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MacTarnahan's Amber Ale - Portland Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

226 Ratings

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Ratings: 226
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

32 IBU

Malts: 2 Row Pale, Caramel
Hops: Cascade
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 144
Photo of wcudwight
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

According to the bottle the Celts brewed pale ale's with Cascade hops.
Pours a copper color with a well retaining 1/2" cream colored head. Smells of bananna and pine forest. Hint of rubber in the smell.
Taste is of caramel and piney hops but there is some metallic flavor that keeps this from being a very good beer. Mouthfeel isn't bad but it's boring. This could be a very good pale ale, but there's just a couple of things that are off that are holding it back. The metallic finish and the mouthfeel.

Photo of Enola
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured with a creamy head that has left lots of lacing. The color is a orange like hue. The smell is hoppy with a slight harshness. The taste is bitter. There is a slight herbal aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth with a lingering fruity feel. The drinkability is fair. Not too bad. I could probably drink these again.

Photo of bort11
2.89/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bubbles on North Oak after mowing the lawn all day. It was on sale but looked interesting, worth a shot.

A- 12 oz bottle poured into my Honey Brown "Beer God" pint glass. Big chunky head, about 2 fingers. I had to take a bite out of it so as not to overflow. The beer is a very clear copper color. Not as much streaming in the carbonation as you would think from loking at the head. The head receded after about 5 minutes, but maintained a tight lace on the surface.

S- Not much going on here. Slight hops smell but nothing else.

T- Not much taste either. Cascade hops only come though in the aftertaste. It's not bad, just not interesting.

M- Medium to light. Balanced carbonation.

D- This is a pretty boring APA. It's not really doing much of anything flavor-wise, but it was refreshing after mowing the lawn. This could definately be a session beer, if there's nothing better available.

Edit- I had a few more the next day, and there was some improvement in taste and smell. That first one may have just been off. Still an averqge APA

Photo of HardTarget
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Inspection: Tells of Cascade aroma hops and a copper ale, no abv, date, etc. Brown twisty.

Aroma: Floral more than citric nose, strong light malt base gives a fair amount of sweetness. Slight peppery note

Appearance: Copper, as advertised, with a good finger of white froth that settles to a quarter finger leaving a good thick lace

Flavor: Mild soapy note to an otherwise solid pale ale. I get a fair metallic note at the end as well. Overall flavor is uninspiring, decent balance but that serves to dampen flavor instead of highlight it. Hops are mild and more bittering than aroma or flavor. Some tea flavor as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, medium yawn

Overall Impression: Eh. Mild flaws in a mediocre beer. It's more of an ESB than an APA.

This might be a repackaged version of this:

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is copper with a high level of carbonation. Head is of average height and is thick. Very good retention. Aroma is of a strong citrissy hop with an underlying sweetness. Sip starts with a burst of citrissy hop which quickly rounds to a caramel malt with a mild toastiness. Malt flavor dominates here, not as much hop as expected from an APA. Sweetness is high to moderate. Bitterness is low. Overall: an enjoyable APA, not as hoppy as most, but still just as easy to drink.

Photo of Crosling
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Changing orange color. Pretty rich nose considering the style with a light caramel malt and butter toffee hint, along with a lightly aromatic, citrusy, floral hop scent. Upon tasting, it’s a bit to feeble for my palate. Light and watery, with oily hops and diacetyl. And this was fresh.

Photo of Rootdog316
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This amber ale has a definite hop aroma. The color could be described as a mixture of brown, red, and golden. The foaminess level is adequate enough. It doesn't produce a good head of foam, but it's acceptable. A little more complexity or additional malt flavor would have swayed my opinion a notch higher. But it's still a very good, hoppy ale. It's a little more on the bitter side than other beers, but hop lovers will think it's great!

Photo of mynie
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark APA orange. Much more hazy than I'm used to. Nice.

Smells like light citrus and grapefruit hops and a bit of bread yeast. Standard but solid.

Surprising kick of hops up front. Lots of citrus. Oranges and lemons. Followed up a full balance of caramel malt and ends on a nice wavy bend of doughy yeast.

A good, solid APA.

Photo of clvand0
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Very clean looking. The aroma isn't too strong but there is some obvious caramel malt and some American hops (possibly cascade). The flavor is very nice, but it reminds me more of an ESB than an American Pale. Caramel malts with smooth bitterness and balanced hop flavor. This beer seems like a "lite" version of an APA or an ESB. The flavor is nice, but it could be more full and more flavorful. The body is a bit light and the drinkability is good.

Photo of heyitsbyron
4.21/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a single from a six pack into a pint glass.

Poured perfectly. Nice inch of pearly head, clear amber color. Can't ask for anything more. I remarked to my friends how this beer poured perfectly.

Smell was so-so. Smelled hoppy of course, bit malty, maybe a bit sweet too. Good aromas, just the volume was turned down a bit.

Flavor was spec-freaking-tacular. I have never had an amber that was this balanced and this pleasant. No macro brew tastes, no funky chemicals. Just a pure balance of malts, hops, and taste of carmely sweetness.

Mouth feel was medium and smooth, no complaints here.

Bring it on! I don't usually like ambers, but I'd buy this again in a heart beat. Good for all seasons, for all occasions. I've had other MacTarnahan's beers and had low expectations but this is better than Great Lakes, Sprecher, or Capital ambers. Simply magnificent.

Photo of ChiSox05
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lacing coats side of glass in patches, lasting creamy foam, amber orange

Almond malt, fresh "green" smelling hops, some spice not sure of

Roaster and bitter toffee, nip with a flavor not unlike scotch, bittersweet until a lightly spiced hoppiness ends the taste mildly bitter and toasted
Carbonation smooths it out and spreads the flavor, prevents from being too malty sweet, sweetness blanaces the roasted malt and faint hop bitterness. Moderate body.
Found a single in a shopping cart full of Michelob Ultra, Icehouse, mudslide mix and other random stuff for $.99, turned out to be a diamond in the rough. I could drink this all week, going back to that circus cart first chance I get and digging out the rest of these. Bravo, I though it was damn good.

Photo of DogFood11
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent sized pillowy off white head, Copper, medium to large carbonation, laces sparingly.

Pretty powerful hop smell for the style along with the usual toasted, malted backbone. Interesting mix just not sure how well this will mix in the gobblage as they seem to be battling more than meshing.

Hey! this works out ok. The hops aren't quite as strong and they provide more of a sharp hit towards the middle and move on to a sweet malt ending. Taste lingers a bit as there is no real cleansing taking place.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Easy to drink and the next beer will be another Mac's Amber.

Photo of whynot44
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light/medium bodied, nice clear amber color with a creamy tan head.

Aroma is primarily Cascade hops with a biscuity malt background.

Taste is also primarily hops with a citrus (grapefruit) and floral or herbal bite but is not very aggressive. Again, there is a very mild bready malt background.

Smooth, very drinkable. Nothing really outstanding but very pleasant for a relaxing drink after work.

Photo of ypsifly
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Undated 12oz poured into a pint glass.

Amber, duh, with a small white head that falls quick and leaves minimal wisps of lace.

The first aroma that jumps out is floral but slightly piney hops. I would really like to know what strain this is. Some toasted crackers underneath.

The taste follows along the same path as the nose, but with the hops less pronounced. I was hoping for a good dose of them, but didn't get my fix. However, this restraint works well with the caramel flavor from the malts and lends balance to the big picture. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. I like it.

Better than average mouthfeel, a good session brew.

Photo of Wasatch
3.45/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber body with a small disappearing head. Smelled like biscuits with some floral aroma wafting off of that. Taste was more of biscuits, with some sweetness behind that, a malty biscuit would be one way of describing it. Washed down with a mild hop flavor on the way down. Nothing too spectular, but not a bad beer by any means, not sure if I'll ever buy it again though.

Photo of palma
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet caramel and biscuity aroma with nutty notes.
Smooth toasted malt flavor throughout but not without a satisfying hop bitterness. Some nutty notes in the finish. A very subtle earthy/peaty flavor. Medium bodied.

A well made amber ale which paired exceptionally well with the fontina cheese I found in my mom's fridge.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional clarity and brilliance with a spacious, soapy head atop a brew of deep bronze flushed with crimson red. Red malts also define the taste in the form of cherry and plum notes. The taste is actually more than I expected, with bold contours in both the fruitiness of the malts and the bright heathery freshness of the hops.

The flavor does tend to fade however, and MacTarnahan’s Amber refuses to yield lace. Still, this is a standup beer and a smart Portland ale.

Photo of Padron4KM
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no freshness date. Pours out sunset orange red with a fluffy tannish head. Lots of sticky lace.

Aroma is mild, lightly caramel, lightly fruity, light citrus.

Body is thin and watery.

Flavor is slightly sweet, caramel with some spicy, citrusy hops.
Finish is decent, citrusy, leaving the lips tingling a bit.

not to shabby.

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one while attending an industry meeting in Portland. The cocktail party featured several local brews. Its nice to have a choice beyond the usual BMC suspects.

The beer pours a nice red/amber with a off-white head.

I liked the aroma of fresh biscuits/crackers with a nice subtle grapefruit aroma in the background.

The taste is slightly on the sweeter side of the taste spectrum. The beer has a nice malt underpinning. I get the bread/cracker taste I expect and a more substantial hop presence as I worked through the beer. This is a great cocktail party beer as it went well with the appetizers.

Soft mouthfeel and excellent carbonation make this an easy drinking beer. I would have no problem keeping this one on hand if I could get it here in Illinois!

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of misterscooter
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this out of the bottle at a holiday gathering and didn't get a look at it in a glass. I have had it before and I do remember it being at least an average or better color.

Good smell, smooth and malty, nothing too distinctive out of the bottle. This is a mellow beer, only a little bit of zip in it at first and then very smooth. It doesn't wow you but it gets it right enough so that having more than one is not a problem. Definitely one I have on a semi-regular basis. You can usually find it at Trader Joe's.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes courtesy of my in-laws. It pours a nice amber color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of dirty hops and biscuit malts. Not may favorite smells, but not unexpected. The flavor is more like a APA than an Amber in my book. There is also a chalky flavor at the end of the beer. I don't like it a lot. The feel is a few shades below moderate. Just a bit thin for my liking. Drinkability suffers from the flavor. Its not a bad beer, but definately not a good one. Its just okay.

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MacTarnahan's Amber Ale from Portland Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.