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: 513
Photo of pentathlete
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold, would have been clear but I let some sediment spill in. Big frothy downright rocky head and a little stickage. Plenty of active carbonation. Nose suffers a bit from the sediment, just a tad yeasty, but there is a mild toast nose and some clean hops. Taste is a nice blend of malt and bitter, maybe not as dry as I expected. There is a certain wateriness early on, but the finish, which I suspect is aided by the Saaz hops, is well done. Mouthfeel is fuller than most APAs even with the watery beginning. A session brew all the way. I'd keep it around with others from this brewery if I lived in TX.

Thanks to assurbanipaul for the sample via one of the unknown numbered BIFs.

 684 characters

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

Hazy, golden amber in color. Low aroma-citrusy and some what vanilla like. Malty sweetness with a slight earty or musty flavor. Nice mellow hoppiness to it. Decent mouthfeel. Overall a nice pale ale. I wasnt impressed out of the bottle but it really became a decent beer half way into it. Worth trying. Thanks mushroomcloud!

 324 characters

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

The beer poured slightly hazy copper with a white frothy yet somewhat low head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a light spicy character and a low caramel. The fruity character contained a light pineapple and low graham cracker aroma.

The flavor was light caramel with low pineapple and other fruit flavors. The light graham cracker aroma carried through to the flavor.

The finish was dry with a fruity and lasting flavor and low caramel into the aftertaste. The body was medium. The flavor could certainly be a bit bolder and the entire beer more complex.

12 ounce bottle.

 609 characters

Photo of beerdiablo
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A flagship brewer of Ales in Texas whose quality continues to rise.

This mild IPA doesn't have a hop monster bite and is a step
above a golden ale. I don't detect too much fruit but there is a light
touch of citrus in the overtones.

In all, this does fine as a session ale. Its best in warm weather.

 307 characters

Photo of Higravity
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pour a little to aggressively, even cold it just keep foaming. After it calmed down, good thing it went into the imperial pint glass, I got a nice amber body sitting on top of a white fluff head that was massive. It had a tingling spicy fruit smell, like that of pinnapples but not so strong. The taste was a delight, fruity spiced out hops that I now know are Saaz, well balanced large mouthfeel. I liked this beer and it is was readily available I would be buying somemore.

 478 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy light amber flanked on both sides by stripped pale golden color big huge white/ off white head falls quick not much lace. Be careful pouring this one.

Aroma is more fruity then hoppy its citrusy but not the usual kind.

Taste is burst of carbonation some caramel malt fruit apricot, melon, pear there is a lingering bitterness half citrus half earthy hop variety. Actually not bad tasting pale ale nice change from the usual, like Hoppy Hour just need to get the carbonation problem under control and all will be good.

Mouthfeel feels medium just to much CO2 for me.

Drinkability is well the flavors is good just too fizzy. Want to thank TxBeer for this sample can't wait to try the others.

 714 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 beertramp
2.59/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Have had this on draft before, but bought a 6 pack the other day which was less than desirable. The bottle was flat - a slight pop from uncapping but then nothing - no head, no lacing.
Perhaps the lack of carbonation affected the taste. (I tried to different bottles and then switched beers.) The hop flavors that I was expecting were not there - it was rather malty and a bit acidic. Not sure why, but I will submit another review from draft.

 444 characters

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

"Blame it on Rio."

This beer is something I like to think of as an Alt-Pilsner. On a first-hand tasting from the brewmeisters' hands I could have sworn that they dry-hopped this baby, only to find out that they dump the Saaz hops late in the boil to give it that bitch-slappin', face-smackin' feeling. (This is unheard of for Texas beers, by the way.)
The body comes across smooth and shiny, and actually finishes really clean while leaving the tip of the tongue a little numb from the Saaz assault.

 504 characters

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

from the bottle. poured a cloudy golden with a big and I mean big white head had to wait for this one to go down and some floaties. aroma yeast sourness, lemon, grapefruit, and hints of sugar. flavor, weak, got some sour apple, lemon, grapefruits and hints of yeast and orange. this would be a good summer beer.

 311 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark Peach.

Strong aroma of peaches, cantaloupe, spicy hops and fruit cocktail. Very nice aroma.

Lovely. Very fruity with notes of peaches, tangerines and pineapple. A pretty tasty treat in my opinion. Balanced well. Thanks to Aubrey for splitting this with me.

 268 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hard Target for the continued primer on Texas brews

Appearance: Well, the dang thing blew up on me as I opened the bottle. Not sure why because it's been siting in my basement for a while but it isn't the presentation kind of killed it for me. Pours a hazy yellow/orange with way too much chunky white head.

Smell: Hops and citrus. A refreshing lemon zest smell with kind of a yeasty, bready finish.

Taste: Hops, wheat, and a bread/biscuit taste rounds it out. It has a hoppy bitter finish with a subtle malt backbone throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and chewy.

Drinkability and overall: An easily quaffable brew. The spill from the start dampened my spirits but a well crafted brew none the less. Thanks again to HT for the sample.

 770 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, bright gold in hue peachy-tawny highlights, I really like the color of this ale, there is loads of animation racing northward. The head was massive in size; uncontrollable actually, it reached three fingers in size, easily. It was white in color, rocky, foamy. It took many pours to get all the beer into the pint glass. After a long while the head rested to a modest cap. This cap remained the entire consumption. There was no subsequent lacing. After a lengthy delay I got around to smelling this beer. The bouquet was weak; hints of sweetness dominated, some fruitiness too and the back was some Saaz hops aromas, lightly spicy, herbal. The hops were very faint. The nose is decent; I would never say the aromas are indicative of a Pale Ale. Apathetic. The palate is kind of plain. I get a suggestion that this was a Pale Ale, in like another life. I really don’t know what this beer is. The hoppiness is very soft, distant even. The bitterness is low. With Saaz hops added was expecting more pizzazz from these glorious hops, all I got has a hint of herbs and spice. Just like the hops, the malt is very soft as well. Pleasantly sweet which works in harmony with fruity notes of peaches and lemon. The palate is pleasant but it lacks bite or a leg to stand on. Everything is agreeable but way too soft. It is tasty and enjoyable but it is also close to boring. Medium/medium-light in body, the carbonation is very low, and the mouthfeel is weak and soft. It is too pliable. I didn’t find much about this beer noteworthy. It is almost a dud.

Thanks Morris729 for the sample!

 1,589 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown bomber with a simplistic label depicting the Blanco River. The color of the beer is hazy golden orange with a fizzy carbonation at first. The head is about an inch thick and short lived. The aroma is very faintly hoppy with pine resin. The taste has butterscotch like malt, and pine/grapefruit hops. The beer is light to medium thick on the palette, with a dry aftertaste. A decent beer, but feels a bit indecisive as to where it wants to go.

 448 characters

Photo of usualpulp
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky yellow color with a thin white head. The aroma consists of mostly saaz hops. The saaz hops are what makes this pale ale different, a lot of pales tend to use cascase hops, which i love, but the use of saaz seperates this one, gives it more of a european flavor to it. The beer is fairly refreshing, but perhaps slightly watery, but has a clean crisp flavor. Overall I would say this is a pretty good beer, and its great to see another micro brewery in Texas produce good beer, its definately something this state lacks.

 543 characters

Photo of HardTarget
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Clean balanced aroma, some hops noted, some toasted malt, but overall, pretty light.
Appearance: Great white fluffy head that laced a bit. Golden color with tons of tiny particles suspended in the brew.
Flavor: Nice pale ale taste, a good does of hops (Saaz I believe) but also a bit of oxygenized, maybe rubbery flavor too. Something is a bit off.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, clean finish.
Overall Impression: Very happy to see this brewery putting out good beers in Texas, but this one is just a touch off. Good pale ale with a flaw, I’m afraid from the brewing process, but it may just be a recipe issue.

 627 characters

Photo of Dubblebock
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sample was the second of the Real Ale brews that I had tried out of their sampler pack. Real Ale Brewing Company is a small craft brewer located out in Blanco, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Cool labels on the product, recycleable packaging, environmentally conscious local brewery.

The beer poured exceptionally well, leaving a thickly constructed head that lasted for quite a while. Orange colored, cloudy with floating sediments, very inviting appearance. Excellent carbonation. Very nice nose, with an almost fruity essence to it.

The taste was very balanced between the malts and the hops. This beer uses Saaz hops, and they add a hint of spice to the overall taste of the beer. Tart hops tingled the tongue while the malts brought the whole thing together. Faint fruit sensations kept coming to the fore. Plums maybe. Very smooth and drinkable. Good mouthfeel to this sample. It had a lot of body and character.

Good drinkability. It would be easy to lay a few of these down at one sitting. Would make a great session beer. I'd pair it with chicken or pork dishes.

An excellent offering from Real Ale. They put a lot of thought into this one.

 1,174 characters

Photo of Morris729
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-hazy orange amber color with a fluffy white head that fades into a fairly sticky lace. Nose is a bit subdued with aromas of lightly floral hops and fruit along with some fainter notes of straw. Medium to medium-light in body with a good amount of active carbonation. Taste begins with notes of light bready malts and some traces of diacetyl followed by some mildly acidic notes of citrus and grapefruit that never turn too bitter. The Saaz hops give this particular brew some interesting characteristics and it would certainly make for a wonderful session beer. Thanks to Bentley for the sample!

 608 characters

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

This beer is a dark golden amber color with a medium thin light beige head. Thin lacing. Lightly hoppy aroma. Medium-bodied and smooth with a decent hops and malt flavor. The finish is a little citrusy. Compared to their Rye and Sisyphus this beer isn't really remarkable, but it is a decent Pale either way.

 308 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 864 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 BeerAngel
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear “watered-down” tea color with nearly zero head. The smell consists of a burnt malt aroma along with light fresh baked bread notes in the background. The taste was a buttery malt with an earthy grain and lightly hopped. It is a light bodied brew and is less than creamy mouthfeel and it ends with a light dry hop finish. It is a good brew, but not great. Perhaps with the lack of head, it could be an older bottle even though I was within the “best by” date. I’ll have to try this again. Perhaps a fresher bottle will be a tad better. Cheers!

 560 characters

Photo of TXHops
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At a Texas Brewer’s Festival in about 1998 or 1999, I tried a cask conditioned version of this Saaz-hopped APA and thought it was pretty amazing stuff. The brewery is now under new ownership, but the Pale Ale is still uniquely finished with Saaz hops: an unusual and welcome change of pace for a ubiquitous style.

The beer pours a sedimented amber, with a pretty nice head that starts large bubbled and conspicuous, but settles into a nice flat layer of small bubbles before receding to the safety of the edge of the glass. The Saaz are not immediately dominant in the nose, like they are in Duvel or Prima Pils, but they can be coaxed to reveal some of their malt-complementing baby white corn aroma with a swirl of the glass. There’s also the unmistakable salty “sea breeze” essence that Saaz always seem to impart. After that, the beer is perfectly average and as-expected, though by no means bad or undesirable. The sweet, cracked malt aroma and flavor give way to a slightly honeyed smoothness, finally yielding to a bit of toasted fruitiness before the long, viscous finish, medium-bodied finish. Great session beer and a welcome change of pace from Cascaded APA’s.

 1,180 characters

Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 513 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 Fest® Cometh

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

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!