubbly. Perfect looking ale.

Smell: Light malt, bready and yeasty, grassy, pungent.

Taste: Subtle malt character, flavors are light and in the background, grassy hops, very faint citrus, juicy, then a biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, lightly carbonated, nitro creaminess but still a crisp edge, super drinkable and smooth.

Drinkability: This is a really easy drinking APA, not big and hoppy, not really sweet, but this makes it really balanced and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is outstanding.

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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 Doomcifer
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear amber color with a nice off-white head that sticks around for a while, leaving nice lacing in it's wake.

Smell - maltiness balanced out with some floral, slightly citrusy hops.

Taste - Very balanced and smooth. Hoppy throughout but nothing overpowering, sweet, slightly biscuity malts rounding out the palette. Finishes a little dry with a nice hoppy and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Velvety mouthfeel, good carbonation, light body without being too light.

Drinkability - Extremely drinkable. One of the better APAs I have had the pleasure of having. Yum Yum.

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Photo of mattster
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened 22 fluid ounce "Bomber" Bottle, poured into Nonic Glass. I love the fact that Stone uses painted bottles, however this means I can't recycle them for my own use - oh well.

PA pours a nice rich head of 1.5" which holds at 1" with lacing on the glass. Brew is amber colored with nice haze.

Smell is of malts and light hoppyness - slight citrus. Taste is hoppy, with again, a light piney/citrus taste. Bubbles are present but not obnoxious. Well balanced and great finish. Very drinkable. This beer is one of my favorites and I was shocked that I had never reviewed it.

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Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,714 ratings.
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