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Striped Bass Pale Ale | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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Striped Bass Pale AleStriped Bass Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 05-09-2012

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 200
Reviews by smakawhat:
Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real soapy white three finger head with lots of staying power though, with big swiss cheese bubbles. Body color is a real golden brass amber, hints of lager looking classic Backbone brewing here, with slow rising carbonation coming up. Quite not use to looking at this and imagining ale, but it looks like a classic impressive lager.

Bouquet hits with a mild balanced mix of light hop, sweet malts and toasty grains and bread. Spicy. Clove like in nature with a bit more sweetness. Quite nice, a little "perfume" like smelling.

Wonderful texture and palate feel. Feels large and malt rich with a somewhat quick grass, but then the after finish brings a real nice lime astringent character. Bready malts hit with lots of toasty aromas. Nice finishing sweetness with lime hop character too.

Overall, I think I would love to save the Cheseapeake like this more often! Tasty memorable pale ale.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy, golden color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malt, imparting notes of crackers, biscuits and English muffins. I get some aromas of caramel, clover, honey-suckle and a touch of piney hops.

Taste: Wow! Lots of flavor! Toasted malt up front, followed by some nice caramel and honey-like sweetness, a touch of black pepper and coriander, finished by some pronounced, but beautifully balanced piney hops. Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, crisp and effervescent as there is quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 5.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: What an excellent, excellent, American Pale Ale! Spectacular! At least to my palate. Fans of hoppier pale ales might find this a bit lacking, but I love it! It could easily become my favorite American pale ale. Another killer beer from Devils Backbone, my favorite Virginian brewery!

 1,090 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My fellow CANQuester (TM) and local, in-person trader, tone77, CAN refer to me as "The CAN Man" all that he wants, but he always surprises me with the odd CANs as part of his massive drop-offs. A limited release beer and in a CAN!?! Perfect.

From the CAN: "Great Beer Deserves Clean Water"; "From mountain streams and coastal rivers to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the water connects us all. Your purchase of Striped Bass Pale Ale helps Devils Backbone Brewing Company and its supporters fund the education and restoration program of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation."; "We thank you for your support!"; The icthyalogically-correct rendtion of the fish in question is also identified on the CAN by its Latin designation, "Morone saxatilis"; "Save the Bay".

I am down with this in so many ways! I am a Piscean by birth and a sailor by trade and I spent many sea and anchor details coming in and out of Norfolk, VA on the Chesapeake Bay while on active duty in the US Navy. In fact, it is the underway time that I miss second-most to the camaraderie in my retirement. This makes me want to have some striped bass for lunch to go with this beer, but I will have to make do with something else.

The Crack and inverted Glug resulted in two fingers of rocky, foamy bone-white head with limited retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity and Croesus and King Midas sat across from me, drooling, Nose had a delicate grassy hopiness to it, more in keeping with what I expect from the style. I think that the line between APAs and AIPAs has become very blurred and the description somewhat muddled. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the hops were very grassy on the tongue. This seemed to me to be what I expect in the style. I just had Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale, another APA and it seemed closer to an AIPA, as a point of reference. Finish was semi-dry, again quite grassy, especially on the extreme finish. Not only did I like it, but since it does come in a CAN, I would recommend it for a beach fish fry.

BTW, this marks the 800th beer of The CANQuest (TM)!

 2,115 characters

Photo of scbeerman
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is an underrated retro-style APA (think SNPA or Sweetwater 420). It's a true pale ale rather than a mislabeled IPA like many well-known examples of the style.
L: Clear orange/gold color with half a finger of foamy white head, ok but not good retention. With a better head would be rated higher.
S: light orange scent from the hops mixed with slightly sweet malt, toasted grain and some grassy scent. Light but pleasant.
T: much like the nose, I get a little citrusy hop flavor reminiscent of candied orange along with refreshing gentle bitterness and grassy flavors which balance the mild malt character well. Not going to blow your mind but this is a tasty beer.
F: extraordinarily drinkable and this is by far its best characteristic. Smooth, crisp, everything a pale ale should be.
O: this beer is underrated because it's not a monster beer, but it doesn't need to be one. It's light but not too light and eminently drinkable; better than the sum of its parts. Kind of hard to find because it's not their most popular beer, but I buy this every chance I get and keep it in the fridge almost constantly.

 1,111 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to smokeypeat for this one, always exciting to crack open a canned pale ale. The Striped Bass pours out goldenrod and yellow with a mild chill haze being the only thing standing in the way of reasonable clarity. A white head foams up and quickly settles to a thin film and a broken collar outlining the pale brew. Just a few, small, wet spots of lace are left on the glass above.

Mild floral notes crowd the aroma along with grassy type hops and a faint peppery note. Gettin' hammered on some green grass and high tides, baby. There's a very mild citrus tint to the aroma, like someone smacked you in the face with a week-old grapefruit peel, then it disappeared forever. Not quite as bombarding and raw I would like my pale ales to be, however I don't see anything glaring or wrong with the aroma, either.

The taste isn't quite as hoppy or bitter as I was expecting, as the hop bill must've exerted all of its power on my nostrils. The mild, malty backbone is finally noticeable and provides a good canvas for these American hops to work; pale malts with a touch of faintly sweet bread. Grassy and leafy hops fill the mouth like you were a cow at dinnertime.

That mild peppery spice is back, though the grapefruit from before has nearly vanished completely. Some earthiness, dirt, and a hint of sulfur finish things off - not so sure the sulfur is a welcomed addition, though it's not up to distracting or off-putting levels. Thin-medium bodied for the style with a good amount of carbonation. Crisp, mostly dry, and snappy mouth feel, pretty much what I've come to expect from pale ales.

Not so sure why the ratings on this are so extremely low. I mean, it's not a world beater or anything like that, but it's still a moderately enjoyable pale ale with it's only real weakness being the fact that there are already so many other, slightly more robust pale ales out there. You might be able to say that it's a little boring and/or one-dimensional... Yes, it's simple, but it's still a pretty decent pale ale that's easy enough to put down.

 2,052 characters

Photo of Bitzer
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Cvillebogey
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours gold, with moderate carbonation and 1/4 inch had. Taste is herbal hops and English pale malt. Above average pale ale, but nothing I would rush out to get again.

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Photo of cbradio
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of dankjohn
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of briandaube
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dmk91
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of dcbeers
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, courtesy of the brewery during GABF 2013 and Denver Beer Week.

This beer pours a clear pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, rather loosely foamy dirty white head, which leaves some sparse island chain lace around the glass as things slowly drop away.

It smells of lightly grainy pale caramel malt, mildly stale lemon and grapefruit citrus peel, and more floral, herbal hop notes. The taste is biscuity, semi-sweet caramel malt, overly sweet white bread, citrus cream, a bit of tame table-top pepper, and earthy, herbal hops.

The carbonation is rather laid-back and ineffectual, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready pale malt really the only thing interested in prolonging this affair.

A more-or-less above average APA, the hops a little too floral and herbal, versus assertive and bitter for my liking. Easy drinking overall though, but uninteresting enough to engender a desire to move on to something different sooner rather than later.

 1,024 characters

Photo of Speedihd
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of tclipse
3.64/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ordybill
3.86/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass. This is a golden yellow brew that has a nice hop aroma. It has a small white head and is a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.

 184 characters

Photo of tabascosigned
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of OldSwampy
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap 10 June 2016 at the Devil's Backbone Outpost north of Lexington, Virginia.

Straw beer with a white head. Nose dominated by mild leafy hops, not particularly strong. Taste profile: the hops rise and fall smoothly over a lean malt base, but rather uncomplicated overall. Leaves a lightly oily, bitter aftertaste. Nothing out of character with the style, just not too exciting. Hard to find anything more than 3.5 scores across the board here. Competent, but I know this place makes more exciting beers. On the other hand, for fun I would like to do a blind comparison with this, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and one or two other "true" pale ales.

 647 characters

Photo of KMcG
3.21/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler purchased from the brewery a few hours ago. The color is a clear straw yellow and it has a nice 2 finger head that dissipates quickly to no lacing.  A small rime of head rims the glass. 

The smell is honey, slight citrus hops and malty.

The taste is well balanced with some lemon and bready character.  It's crisp, but leaves a doughy quality in the aftertaste. 

The beer is light, easy to drink, and refreshing.  

Overall, this beer is one that I would seek out for a summer day.  I wish the hops were a bit stronger as is more typical with APA.  

 581 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz can. Pours a crystal clear pale gold with a big frothy bright-white head. This leaves back huge sticky swathes of sudsy lace. Smells grassy and citric with some soft doughy malt along the back. The taste has a bit more going on with it, being grassy and pithy feeling with a resinous edge. Light notes of herbal and tropical fruit character, as well as some bready malt, helps soften the hops a bit. Bitterness and pine stick to the tongue on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mellow crispness to the carbonation which glides well. This was OK. The nose could have given up a bit more but it definitely had some decent assertive hoppiness going on. You could do worse than packing some cans of this along on a trip.

 736 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

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Striped Bass Pale Ale from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 200 ratings.
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