Camelback IPA | The Phoenix Ale Brewery

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Camelback IPACamelback IPA

Brewed by:
The Phoenix Ale Brewery
Arizona, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by azdback on 11-20-2011

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 85
Photo of TLWalsh
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured hazy and unfiltered from tap into a standard pint glass at a Mexican restaurant. Deep copper color, very little head. Citrus forward aroma, taste is a little confused. Sort of malty, sort of hoppy. Not hard to drink just nothing really noteworthy.

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Photo of snaotheus
2.76/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle poured into a large mug. "Still Great Until" 09.05.2015. Flown home from Phoenix yesterday.

Pours slightly hazy amber with a big head and thick lacing. Lots of carbonation. Smell is not bad, but a little boring. Fairly muted, slightly piney. Not much else.

Taste is soapy pine. Can't think of a better description, and can't detect much else.

Mouthfeel is dry and coarse. Overall, not a great beer. Not horrible. But not that good.

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Photo of yonnie
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into shaker pint. Pours a cloudy golden straw color. About a finger of head that turns into a half finger that lingers quite a while. Lacing is moderate. Aroma of floral hops, bread or biscuit. Taste of sweet malts, a bit of fruity hops (like the rind of a citrus fruit), a little toasty. Mildly bitter and quite smooth to drink. Slick on the tongue. A very nice lingering aftertaste. Would pair well with food.

Overall a pleasant IPA that is a nice break from the hop bombs of today, while still having nice hop flavor. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Orange/amber in color and pretty hazy. A ton of head produced on this even from a 45 angle pour with about 4 fingers worth emerging. Head is very fluffy/soapy and clings the glass in big wads rather than light streaks. Interesting appearance to say the least.

Aroma- The nose is very spicy and earthy with citrus zest as well.

Taste- Front of the pallate sees alot of the earthy spice and citrus zest which provides a very mild bitterness. Towards the middle a sweet bready malt comes in an the cleans the hops of the pallate leaving a bread and sweet lemon finish.

Feel- Medium bodied, surprisingly high carbonation for an ipa (definitely bubbly on the tongue), and clean in the finish.

Overall- Good to see a brewery doing an english ipa for a change of pace, and this definitely doesn't disappoint. Acidic, zesty, and spicy hops meld very nicely with a bready malt and other accompanying sweet malts for an overall great balanced beer. This doesn't pack the hop punch that most (well in the U.S.) might expect for an ipa, but for the style the hops are showcased nicely.

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.75/5  rDev +15%

Brought back by my wife from a recent visit to Phoenix. It pours a hazy amber colour with a white head. Aromas of citrus & floral hops. Taste of sweet orange marmalade & citrus hops bitterness. Good enough that I'd have a second bottle given the chance.

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Photo of JonAdams
3/5  rDev -8%

Poured hazy and unfiltered from tap into a standard pint glass at the brewery.
Strong copper color (state color!). Very low head, wispy white remnants of the head lacing the glass.
Notes are orange and grapefruit, general citrus feel. The hop sharpness is a little murky, there's a cloying sweetness that keeps it from being a clean finish. Something remains on the tongue, it's like others' DIPAs but without the alcohol content?
It's a decent IPA, it tries hard, and it's drinkable. However, There are much better ones in The Valley of the Sun.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
3.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz poured to pint shaker.

Pours dark gold, half a finger of light tan head. Fairly sticky lacing. A lot of small particles.

Aroma is fairly light and vague, bread, orange blossoms and a hint of pine

Flavor is actually very nice. big sweet malt base with a good clean bitterness and some floral, herbal, orange and grapefruit notes. Reminiscent of english IPA's and some American DIPA's in it's sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy, not a lot of CO2 to liven it.

I'll stop a couple blocks short short of calling this one great... in all honesty it is cosmetically flawed with the particle issue, the aroma is less hop than I'd hope for in the style, and I personally go for a little more bubbles. Significant issues, but it tastes damn good, which saves the day. Flavor profile is appropriate to the local PHX environment... it is drinkable cold, better as it warms, and doesn't get weird during steeper temp ramps 110 degree days bring about.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a nice soapy head and plenty of lace. Aroma is fresh and soapy. Perfume laden and floral, the brew has an interesting aroma. In the taste, caramel . Mild bitterness, toast, and toffee are full in the body of the brew. Much akin to the English counterparts. Light to medium bodied, easy drinking ale. Overall, a nice mellow English india pale ale.

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Photo of JohnnyJam
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with the date clearly printed on the label (until 1/12/2014) into a pint glass and get one finger of head.

A: Pours an amber and almost brown color with one finger of head that dissipated at a medium rate to leave more than just a ring around my glass but less than a covering of the entire glass. There is plenty of lacing. There are lots of floating particles in the middle of my glass that eventually settle near the bottom.

S : White bread and some grapefruit juice.

T: Malts and something better that I can't exactly put my finger on. Grapefruit rind I do believe.

M: Medium bodied and carbonated. Goes down pretty good.

O: I would leave the sediment in the bottle just like you would pour a homebrew. It's drinkable but not my favorite IPA to be sure. I might want to try it on tap if I am ever close to The Phoenix Ale Brewery.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.52/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Hotel glass (~1/3 pint)
From: A Whole Foods in Tempe, Ariz.
Price: $3.49
Purchased: May 16, 2013
Consumed: May 18, 2013
Misc.: Best by Sept. 2, 2013

Poured a caramel, copper, clear color with 1-2 fingers of white head. Below average lacing on the sides. Average retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled lots of malts up front, Got bread, hay, cereal and honey grass.

Tasted similar to the nose. Got honey malts, bread, cereal and wheat, Reminded me somewhat of a Blue Moon.

Medium body. Thin-to-oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, malty finish.

Pretty much an average IPA.

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Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is certainly an oddity in the Brave New World of big clean hop flavors. It's the murky and earthy style that makes me think more of English brews, though rather more bitter. Color is an orange-tinted amber in the Ommegang chalice with a nice swirl of carbonation and an adequate head. A nice splash of piney aromatics to start.

Rather malty to start, which is the most pleasant part. Toasty and sweet. Not much on the actual aromatic flavors, and bitter to finish. The oddly fruity, bitter flavor I chalk up to the several hops listed by the brewer: Nugget, Cluster, Willamette,Fuggle, East Kent Goldings. This is certainly inoffensive and quite drinkable, though the IPA connoisseurs will find plenty to fault. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Whole Foods in Chandler, Arizona.

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Photo of Phelps
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint at a Diamondbacks game, where this brew is sadly the best craft available.

Deep, unfiltered auburn with lots of haze and floaters of yeast. A pancake batter-style head, very dense and creamy, builds upon itself and does not leave.

Phoenix Ale Brewery likes to call this their American IPA. I’d like to know where they’re getting their hops, because this sure smells English. Biscuits and caramel play off floral hops and a mild, sweet bubble gum character.

Smooth, round flavor. Lots of caramel and honeysuckle mix, notes of floral rose and lilac, a touch of toasted biscuits. Finishes very clean and dry, with moderate to high bitterness.

Nice body — a creamy, pillowy medium. Carbonation starts high, then shuts down sharply. Holds together well as it moves. Big bitterness.

Camelback is better than Fretzy's, Phoenix Ale’s English pale ale, but not by much. It's drinkable but boring. Kind of like D-Backs baseball.

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Photo of bennetj17
2.23/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks too dark to be an IPA, it’s a dark copper, almost amber color with thin tan head. The beer itself has a lot of chunks of floating sediment, despite my attempt to leave the yeast in the bottom.

Smells nothing like an IPA, maybe a malty amber? Barely any hoppiness in the nose, but there is a nice fruity malt twang. Not bad, but completely unexpected and I would never believe this is supposed to be an IPA based on sight or smell

This tastes like a very novice homebrew. The malt flavors are not well defined, it’s a bit tangy/nutty with some bitter hops in the finish, but there is no craft here, just a weak attempt to put out a beer.

Mouthfeel isn’t half bad, medium bodied with unremarkable carbonation.

This brewer has serious work to do to earn my dollar. Based on this and the one other beer I’ve tried from them, I will not be attempting anything else they come out with. It isn’t terrible, but there is definitely room for improvement in quality, and the real focus needs to be on style. I think I wouldn’t be so disappointed, but since I’ve been hoping for some really good craft brew to start coming out of Arizona, this just sets back my hopes.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap 1702, Tucson; October 2011
The beer arrives from the tap with fat-one-finger thick, pale, just barely tanned, off-white colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber, almost brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, dark amber tinged head when held up to the light. The aroma smells of toasted malt, sweet tea and caramelized malt (all from a healthy crystal malt addition) that is backed by softer, supporting hop notes of grapefruit, with perhaps a touch of washed out orange zest in here as well. There is a sort of washed out, perhaps sort of metallic like note to the nose that is a bit detracting; it is not quite stale, but sort of seems leaning in that direction.

This does have a firm bitterness to it up front as well as a solid pine like character; this is a nice surprise as an IPA that has a supporting hop character really misses the point. In the flavor the malt plays the supporting role, there is a toasted, not quite roasted malt flavor in the finish as well as an almost burnt, English biscuit like maltiness. They typical fruit character found in American styled IPAs plays only a supporting role here, but does contribute definite flavors of ruby red grapefruit zest, perhaps a hint of lychee and some more fruity tangelo notes at times.

The bitterness, followed by the pine character seems to be the focus of this IPA. It isn’t quite as tame as I was expecting it to be, but does seem to be an IPA molded on a recipe from the 1990s or perhaps earlier parts of the first decade; this is not unsurprising, as both this beer and the Fretzy’s are clearly not meant for the people that are already into craft beer. This is not a bad beer though, there is enough aggressive hop character to balance out the crystal malt focus that this beer has, and it certainly hits the quaffability that a good IPA needs to have. I get the sense that if I had come into this beer thinking it was going to be a proper American interpretation of an IPA that I would have been sorely disappointed in this beer, as it is though, this beer is even somewhat enjoyable.

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Photo of rbowser
2/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A work associate has been bringing me beers and for fun and practice I decide to review all the beers from his travels. This is a tough one.

Pours light amber with little to no head. Very little carbonation. Distinct aroma of Diacetyl or other off flavors, not a subtle aroma, and not pleasant.

No hop aroma, which I kind of expected in an IPA. Aroma dominated by off flavors, almost butyl like or reminiscent of burnt rubber. Not really an enticing start.

In tasting, the beer has a distinct and strong off taste with mild background bitterness. Body is light to medium, a bit lighter then in style for an IPA, more of a pale ale or lighter body. The bottle says 6.1% so perhaps this bottle was infected with some wild yeast or other containment as the body of the beer is gone.

Hard to finish for this review. I have done a bit of reviewing lately at home brew competitions and it is rare to run across a beer this flawed, let alone one released commercially.

Hope the brewery can learn from this and start again. Clearly, these beers are not lasting in the bottle. Hard to tell what went wrong at this point, but but the bottle I have are going down the drain.

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.73/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Finally found a bottle that isn't INFECTED. It's really hard to "buy local" when you get burned by brewers allowing obviously infected beers on shelves.

Pours dark brown with medium head. Slight haze. Nose has a lot of bready notes, toffee, and black tea. Palate offers plenty oif malt, more bread and black tea, and a minor hop bitterness at the end. Strikes me more as a modern pale than an IPA.

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Photo of azdback
2.71/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Spaten tumbler. A dark orange to red color. Quite a few large carbonation bubbles lead to a small one finger head. Head is creamy in appearance and a light tan color. Lace does an alright job of sticking around but nothing special.

Smell is quite soggy bread and yeast. Hay, wheat and grass. Just a hint of dark citrus, maybe a blood orange. Not a great nose at all!!

Taste is much like the smell. Soggy bread yeast and hop tastes. Earthy tastes of wheat or hay. Kind of reminds me of Hop Wallop. A beer I didn't like at all.

Mouth is smooth with creamy carbonation. Body is medium and the finish is average and a bit dry.

Overall I am happy to have tried this before anyone else and to have it brewed locally but I really did not enjoy this at all. The belgian yeast and or musty malt bill doesn't appeal to me at all. Thanks to Bill for the sample.

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Camelback IPA from The Phoenix Ale Brewery
3.26 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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