Mt. Tam Pale Ale | Marin Brewing Company

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Mt. Tam Pale AleMt. Tam Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Mt. Tam Pale Ale is our best-selling flagship brew! It has a bright golden color, a medium body and a smooth taste.

Added by xlperro on 03-03-2002

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 148
Photo of largadeer
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very clear orange-amber. The head starts out strong but eventually settles into a small cap.

Smell: Lemony hops, something slightly herbal/vegetable. A solid malty sweetness is present as well.

Taste and mouthfeel: Very citric at first. A sweet, bready malt flavor comes out in the middle, followed by a balanced finish of oily hops and malty sweetness. This is a heavily hopped pale ale, nearly an IPA but not quite there. Fairly light in body, the aftertaste is long and slightly oily, making it less quaffable than most pale ales. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, and I could still easily session this.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, copper color and is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, nicely tan colored head. The head creates a rocky surface as it slowly subsides, all the while leaving a nice lacing pattern on the sides of the glass. The aroma is nicely hop focused with notes of spicy herbs, and a full, rich grapefruit citrus character. The citrus is the single most noticeable aspect of the aroma, with maybe just a hint of malt character coming through as well. Hop fruit aromatics of apricot, peaches and some sort of sweet tropical fruit are also noticeable in the nose.

A sharp, spicy taste of hops greets my tongue as I first take a sip. Immediately though the citrus character becomes the dominant note; it leans towards sweet citrus fruit like oranges, tangelos, grapefruit and even some smooth tropical fruit notes. The carbonation is fairly low, which makes this very smooth to drink; almost creamy in texture. Caramelized malt notes, a touch of brown sugar, and some light toasted grain character play a supporting role for the dominant hop character. A nice bitterness is here as well, though it is not overly powering; it plays as a nice juxtaposition to the softer, more approachable fruity hop character.

This is just a nice easy drinking Pale Ale, I could easily drink a couple pints of this brew. It is so well balanced to be quaffed pint by pint. Perhaps I could wish for a bit more chewy malt body here, but that would keep it from being so drinkable. I am a sucker for the fruity, smooth hop varieties right now (in this case Amarillo) so this Pale Ale is right up my alley.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Poured contents into a small tulip. It forms a solid whispy white head that leaves spider web lacing. Copper body with an orange tint towards the outside of the glass.

Hops are the short story. This has alot of character and depth. Hop oils and resin would make this hard to session but its great for a one stop offering. Light fruity element slims down the citrusy hops a bit. I struggled to find out what was going on with the malt bill for a while and then it hit me...toasted saltines. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light even with the heavy hop load and slightly watered.

Notes: This is a pretty aggressive pale ale that has alot of similarities to a full blown IPA. Citrus is a major player. I couldn't see this being a regular brew for me but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of carln26
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at Noonan’s on Larkspur Landing. It poured a dark copper color light white head, mildly hazy. Nose has light caramel, and a subtle citrus hop. Mild orange and floral flavors. Finish has mild caramel and light fig character. Good carbonation. Slick, light mouth feel. This is an unremarkable beer. I love a lot of Marin and Moylan’s beers. This one is a mild disappointment.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich golden color topped by a small, creamy white head that vanishes into obscurity in mere moments. Nice aroma of floral, piney hops and light honey-sweet malt. Palate is a mellow blend of grassy hops and lightly sweet malt, with hints of honey and light citrus. Body is nice, light, and a touch creamy. A very drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to NC Lotto BIF and BeerRun13 for another outstanding example of a West Coast Pale Ale.
Pour is orange gold with some red hues. Sticky, foamy head that retains well. Lot's of lacing.
Hops attack my nose as soon as I pop the lid. More hops fill the room during the pour. It smells so good I got a bit of froth on my nose from sticking it so far into the glass.
The taste is a very smooth hop character. The hops are agressive, but yet the beer is very smooth and finishes very clean.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and silky.
As good as this beer is I think a bomber is the perfect amount. I wouldn't really consider sessioning this beer because of the hop profile and complexity of the flavors for a pale ale.
Overall a nice suprise and an excellent Pale Ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Just north of San Francisco's Golden Gate is Mount Tamalpais State Park, 6,300 acres of redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from the 2,571-foot east peak."

--Mt. Tamalpais State Park website

I'm sure it's no match for the place for which it was named, but Mt. Tam Pale Ale is attractive beer. Crystalline tangerine with a few bubbles clinging to the sides of the pint glass and a few more speeding up to the pale orange creamsicle cap. It looks to be a hop resiny sort of head and is beginning to deposit fine, filigreed lace that is simply beautiful.

The aroma is great, largely because it's chock full of Amarillo hops. The others (Cascade and Columbus) are no slouches either. This is a tremendous trio that combine to form an olfactory experience that many IPAs (west coast or otherwise) would kill for.

The first sip was somewhat disappointing. That isn't to say that this is a less-than-good APA, but after lingering over the nose for so long, I was expecting a heavenly blast of 'no holds barred' hoppiness and didn't get it. Mt. Tam may not be hugely hoppy, but it is delicious.

Each time the glass is upended, I want more. More malt, more hops, more body... more of pretty much everything. Despite the use of caramal malt, it isn't really noticeable on the palate. This is pure, sunny, citrusy, watered-down (sorry to say), barely bitter hop juice.

The mouthfeel is on the light side for the style and is the beer's biggest fault. I hesitate to use the word 'fault' in an ale that I'm this fond of. However, even a little more fullness would be a very good thing and would benefit Mt. Tam in so many ways.

While I haven't had enough Marin beer to get a bead on the brewery as a whole, I recognize Mt. Tam Pale Ale as a very good APA that is one small fix away from being a world beater. Man, I sure do love me some Amarillos!

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Photo of GClarkage
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

05/29/06- Had on tap at the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, CA.

Presentation- Pint fill via the tap.

Appearance- Golden-light amber pour. Seems pretty clear. Small 1/4 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- Smells very similar to their IPA. Pretty hoppy with a fair toasted malt edge. Maybe a touch fruity...lemon?

Taste- Even tastes like their IPA. Pine and lemon rind hops clash with a light roasted hop flavor. Seems a bit too yeasty though.

Mouthfeel- Middle of the road carbonation, a touch watery though.

Drinkability- About an average pale. Good hoppy flavor. Just doesn't come together as well as I would like.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A simple easy drinking American pale. Understated hoppiness, but you can enjoy the aroma. Very light mouthfeel. Orange with tons of foam. Citrus mouthfeel, a tad drying finish. I shared the bomber, and could have polished it off myself in a session.From the label, loks like they have brewing the same recipe for many years, and I hope that tradition is maintained.

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Photo of thaichile
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Zorro. 22oz. Pours a deep tan with some head but disappearing quickly. Lightly floral scents mixed citrus. Flavor is interesting in an unusual manner. Not overly hoppy at all, but this had almost a funky, herbaceous quality with lemon. Not what I was expecting but not neccessarily a bad thing either.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber purchased at The Jug Shop in San Francisco

Pours a hazy orange amber with a thin white head that recedes. Speckled lacing on the glass.

Aroma is slightly sweet with a hint of caramel malt. Overall, it is dominated by lemony citrus type smell with a slight iced tea aroma.

Taste is slightly malty sweet upfront with a tasty lemon/citrus hop flavor. The bitterness is quite balanced, leaving just a slight residual sweetness. Leaves a slight lemon iced tea aftertaste.

Carbonation is a bit light, and the body seems somewhat thin.

I could drink this all night, it goes down easy with an enjoyable flavor. Quite a nice APA.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at LaBodega in Riverside California in early March 2006 for $3.49 (22 oz. bomber).

Presentation- a nice pale, golden-tinged amber with a slightly off white head. The head starts small and gets smaller. Carbonation is in a big rush when first poured, but dies off quicky, and this becomes a fairly still beer.

Initial aroma (while the head is fresh and the carbonation is bubbling) is an intense spruce-juniper pine forest. It backs off after a few minutes, but it's still around for quite a while.

Flavor holds onto those aromas and lays them on the tongue quite nicely. I was expecting the flavor to be intensely hoppy, more IPA than Pale Ale hoppy, but to its credit, it doesn't do that. A lemon citrus finish ends the swallow. Ends up making this downright tasty!

Mouthfeel is actually a little thinner than expected from the flavor profile. Drinkability is fairly high.

Overall, a very nice example of a pale ale!

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Photo of Rezzin
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice thick 1 1/2" frothy white head. Hazy amber orange.

S - Sweet hops. Lemons, grapefruits, honey, sweet malt. Smells really good.

T - Tastes as good as it smells. This is my 2nd beer with Amarillo hops in it and I think I have a fondness for it now. Citrusy sweetness and just the right amount of bitterness from the hops. This is a nice hoppy APA.

M - Could use a little more mouthfeel in my opinion. Zingy freshness with a nice mellow aftertaste. Smooth and crisp.

D - Ok, time to stock up on these or find myself a comparable clone to brew. I really enjoyed this offering from Marin Brewing.

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Photo of weeare138
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a hazy orange with a small white head. Little lacing is left behind.
Smell is of tangerine and lemon zest.
Taste is of the tangerine and zesty lemon with a light bit of bitterness.
Mouthfeel is zesty with a slight sourness.

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Photo of baiser
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber colour with an off white, frothy head. Nice lacing and good retention. Aroma was fruity, sweet, some caramel and toasted flavours. Taste is heavy on the malt side, with some caramel sweetness balanced by some lemony flavours. Very easy to drink, smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold with a tint of red. Sediment floating and a slightly lacy ring.

Very hopy nose. The bottle says Cascade, Colombus and Amerillo bops but the cascade is not as abvious as the others.

A real nutty maltyness. Good mouthfeel and easy on the tongue.

Quite a tasty brew and i wouldn't mind putting down a few more


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Photo of Dmann
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another good offering from Marin Brewing Co. This one escaped the bottle a hazy orange color with a small light frothy head that left a touch of lace. The smell was quite malty and bread like with a touch of floral hoppiness in the background. The flavor was quite tame compaited to other pale ales out there. The big chewy malt backbone dominated the flavor and the citrus flavors of the hops could only peak their head out for a second. A little less hoppy of a pale ale compaired to what I'm used to, but still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark golden brew.

Smell is sharp hops with a hop oil sheen on the top, very aggressive hop scent to this.

Taste is mildly sweet with a floral hop flavor. Malt gets run over by the hops in this.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An unbalanced brew, all hops with not much else.

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

From the usual brown bomber, it pours a nice gold with a foamy head leaving some lace. The hops and malt balance nicely in the smell, with just a trace of grapefruit. The taste is also nicely balanced, with just enough hop twang to keep things from becoming boring. This is a solid pale ale and one that is up to Marin's high standards.

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

This is a good pale ale. When poured it was medium golden yellow in color with very little foam with a little lace on the side of the glass. The smell of hop's with a piney aroma filled the nose. The taste was of a piney nature along with a mild hoppy flavor. I'm not a piney tasting person, but, this ale was pleasant. Mild after taste with a well balance of sweetness/bitterness in the mouth.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a brown glass 22 Bomber with the usual generic style Marin label, this one has a yellow centre piece that states “Mt. Tam Pale Ale” and lists all of the awards it has won.

It pours with a large head, that is whippy and one that laces the glass well with a thick lunar crust. A clear golden-amber colored body with the tight collared head looks good.

Deep sniffs reveal a fruity aroma mixed with grain malt and a lovely citric lemon whiff.

Tastes are the best part of this beer, smooth mouthfeel, the malt & hops are perfectly balanced in the mouth, and the citric lemony finish adds a lovely extra dimension to this beer. 5.5% and full of flavor, this is a good Pale Ale that impresses me.

Overall: Extremely well balanced & very drinkable. $2.99 for 22oz represents great value for me. Obviously this is made from quality ingredients, & this Pale Ale definitely benefits from these. A very smooth “quaffer”. This is my eighth Marin beer, they rarely disappoint, and this is one of their better beers for me.

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Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slightly misty golden amber color, with the head modest in size and the texture frothy, as it dissolves, it leaves a thick blanket of lace to coat the glass. Nice floral aroma combined with the heavy malt and the light lemon like tones makes it quite fresh and crisp, as good Pale Ale should be. Start begins lightly sweet, the top moderate in mouth feel, the finish spicily hopped, astringent and the aftertaste long lasting and quite dry. Good Pale Ale if I may say so and quite tasty to this old palate.

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Photo of Mark
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this a very refreshing pale ale. Nice malty base and citrusy hops. I can tell that Moylan's Tipperary pale ale is a souped up version of this fine beer. Light clear amber color, nice white head, lace was above average. Very drinkable and refreshing. Highly recommended

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Photo of StevieW
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good beer I had at Marin. Nice light brown to tan color, medium white head, that seemed to stay longer. Pleasant and inviting smell of hops and florals. Really nice taste, easy to drink. I didn't think it as flavorful as the Sierra Nevada or the Liberty Ale, but very refreshing. Not as hoppy as the Liberty, but very still very good.

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Mt. Tam Pale Ale from Marin Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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