American Pale Ale
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited

American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #434
Ranked #11,778
4.01 | pDev: 9.23%
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 44 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bark:
Photo of bark
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.

 714 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Imbiber
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.

 437 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
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.

 331 characters

Photo of charlatan
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.

 338 characters

Photo of wl0307
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~~)

 1,313 characters

Photo of ggaughan
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.

 250 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
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.

 343 characters

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

Photo of fitzy84
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.

 348 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
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.

 320 characters

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of bobsy
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.

 580 characters

Photo of cyanidesid
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.

 354 characters

Photo of checkfeet
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.

 742 characters

Photo of Ruds
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!

 637 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
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

 176 characters

Photo of woosterbill
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?


 846 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of rarbring
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!

 354 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of hopley
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of jonb5
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.

 435 characters

Photo of Zimbo
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.

 393 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%

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