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

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Full Sail Pale AleFull Sail Pale Ale
643 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 |  Reviews: 363
Photo of jtfest
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Funny -- I was expecting more from this brew. It poured a clean orange-yellow, with a virtually non-existent white head. It had a very light aroma with just a hint of hops. The mouthfeel was thin and somewhat watery, with a taste that reminded me initially of macros before it settled into a somewhat fuller, bitter aftertaste. It's good and definitely easy drinking, but for a Pale Ale that is rated higher than Mirror Pond on this site, I felt a little disappointed.

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Photo of MobBarley
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here is an ale that I cut my teeth on as an undergrad. In all honesty, it's been a few years since my last sixer of this stuff, but it was the most appealing selection at TJ's this evening. I am quickly reminded as to why this is one of my favorite "go-to" beers.

Pours an orangey/copper color that imparts a ceratain warmth. Produces an average, somewhat beige head that leaves nice residual rings on the glass as I quaff. Very nice to look at.

The smell here is a little bit of a challenge for me to pick up. A fleeting sweetness, as of nectarine, presents itself only to be overwhelmed by a sharp note of hops which goes as quickly as it came. Nice frutiness, but the smell lacks a certain complexity I appreciate.

The taste is above average insofar as PNW Pales are concerned. A sweetness reminiscent of fresh,doughy, yeasty sweetbread asserts itself immediately, and is backed up in no time by a well-crafted bitter/sour frutiness hinting at nectarines and Meyer lemons. And yet...not enough hops for the hopmonkey in me.

The mouthfeel is just fine on this one, nice and chewy, if a little alcoholic on the follow-through. Carbonation was of perfect prominence.

Excellent hot-day beer, and something to sate the hopmonster until something with higher IBUs can be attained. Average session beer due to the slightly higher-than-average ABV.

I'll be coming back to this one, and feel that it can go toe-to-toe with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its clear, amber body rests gently beneath a short head of creamy, ivory-colored foam that holds fairly well before receeding to a collar. The nose is quite welcoming with a soft, piney hop character and light yeasty fruitiness over a delicate, biscuity malt. It's smooth across the palate with a very fine, restrained carbonation that allows all of its flavors to come through. It's piney and fruity up-front with its lightly sweet biscuity malt becoming dominant as it cross the palate into a dry finish where the pine returns and some of its firm bitterness lingers. Impeccably balanced! A smooth beer from start to finish. Refreshing and satisfying! More fruity and round than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; and certainly worth trying.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A hazy dark golden ale with a thin white head that left nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma - Light malt aromas mingle with the hops to create a nice olfactory balance.

Taste - Mild malty flavor with a nice citrusy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - A little too thin in the mouth but not bad. Dry hoppy finish.

Drinkability - A smooth easy drinking beer to be enjoyed one after the other. A good beer.

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Photo of altadenabrou
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After pouring, this beer shows a classic tan color and a good solid head that dissipates quickly. The maltiness is perfectly balanced by a citrusy hop flavor and aroma. The finish is complex and interesting: bitter, sweet, and clean. I find this beer to be very easy to drink, making it a regular session beer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Full Sail has been a favorite brewery, since they brewed their first beers in the late eighties, and still remains so today and I always keep a sixer or two around when I’m in the mood for a mild and pleasing to the palate beer.

The color as it sets in the glass a limpid amber with an impressive bright white head that is creamy in texture, the lace a film like veil to shade the glass. A hint of hop floral spiciness greets you first, followed by a sweet malt freshness that I find quite appealing, start is sweet and malt laden with a middling top. Finish is prickly in its acidic bite, the hops gentle and pleasing to the palate, and a dry linger aftertaste tops it off, just a damn fine drinking beer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice, bright, clear orange in color with a beautiful head that foamed up good, pitted, and laced.

Smell – Terrific aroma of complex hops, mostly floral with some pine and citrus aspects, along with a noticeable malt balance.

Taste – The floral hops come out big time in the taste, with the citrus close behind and the pine bringing up the rear. There’s a hint of fruity sweetness as well, mostly grapefruit and oranges, but this one is all about the fine hop flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium in the body and flat with a dry mouth. Very nice. I would have likee to have seen this a little smoother and better blended, but overall a terrific ale.

Drinkability – This is one of Full Sail’s better offerings, IMO. It hits the style nail on the head and is a great bargain at seven buck a sixer.

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Photo of woemad
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a glass of this at the Satellite, an OK bar, beerwise, in downtown Spokane. Not a great destination for BAs, though they do have Black Butte and Crystal Bitter from the local micro, Northern Light's, in addition to this on tap (3 micros in a Spokane bar is actually above average). Color was a dark gold verging on copper with a decent white head. Most dominant smell was of assertive NW hops. There was also an appealing caramel in the background. This being a NW pale it was pleasingly hoppy, though by no means as hoppy as many hopheads require. Lets just say its hoppy enough to make a Bud drinker wince. The caramel and maltiness in the background make a nice backdrop, assertive enough to be noticed without stealing the limelight from the hops. It was a bit thin in the mouth to me, but I'm primarily a porter and stout drinker, so file that under "duh!" This was a nice pale ale to drink after getting off work that went well with my burger. I'm really more of a fan of English style pales, but this was not bad at all, and will not be afraid to try this again.

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Photo of Riggo
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light golden-copper pale ale with a white head that falls to a thin collar and leaves good, sticky lacing. Smell is fruity--peaches, apples, perhaps apricots, with some perfume, floral, resiny hop notes. Taste follows suit--fruity and a little sweet, estery/yeasty, soft, nutty maltiness and a little lemony. Fruity malt dominates, with a somewhat subdued hop bitterness balancing throughout. A bit of a "steely" quality detracted from the taste and mouthfeel is a little thin.

Not your typical west coast "hops-through-the-roof" affair, tending more toward fruity and estery. Ultimately, a little boring in my book, though solidly crafted. A good quaffable pale ale.

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For being brewed locally, it took me some time to finally go out and purchase a sixer of the Full Sail Pale, but after drinking some of this at a friends b-day party from the keg it made me want to rush out and try it again to see if it was good as it was that first night.

Poured with a thick and foamy head which laced the glass nicely. Light amber color. Flavor is nicely balanced. Not too hoppy or overly malty. Aroma seemed hard to pick up. Nothing really jumped out at the nose to give it any kind of hint as to what to expect. A nice beer but not a great one. The competition is so great out here in Portland that I may end up buying others before trying this one again (especially since the winter beer season has kicked off)..

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Photo of Mustard
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; "enjoy by" date stamped dot-matrix style atop the barcode on the bottom label's right, rear corner; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a fairly perky tangerine hue with good to very good clarity; batter-like, orange-tinged head which hung around for about a minute; b-cup's worth of lace.

Aroma: Richly of sweet citrus, caramel and floral hops.

Taste: Unlike the nose, decidedly dry -- albeit with a touch of fruity, malty sweetness; not nearly as bitter as I was expecting; citrusy, piney hop flavors; fairly grainy; rich, almost chewy, mouthfeel.

Notes: Quality West Coast style APA; probably in the class of SNPA and Ruedrich's Red Seal, though I'd still opt for the other two in a pick em' contest.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a thick, sticky white head with good retention and a decent webbing of lace.
Smell is mainly of grapefruit citrus and floral hops with a light amount of caramel and malt lurking in the background.
Taste is not as completely one-sided as the smell would lead one to believe. Still, a strong citrus and pine hops flavor dominates this brew throughout with only a slight taste of malt and fruity sweetness to counterbalance the whole package.
Feel was medium-bodied, crisp, rather dry.
On the whole, a decent beer. A bit too hoppy for my tastes. I'll take the Rip Curl over this one.

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Photo of MJR
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle...best-by date of 091003.

Pours a perfectly clear copper with a tight, off-white head that holds fairly well. Nice amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The smell is perfectly balanced between the grainy, husky malt and leafy hops. There's a touch of bread and caramel as well. That wonderful balance is carried over into the flavor, with what appears to be a mix of Cenntenial and Columbus hops over a solid foundation of bready, husky, and slighty caramelly malt. Finishes with a flourish of spicy, herbal hops, with a touch of dryness. Medium in body, with a fair amount of residual sugars giving a somewhat rich mouthfeel. Hoppy, dry finish. This is an extremely well balanced pale ale that I could easily drink several of. Move over SNPA...

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Photo of kbub6f
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sticky, foamy lacing is left behind by the medium-sized, cream-colored, densish head. Beer is clear amber. There's a great smell of fresh, sweet, juicy hops. Fruit, hops (tobacco) in the front. Nice fruity, caramel, sweet middle. Plenty of hop bitterness in the finish. Plenty of grains, too. This is just right for an American pale ale, I think.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow color with a solid off-white head thats thick and creamy looking nearly an inch high fading slowly to a skim always present and thin strings of lace. Smell is a blend of sweet candyish caramel malts and floral hops, faint but present. Taste has nice sweet but light caramel malts and light floral hops, balance is welcoming, is easy and smooth, subtley blended, light fruity bitterness with a lightly crisp finish. Medium body feel and goes down easy. A soothing easy drinkin' pale.

Note: A head to head comparison with Flying Dog Pale and Town Hall Columbus Pale.

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Photo of kindestcut
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a revelation. As someone who is not a huge pale ale fan, although I do appreciate a crisp P A once in awhile, I can truthfully say that this is not only my favorite pale ale I've ever had, it's also a damn good beer in it's own right.

The Full Sail Pale Ale pours a clear gold with a substantial white head. The head stays suspended for several moments before receding very slowly.

The aroma is hoppy, of course, floral and fruity, a clean nose that predicts bitterness. However, there is a malt characteristic evident that also leads me to the glass hoping for a balanced flavor some PA's lack.

The flavor of this beer is what sets it apart from other American pale ales, especially the more common Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. What tingles in hop bitterness, lacking in a sweet release in the Sierra Nevada, the Full Sail delivers on the promised balance. The dry hoppiness seems to rise and then descend at first taste, giving way to a subtle sweetness that finishes like a setting sun...with light shimmering but not blinding. It's hardfor me to place every flavor...I know there are specific ones that pass me by but every taste is an invitation to try again.

An excellent beer.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

A pale worth its full sail name.

A light golden amber color. Weak small head with a small amount of lacing. The scents are moslty malt and grain. There is some hop fruit scents and a very dry feel to the nose.

The flavors are also strong in grain and malt. A medium hop bitterness adds some bite for a balance. There are some floral and grapefruit flavors as well. A very dry grapefruit flavor in the aftertaste with a mild grain added in. Nicely done.

There is a dry crispness to this ale. A good strong body and a smooth finish. This ale I would guess would go great with a meal. I can't wait to try it with some food. Give this ale a try. An easy drinking ale.

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Photo of putnam
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of brandy, orange flesh, smoked nuts and grilled flowers. Clean, well organized, silky scented beer.
On the palate it relies just as much on ripe, soft citric acidity as it does on bitter hop resin to provide structure. Fresh and tart for an ale ... in a way that works. Super polished, energetic, flexible... Not brawny, obvious or arrogant. Not thin either. The wonderfully balanced, lengthy finish features ascendant, roasted hop bitterness and hard, baked sugar. Well crafted and very drinkable.

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Photo of Realale
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous deep clear gold, with just the slightest blush of copper. Fine off-white 1/2" head settles to a thin full cap.

Nose is a lovely mix of citric and earthy/musty hop over slightly sweet crackery malt. Very complex and balanced.

Medium weight in the mouth. The balance tilts a bit towards malt initially, but the hops come to dominate - a bit too much so for my palate. There is a nice chalkiness from the mid-palate on, and a long mouth-watering finish.

The carbonation level is quite low which gives the beer a real thirst-quenching property, but more carb might have helped balance the beer more. Overall, its still a very nice brew, and one I'd like to sample on cask.

Many thanks to MJR for bringing this souvenir of his vacation to St. Louis for me!

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Photo of beerguy101
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown gold color, small white foamy head. Aroma is malty, nutty and slightly sweet. Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are slightly spicy. A mild flavor with a good malt hop balance. Mouthfeel is full. Fnish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of jreitman
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hops and sweet malt greet the nose making it clear that this is definitely an American Pale Ale. Copper almost amber in color with a nice creamy light tan head. Nice assertive hop bitterness with plently of caramel and malt to smooth things out and prevent the beer from being out of balance. Crisp and quite refreshing. A pleasant surprise at the comedy club the other night where the other "exotic" brews were Labatt Blue and Redhook ESB.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the last of the old labelled bottles with the more organic logo.

A wee bit more yellow in color than the classic British pale. Plenty of delectable carbonation and a nice thick head cropped up before receding to a manageable 1mm that hung out through the length of the glass.

Assertive leafy hop aroma. Round malt sweetness becomes apparent in the first attack. Very round mouthfeel, almost syrupy, like a light caramel melting on the tongue. Carbonation that is very apparent in the glass is far less apparent in the mouth.

Pleasant lack of subtlety: big sweet, big bitter for the style, and yet decidedly a pale. Just a pale that screams out its west coast origins, "I was made really really far from the UK!"

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Photo of HardTarget
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Lots of hops, strong, inviting with some lemon tones.
Appearance: Clear, dirty blond, good head and carbonation, but settled down and laced nicely.
Flavor: Crisp, bitter, yet refreshing. Bit of grapefruit? Classic pale ale style in my book.
Mouthfeel: Clean, a bittering pucker that’s expected given the style. Some carbonation prickle, but average body.
Overall Impression: As pale ales go, this is toward the top of my list. Clean, smooth, well made. A nice example of an American Beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a surprise here...not that I don't like full Sail products but the Full Sail IPA was a bit of a letdown for me...this blows the shit out of that...

One of the best APA's I've had if not the best....reminds me of Summit in some regards but better..more flavorful..

Pours a light copper with a big ol frothy white puffy head....the lace rims the glass nicely as you drink....Nose is both citrus and florall...definitely juicy hop profile...surprisingly the tast is very balalnced...a nice carateml like malt backbone to offset thispretty hopped up APA...the hops are wonderful...very citrus like on the buds...finishes tight and dry....

The malt balance really makes this a very drinkable but full flavored APA....medium to full bodied....highly recommended for the style...quite a treat...

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Photo of Tballz420
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its a pretty amber colored brew with an inch's worth of a slightly off-white colored head. A nice floral smell emerges from the glass. Its main flavor is a nice flowery hop bitterness, with a bit of smooth malts in there somewhere. A nice sharp, crisp taste. A pretty good pale ale.

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Full Sail Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 643 ratings