Posts Tagged ‘amber ale’

Scuttlebutt Amber Ale

February 3, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.3

My first beer from the Scuttlebutt brewery and only my third beer from Washington state, this one follows on relatively soon after the can of Evo IPA from Two Beers which was the last offering from Washington that I had tried when I reviewed that one towards the end of last year. Like that previous offering, this one from Scuttlebutt is another beer that I picked up from my local bottle shop after noticing it was reduced on a recent visit; opting for it based solely on the fact that it was the first time I’d seen on of the breweries beers available in the UK and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. Although not an offering that gets particularly good reviews online, this is a beer that I’m looking forward to cracking open given it is the first of two beers from the brewery that I now have to review since I’ll soon be giving their Hoptopia double IPA a go too.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber to copper coloured and quite clear looking, the beer has a nice sized head on top that looks quite creamy and sits as a wavy, off-white that manages to hold well in the early going.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a basic, earthy nose opens things up with some light caramel and subdued hops alongside an earthy bitterness and some nuts. There was less hop bitterness than expected with some honey, spice and basic fruits making up the rest of the nose with some biscuit seeing things out.
Taste (6/10): Following on closely from the nose, the beer again started quite earthy with some caramel touches in the early going too. It was a semi-sweet beer with some nutty flavours and lighter fruits, apples in particular coming through with some basic biscuit malts not far behind. Towards the end there was some funk and sourness starting to come through with a couple of light spices seeing things out.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and semi-sweet, the beer was earthy and quite dry throughout with a few subtle spices further on. The balance was quite a basic one that bordered on poor with more sourness than anticipated sneaking through with some funk further on but it was certainly interesting at least.

Overall (12/20): This one was quite a strange beer in that it started as very much an amber ale with some sweetness and basic malts coming through alongside a few nutty flavours and biscuit but further on there was a lot of sourness and funk coming through, particularly towards the end which made the beer seem a little unbalanced. It was drinkable throughout but definitely not a classic that I’d rush back to, it just seemed a little strange and the sour touches weren’t at all what I’d be expecting.

Brewed In: Everett, Washington, United States of America
Brewery: Scuttlebutt Brewing Co.
First Brewed: circa. 2003
Type: Amber/Red Ale
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50


Rathlin Red

January 24, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.8

The final beer of those that I picked up and tried while in Ireland over the Christmas holidays, this one is a County Antrim brewed beer from the Glens of Antrim brewery that I sampled on my last night in the country. Like a lot of the beers that I tried over the holidays, this one is another from a brewery that I’ve not come across before and is one that I picked up in a local bottle shop for that reason alone. The beer is an Irish red ale that I was surprised to learn uses Slovenian hops and will likely be one of my last new Irish beers until I return to the country later this year, mainly because I’ve tried most of the beers from the country that manage to make it to Scotland already

Appearance (3/5): A dark caramel amber that was hazy and topped with a half centimetre tall head that had a bubbly texture and white colour; it managed to hold well initially before a couple of patches slowly formed around a minute or so.
Aroma (6/10): Quite earthy with a lot of toasted malts and some background sweetness, the beer had some toffee showing initially with a touch less caramel following on behind. Around the middle I started to get some honey sweetness and a few biscuit malts with a roasted aroma seeing things out.
Taste (5/10): Sweeter than the nose with a lot more toffee showing and there was probably slightly more caramel coming through as well. These were followed by some biscuit malts, toasted flavours and a little bread with some nutty touches further on. Towards the end the sweetness continued with some honey and vanilla showing as well as some spice and basic malts.
Palate (3/5): Falling just shy of medium bodied, the beer was slightly lighter than I’d been hoping for but it was quite a smooth one with plenty of sweetness showing throughout. The balance wasn’t the best in truth and it wasn’t overly enjoyable either sadly but it was moderately carbonated and dry towards the end with a toasted bitterness seeing things out.

Overall (10/20): Quite a disappointing offering from Glens of Antrim and one that I’d been hoping for more from, it was a little poor with the sweetness a little more pronounced than expected too. There wasn’t a great deal of variety to the nose and although the beer did improve slightly with the taste, it’s not likely that it’s a beer that I’d go back to again.

Brewed In: Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Brewery: Glens Of Antrim
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Irish Red Ale
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.79

Beehive Brae Red Honey Beer

December 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.9

My second review of a Beehive Brae offering now, this one being the red (or amber ale) version of a beer that is following on from their standard Honey Beer that I reviewed here just over a year ago. This one is another that I recently received as a birthday gift, having spotted it on a few occasions at various restaurants in the Glasgow area but never getting round to trying it until now.  I actually have a few bottles of this local beer to try so I’m hopeful that it will prove to be a good one and at least a slight improvement on the last offering from the brewery that I tried as well.

Appearance (3/5): Dark copper to mahogany coloured with an semi-opaque body and a half centimetre, foamy head that is beige and fades to a thin lacing around the circumference around ten seconds later.
Aroma (6/10): Quite nutty with some light malts and a hint of toffee to start, there was some nice sweetness as expected from a honey beer before some subtle honey and sugars added to this towards the middle. There was a slightly earthy smell coming through that had a faint fruit backing near the end to see things out.
Taste (6/10): Slightly more sweet than the nose with some nice toffee and caramel coming through with a few stronger sugars following soon after. There was a lot of honey around the middle with a slightly more nutty taste and some basic malts further on.
Palate (3/5): Smooth with a light-medium body that was strongly carbonated and almost seemed overdone at times. There was some strong sweetness throughout this offering with honey combining with the toffee and caramel but it wasn’t sickening or as strong as some other honey beers I’ve tried thankfully. It was relatively easy to drink but quite basic and not overly pronounced either.

Overall (10/20): Quite a basic but very sweet offering, this one was loaded with honey as well as some toffee and caramel at points too. There was some earthy malts and nutty flavours further on but it wasn’t overly varied and wasn’t one that I would rush back to either.

Brewed In: Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Brewery: Beehive Brae
First Brewed: circa. 2015
Type: Amber/Red Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift

Boyne Amber Ale

September 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

The third of the three beers from the Boyne Brewhouse that I managed to pick up while over in Ireland at the end of last month and the start of this one; the beer follows on from Boyne’s Saison that was quite disappointing and their only marginally better Pale Ale. I’m hoping it’s a case of saving the best to last with this one though and hopefully it will prove to be a better beer, otherwise I can’t see this being a brewery that I pick any more beer from up when I’m next in Ireland later this year.

Appearance (4/5): A darker, almost caramel colour that has a half centimetre tall, bubbly head that is a creamy white and slightly foamy looking but manages to cover the surface well. The head retention was okay too, initially sitting well then start to break up a little after about forty-five seconds to a minute later with a patch of lacing holding in the middle.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a malty nose with some sweetness in the early going too, there was some caramel notes with the odd sugar to back them up and hints of bread not too far behind either. A couple of faint biscuit notes featured towards the middle alongside lighter hops and a earthy aroma but it could have used being a little stronger in my opinion.
Taste (6/10): Semi-sweet with a little caramel and the odd biscuit note coming through, there was a touch more sweetness than there was with the nose and I managed to get some earthy flavours coming through soon after. A combination of sugars and some bread malts featured around the middle with a moderate bitterness seeing things out but again the beer wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and sweet with a few sugars featuring from the start. The beer was relatively crisp and slightly dry at times whilst the nose in particular was a little weak but the balance wasn’t a bad one and it was easy to drink. Carbonation levels were about average for the style of beer and there was a nice bitterness to see things out as well.

Overall (13/20): Not a bad amber ale and easily the best of the three beers from the brewery that I’ve tried now, although it was still a little weak at times and far from a classic offering. Opening with a nice helping of sweetness that was backed up by pleasant biscuit malts and some caramel flavours, this one was a balanced beer that proved quite easy to drink throughout without being anything special. It was crisp and dry, especially towards the finish with a nice bitterness to see things out as well, although I’d have liked it more had it been a little stronger.

Brewed In: Drogheda, Count Meath, Ireland
Brewery: Boyne Brewhouse
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Amber/Red Ale
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £1.67

The Physics

August 22, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.4

Another beer re-released by Brewdog as part of their tenth anniversary celebrations back in April, I picked this one up alongside their original version of Punk IPA that I first tried years ago and a new beer for me, their Hop Rocker that I’ve since reviewed here as well. This is one that I probably just missed when getting into craft beer and one that the brewery stopped brewery not long before I regularly began looking for new beers in the supermarket but it was always one I’d wanted to try based on the number of reviews it has online, although I can’t remember if they were good ones or not now. Apparently this one was the inspiration for one of Brewdog’s flagship, year-round offerings in their 5 A.M. Saint which is a beer of theirs that I’m quite partial to so hopefully this one will be just as good. An added bonus to this one, thanks mainly to the large discount I received when ordering, this one worked out as quite a cheap beer for a Brewdog offering.

Appearance (4/5): This one pours quite a dark, almost mahogany amber that definitely has a caramel look to it upon closer inspection. The beer is topped with quite a thick looking, creamy head that is a tan brown in colour and quite wavy looking on the surface too. Head retention is excellent here though, there is almost no movement over the opening couple of minutes and there is hints of some lacing being left on the sides of the glass too; a better than expected start to this one.
Aroma (7/10): Quite malty and sweet on the nose in the early going, there was a few burnt notes initially but for the most part it was a caramel aroma that seemed to dominate proceedings. The beer was somewhat sticky on the nose with some toffee malts coming through alongside a biscuit aroma and plenty of further sweet malts. There was a roasted nose following on from this and a few subtle fruits and hops sneaked in towards the end but it was definitely the caramel and toffee that dominated here.
Taste (6/10): Again this one was quite a sweet beer but it didn’t seem as thick or full as the nose did and the caramel flavours took a lesser role here, it was the burnt toast and biscuit flavours that seemed to come to the fore. There was a lot of darker, more earthy malts at this point too with not as much sweetness showing as the nose indicated although some subtle fruits and raisins did show themselves around this point too. Towards the end the beer was quite bitter-tasting with the sweetness all but gone sadly but it was still a drinkable offering at this stage.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied but falling somewhat short and flat carbonation wise, the beer could definitely have done with a little more in this department. Opening as a very sweet and malty beer, things seemed to fade with taste and the bitterness came into its own at this point, there was quite an earthy feel to the beer at this point too and it definitely suffered as a result in my view, whilst still remaining drinkable throughout.

Overall (14/20): Opening very well, this beer got off to an excellent start thanks to how good the nose was when it came through with tonnes of caramel malts and sweetness, some toffee backing them up as well. Things changed after that though, the taste being an altogether different affair with less sweetness and caramel but a lot more bitterness and earthy flavours which weren’t too my liking after the great opening to the beer. Throughout it remained an enjoyable beer but sadly the change of direction wasn’t completely to my liking and I feel like I would have liked this one more had the caramel flavours continued throughout; nice stuff but nowhere near as good as the brewery’s 5 A.M. Saint for me I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2007 (re-released 2017)
Type: Amber/Red Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Price: £1.29 (approx.)

Little Bastard Ale

Rating: 3.35

Continuing the theme of my recent reviews here, this one is yet another German beer that I managed to try but this time the beer is one I had at home after ordering it from the Brewdog online shop earlier this month. The beer in question is Little Bastard Ale from Stone’s Berlin brewery and will also be my first from them, despite the fact that I’ve spotted a number of their beers available over the past few months. This particular offering was a later summer 2016 release from the brewery and is a toned down version of their Arrogant Bastard Ale that I’ve reviewed here in the past and thoroughly enjoyed so I was hoping this would be more of the same; here’s how that turned out.

Appearance (4/5): Copper amber and quite a still looking beer, the drink is topped with a half centimetre head that is a light tan colour and has a bubbly texture to it. The head retention isn’t too bad really but it slowly fades to a thin lacing that turns slightly patchy after a minute or so with minimal lacing on the sides.
Aroma (7/10): Slightly more sweet than I’d expected going in, this one opened with some biscuit notes and a solid caramel aroma that was backed up with some toffee and the odd bread malt. It was definitely more of a malty beer with hints of butterscotch adding to the sweetness with a few subtle fruits coming through as well. Towards the end I could detect some figs and cherries with only subtle grassy notes coming through at the end.
Taste (6/10): Again quite a sweet offering but the beer was definitely toned down a little from the nose with the biscuit and in particular the caramel taking more of a back seat this time around. There was some bread malts coming through with more grassy flavours this time around but it still wasn’t a hop-filled beer by any means. Some toasted flavours and more of the sweet malts started to come through around the middle with a couple of subtle fruits as well but it could have been a little stronger in truth.
Palate (3/5): Quite a sweet offering, particularly at the start with a lot of malts coming through as well but the balance didn’t seem too bad overall. The beer was relatively smooth and clean, coming through as a lightly carbonated offering that started well but seemed to fade a little too quickly for my liking.

Overall (13/20): My first beer from Stone’s Berlin outpost and a fairly average one on the whole; it got off to quite a good start with plenty of sweet malts and caramel flavours coming through on the nose but by the time it got to the taste these had faded a little more than I’d have liked and the beer suffered as a direct result. It was a clean and easy to drink beer, the dark fruits with the nose were quite enjoyable too but not enough of the good notes seemed to carry over to the taste and by the end of this one it had begun to turn into a struggle meaning it’s not likely I’ll pick this one up again.

Brewed In: Berlin, Germany
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company (Berlin)
First Brewed: 2016
Full Name: Stone (Berlin) Little Bastard Ale
Type: Amber/Red Ale
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Price: £1.61

Marcus-Bräu Rotbier

Rating: 3.3

Now for a somewhat random beer that I managed to sample in Berlin when I visited the city over the Easter weekend, last month. This one is a beer from the Marcus-Bräu brewpub that is based in the Mitte area of the city and is a place that I stumbled by one afternoon when wandering about the area, before quickly deciding to stop in and see what they had on offer after discovering it was a local brewpub. The beer I went for was one of three that they had on-tap the afternoon I visited and is also the first review of a rotbier that I’ve uploaded to this site as well; I have previously tried some of the style though. The other offerings that day were a lager and a wheat beer as I recall and I was planning to stay for more than one but in the end decided against it, I was happy that I managed to try one of the brewery’s beers though and here is what I thought of it.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a cloudy and almost murky looking amber coloured beer that has some orange tinges running through it as well. The beer is topped quite a large, two-inch tall head that is creamy white in colour and frothy looking but manages to hold quite well initially with some good lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with some earthy hops and a subtle floral base, this one had a lot of biscuit notes coming through along with a few sweet malts. There was touches of caramel and burnt toast nearer the middle of the beer, I managed to detect a little bread at this point too but it could have perhaps been a touch stronger; a pleasant, earthy bitterness seen things out.
Taste (6/10): Following on in a similar vein to the nose, this one opened with a lot of biscuit and bread malts before some earthy bitterness and touches of spice made themselves known towards the middle. The beer was a little stronger than it was with the nose and some faint caramel managed to come through before being followed by a few sweet malts but again the beer was a somewhat basic offering.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite smooth, the beer was earthy with a subtle bitterness to it and soft carbonation. It was a little basic and the nose seemed weaker than I’d have liked but it wasn’t a bad one on the whole.

Overall (14/20): This one was an okay offering overall, it was quite a subdued beer with nothing really standing out but I guess part of that was down to the fact that the balance was quite a good one. The beer opened with some sweet malts, biscuit flavours and a touch of caramel which blended well together and made it quite an easy beer to drink but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d order a second of.

Brewed In: Berlin, Germany
Brewery: Marcus-Bräu
First Brewed: crica. 2016
Type: Rotbier
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Berliner Marcus Bräu, Berlin, Germany
Price: €4.50 (appox. £3.81)