Karma Belgian Style Pale Ale | Avery Brewing Company

490 Reviews
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Karma Belgian Style Pale AleKarma Belgian Style Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-08-2005

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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 992
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nicely hopped but somewhat off funky tasting Belgian pale. There is fruitiness there. Minty toothpaste drying aftertaste, with pepper and coriander. Some yeast aroma. Orange copper colour. Still nicely drinkable, something different on humid evening.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 4/20/13.

Pours a clear reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is fairly faint with malt, grain, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but has subdued aromas and flavors.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a very average beer by avery standards. totally nondescript in a lot of ways, but especially in the nose. after a pale amber pour with a good tall white head, it smells fairly sweet and malt based, somehow entirely missing is the belgian yeast that is supposed to power this brew. this is a majorly dumbed down beer. feel is off a bit, very weak carbonation makes the beer feel flat and heavy, instead of the bright crispy feeling usually characteristic of belgian pale ales. overall a real letdown from a brewery i have come to associate with exceptional beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew poured out as a golden color with a slight haze to it. The head wasn't too big or anything, average at best. The smell of the beer had a big Belgian yeast aroma going on, there was also a bit of sweetness too. The taste was mostly yeasty, a light banana flavor and a hint of sweet honey in the background of the beer. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad, it was pretty smooth. Overall I wouldn't have to buy this one again.

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Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear amber-orange in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts and spicy and herbal hops in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and additionally has flavors of apples and pears. There are notes of malty sweetness; no bitterness is noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer has an interesting smell and taste but could use stronger aromas and flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I agree with most other BA's in that this brew, though very nice, doesn't reall live up to the Belgian Pale Ale billing. Sweet, rich, malty, and clean, but lacks some fundimental Belgian qualities. It lacks the tartness, peppery-ness, and light belgian astringency. The body, sweetness, and alcohol seem fine. The malts (pilsner) seem to be quite caramelized, adding a strong sweetness that would dominate any present belgian character. Quite bready and lightly toffy-like. Pears and peaches share characteristics of Belgian Pale Ales, but the similarities are few. I'd be happy to take any of these brews off of the hands of disappointed BA's though.

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Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a modest head that fails the lacing test

Smell: Estery, with a woody, fruity aroma - pear and melon

Taste: Opens with a biscuity flavor, that moves in a fruity direction by mid-palate, with a distinct melon aspect; after the swallow, the hops jump forward and add an earthy bitterness; dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but all over the map, with a nod to each of the major beer centers of England, Germany and Belgium

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery and style. 5.4% (my bottle is 2012 if that matters). No best before date can be found.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm somewhat over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

The pour went fine, with the pressure cap coming off without issue or overcarbonation surging.

A: Pours a two finger head of beige colour, nice cream, nice thickness, and above average retention. Colour is a semitransparent dull copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show - though I've never seen a beer in the style that featured one. Okay lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Belgian malts, candied sugar, yeast, light clove and orange peel, cream, Quite sugary. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Clean Belgian malts with some candi sugar and light clove. Some light underlying cream. Sugary. Simple but enjoyable. Pleasant to drink. Without much subtlety or complexity to its detriment. An interesting Belgian Pale. Nicely balanced and built for what it is. No yeast or alcohol come through. Full-bodied enough to suit the style. None of the flavours are overbearing, but none are bold or experimental either.

Mf: Smooth and wet, aiding its drinkability but not highlighting the flavours. Crystal malts could be used to good effect to add coarseness and would vastly improve the mouthfeel. Adequately carbonated. Light on the palate. Could use a bit more cream.

Dr: Quite drinkable but held back by its simplicity. It's a nicely brewed beer in its style but offers nothing unique or special for true fans. I recommend trying it, but there's nothing here to write home about. A solid offering from Avery, and one that I'd try on draught. Hides its average ABV well, though that's not particularly difficult.


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Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a beer i'd go for normally, but it arrived as part of a beer club gift, so here goes...

Deeper orange coloration, a flurry of bubbles on the first pour, one finger of foam. Partial ringed lacing, the head fades quickly to a skim and then into a thin ring. The aroma is yeast based, and is a little bit estery. Light and sweet orange note. Tastes like candy orange slices, or even Hawaiian punch, with a biscuit malt in the background. Citrus doesn't seem hop-derived, but there could be some flavor hops in there somewhere. Carbonation is fuzzy upfront with some astringency, and is flat a second later once it hits the palate. Not much complexity, if you're a fan of orange-flavored beer, this may be the session beer for you...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty orange color ale with a huge white bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of Belgian yeast is clearly evident as well as a mix of spices. Taste is also dominated by the Belgian signature yeast with a nice touch of hops at the end. Good take on the style without being remarkable.

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a reddish color with a small, short-lived white head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and spices. Also, a hint of orange aroma.

T - It tasted of malt and spices. A good fruity flavor.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a descent representation of the style. Not the best but it was pretty good.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big off white to light tan head leaves a small lacing over a copper honey colored drink.

Lots of light fruity/citrus hops notes blended nicely with a sweet caramel malt aroma.

The taste is pretty much the same, light fruit/citrus blended well with a light sweet caramel malt taste, a pretty good tasting beer but kind of subdued, would have liked these same taste but to have had them richer and fuller, that would ahve been a pretty darn good way to close out an afternoon.

There is a light caramel hint to an aftertaste that borders on dry on this medium bodied fare.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light yellow color with a white head and not much lacing. Nose brings some bready malt, hints of floral and earthy hops, as well as a bit of Belgian yeast. Taste brings a bit of spice along with pale, doughy malt and a bit of floral bitterness. Feel is like with moderate carbonation. Drinks okay, but doesn't even come close to comparing to Belgian examples of the style (nor a few select American versions).

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Photo of superspak
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 7/7/2011. Pours lightly cloudy orange amber color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense off white head with nice retention, that reduces to a good cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big grape, pear, apple, bread, herbal, and earth. Pretty nice aromas with decent balance and complexity. Taste of grape, pear, apple, toast, biscuit, herbal, earth, pepper, and light yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruits, biscuit, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Pretty good flavor complexity and balance; no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly crisp and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Belgian pale ale. Fair amount of complexity and balance; very smooth to drink. Enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of nickfl
3.52/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear, golden brown body supporting an off white head that settles quickly, but leaves some lace.

S - Malty with honey and apple esters as well as peppery belgian yeast.

T - Malty, flavors of toasted malt with some biscuit notes, and a bit of roast. Some caramel flavors appear in the middle, followed by a moderate hoppy character in the finish.

M - A bit on the thick side of a medium body with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

D - Easy to drink, not a bad session beer. The aroma qualities are nice, but the flavor is kind of lacking. It is a bit maltier than I would have expected and kind of lacking in yeast character.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting find today at Pipe and Pint,poures a nice copper color with a onefinger tight head that leaves a small amount of lace behind,big caramel and biscuit aromas with atouch of fruit seems to be malt dominated at least aroma wise.Big malts dominate in flavor as well up front some caramel and toffee but with a more firm dry biscuit backbone to keep it from being overly sweet,some herbal hop comes thru late alot more as it warms.Not a bad little beer here drink it cool not cold alot more complexities show thru as it warms.

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Photo of jlindros
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzy head of about 1/2 a finger that fades semi slowly actually, with a bit of lacing, over very clear tan orange honey colored beer.

Nose has some Belgiany aromas, light fruity esters but very little, then a bit of honey cake, little nutty and some earthy fig spices, hint of citrus and floral hops, a mild grassy almost wheat like malt base.

Taste starts fruity, plenty of fruity flavors from the Belgian yeast, light spices as well, and a hint of bitterness from that. Then light hops, citrus and grassy hops, light bitterness, and a bit of a fruity hop. Light almost saison like malts, little hay and some wheat, light straw as well, and fairly dry. Fluffy, floral, and a bit effervescent. it also seems to have a bit of a booze kick which is strange for only 5%, and some of the associated phenol flavors. Finish is dry and a bit tingly like booze with esters, little fruity and floral spices, hint of citrus, and a bit sticky finish.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, feels strangely boozy, and lighter carb.

Overall OK but not great, some decent Belgian yeast additions but seems strangely boozy, hops are barely there and not great, and malts can't decide to be Belgian like or saison or wheat. It's OK overall, but I probably wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Avery's Karma pours a hazy, deep-orange/copper body beneath a creamy head of ivory colored foam that holds well, no boubt buoyed by the effervescent bubbles rising from beneath, and leaves short walls of thin but solid lace about the glass.
The nose is mainly malty, a touch wheaty, fruity, and just a touch candyish, with some grassy hops as well.
In the mouth it's medium bodied with a gently zest on the tongue before warming to become quite smooth.
The flavor is exactly as the nose suggests, with its grainy/wheaty maltiness upfront, followed by a bit of spiciness (I though it was all from the yeast, but there seems to be a pinch of coriander in there as well) and some fruitiness (berries, lemon, orange). The bitterness is well-heeled, with just enough to balance; and the spiciness returns in the finish and helps it to dry.
Avery has delivered a very nice, somewhat complex, and enjoyable Belgian-style ale in this one! Worth trying.

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Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. No clear date despite codes stamped on the bottle.

A: Apricot/amber in color; Hazy with a small, cream-colored head after a semi-vigorous pour. Head, and particularly the ring, has good retention. Decent lacing. Some sediment coated the bottom of the empty bottle.

S: Subtle; Sweet, fruity and floral, with notes of caramel and toffee over light malt. Mild and tame for style.

T: Follows the aroma: again, quite pleasant but not particularly true to style and too mild.

M: Medium-light body. Excellent carbonation. A bit watery.

O: A refreshing and exceptionally easy to drink Belgian pale ale. But this meek beer lacks substance; if there were a category for light Belgian pales, this beer would fit there. So, a decent session ale and a good transitional beer for those new to craft beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out mildly sweet with flavors of caramel and fruit. Then some breadiness comes in Belgian yeast and a thin malt character. The hops presence is mild and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely better beers in the style.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Poured into a stem glass, a light, golden amber, clear, with a small white head that all but disappears and leaves little to no lace. Bready, yeasty aroma, infused with light sugar and fruity esters. Bready taste, with a touch of spice, light toasty malts and candi-ish sugar, followed by subtle melon and pear flavors, finishing off with some earthy hops that don't really take over, they just make their presence known. Medium mouthfeel, and a pretty good drink overall.

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Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first question after gazing at the label and slurping was, "what style is this supposed to be?" I am still surprised at the answer.

Looks nice enough, with a sudsy cap and decent lacing. Nondescript amberish color. Quite spritzy on the tongue, which would make this a good lawnmower beer. Very light malt and not much body. I fail to detect any Belgian yeasty flavors, though it does dry out slightly and there is a hint of yeasiness in the nose. Are there any hops here?

For the category, it gets a sad shake of the head. As a drinkable sudsy brew, and who cares what they drink in Belgium, it's a winner. I suppose you could say it's a lighter version of Great Divide's Colette. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey-copper body with a lush, though short-lived white head.

Smell: An aroma that's a mixture of honey, grape bubblegum, and pineapple juice.

Taste: Starts with a light caramel sweetness that thins out into the grape and pineapple fruit flavors. A light hint of citrus comes and goes. There's a light, leafy hop taste and bitterness near the drying finish. I gotta say, for being a mere 5.2% alcohol, you can really taste and feel it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It started out alright, but slowly became a chore to finish. I suggest having a friend on hand to split the bottle with.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes, similarly, the fire of self-knowledge reduces karma to ashes."

--Bhagavad Gita

Tangerine-copper with amber edges and a virtual absence of visible carbonation. The dense, orangish beige cap collapses fairly quickly to a fat one finger, when it appears to think better of making such a hasty exit. A small amount of thin, feathery lace makes its way to the glass.

The nose is okay, but is nothing like a Belgian pale ale. A Colorado pale ale perhaps? It smells like the beer is well-balanced between caramel malt and orange fruity, slightly earthy hops. Since Sterling hops are a Saaz variant, I expected, but didn't get, any noble characteristics whatsoever. Avery claims that a true Belgian yeast strain is used, but you'd never know it. Confusion reigns.

After several mouthfuls, the resemblance to a beer of the stated style is starting to make a little more sense. Still, I don't think any serious comparisons can be made to the best Belgian pale ales. I can at least taste what Avery was shooting for, even if they're wide of the mark. The beer is still exceptionally well-balanced, with caramel malt underpinnings and orange-like top notes.

The biggest problem is that there's too much hop flavor, without much hop bitterness, and not enough flavor from the yeast. Belgian beer (and Belgian-style beer) is, in my mind, defined by its yeast. If a brewer uses a lackluster strain, or doesn't possess the skill and/or experience to utilize it effectively, the result can only be lackluster beer. I wouldn't go so far as to describe Karma as lackluster, but neither is it overly lustrous.

There's a modest spiciness, especially on the finish, that probably has as much to do with hops as with yeast. Nothing really changes with warming; more of the same, just warmer. The mouthfeel is solidly medium with a firm feel rather than a lush or creamy one. It's well-bubbled for a Colorado pale ale and underbubbled for a Belgian pale ale.

Karma tastes like a balanced, caramel malty APA brewed with a less than delicious, third-tier hop. As a Belgian knockoff, it's a failure. As a decent, drinkable beer, it's a success.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber/caramel with 1" of offwhite head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Sweet malt, a little fruittyness (apricots) & grains of paradise

T: Fruitty with a touch of yeast up front, Grains of paradise & apricot follow. Finishes with a little orangey bit of hop notes, dryness & candy sugar

MF: Medium bodied with low cabonation & some slickness

Drank very easy, sort of a training wheels Belgian PA

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Karma Belgian Style Pale Ale from Avery Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 992 ratings.
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