American Pale Ale
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited

American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #465
Ranked #13,023
4.01 | pDev: 9.23%
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale
Notes: Brewed with American West Coast style yeast along with Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops. The low coloured Concerto malt provides a perfect light colour and dryness to compliment the crisp taste and full aroma of the hops.
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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 44 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and presumably not bottle conditioned
Pours a fairly Clear light brown body With good white head
Aroma is pear soap
A bit of bitterness and some buttery biscuity malt

Oct 08, 2019
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vinicole from England

3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Clear amber. Thick frothy head.
Fruity aroma mixed with caramel. Light citrus which continues into the flavour.
Bitter finish.
Mid range carbonation and feel.
Leaning towards an English Bitter despite the American yeast and hops.

Sep 15, 2019
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DJ-Hophead from England

3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cask @ The Inglenook Hotel, Pagham - Pours cloudy golden with a small white foamy head. Nice lacing. Aroma - Light citrus notes - grapefruit/orange, grassy, floral notes. Taste - Medium sweet, citrus forefront - grapefruit/orange, malty biscuit middle, crisp bitter finish. Solid APA if a little underwhelming on the hop front.

Dec 29, 2017
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Harp. Pours not quite clear with a small (cask pour) head that leaves a creamy ring and good lace. Nose is disappointing here...really not much to smell at all except feint honeyed hops. Maybe it needs more carbonation or simply more dry hopping. Taste is surprisingly full and flavourful after the nose. Fruity malt with lots of fruity and floral hops fill your palette and finishes with a long drying bitterness that isn't apparent up front. Sad about the nose, but still a great beer.
Edit-I’ve has the chance to have this twice more, and I’ve got to say it isn’t quite as good as my first impression. There is a slight sour astringency in the taste that drags it down from my original scores.

Jul 12, 2017
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap in the UK. It was a smooth and balanced pale ale. Indeed, in the US, most APAs would have a higher hop profile. I liked it, but it could have been hoppier to my tastes.

Jan 18, 2016
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Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Jersey CAMARA beer festival. Pours a hazy golden colour with a white head that slowly disperses. Aromas of marmalade & citrus with some pine & caramel also present. Tastes of lemon, peach, grapefruit as well as marmalade, citrus and some sweet honey. Aftertaste is fairly dry with some bitterness from the hops. Overall my favourite of the 7 beers I tried.

Oct 03, 2015
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jonb5 from England

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint at JDW. Served in a shaker. A: Pale golden,
small thick head, moderate retention, lots of
lacing, the haze cleared leaving it almost clear. S:
Citrus fruits and Cascade hop. T: Grapefruit,
gummi bear, just enough IBUs without overdoing
it, balanced out by sweet wheaty finish. M:
Smooth, minimal carbonation, light body. O: Well
made, nice to have two or three on a hot day but
slightly too strong for to drink in vast quantities.

Apr 22, 2014
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FLima from Brazil

3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with a fluffy head.
Nice citrus aroma, sweet lemon and oranges going towards grapefruits.
Initial flavor of pine resiny that fades away with notes of grapefruits, tea leaves and sweet toasted malts. Hints of lemongrass. Dry and long lasting bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
A translation of an APA by the British, more aleish with low carbonation and served warmer! I would just have let the little guys eat up a bit more sugar in order to be less sweet and increase its alcohol content.

Nov 20, 2013
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BlackHaddock from England

3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hand-pulled pint in the excellent '3 Fishes', Shrewsbury on 24 May 2013.

Fine all round: looked good, a pale golden hue to the blond body and a full head on top.

Smell was all hop, but not over the top.

Taste balanced and dry with a mini bitter finish. A little too citrusy for me to have another, but others around me were raving about it.

Jun 05, 2013
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charlatan from Scotland

3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half pint at Ayrshire Real Ale Festival. A dark straw to light gold coloured beer with a big bubbly head and an oily herbal hop aroma. The nose is not misleading: after a relatively weak start the herbal hops really kick in, with very little in the way of sweetness to accompany them. It's very oily on the tongue but not unpleasantly so.

Oct 16, 2012
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rarbring from Sweden

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clouded dark straw colored brew, a high white head that leaves good lacing and has some curtains.

Smelling of fresh lemons and grass.

Tasting of sweet white bread, then lemon curd. lime and grape-fruit peel.

Little carbonation, a fresh feeling, a light to medium body, a long dry finish.

A fine, nice sessionable ale. Really good after a long walk!

Aug 15, 2012
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Ruds from England

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask dispense at the Sussex Arms, Twickenham, Feb '12 served into a UK pint pot.

Pours a clear pale yellow colour with a decent fluffy white head.

A resinous hop aroma with citrus notes of grapefruit, lemon and lime. Although bitter on the nose there was a slight floral aroma as I drew my nose away from the glass!

In the taste I got all of the above along with a little pine and grassiness.

Long dry hoppy aftertaste, low carbonation, goes down silky smooth!

In all another excellent beer from Dark Star and one I have had on cask a good half dozen or more times in the last 2 or 3 years and it has always been drinking heaven!

Feb 20, 2012
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Handpump halfpint at the Cask Pub and Kitchen.

A: Clear straw body with a thin, fleeting white head. Mediocre.

S: Classic American hop profile: grapefruit and pine. Not much tropical fruitiness, more pith and resin. Intense and enjoyable.

T: Hoppy through and through, with pine up front, citrus on the tail end, and pure bitterness on the finish. A little overbearing, actually, as the weak malt bill can't quite stand up to the big (and delicious) hops.

M: Smooth and well-carbonated. Nice.

O: I just love seeing how the better British breweries are willing and able to experiment with boundary-pushing American hops. This one was really good, but would have been better if the malt bill had been expanded a bit (maybe up to 5.5 or even 6%?) so as to balance the terrific hoppiness. Why not go all out and make this a full-on IPA?


Jun 16, 2011
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StJamesGate from New York

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at The Morning Star, Brighton.

Pours crisp pale yellow with slow rising white foam. Wood oil and lemon zest nose. Gentle melon malts and sharp citrus hops. Sweet comeback and a tart dry end. Soft, sticky and medium-bodied.

So British yet so American. Another winner from DS. Great quencher but beware the ABV.

May 10, 2011
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Zimbo from Scotland

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this the other day at the Bow Bar.

First impression is one of lightness in every way possible. Very very light clear yellow in colour and the palate, which at first seems rather wafer thin but takes you on quite a long trip towards an long lingering bitter building end. Might do with a tad more intensity and body but still quite a fine take on the American interpretation of this style.

Dec 29, 2010
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checkfeet from Korea (South)

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden-hour sunlight color with a foamy head whipped to life by the hand pump, which quickly bubbles and pops to non-existence.

The nose is wheatfields and sourdough bread, with hints of bright lemon and summer flowers. To me, it smells like living the the pacific northwester USA and all the activities beer is associated with.

It is refreshing, with tight just-enough carbonation to keep it lively on the palate and help serve up a taste which matches the nose. Cascade hops rule this beer, which really gives it a west-coast vibe.

The maltiness is quite light and is cask ale level carbonation, so a pint can disappear in a matter of seconds. Great for sessioning.

An wonderful English take on an American version of an English style.

Jul 11, 2010
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on cask at Akkurat in Stockholm. Beer poured a pale straw color with a thick fluffy head. Massive. Strong course of running bubbles from the bottom of the glass to the top. Nose and taste were bitter but complimented by a pleasing citrus nose.

Oct 10, 2009
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bobsy from Canada (ON)

4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask at the Knot Bar in Manchester, and a bit of a change of pace from the more lightly hopped British brews.

Pours a light gold with a finger of creamy white head that laces well and has good retention. Bog aromas of citrus - grapefruit, orange and tangerine all in the mix, but also with an evident maltiness. Great citrus flavour, with a whole melange of the previously mentioned fruits mixing in with a slightly bready and caramel malt spine. Substantial, but well-balanced, this is a gem. Moderate body with a wonderful cask texture. Highly recommended by the barman and me.

Sep 09, 2009
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bark from Sweden

4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The white head is airy and finger thick. The liquid is clear; the colour is yellow with a tint of pale green.

Fruity American hops dominate the smell. Sweet lemons, apricots, grapefruits. Creamy and balanced it is.

The taste is fresh and milder than the typical American APA. There is a hint of the yeasty house taste of Dark Star. Fruity citric hops, some lemonade. The bitterness is elegant and medium strong. The body is larger than the taste. The aftertaste is refreshing and fruity with hints of bullion and sweet wheat dough. It is maltier than the US APAs.

The carbonation is soft, the small bubbles are soft too. The liquid is creamy.

A very tasty blend of the American and British pale ale styles.

Aug 14, 2009
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cyanidesid from England

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have been seeking this one out a lot recently and I have to say it is a cracking ale. Similar to their Hophead in many ways but this one is the big brother with a bit of attitude. I hope this beer gets a few reviews so it can get a proper rating because I swear this really is one of the best beers I have ever had in this style.

Try it out if you can.

May 16, 2009
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fitzy84 from Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on cask at Moan and Dove. The drink settled as a dark, murky yellow with a great, bubbly head. Aromas were very sharp and slightly spiced citrus smells. The taste was a bit weak but specifically had lime and lemon citrus tones to it. It had a typical mouthfeel of a cask: thin pressured and watery in a good way. Overall, a refreshing pale ale.

May 17, 2008
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gentlebubbles from Massachusetts

4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

NERAX 2006 (Sat)

Lambert yellow-gold with a bare skim of spume on top.

Fresh citron-pine scent.

Spicy, fruity, nutty, juicy, grassy, lemon-orange ... WOW! My head is still spinning as the hops ring through all the changes and leave off with grapefruit tingling on my lips.

Okay, I know what I'm drinking until it kicks.

May 29, 2006
Photo of wl0307
wl0307 from England

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It'd been almost two months since I encountered APA again at the Evening Star back in early March, on my way to the Sussex Beerfest. And what a bliss that was... though I forgot to write down anything. Bumped into it again at a back street local, Charles Dickens freehouse, b/w Southwark and London Bridge tube stations. This time I've got a pen and my beer notes~~

A: pours a pale golden hue, a thick and nice foamy beer head, leaving extremely tight lacing as the cap settles... absolutely fresh and on form.
S: the pronounced and colourful exotic fruity nose reveals more yellow grapefruits than ripe lychees, accompanied by nice aromatic flowery hops almost like elderflower pollens mixed in elderflower tea... on top of delicious yet restrained maltiness.
T: complex palate of bitter-sweet lychees (on skins), a fast-intensifying bitter grapefruit-zesty taste, and slightly sharp floral and flowery scent sustaining firmly in the background; great bittering hops linger in the ever-lasting finish...
M&D: refreshing mouthfeel supported by nice and soft carbonation, while the 3D-structured bitterness adds an incredible depth to the medium body. Overall, a superbly drinkable, more-ish, and delicious hoppy bomb. Gosh it tasted even better than that at the Evening Star?! (No offence attempted, Matt~~)

Apr 28, 2006
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Imbiber from New York

4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at The Blind Tiger, Manhattan (also at the Brazen Head, Brooklyn, last weekend).

Very pale straw coloured, almost light lager shade - but the similarity stops there. Nice, floral, hoppy aroma. Fair white, fluffy head. Superbly clean-tasting, refreshing big hoppy flavour which is virtually addictive. Dry, hoppy finish, lip-smacking. Hops, hops, hops, what more can I say apart from totally outstanding - a liquid masterpiece.

Apr 09, 2004
American Pale Ale from Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 44 ratings