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MacTarnahan's Amber Ale - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MacTarnahan's Amber AleMacTarnahan's Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

213 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 213
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 13.29%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
32 IBU

Malts: 2 Row Pale, Caramel
Hops: Cascade

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of MacTarnahan's Amber Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at The Wine Corner in Paia, Maui, Hawaii. I picked this one up because I have never seen it in California.

Pours a clear copper amber color with a 3 inch foamy light tan head that settles to a small cap. Thin broken rings of lace line the glas on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, slight caramel, and more of a citrus zest hop flavor. There is very little bitterness to this one after each sip. The mouthfeel is pretty disappointing with a very watery aspect to it. Overall, this is a pretty good amber ale and I am glad I picked one up but I don't think it's all that special.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 08:57:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear, bright tangerine with a toast brown head that looks average in all respects. It isn't soft and mealy, nor is it particularly firm and sticky. It deflates to a thick film and leaves decent, but not spectacular lace.

The nose is slanted more toward hops than I'm used to for the style. Fine by me. It strikes me as more of a pale ale in that regard. I'm not sure, but I'd guess that one of the '4 C's' is in use. The slight hop edge carries through to the palate. It isn't pale ale hoppy, but it's more than sufficiently hopped for an amber ale.

The hops provide a citrusy flavor and a gentle bitterness that is kept in check by a weak, but sufficient malt presence. The finish is on the short side, leans toward dry and is softly bitter. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but that only enhances drinkability. This one could be downed in quantity; if I had more than this one that is.

I'm still trying to get a fix on MacTarnahan's as a brewery. I liked their Oak-aged IPA quite a bit, but loathed their Oregon Honey beer. Amber Ale is somewhere in between. A decent quaff, all things considered.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2004 22:05:36 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BEERchitect


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Couldn't be happier to see more Portland, OR beers find their way to Central KY. This beer is a standard, solid Amber for any occasion. Pours a ...well.... amber color with very good head retention and soft carbonation. Smells malty with very low caramel, toffee notes. Of course it's assertively hopped, but not outside of balanced. Tastes quite malty and rich. Hops certainly offset the sweetness, as well as offering a citrus, grassy taste. Soft fermentation flavors (almost lactose) give the beer some spirit going into the finish. Quite clean and crisp in late, with a mild hop lingering. Good stuff to chase down the wings and pizza.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 17:23:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jaydoc


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

12-14-2013 04:54:42 | More by jaydoc
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear copper with a rather thin head that is gone pretty fast,the Pacific NW presence really shows in the aroma of this ale with a real noticable piney hop presence over top some light caramel and butter.Very nicely balance quaffable ale here a firm lightly sweet malty backbone like that of cookie dough holds up to a pretty generously hopped beer here some pine and evergreen rounds this one out nicely.I have had chances to have this on tap from time to time and passed it up,I have to say I was pleasantly suprised by this one,a real sessionable easy drinking amber.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2005 21:52:06 | More by oberon
Photo of Knapp85


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a reddish amber color. The head was decent but fizzled away after short amount of time. The smell of the beer had a decent amount of malts on the nose. The taste of the beer was grainy and semi sweet. The mouthfeel was pretty good. Overall I found the beer to be kind of the refreshing side, not sure if it's one I need to have again. But not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 19:17:06 | More by Knapp85
Photo of zeff80


3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/burgandy color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head. Left some lace.

S - It smelled of malt and grass/hops.

T - It tasted quite hoppy and spicy. A good toasted malt flavor, as well.

M - It was crisp and sharp on the tongue. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good amber. It is a very hoppy beer for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 15:16:00 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR


3/5  rDev -13.3%

09-02-2013 17:39:00 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly clear - very slight haze. Deep amber in color with a reddish-orange cast. Nice, full ivory head that holds pretty well and leaves some excellent lace. The aroma is of gently fruity, lightly caramel-tinged malt backed by some earthy hops. The body is medium-light with a restrained, and very fine, carbonation. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with an emphasis on light caramel malt backed by hops. Slightly bitter for a Scottish-style, but that's to be expected for a beer coming out of Portland, Oregon. Very nice, well done, and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2002 06:11:04 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Jason


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent brew, a struggle to keep balance yet still has a good hop malt mix. Mild astringent flavours don’t deter the palate from drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2002 21:25:18 | More by Jason
Photo of russpowell


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a staple for me when i lived on Oahu, a nice one to session any time:

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Light breadyness, some orchard fruit & some cereal notes once warm

T: Caramel, slight apple cinnamon flavor & some herbal hops & dryness up front. Slight smokeyness, some metallic & leafy hops, plus a bit of apricot as this warms. Finishes with some biscuitty & honey malt, flinty dryness & a bit of lemony/grapefruitty hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, moderate carbonation & okay balance, probably not hoppy enough for many who expect this style to be hop-forward

Easy to drink, I remember this being a bit more complex, but who knows time or a recipe change may have led to change in my perception??

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 03:07:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of Slatetank


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

05-23-2013 23:48:59 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a mild hop aroma that adds excellent balance to the aroma. It's toastey with a sweet scent. The taste is good. It has a well balanced flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a mild hop flavor. It goes down smooth with a creamy feel. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I like the aroma and taste. The carbonation should be scaled back so the creamy flavor can be better appreciated.

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2005 23:53:49 | More by WesWes
Photo of jwc215


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours hazed orangish amber/copper with a thin off-white head that becomes a patch. Some thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel malt with a Cascade hop balance.

The hops are more aromatic than bittering - caramel stays ahead of the hops, though there is some restrained citrus/pine. Sweet with a touch of citrus/pine in the finish.

The body is a bit thin with somewhat aggressive carbonation (which I had feared would be the case from the fizzy sound it made upon pouring.)

Ah, well...there is a drinkability about it. Not bad for a caramelish, sessionable pale ale. Something makes me think "old-school" craft beer. My hunch is that about a decade ago or so this would have been comparatively better.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 02:31:17 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -13.3%

11-18-2011 19:35:20 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of GClarkage


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

04/09/09- Received as a gift from a friend.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a 3/4 inch nice fluffy head. Lacing is lightly patchy with some spotting.

Smell- Quite nice with a grapefruit hop aroma and a bit of pine. A light malty aroma finishes it off.

Taste- Wish the taste was as good the the scent. Pretty much quite bitter and truthfully unflavored hops. Maybe an extreme grapefruit pith. Malt is very toasted with not much caramel character. Kinda nutty at times as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit spritzy. Effvervescent carbonation. A bit like selzer. Mild hoppy aftertaste...more nutty aftertaste than anything.

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one in the future. Too one dimensional.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 00:41:55 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Zorro


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear copper colored brew.

Smell is very hoppy with malt in the background. The hop smell is very lively and of the pine type.

Surprisingly this isn't a bitter brew, the hops and malt balance nicely. A nice ale not too sweet or bitter. Not great though, needs more complexity to reach that.

Mouthfeel is good, just about right.

Very drinkable, not a bad beer for buying by the six pack.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 03:15:28 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber color, small head, some lacing. Scents of sweet malt. Nice taste for an amber, but have had better. Light-medium body. You could drink alot of these, not very strong alcohol content. I would really not recommend the MacTarnahan's line-up, nice, but there are other brews better out therem IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 01:12:29 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a Beers of the World mix box that I got for Christmas from an acquaintance. Thanks Scott!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head above the clear amber brew. Head fades rather quickly, but still a layer of bubbles, and lacing is minimal to average. Aroma is delicately hoppy, a bit piney. Taste is also mostly hoppy, with some maltiness from support, and a slight citrus tang at the outset. Mouthfeel is pretty good, and drinkability is good as well, with this being a smooth drinker and nice session option.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2005 22:16:53 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -13.3%

07-23-2013 23:15:24 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BillRoth


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

11-18-2013 01:37:03 | More by BillRoth
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3/5  rDev -13.3%

05-20-2013 23:54:07 | More by LXIXME
Photo of JohnGalt1


2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop for about $1.50.. shared with a buddy.. mine from a shaker pint.. listening to Sasha and Digweed Communicate while talking shop.

Very short and shortlasting head... crystal clear orange brew.. not very amber at all.

Bready malts and an abundant citrus hop character.. could use more.

Fruity yeasts and a lite body... lite carame and toasted malts.. cascades I assume.. sorta metallic lingering finish.

good at first, but by the end I came to think that this was simply an average PNW amber.. I remember this beer better than this glass... simply needs a little more of everything.. aroma.. body.. flavor.. sorry.. but that's the way I see it. Still drinkable for sure but not a brew I go for when I want an amber fix.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 08:09:54 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of beertunes


3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear honey amber color with just a thin cap of slightly off-white head that dissipated quickly and left a bare minimum of lacing.

The aroma was mainly crisp hops with some malt in the background, just the opposite of most of the style. The flavor was similar to the aroma with more malt showing up than in the scent. There seemed to be a slight fruity sweet flavor on the finish.

The body was good, smooth and clean. Drinkability was good, I drank a 22 without getting too bored. Overall, a decent beer and a different take on the style. If you're looking for a change from Fat Tire or Alaskan this Amber may be for you.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 23:17:21 | More by beertunes
Photo of Gusler


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a sparkling amber color with a modest head, the lace in delicate sheets. Nice malt nose that is lightly sweet, but dominated by the malt, also a hint of citrus noted. Sweet malt start, middling top, the finish has a nice hop spicy bite, the carbonation tolerable, the aftertaste malt dry and pleasant, a good “Session” beer me thinks!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2002 05:34:43 | More by Gusler
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MacTarnahan's Amber Ale from Portland Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.