Monday, March 21, 2011

Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale (2011 original review)

As you can tell from my voice I'm not 100% completely recovered from my cold last week, but I'd say I'm about 85% there! I decided to bounce back with a beer that I knew would still stimulate my currently hampered senses - Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale. This was the sixth beer from a six-pack I bought last week so I already had a good idea as to how this review was going to play out. I also figured it'd be even shorter and breezier than it is. Anyway, please enjoy the review and I'll have a new one tomorrow, too!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (624) - Albany, USA - MAR 22, 2011
One of the joys of drinking craft beer is encountering those beers that are able to do so much with so little (relatively speaking). Dale’s Pale Ale by the Oskar Blues Brewery out of Lyons, CO is a perfect example of this as it’s "only" a 6.5% ABV pale ale, but packs a hop punch of 65 IBUs and has the delicious taste of a double IPA.

I poured a 12oz can into a tumbler.

Appearance: orange/amber hue with some hop haziness and carbonation bubbles. Forms a two-finger, yellowish/tan frothy head which retains very well, and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: I reviewed this beer with a stuffy nose and I was still able to enjoy its extreme aromatic quality. Hops are very potent here with a botanical garden amount of floral fragrances. There’s also light, clean, pine needles and hints of tropical fruit.

Taste: Between the appearance, aroma, and actual palate, I’m not sure how Dale’s Pale Ale isn’t missing the word "India" in its name. This is everything I would look for in a solid American IPA - strong hop bitterness from start to finish with genuine flavor of flowers, pine, and citrus. This beer feels very clean in the mouth as the hops seem to scrub the tongue with their 65 IBU-level bitterness. In the finish there’s a thicker, heavier, sweeter taste of pine sap. The aftertaste is mostly clean at first, but each swig leaves a little more dryness. It does get cloying by the end, and is the only thing preventing this beer from receiving a perfect score from me.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel here is practically perfect - crisp and carbonated from start to finish, but nothing too intense or overly effervescent. The hops do gradually intensify in their drying affect with each sip, making the last few ounces less pleasurable than the first. Still, it goes down smooth throughout its lifespan. The 6.5% ABV actually seems high, as this beer carries the mass of something much lighter and more sessionable.

Overall, a great beer for what it’s able to accomplish and definitely the best pale ale I’ve ever had.

Grade: 9/10

NOTE: See my 2017 re-review here: