Carrabassett Pale Ale | Casco Bay Brewing Co.

36 Reviews
Carrabassett Pale AleCarrabassett Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Casco Bay Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship, this beer defines the classic, American-Style Pale Ale. We looked to the Pacific Northwest, rather than England, for our inspiration and our ingredients. Utilizing malt, hops, water, and most importantly yeast from the USA allowed us to create a balanced, highly drinkable beer. It's no accident that the Carrabassett Pale Ale is our top-selling beer, year after year.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-21-2001

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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 50
Photo of Omnium
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Nice orange gold with two fingers of foamy off white head, thick tangents of lacing.
S - Kinda average in the aroma, some biscuit malt, a little spice, grains, some grass.
T - Light and very crisp, a touch of citrus, biscuity malt.
M - Clean, bright, goes down smooth.
O - A good average APA

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: clear copper/golden colored body with a small one finger white head. Some lacing is left. Some carbonation is seen rising slowly.

S: centered around the malts with a light wood and earth slightly mixes in. Some buttery notes come out near the end of the beer.

T: very sweet at first, with some caramel and toffee backing up the sweets and then a slight hop spice comes in near the end of the taste

M: medium with a fair amount of carbonation, sessionable

O: this is a pretty good APA, however it did seem a bit sweeter for a normal APA. I almost thought it was more of an English pale ale. No worries. I liked it. I'd have it again.

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Photo of searsclone
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Clear copper color with a nice tan head. Good lacing.

Smells like wood and earth, maybe a little citrus

Taste is very sweet at first, caramel and toffee. Followed by hop spice with a syrupy finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Lots of carbonation, a bit thin.

Overall, I really like the taste of this one, but for some reason the drinkability is low for me. It's not hard to drink, I just think that one is enough.

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Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber hue with dark orange hues, pancaked frothy white head with great retention. Brilliantly clear. Resilient medium body with a well structured smooth mouth feel to carbonation level. Handful of malt on the palate ranging from toasted malt to caramel. A touch fruity. An increasing hop bitterness starts off small but builds to a prickling bitterness. Hops are mineral earthy, almost herbal, and some light citrus. A tasty "don't rock the boat" brew.

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On drat at The Inn on Peaks Island, Portland, Maine.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and decent lacing.

The smell and taste both featured caramel, butterscotch and a grassy hop. Finished sweet.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a bit of a hybrid between the American and British styles.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel & citrus and a moderate hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is an ordinary yet decent session beer to drink for long time.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a bottle this beer was an amber copper color with a khaki colored head. Modest retention as a collar but weak lacing. The aroma was a combination of caramel malt, some ripened fruit esters and a background of floral hops. The flavors however were more hop based, a flash of caramel malt up front quickly followed by hop bitterness and some orange zest and rind. Hints of yeast and bread. The finish is crisp and rather refreshing. Well balanced. The mouthfeel was ok, the body medium and the carbonation delicate but not too soft. Yum. Flavors: Approved. Too bad it doesn't look as good as it could.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber hue with a half-inch white head with great retention. A lot of active carbonation.
Smell is buttery or biscuity. Not expected for a pale ale.
Taste is slightly boring. A bit of hops in the taste, but more malts than anything.
Good mouthfeel for a pale ale. Nice thickness mixed with a sharp feel.
Drinkability is good, but too boring to drink many of these.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with orange hues, decent head and lacing.

Smell is surprisingly fruity but with a strong hop/citrus backing, balanced out with some malt.

Taste is crisp from the hops, leaves a slight bitterness at the end, upfront there is a slight fruitiness, maybe pear and orange, coupled with the malt.

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Photo of oberon
2.92/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass a clear lighter golden with a fizzy white head that was gone quickly,lemony and toasty in the nose mainly with a hint of caramel.First off way over carbonated goes down hard its very prickly flavors are light leaning in a citric hop direction with a bit of toasty malt but nothing really stands out.With such a prickly mouthfeel its a drain pour,Iam surprised it got decent reviews but it dont work for me.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with thin offwhite head. Smells bready and hoppy. Tastes malty at the beginning with a hoppy bitter finnish. Sweet with some bitterness, and a hint of roastiness on the finish too. A very well-balanced beer. Medium in body with just slightly less carbonation than many APAs have. Very drinkable and enjoyable. A new favorite example of the style, from a brewery that hasn't disappointed me yet!

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Photo of Jaynuze
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my first micros wayyy back in the day … great stuff. Pours a nice deep amber with a white frothy head that follows you right to the hoppy/bitter end. It also leaves a nice Belgian lace down the glass. It is a bit hoppy (nothing like Stone or DFH), but the soft hints of malt jump in to save the day. As others have mentioned, this does get quite bitter and piney, but that's just part of the love/hate relationship with this beer. A nice nose with a strong hoppy fruitiness. I love this beer; unfortunately I can only find it when I'm visiting my parents in Maine. Grab a sixer, some steaks, and head down to the lake with this one. A great beer for those humid Maine summers ... after a couple you even forget about the six mosquitoes who've set up camp on your calf and the cloud of black flies manically hovering just out of reach.

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Photo of gotbeer
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm reviewing this beer again many years after my first one.

It has a great mouthfeel and taste. There is a nice bite of hops with some malty balance, just like an American Pale Ale should be. There are some fruit flavors, orange, citrus, melon, and more. Incredible balance and drinkability.

This is one of my all time favorite session brews. You could easily drink this one all night long.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in pint glass on-tap from you know whose pub in waterville, me
amber/dark honey colored, thin stubborn head without much lacing. citrus and doughy smell with floral notes. tastes of malt near middle of palate while citrus notes ascend from front of mouth; hops near the back. nice balance between these flavors with the hops winning in a lengthy finish. heavy on hops but not overwhelmingly so - plenty to catch a good chunk of the palate without making the brew difficult to drink. light-bodied with a carbonation snap. good, easy-drinking but hop-laden brew.

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Photo of HoorayBeer
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a pint of Carrabassett Pale Ale after work, it was not just any ordinary Pale Ale. This Pale Ale had a nice light brown color with a slight head that laced the glass nicely. Nice malty aroma with a hint og nuts and a small lasting impression of sugar or caramel. The malty flavor sits in your mouth nicely as the flavor lasts quite a while. Not a bad bite, it kind of creeped up on you for the after taste. Maybe a little hint of caramel in there, could not quite tell. In all a good beer, could have had a few more.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear orange in color with a two finger white fluffy head. The head slowly recedes to a fluffy surface foam. Mild lacing develops. The aroma is of mildly floral hops and some caramel. The flavor leans towards a maltier level, as it is a bit stronger than other pales. A decent bitterness, traces of butter, orange citrus, and soft caramel tones round it out.

Medium in body. Mouthfeel is crisp as numerous tiny carbonation bubbles are present. Finish is crisp and quick. Nicely drinkable, worth trying a bottle or two.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle with non-present "best by" information on the label. Thanks to PhantomVoDoo for sending this one.

Poured clear. Color is a dull amber-copper. Thin and wispy off-white head reduced quickly from its boisterous state to leave only minimal lacing. Soft aromas, comprised mainly of citrus and caramel. Flavor is balanced, but nothing great. Initial doughy/yeasty flavor, followed by a sweet middle, and finishes with a strong iced-tea bitterness. Quick and snappy finish. Dry. Mouthfeel is on the thin side...lacking body. Nothing too memorable in this one. Very even-keeled. A candidate for a crossover beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label Lore: Double labeled with a wrap around body label that has a plain mountain range motif behind the blue & tan compass logo in the fore. “Fresher is better. Proper refrigeration will extend the best flavor date” and an illegible freshness stamp.

Pours with a huge foamy frothy vigor under a half khaki, sticky, cake like cap, half beer pour. This thing leaves a statue of a cake head that ain’t goin’ nowheres, breaking like the Red Sea with each sip. Looks good. Now if it will only relax so that it can be swigged! Deep amber orange hued pour with rigorous bubbles beading up all over. After the pour marathon ended, plenty of noticeable sea monkey chunkers floated around me glass.

Orange peel scents. Hops and malts peek out in the nose.

First swigs: Sizzly balance of grainy malts and orange fruity acidic hops. Sweet juicy mixed fruit of pear and apricot hops run the flavor here with a grainy malt backbone and a short grapefruit aftertaste. Some carrot cake notes here.

Crisp feel throughout. Well balanced while being bold. Quite quaffable and simply sumptuous.

Last swigs: Spicy oranges & dried apricots. Well balanced while full flavored APA. What an open road style anymore. Supposedly, Ringwood yeast? T’anx to BA Shapudding for the bottle.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was given a six pack of this as part of a gift (what a friend!). Pours out a copper brown color with a small head that doesn't really last. The smell is malty and grainy, with a slight trace of hops. The taste is much the same. The solid malt flavors continue all the way through. The hop bitterness comes into play towards the end but doesn't really stay for long. This is a very easy drinking pale ale. I could consume many of these on a hot summer day. A solid beer but doesn't really jump out at you. (not that it has to)

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An all around good brew. Went down very smoothly. Had a nice hoppy and fruity aroma with a nice copper color and a great lacing. Mouthfeel was smooth enough with a decent hop qaulity throughout. Not overpowering, but nicely bitter at the finish. Definitely easy to drink, and more than one would go down easily. A better than average pale ale that I would try again.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy coppery-orange with a three finger white head. Good lacing down the glass. Smells very hoppy and slightly bready.

The taste is good with the pale malts coming out front. Maybe a hint of caramel in there too. Slightly buttery in the middle. The finish is a little hoppier than I like, but it's definitely not pushing near the edge of the hop envelope. A decent brew. Most pale ale fans will like it.

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Photo of mrjimcat
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I thoroughly enjoyed my Carrabassett pale ale. Extremely well balanced with just enough malt to carry the hops. The hop bite was definitely present as one would expect in a pale ale but did not overpower. The brew was smooth from beginning to end. I could definitely see drinking several at a sitting. A most enjoyable pale ale.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty and above average pale ale from Maine. This beer pours a nice golden colour with a fluffy, white head. The aromas are very hoppy and can really smell that ringwood yeast. The taste is very fruity and reminiscent of magic hats #9 without the apricot. The mouthfeel is pretty full and the drinkability is excellent. Wow, I really like Maine beer...I have to find some more singles to try!


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Photo of beerguy101
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and citrusy. A medium bodied pale ale. Lightly malty with a slightly grassy hoppyness. Mild taste and not very hoppy. Flavors are citrus and toffee. Nice easy drinking pale ale. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer on my way back from a recent camping trip in Maine. It has a nice slightly hazy amber color with yellow hues and a medium bodied white head that fades to a thick ring around the surface. Some lacing is left behind on the glass. The aroma is mainly hoppy, but some toasted malt can be detected. Each sip begins hoppy before some of the toasted malts kick in. The flavor is well balanced with neither taste overpowering the other. It finishes slightly bitter and leaves a hoppy presence behind.

This is a good drinkable beer that would be nice to have any time of the year.

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Carrabassett Pale Ale from Casco Bay Brewing Co.
3.74 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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