Rio Blanco Pale Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

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: 515
Photo of gtermi
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice cloudy orange body with a thin white head that quickly fades.

S: Has a nice bread smell with a strong amount of malt. Also a slight bit of hops.

T: To me this tastes like a bisquit. It has a decent malt taste, but the hops are not there at all.

M: A lot of crispness on the back of the mouth and tongue. Doesn't go down as smooth as I would like.

O: A decent beer, but nothing to ride home about.

 416 characters

Photo of TwinButte
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap! Yeah!

Quick review before we leave. It's fizzy. It's yellow. It's a pilsner named after my Czech heritage. Hops are subtle but have enough bitterness to linger on.

Overall it's just a very basic pilsner but like that it uses authentic Czech Saaz. Won't order again.

 276 characters

Photo of shivtim
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint. Clear straw/copper. Small off-white head.

Nose is hops, grass and corn. Simple but not bad.

Taste is heavier on malts than expected. Slight metallic hops finish it off. Odd ethanol/terpentine on the finish too.

Average mouthfeel. Overall sub-par brew.

 274 characters

Photo of oline73
2.74/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a sam adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. The head fades to a spotty layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some bready malt with a mild sweetness. There is a very faint fruity hop smell as well.

Taste: A bit like the smell. There is more of a hop presence here, but still not enough. Bready malt and a very mild sweetness too. The finish is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with strong, fluffy carbonation and a finish that's a bit dry.

Overall: This is a pretty boring beer. Not bad, but quite boring.

 592 characters

Photo of nukem5
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A.: Pours a nice amber orange color ewith off white cap of foam, with some lacing down walls of glass.

S: Aroma is of piney and floral notes that arenicely balanced with the malt bill.

T: Taste is very hoppy with some malts to tie it all together very well rounded.

M: Medium body smooth nice tingly bubbles dance on tongue.

O: Overall a very drinkable beer

 361 characters

Photo of Ungertaker
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A- golden with almost no head. Carbonation springs are random in the glass.

S- malts and piney hops. There is a very slight presence of orange.

T- bready malts, faint hops, a mild bitterness at the finish

M- medium bodied with a reasonable carbonation level.

O- this is an ok beer. I would offer this to friends who were not big into craft beer, since there isnt much going on.

 407 characters

Photo of D11
2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from bottle into pilsner

A- hazy golden yellow with a white head that does not last long.

S- malty and some hops.

T- about the same as the smell. some hops, not too impressive imo.

M- decent mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

O- mostly was just malty with not enough hops or other spices/flavor imo. i really enjoyed this the first time i drank it, but after trying other hop ales i feel dissapointed.

 406 characters

Photo of tjkinate
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Local beer night.

Poured this crystal clear, pale orange beer into a standard pint glass that produced a 1+ finger, white, frothy head that showed good retention. Smell is sweet and loaded with lemon, very grainy on the tail end. Only could detect a small amount of hops. Taste follows the smell, sweet, grainy, some bitter hops. Nothing exciting here. Mouth was light and surprisingly well carbonated. Overall I feel this beer would be a good one to share with a person new to the craft world, but other than that I would choose many others before this one.

 559 characters

Photo of setexascustoms
2.03/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle, best before November.

A- Golden and pretty clear. One finger soda pop head that fades quick and leaves no lacing.

S- Very slight citris and grains, not much going on.

T- Again, very slight hop presence, not enough for an American pale ale. Dominated by grainy malts, with the slightest vague bitterness in the finish.

M- Light bodied with soda pop like carbonation.

O- This is my second beer from their variety pack, and I must say, I'm pretty let down. There is nothing exciting about this beer, it may be better than macro, but that's about it. Can't recommend it.

 598 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

One thing I will absolutely say for Real Ale brewing is they make a pretty beer. Every beer (sorry - this is Texas, legally I have to call it an 'ale') I've had from them has poured a very pretty looking glass. This has been no exception. Slightly less head than other's of theirs, and not nearly the retention or lacing either. Still a good looking brew, though.

Mild nose, but has faint aspects of pine, orange, and rose petals. Other than that, pretty thin on the nose.

The predominant flavour here is the hops, with almost a dry feel to it. There is some bready malt around the middle to add balance, but not terribly complex.

Not as smoothe and drinkable as their other beers, has almost a biting characteristic to it, and that's not necessarily brought about by the hops as it's not overhopped imo.

All things considered, I would consider it drinkable, check it out if you want, but it's not going to win any awards from me. Not bad, just not terribly outstanding. Take it or leave it.

 997 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head that fades quickly.

Smells of sweet malt and some hop spice...noble hops for sure, but the aroma is minimal. Almost ketchup notes. Not a lot going on here.

Up front slight bitterness that goes into some malt, sweet character, bitter citrus character in the middle, and an almost astringent, clean finish.

Medium carbonation and thin body work fine for the style

There isn't a lot going on here. Some noble hop spice, slight malt sweetness, and a lot of astringency. Pile on the oxidized, cardboard note that I've found in almost all Real Ale beers...I cannot recommend this beer.

 629 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark, burnt gold with an off-white head that leaves some creamy lace rings.

Smell is sweet malt with nice earthy saaz hops. They have a little stale citrus vibe to them I could do without, but the best by date is over 6 weeks ago so I won't fault them (I although I did grab it from a cooler at least, at Spec's)

Taste is similar, I like the punch of saaz on the fairly basic pale base.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side, medium light bodied, a little slick from the hop oils.

Drinkability is pretty good. It's an interesting take on a pale ale for sure.

 566 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. A hearty golden/yellow color with a slight haze to it. Small white cap goes away after several minutes, slight lacing to it.

Smell of toasted caramelized malts, toffee, grains, slight orange peel with a slight hop presence. Pretty straight forward here, pretty well balanced.

Taste is good. Strong grain presence. Not quite as sweet as I expected based on the smell. Citrus zest and yeastiness to it. Decent malt presence and some slight earthy hops. Well balanced and I'd say good overall.

Mouthfeel is good. Light bodied, well balanced, feels like it starts a bit grainy but finishes fairly clean. Good beer overall, glad I got to try it. Thanks depechemode1983 for the trade.

 741 characters

Photo of roodie
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into my Lagunitas pint jar

A: amber orange brown with scant head. Light lacing

S: bready malts and mellow hops a nice combo

T: follows the nose, very mild

M: smooth with no bitterness exactly how I think the style dictates

O: good not great but a solid go to beer

 295 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
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.

 792 characters

Photo of treque
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep gold in color, traslucent, semi hazy, carb is constant generates a creamy, persistent 1 finger white head

S: honey, sweet malts, some hops, earthy, grassy, a little bit of everything

T: balanced, first some sweet, then bitterness, earthy taste, nice end not too much intense but long lasting, medium body

 314 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by date: 8-26-11

A - Pours out a copper orange color. The head is off-white and has decent retention. Lacing is minimal.

S - Fairly light aroma. Some citrus up front. Orange peel mainly. There's also a pleasant bready biscuit background that gives it an earth like quality. Finish is bittersweet with some more citrus and sweet caramel malts.

T - A little too much on the sweet side. Could use more hop profile to balance it out. Mainly caramel malts in the taste with a slightly bitter/sour ending.

M - Mouth feel is ok for the most part. Bordering light bodied but with good carbonation. Not really too bad.

O - Not something I would by a six pack of seeing is there are better APA's out there. Although I don't mind receiving them in the Real Ale mixed six pack. Which is always fresh and very well priced.

 819 characters

Photo of AdamBear
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-amber with a good creamy off-white head

S-smells like grains some honey but mostly crisp hops. complex but faint scent.

T-well this is a very mild beer. its not bad but its really boring. comes in with a slightly grainy taste of fruity hops. leaves with a creamy taste of bitter hops that is appreciated.

M-dry medium carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-as i already said, this is a boring beer. it does go down easily though! i had 23 ounces of it, and it all went down quickly enough to be a good beer to go along with a dinner. other than that, there's nothing really positive about it.

 598 characters

Photo of annawees
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another selection from my real ale variety pack, and I commit another sin by drinking this one straight from the bottle once again.

S: Hoppy, citric, but not a very strong smell- I had to nearly stick my entire nose down before I could get a hint as to what I was smelling.

T: The hop and citric notes are definitely present in the taste as well and it was a little too bitter and off balanced for a Pale Ale.

M: This one was a little harder going down, simply not enough carbonation.

 487 characters

Photo of AlexFields
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to OakedCanuck for sending me this as an extra. This will be my first beer from Real Ale. (But not my last--I got two others as extras too!)

Cloudy amber and orange clolor, can't see through the glass at all. Pours with a nice thick head which dies down pretty quickly.

Nice aroma. Somewhat floral, a fairly rich hop aroma for a pale ale. A hint of orange. Not an extremely aromatic beer but pretty nice for a pale ale.

Taste is not aggressively hoppy in the way you'd expect an IPA to be, but it's definitely bitter. A hint of orange once again, and faintly floral. Bitterness is the dominant flavor, and the bitterness is separate from the other hop flavors in a weird way rather than being well integrated with them, the bitterness covers up the more pleasant hop flavors. Some grainy/bready malt flavor too but nothing very sweet. It's hard to explain but I find the pure bitterness a bit off putting even though it's a pretty mild flavor. It's almost sour or tangy rather than hoppy...a bit like unsweetened biscuit dough.

The mouthfeel is very nice, excellent carbonation despite the quickly disappearing head.

Overall, a decent pale but not a very well balanced flavor profile and not the beer I'd go for if I were looking for a sessionable pale.


 1,273 characters

Photo of Soonami
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks davacano for sending this in the Refreshing Summer BIF.

Poured into a 16 oz Brooklyn tulip. A hazy golden orange with a thin layer of head. The aroma is dominated by the Saaz, which is almost a little skunky, but definitely earthy. It's not an aroma I'm accustomed to in an APA. There is a bit of buttery, toasty biscuit in the nose too. The beer tastes kinda weird. It has a good bit of sweet, grainy malt, with a little citrusy hop and some herbal Saaz. To me it really reminded me of sushi rice. It certainly didn't taste bad, just interesting.

Not a bad beer, not a great beer, but no clear brewing faults--just not the recipe that does it for me.

 660 characters

Photo of schmidtn
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle says “ a classic style accented with Czech Saaz Hops” This really does sum it up.

Bitter like a pale, smooth like a pils.
The color is a hazy golden and decent lacing.

Smells like a malty pilsner.

Years before I was exposed Pales and IPAs, I botched a bohemian pilsner homebrew recipe and ended up with something similar. I liked what I made, but never figured out where I went wrong during the process. No need to brew it, I can get it at the H.E.B.

Medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation.

Definitely worth a try.

 538 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly orange and just a touch hazy with a pretty good head and some patchy lacing.

I detect a pronounced caramel malt component to the smell, along with a touch of herbs, fruits, and hops.

Taste follows the smell, caramel malts seem to be the primary taste, accented with floral hops, fruity hops, and baked bread.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Finish is relatively crisp, leaving floral and caramel malt aftertastes.

Overall it's not bad but not fantastic either. A solid offering tho.

 505 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of a sample pack in Dallas, TX. Poured into a stange glass.

Pours hazy yellow with two fingers of white head that falls quickly and laces impressively.

Smells lightly of hops, especially of the noble variety (the labs states this was made with Saaz). More grassy than citrusy. A bit of pale light malt is also detectable, rather like dried sweet-grass.

Immediately a rather robust dose of bitterness smacks the tongue. From there on out the bitterness is rather harsh without tasting especially good. The Saaz hops are interesting, but not what I would expect from an APA, as in this beer they seem to add bitterness but not the classic flavors. The malts are unusually pale in color and flavor, and come through tasting more like a blonde ale than a typical pale.

The mouthfeel is rather nice, with lively carbonation and an unfiltered feel. Drinkability is hurt by the high bitterness though.

Conclusion: I like and dislike this beer for the same reason; it isn't really like an American-style pale ale. It tastes like a blend of a blonde ale (or even cream ale) and a hopped up pilsner. I don't think that blend of flavors tastes amazing, but I enjoy the fact that Real Ale is doing something with their pale ale that sets it apart from the multitude of pale ales that all taste exactly the same.

 1,321 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to atxdelivery for this one.

Pours a big almost 2 finger fizzy head that fades semi quickly at first them med to slower pace, over a clear amber pale orange colored beer and a light lacing.

Nose has light grassy hops, light sweet malts, light toasty malts, and very light citrus.

taste starts with a gritty toasty malt flavor, and some light spicy and grassy mild fruit hops, a light sweet malt flavor, a bit of bitterness, little fruit and semi sweet almost syrupy flavor, a bit of lager fruity flavor even, a bit of a spicy almost rye like flavor but probably from the hops. Dry finish and gets a little more bitter, decent for an APA but not big, a bit of fruity hops and some malty tastes lingering. It starts to get a slight soapy hop taste later as it warms and I drink more of it.

Mouth is med to slightly light bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall decent, light malts, fair bitterness, decent but a bit on the lighter side for the hops, very drinkable though.

 978 characters

Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 515 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.