Rio Blanco Pale Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 515
Photo of MusaJames
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours well with very little head. Color is a dark amber with the cloudiness of an unfiltered beer. Smells pretty powerful for a nose like mine doesn't do well I can smell this beer. Tastes well, full bodied lots of good hops with a little bitterness at the end. I haven't given this Brewing company the time of day and I feel like I want to try more from this brewery. Definitely worth a shot.

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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.

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Photo of Premo88
4.16/5  rDev +20.6%
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 KTCamm
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4/3.....dark copper color, layer of white foam. Islands sit on top. Fruity nose. Grassy taste, odd bitter. Sharp citrus close. Fairly nondescript pale

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Photo of Bob1966
2.03/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Copper colored, with thick white head, with lots of lacing. Seems over carbonated. Large particles settle out on bottom of glass.Very cloudy, more like a wheat beer than a pale ale.

Smell: Slightly sour, no real hop aroma evident.

Taste: sour, not at all like a pale ale should be. No grain or malt flavor evident. Hop bittering is evident, but overpowered by the sourness.

Mouthfeel: too much carbonation, there is a burning feel that comes from the carbonic acid.

Overall: not a good example of a pale ale. Perhaps this beer was spoiled or someone mislabeled this beer? If not, I can't recommend this beer. I will have to try another sample from a different source to confirm this.

Edit: after submitting this review I realized that the consume by date on this beer is 22 months ago.
So much for that. I will need to obtain a fresher sample. This was given as a present by a friend, who was no doubt unaware of the use by date.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
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 fizzgig
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Very clear copper. No head at all even with aggressive pour.

S: Faint smell, hard for me to pick out anything with confidence. Maybe slight floral? After a short while I could not smell anything at all and I tried resetting my senses.

T: Takes a second for any flavor to come on, then a quick rush of mild saaz bitters with a slight linger. Hard to pick out much else, maybe a bit of bread from the malt.

M: Comes and goes fairly quick, doesnt stay long at all. More carbonation than the flat appearance suggests.

O: Very mediocre pale ale, but no offensive flavors redeems it somewhat. If that's what you're after you may be satisfied but I'm looking for a more memorable experience.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear amber color with a small carbonated head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is decent. Very floral aroma with a hint of some tropical fruit. Reminds me more of a lager, though. Taste of floral hops followed by a bready, malty taste. Has a drier finish but overall still reminds me more of a lager. Light bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation. I think that Real Ale could have done a lot better with this one.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tumbler from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a light amber color with some golden hues on the edges. There is a half inch white head that forms and recedes quickly.

Aroma of typical APA. Pale malt notes with some slight grassy herbal hop notes. A very slight citrus tinge is present. There is some slight caramel and bready notes in the aroma.

Flavor is pretty nice, straight forward, refreshing and flavorful. Nice carmel malt sweetness from the pale malts and great earthy and bready grain. There is a nice spicy and slightly citrus hop note along the middle and all through the finish of this brew. The middle of the brew has some slight stickiness to it that quickly dissipates as some more APA type dry bitterness finishes the brew off. Mouthfeel is light-medium with some good drinkability.

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Photo of brentk56
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
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 garuda
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden copper, white head that retains and laces well.

S/T - Bready biscuit malts up front roll into a grassy, herbal hop finish. Slightly minty with some light grains.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, finishes crisp. Lingering minty feel doesn't feel quite right though.

O - Finally had a beer from Texas. Standard pale, unique use of German hops in this one.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top this brew has a citrus smell of oranges and grape fruits with a sweet malt smell in the background. Pours to an orange bronze with a light tan head that fades quickly. Taste is sweet throughout with a bitter twang in the background. Mouthfeel is light carbonation and smooth. A good warm weather PA tasty and balanced, a bit sweet but palatable.

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

Another leftover beer from my Halloween party...I've had this one before, but have not reviewed it.

Decent look...light orange and just a bit hazy with a decent head and some patchy lacing. Not bad.

Scent of caramel malt, along with some herbs, fruits, and hops. Fairly subdued, but not too shabby.

Taste follows scent, caramel malts seem to be the primary taste, accented with floral hops, fruity hops, and bread. A pretty decent session beer in my opinion. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Finish is relatively crisp, leaving floral and caramel malt aftertastes.

Overall it's a good example of an easy drinking locally brewed pale ale. Nothing outstanding, but certaiinly good enough to buy on occassion and share with friends looking for something other than BMC.

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Photo of GMB
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
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 matjack85
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this as part of a sampler pack of Real Ale beers on my last trip to Houston. $8.31 for a six-pack. To my dismay, when I got them to my hotel room, I discovered all the bottles were past their best before date. This one is marked 8/15/12 and this is already September of '12, so I'm not sure how much that will affect the taste and quality, but here goes my review anyway, keeping the overdue date in mind.

The beer poured a clear gold color with just a thin white rim for a head. Can't comment on retention as there wasn't much head to start with. Surprisingly, it still left some decent lacing.

Nice malty smell with some noble hop aroma and some spiciness underneath.

Malty, grainy, and spicy with a mild hop bitterness.

Smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a very nice pale ale that I would recommend to anyone visiting Texas. Wonder how much better it might have been had I gotten it fresh.

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Photo of Pacostacos
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
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 RonaldTheriot
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
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 stakem
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint. The brew appears a hazed golden yellow with copper coloration towards the middle. A white froth fades to thin film with spotty lace sticking to the glass.

The smell is of toasty to bready grain with a hint of fruity pulp. Overall very mild and somewhat muted aromatics despite being allowed to warm up. Once the brew goes beyond ideal temperature, a hint of cheese comes out.

The flavor is buttery with a mild grain inclusion that is somewhat toasty at times. More sips reveal a mild citrus like pulp and herbal to grassy character that is very mild. The bitterness is also so mild that it is really only perceived as a means to keep the grain quality from becoming sweet. Somewhat cheesey with a mild yeasty aspect as it warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is crisp and easy dinking but had very mild character across the board. I would be hesitant to classify this as a pale ale unless this sample I had was outdated. Overall, this was a BMC substitute.

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Photo of DavidST
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best by 9.11.12. This pours a slightly hazy dirty yellow Orange with a decent off white head. The smells are of a sweet citrus, lots of sweetness and malts. The feel is medium to light. The taste is s little disappointing, somewhat light, low hops a little citrus and some malts.

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Photo of Amalak
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Hazy opaque copper color with some foamy white head and a decent lace.

S. Has a bit of an American macro malt scent.

T. Interesting. It has no real taste when it first hits the tongue but in the back of the mouth it has a tart candy taste. Malty.

M. Tingly with an odd grape-ish aftertaste.

O. It's a bit bland, but somewhat refreshing. It's just a bit too basic. Nothing jumps out. There's an odd metallic malt taste, but that's nothing great. But it's not a bad thing, either.

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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.]

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours yellow with a great white head and good lacing

Nose: Golden crisp fruit, sweet malt and light hop notes

Taste: Crisp malty flavor with some fruits and spicey hops, a nice clean finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit too bubbly, but a nice viscosity and finish

Overall: refreshing clean ale with some spice character

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Photo of rooost
4.82/5  rDev +39.7%
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 beergoot
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking golden body with very thin, white head (doesn't last long...). There is a light, bright malt scent with a faint earthy hop aroma.

Taste is fair. Lightly toasted bread with a decent enough hop bitterness. Rather dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium with a fairly lively carbonation.

A decent but unexciting beer. Good enough to pull "session beer" duty.

UPDATE: the bottle did state best before 3/15/12, so I'm a little late on that...I'll revisit this beer pending a fresher sample...

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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.

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Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 515 ratings.
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