Rio Blanco Pale Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Rio Blanco Pale AleRio Blanco Pale Ale
523 Ratings
Rio Blanco Pale AleRio Blanco Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-17-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 523 |  Reviews: 256
Photo of rooost
4.82/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Most if not all of the products from RA Brewing are unpasteurized, therefor you guys that are too far from Texas or have mailed beer are not getting the best example.

Then add their flexibility within traditional styles and when compared to like style beers you get a different perception.

Taken fresh and with a clear mind (preferably in the Texas Hill Country on a spring day) Rio Blanco Pale Ale is as good as it gets!

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Photo of thugherman
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Photo of MaddDogg84
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Photo of hansenme
4.45/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent hoppy pale ale recipe

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Photo of Pacostacos
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As stated in another review, this beer tastes better locally. I drink it in Austin, Texas which is about 40 miles from Blanco where this beer is crafted.

This is a good choice. I've served it to many people from all over the world and this beer is always given high marks. It has an agreeable, satisfying taste without being overbearing. It's never going to excite a pedantic beer geek, but it's not likely to offend anyone's pallet either.

Very drinkable. Well balanced all the way through with a clean finish. Not overly complicated, a little grassy, a little citrus, not hop forward.

I like this beer with food. It makes a nice session beer. Real Ale is also known for sourcing truly quality ingredients, so this is good stuff.

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I traded this bottle with HardTarget.

Pours in a misty peach and amber coloured beer. A small head slowly develops, and fades away just as slowly. A very thin and bubbly head stays on top. Still looks creamy.
There’s hardly any carbonation, but this beer doesn’t need that.
The beer has an overall soft odour. It has a full bouquet, while the hops are the strongest, many smaller elements bring life to this beer (peach, mint-liquorice, cinnamon,…).
Taste gives strong hops. Subtle watery bitterness. Peach, lemon and pumpkin.
Mouthfeel is strongly creamy.
The aftertaste lingers on: it’s creamy, mild and refreshing.

A super beer within it’s genre, give me more.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.34/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured from the 12 OZ bottle into my goblet. Almost no head to begin with, what was there disappeared almost immeidatly. left a bit of noticable lacing though...

S: nice moderate hoppy smell...

T: better hops on the tongue than on the nose. But this seems all about hops to me (appropriate for an APA) no alcohol note here....and the malt is hard to discern.

M: just about perfect. medium body, carbonation just right.

D: for the price I really love this. NOT as hoppy as an over-the top APA but very respectable.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another fine Real Ale brew. Not my favorite from the regular line-up (see: Full Moon, Lost Gold), nor my favorite pale ale, but a dependable second choice. Is that faint praise? Let me qualify that statement by adding that I like my pale ales with a strong hop forward presence--which this lacks.

It pours with a nice head that quickly dissipates into a thin line of foam. Clear, clean, tan-auburn color. Sweet notes in the aroma. Little hop presence in smell or taste. A nice malt profile, however, that finishes well. It makes for a smooth drinking beer, one which stands its ground in the Texas heat. But if I had a choice--and I usually do--I'll grab the rye first.

*Update: Tastes change all the time. I know mind do. Lately I've been digging this brew more than I have any reason to.

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep honey with bronze color with effervescence& a 3 fingers+ offwhite head. Very good head head lacing & good head retention

Smell: Sweet malt & floral hops. Fruittyness grows as it warms

Taste: Sweetness followed by piney & floaral hops. Slightly bitter & floral finish

MF: Great balance, medium body & very good carbonation

Very drinkable nice APA & a super session ale. This brewery really impressed me when I was down in San Antonio

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4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - 1" cream colored fairly dense head. Hazy orang pale ale with a little golden tint. Some nice lace.

S - Caramel. Malt dominates aroma. Hint of citrus hops. Caramel dipped apple.

T - Malty. English Pale Ale maltiness. Subtle crisp hops. A little hop spice in the finish. Well balanced for an EPA.

M - Round mouthfeel. Full bodied pale ale. Relatively dry finish, not a lot of residual sweetness. Low to medium carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Outstanding sessioner. Well made and fresh.

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Photo of Txgirlie
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of RicoFalcon
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of monk2021
4.23/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of champ103
4.23/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy copper/orange color. A creamy two finger, tightly packed, white head forms. Good retention, and some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Soapy and oily hops up front. Citrus and pine aromas. Light malty sweetness lingers. Just not a very big aroma.
T: Citrus, pine, grassy, and floral hops up front. A nice malty finish. Sweet fruity flavors of apples and pears. Some caramel malt as well. Bread and biscuit flavors. The malt and hops balance each other out perfectly.
M/D: A medium body and low carbonation. Though it is not under carbonated at all (like many cask beers can be). Really creamy and smooth. Incredibly easy to drink. I quaffed several with no problem.

A wonderful beer on cask. So many subtle complexities, and easy to drink. The hops are more assertive up front here than in the bottle or on tap. Though it is never overwhelming. Always in balance with the great malt flavor. Real Ale indeed. Reminds me of a good English Pale Ale or Bitter. If you see this on cask, get it.

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Photo of pjr
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of jmbranum
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear deep gold with a small head white head.

Aroma is slight and malty. Flavor is understated but balanced. More an English style Pale Ale than an APA. Nice malt sweetness, light hops but they are there. Some resiny piny notes. Fairly crisp despite it being sweeter than expected.

nice full body.

A good beer. Not my favorite from Real Ale, but still very good.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There are two fingers of almost white, thick, pillowy, creamy, uneven head. The beer is almost clear and dark amber. Swoops and spots of lacing. Nose is sweet and buttery, with a little wet hay. It's kind of sick, but nice. Sweet hay in front; milky, sweet, creamy malt in the middle. It gets quite nutty in the finish: grassy, grainsy, hoppy bitter. I really like this beer. When fresh I'll even take it over the Full Moon Rye.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clean and balanced, but nothing really special.

A- Amber pale ale. Transparent with a loose head composed of varying bubbles

S- Smells like a malty, bready pale ale with a good spicy hop character. hint of butter?

T- Taste is real clean and relaxed with bready malt upfront and hops to back it up.

M- Feel is exceptionally clean and smooth. Moderate body and silky bubbles

D- Drinkability is good. Goes well with just about any food.

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Photo of Premo88
4.16/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic
(Dec. 10, 2015 best by)

L: light gold, slightest hint of amber in the middle of the glass (weird!); decent 1/2-inch head of white/offwhite foam and it keeps a tight little collar, but no stick/lace; mostly clear and clearing up more as it goes, maybe 75% clear/25% misty

S: grain, sour grain, corn, loads of light malt sweetness ... it's not exactly bready malt sweetness, not exactly creamed corn, but it's not exactly *not* those things ... combines into a very English pale-like fruity aroma, perhaps even a pinch of fuggle hops (earthy) or some black pepper hops; the showcase note here is sweet malt, though; at least cracker malt ... yes, it's definitely English-like and it works nicely

T: grain, corn, sour grain, lots of malt sweetness ... mixing with the hops, it takes on a candied orange/sweet orange flavor, but only slightly so ... the citrus note here is very muted, and overall the beer tastes as much like an English pale with all that malt sweetness; like the aroma, it toes the line of turning into creamed corn, but just pulls short of it, leaving it at fruity and sweet; over time, the earthy hop flavor builds up to the point that it's there on most swallows, but even then it's still very tame

F: fantastic ale feel ... a bit soft around the edges but plenty of carbonation to fill it out, full medium weight ... it's just a bit juicy, too, again proving it's not a lager

O: fine pale and for the price it's hard to beat ($6.99 per six-pack at my grocery store) ... lots of flavor, no major hop bitterness but a nice hint of some tame hops here and there, and with the English-like notes, it's a cool break from the hop crowd; based on the best by date on the bottle, I think mine here is about three months old, and it's held up very well.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a slightly hazy orange hue with a thick slightly orange head.

Smell. hops are dominant, but the saaz hops are smell quite balanced with the aroma (not overpowering). slightly citrisy, but also has a nice piney aroma to it as well.

Taste. Hops arent as present as i thought, but they still are, and it's nice. I guess i'm saying its a nice round balance in taste. Slightly fruity, but also has an earthiness to it. Hops here are a real compliment rather than the taste.

Mouthfeel is good. I think it has a very good balance, medium body- just slightly slick. Nice carbonation.

Overall I really enjoy this beer. Highly drinkable. Does it have the best hop character to it? No. But a great session beer. very nice balanced flavor.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rio Blanco Pale Ale has a thin, off-white head and a sort of murky, yellow-orange appearance, with many lacing rings, streaming bubbles, and some relatively large chunks floating about. The aroma is very muted, but with deep inhalations, one can detect some sweet malt. The taste is of sweet, sugary, medium-roasted malt, a bit of hop sting, and bread. Mouthfeel is medium, and Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale finishes mellow, easy drinking, and delicious.


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Photo of GMB
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real Ale is one of my favorite "craft" breweries. Their catalogue comprises excellent, unique renditions of traditional beer styles; Rio Blanco Pale Ale is no exception.

The bottle tells us that the beer is brewed with Czech Saaz hops, a variety one usually expects to find in a pilsner. This should impart a mild, peppery flavor without adding much bitterness.

The beer pours a slightly deeper amber than one usually expects from a Pale Ale. My first pour produced almost no head. I may have overcompensated when pouring the second bottle, for there exploded a very large, though somewhat thin, white head that disappeared as suddenly as it came.

The nose of this beer is intriguing. A wave of sweet roasted grains are followed by mild notes of pepper and butterscotch.

The taste is crisp and refreshing without sacrificing complexity. One usually expects a delicate, mild hoppy character from the Saaz hops named on this beer's label, but this beer delivers both bitterness and a fragrant hoppy bouquet. The Saaz hops allow flavors of moderately toasted sweet grain and butterscotch to linger on the palate, producing an overall flavor that is sweeter and maltier than many pale ales. I can't understand how some BeerAdvocate reviewers can describe this beer's hoppy characteristics as "subdued" or "held back." In this batch they are up-front and personal. Some call for ales that are "hop-forward." I'd say that "hop-centric" best describes this one.

A quick swish around the mouth produces a nice creamy foam that beautifully complements the sweetness on the palate.

I am partial to Real Ale in general, and find myself gravitating towards Rio Blanco Pale Ale when looking for a beer that is both sophisticated and drinkable. This is a versatile beer. I can sip it slowly and appreciate its moderate complexity, enjoy it with aromatic foods, or drink a few on a hot summer evening.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep yellow color with a white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing. Smells very "bright" I guess? Citrus, grassy hops. Pretty inviting. Those hop flavors come thru upon tasting as well, paired with a fair amount of bitterness. Malty sweetness is enough to balance it out. Clean enough finish to encourage me to have a few dozen of these. I like this beer: too many American pales go big on hops or malt, and don't balance it out.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to armock for this!

Best by 03.09.09:

Pours golden amber with a fluffy off-white head. Web-like lacing sticks.

The smell is grassy, lemony/citric with a grainy malty aroma.

The taste is grainy - towards caramelish - maltiness balanced by zesty lemony citrus and grassy/herbal bitterness. The Czech Saaz hops, while mild, add a nice twist to a well-balanced, mild but tasty brew.

It has a light-to medium body that is crisp and refreshing. Light, but not watery - holds together well with medium carbonation. Smooth.

An easy, yet tasty, "sessionable" ale. I like the Saaz twist, though mild it is enough to give it a "something different" character that works well here.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Really nice orange copper color, with average head.

Smell- Hops mainly(piney), but some enjoyable sweetness underneath

Taste- Starts fairly hoppy, without too much bitterness, and finishes moderately sweet. I think I detect citrus and honey.

Drinkability- I really dig this beer right now. It is full bodied, but not too filling. I will definently buy this in the future.

Overall- A great beer from the Real Ale Company. I think this has become an instant favorite of mine.

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 523 ratings