Duckpin Pale Ale | Union Craft Brewing Company

very good
49 Reviews
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Duckpin Pale AleDuckpin Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Union Craft Brewing Company
Maryland, 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 yourefragile on 07-05-2012

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 396
Photo of jmasher85
2.47/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clearly not my type. I won't waste words on this one, and only say that it's a bitter, hoppy pale ale in not the way that I enjoy. Little in the way of any interesting smell, and the taste is almost obnoxiously East-Coast-style hoppy - all bitter burn and not much else. Nothing offensive about it per say, and I guess if you like straightforward hoppy pale ales, go for it, but I certainly won't bother with it again.

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Photo of MattFoley
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I needed a six pack to take tailgating and saw this was local so I picked it up. Not too impressed.

A - Clear, golden. Nothing special but nothing to really complain about either.

S - Good hoppy smell. This has me optimistic that it will be on the hoppier side of Pale Ale's, which I like.

T - Total let down. I don't know how to explain it. The hops are there but there's something else getting in the way. They taste muted, even for a pale ale.

M - Good carbonation, refreshing.

O - Unremarkable, middle of the pack. At $12 for a 6 pack of 5.5% beer, I don't see myself buying this again.

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Photo of HopBomb515
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Light rusted orange, small white head, spotty lacing. Slight tropical fruit aroma and maybe a hint of citrus and malt but overall pretty subdued. Light tropical hop flavor but it doesn't deliver the hop punch it promises. Thin feel, prickly carbonation all the way through and a lingering bitterness. This beer didn't really hit the mark for me, it doesn't really do anything exceptional and I've had beers sub 4.5% ABV with more flavor and hop punch.

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Photo of JLaw55
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was so so. Tasting more malt than anything. Not only is there a lack of noticeable hops, but there is an awkward aftertaste I can't place.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of smakawhat
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A bit lifeless looking here. Dull. Murky amber yellow and brown, with barely one finger of off white colored head presented. Manages to settle and leave a pencil thin collar and puck. Not very good looking brew.

Nose though impresses with a big 180. Lots of pineapple and fruit hop action. Clean and juicy smelling with a nice sweetness and citrus aroma. Very nice and unexpected.

Aroma doesn't quite seem to translate into an enjoyable palate. Chalky feeling palate with a dirt and earth bitterness. Faint hint of mint on the swallow on the hop realm, but this is quite watery and wet for even a pale ale. Malt depth non existent on the mid palate. Quite carbonated mouthfeel a bit and nearly seltzery.

Not sure what happened here the beer has a great bouquet too bad it just didn't translate on the palate.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can courtesy of mwrecording pours a hazed copper collar with a creamy cap of foam that leaves sheets of lace, pretty nice...

Nose is caramel malts and light herbal hops. Leans malty with some nutty yeast.

Taste flashes some toasted malt first and finishes bitter and leafy. Not much hop flavor and the yeast is definitely apparent. Mouthfeel is fine, though a little astringent. Just ok.

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank to Lucular for this 12 oz. can, my first taste of Duckpin. After all the big, dark, barrelly shit from last night, I’m ready for something light & airy.

The pour is light orange with plenty of pop. Nose boasts a bit of grapefruit, fruitiness, sweet malt. Not much to delve into.

Duckpin Pale doesn’t bring any superlatives to mind, it’s the epitome of a hopped-up pale. Nice hop bite, light trade winds fruitiness, backup of sweet malt. Easy to drink.

I have almost nothing to say about this; routinely pretty good.

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Photo of EMV
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Semi-opaque medium golden pour. Two fingers of foamy white head. Solid lacing.

S: Fairly mild nose... bready malts and a bit of citrus.

T/F: Lightly toasted malts and a bit of sweetness to start. Floral and citrus hop profile. Not overly bitter... good carbonation on the palate. Body is medium. Short and mild floral aftertaste.

O: A decent pale ale. Really prefer the 'Double Duckpin' DIPA, but for an easy drinker this one will do just fine. A well made beer.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Foggy gold in color. Frothy off-white, almost beige head leaves a nice film all the way to the bottom.

Smells of very pale malts. A nice toasted bread aroma. A little bit of resin and citrus.

Some crisp, spicy hops up front that have more feel than flavor. Followed by very soft, light and fluffy pale malts. A little bit of pine, pineapple, grapefruit. Finishes with solid bitterness and some lingering resinous oils

Overall, a pretty good pale ale and enjoyable beer. Could use a little more popping flavor.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into pint glass with a pale yellow color and off white head that quickly evaporated. Heavy hop feel and taste that gets balanced by a lightly toasted cereal malty flavor.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clearish amber color. The head is a finger high with a shade that's barely off-white. Not much in the way of retention - it fades to a thin film rather rapidly. At least there are some streaks of lacing left on the glass.

S: Some of the citrusy and even tropical fruit hops come out pretty well - it's not an explosive hop aroma, but it's a good one. Also piny in spurts. Like most pale ales, malts appear with notes of caramel and even some sugary wisps.

T: This is a decent mix of tropical/herbaceous/piny hops (I'm even getting those high falutin' Galaxy hops, which I love) and candy-like malts. Hops on the front end, malts near the finish. I wish the tropical notes were more vivid - they're kind of getting lost within the more generic grapefruit and caramel tones. Still, this is a very good pale ale that I'm not getting tired of drinking (if I ever get tired of drinking a single pale ale, then we have serious problems!)

M: A gentle lingering sweetness helps make this crisp, clean brew quite refreshing. Honestly, it starts to linger a bit strongly after a while. Take that out of the equation and the feel is very nice: carbonation is just right, fullness of the body is just right, and the finishing dryness is just right.

O: My buddy Nick swears by this beer as "his Bud Light". I know for a fact I'd much rather drink this over Bud Light (other things I'd rather be doing than drinking Bud Light also include stapling my ear to a wall, taking a kick to the groin, and bathing in cement). Still, this is a very good and very quaffable local pale ale - and as we all know, local equals good, except when it's not. As I continue to drink it, it just seems to get better and better; hell, I'm just done finishing my second can in this session.

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Photo of gopens44
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale ales typically get a fairly ho-hum representation, but this one serves a pretty good purpose as a full bodied yet slightly lighter version of a flavorful IPA that when compared to a session IPA, this has great balance.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

They're pulling that old homebrew trick- the one where you make an IPA but you enter it into an American Pale Ale competition catagory, because you know that the IPA is more flavorful and seductive that Pale Ale, so you know you'll win, right? But Union Craft Brewing is actually on the right track. Where that might not go over on the homebrew circuit, our palates are trending hoppier and hoppier. So the more that you make you Pale Ale taste like IPA the more fanfare they'll likely receive. After all, consumers are not judges.

Regardless, the "Pale Ale" kicks off with a deep goldenrod hue that approaches light amber through its center. A mid-statured column of foam builds upon the beer and easily lasts the session even after receding to a sheet across the glass. Lacing with ladder-like patterns- there's nothing to the beer's appearance that suggests anything other than a well built Pale Ale.

And then the nose reaches the rim and everything changes. The citrus mounts, and mounts, and mounts- grapefruit everywhere, orange peels everywhere, grass and pine everywhere. So where's the malt balance? Its props up the hops with notions of graham cracker, caramel and light biscuit. Light stems, leaves and bark-like scents are perfumy yet piquant and seems a little lemony, tea-like, kinda like sassafras.

Similarly in taste, the malt focus is early and short- caramel and toasted grain gives a hearty sweetness. That is, until the hops rise in the middle. The sharp and tangy taste of white grapefruit, unripened oranges and lime peels goes all bitter in a hurry- ushering in a fast finish with a stemmy, dry resin, and acutely bitter finish. Its vegetative taste is just as characterful as its smooth bitterness as the hops trail in memory.

Even its malty-dry texture is more testament to India Pale versions that that of the maltier American Pales. Its creamy carbonation separates early and leads to a resinous-dry finish, but first it leaves a watery draw between. Mostly clean, crisp and refreshing; the ale pierces the gullet with glimpses of hop-derived astringency and assertive bite.

Duckpin Pale Ale is a rewarding taste for those who prefer the taste and balance of American IPA but with the body and semi-sessionability of standard Pale. Its light body exposes some earthy qualities, however I tend to celebrate such rustic and raw qualities.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A well put together pale ale. These days everybody is over hopping everything and barrel aging the rest . . . A solid brew here and a style probably needs more attention.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had the Double Duckpin this past weekend and enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought some other Union beer.

Their Pale has a decent look to it, but is a little light looking. Aroma is very good, with nice floral and malt scents. Body and lacing are good as well. My only issue is that the finish is a little tangy for my tastes. It didn't quite finish very smoothly. Still a good beer, though.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received this beer in a great trade with DeutschesBier.. Thanks a bunch Clint!! Glad we crossed paths!!

Pours fairly clear straw golden ... short lived white head leaves pretty good lacing.

Big citrus for a standard pale ale with a lightly balanced pale malt presence... Smells great.

Flavor mirrors the nose with an extremely drinkable well balanced pale ale... nice citrus and perfect bitterness.

Body is a good light/medium... carbonation is light/medium... very quaffable.


Thanks again to Clint for a great trade!!

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated can into pint glass. Hazy, deep gold with a thin tan head. Moderate carbonation. Medium mouthfeel, probably about right for an IPA. Hoppy/bitter, but not what I'd call an interesting flavor profile - kind of one-dimensional. Not bad, but not anywhere near outstanding.

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Photo of Griffin2
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 14 ounce cup.
Pours a dark orange color with a medium white head.
This is a very nice piney pale ale. Perfect for an outdoor summer afternoon.

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Photo of HeartofMiami
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Thanks to a buddy who picked it up fresh from Baltimore. Can into snifter. Look and smell of a good IPA. Dank, grass, citrus. Nice carbonation. Taste is flat, falls off. Very little flavor. A hint of lime, grass. Caramel finish. Glad I got to try but not my favorite.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can. Orange body with hints of amber and a half inch of head. Citrusy aroma with a touch of grass. Mild earthy character with cracker & biscuit malt notes. Fairly balanced, in favor of hops. Juicy and relatively light in body with zesty carbonation. Decent.

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Photo of bluehende
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really like this one. Hoppier than most pales and borders on a low alcohol IPA. If they marketed this as a session IPA they would be closer to the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

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Photo of Florida9
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear golden in color. Forms a minimal white head. Decent retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Very hop forward, but still restrained. Mostly citrus: grapefruit and orange with some light pine notes to round things out.

T: Taste is similar, but not as well developed in the hop department. Grainy malts with just a touch of caramel. Grapefruit and grapefruit pith. Some mild pine and. There is also a bit of a tropical fruit sweetness to the beer.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation. Medium bitterness. Slightly grainy mouthfeel.

O: A very respectable APA. Easily drinkable and at 5.5% its a sessionable beer as well.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hudson St. Stackhouse today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, peachy amber color with good head retention and lacing. The beer certainly looks attractive enough. I don't pick up a whole lot in the nose... just some sweet malt and some light, underlying dry citrus. The beer smells as if it might be on the malty/sweet side. On the palate, the beer is much better, as there's a nice dollop of perfumy, hoppy bitterness to buoy the malty sweetness. The flavor profile is pretty interesting, as initially the beer seems fairly malty/sweet, but then the hoppy bitterness comes on strong, leading to a dry, bitter finish. It gives the beer something of a layered flavor profile (not a bad thing). Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, but with a long, hoppy bitter, slightly spicey finish. Alcohol is no more than an after thought in this well crafted pale ale.

This is really quite tasty. Well done!

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear orange with a fluffy 3" head.

Smell: mild citrus and floral tones rise from the glass.

Taste: caramel, orange, lemon zest, and some floral hop bitterness make up the main flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp at the start, less crisp at the finish. Short lasting aftertaste,

Overall: a decent pale ale with a nice flavor profile.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clearish golden body with two finger head that died quick with minor lace. Soft, balanced aroma of both citric hops and some fruit and malt sweetness, although not as much caramel malt as a tropical fruit essence. Beer is light and smooth, but not watery, and the hops are evident and provide a crisp finish but I really enjoy the sweetness in this beer (again, something like tropical fruits). A simple but real enjoyable beer.

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Duckpin Pale Ale from Union Craft Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 396 ratings.
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