Cumberland Pale Ale | Barrel House Brewing Company

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Cumberland Pale AleCumberland Pale Ale
62 Ratings
Cumberland Pale AleCumberland Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Barrel House Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-30-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of BEERchitect
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Though it has been a year since I first tried the Pale, my impresseions of the beer remains the same. This time from the bottle, the beer poured a fizzy carbonated copper, golden color that fails to promise any meaningful body or texture. Flavors allow a metallic / hop flavor to dominate the sweeter malts. Quite solvant-like and grainy on the palate. Though the beer weakens into the finish, it fails to leave any meaningful hop or malt aftertaste. Once again, a beer that struggles for mediocracy.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A tenatious, frothy head of yellowed off-white foam caps Barrelhouse's pale ale. Below it a clear, orange-copper body rests gently, showing only the occassional bubble steadily streaming upwards. The head retention is excellent, and even when it eventually falls it maintains a solid surface covering. Walls of thick lace about the glass complete the scene. Very nice appearance!

Worty, caramelish malt and yeasty fruitiness greet you in the nose before a delicate waft of citrusy hops comes through.

In the mouth it's decidedly medium bodied, bordering on medium-full; and its restrained, very-fine bubbled carbonation leaves it creamy and smooth across the palate.

Rich malt dominates the flavor: sweetish, caramel drenched, and somewhat worty. Some acidic, lightly citrusy and sublimely-piney hops work their way through, and in conjunction with the rock-solid bitterness beneath, help to reign in the malt and bring it to a drying finish. It lingers in the mouth: malty, caramelish and piney with a mild grapefruit and papaya/apricot edge.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Early Cincinnati brewers shipping their beer into Tennessee would generously hop their beer to prevent spoilage during the long, arduous trip over the Cumberland trail."

--BarrelHouse Brewing Company website

Brightly buffed tangerine with lemon drop edges. The light, bright color leads me to hope that pale and carapils malt are favored over caramel and Munich. A good looking three finger lid was created on the pour and looks happy to be here. Palest pastel orange in color, it's firmly creamy enough to last and tacky enough to deposit a fat ring of pocked lace just above the nonick bulge.

It's too bad that the nose isn't as vibrant as the appearance. Cumberland Pale Ale is a Cascade-only APA and their sweet white grapefruitiness is easily identifiable. Now for the bad news. The aroma isn't very sunny or citric-bright, partly because it's held back by the non-pale members of the malt bill. Yeah, I'm looking at you Munich. Who the hell puts Munich malt in their pale ales anyway? Bad move.

It's marginally better on the palate, but there's still a touch too much earthy maltiness getting in the way of my lupulin love. A bargeload of hops could have overcome it, but a bargeload has not been provided. This is still tasty beer though and I'll probably be tempted to nudge the taste score throughout the bottle. We'll see.

I wouldn't mind so much if the malt flavor was more sugar cookie-like instead of earthy, toasted and mildly caramel-like. The sweetness of the malt and the fullness of body that it provides is welcome. This is one of those APAs that I wish came with a hop knob so that I could bump it upwards with each mouthful until the balance (speaking as an unrepentant hophead) was juuust right.

As noted above, the body is on the full side of medium and just might be the best part about this beer. It fills the mouth with flavor without feeling the least bit heavy or sticky. Okay, so it's slightly sticky, but that's a good thing. I'm pretty sure that these guys have only recently started bottling so the fact that they nailed the carbonation (restrained) the first time out is encouraging.

How did I not know that BarrelHouse existed? I try to keep up on Ohio brewing news, but I haven't been in Cincinnati for almost a decade now. It's probably not fair to judge them after only drinking two of their offerings, so I won't. They have potential though and it's nice to see another second tier brewery in the Buckeye State.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange, with a nicw white head. This faded very fast, leaving really nothing in its wake, small lace on the top but nothing down the sides of the glass. Lots of visible carbonation, bubble chains rippling from the bottom of the glass till the top. Smells starts out very hoppy, with hints of citrus, grapefruit and pineapple. Warming reveals more of the balance from the malts. Breads and grains now are coming through, along with a subtle candy like sweetness. Only drawback here is the smell is light, I would have liked this to be a bit more of a player here. Taste is crisp, clean, refreshing. Bitter citrus hops at first gradually balance out and leave a nice earthy, grassy taste. The grainy flavors come into play again, but are ushered out by a nice dry hoppy finish. Consistency here is very nice, again well balanced, good carbonation, and low ABV of 4.6% make this one easily sessionable. This bomber was finished with ease during dinner. The lightness of this would even make it a good start to someone not familar with craft brew. Good Call IMO.

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Photo of Billolick
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, pry off cap. Clear, typical almond amber, under a long lasting light tan head, and leaving plenty of thick, sheeting and wildly scattered lacing. Nice looking brew. Nose is mildly of bread crusts. Bready, balanced ale. Notes of more bready malts, apricot, and honey, and late in the experience, just some mild leafy hop notes to dry things out a bit. Nothing amazing, just a session able and respectably well crafted pale.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everyone at Bierkraft was raving about this one. So here goes.

Pours a clear orange gold. Nose is hops. Perfumed pine ones with some citrus aspects in there too. Flavor is full and even. Consistent delivery of hoppy profile. Appropriate level of bitterness. Just a full body of flavor. Very good liquid body and the carbonation is very good as well. Overall, everyone at Bierkraft was right about this one. A very good APA that is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jpm30 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is hoppy, slighlty malty, slightly spicy, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, hoppy, slight malts, a spicy hint, and some caramel. The finish has a nice bitterness. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty APA, a good choice, recommended.

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Photo of plaid75
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy light copper hue with a three finger chunky white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured some sweet orangy hops and a light doughy grain.

The taste was upfront light hop resins with hints of orange and pine. A pretty good grain bill lent a subtle breadiness.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a pretty tasty APA, with a very, very sessionable side.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear amber body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a rocky off-white head that last and last.

S- This beer has a nose of caramel malt with a soft sweetness and a pine hop finish.

T- This beer has a slight caramel malt sweetness with a biscuit malt dryness. The hops have a nice earthy note with some earthy qualities. The finish is a nice bitter punch that lingers for just a bit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a fullness in the finish that is not really creamy but pretty clean instead.

D- This beer has nice balance from hops to malt and a good fresh complexity to both. The hops have an interesting depth with out being overpowering.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Lewis13 from RB. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head fades at a moderate to fast pace down to a layer of bubbles, and lacing is average. Aroma makes me think of slightly soured fruit puree coupled with sweet malt. Probably doesn't make much sense, but that's what I get. Taste is grainy sweetness upfront, fruity in the middle, coupled with sort of musty hops character. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkability just suffers from the nose and flavors I noted before. Not something I'd search out again.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper. Thin off white head. Lace is spotty and distant. Not a lot on the nose. Grundgy malts. Little hops to speak of. Maybe I catch just a bit of an herbal hop presence....if I try real hard. Flavor is so-so. Doesn't have any of those bright hop tones I expect in an APA. But it's fairly agreeable overall in taste. Hops add just a touch of fragrance and a drying aspect. Malts are biscuity in nature....but very light at that. This is kind of a disappointment even though there are no flaws to speak of. Just one of those beers that is blah-blah.

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Photo of morimech
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little bit darker than most APAs. Amber color with two fingers of head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is dominated by the malt. Smells more Marzen than APA with its strong caramel malt aroma. Some grapefruit from the hops as well. The taste has too much caramel malt. This malt dominates the Cascade hops. Bitterness is there so you know the hops got added to this beer but they are just not making their presence known in the flavor. The body is a little bigger than most and is nicely carbonated. A decent brew and I would try again if I knew it was really fresh.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. Nitro Version: The flavor was warmer and more subdued out of the nitro tap and I actually enjoyed it more, although in that form it lost some of the typical IPA attributes. The hops were definitely present but masked. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear amber body with a few slowly developed bubbles floating up within. Thinning, pinky high capping of quickly set and fading creamy foam that's a dirted white. A few splotches of lace get thrown about and stick to the glass.

Soft clean nose with caramel and warmed nuttyness with a fuzzy hint of lime and orange skin.

Tasts is simple and delicate in nature with an easy front of balanced in caramel and a smallish of small tangerine, orange, lemony hint of hops. Toasted nuttyness is found sneaking in very, very lightly. Finish is light with a brief fluff of skin and pith citric bitterness thats soft and teeters out very lightly. Not a whole ton of flavors, nor does it carry much length or interest. Fairly average, yet impactful enough for finishing off the bomber with ease.

Feel is light to medium in body, clean, slipperishly malty with caramel with a tenderly firm carbonation at the realm of each sip. Not watery, but definately thin in complexion mostly. A slight malt builds up after a bit that holds a tiny citric fluff off to the edges, but stays mostly malted sweet.

An OK to very average APA. Clean and respectable, but just doesn't pull enough flavor through and what it does have doesn't pull enough weight with it.

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Photo of gford217
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber courtesy of SixPackSunday poured into a snifter

Pours a hazy golden orange with a big three finger head that shows strong retention as some minimal lacing. It smells very light and fruity, like applesauce, with a good bit of light grains. Taste is also very light with grains and a very faint hop presence dominated by light fruits. Mouthfeel is very light with heavy carbonation - crisp and clean. This beer is fairly drinkable despite being relatively nondescript in terms of taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of jsh420
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

after drinking the dortmunder for barrel house i thought i try more since they dont distribute in IL. anymore and whats on the self is it

pours copper with a huge head (so pour slowly)- also poured out some yeast that was in the bottle that left floaties

smell/taste - was much like their dortmunder spiced apples with a decents malts and light grasy hops

mouthfeel/drinkability is very light and refreshing good carbonation that leaves a dry crisp finish

overall - this beer is not really a pale ale but still it is very tasty and will buy more of these while supplies last

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Photo of Brent
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper/gold. Mouthfeel was good, with a nice balance of malt and carbonation. Hopping was substantial but in range for the style. The hops were a bit one-dimensional, with blunt bittering, but not much else in the way of herbal, pine or citrus notes - probably more in line with an English pale ale than what I think of as the American. Drinkability was good in that the bottle went down easily, but otherwise average in that I was ready for something else, notwithstanding the low abv and session potential.

I was surprised to read the label note about beers shipped to Tennessee from Ohio being highly hopped to survive the journey. Shipping from England to India, I can buy that. But Cinci. to Knoxville? Sounds like marketing hype to me. And if they are going to call this Cumberland Pale Ale, they should use a depiction of Cumberland Falls - the one on the bottle looks nothing like it.

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Photo of merlin48
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a chill hazed honey amber with a three finger almond hued head. Good retention with drapes of patchy lace.

Aroma is caramel and toffee maltiness with some subdued pine and grapefruit notes.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium body and carbonation.

Taste opens with toffee malt sweetness. Somewhat bready. Hop bitterness is more assertive than in the aroma as pine and grapefruit bitterness balances the sweetness.

Well balanced overall and the low abv makes for good sessionablity. Still, a bit timid for style.

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Photo of Vancer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A hazy amber orange pour greeted me, and the orangy citrus aroma only entices me more. Really enjoying watching the sheet laces slide around the snifter glass, and the taste is top notch in my book.

More of the west coast style, more fruit than floral – my favorite type of pale ale. The bread notes really ratchet this up a bit, and the lite alcohol of 4.6% really make this a summer session brew.

I’m glad Barrel house is now in the Midwest, but this beauty was sent in the Simply Beer BIF from Mike (mcallister)

The hop meter on the bottle was almost maxed out to the right, as fully hop city – com’on, it has a LONG way to go!

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Photo of tgbljb
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep golden color with moderate slightly off-white head.
Great lacing.
Smell is very light, with a slight fruity character.
Taste is profoundly dry and bitter. I can't detect any malt flavor, all it is is dry and bitter.
Finish has more dry bitterness.
Really a one-dimensional beer. OK, but not great.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at a local Cincinnati establishment called Salem Gardens. Not much head on the first one, but the 2nd one was better, still less than one finger though. Didn't last all that long either. Slight citrus smell and a copperish color, very appealing. I think the first thing I noticed was the smoothness of the beer in my mouth. Glides right on down. Pleasant lemony orangey tones quickly overtaken by the hop bitterness. As the citrus fades, the bitterness mellows to a dry finish and provides hop aftertaste for a minute or so afterwards. This was served colder than optimal, take your time drinking it and by the time you reach the end of the glass you'll see the difference, especially when you taste the first sip of that 2nd cold one.

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Photo of Beejay
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Straw in color, like apple juice. Not a whole lot of head here, but what was there was white. This beer is crystal clear.. Beautiful.

S: A good bit of malt, some caramel, and then the hops.. Not overpowering at all... This one is a close sniffer.. gotta get close to really pick out the nuances of it.

T: A nice caramel note as well as some malty goodness sets a very nice backbone for the hops. Hops come in the middle to the finish and I taste a lot of grapefruit and citrus. Overall it is clean and refreshing, but there is something about the hops that I am not in love with, which is odd, since I have recently become a big fan of Cascade in general.

M: Very clean finish, maybe a tad high on the carbonation. but overall pretty good.

D: One of the local brews I can be proud of. Unfortunately still not widely distributed, but sure tastes good.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel House- Cumberland Pale Ale

Thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Hazy orange/ brown with a frothy thick head. Heavy lacing down the glass.
S- Crisp citrus, lemon and orange come through along with a sweet caramel malt.
T- Swet vanilla caramel malt with a juicy sweet orange citrus tea leaf snap. A big bold ice tea like taste?!
M- Crisp and sweet. big fruit laden finish.

Overall- Very tasty and being under 5% alc. this could be drunk in volumes!!

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Photo of kmpitz2
2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber. The beer is all head. It pours basically an entire glass of head, that settles somewhat slowly to a full coat over top of the brew. After it settles, the brew is a solid copper color with moderate clarity and a modest carbonation whisping off the bottom. The aroms is moderately phenolic and medicinal, with some hints of sweet oranges, and a slightly herbal and peppery hop. I'm not enjoying this. The flavor is sour, with a light orange sweetness and solid phenolics. This reminds me of some of the the flavors I found in their first brew I tried, leading me to believe that this is a systematic issue in the brewery, and not related to batches, therefore I feel it appropriate to review this beer. The aftertaste is astringent bitterness, lacking much in the way of flavor I associate with hop bitter. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very light carbonation. Overall, this one is a disappointment to me. I will give it another shot when I have a chance to see if this bottle is an outlier, as I hope it is.

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Photo of mcallister
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shades of copper with a fluffy large white head with great retention. Nothing overly exciting yet very nice to look at.

4.5 on the nose due too the simple fact that this is one of the better smelling pale ales I've had the pleasure of sniffing in recent months. Full of citrusy floral hop aromas and a mellow malt backing. Grapefruit, orange peel, full and complex. Very nice.

This must have just been made and bought directly to Bostons. Fresh is the name of the game. Wet chewy hops full of citrusy suprise. Tangerine, lemon rind, hints of bubble gum, and a mellow toffee malt that integrates quite well.

Mouth is medium too full with a perfect amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high.

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Cumberland Pale Ale from Barrel House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 62 ratings