Tag Archives: Amber Ale

Ommegang Fire and Blood, Game of Thrones #3

Ommegang Fire and BloodI an am unabashed Game of Thrones nerd, so I love that they’ve teamed up with Ommegang to do these special release beers. This season, they’re going with a red ale called Fire and Blood. There are three different labels featuring each of Daenerys’s dragons. This bottle is Rhaegal, but I’d love to get all three.

Onto the beer!

Pours a deep amber. I kind of expected something a bit more red considering it’s got blood in the title. The aroma has a lot more yeast present than you’d think for a red ale. However, when you consider the brewer, it makes sense. Yeast dominates the flavor, as well, but those smokey ancho chiles sneak in eventually. Maybe some rye in there, too.

Really tasty, if a bit more yeast-forward than I expected. And it’s Game of Thrones, so I’ll like it regardless!

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Triton Sin Bin Ale

Triton Sin Bin

Triton Sin Bin

This is a beer I judged by its cover, which is awesome. From Indianapolis, the official beer of the Indiana Ice, this is Triton Brewing Sin Bin Ale.

Color is dark orange, but not quite to copper. Yeast and orange dominate the aroma. Sweet malt with a toasted background. That pleasant funk from Belgian yeast. It’s almost like orange butterscotch. Hops only show up in the dry, slightly bitter finish.

This doesn’t have great reviews elsewhere, but I’m baffled. I think it’s delicious.

Grade: A

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Knee Deep McCarthy’s Bane

Knee Deep McCarthys BaneWhen I see the word Imperial on a beer, I expect everything about it to be big. And since this is the first beer I have had from Knee Deep Brewing, McCarthy’s Bane has high standards to meet. Pours with a relentless, frothy head. Color is on the reddish side of brown. Pine, resin, and caramel in the aroma. Spicy rye comes through followed with a big hit from the piney hops. (Side note, pour carefully!) Hops really linger in this. The flavor and bitterness stick around almost longer than the head does!

Big with nice balance, but seeing as how it’s supposed to be 80 IBUs, I think I have an old bottle. Regardless, this is a very nice brew.

Grade: B

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The Brew Kettle Ruddy Rye

The Brew Kettle Ruddy Rye

An amber ale brewed with a third rye malt, here is The Brew Kettle Ruddy Rye.

Pours hazy orange, just like expected. Very sticky white head. Hops, rye, and caramel in the aroma. Spicy, hoppy, and a very long grapefruit finish. Big flavor and very well balanced. Definitely hoppier than I expected and the rye doesn’t come through as much as I had hoped, but it’s there.

Very nice beer from The Brew Kettle. The flavors all work together well, but I would prefer more rye flavor. Love the label.

Grade: B

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Tin Roof Brewing Perfect Tin

Tin Roof Perfect Tin

Unsurprisingly, the Tin Roof Perfect Tin is a canned Amber Ale. Pours a deep copper with a delightful aroma of  caramel, toast, and citrus hops.

Sweet toffee is the foremost flavor with the grapefruity hops adding some bitterness at the back end.

Tin Roof Perfect Tin

Rather big flavor and very full, round mouthfeel for an amber ale. Not terribly complex, but the toffee and roasted malt pair together nicely, with the hops adding a pleasant contrast at the end.

Good flavor, and clocking it at 4.5% ABV, a great all day beer here. Geaux get one!

Grade: B

 

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Highland Gaelic Ale

Highland Gaelic Ale

Upon seeing this beer, I wondered what Gaelic Ale would mean rather than a Scottish Ale. Basically, it’s made to honor the Irish and Scottish people who settled the area around Asheville, where Highland Brewing is. I’m also told to expect more hops than I would with a typical Scottish Ale, which is good to know before starting.

Pours a deep amber and is relatively clear. Sticky white head floats atop. Smells of toasted malt and smoked peat. I’m glad I knew to expect some hops, because they are definitely noticed. Thankfully, not overpowering (wouldn’t fit the style). Caramel, smoked peat and other complex malts are upfront with the piney hops balancing nicely. The malt lingers longer than the hops.Flavor of iced tea as it warms, as well. Clocks in at 5.8% ABV.

I’d say this is more of an Amber Ale than it is a Scotch Ale. Interesting how your own bias about a how a style should taste will shift your views, no? It’s tasty, has good balance, and is on the hoppier side of the spectrum.

Grade: B

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Old Speckled Hen

 

Old Speckled Hen

The Hen was first brewed to celebrate the 50the anniversary of the MG car factory.

Pours clear and deep amber. But the clear bottle does make me a little wary of skunk. None in the aroma, thankfully. That is rather inviting with toffee and fruit. Very crisp on the tongue. Toffee, apple, some cherries come through before grassy hops and a slightly bitter and dry finish. Goes down nice and smooth. Doesn’t pack a huge punch at 5.3% ABV, but a few of these would put you where you want to be.

Solid beer, this. Easy to drink, tasty enough.

Grade: B

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North Coast Red Seal Ale

Spicy hops aromas lead the way in North Coast Red Seal Ale. It’s more of a hazy copper than it is red, however.

Slightly roasted and slightly sweet malt are balanced very well by the spicy, piney hops. There’s even an underlying hint of ginger, I believe.The finish is long, dry, and more bitter than expected. Overall, the flavors are not overpowering or particularly big, but it tastes good and it’s well balanced.

Pretty tasty red ale, this. Maybe not on the same level as other North Coast offerings such as Old Rasputin and Old Stock ale, but you won’t be disappointed.

North Coast Red Seal Ale

Grade: B

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Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Arrogant Bastard

When I first started drinking craft beer, Stone Arrogant Bastard is one of the first I had. A truly memorable experience. I bought it because of the name and the gargoyle, but I was hooked very quickly.

Unrelenting, sticky beige head, real hop power in the nose with some malt breadiness behind it. A big kick from the hops up front followed by spicy black pepper, sweet bread, and a dry, grassy, excessively bitter finish.

It’s so aggressive, but I can’t stop drinking it. All around, it’s an outstanding beer with bold, complex flavors and Stone, as always, provides the perfect attitude.

I feel it gets overlooked sometimes by some of the rarer and seasonal beers, but it’s one of the best out there. Perhaps it’s becoming ubiquitous in the craft beer world. However, you can’t go wrong with Arrogant Bastard.

Grade: A

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North Peak Siren Amber Ale

North Peak Siren

North Peak isn’t a brewery that has a ton of beers on the market, just four year rounds, but I like what I’m getting from this Michigan brewery so far.

This is their Siren Amber Ale. Nice, crisp amber color. Not much of a head. Just one smell has you knowing you’re going to be in for something different. There is a ton of flavor in this Siren. Lots of malt, caramel, toasted bread, some hops in the finish. Big, round mouthfeel. There’s a bit of a dry, bitter finish.

Tons of flavor, well balanced, and a bigger feel than you’d expect. I’m impressed.

A very good amber ale.

Grade: B

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