Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale
Joseph James Brewing Inc.

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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,989
Ranked #50,067
2.95 | pDev: 18.31%
Joseph James Brewing Inc.
Nevada, United States
Notes: This beer is fermented with brown rice and sorghum to create a post-modern interpretation of a pale ale. Aggressive American hops accentuate and harmonize with the crisp pear-like esters.
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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz can, a sort of surprising new find on yer finer Alberta bottleshop shelves of late - I've been through Henderson, Nevada before, and have no memory of it, other than the boiling pavement on the way out to the Hoover Dam.

This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, very loosely (like the slots) foamy, and essentially fizzy dirty white (not gonna comment) head, which leaves absolutely nothing in the way of lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of over-perfumed department store shoppers, some rank buckwheat and/or sorghum graininess, stale (I know, it can't actually do that) honey, a musty yeastiness, that white grape juice that's been in the fridge for way too fucking long, and some subtle leafy, floral, and mildly citrusy hoppiness. The taste is acrid and very unpleasant sorghum 'malt', pithy black and white pepper spice, biscuity honey, well overripe apples, cooked organic (that's not a compliment) rice, and some further leafy, earthy, and very soap-forward floral green hop bitterness.

The carbonation is adequate, I suppose, but that's hardly relevant here, so I duly apologize to the local perky frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and not really smooth, I say without malice. It finishes trending dry, but in a still messed-up, queered cider manner.

Overall, time and time again, you play with fire, ya get burnt - I don't care how many sexy-ass 'American' hops you throw at the base grains here, ain't nothin' saving this from assaulting my better beer senses. Not worth the 'lifestyle' angle, and for the celiac beer lovers out there - move on, sons, nothing to see here.

Nov 25, 2016
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

2.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this at Underdog sports bar in Harrisburg poured from the bottle chilled in a pint.

The color is very pale lighter than white grape juice with transparent clarity. The smell is earthy almost perfume-like with a mix of peanut skin and an odd sweet ester.The feel is very thin and highly carbonated with dry finish and low sweetness with practically no alcohol influence.

The taste is worse than the aroma -after sampling I noticed that is is mostly rice fermented with no sorghum. The flavor is not sweet and is has a dry yet somewhat dirty sort of taste I can't quite describe it reminds me of peanut skins. This was not pleasant -I don't generally go out of my way to point out negative attributes but there was not much in the way of pleasant or enjoyable qualities to be had -avoid.

Jul 30, 2015
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bmeehan from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +1.7%

If I'm drinking a gluten free beer, I don't want it to taste like I'm drinking something that's missing something. And this beer feels like it's lacking something...gluten, I guess.

Dec 15, 2014
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mactrail from Washington

3.25/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

There really should be a category for gluten-free brews. I think people who are interested in this dietary category want to find all the gluten-free beers together. You can't compare this to a regular Pale Ale.

However, this is a pale color that is exactly straw color as others have noted. It's clear and filtered with just a few stray bubbles after the first flush of foam. The smell is that typical damp cardboard. The taste is rather sweet like a lager brewed with lots of corn, but not unpleasant. In fact, for a plain light lager style, this is one of the most drinkable gluten-free beverages I've had.

There is a touch of bitterness with a resiny note. From the 12 oz can purchased at Special Brews in Lynnwood, Washington.

May 08, 2014
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Zorro from California

2.26/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale yellow colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smells of apple cider. Fruity scent and strongly fruity.

Starts out fruity with a vanilla and apple flavor with a very dry finish. Mild bitterness. Still doesn't taste like beer.

Mouthfeel is seltzer water.

Overall it's a sorghum beer and that is a grain just never meant to make beer out of it. It's not completely revolting but it sure isn't good.

Mar 09, 2014
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WissBrauSean from Pennsylvania

2.91/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The beer pours a crystal clear straw color with a white head that retains a ring and a Friar Tuck cap throughout most of the drink. The lacing is there, but widely spaced in columns. Hey, for a gluten free beer, it's lucky to have a head, let alone lacing so ROCK ON!

It smells like cider mostly. Estery green apples and some floral hops.

The first sip is a whallup of hops overtop light sweet grains that comes off very much like soap. I let it sit for a few minutes and came back to it and found that it mellowed in the pilsner glass. It's bitter from start to finish that transitions midway through with lightly sweet diluted apple cider and a fairly pronounced hop finish that leaves you a little dry. Not bad. There are notes of rice, yes. Not balance well.

Mouthfeel is slightly slimy with a very thin body. Carbonation is pretty lively.

Overall, for a gluten free beer, I will give it an average score. As an APA I'd have to score it low, but it's not an APA really, so I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5. I won't seek it out again as I think the hops overpower everything.

Mar 14, 2013
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks again to woodychandler and his canquest for another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very pale yellow color with a small head. Smell is mild, some sweetness. Taste is a bit of hops up front, a touch of sweetness, lots of carbonation. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

Aug 29, 2012
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WastingFreetime from Wisconsin

3.42/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured an -extremely- pale diluted color of yellow with a flash head and a distinctly sake-like scent (not surprising given the rice content) along with a healthy dose of green apples and floral hopping. Flavor is an extremely stripped-down and basic engine of green and yellow apples with a thin garnish of dry white vinous and sake notes rising up on the stubby finish. Body is thin and somewhat undercarbonated but not to the point of being watery. I have to agree with other BA members : This one plays out a lot more like a gentle cider than a beer. Still, it's tasty, just....very different from the usual fare.

Jul 08, 2012
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another score from my most recent foray to Media, PA and Pinocchio's in support of The CANQuest (TM). I love those guys!

The Crack revealed a beer that was anxious to get out of its surroundings as I had some foam instantly coming out of the opening. I let it settle back down, revealing yet another craft CAN filled to the brim. The Glug was successful, but the head that formed was as fizzy as soda pop and quickly dissipated to nothingness. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an odd sweetish quality along with a definite hop presence. Mouthfeel was quite effervescent and the taste had a sharpness that was hard to quantify. It was slightly bitter but offset with a sweet flavor that was unlike anything that I could identify. Finish was very dry and refreshing. I liked it, but I have to admit to feeling guilty about drinking it, since I am not sensitive to foods at this point in my life and I hate to think that I took one from someone who would not have my wealth of choices. I would recommend it to anyone whose diet renders them gluten-free, but I am going to keep my fingers off of it unless nothing else is available.

Today is Su, 27 July 2014 and I have been spending the day dabbling into gluten-free beers. I am adding a bottle review at this time, but it does not trump the original CAN review.

I had purchased this a while back, thinking that perhaps an article on gluten-free beers might be in the offing. When I could not find a taker, the beers got shunted to the side. I had a colleague who has issues with gluten and she was always curious about beers that were gluten-free. I usually eschew them since I am not gluten-intolerant and prefer to leave them for people who are. In the interim, I am purging my massive backlog of bottles this summer and lo and behold! this one popped up. They will now be part of The Great Bottle Purge of the Summer of 2014.

I am being driven nuts by these gluten-free beers! I realize that I am not their intended audience since I do not have Celiac, but they just make me feel like drinking a beer after I drink one. I used a heavy-handed pour to net two rocky, fizzy fingers of bone-whitw head with very limited retention, falling rather quickly to wisps. Color was whitish-yellow, not even achieving straw-yellow (SRM = 1) with NE-quality clarity and I remain dubious of any beer that is lighter going in than it is coming out. Nose had the now-familiar apple vinegar tartness that is the by-product of gluten. I am really becoming fatigued by this venture. Mouthfeel was medium, but with a good deal of carbonation. This had a strangely cheesy flavor to accompany the apple vinegar tartness. Man, I am taking a break after this one. I am all for the strange and unusual, but this is pushing my upper limit. Finish was dry, refreshing and curiously pleasant. Weird.

Jul 05, 2012
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Murrhey from Washington

2.99/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger width white head. Pretty loosely packed and the retention rate is fairly low. Well carbonated and strange soapy lacing. Almost no color to it, but is there is a very pale gold. Almost water colored.

S- Floral hops, apples, sugar, cooked rice. Light and inviting smell, but honestly smells more like a cider than a beer. Strange.

T- That's much better tasting than I expected. That being said, I expected very little. Some of the light hoppiness and sweetness that accompanies an APA, with a distinct fleshy fruit flavor. Like apples or peaches or something light. Sharp taste.

M- Heavily carbonated which makes for a bit of a sharp feel. Very wet and light bodied.

Apr 15, 2012
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Scotchboy from Idaho

2.76/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can from Brewforia Beer Market. Poured into Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pours uber-clear pale straw with a huge, quickly-receding foamy & soapy white head. No lace.

S: American Pale huh? Well there is a faint earthy, floral hop presence, but its mostly a sweet, estery yeast presence, fruity, apples, faint grain.

T: Sweet, crisp flavors, hard cider meets Bud Light. Again, faint apples and grain. A touch of earthiness. Relatively clean finish, with a touch of a bitterness.

MF: Carbonation dissipates rapidly, leaving behind a very water-like smooth mouthfeel. Light body.

O: Someone really needs to try harder at this Gluten Free Beer thing. Not recommended.

Mar 01, 2012
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flagmantho from Washington

3.54/5  rDev +20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: light golden hue with a tiny, tiny bit of haze and a nice effervescence. Head poured a finger of fizzy white foam but head retention is poor and lacing is nil.

Smell: pleasing aroma of light, citrusy hops and something sweet. I think it is relatively successful.

Taste: nice citrusy hop flavor with a light sweetness and a bit of a zippy tang at the end. A pretty refreshing beer.

Mouthfeel: light body with a good carbonation. Not exactly creamy, but prickly and interesting.

Overall: this is without a doubt the best gluten-free beer I've tasted. The website says this is brewed without any sorghum, so maybe that's the secret. It's not a perfect beer, but on a hot day, this stuff could go down like water.

Feb 06, 2012
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indiapaleale from Maine

3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

America's first canned gluten-free beer.

POUR: very pale straw color with about a half inch of loose foam that quickly fades to a thin white film on top. Clean and clear with nice looking carbonation. Very much like a light lager in appearance.

AROMA: honey, floral hops, white pepper, grape juice, lemon zest. Very unique aroma that really has you searching for descriptors.

TASTE: the first thing we notice is the effervescence, this has an almost seltzer like carbonation that dances on the tongue. Plenty of bitterness from the hops right up front with a tangy but not overly sweet finish. Unlike many other beers it has none of the malt characteristics so familiar to many beer drinkers - instead it showcases quite a bit of hop flavor and aroma with only a subtly sweet background. Some citrus notes come along with a peppery flavor that stay on the palate.

OVERALL: Fox Tail is a new type of beer drinking experience for me, yet one that is vaguely familiar at the same time. It certainly has some of the qualities of a light-bodied yet hoppy brew - just without the malt profile to which one might be accustomed. For those of you who've gone without a beer due to Celiac disease, and most folks know at least one person who falls into this category, this is certainly a beer worth seeking out.

Dec 28, 2011
Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale from Joseph James Brewing Inc.
Beer rating: 75 out of 100 with 40 ratings