Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Rio Blanco Pale Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
253 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 514
Photo of drxandy
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in trade from ben4881, 12oz to standard pint, pours a really nice looking semi-opaque reddish peach, foamy white head

smells of crisp, sweet, citrus, nice malts, spicy saaz, smells fresh and flavorful

taste is of good sharp citrus, biscuit maltiness, hops play in nice, lots of good flavor, smooth and sessionable, refreshing, not too overpowering but loads of flavor

mouthfeel is of good weight and carbonation, spicy finish, blended nicely

 448 characters

Photo of BeerSox
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Slightly hazy deep amber color with a thin head that lingers for a bit. It finally settles to a thin cap.

Piney hops along with a sugary malt base, along with a hint of maple syrup.

Light and thin toasty cracker like malts lead off to a middle-of-the-pack bitter hop presence. A little bit of diacetyl can be detected. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is quick with some lingering maple flavor and a little bit of bitterness.

The Saaz hops mix well with the slightly toasty malts. It's not the best American Pale Ale I have had, but it's definitely a local beer worth supporting. It's very easy to drink and not overpowering like others in the same style.

 713 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tsatem for this bottle.

A - A rich amber with hints of a deeper orange. Small white bumpy head, big bubbles.

S - some spice from the hops, mild citrus sweetness.

T - Spice comes through quite well. A small amount of bitter dryness. You get some malt sweetness towards the back. It is mostly the spiciness that you get on this beer. It's not bad, by any means. A light taste.

M - Fairly strong with spice and carbonation, fairly full body.

D - Pretty drinkable, very refreshing.

 492 characters

Photo of beertastegood
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a very small, slightly rocky head. Apparent carbonation is low (I would hope so, with a label like Real Ale). Aromas of fresh-cut grass from the Saaz hops, along with a slightly sweet caramel-like undertone. Not sure what type of malt they used, but it smells like very good British malt.

The Saaz hits you over the head with its bold, assertive, distinctly grassy flavor, along with a beautiful bitterness that is really thirst-quenching. Malt is downplayed in this beer, as I would expected for an APA - however, it still makes an appearance towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little lower than your average American beer, which is a good thing. Wonderful dry finish with a trademark Saaz flavor left on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is a great easy drinking beer. A slightly higher alcohol content than a traditional session beer, but goes down easy nonetheless. I will be picking more of this up in the future.

 967 characters

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

A- Little white head at first but steady replenishment allows it to persist. Hazy orange color with slight tendency toward brown.

S- Well-balanced. Sweet malt with some light floral hops and bitterness.

T- Sweet malt with floral hops followed by bitterness. Follows smell quite well.

M- Medium-bodied with evident carbonation. Sight bitter afterfeel.

O- Very good in all respects. Not groundbreaking but a brew and brewery I often pick up.

[Retried 8/2012. Similar, though I did notice a toastiness in the aroma and a biscuit-like component in the taste. Body seemed a little lighter than before. An especially good choice in the Real Ale 6-pack sampler.]

 660 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark honey to pale copper body with ascending bubbles that get bigger as they rise. Sturdy 1/2" head that leaves swirling lacing designs. Smells of sweet malts, with herbal and floral hop aromas. Flavors are a little lighter than I expected. The malt is there but seems to get washed out a bit too quickly. Hops pull through at the end with herbal and floral notes and a crisp finishing bitterness. I get a little citrus in there as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, having been bottle conditioned, but it's a bit too thin. This is surely a great session beer.

 565 characters

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

A - Pours coppery amber. Great look. Thin, dissapating head.

S - Smells hoppy, bright, zesty, almost citrusy. Good malty balance in the background of the scent.

T - Hits with a great balance of malts and hops, more so the latter. Bready malts follow throughout, balanced delicately with subtle hops underneath. Extremely well-balanced. Finishes zesty, not quite spicy, neither too much like citrus.

M - Feels great against the palate, extremely refreshing. The colder the better. A bit of a carbonated sting to begin with, but not bad enough to knock the whole beer.

D - Extremely drinkable - these were meant for sessions.

I think this last Rio Blanco may have changed my overall opinion of the beer. It's actually much better than the last few I've had, don't know what factor changed things; but, the one presently in front strikes me a solid B+ effort.

 863 characters

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

Not a brew expert, but I love trying different beers. This is a Texas brewed beer that is not the best, but can hang with the tops. Lightly hoppy and smooth beer with a good taste. Don't like super hoppy beers because of the aftertaste, and this one is right in between. Would rate it 5, but I like a bit of a sweeter beer...damn close though.

 343 characters

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

Thanks Csims for the brew.

Pours a cloudy deep orange color, nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy white head, which then leaves some islands and sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, malty, citrusy, and slight caramel. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, and slight citrusy. Medium body, nice balance between hops/malts. Drinkable, a very nice APA.

 352 characters

Photo of redraider2323
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - copper, amber in color, moderate foam and head retention

S - More of a European pale ale nose with a pleasant herbal quality from the Saaz hops.

T - biscuit malt, baked bread balanced by earthy noble hops.

M/D - medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Very drinkable and nice bready, tea-like flavors. Good session ale, although the ABV is probably a little high to be truly sessionable.

 389 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to optimator13 for sending me this one as a part of The Small Aquatic Mammal BIF '11! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger bone white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, caramel, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, fruit, citrus hop, and slight skunky hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The flavors in this one weren't overly strong, but were definitely making their presence known. If they were a little more robust this would have been quite the awesome brew. Still pretty good nonetheless though. I would suggest giving this one a shot without hesitation.

 809 characters

Photo of rfabian
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler it produces a 4 mm thin white head that passes away but nevertheless leaves fine lacing. The appearance is light amber and slightly cloudy. The aroma is of light floral hops. The taste is caramel, malt, and moderate hop bitterness. The feel is light bodied with medium strong carbonation and a clean finish. This is a very drinkable beer, a pleasure.

 372 characters

Photo of fjordhook
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a dark golden color, good sized head.. about 1 inch. Completely transparent body. Smell is dominated by hops, but not overpowering. Tasted like a mild pale ale. I thought there would be a more overbearing taste of hops, but it was very smooth. Very light feel and easily drinkable.

 292 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 20oz Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden-amber color with a small, slowly dissipating white head that leaves a good bit of lace.

Smell: Sweet buttery aromas backed up by floral hops and a slight grassiness.

Taste: Sweet and buttery, with a well-rounded toasty bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium, well-carbonated and crisp body with a very dry finish.

Drinkability: Overall a solid, well-rounded pale ale. Not the best one I've had, but it's definitely good and I would like to drink it again!

 547 characters

Photo of goatgoat
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 6/2/09.

Pours a clear light gold color. 2 fingers of off white head fall pretty quick, leaving a maze of sticky lace at first.

Aroma is crisp, honey, toast, grass, herbal and a hint of lemony citrus.

Flavor follows aroma. This is a very balanced brew, not at all hop-forward like most APAs. Starts with a light sweetness, a little nutty, then a very gentle bitterness that sticks around just long enough to be called a finish.

Medium light body with lots of carbonation, which gets a little prickly but not too bad. Clean and refreshing.

Looking for an APA that borders on IPA? This isn't it. Which would explain why it's underrated, imo. It's a tasty, well-balanced, refreshing brew. The hops are different from your typical APA, but very tasty.

 759 characters

Photo of omnigrits
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't expect anything more than a thirst-quenching drink from this beer, but in the Texas summer heat it's exactly what you want sometimes. It's nicely balanced with a tendency towards malty sweetness rather than hoppy bitterness. In this respect it could be a little more refreshing, but I can find no complaint there and I'm happy to run through a six-pack in short order. It's very easy to drink. Leaves a nice aftertaste on the tongue which invites you to crack open another one. A very pleasant session beer.

 513 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite sure how, out of >125 reviews of this beer, this is only the third from an on-tap source, but here goes:

Rio Blanco is enticing for a Pale Ale, with a golden-copper body that shines against the darkly lit backdrop of the city of Austin (Did I mention I was on a hotel bar balcony?). Nice head retention, and the light tan bubbles leave some speckles of lacing. Nice aroma, too, but a bit faint, with some citrus peel, tropical fruit, fresh hops, and a caramel malt backbone.

Not quite sure why this beer gets so dogged, maybe it's a bottle vs. on-tap phenomenon, because the pint I had was quite flavorful, with a nice presence of citrusy hops balanced by a solid base of caramel and biscuit malt. Aftertaste gets slightly stale, however, and the light body dries out a bit much. Yet the crisp, zesty mouthfeel & carbonation make for a refreshing, quaffable beer. Best Pale Ale I've ever had? Not really, no. But would I buy this beer again? You bet.

 965 characters

Photo of Spineypanda
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a little head, did not last long.
Smells of hops, green hops. Some sweetness and citrus in the background.
Tastes a little stale but not too bad because hops have a nice taste.
Mouthfeel is not as carbonated as I would have hoped for but for a pale ale it makes sense.

 299 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a bright, hazy, peachy hue, with a smallish head, light and brief.
Aroma: nice, zesty hops right up in the nose, soft and wonderfully rounded, a bit tamed, but bountiful in fruit (peach, melon, pineapple, apricot, citrus), a sweet, beautiful blend, to be sure.
Hop assault in this ale is small, but the flavor is large and long.
A very delicious, and judiciously hoppy ale. The Saaz hops employed inject just the right amount of taste, without ever becoming too bitter. (Not that I object to that in an ale.) But it works wonders here: tangy, citric, yet sweet, happy, a perfect fruitiness, and a brew I could enjoy again and again!
thanks to kbub6f

 665 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a mostly clear rich golden color that is tinged a slightly red color. The head is decent, rich and settles at an acceptable rate leaving a moderate lacing down the glass.

The nose is a nice peppery amped up version of Old Speckled Hen. I am liking the peppery nose and find it more than adequate. THe nose definitely reminds me of Challenger Hops.

The taste is a nice bitterness that also bellows Challenger Hops with a buttery and grassy undertone that is floating on a nice malty body.

The mouthfeel is rather rich and pleasant also.

OVerall a drinkable beer that is highly enjoyable.

 608 characters

Photo of pweis909
3.89/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up as part of an assortment pack while visiting Austin.
Drinkable pale ale. Hops are assertively aromatic and flavorful, but not aggressively bitter, and the malt flavor is nicely layered under the initial hop taste. There is some bitter to the finish, but it does not bite. This one works well with local Tex-Mex cuisine.

 334 characters

Photo of
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle at The Onion in Houston.

Slightly hazy, true gold color. Off-white head, medium in size.

Pretty mild aroma, beer is quite cold. Citrus like hops, and some spice - pepper.

Very well balanced in flavor. Malt slightly less prevalent than hops. Biscuity. Hops mainly at finish, citrus - lemon.

Medium in body and carbonation. Fairly dry.

A really good session beer. Great balance. Why do I find beers like this when I have to drive...

 458 characters

Photo of mhewes
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice amber color with minimal head

S : Not much here, some malts and a little bit of hops

T : Starts off with malt and has a nice hop bitterness at the end. A great balance

M : Very light

D : Really good. I think it's a great example of what a APA can be

 271 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Robert for this one. I guess I never put my review of this one up on BA.

A: THe pour is a crystal clear golden color with a mild and short lived white head. Plenty of carbonation bubbles emanate from the bottom of the glass.

S: A sort of subdued hop aroma with a definite sweetness from the malt. The hops provide a citrus and floral notes, but are not very pungent.

T: A fairly sweet pale ale up front with the caramel and bready malts shining through. Perhaps a bit of sweet oranges in there as well. The back end, however, has a nice bitterness to it and maybe a hint of fruit here as well.

M: The body is light to medium with a crisp and plentiful carbonation to it.

D: A very refreshing and easy drinking beer. I haven't been overly impressed with the Real Ale beers I've had to this point, but this one was quite nice.

 839 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been a few years since I last had this... it only recently returned to the Dallas market, but now it's city wide instead of just at Whole Foods. The pour, into a .4L chalice, is a lovely copper coloar with a solid topping of dense foam and excellent lacing. Nose is a bit faint and understated, with a nutty, earthy hoppiness. Good dry nutty, very lightly-caramel maltiness up front. Bitterness is moderate, more along the lines of an English pale ale than American, but with a noble hop flavor instead of English or American. Clean yeast character with a medium-dry finish. Neutral texture with modest carbonation.

A good every-day drinking beer.

 648 characters

Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 514 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!