Armory XPA | Deschutes Brewery

very good
131 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Armory XPAArmory XPA

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU: 58

Added by Wetpaperbag on 07-08-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 655
Photo of Hahnin
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful Amber colored beer with a perfectly balanced taste. I got this on nitro at bar food on Wilshire in LA and it was awesome. Great session beer, just gorgeous. Just enough hops to be delicious but not overpowering.

 221 characters

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Hops: Nugget, Northern Brewer, Citra, Cascade, Centennial.
Malt: Crystal.

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler on 04.29.14.

A: See through red/orange. Light head.

S: Slight grapefruit, blood orange. Subtle notes.

T: Citrus, flower, caramel, tangerine. Also slight graham cracker.

O: Citrus and floral sweetness comes on, followed by caramel and graham cracker, then tangerine takes over and lingers. I loved this one. This was also well balanced as all Deschutes offerings are.

Rating: A

 492 characters

Photo of badbeard58
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Agree with the 4+ reviews here. Review perhaps tainted by the fact that the Pearl brewpub had run out of The Abyss yesterday...this was my reason for going tonite. But the food there continues to improve measurably, and happy hour rocks. Malt-forward and especially zesty citrus appeal, more interesting than fresh-hopped Mirror Pond

 333 characters

Photo of Caj1
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken in late March.

Poured from a bottle with a mid-January brewing date into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep amber with a bit of orange-gold. The color I'm reminded of is maple syrup (the real stuff, not like Mrs. Butterworth's). Head is a nice off-white and pretty dense, and it sticks around for over five minutes, including after multiple sips. I could see the line of suds on the glass from each drink I took.

Smell: pine oil and grapefruit are apparent, with a nice floral undertone I can't put my finger on, almost like a mix of chamomile or lemongrass. The malt is roasty like a piece of good toast and has a nice spice note.

Taste: the hops are big but not too big. The piney flavors aren't as close to the front as I thought they'd be, but there's a good resinous base and I get some tropical fruit notes, along with the astringent herbal taste rounding it out. The malt is sweet but not overpowering, and has good caramel and toast notes, a little bit spicy from the yeast at the end.

Mouthfeel: kind of heavy but not any more than I would expect from an IPA. Feels about on par with an IPA of its color and flavor, kind of sticky but I can deal with it. A little too sweet for me, actually, I didn't feel the herbal astringency as much after swallowing the beer.

Overall: I liked it a little bit more than the BA community seems to like it, but I thought the Deschutes folks did enough here to keep things interesting without going crazy. I don't think it's absolutely earth shattering, but it was tasty and pleasant.

To good health and good beer.

 1,601 characters

Photo of jaypaul522
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid pale ale. Pours medium gold with a large head. Taste is not overly hoppy, but the citrus comes through nicely. This had medium body, with a very nicely balanced finish.

 179 characters

Photo of sdawson
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one from a growler filled at Deschutes early evening based upon the suggestion of a pub server. I wouldn't have grabbed this otherwise -- I'm glad he took the time to push me towards a good choice.

Armory XPA is a predominantly reddish amber brew with a moderate head and minimum lacing. The scent on this one is fantastic, ranging from ripe banana, fresh cut grasses, and sweet toffee. It's definitely treading towards an IPA with the citrus and pine profile, though the bitter hops are SLIGHTLY more subdued in this one compared many of the PacNW IPA's, softened by a tangerine-like sweetness. This is a great summer drinking option, light going down, with substantial carbonation. Overall, I'm definitely glad to have tried Armory XPA, though I should caveat that if someone is looking for a profile that strays far at all from a PacNW IPA, they had best look elsewhere.

 887 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes Brewery "Armory Experimental Pale Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BY: 07/21/16" on 04/22/16

A: Clear amber body with some visible solids in suspension. Creamy antique-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing.
S: Floral and fruity (berry-like and tropical) in the nose.
T: Fruity with berry, juicy apple, pear and tropical fruit (tangerine, passionfruit, pineapple? grapefruit?). Medium-caramelish malt. Solid bitterness. Floral, dry finish with some fruit, a bit of minor residual malt, and a touch of pine.
F: Medium bodied and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled median carbonation. Smooth!
O: Quite enjoyable. The floral and fruity character dominates, and thus leaves it unique. Really well-balanced and remarkably easy to drink despite having a solid bitterness. 1/2 English, 1/2 American, and somewhat new in my opinion - although everyone's jumped on the tropical hop bandwagon now this has been out for over half a decade!

 955 characters

Photo of TTen
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Floral hops come through nicely. Bitterness is firm but balanced with malt sweetness. Great tasting Pale Ale i would say is balanced rather than hop forward. Appearance is a clear copper with a bone white head. Very inviting. Aroma is floral hops with some sweet malt and some yeast character. This is a Pale Ale, not a hop bomb; meant to be consumed as a session beer and it would do great serving that purpose. Nothing outrageous here, just great, balanced, flavorful Pale Ale. Well done! Poured into a standard pint glass. Best by 7/21/2016.

 553 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Armory was brewed in honor of Deschutes' one-year anniversary in Portland and is named for the landmark building across from the pub that was once a working armory and is now a theater. Four hops varieties are used including (I'm told) the new experimental Citrol variety. I'm not sure if Citrol and Citra are distinct from one another. Regardless, its inclusion works exceedingly well here.

Armory has a vivid, floral-citrus aroma, a clouded amber body, and lots of sticky lace. It's clean, it's balanced, and it's lots of fun to drink. Actually, it's a fairly simple beer - not overly complicated - but has a punctual finish and serves as a model of effective balances. So far as I'm concerned, this highly drinkable ale effectively establishes Deschutes footing here in Portland and proves to my satisfaction that Deschutes' Pearl District brewpub can't be dismissed as a mere extension of their base of operations in Bend. With beers like this, they've arrived.

 967 characters

Photo of pat61
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A brilliant copper pour kicks up a clingy 3” off white to cream colored foam stand that takes 4 minutes to reduce to 1/3 its original size.
S: Spicy floral tropical aromas rise from the glass with some herbal vegetation smells. Light malt in the background.
T: Malt leads the attack with a battery of rich hop flavors of tropical fruit and citrus. Malt flavors are medium, hop flavors and medium high and hop bitterness is medium to medium high.
F: Very creamy with a medium body and medium carbonation.
O: A full flavored and very drinkable beer.

 556 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Bomber
Best By: 09/04/15
ABV 5.9%

Poured into a Deschutes pint glass a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice creamy one-finger off-white head, leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, very nice malt note, with some citrus. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, with some nice citrus notes. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a very nice brew for the ABV. Would recommend.

 471 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.25/5  rDev +11%

A: Pours a translucent ruby red with an off-white head.

S: Mango, papaya, orange, pine, pineapple in a deliciously tropical nose.

T: Sweet pineapple, sweet mandarin orange, papaya, so much fruit. Some red berries are present as well. Some sweet malt is present throughout and lingers in the finish.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Very much underrated. This beer is great!

 376 characters

Photo of detgfrsh
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle bought at the brewery, marked best by 8/4/16. Pours a burnt orange color with a half finger of white head. Smells of malt, pine, and floral hops. Medium feel. Taste is a swirl of sweet caramel malt and piney hops with a lasting bitter finish. Very good. There's a nice balance of malt and hops, and enough complexity in the smell and taste to keep it interesting, but it remains a very drinkable beer.

 414 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great session beer like the Mirror pond. Had on tap at Niche for the Deschutes dinner and this one seemed to be the favorite even over the Red Chair. It is a hard beer to come by unless you live by the brewery. Good citrus notes but not over whelming. I hate to use the word simple as it sounds boring. But it is a simple great little beer. Something you could have a couple of and be very happy.

 396 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I got a bottle of Armory XPA that my brother was sharing with me. I've been hearing about this one, but this is my first time seeing it, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an IPA glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design to it and it's just a little eye catching. It poured an orange amber color that takes on more of an orange color when held to the light with a little over a fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking bee, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice fruity, citrus, tropical fruit, stonefruit, peaches, light floral and berry like hops aromas. Up next comes a slight bit of doughy yeast which leads into the malts which impart a little bit of pale malt, caramel malt and sweet malt like aroma. The aroma is very nice, I really like the hop profile, it's nice and fruity.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's just a little lighter and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up and they impart the same fruity aspects that they did in the aroma with more of a peach aspect coming through this time. Up next comes a slight bit of doughy yeast that leads right into the malts which are just a little lighter than they were in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with a little more caramel malts coming through. On the finish there's a slightly lighter amount of medium bitterness with a nice fruity hop and peach aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, it's well balanced and I really like the hop profile.

M- Smooth, crisp, a little refreshing, a little dry on the finish, on the slightly lighter side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of slightly prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and I thought it was a very nice example of the style, it's hard to tell if its a pale ale or just a straight up IPA, but when it tastes this good, I don't think it matter to much and the only thing that makes it a little bit like a pale ale is how the bitterness is a little restrained. This beer had good drinkability, I could drink a few of these without getting tired of it. What I like the most about this beer is the hop profile and the balance, those are for sure the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer is nothing, there isn't anything that I disliked or would change, it's great just the way it is. I would for sure buy this beer if I saw it and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fruity and unique hoppy beer. All in all I was pretty happy and impressed with this beer, most of their hoppy beers have been nice and good, but this one seems to be just be a step above the rest and I found that to be impressive since it was still unique. It's now my favorite beer from this brewery and it's a very nice example of a Pale Ale or IPA. Great job guys, this is one tasty beer, keep it up.

 3,254 characters

Photo of cbarrett4
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with gorgeous amber hue. Nice aromas of grass, herbs, citrus with hints of bread and malt. Not amazing, but very, very good. Wonderful on the palate with superb harmony and elegance. Rich yet polished and elegant. Rather good despite the initial impression of an average beer.


 290 characters

Photo of Harrison8
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with a haze. Nice white foamy head. Moderate retention. Good lacing left behind. Resin hops shine through first, with a subtle base of pine hops and biscuit malt. The resin taste really sticks with you through the flavor. Some pine hop and biscuit malts behind. The big flavor lasts a moderate amount of time, with the flavor sticking with you a while afterwards. Feel is sticky, and mouth coating with medium-thin consistency. Overall, a wonderful beer. Good hop notes, and easy to drink.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 529 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours an amber with two fingers of of frothy cream coloured head.

Smell - citrus and leafy hops, citrus, bready caramalts, hint of grapefruit peel.

Taste - Starts off with a pleasant punch from the hops then goes into the citrus, bready caramalts, and hint of grapefruit peel.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a pleasant lingering bitterness.

Overall - A solid APA that has a nice hop profile to it. I am glad to have finally tried this.

 493 characters

Photo of Dope
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 8/20/14. Probably brewed in February so around 3 months old?

A: Pours a clear amber with a very very effervescent light tan head. Very high carbonation and very bubbly as a result. Head thins out and fades away relatively quickly. Thin little specks of lacing.

S: Nice sweet juicy tropical fruit. Caramel sweetness and tangerines...maybe apricot? Even some pineapple. Pretty nice.

T: Oh yeah, more of the same. Juicy, juicy tropical fruits. Much like the aroma with the tangerine, apricot and pineapple. Get some spiciness too, an herbal spiciness. Like a moderate dankness I guess? Mild caramel malt and a light hit of bitterness in the finish. Lightly dank aftertaste with traces of tropical fruits still floating around. Mildly dry finish but not bone dry.

M: Medium bodied, lightly oily and lightly dry finish.

O: Damn, I wasn't expecting much from the reviews but this is delicious. It really captures the essence of what an APA should be. Hoppy but not a bitter bomb. Just enough hop character to give it some bold flavor but light enough to be easy drinking. There's been a big glut of "session IPAs" recently but this is exactly what I want for a sessionable beer. 5.9%, borderline IPA but so much easier drinking. Really nice APA, well done Deschutes.

 1,274 characters

Photo of ckornmannn
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a tulip: Honey color, slightly hazy. Hops, honey are prominent aromas. There is a sweetness in the taste that reminds me of a belgian ale. Biscuit. There is an initial hard edge to the hop bitterness, but then the citrusy hops come through. This is a really unique beer, enjoyed very much.

 315 characters

Photo of Derek
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze, white head, thin ring of retention, excellent lacing.

S: Bread, toffee & caramel gives way to plenty of citrus & grass.

T: Grassy-weed, resiny, grapefruit, rind, bread & caramel. Assertive bitterness.

M: Smooth moderate body has a light hop acidity.

D: A very good drinker.

 295 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber at the end of August from Total Wine for $3.99. Best by 11-11-14.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is oranges and grapefruit.

Taste is oranges and mango with some grapefruit rind. Malt base is bready. Malts and hops blend melodically.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, decently carbonated for a refreshing feel.

Overall this is a delicious brew. I like the orange mango flavor. Recommended especially at that price point (for a bomber).

 505 characters

Photo of fscottkey
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.25] Slightly cloudy amber colored beer. Looks a bit like honey in the glass. The beer has 1/2 a finger of stark white head. The bottle lists the ABV (5.9%) and there is a best by date (08/04/2016).

S: [3.75] Fruit - but not typical IPA fruits. Apple, peach, mild pine, corn.

T: [4.25] Flavor profile is similar to the nose. Fruity (but not typical IPA fruits). Sweet apples, corn, nice malty taste throughout.

M: [4.50] Medium weight and feel. Good carbonation level. It clings to the tongue a bit giving it a slick feeling.

O: [4.25] I really like this beer. It is really atypical from a flavor profile. The malts are showcased really well. Nice sweetness that is stronger than the hops presence. The mouthfeel almost feels like there is oatmeal involved. It is really slick and velvety. I really like this beer could easily drink several.

 864 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2014-10-05 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge on nitro.

English style bitter but with a nice fruit twist. Balanced. Not real bitter. Really enjoyed this.

 163 characters

Photo of kflorence
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep copper with hints of cherry and a half inch of foamy, off-white head. There's a good amount of lacing on the edges of the glass as you drink and carbonation levels look average to below average. Slightly darker than anticipated but has all the markings of a tasty brew.

S: A plethora of tropical fruits (mango stands out) and flowers assault the nose with a sweet candy, malt undertone rounding things out. Huge aroma on this one, and quite tantalizing to the citrus hop lover.

T: Floral and citrus up front but quickly overtaken with honey, butterscotch and caramel malts. Finishes with lemon peel zest and a bit of grapefruit lingering on the tongue. Decidedly balanced while remaining hop forward.

M: Medium bodied with tame carbonation and a ton of chewiness. Goes down smooth and finishes dry. Quite sessionable.

O: Not a typical APA, but I quite enjoyed it and would happily drink another. Stop kidding yourselves, most of the Deschutes offering are pretty balanced and this one is no exception, though I would say it's more hop forward than the mirror pond. For a flavor/drinkability combination this one is a win. Look elsewhere if you seek something decidedly unique or overly hoppy.

 1,212 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Armory XPA from Deschutes Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 655 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.