Engine 20 Smoked Pale Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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100 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 02-19-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of Mick-e-d
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of ONUMello
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint on tap at the GLBC brewhouse.
A: Pours a hazy orange with a thin head that looked a bit flatter than most of the other beers they were pouring.
S: Smells like your typical IPA with a bread/caramel backbone, some hops, then a pleasant subtle smokiness.
T: This is so balanced. The bread/caramel malt, the bitterness from the hops, and the smokiness all integrate really well- quite tasty.
M: Medium-bodied, fairly smooth.
O: Another quality GL brew- I wouldn't mind this added to the bottled lineup at all.

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Photo of Bung
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Macs South in Charlotte.
Orangey gold pour, couple fingers of off white that stuck to the glass pretty well.

Aroma, mostly citrus and toffee/malt. Light herbal hop and some nuttiness.

Taste, more nut here. Toasted malt, quite a bit of caramel. A slight bitter that could be smoke, but really is its the herbal pine hop bite it finishes with.

Just right of light bodied. Carbonation was nearly creamy, but that depends more on the location. Drinks easy, just need to be ready for a non-standard pale.

Reminded me a bit of Skull Coast Scallywag pale, which was brewed with almond I believe.
For a maltier pale this is good, for anything "smoke" this is a fail. I did like it however.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Jeffreywhite22
5/5  rDev +39.7%

Photo of VncentLIFE
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of SaintJonah
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of DmanGTR
2.18/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at the Beer Expo.

Poured a hazy amber with nary a head. Looked kind of dead aside from a few soapy bubbles. Oh dear me, who soaked leather and cardboard in beer and tried to carbonate it? Honestly, this is exactly what it smelled like to me. I wasn't impressed at all with this. It's like this pale ale had an identity crisis between being a pale ale an a rauchbier, but it took too long to decide what it wanted to be and got oxidized, and finally decided to just try a little bit to be a rauchbier, but ended up not going far enough to really make too big of a difference. Poorly carbonated and oily. Try again, Great Lakes, I know you can do it!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Acre for Dani's birthday. Served in a tulip.

A - A finger of lightly tan foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. Quite dark for a "pale ale" - must be the smoked malt. Hazy dark orange-brown color.

S - Smoked malts, caramel, somewhat meaty. Not a ton of hop character - maybe some light floral and citrus notes.

T - Biscuit and toffee malt character dominates. Finishes light smokey with mild residual hop bitterness. Again, maybe some light floral hops in the taste.

M - Chewy medium body, moderate carbonation, lightly resinous finish, and no obvious alcohol.

D - A solid lighter smoked beer, although I prefer Three Floyds Ham on Rye for this sort of thing. A bit to smokey for sessions. Could use more hop aroma and presence.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
2.07/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A pour from the tap at TJ's during the Great Lakes Family Reunion Philly Beer Week event on 6/9/2011. Poured into a nonic pint.

A 1 finger head sits on top of a coppery orange colored body that is pretty clear. Not much haze in this one at all. The lacing is solid, as well, as some rings are interconnected by spiderwebby lacing, which fades even more as I get to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma...wow...sure there are some hops in there, and I can pick up faint aromas of bready malts, but this beer smells like smoked salmon. Straight up, no two ways about it. I guess I am intrigued, so even though I am slightly put off by the aroma, there is something that makes me really want to taste it. On the palate, I can't decide if this is better or worse. I am going to go with worse, since I couldn't get through the whole glass. The balanced pale ale is completely overwhelmed by the fishy smokiness that permeates every bit of this brew. This is a beer that if you didn't know that you liked smoked salmon, and you tasted the beer without ever having had the fish, you would love it. I can't disassociate the two, though.

This feels good on the palate, minus the off-putting smokey twang. Good carbonation, and medium to light texture put this at a good representation of what the texture should feel like for this style. Overall, I think I only drank as much of this as I did because it was intriguing. Not because it was good. I can't say that I would recommend this, as there are much better GLBC beers out there.

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Photo of shivtim
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at the brewpub.
Served up in a small glass. Clear dark gold in color, with a small white head.
Nose is smoky malts. Nice but not much depth.
Taste is nice earthy flavors with spicy hops and smoke. Lingering hop bitterness overlaid with smokiness.
Decent mouthfeel; good drinkability. Creative brew.

 302 characters

Photo of craigo19
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of pints of this beer yesterday at the GLBC brew pub and loved it. Copper in color, with a slight hop aroma that an American Pale Ale is supposed to have. You can taste the smoke at the end which distinguishes it from the Burning River Pale Ale. I would like to see it in distribution.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear golden orange color with a white head. Head has okay retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smells fairly light I thought. Picked up some citrus hops and a touch of smoke.

T- Taste is rather light too. I expected something a bit more hoppy. I picked up some bready malts, a bit of citrus hops and it finished with a smokey flavor.

M- Medium in body and right on in carbonation.

D- This is by no means a bad brew, but I think I'd rather drink their Burning River and avoid the smoke taste.

 529 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Great Lakes Brewing Co.

A: Pours copper in color with about a finger of fluffy white head. Lots of foamy lacing.

S: Grainy malts and some subdued floral hops in the background. The aroma is rather faint overall - a little disappointing.

T: Some sweet malts and biscuit lead to bitter hops and a smokey finish. An interesting twist on the traditional APA.

M: Crisp and clean with a medium body.

D: A decent APA with an interesting addition of smokey flavor in the finish. The flavor is appropriate considering this brew's name.

 544 characters

Photo of midweb23
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours a copper/amber color with very little head.

S - A slight smell of smoke.

T - A nice, crisp, pale ale flavor with a finish of smoke.

M - Very lightly carbonated with a medium body.

D - A little plain at first, but the smoky aftertaste makes up for it. The beer goes down easy, especially when paired with a rich food, like barbecue.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Great Lakes. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Light amber with very little head. Had nice clarity, but not much else to speak of.

S- Pretty one dimensional. There was a nice, smoky aroma that slightly accented with some citrus hops.

T- Just like the aroma. Initial taste had a solid hops flavor, but quickly gave way to a smoked finish. Just wish there was more to this beer.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation. I really like the fact that they paired a heavier smoke body with a pale ale body. Creates a unique mouthfeel.

D- This beer just seemed to be missing something. I quickly got bored with this one and found it quite tedious to finish the whole thing.

Overall, I love smoked beers. The problem with this one is that there isn't much complexity. My thought is that if you're going to go with a smoked flavor, either go all out like a traditional rauchbier or make the beer more complex to offer a variety of flavors on the palate. This was neither. One of the only beers I wouldn't recommend by GLBC.

 1,034 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask version at Barley’s 5th Annual Mini RAF (04/28/07): This beer is a lightly hazed dark amber color with a medium off-white head that has good retention. Rings of lacing. The aroma is mostly hoppy with smokey malt undertones. Dry, medium body with both hops and smoke flavors, neither of which dominates. Light malt in the backgound as well. The finish is mildly bitter hops, with the smoked character still lurking in the background. Interesting beer, although it does not really push any boundaries.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took a trip to the brewery this past Wednesday afternoon and enjoyed a glass of this pub exclusive on-tap. I paid only $2.75 for a pint during happy hour, which is from 4:00-7:00 P.M. Monday-Friday. Served in a pint glass. This beer is a clear, medium golden color with orange/copper highlights. The head is about an inch thick when drawn and settles to a very nice film layer with a good thick white ring lining the inside of the glass. Very nice lacing too. Malty and hoppy aromas are present and not much else that I could distinguish. At first this beer had quite the hoppy bitterness going on tastewise, reminding more of a good IPA than an APA. As the beer warmed however, the malty sweetness became more apparent and balanced the bitter hops very nicely. I know they claim the ABV is only 6% , but I got quite the buzz from only one glass of this and nothing else. Has a good medium bodied and crisp mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in the way a good beer needs to be. A good, solid beer, but not one of my absolute favorites from Great Lakes. Worth a try though. I certainly wouldn't mind drinking this again either.


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Photo of kimcgolf
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This smoky ale would probably go very well with some grilled sausage or brats...unfortunately, I didn’t have any of this food with me when drinking this. It poured to a rediish orange, with a good off-white head and excellent lacing. Aroma was slight citrus hops,. but mostly was predominantly smoky. The smoky accent carried over into the taste and finish as well, so much so that it was hard to pick out any other flavor.

Not my favorite Great Lakes beer.

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Photo of dherling
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out an orange honey color, crowned by an off white head exhibiting good lacing. Had a malty nose with a slight sour orange note. The taste was mostly medium malt flavor, with a small amount of both smoke and hops, but not much of either. Had a medium body and low carbonation. I feel like a lot of beersin this style tend to over smoke their beers, which this did not. However there wasn't enough of anything else to make this an enjoyable or interesting beer.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint of this brew served at the Great Lakes Pub during a road trip to Dark Lord Day.

Smell, Very earthy hop smell, with an almost musty kick to it, not quite sure where it was from

Taste, Light hints of smoke, with that earthy hop flavor. The smoke flavor is clearly present, but far from over powering. The musty flavor I smelled was obviously from the smoke, but I just love the hop flavors going on. All the flavors are subtle, yet forthcoming.

Overall, what a fantastic brew, not quite hoppy enough to push the IPA envelope, but definitely pushing the boundaries of an APA, label this a robust APA and you've got yourself a winner. I enjoyed this brew so much, I ended up taking a growler of it home just for myself.

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Photo of klewis
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on-tap at GLBC 2/18/06

A: Pours a copper color with a small but sustaining head.

S: Strong aromas of hops complimented by fruity esters and mesquite aromas.

T: This was a wonderfully balanced brew with strong hop flavors with a smooth and subtle smokey character in the finish.

M: Full-bodied and smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation in this one.

D: Time permitting, I would have had several of these, but alas, I could only have one. As a pale ale, this will stand with the best of them, but the smoked aroma and flavor provides a uniqueness that makes this one stand out over any that I've had. Go get some.

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Engine 20 Smoked Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 100 ratings