Rio Blanco Pale Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Rio Blanco Pale AleRio Blanco Pale Ale
522 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: 522 |  Reviews: 255
Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of oline73
2.74/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with simple label art and branded pressure cap acquired at me local HEB Grocery as part of a Real Ale Brewing variety 6 pack; Real Ale is the only brewery I know of that does a variety SIX pack - usually they're 12 packs. Served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. Best by: 10/16/13.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Subpar creaminess. Decent thickness. Okay lacing forms when you tilt the glass, but none sticks to the sides of the glass; this beer doesn't have "legs" as it were. Retention is average - about 2-3 minutes.

Body colour is a clear copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Looks pretty standard for a pale ale overall. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: It's got a rather pleasant pale malt fragrance. Nicely grainy. Fresh. I do pick up some crisp saaz hop notes, which seem to suit the rest of the aroma quite well. Clean barley. A biteen fruity. It's a ripe aroma with a definite Czech flair. A pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength.

T: I'm surprised this is unfiltered; it tastes quite filtered actually. Water quality seems to be abnormally good; uniquely soft spring water perhaps? I'm definitely getting the Saaz hops, and I imagine that's all they used. Just a crisp lightly herbal lightly floral and vaguely fruity hop character. Clean barley, cereals, grains, straw. A bit grassy. It ends up on a bit on the sweeter end. Perhaps a bit underhopped for the conventions of American Pale Ales, but really it's more of an English Pale in my mind. Its simplicity enables an easy balance, but it's unrewarding in terms of complexity and subtlety as a result.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. There are no obvious off flavours.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Okay amplitude.

Mf: Crisp and clean. Smooth and wet. It's a got a good restrained presence on the palate. Refreshing and very approachable. A biteen overcarbonated. A bit buttery - lending it a English feel. Suits the flavour profile decently, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, harsh, boozy, gushed, or hot.

Dr: A pedestrian pale ale. Sure, it's drinkable, but it brings little to the table. Boring and somewhat bland, but passable. I wouldn't get it again, nor would I recommend it to friends, but I can't see any true beer fanatic hating it. It's far from great, but it's by no means a bad beer. Pricing is okay for the quality.


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Photo of BEERchitect
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rio Blanco is probably an average to above average Pale Ale. Comparisons to Sierra Nevada come to mind in the very first sip. A trademark graham cracker maltiness shows light caramels, sun kisssed grains, and subtle breadiness in taste while delivering a crisp, dry finish. Hops are a bit under stated but favor classic American Cascades. Bitterness definately balances the beer and keeps it from becoming malt-favored. A bit minerally at times, causing the beer to have rough spells. The yeast are not happy; I get a phenolic / plastic character in aroma and moreso in taste that provides the only real distraction. It goes to say that I am drinking this beer two days before its "Best by" date. The phenolic notes may be less aggressive and the beer may be more hoppy if consumed fresher.

Thanks Exiled!

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Photo of zeff80
3.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with golden highlights. It had a one-finger, white head of foam that left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of citrusy hops - mostly orange peel aromas. There was a sweet maltiness to the nose, too.

T - This is a really sweet malty APA. Too sweet really. Almost tasted like a malty amber ale. Very little hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is an okay ale. A little too sweet for an APA and not enough bitter hop bite.

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Photo of brentk56
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber capped by an inch of foam; leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Grainy and grassy

Taste: Opens with a rather sweet, toffe/butterscotch flavor with a lemony/grassy flavor developing in the middle; the sweetness builds again, after the swallow with a bit of diacetyl in the finish that joins the grassy flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; just a little bit slick on the tongue

Overall: Certainly different, with Saaz hops being used in an APA, so I will give it some kudos for creativity but I cannot say that I particularly like the way this whole beer comes together

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Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev -12%

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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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Even a gentle pour brings up a full head of big-bubbled off-white foam over its hazy amber robe. The head holds well, however, and leaves some streaky lace throughout the glass. And that's the nature of bottle conditioned beers... some are very fine, and others are on the cusp of over-carbonation depending on how they've been handled. The nose is restrained for the style, offering only a mild fruitiness, a limited maltiness, and a touch of floral hops. It's crisp in the mouth and medium bodied. There's more caramelish malt in the flavor than the aroma suggests, and it pairs nicely with the unusual choice of Saaz hops that gives it a touch of grass, straw, flowers, and some very mild spice. Some yeast character is apparent as well. It's well-balanced with a solid bitterness, and it finishes short and dry. An easy-drinking pale ale with an unusual twist.

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of billab914
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Freetail pint glass. It poured a clear, light amber color with a thin but sticky white head.

The aroma shows a moderate earthy and very slightly spicy Saaz hop profile to it. Besides that I get a grainy and slightly malty flavor coming through. Pretty light and simple, but not bad.

The taste shows a bit more of the spicy, almost peppery flavor from the Saaz hops throughout the flavor. More grainy flavors also come through with a bit of a sweet malt to it. Pretty light but also pretty balanced.

The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is average for an APA. It was easy drinking and also pretty well balanced but it was also pretty light on flavor compared to some of the best APA's. not a bad beer to have a few of on a hot day but also nothing that really stands out.

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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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Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden copper with a finger of foamy eggshell colored head. Thin and soft layer of retention stays sturdy, leaving a great looking cascade of lace back. Good look here. The aroma is floral, citric, and a touch spicy smelling, mixing in well with the scent of bready pale malts to give the nose some tang.

The taste is a somewhat even blend of bread and citrus, with a more moderate (yet still crisp) hop bite. Despite the bitterness that is present, this is coming off as a touch unbalanced towards the malt side. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamier carbonation yet still has a firm and crisp feel in the mouth. Nice.

Not bad. Like I said, a little too much sweetness at times, which held the taste and drinkibility back a bit for me. Otherwise this was a fairly decent Pale Ale.

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Photo of nathanmiller
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, amber body with a smallish, whitish head.

Smell: Nose of pale malts, grassy Saaz hops, and fine fruity notes.

Taste: Customary pale maltiness with a pinch of sugar sweetness. Pleasant fruitiness displaying flavors of apricot and even a bit of melon. Saaz hops bring a spicy taste of lemongrass as well as a mild, slight bitterness. Short, bittersweet, but crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty, well-balanced, highly drinkable pale ale utilizing Saaz hops instead of the standard American hop profile. I can dig it. This one stands to lose much of its subtle charm due to lack of freshness, so, provided you can find a fresh sample, I rather recommend it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Received as an extra in s trade with SSW117; thanks Sam!

a - Pours a somewhat transparent amber color with one finger of fluffy white head with little retention and light carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of wheat, grain, light citrus hops, and biscuit malts. Smells a little bit stale.

t - Tastes of bready malts, biscuit malts, grain, hops, and sweet fruit. Again, a tiny bit stale, but better than the smell.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

d - Pretty easy to drink, but not sure I would want to. Wasn't a big fan of the smell or taste; lots of stale bready malts in my opinion. Probably would not seek out again.

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Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cantelope orange with a sparse shower of fine yeast and very few slowly moving bubbles. The pale beige cap tops out at less than two fingers after a high-altitude pour, but has no problems when it comes to longevity and lace. I like the look.

The aroma isn't that special, largely because it's so hard to appreciate. The only thing that reaches my nose is a mild ale yeast fruitiness. To be fair, the label does read 'accented with' Czech Saaz hops, not 'bursting with'. Maybe flavor will make more of a splash.

Believe it or not, Rio Blanco Pale Ale tastes exactly like an English pale ale, just as the Real Ale website claims. I'm not sure why that's so, since the various ingredients aren't listed. Actually, they call it a 'Texas interpretation of an English-style pale ale'. I wonder what makes it Texan? The use of Czechoslovakian hops? Odd.

Once hop flavor and bitterness expectations are ratcheted back (based on the EPA style), this is pretty good stuff. The malt tastes almost 100% pale, with a hint of lightly buttered white toast, and the hops are ripe apricot and peach fruity. Fuggles and/or Kent Goldings? There's a little grapefruit as well, and perhaps a hint of lemongrassy Saaziness. 26 IBUs seems about right.

The mouthfeel could use a little more heft and a little more lift, but it really isn't that bad. And here I thought that everything is bigger in Texas. Even though the ABV isn't below 5.0%, this is quite the sessionable pale ale.

After being let down by Full Moon Pale Rye (relative to expectations), I didn't expect much out of Rio Blanco. It's a pleasant surprise, though. Bottom line: this is a dandy American-brewed English-style pale ale that beer drinkers in the Lone Star State should enjoy.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid extra I received in a trade a while back. This one was cracked open and downed with lunch on this fine xmas day.

The pour was fairly typical, light golden amber with a good clarity to it. Nice bit of fizzy white foam on the top of the glass that faded out as quickly as it started and left behind some light lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma was very light, almost not even there at first, but then light hops poked their nose out s well as touches of light grain and a decent grassy note. Crisp, clean and fairly easy drinking pale here. Nothing really sticking out at me. Crisp and clean, with a light hop back to it. Light notes of pears maybe popping up but mostly just strightforward grain all the way with a light dry finish and a smooth and even carbonation.

Overall it is passable. Very drinkable but uninspiring.

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 522 ratings