Mt. Tam Pale Ale
Marin Brewing Company

Mt. Tam Pale AleMt. Tam Pale Ale
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Style:
Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,140
ABV:
5.4%
Score:
83
Ranked #39,300
Avg:
3.69 | pDev: 12.74%
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
155
From:
Marin Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  16
SCORE
83
Good
Mt. Tam Pale AleMt. Tam Pale Ale
Notes: Mt. Tam Pale Ale is our best-selling flagship brew! It has a bright golden color, a medium body and a smooth taste.
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 155 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Arjen
Arjen from Netherlands

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Taste Of The Himalayas, San Rafael, CA (close to the source). Pours a hazy light amber color and a stiff off white head with retention and lacing. Aroma's of grainy malt, flowery hops, tea leaves, resin. Flavor is moderate bitter. Light bodied. Firm bitter finish. Pleasant.

Dec 24, 2019
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of cans at the overpriced deli down the block from my campground near Point Reyes National Seashore. Mostly clean taste with low to medium hop flavor. Tasty and refreshing, although a slight metallic tinge is found in the finish, which is also touched by mint. Great little camping beer, easy to consume in quality.

Aug 02, 2017
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with off-white head. Aroma has a light caramel malt sweetness with orange rind and pine resin. Taste is balanced, some light malt character and a light hop bitterness on the finish. Slightly metallic. Light body, medium carbonation. Overall it's decent but very boring.

Mar 17, 2017
Photo of KMillard
KMillard from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoying this in tap at Mountain Home Inn at My Tam from the tap. Color is golden amber, lacing, clear to cloudy. Well balanced, more substantial malt flavor and less bitter than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is similar. This is very good beer.

Feb 23, 2017
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from Brewers Haven. Big foamy outburst, very active. Pours a medium golden with abundant billowing head. Mild citrus nose on top of otherwise sweet malts aroma. Taste also favors the malts, grassy, not hoppy except for a tinge at the finish, almost minty. Decent weight and feel.

Dec 19, 2016
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can into an oversized tulip.

Copper in color with a rich and fluffy head. Clean and attractive.

Smells of biscuity and bready malt, sweet floral notes and zesty grapefruit. Faint but pleasant.

Tastes true to nose. Zesty, floral, sweet bubblegum, bread and biscuit.

Light and drinkable and refreshing. I'm digging this.

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dirt, and earthy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, dirty fruit, and earthy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is very dirt and earth forward all around.

Serving type: on tap.

Feb 16, 2016
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This can comes courtesy of the previous reviewer, the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of tropical fruits, some pine. Taste is fruits, citrus, light pine, malts are present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Dec 29, 2015
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yes, I am crazy for CANs, but every so often, I will find a jaw-dropping, erection-inducing CAN & it is ON! This is just such an example. I wandered into Country Garden Six-Pack, near my former place of employment and saw this in their cooler! Shazam! I have visited Marin B.C. with Uncle JedI & Purple Hat Joan, plus Mt. Tam is Mount Tamalpais, a great spot for overlooking the entirety of the S. F. Bay Area. Mt. Tam was a perennial favorite of the late Karen Siders, a Leap Year baby with whom I shared birthday parties (me = 25 Feb) and so I raise this deCANted CAN to her!

From the CAN: "Live Ale! - Keep Refrigerated"; "California Brewed"; "Product of the USA"; "Drink Safely"; "CANs: Infinitely Recyclable (sm); "CA State Fair - Gold '08 & '10 [;] World Beer Championships - Gold (91) '09 [;] North American Brewers Assoc. - Gold '03 & '05 [;] US Beer Tasting Championships - US Champion '07 & '10".

I Crack!ed this open and CANducted a gentle pour since it was "Live Ale!". This still brought forth two fingers of frothy, rocky, tawny head with good retention. Sadly, not much lacing remained after it fell. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a definite pine hop characteristic with a caramel malt backbone. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was kind of thin. The taste was pine, initially, but just enough pine so as to be noticeable without being overwhelming. I know that some people really dislike a heavy, piney, resinous AIPA, but as an APA, this would really fit their bill. It really fit my bill after a day of citrusy AIPAs, standing as a welcome bookend to that part of the AmeriCAN hop spectrum. Finish was semi-dry, piney, resinous, but not too much to put anyone off. Yummy!

Dec 15, 2015
Photo of A_bit_of_the_Sacrament
A_bit_of_the_Sacrament from Pennsylvania

3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice red-orange color with generous head. Good floral aroma. Tastes citrusy with good hop profile. Notes of orange peel are most prevalent. Very well balanced with a light body. Very drinkable even sessionable.

Nov 07, 2015
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Jake's Cannery Bar, San Francisco, CA

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation along with sone notes of amber hues. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and running down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of citrus hops are present in the nose—oranges seem to stand out in particular.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of orange citrus along with some notes of grapefruit There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This pale ale goes down easily. It's not that bitter, but has some citrusy flavors.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 27, 2015
Photo of NolaHopHead
NolaHopHead from Louisiana

3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clean medium orange color with slight haze, finger head lasts awhile. The aroma is very floral with mild citrus, mostly lemon. The taste is similar with big floral hops up front followed by some citrus peel and a little bready malt. The finish is dry and some grassy flower petal hops linger, maybe a little too long. Medium soft mouthfeel. Overall decent pale ale, very floral.

Sep 10, 2015
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3/5  rDev -18.7%

Pours a big foamy head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is mild lemon and grain.
The taste starts out a little watery, gets some moderate lemon and grapefruit bitterness and finishes with a mild honey sweetness. Nice and easy profile.
The texture is crisp with soft edges.
Nicely drinkable.

Nov 18, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89 from California

4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy zipper with a foamy white head.

S: Nose is mostly orange, some pine, floral notes and peach in the nose.

T: Pine, floral notes up front, followed by lemon, then orange.

M: Medium bodied and kind of foamy.

O: Really good. The flavor was a bit of a let down after the nose. I was hoping for more peach and orange, but overall this is a very good pale ale.

Feb 04, 2014
Photo of pkalix
pkalix from California

4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

very honey-orange with little head.
lots of citrus in the first whiff.
really nice taste. first sip is citrus, tiny bit of pine, some bread. a little grass in the back?
slight oil feel, but mostly dry. not very heavy.
very easy to drink; but then, it is a low-abv brew. the sweetness grows after a while. taste is good but I can see the rich and sweet becoming too much after a few.
also, the bottle says to "enjoy fresh" but how can you know it's fresh if there is no production date printed on the bottle??

Aug 10, 2013
Photo of foles
foles from Australia

4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very close to the perfect pale ale. Nice orange colour in the pint - this is going to be a dry one. All the required hallmarks of the style which a lot of brewers get wrong - Firm bitterness, crisp, clean, well balanced etc. But a cracking hit of classic american, slighly dank hops, but all in balance and not over the top. And a bit of a biscuity malt makes a cameo appearance to make this a complex, but very sessionable pale, one of the best I've had (if not the).

Aug 05, 2012
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB from Colorado

3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to a recent trade here, can't remember who sent it but I do appreciate it a lot. Split this with a buddy and we both thought it was a good pale ale. Nice orange color, decent head. Smells a bit hoppy but nothing extra. Taste had a nice hop bitterness with a decent malt backing. I'd drink a couple sixers of this if I could, not bad at all.

Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Gavage
Gavage from Nevada

3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: orange with a thick 3" head that lasts a while. Nice lace paints the glass.

Smell: soft orange citrus and a bit of floral hop bitterness are all that you can pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, a bit of breadiness, orange, and a mild floral bitterness create a basic APA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is pretty short.

Overall: a decent refreshing pale ale, but the flavors overall were balanced but a bit muted.

Dec 14, 2011
Photo of ficknish
ficknish from California

4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Orange, caramel color, Good head retention.

Aroma - Bready, toasty grain smell. Just like the mash tun at the brewery. Very very subtle hop aroma.

Taste - Malty backbone. Strong flavors of bread, toffee, and honey. Complemented nicely with spicy bitterness.

Mouth feel - Light bodied. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall - I love the toasty grain flavor of this beer. The hop profile comes through more on the bitterness side and not so much the aroma or flavor, but I think it makes for a nice balance. Grainy and bitter, yet light and drinkable. Well done Marin.

Oct 26, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
ocelot2500 from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange color with frothy, white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of some grapefruit and spicy hops.

Tastes of a good wave of hops on top of a solid malt base. Hops greet first with a citrus, tropical fruit, and spicy hop profile. In terms of quantity, this is certainly not under-hopped, but is artfully restrained. The hops meld with the malts and give a nice segue to a toasted bread and caramel flavor. I really feel that everything is blended nicely together in this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, I would recommend this one when looking for a nice pale to have. This beer has a certain smoothness to it that makes me enjoy it more than others.

Oct 26, 2011
Photo of Derek
Derek from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper bronse with a white head, light retention & lace.

Nice west-coast hop aroma (apparently is Cascade, Columbus and Amarillo).

Hopwise the taste is like a modern update to the Sierra Nevada pale ale (the cascades with some newer hops). It doesn't have quite the same malty sweetness though, it's off-dry and fairly crisp. Solid bitterness.

Moderate body is well-attenuated with a clean, crisp finish.

This is really well-crafted and a nice drinker.

Aug 31, 2011
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR from New York

2.12/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thank you to a generous BA for this extra!

Poured extremely carbonated. It started to slowly bubble out of the bottle when I opened it. The pour took forever because it became mostly foam in the glass. However, once I got it to a decent liquid:head ratio, it was rather pretty and had extremely good head retention. Huge chunks of lace. At one point it had formed nearly a complete cap with a hollowed out space beneath. Holy cow, this almost rivals the head on Duvel! The body is a deep amber, rather clear, with bubbles rising from the apex of the glass.

At this point, it all started going downhill. There was no hoppy aroma of any sort. I couldn't find any citrus, pine, grass, earth, or anything that even reminds me of hops. Instead, a perfumey, pear-like and solvent-like aroma dominates, squashing the little honey and toasted grain aroma from reaching my olfactory bulbs. I can't really find anything else here. And the flavor is the same way. Nothing but perfume and solvent. It finishes with a slight bitterness, but that flavor is so off-putting that I had to dump it out. A bit disappointed, since I was really looking forward to trying this beer.

A light-medium body with strong carbonation makes it seem lighter than it really is. I think I might revisit this beer in the future just to make sure it wasn't a random off bottle.

Jul 05, 2011
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
BerkeleyBeerMan from California

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice Dark Amber color with a good creamy head. Light lacing. Okay retention. This head taste great. It's sweet like ice cream. The beer is somewhat opaque.

Smell: Sweet candied malts. The malts are very characteristic. Nice fruity hints. Not very hoppy. Slighty astringent but not bitter. Not a ton of character hitting my nose.

Taste: Good but not extremely exciting. I taste a caramel toast flavor. There is a breadiness here as well. I expected more out of this. It has a good feel and is definitely drinkable but lacks of a lot of character. The hops are fresh and mild. A bit piney. I think the balance is off with the malts overshadowing the malts. Not bad but not great.

Mouthfeel: Decent. Kind of creamy. I think the head is great. Finishes a bit bitter.

Drinkability: I expected more out of this live ale. I think I would try it at the brewery. Maybe this beer was sitting on the shelf for too long. After taking a few generous swigs I am willing to declare this beer drinkable. I would probably pick my go to Boonville Poleeko Gold over this.

Feb 11, 2011
Photo of climax
climax from Missouri

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one poured a pretty hazy burnt orange/bronze color with a good size foamy eggshell head. The retention is good.

The nose has a hop crispness, but seems a bit more on the malty side. It's mostly caramel and toffee with some floral notes and lemon zest.

The flavor starts off with a hop bitterness and soon fades to malt dominance towards the end. Almost Oktoberfest qualities come around the finish with the malt bill. Caramel, toffee, honey, and cereal grains to be exact. The herbal hop flavors come and go.

The body is on the light side with crisp carbonation. It's a smooth drinkable beer, yet a bit more personality would be appreciated.

Jan 29, 2011
Photo of beagle75
beagle75 from Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Draft pour into a 0.5-liter mug at Hollingshead's.

A: Clear, light amber color with two fingers of off-white foam head that diminishes to a rocky residue that climbs the sides of the glass. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: The smell of hops dominates, with grapefruit citrus and floral aromas. However, the multiple layers of flavors to come are hinted at as well, with faint toasted grain and honey also detectable.

T: Begins dry, with toasted malt and mild acidity. Hop aromatics emerge more toward the middle as bright citrus and some pine foliage, even lingering on into the finish. Bitterness is present but restrained, leaving an overall impression that is clean and refreshing.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate at first but becoming sticky later, with moderate carbonation.

D: Marin's flagship pale ale is a beer that isn't talked about enough, or served out of enough taps, in California. It embraces balance wholeheartedly while still preserving a precise West-Coast hop profile. For example, it delivers the same intensity of hop qualities as Drake's 1500--a beer that seems to sacrifice balancing malt qualities for the sake of the hops. Mt. Tam should be considered the stylistic equal of almost any of Sierra Nevada's pale ales, while steering clear of the spicy notes that the uninitiated may find challenging. It is effortlessly approachable, yet remains interesting even after it has been re-visited on many occasions. If you can't get your hands on a Strand pale ale, then Mt. Tam is a fine second choice.

Dec 17, 2010
Mt. Tam Pale Ale from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 155 ratings