Full Sail Pale Ale | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

363 Reviews
Full Sail Pale AleFull Sail Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not to be confused with their English Style Pale.

"Our Pale Ale has a fresh, hoppy aroma that comes from two (top secret) Northwest hop varieties, while two-row Pale and Crystal malt give it a mild sweetness that finishes clean and crisp. Feeling out of whack? Put on some music, crack a Pale Ale, and readjust your balance.

ABV 5.4% IBU 37"

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002

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Reviews: 363 | Ratings: 642
Photo of TechMyst
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice little pale ale actually. Purchased at safeway just to try something new while on vacation. Citrus/mild bittering hops. decently balanced medium mouth feel. nice to see the slightly higher alcohol content. I would definitely recommend this and try again as well. This was crisp and refreshing. I'd like to try more from this brewer, but they are way out from where I live.

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Photo of shererjt
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear, deep copper with a moderate head. Nose was rick caramel and yeast with subdued hops and an earthiness in the background. Not a lot of fruit. Some citrus, but not like many of the APAs. Busy flavor, with citrusy hops, earth, and a lingering bitterness. Malt was secondary. Nice, medium body in the mouthfeel. Drinkability was about average.

Not a bad beer. Wouldn't go out of my way to get it, but I'm glad to have given it a try.

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Photo of KajII
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a crystal clear sparkling light to medium amber with a slight yellow hue and a head that was average sized (1-2 finger), fizzy and white and had fair lacing.

The aroma was kind of mild of a grain malt, a citrus hop and a musty scented yeast with a hint of caramel and grapefruit.

The taste was just a tad sweet and acidic with a mild caramel note at first and then became a little bitterer and a touch hoppy with a definite note of citrus (grapefruit) at the end. The flavor hung around for a little while after the swallow leaving a bit of bitterness to linger on.

Mouthfeel was a shade or two above light in body and dry but also watery in texture with a nice lively carbonation.

Overall a decent Pale Ale, one that goes down easy and finishes nice...

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Photo of beersabound
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer but there was not enough hop characteristics. The aroma was slightly estery with some pale malt. But it's lacking a true hop character. I thought the bottle might be getting a little but it's dated 9/28/7. The bitterness is okay but the hop flavor was lacking as well. It was easy to drink with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. It had an inviting golden hue with good head retention. I prefer a Pale with more aroma and hop flavor.

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Photo of illidurit
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to pint glass. Honeyed amber color with a fluffy cascading beige head. Aroma is pale and crystal malty with faint accents of grapefruit rind. Not very robust. Flavor is dominated by light bready malts with a touch of sweetness. Hops are overly subdued, only barely detectable as an herbal piney note. Mouthfeel is standard, drinkability is fine, but what's the point of a west coast pale ale if there isn't any hoppiness?

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Photo of bsp77
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a tall glass.

Appearance: Bright yellow gold with very light head and almost no lacing.

Smell: Very faint grainy malts, orange and spice.

Taste: Mostly grainy malts, while the hops are more herbal and spicy with a light orange flavor. Ends just slightly bitter, spicy and almost metallic.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body that is too watery. Slight dryness at the end.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but definitely too watery with a strange hop character. Not an APA that I would seek out again.

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Photo of wedge
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear golden orange with a soapy, bubbly sheet of a head. Nice webby lacing. Aromas of caramel, grain and herbal/flowery hops. Spicy, somewhat juicy citrus and leafy hop sweetness with a slightly grainy finish. Slight veggie-ness. Not the most easy-drinking pale ale in the world. Medium bodied. I'm not crazy about the hop choices in this one. Not bad, but probably not something I'll want to purchase again any time soon.

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Photo of biergeniesser
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This 12 oz bottle of Full Sail Pale Ale poured a brilliantly clear orange. It had a fluffy white head which collapsed quickly leaving a thin white veil, which laced itself nicely on the glass. Fine bubbles evolved from the bottom of the glass throughout.

The aroma of this pale ale contained elements of biscuity, toasty malt and spicy hops.

Full Sail Pale Ale has a flavor which is balanced nicely between malt and hops. Earthy toasted malt notes blend nicely with spicy hop flavor and solid, but not overwhelming, hop bitterness. It finishes relatively dry and the bitterness lingers nicely.

Medium bodied with a light mouth coat and crisp carbonation.

Altogether this Full Sail product is a nice well balanced pale aleĀ… definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear honey orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small spots of lacing around the glass on the drink down. Smells of biscuit-like malt, cooked vegetables, and herbal hops. Nothing too exciting. Taste is somewhat better with the herbal hops up front with a biscuit like malt aftertaste. Low hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. Low carbonation levels make this one a tiny bit thick feeling. Overall, a decent beer that walks the middle of the road. I wouldn't get this one again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one...

12 oz. twist-off ("torque off") capped bottle, best by 12-21-07 (Close, but had it a few days before that - and reviewed from notes, as is the norm for me):

Pours light orange/amber with a thin white head.

The smell is of caramel with soft citric and floral notes.

The taste is of caramel with some unusual buttery notes. A light touch of hops lend some bitterness, though it remains sweetish. Maybe the hops died on this one faster than expected - they are there but only to lend some bitter, citric/floral balance to the malt.

Medium-bodied at most. It's okay, but would fit around the middle of a line-up of APA's, IMO.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a nice orange/copper color, produces a flimsy head that quickly dissipates to a thin bubble bath ring. Has medium carbonation, and it leaves some very flimsy, broken lacing. Appearance was lacking a bit. Smells of molasses, grains, wheat bread, followed by some spicy pine, citrus notes, and some lite fruity grape & pineapple. subtle hop twang, has an overall sweet, malty character.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of sweet grains & malt, subtle molasses, lite fruity, pineapple & orange peel notes. Slight pine and earthy notes, the hops are there but has an overall sweet grain/fruity character. Mouthfeel is slightly silky, slightly chewy, pretty smooth and somewhat creamy, not much bite to it at all. Has a medium-full body, but far more on the medium side, very desirable feel.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Well I thought this was a good example of the style, it wasn't missing anything, but it wasn't great to me either. The price on the other hand, was outstanding, as Ive noticed with most of the Full Sail 6packs, 6.99 for a 6pack in CA! All in all decent and not outrages, or exciting, but for the price you can't beat it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle yanked outta New Jersey, PA does not get this, Jersey gets a bone every now and then.

Full Sail Pale comes into the glass splashing a golden tan shade with a nice bright look. Pouring real hard, I don't even get a decent cap to stare at, just a dead calm, no lace as well. Smell is mostly pale malt and some grass and light aroma hops, nothing to large though. Taste is lackluster, faint hops, earthy, hay, no citrus, no real pine no real nothing. I got more out of Full Sail's amber which is saying something. Pale malt is not to heavy which is commendable. The body seems on point, light and crisp carb, it's just lacking any taste from remaining on the palate. I drank it and thats that.

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Photo of kflorence
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imported from ratebeer.com - AUG 12, 2008

Poured a lovely gold-amber color with a small amount of head that lasted for awhile. The prominent smell of this brew is definitely the hops, but there are also some notes of honey, grapefruit and caramel in there. The taste is also very hop oriented, slightly bitter up front with a very mild caramel and malt sweetness. Finishes crisp and slightly bitter, but the lingering flavor in the mouth is more on the grapefruit or citrus side. A pretty good brew for this style, which I am not too fond of.

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Photo of guitarmage
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured an apple juice gold with a head that dissipated very quickly to a very weak lacing. The color is nice though.

Smell: Smells nice, notes of caramel malt. Piney hop notes, very inviting and sweet.

Taste: Sweet, apple and piney, dry hop bitterness that I like. The beer is well-built, and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a little on the watery side compared to other pale ales it seems, but not unpleasant. Not very carbonated, almost lacking.

Drinkability: A good enough APA to live up to it's popularity. What stands out to me is how it's not as creamy as some other pale ales, a little watery. The flavor is good and the smell is better than many. It would probably be good with food that needed something light bodied to just wash down. Pizza?

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Photo of letsgopens
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a couple of selections from Full Sail in the fridge, ready to be reviewed. This one pours a golden/orange amber, mostly clear with no visible rising bubbles and an off white, average sized head. The foam fades pretty quickly but leaves some trails behind.

Sweet, grainy and floral with lots of toasty, buttered bread and grassy hops. Pale/crystal malt a hint of citrus. Definitely a well balanced nose.

A good deal of sweet citrus up front along with a dose of buttery, toasty grain. A hint of mellow caramel malt fades in to grassy, floral hops. Some good bitter balanced notes float in to a slightly more mellow, husky but slick finish. Mellows substantially as it warms.

Actually quite subtle in the carbonation department. I think this brew may have benefited from some crisper, bitey carbonation; the hops may have shined through more and the inherent mellowness may have been livened up a bit.

Definitely a selection I could see myself enjoying a few of but probably not the first session beer I'd reach for. A decent, well balanced APA in my opinion.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A somewhat unagressive pour give me a half finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is pretty much completely white, and is pretty standard looking for the most part, except for the medium sized bubbles, there are a fair amount of those. About half of the head is medium sized bubbles. The head is pretty much already gone, not very good head retention. Lacing looks like it will be decent, but I wont know for sure until I get to the the bottom of the glass. The body pretty much looks like a lager to me, pretty much completely yellow. The only different in color from this and a standard lager is that this has some orange in it, it's a hair darker than your standard lager. The carbonation started out very high, now it's gone down a little bit, but it's still medium-high, and on the higher end of that scale. Visibility through the beer is almost 100%, I mean it can't get much clearer than this, I'll say it's 99% see through. Overall not the best looking beer, to the credit of the head, it did leave some bubbles on top of the body after the head disappeared, but they aren't good bubbles, they are bit and unattractive. We'll see how the lacing goes, but overall the look isn't all that great. The smell is pretty interesting. First off, I kinda get that distinct Full Sail smell, it's hard to say exactly what it smells like, it's just the hops the generally use, or the way they brew it, or the barely, something about it, it has a distinct smell. You also get a kinda cheap beer smell, it's kinda part of the distinct Full Sail smell, but not always because some Full Sail beers don't smell cheap at all. This one smells a tiny bit cheap, light, and not all that big. Very light malts on the nose. Some hops are here too, Not very big either, but for sure the "dominating" smell. I mean it's good that the hops are the biggest smell in a pale ale, but it's not by much. And on top of that the whole aroma is pretty small, so it's not that hard for the hops to be dominating the aroma. The hops do have a very distinct smell, which is nice and interesting. Somewhat sour smelling, probably part of that cheap beer smell. Overall the smell just isn't very big. It's hard to detect the smells because there isn't a very big aroma, and because there aren't a lot of different smells here, it's not very complex. Still, it's not a bad smelling beer, and it smells pretty unique. I'll give it a 3.5, but that's a little generous. Actually that's very generous. The taste isn't bad, but it's not much above average. Really the first taste I get is that sour taste, which you usually get in cheap, adjunct beers. It really actually stays with you the whole way through the taste. It's not a taste I generally hate, but it's not that great either, and it's a sign that it's not made that well. It also is possible that it's from the hops, but it doesn't really taste like a hop sour, it tastes like a corn sour, or something. I do get some hops, and it's interesting, because in the beer, it feels like a decent amount of hops, but that's just because the flavor isn't that big. On any other beer this amount of hops would seem small, and it is, it's a small hop amount. I also get some light malts in this beer, not very present, they kinda just guide the flavor along. Then finally it's finished off with water. This beer isn't as watery as I remember it, but it's still got a significant watery taste to it, especially at the end. It's a very unique beer, maybe because of the "classified" hops they use, I don't know. Still, just cause it's unique doesn't mean it's that good, and it's not. It has some nice qualities to it, but the fact of the matter is that it's just not above a 3. It's an interesting beer, but it's not what a pale ale should be, there aren't nearly enough hops for a pale ale, and there really isn't enough flavor all around for it to be more than a 3, regardless the style. With all that being said, it's not a terrible flavor, but it's not more than a 3. On some sips I feel like giving it a 3.5, but I just can't bring myself to do that, it's not quite there. The mouthfeel actually isn't all that bad. The carbonation is smaller than I thought it would be, it's medium. Frankly the carbonation and the small hop bite actually create a nice feel in my mouth when combined. The body is a little thin, but it's not a huge deal, I like a pale ale to be thicker than this, but it's not required. Not a bad mouthfeel, I'm considering giving it a 4, but I think it's more around a 3.5. The drinkability is obviously super high, it's pretty dang light, it's watery, it's low ABV, and it doesn't taste all that bad, so it's not hard to drink at all. Overall it's a beer that really ended up right in between a 3 and a 3.5 on a lot of the main areas, so I'll give it a 3.5 overall.

Like I said, the appearance turned out to be better than I thought it would be, 3.5.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up via the single bottle from Totowa earlier this week. I liked the Wassail from Full Sail and thought that this would be enjoyable as well. After finishing my glass of this, there's no doubt that this is the most underwhelming beer that I've had in a long time and I still feel like the hops were missing from this. Maybe I was just accustomed to Pale Ales that were more aggressive than this since this was about as mellow a beer that I've had in this style.

Poured a decent copper hue with some head and nearly no lacing to be seen. Carbonation was light and there wasn't much of an aroma to this either. The taste was quite malty with a hint of metallic copper and some floral and citrus notes way underneath everything. This reminded me of Bass Ale in terms of the taste and appearance but with just a bit more body to it.

This is light on alcohol too so it's possible to have more than one in a sitting. Others rated this higher but I'm not sure what the appeal is to this. This was quite bland and unless I got stuck with an old or skunked bottle, I'd have to consider this a disappointment. It's not a bad beer but with so many other Pale Ales out there, why go with this one?

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Photo of beer348
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not really sure about the appearance because I am just drinking out of the bottle. Seems a little bitter for me and not that smooth. . just too bitter - doesn't go well with food .
too much flavor.. seemed to get better as temperature changed. I think it's drinkable

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.19 single 12 ounce bottle at Oak Tree.

Pale orange, with just a hint of haze, topped by a single finger of level dense white foam. Slight lace.

Pleasant soft lemon aroma.

Soft light sweet malt runs down the center of the tongue. Hops arrive simultaneously, both herbal and low key citrus. Very well balanced, with the hops pulling ahead by a nose at the finish. Slightly soapy aftertaste that lingers too long.

Light, kind of bubbly mouthfeel. Super easy drinking going down, the soapy aftertaste is a flaw.

A well made pale, could represent its region well, but not a challenger for SNPA.

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Photo of guinnessnyc
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw six-packs of this and their Amber for the first time at my local spot in Astoria and was drawn to a small batch American Pale Ale. Poured straight into a Sam Adams pint glass, light head with decent lacing. Definitely drinkable with balanced hops, but had a sharper aftertaste that I'm not crazy about. Would like to try it on tap, but probably would fall into the queue of desired pale ales...cheers

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Photo of MiScusi
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- semi-clear golden.
S- Earthy hops, pale malt
T- Hops are again earthy, maybe a bit of pine, but they also give a little astringency as well that isn't too pleasing. Maybe slightly metallic.
M- standard for pale ale
D- Not very complex, the astringency is a bit off-putting.

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Photo of surfmeister
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent brew, slightly unbalanced,doesn't stand out from the pack in any way.
Appearance: orange/brown, pretty, sturdy head that endured
Smell: quite fruity, but didn't jump into the nose, subtle
Taste: bitterness not challenged by the other taste components enough, really lacking a malt presence
Mouthfeel: full, nice prickly hop bite
Drinkability: yeah, it's ok, I could keep drinking it
Will not seek it out, blown away by SNPA or Red Seal

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Photo of Quaffer
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this somewhere. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured amber-orange in color and had a light chill haze. The head rose up perfectly to two fingers and settled down quickly, but became dense and somewhat fluffy as it did so. A thin layer of foam stuck around for most of the drink, and there was quite a bit of lace left behind.

Smell: Right after the pour, the amount of sweetness on the nose was almost unbearable. It was sickly sweet to the point of reminding me of rotting vegetables. This did calm down after a few minutes, though. And while the sweetness persisted, it was joined in equal portions by other aromas: crackers, roasted malt, butter, vanilla, cherries, and strawberries. The fruit smells were very candy-like in nature. Just the slightest, slightest hint of hops was detectable if I really concentrated on the aroma. I might have just been fooling myself, though.

Mouthfeel: Thin- to medium bodied and smooth upfront. Some carbonation kicks in on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Not much malt presence at all in this one. A lot of fruitiness and too much diacetyl upfront. What little roasted malt there was emerged on the finish, where it was joined by a light herbal hoppiness.

Nothing special here.

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Photo of pjwilson
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ok one last review before I hit the town. this beer needs a little back story. Back when I was in 8th grade or so, we used to steal this one from my dad. (1994). God we hated it, we much prefered Olde English or Mickey's. Something tells me I'd perfer this one now. And my dad?....He drank the second half of my Pliny the Younger Growler when I left it there! so I guess life comes full circle.

appearance: looks ok light color, i bit dark for a pale. At this point I can just tell it's gonna be watery.

smell: hmmm strange. not outright bad, but certainly far from really good. IT's like you smell only the hop oil's and not the hop. Yeah, kind of interesting but particularly great.

taste: drumroll please...it's... not half bad? meaning I'd wouldn't but this by choice(this is a single i got), but yeah it's alright. of course i could name 10 pale ale's that knock this one out to the floor. same strange hop oil taste, i'm curious to know what hop's are in this...cluster.? really hard to put your finger on specific taste's.

well I wish I would have got a sixer of this instead of luau lager. Sort of ambigous beer, as in "why not buy it, but why?" It doesn't taste like anything else so I guess that make's it worth a try. However better beer's off the top of my head: negra modelo, schrimshaw pilsner, scape goat pale ale, and pliny the younger.

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Lots of pils malt, that can't be right. Also a moderate dose of pale and caramel malts. Mild sulfury and moderate grapefruit citrus. Not bold, but complex enough. Some fruity esters, nectarines mostly.

Appearance: Gold, crystal clear. Small bubbles rising steadily. White head pours small and has low retention. Little lacing.

Flavor: I taste pils malt first, perhaps it's the sulfur blending with the pale malt. I feel like I should let it warm up and try again, this is odd for a pale ale. Mild to moderate orange citrus, little grapefruit at the aftertaste. Bubblegum sweetness. No dark toasty notes, not even much caramel.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation although what is there stings quite a bit. Mostly slick and oily. Finishes about neutral, nice. Light to medium body.

Overall: Refreshing. Savory enough, but certainly not bold. Low hop flavor for the style.

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Full Sail Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.7 out of 5 based on 642 ratings.
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