Headstrong Pale Ale | Big Hole Brewing Company

95 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Headstrong Pale AleHeadstrong Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Big Hole Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hand-built with Montana barley. Kettle hopped with massive amounts of bittering and aroma hops for an invigorating , yet well-balanced Montana pale ale.

Added by xlperro on 07-23-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of DoctorZombies
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale Amber pour with giant fluffy off white head; thick, long lasting cap; moderate lacing; excellent clarity. Caramel malt/candy nose. Flavors of caramel followed by oranges; lightly bitter; more candy sweet than bitter. Medium lite, sticky mouthfeel; moderate minus carbonation. Ok, but I thought it was a little too sweet.

 325 characters

Photo of elglueckert
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fusebuddy
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sporklift87
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Darkmagus82
2.57/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a golden amber color with a tiny head of fizzy white foam. The head fades rather quickly, leaving a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is strong of a rather grainy smell mixed with a decent sum of an off cardboard and vegetal smell. There are some hints of a caramel and toast smell as well, but overall the aroma is not all that pleasent.

Taste – The taste begins with a moderate showing of a bready and grainy taste with a decent showing of some caramel and a little bit of corn. As the taste advances the sweeter flavors fade a bit all while the grainy flavors grow more intense in nature. Toward the end a little bit of a grassy and herbal taste join the flavor profile and with a loss of some more sweet and more cracker and biscuit like flavor taking out the bready tastes, one is left with a somewhat crisp but sorta odd flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in both its thickness and it carbonation. For the style it was fairly good, although nothing all that exceptional.

Overall – Ah... nothing really all that fantastic here. Maybe one to try if you can get it at a decent price, but otherwise don’t bother.

 1,290 characters

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of LoganMc
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Noelito76
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of shiguy16
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Sark
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very nice bright orange with swirling carbonation, pebbled light tan head with good lacing

Smell- light aroma of citrus and earthiness

Taste- caramel and light malt, hop finish is limited yet balanced, little astringent last finish

Mouthfeel- Medium-light, light carbonation tingle, relatively smooth

Overall- A good pale, something nice for an outdoor activity and for a session but not really standing out

 423 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Huffaroma
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Florida9
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big Hole Brewing HeadStrong Pale

A: Clear amber in color. Forms a minimal white head. Little retention. Light lacing.

S: Mild caramel malts and some light earthy and herbaceous hops.

T: Flavor is mildly malty, light caramel, and a bit of bread. Very light piney hops.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Mild bitterness. Appropriate carbonation. Mildly dry.

O: As much as I like big holes, I found this beer to be an unexciting and very average pale ale.

 462 characters

Photo of Johnhaley1989
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Molson2000
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of BeerBadger
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of durlta
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

473 mL can from the LCBO; listed at 5.5%. This was one of the first craft beers I ever tried, some time back around 2006-07. I don't recall much about it, didn't bother reviewing it, and - until now - had never seen it since. Also, it's really cheap, so why not give it a retry?

Pours a lovely copper colour, bright and clear, topped with one finger of puffy, off-white coloured head. Very good retention; the head lasts many minutes and leaves plenty of sticky lacing behind before finally dying down to a rocky cap. It's quite attractive visually, but the aroma isn't much to write home about. It smells of bready caramel malts, light citrus and honey - not off-putting, but nothing exceptional for the style.

The flavour leans on the sweet side, with grainy malts, toasted bread and brown sugar rather prominent. Some vague fruitiness that is hard to put my finger on - it's a little citrusy, but the sweetness and buttery mouthfeel reminds me more of brown pears. Decent hop presence that comes forward at the finish - their earthy, slightly herbal dryness make a valiant attempt to cut through the sweetness, but do not completely succeed. The aftertaste is mostly malty, with some honey sweetness. Light-bodied and a bit watery, with restrained carbonation that still provides a decent bite. Very easy to drink.

This is actually a pretty decent beer - and given the price, I might even buy it regularly (if it were available locally). It's not memorable, but it's a decent session ale that I wouldn't mind having the option of. As far as session beers go, I am not always in the mood for hoppy ones, or dark ones with lots of roasted malts, or pale lagers/pilseners. This is an enjoyable compromise that offers an alternative to those categories.

Final Grade: 3.49, on the higher end of a B-. Headstrong Pale Ale isn't going to blow anyone away, but it's still a highly drinkable ale that I wouldn't discourage others from trying. It's only two bucks - what have you got to lose? Not especially English in style, but definitely not exactly American-style either, so there's no reason to quibble over such details. Pretty good value for the price.

 2,157 characters

Photo of JohnLynch
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Headstrong Pale Ale from Big Hole Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 95 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.