Posts Tagged ‘amber ale’

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Beer Review: Magic Hat deVEILed

August 15, 2013

Magic Hat Brewing Company sent me the subject of my latest beer review: their deVEILed, what they describe as an “amber concoction” that “spans two tantalizing worlds”.  It’s an amber ale with a malt base but with a hop bite as well, and it’s exclusive to their Night of the Living Dead Variety Pak.  Let’s see how it fares, shall we?

The Pour
It’s been so long since I did a beer review, I forgot to note the head until it was gone, so I don’t know how thick it was.  I do know it’s a light beige and the beer is a dark ruby and cola colored brew, but light enough to be translucent.

The Nose
A promising start, the nose features caramel and coffee, with a dark, fruity characteristic.  (Their letter says the aroma is of caramel and dark fruits, but I also pick up coffee and the dark fruit seems somewhat raisin-y to me.)  I love the aroma.

The Taste
The beer is medium bodied, with a creamy but somewhat dry mouthfeel.  The dryness gives it a slight dusty feel to it, resting on the base of chocolate, coffee and wood.  There isn’t really what I would call a bitterness to it, except perhaps a bit on the finish in the back of the palate, but the hops serve to balance this and keep it interesting, adding that previously mentioned dry dusty feel to it and keeping it interesting.

Scoring Breakdown

Appearance: I like the ruby hue, but missed the head on this one. 8 points out of 10

Nose: Coffee, caramel and dark fruit…always a winning combination if you ask me. 14 out of 15

Taste: Good blend of flavors, well balanced, very drinkable. 45 out of 55

Style: Fitting for the style.  Roasted character almost leans toward a brown ale.  17 out of 20

Total rating: 84 points out of 100.

In a nutshell: Good flavor with an interesting profile.  If you want something a little more hoppy than a brown, give this a shot!  You won’t be sorry.

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale

August 2, 2008
Part 1 of a (now) 4 Part Series
Part I: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part II: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Cheers,
The Beer Snob

New Belgium Brewing‘s Fat Tire Amber Ale is a brew my buddy Elmer told me about and he often praised it’s tastiness. He would only get it when he headed west, I believe, usually on a beer run to prep for Bonnaroo. So naturally this is the first one of their brews I tried. And he understated its excellence, if you ask me.

According to the Web site:

Named in honor of our founder Jeff’s bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader pallet of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire’s appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans is in its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.

So let’s check the air in this “Fat Tire” shall we?

The Pour
This poured, in my tall pilsner glass, to a thick 3 finger head. The head was off-white, thick and creamy, with great lacing. The color was a kind of orange tinted light caramel color. It looks to be quite carbonated and crisp and is quite clear.

The Nose
This has an excellent nose, just fantastic! The citrusy hops are balanced with the malt, and subtle chewy chocolate notes. The chocolate and malt give it a nice earthy nose with bright citrus accents.

The Taste
This, to me, is an absolutely unique brew. It is exceptionally smooth and tastes exactly as it smells. What you smell is what you get, as it were. The citrusy hops are slightly more dominant, but the chocolate and malt flavors are well played and well balanced. As you drink this, the hops open the show but melt away into the chocolate and malt flavors, all the while maintaining a medium-light body and a smooth clean mouthfeel.

Overall
This is not at all what I expected, but it is an exceptional brew. The earthier flavors, especially complimented and offset by the citrusy hops, were a great surprise. This is one terrific and drinkable brew!

Recommended: Absolutely a must-try. The flavors are terrific and well balanced and just a well crafted brew.

Price: $2.99 for a 22-oz. bottle

ABV: 5.2%

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Beer Review: Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

October 9, 2007

pumpkinale.jpgI spotted this a week or so ago while walking through a Publix. I’m not a big fruit-in-beer kind of guy, and their Honey Moon Summer Ale was a disappointment, but I love Blue Moon so much I thought I’d give this a shot. I wasn’t disappointed. First, here is what Coors had to say about their Pumpkin Ale:

From the 6 pack packaging:

A unique amber ale handcrafted with the flavors of fall, including vine-ripened pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.

From the bottle neck:

This amber-colored, naturally flavored ale is brewed only in autumn and combines the flavor of vine-ripened pumpkin and spices with traditional crystal malt.

And now on to the tasting…

The Pour
This pours with a nice ruby-tinged amber color. I gave it a vigorous pour to see what kind of head it produced, and it gave me a high fluffy head with loose bubbles. It didn’t really lace the glass….the head seemed to slide around on the glass as one unit, as opposed to falling apart and lacing as it slid down the glass.

The Nose
On first sniff this smells like a typical amber ale. Nice hops, though the malt definitely takes center stage. Deeper sniffs, however, brought out subtle hints of the cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Quite pleasant.

The Taste
The first sip was interesting. It took another couple of swallows to get a feel for the brew. The pumpkin flavor is evident more as a sweetness than a definitive pumpkin taste. There’s just a tinge of spices, lurking in the finish. It is easy to go overboard spicing a brew like this, so the understatement was appreciated. By the 4th or fifth swallow I was really enjoying this beer. It seemed to have a smooth, round mouthfeel and a clean finish.

Overall
This is a tasty fall seasonal ale. It’s sweeter than a regular amber ale, thanks to the pumpkin. Nicely crafted. Enjoy this if you’re looking for a slightly different way to usher in the cool, crisp days of autumn.

Recommended: Yes, it’s a nice way to get in the spirit of fall.
Price: $7.49 for a 6-pack
ABV: 5.6%
Visit the Blue Moon Web site

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Beer Review: Rogue American Amber Ale

January 10, 2007

Rogue was established in 1988, and ever since then they have been putting out unique brews. I have tried a few of their brews now, and only have one I would never ever try again…the Smoke Ale. Blech!

The American Amber Ale, according to the bottle, is made from “Harrington & Klages, Cara Vienna, English 115 & 135 Crystal Malts; Cascade & Kent Golding Hops, Free Range Coastal Waters & Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast”. They also say that this brew is “Tawny Amber in color with a coffee aroma and a tight head. A delicate flavor with a roasted malt accent, generous use of hops and a smooth finish”.

I would agree with most of this. On the pour, it looked like a good nut brown ale. It was a nice deep ruby chestnut color, just a beautiful brew. Held to the light, it did seem a mite cloudy. The head was indeed tight, but it not last long, and there was minimal lacing.

I didn’t notice much coffee aroma. It just smelled good and malty to me, with strong hints of hops.

Now, because it is called an Amber Ale, I, for some reason, expected it to be more of a lager type brew. This beer, though, was rather hoppy, which was pleasant, as I am in a hoppy phase right now. This beer is much hoppier than the nose lets on. The overall taste was a nice floral hops taste, but it also seemed crisp and biscuity. There was also a faint hint of sweetness.

Overall, I would say this is an excellent hoppy beer. The hops are not overpowering, to my palate.

From their Web site, read the American Amber Ale brochure (pdf).

Recommended: Yes
Price: I paid $4.19 for a 650ml bottle
ABV: 5.6%

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