Sierra Blanca Pale Ale | Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)

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Sierra Blanca Pale AleSierra Blanca Pale Ale
28 Ratings
Sierra Blanca Pale AleSierra Blanca Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a true American Pale Ale; well balanced malt to hop flavor. There is a slight caramel flavor up front derived from German Munich malts, followed by a citrus/grapefruit flavor derived from Cascade hops with a peppery flavor bite on the back of the throat.

45 IBU

Added by tar on 08-25-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Hazed pale golden amber color, hops assist with the decent look head. Lightly citric, fruit and biscuity nose is a bit raw. Some smoothness from the medium body. Citric twang from the hops with a soft bitterness, yeasty with a mild tartness. Quite grainy with dry biscuits and dried hay. Overripe fruit middle to end, hint of alcohol esters as well. Finishes with some hop flavor and dry grain. Middle of the pack for pale ales, if choices are slim I'd opt for this.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of hsus0225
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

time for me to jack up the average, just kidding, but getting this at the source doesn't hurt ( mar 24 06) .

Pours amber with a 1.5" offwhite head..

Smell: nice frutty floral hops

Taste; Fruitty, piney hops, & a fruitty & hoppy crisp finish.

MF: Good carbonation, effervescent notes

Very drinkable session ale, good when fresh...

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Photo of bditty187
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, coppery-bronze in hue; off-white head, at the apex the foam was a half finger tall. Head retention was poor; the united bubbles broke-apart quickly to a soap cap. The subsequent lacing was spotty and not widespread; more head/lacing would be preferred. Overall, the appearance is textbook for the style but there is plenty of room for improvement.

The nose is not very chatty. I need way more hops for an APA, all I get are hints of citrus. Fruity in the middle (berries mainly with a kiss of honey and flowers) and the end is malt (caramel sweetness). Sadly, even if the aromas were louder I don’t think the nose would be any better. I just don’t think the foundation is in place. First and foremost, more hops are needed… much more. The nose is too boring to be called inviting.

The palate is restrained but agreeable. The hops don’t offer much bitterness but they do impart some agreeable flavors. There is a soft range of citrus notes, orange peel and lemon zest. Honey. Fruity (berries mainly). The malt supplies some soft caramel notes, nothing more really. Sweet finish, similar aftertaste… where is the hoppy residue? Overall, the palate is agreeable and flavorsome but it is far from special. IMO, this is a lackluster APA.

Medium-light in body, watery but workable, the carbonation is low; overall the mouthfeel is tolerable but more heft would have been preferred.

Drinkable? Sure. Do I want more? Not really. APAs are a dime a dozen, I have local products that are much better. I don’t think this APA has the heart play along with grilled meats and cheeses like an APA should. I guess this beer should fly solo. Regardless of my ho-hum views I need to thank my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Rick for sending this NM beer my way!

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Photo of rwf08
2.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a standard American pint glass.

A: Rocky head that settles to a thin head with nice lacing.

S: Not too much going on here. Some sweetness and a little bit of hop aroma.

T: Same. Flat flavor, some sweetness and a little bitter.

M: Pretty good for the style. Medium body kind of dry on the finish.

D: I could easily drink this all night but wouldn't. Not much flavor or anything just okay.

Overall not my first choice of the pale ales out there but I can drink it.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer after evacuating the 12 ounce brown bottle pours an unclouded amber color with a moderate in size head that is spumous in texture and a light tan color, as it quickly erodes the residual lace forms an adequate covering upon the glass. Nose has mild malt sweetness, fresh and crisp, not much else going on here, start is sweet with a fair to middling malt presence, the top skimpy in feel. Finish is benignly acidic, the hops adequate in their spiciness, dry aftertaste, once again a drinkable beer especially when its "Hot"!, nice thirst quencher

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Photo of tar
3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another beer I sampled while performing fieldwork in the Southwest and again my impression may be effected by long hot days of hiking and carrying rocks. Pours a nice clear amber with a thick, somewhat rocky head. A fairly mild aroma--floral hops, greets the nose in lifting the glass. This beer tasted quite good to me with the dominate flavors being those of hops. A fairly smooth beer with a medium to full body, I found to be quite drinkable.

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Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber colored ale with a decent white head.

Smell is Happy and quite floral with a wood, caramel and roses aroma. This becomes a bit candish as you sniff it a while.

The taste starts out neutral and bitter with a wheat malt aftertaste, cloying sweet cracker. Solid bitterness, hop flavor favors European hops. Not much subtleties here just malt base and hops.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice drinkable beer, not over complex but well executed pale ale.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear deep copper color with a fair head that fades to some lacing.

S: mostly a grainy aroma with citrus mixed in.

T: Starts with a slight malt sweetness with a bit of spice. has a lingering bitterness and a sticky finish.

F: fairly medium body, crisp and a bit refreshing.

D: Decent drinker, good for a couple.

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Photo of NumberNone
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nutty, woody, amber ale. Hops rise slowly through the toasty malt. Not particularly fragrant. Pours a shade darker than amber with a nice contrasting white head. Sprightly on the tongue. Bitterness becomes more dominant as you sip. Overall, flavors are on the murky and dirty side. Still, a pleasant beeriness but rather sharp.

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Photo of Bigdood33
3.51/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KidDoc
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour in Albuquerque airport. Pale gold color with OK head, decent retention. Decent malt character in the nose and on the palate. Generally unexceptional but OK

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Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of goatgoat
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A friend brought this to me from a trip to New Mexico. Awesome friend!

Poured into a pint. Clear honeyed gold. Low frothy white head with little lace. Grainy aroma with a bit of citrus. Taste follows. Low lemony bitterness in the finish. Light body.

A pretty pale pale... as that goes.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy apple-cider brownish gold with a fair amount of small bubbles streaming to the two-finger, slightly creamy, off-white head. Head stays intact about half way down the glass, leaves behind a few splotches of lacing.

S - A light red apple cider fruitiness along with some almost sour mash malt notes.

T - Apple cider sweetness upfront with a bit of caramel malt. The body body continues the red apple and slight caramel theme, but some bitter notes come come in that seem slightly caustic. A nice refreshing burst of fruity hop notes as the beer passes over the tongue is slowly replaced by more almost-rotten red apple bitterness.

M - Light bodied and highly carbonated. Not much better than a macro.

I got Sierra Blanca Pale Ale in a summer variety pack at World Market and had been saving it for a while hoping that it would be one of the better beers. Unfortunately I was wrong. Things just moved down hill throughout the review process - From the awkward flavors uncharacteristic of any Pale Ale I've sampled before to the nearly-soda like mouthfeel. Needless to say, I don't plan on ever purchasing this again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.89/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep copper to light amber color, pours with a tanish head and it is brilliantly clear. Aroma of caramel malts, perhaps a hint of roasted malt as well. A nice bitterness to this beer, finishes with a hint of diacetyl. Lightly malty sweet, not much hop flavor though. Fairly average pale ale, it needs a bit more oomph somewhere.

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Photo of arizcards
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at AJ's for $1.59 back in mid-August.

Poured a nice amber color with a decent head leaving a splotchy lacing. Nose is somewhat malty and of floral hops. Taste buds are initially greeted with a generous portion of malts and less than generous amount of hops for this style. Mouthfeel is reasonably full and there is enough carbonation to make it lively on the palate. Drinkability is fine, makes for a nice session beer.

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Photo of WDJersey
3.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Belittle
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of vegasmac99
4.25/5  rDev +29.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey body with a small, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Not much there, really, beyond some hints of pale malts and a floral, spicy hoppiness.

Taste: Pale malts with a mild sweetness. Gulp of water. Floral hops with a touch of spiciness. Medium bitterness that rides out to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A below average pale ale. Fairly bland and exceedingly forgettable.

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Sierra Blanca Pale Ale from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 28 ratings