Essential Pale Ale | Port City Brewing

58 Reviews
Essential Pale AleEssential Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ahalloin on 02-04-2011

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 198
Photo of mdfb79
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have tried this one several times at the brewery, picked up a bottle at Rick's in Alexandria, VA on Saturday to give it a proper review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear golden color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for one to two minutes with one inch of white head lasting throughout the drink, and a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of grain, bready malts, light orange and citrus hops, and light floral notes. Not offensive at all, but pretty average.

t - Tastes of bready malts, biscuit, and grain. Also some light citrus hops, pale malts, and floral hops again. Taste is a slight step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - A nice, slightly above average pale ale. The smell is a little bland and average, with the taste being a little bit better. Overall this is my least favorite beer of the four Port City is currently brewing, but it's still a decent beer worth checking out.

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Photo of kevinv
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness code noted on the bottle.

A - Pours a clear golden color with a half finger of bubbly white head, which dissipates quickly. No visible lacing is left on the glass. Very little visible carbonation.

S - Light pale malts with the ever-most subtly scent of floral hops.

T - Slightly sweet pale malts, with again, a light hop presesnce and bitterness. Clean and straight-forward, but I'm left looking for more.

M - Light body with a crisp finish. Low-medium carbonation.

D - This could be a "sessionable" beer for me and it's a pretty easy drinker, but kind of boring. Looking forward to trying their other offerings.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A two finger head of white bubbles forms but quickly fades off the pour. Very clear and simple amber color is present. Very much borderline.

First impression off the smell for this beer is rank off-putting. It hints at an orange or other citrus fruit, but it's as if the citrus fruit went bad or is at least going rotten. This does NOT smell nice at all.

Taste overall is kind of strange. Finish is probably the best part of the beer but it's a bit wet/watery, a little carbonated sweet in the palate, and has at least a good bread finish. Taste brings at least a basic supermarket orange to the table, but it's also bitter in a bitter fruit way, with no hop or malt presence at all.

Overall this pale ale is very un-even. Not really a good beer from this brewery they have done better. This is disappointing to say the least.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Stoney's in DC. Poured into pint glass. Pours a a golden straw/yellow color along with a small white head that fizzles quickly leaving some light lacing throughout. Aroma is medium sweet, orange/lemon, some grapefruit, biscuit with notes of mild malts and hops. Taste is medium sweet, grapefruit, lemon/ornage, light bread, lager lemon. Light-medium body, some acidity which hurt the score. Mild carbonation throughout. Was too bitter and left an unpleasant taste at the end. I cannot go with this one here for the style...

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Photo of dedrinker
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden. clear color, like a continental pilsener. White head.

Light malt aroma with some twinge of caramel and mild hops.

Firm malt quality with a dash of diacetyl and some balancing bittering hops.

Medium, bodied, goes down easy, but with some substance; a good pub-grub sipper with your meal. I like it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery the second day after opening.

Pours a light golden color. Pretty transparent in the glass with some carbonation bubbles visible throughout. Good white head and a bit of lacing. The nose is pretty light with some citrus and floral notes. Hops are pretty light, though nice. Taste improve on the nose, which was just a bit too muted. There's certainly some backing malt character and they got the balanced character they were looking for. Pretty good at combining some malt along with some hop flavor. Mouthfeel is light and mildly bitter. Finish is slightly dry. Drinks pretty well and I could see this being quite sessionable. Looking forward to the IPA.

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Photo of blackie
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pale golden in color with a low, white layer of carbonation

s: lots of clean, crackery pale malts, citrus hops of a slightly herbal, earthy nature

m: light bodied with a crisp, low-moderate carbonation

t: simply structured - clean and crackery grains with only a slight sugar presence, earthy citrus flavors, mild to moderate bitterness with fairly dry finish

d: balanced and drinkable, a little lacking in flavor depth for my preference, though it's refreshing to have a straightforward but well-made beer from time to time

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Photo of ahalloin
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewery.

Pours a VERY clear golden color with orange hues. The white foam cap was decent but hard to judge on a 5 oz. pour in a taster glass.

The smell combined a more dominant toasty rich continental Europe malt with a lesser aspect of light hops. The hop aspect is what I perceive as a sweet, perfumy, lightly citric hop character that comes from Amarillo.

The taste is good and quenching, but subdued. Light toffee malt with some toastiness coral a light hop flavor. The hops used are definitely American used in a way to add a slight accent. Clean finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nice with a medium body and low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good, but this beer doesn't overwhelm the senses in any form. Dare I say it's sessionable?! Well, it is. And it will be great for locals to get a fresh, locally-made APA.

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Essential Pale Ale from Port City Brewing
3.56 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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