Pale Ale | Legend Brewing Co.

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Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our American style Pale Ale is a hop lover's dream. We craft this copper colored ale to supply a moderate bitterness and an aggressive hop flavor and aroma. Willamette hops pitched early in the boil give a clean, soft bitterness. Late kettle hops include Northern Brewer, Simcoe, and Chinook for plenty of pungent pine and citrus character. Judicious amounts of four specialty malts add counter and depth. Expect a medium bodied brew with an assertive, complex flavor and a dry finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2002

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 134
Photo of dball
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Legend beers seem to be pretty solid across the board. I've only had their larger production beers but would love to make a trip to Richmond for some more tasting. The Pale Ale pours nicely into a glass and has a rich color that is just shy of copper. The head is light and laces a little on the glass. The smell is a bit bland with hints of floral hops. The taste is very nice. It's far from a stand out Pale but is up there and out does a standard for American Pale's, Sierra. I'll get it again for sure. -addition (since this review I visited the brewery and it was worth the stop)

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Photo of Seanibus
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I'd really call this a pale ale, but it is darned tasty, whatever it may be.

Pours amber with livey head and good lacing. The aroma is carmelly and strong. The flavor strong, carmelly, and malty, with a light hop flavor but a nice bitterness that is a lovely counterpoint to the malt. It has a satisfyingly strong mouthfeel.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper amber body with a a big fluffy off-white head. Nice retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smells are citrusy and grassy, nice hops.

Taste is overall very mild, but rahter good. Citrusy and piney notes, mostly hops but also a very slight malt backbone. Good, well-balanced APA. Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Very drinkable, even outside on a hot day like when I tried it. Legend makes some good brews!

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Photo of PhageLab
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, 6 oz bomber poured into a weizen glass. Fresh Beer - Keep Cool on the side of the bottle.

A - Beautiful transparent light brown coloration with a slight amber hue. Nice 1/2 inch head of white froth. Great retention and spotted lacing. Impressive presentation overall.

S - Pine and caramel mostly. Not the strongest aroma, but what is there is rather nice.

T - Wonderfully balanced hop profile. Very piny and refreshing. Has a cooling characteristic to it. Medium level of bitterness which fades over into the aftertaste. A malty backbone gives this brew just the right amount of depth. Were it a bit more complex, a 5 may have been issued in this department.

M - Fairly light bodied and smooth. Low level of carbonation and no left over residues. It will tinge the taste buds just a bit, but it won't burn anything out.

D - Good I must say. This one disappeared far too quickly, and I suspect another would suffer the same fate. Not too complex, but what is present is damn fine. Wonderful example of a pale ale, if you can find it, drink it.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a huge, foamy/rocky, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Lots of malt in the smell, with a traces of hops as well.

T: Tasted of caramel malt, hops, and a tinge of citrus. Not as hoppy as some APAs, but a solid flavor.

M: A fairly well carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A drinkable APA.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this 22 oz. bottle back from Virginia for me!

Pours a bright copper amber with a large white foamy head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of citrus - grapefruity with some orange/tangerine.

The taste is of citrus - bitter grapefruit and orange with a lemony and slighlty herbal touch as it progresses. Some caramelish sweetness rounds it out. There's some saltiness in the bitterish finish.

It has a firm medium body.

A very drinkable APA (despite the slight destraction of a touch of salt) - a hoppy APA (could pass as a more balanced IPA, IMO).

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Photo of ackleydg
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong golden color, with persistent, creamy, off-white head. Very clear. Excellent lacing.

Smells malty and sweet, with some citrus.

Tastes malty and sweet, with hop bitterness more than hop flavor, but some citrus hop flavor does come through.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Carbonation is relatively low.

It's quite good. I've been enjoying recently in a black and tan.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of all the Legend brews I've tried this one seems to really resonate with me. Pours a seethru brownish gold with a good head. I can pick up earty, citric hops as well as a nice chunk of caramelized malt. Taste is more the same as this medium-bodied, slightly chewey brew has a good balance of hops and sweet malt to keep everything in harmony. Passes easily and has a semi-dry backbite. Just really spot on from my vantage point.

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Photo of smanders
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bomber into a British Pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a clear, dark amber with a nice billowy head. Intricate lacing.

Smell - Hops (pine,citrus) upfront with nice sweetness (caramel) out back.

Taste - Sweeter than most Pale Ales, but there is still a significant amount of hops. This is nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a drier finish.

Drinkability - I am really surprised by this beer. I like it. Definitely a recommendation to friends AND a repeat purchase.

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Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rotating Legend bier, the Pale has a medium golden color, a fine, thin, lasting head, and good Belgian lace in the glass. A pleasant floral, hoppy aroma filled the air. Medium bodied, it passed nicely over the tongue. There was a minimum of malt present; hops are the main character here. Lots of smooth, citrusy/grapefruit notes, with a smidgen of bitterness in the finish. A tasty bier, seemed less like a pale than an IPA, and tastier than their Golden IPA.

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of ramseye4
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A=Pours a thin looking golden color, with an excellent head that has decent retention, minimal lacing.
S=A very nice balance between grassy hops and the slightly more powerful caramel malts
T= Caramel malts come to the forefront, with the grassy hops providing a nice bittering balance. The aftertaste is wonderfully bitter, but not overpowering. No clue what the ABV is, but the alcohol is completely hidden. This beer has an absolutely wonderful balance of malt and hops, and overall has a very earthy, natural taste.
M=the only part of the beer I found a bit disappointing, it is thin feeling, light bodied.
D=With the ABV hidden by the well balanced taste, and how easily this one slides down, the drinkability is among some of the best I have had.

They make this stuff right down the street from where I live, and it is a well rounded APA. Another good, but not outstanding, offering from Legend.

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Photo of obywan59
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review.

A: First pour into a weizen glass was a nice clear golden color, 2nd pour, more of a golden brown and cloudy, like apple cider. Minimal carbonation.

S: HOPS!! out of the bottle. Reminded me of a Stone brew. Hops and some sweet malty notes from the glass.

T: Disappointing at first, but it grew on me. First impression was a watered down Stone not well-balanced. Taste of hops on the swallow that faded and left a sweet lingering maltiness. Later, the hops lingered throughout alongside the malt flavor and the balance seemed to improve. Lemony tartness accented the bitter and sweet flavors. More of a laid-back Stone. The good taste lingers on and on.

M: Medium body leaving a nice oily coating throughout the mouth.

D: In the end, a very tasty and drinkable brew I would buy again, especially considering the reasonable price. 6% ABV noticable before finishing the first glass. Good drinking on a warm summer night and a solid offering from the home state!

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured one and a half bottles into an imperial nonic a clear rich copper with a large sticky white head that held like glue to the glass leaving a full ringe of lave as it settled into a frothy mass.Leafy hops and lightly toasted bread in the nose,not much sweetness.Very balanced on the palate with minty/leafy hops mixed with a slightly sweet and toasted bready malt base,a tinge of brown sugar wich was a bit odd came into play the finish as well.A pretty solid pale,not as hopped as many APA's but it has nice flavors.

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Photo of Fezfreak
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a sixer at a Kroger in Harrisonburg, Virginia during the last weekend of July 2010.

I'm thinking it was a not-so-fresh batch.

All but the first bottle have been inconsistent, leading me to believe it was either old, mistreated, or both.

Although I enjoy beers that age well, most of the ones I drink have a short shelf-life. I'm one of those guys usually who prefers the freshest beer possible. And when I come across something that tastes as inconsistent as this, my first guess is that it's in the autumn of its life. So while this wasn't a "bad" beer, it didn't exactly knock my socks off. Tasted less like a pale ale and more like a dry-hopped brown ale that I once brewed at home.

Pours a nice copper color with a durable 1/2 inch thick head that left good lacing behind.

The smell is what sort of "gnarled" me out first, lots of sour caramelized malt with a noticable dose of grassy hops.

The taste had a bit of sweet raisin biscuit malt in the front, with lots of bitterness in the middle as well as in the finish.

I would love to re-evaluate this beer another time, either on tap or from brewery fresh bottles.

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Photo of doerickson
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany-colored brew with a creamy, persistent off-white head. Citrus, tart hop smell at the forefront.

Tangy hops swarm the tongue at the start, with a bready malt flavor providing some balance. Flowery bitterness accompanies the finish, which is lasting.

I was pleased with this Legend beer. An East Coast APA with a Northwestern character; hops are clearly the feature. Sort of an IPA-light.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice floral aroma. Somewhat toast bready notes underneath. Pours copper with a big frothy lasting head and some sticky lace. Floral hops up front, toasted malts, light sweetness, a little bready, and more earthy floral hops rounding out the finish. Well carbonated, almost a bit much for my liking, but a nice drinkable and quenching pale ale.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of Legend's spring seasonals. Had it on tap with some jambalaya after the Richmond Braves baseball game on Saturday. Had the whole family with me.

Beer is a dark orange, light brown with a beige foamy head. Nose was surprisingly sweet, with hops in the mix. Taste followed the nose perfectly: sweet in the front and medium hoppiness mixed in. Nice hoppy finish. This pale ale was nearly creamy due to the sweetness. Easy to quaff. I would have had another but the guest tap was Dominion's Spring Brew (the double pils) and I couldn't pass that one up.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Forgot about this's been sitting in the back of the beer fridge since Christmas. Here goes...

Pours a clear copper-amber color with a dirty eggshell head. Some nice lacing remains behind. This is one of the darker pale ales that I have ever had.

The smell has some spicy citrus hops, some resiny pine, and a good malt backbone. Smells a lot better than I remember the other Legend beers I tried smelling.

The flavor is good, but not that much above average. The spicy hops and caramel malts blend nicely, but imo , the hops are a tad too strong for a pale ale. I love hoppy beers and this one is good, but for the style I feel it is a bit over the top. More of an IPA to me.

The mouth feel is on the heavier side of medium. Chewy, creamy. Drying, bitter finish. Very easy drinker, imo. A whole lot better than their Golden IPA. Maybe they just labeled the bottles (or the fermenters) wrong.

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Photo of hops4me
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK I liked this one alot. The problem is I don't think it is a pale ale. Like someone else said it resembles more of an IPA...and a good one. The hops were all over it in the taste and flavor. Grassy, Piney, and of course lots of citrus. But all these hops are backed up by a nice toasted toffee flavor in the aftertaste. I will definitely buy this again. It is very drinkable due to its great balance. I would have marked it higher but I just can't accept it as an APA...really just a petty technicality....very good beer.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a middling orange brassy hue with a scant white head. The head gives way to slight white lacing. The aromas are overwhelmingly citrus; orange, grapefruit, tangerine, etc. The flavors are similarly citrusy with great notes of the aforementioned fruits. The pale ale isn't over the top which leaves it wonderfully drinkable and the medium body makes this a refrigerator regular for me.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed amber gold, cap of white froth with some sticky lacing. Scent is mild and is of fresh dried grain and grassy hops - earthy, grainy and fresh. Taste brings mild components of scent and makes them into a refreshing beer - touch of nuttyness comes in with the fresh grains and hops. Lighter side of medium, carbonation in control, dry and grainy on palate. Decent IPA whose fresh qualities make up for lack of complexity.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 02/23/12:
Bottled in 2011, but can't read the full date as it has been partially rubbed off; Poured in a pint glass.

A - 1-1/2" off-white fluffy head with nice retention; Appearance is crystal clear with a medium amber color; Visible carbonation within the glass; Decent patches of lacing left behind

S - Nice balance and presence in the smell; Good amount of caramel, toasted bread, and roasty malts with a good showing of piney, herbal, and lightly floral hops

T - Close to the nose with a nice balance between caramel and toasted bread and toffee malts, and piney, herbal, and hints of citrus hops; Mild shot of bitterness present in the first half of the taste

M - Good amount of carbonation; Medium bodied; Fairly dry finish

O - I'm not sure I have had this beer before now, but I thought Legend did a nice job here. It's a well rounded beer, with a pleasant aroma and a nice, balanced flavor that brings enough of a punch from both the hops and malts. I am still working my way through the year-round offerings from Legend, but the pale ale is one of my favorites thus far.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 22 ounce bomber bottle and into my shaker glass. this pale ale appears a clear golden yellow color with about an inch of quickly fading bone white foam. The nose and flavor consist of grassy hops, slightly resinous pine, light citrus such as grapefruit and lemon, caramel malt, and lightly toasted grain. Very nice body and carbonation levels here. Drinks good as well.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 09/21/08.

Pours a dark orange color with about four fingers of soft beige head. Aroma is a bunch of piny hops and sweet malt.

Taste is sweet caramel malt and piny, earthy hops. A bit of bitter grapefruit taste and a somewhat tea-like taste as well. A biscuit-like taste from the malt sweetness. Feel is smooth and just slightly under-carbonated. Leaves a hoppy aftertaste for awhile. Drinkability is pretty good, it goes down easily.

It seems more like an IPA than a pale ale, but it's still very good.

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Photo of ikats
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, amber in color (seems too dark for a pale ale) with a persistent off-white head. I find aroma to be very inviting. It is sweet, a bit oily and sticky, but very refreshing with citrusy hops in the foreround. Makes me wish somebody did an airfreshener with that aroma. In taste, I find that sweetness and hoppy bite do not play that well. Hops run too wild, and the beer seems too bitter (in a bad way). It is still very drinkable, but mouthfeel suffers. This beer does not seem to follow Pale Ale style. It's closer to IPA in my opinion.

I picked up this 22 oz. bottle during my recent visit to Richmond. I am glad I did, and I will definitely stop by Legend Brewing next time I am in town (their pub was very enjoyable). One last note: I think the label is pretty cool - very good looking, classy bottle.

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Pale Ale from Legend Brewing Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 134 ratings.
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