Alt Route: Altbier (Beer Camp Across America) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Alt Route: Altbier (Beer Camp Across America)Alt Route: Altbier (Beer Camp Across America)

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1,184 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,184
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 8
Gots: 107 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: raynmoon on 07-03-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewers are notorious for refusing to take the easy path. Instead, we lead with our hearts and pursue our passions no matter how difficult the road ahead. Alt Route is a tribute to this stubborn spirit that drove us to dodge the status quo and found breweries. Together we chased the siren song of beer with this revamped take on an antique beer style.

Like us, Victory is one of the few brewers with an allegiance to whole-cone hops. They do extensive work with hop flavor, especially focusing on clever and delicious single-hop beers highlighting the same hop grown in different regions. They too share our roots in home brewing and never lost their passion for working with new beers and styles solely for the joy of making something new.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,184 | Reviews: 170
Reviews by Lovely85:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours into a becker a deep bronze with a half finger white head that's gone pretty quickly.Sweeter aromas than my for the style with caramel and brown sugar with some roasted nuts present as well,some spicy hop becoming more present as it warms.Caramel and mild cookie dough flavors at the onset along with brown sugar, a nice drying more spicy than citrusy hop finish lingers nicely.I thought at first this was a little sweet but the spicy hops really cut thru the sweetness nicely in the finish,solid.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In a snifter this beer was a garnet color with a tiny tan head.

Aroma muted. Sweet malt and citrus.

Taste also muted. Caramel up front, some grapefruit late.

Sweet mouthfeel.

Not enough malt character in this beer, and too much hops. So far my least favorite Beer Camp.

Photo of Beaver13
2.35/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours ruby amber with a big meringue head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - grainy leathery malts.

The flavor is grainy nutty malts with a fairly bitter tarry finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, kind of bland grainy nutty malts with an odd bitter finish.

Photo of Beerswag
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

appearance is dark brown with hues of dark chocolate, copper, and clear at the bottom. Smell is raisin, grain, plum, pine, and bitter chocolate. Head is memorable, with it sticking around and lending a nice creaminess throughout. The taste is light fruit, slightly sweet, malt and hops on the finish. Getting a little roast, but not much, more hops and carmel Balance, in malt, hops, sweetness, and crisp-dry finish, with some decent carbonation present. mouthfeel is light, and sweet fruit taste, with some hop presence throughout on this beer. Overall, would like to see more examples, since the balance of flavors, and a decent amount of hops, lends to a versatile beer. Pairs good with most German, BBQ, pot-roast. blue cheese, gorgonzola, muenster.

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Brownish-orange with good sized tan head.

Smell: Cherry, toast, spicy & citrus notes.

Taste: Semi-sweet cherry and other fruity malts. Some toastiness. Finish is spicy, tingly and citrusy. The balance initially seems really great, but the bitterness slowly becomes a little out of balance for the style. Not really all that bitter, but not quite right for an Altbier.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium bodied that is quite smooth, dry finish.

Overall: Very nice Altbier overall, or more accurately, Sticke. While I like hoppy and bitter beers, it may have been a titch too much here. Otherwise, a much better beer than I expected.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Big malt with some earthy hops, light grain and hints of spice greet the nose. It pours brilliant light brown with a bone white 1” head. A very creamy palate starts with an initial fleeting hint of butter that quickly fades, replaced by biscuit with hints of caramel. The treatment of the bitterness in this beer is outstanding. It is assertive, present from start to finish but so well balanced by the malt. This is fresher than anything you will get imported from Germany. The imported stuff is often a year or more old and the hops are muted and some of the rich malt and grain flavors are hidden behind wet cardboard oxidation flavors. Here, the hops are in full bloom and a joy in perfect balance with the malt.

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a stange

A - Pours a deep mahogany color with a slightly off-white head. 1 finger with medium sized bubbles and good retention. Fairly clear with decent carbonation.

S - The nose is a little weak. I get bread and a touch of nuttiness with just a hint of earthy hops in the background.

T - Roasted nuts, bread, non-descript hops on the very end. Kind of boring.

M - Low bitterness on the back end. Lightly carbed, Nuttiness lingers on the tongue. Fairly medium bodied.

My first altbier. Maybe my last. The malt bill leaves me kind of unimpressed and the lack of any other prominent flavor makes for a boring beer. Not my cup of tea.

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul, MN. 6 oz. serving as part of a flight.

Appearance: Color is a deep brown with hints of amber. Small off white head.

Smell: A toasty and somewhat sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit, caramel, and chocolate. Toasted malt with bready hints of biscuit, toasted bread, grains, caramel, toffee, chocolate, nuts, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Background hints of earthy hops with some hints of grass. A pretty solid malty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a toasty and sweet malt driven taste with good notes of biscuit, sweet caramel, and chocolate. Toasted malt with upfront notes of biscuit, grains, toasted bread, caramel, toffee, and yeast with some good undertones of chocolate and nuts. Sweet notes of brown sugar. Backing presence of earthy hops with some light notes of grass. A solid malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on an Alt. Good toasty malt notes with a nice taste of chocolate.

Photo of Mantooth
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm on my third Beer Camp brew, Alt Route. This is an altbier, labeled to be "anchored by a layered, slightly sweet malt body supported by citrusy hop flavor and aroma." It delivers on that promise fairly well, but lacks in the "malt body" department. The hops have taken over, and while I'd usually shout "Oh, hell yeah," the balance is off here. All in all, it's a good beer and Im excited to be working my way through the camp, with a full stomach and a sound asleep girlfriend. I think the first two brews went to her head... or maybe it was the white wine she started with while we were cooking.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I just poured this beer into a chalice looks great beautiful looking beer, ruby dark highlights in the glass with a light khaki beige cream head forming thick at least two fingers! Fine even lacing left down the sides of the glass.

Aroma has dark fruit vinous notes, earthy ripened grapes, a touch of herbal hops in big doses for an altbier with 6.6% abv. Victory’s Tenth Anniversary beer was an alt sticke style ale so I know that they know how to make this beer, how did the collaboration go?

Flavor has earthy herbal notes even keeled balance of dirty hops and expressive malts, ripened fruit and dark dried fruits think raisins and apricots but not overly sweet tame balanced sweet malt character.

Mouthfeel has a medium bodied evenly carbonated texture, rolling across the palate smooth as silk this beer does something for me…even keeled and goes down easily.

Overall, I’m impressed with the beer and the loads of earthy hops and balance it executes.

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -- bottled on date 3 June 2014 -- served in a snifter.

Pours deep mahogany in color; clear; good small head soon reduces to a partial coat but leaves good lacing.

Aroma: slight dominance of malt base by spicy hops.

Flavor: Medium and dark roasted malts up front with a relatively (for style) hefty dose of spicy hops kicking in mid-taste and buidling to the mildly hoppy and slightly bitter finish. Well balanced.

Feel: medium body and medium soft carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

O: a slightly hoppy but definitely recommended version of the style.

Photo of timontheroad
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a half inch head after a very aggressive pour. Aroma was pretty muted, with only a slight bit of bready sweet malt notes, and just a touch of some grassy bits, although this is probably due it it's age. The taste is a little more pronounced, with a bit of roasty malt flavors and some citrusy fruity tastes. The mouthfeel was medium to light-bodied, with some nice lingering bitterness that stays on the palate. Pretty tasty, but just OK, not great.

Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Poured a gorgeous clear, deep copper colored body with three fingers of fluffy off-white head that slowly receded leaving minimal lacing. A nice looking altbier that is fairly true to style. Scents of sweet, bready, and grainy malt with a touch of caramel and very light levels of fruity esters most reminiscent of apple. Overall impression of the aroma is subtle, yet malty with a very light fruity ester presence. Good and true to style. Flavor begins malty and clean with light notes of sweet caramel and bready malt balanced by a moderate bitterness level with bright notes of grapefruit peel and pith and citrusy hops. Middle continues these flavors, though bitterness increases to moderate-high. Finish is medium-dry with notes of grapefruit peel and pith, bright citrus, light caramel and bready malt. Aftertaste is dry with lingering bitterness and notes of bready malt, light caramel, grapefruit pith and slight notes of honey. Overall impression is of a fairly bitter flavor profile anchored by a nice sweet malt presence that is rich and bready with caramel notes and a slightly more citrusy hop profile than is traditional for an interesting twist. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, very smooth in feel with moderate carbonation. An easy drinking feel that is quite pleasant. Overall this is a nice altbier. In many respects it sticks to tradition in aroma and in the malt aspects of flavor, as well as with its smooth mouthfeel. Yet it tries new things with more citrusy hop flavors. The end result is a fairly good take on the altbier style that is very pleasant to drink.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 ounce bottle into a can-shaped glass.

Another magnificent head from a Sierra beer, surprise, surprise. It's a cream color, three fingers thick and foamy and bulky in appearance. It retains well and leaves behind a wall of lace to the rim of the glass. An amber body lies below and it is a deep color with only a slightly lighter hue when placed against light.

Thick, rich malt flavors hit the nose, suggesting caramel, bread, and even some subdued booze. There's a hop presence, mostly floral and light, but it's still easily detectable and even gives off some bitter aroma.

Not much varies from nose to mouth here, besides that the hops are much more of a factor. Caramel also becomes more prominent and tries its best to compete with the hops here. A bready tastes lingers after the finish.

At least initially, the bitterness on this beer is overwhelming. With some warmth, the malts mellow things out and their sweeter qualities seem to factor in more, so it eventually drinks more enjoyable. Still, this beer could be smoother.

It's a decent effort, but I feel a bit of a letdown given the expectations of the Beer Camp pack.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours clear and copper red in color with an off-white finger width head. Sub-par retention results in a broken layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is spotty, with little stick.

Smell - Toffee malt sweetness backed by a mellow lemon citrus sourness.

Taste - Through half the beer now and still trying to come up with a description for the flavor, and it's just not coming. Not because it's so complex, but because it's so bland. There's definitely a mellow lemon zest in there by mid-taste and into the finish, but the malts are nigh cardboard in flavorlessness. Just a faint trace of toffee. Some woody bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink, in the least. Semi-dry finish.

Overall - Hmm. So much flavor opportunity available in the style, and they deliver a rather bland alt. Swing and a miss. Easily the worst of the SNBCAA mix pack.

Photo of secondtooth
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, rich amber with a massive head of off-white bubbles. Beautiful and detailed lacing.

Nose is malty, with accents of fruit, caramel, and toasted grain.

Taste is definitely heavy on the toasted malts, with a bitter hop bite that cuts thru the palate pretty quickly, though. This one, with it's toasty, almost roasty character, reminds me somehow of an extra-hopped brown ale, almost. Regardless of comparisons, this remains a tasty and unique take on the alt bier tradition.

Photo of Roguer
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish-brown beer, topped by a 1 1/2 finger firm creamy head. Retention is good; lacing isn't impressive. Beer is very clear despite the dark color.

Big aroma of caramel with a hint of fruit and earth.

Flavor focus is certainly on caramel and toffee, with a nice strong caramel bite right at the end before it lets go. Along the way there is some bread and a very nice dose of hops: citrus, floral, and earthy. Bitterness is exceptionally balanced into the beer.

Extremely lively yet perfectly smooth mouthfeel; medium-light with a sticky, oily residue. Relatively short finish, as the sweetness is the primary aftertaste.

This is a damn good Altbier. I would be more than happy to pick up a 6 pack of this to quench my thirst on a nice warm day, or to sit back with at the end of the day.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.7/5  rDev -23.9%

Pours a thin head on a slightly hazy straw colored body.
The aroma is faint; grains and mild fruit.
The taste is a nice mixture of ripe dark fruits, a moderate dose of lemon bitterness and finishes with a long bitter note.
The texture is crisp.
Alt is a tough style but it a good beer.

Photo of HalfFull
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Standard bottle poured into a large wine glass. Alt Route pours a dark copper with a hint of chill haze and an inch of soapy off white foam. Decent retention and light lace follow.

Aroma is fitting for the style with some bready caramel and notes of German malts and a light kiss of hops which expands with warming. Taste follows with light caramel notes and some bready toasted vienna malt character. Offers a fairly long finish of malt depth, not overly sweet and with some muddled hops in the mix. A soft mouthfeel for the style is welcome and makes for a very quaffable Altbier. Not a style I'm overly fond of but a good example for my palate.

Photo of larryarms847
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very pretty mahogany red with a one finger head that just refuses to dissipate.

Very malt forward in the nose, sweet plums, and some caramel.

Dried cherries, plums, and a sweet malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is dry from start to finish.

Overall, I'd have to say I'm not a fan of altbiers.

Photo of KTCamm
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11/5...BCAA 5/12...pours dark amber, reddish brown, lid of foam and some lacing. Sweet caramel malt nose. Bready and toffee too. Punchy hop bitter starts out and slides into a tighter and lighter sweet malt. Bitter in the background grinds. Better than a typical alt, chewy, good buzz.

Photo of dhannes
3/5  rDev -15.5%

A=Warmer brown---bit more orange than red. Eggshell head about 2 fingers.

S=Couldn't smell anything, but then I have a cold.

T=Slightly malty, but too much hops for my liking--not smooth...a bit bitter. Hints of caramel, salt,but also sour. Some aftertaste.

M=Decent enough body.

O=This may compliment a pork dish, but on its own, its barely worth the time. Okay for the style, but just not enough there to enjoy on its own...if you still have one, start it before a meal and see if the meal compliments it. I wouldn't buy this if offered.

Photo of KYGunner
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%

Very rich color of brown barley grain with a light fizzy weak head. Nose of fennel, cola nut, piney floral hops, fruity citrus notes and a bit of alcohol.

The flavor is more hops than malt with a prominent floral and herbal hop tone. The hop profile is not as distinguishable as I might like but the flavors are flowery. The malt is tucked to the backdrop but an evident barley and grain malt is there.

This "take" on an Altbier is simple....add a lot of hops. Though it is tasty I prefer my Altbier very malty.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Amber copper base with a nice tiny head.

S: Nice malty smell with a bit of hops.

T: Malty and even with a lot of biscuit and bread notes.

M: Smooth just a bit of carbonation.

O: Another decent Beer Camp beer, of a more obscure style. Still has that SN taste to it though.

Photo of goochpunch
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a black tea body with a thinnish head. Smells lightly malty and a bit grainy. Honestly, I'm not picking up a whole lot of aroma. Flavor is a bit deeper. I get some dried fruit, caramel malts, toasty malts, a touch of grain, and clean yeast. Mouthfeel has a really soft carbonation. Smooth body. This is OK. Kind of like a lot of US made altbiers: they just don't cut it for me and lack that great German maltiness. Doesn't hold a candle to old world versions.

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Alt Route: Altbier (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 1,184 ratings.