Amber Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

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Amber Ale
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129 Ratings
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Ratings: 129
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 16.82%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2003

Certified Organic
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 81
Photo of beerthulhu
3.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear, rusty-orange with a thin, micro-bubbly head that quickly dissipated leaving no lacing. Visible carbonation was light and steady.

S: The nose was spicy and sour tangerines with a light lemony hopping. The nose was rather gentle and light in nature.

T: The initial flavor was sweet-n-sour tangerines and a sour lemony hopping. Light sour oranges are experienced upfront but quickly fade to a thankfully clean finish. Overall the malt sweetness is lacking and the odd, sour lemony hopping distracts from the natural balance and nature of this beer.

M: very light wit sour oranges and lemony hopping. Carbonation was light.

D: Sour lemony hopping distracts from the overall style and affects the enjoyment as well drinkability. Not 6 pack worthy and no incentive to drink again. Save your dime on this one, unimpressed and a bad example per style.

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Certified Organic Ale pours a lovely raspberry color with a single finger foam head with some nice lacing.

The smell was a slight caramel but not much more.

The taste was malty with an awesome hop bitterness. It tasted really good. In the mouth it was thin and didn't leave much of a mark that it had been around. Overall I thought it was okay amber, probably better than average organic effort.

Photo of Gavage
3.66/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear amber color with a 1" head that lingers around a while.

Smell: caramel sweetness is barely detectable and very light on the nose.

Taste: slightly grainy malt profile with some caramel, ripe fruit sweetness, and a very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is almost clean, just a bit a sweetness lasts in the mouth for a second. Lightly crisp throughout.

Drinkability: a pure session beer here. Flavor is a bit tame so it may bore you after a few, but it is easy to consume.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eel River- Amber

A- Ruby red with a huge frothy/ sticky head. Thick lacing down the glass.
S- Sweet dry malt. Heavy grain aroma.
T- Sweet molasses malt light woodsy flavor comes through.
M- Sweet and flavorful throughout becomes thick and chewy in the end.

Overall- A smooth and mild Amber that, although won't knock your socks off, will make an excellent poker night beer!

Photo of InandOutBeerGuys
2.3/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Overall I'm not impressed with THIS one, could have been a bad bottle, perhaps? I don't want to slam it too bad because to be honest all of the "organic" beers that I've drank have had a certain dry, earthy raw grain taste to them. More of the same here, not terrible but not on my list of repeats either. I will be trying the other offerings from eel river so I'm not ready to condemn them yet, as I've heard nothing but good from others, but this one just didn't do it for me. Not too hoppy, no acidity, no caramel sweetness, little carbonization or lacing of my glass, no floral aromas just wet hay or grain husk, and that's pretty much all I tasted too.

Photo of Bamabrew22
3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a tall pilsener glass. Out of the bottle it poured a deep amber, almost copper color, with a good stiff head balancing atop the coppery liquid. Smell was of hop spice with hints of woody earthiness, maybe oak. Taste was good, nice malt backbone balanced out evenly with the spiciness of the hops. This beer had a really clean taste and quality to it. Very refreshing. Would definitely recommend.

Photo of ccrida
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic, the Organic Amber is a slightly hazed copper with a moderate off-white head that leaves moderate lace.

Smell is bready toasted malt.

Taste is also malt forward, but with a slight astringency that I can't place, not quite metallic, perhaps it's hop spice? The finish is a bit bitter but pretty clean.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a slight crispness.

Drinkability is maybe a bit above average, as this is fairly smooth and inoffensive. It's also uninspiring and forgettable.

Photo of xraided81
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this is a very mediocore amber ale. Has a pale amber color. Smell is of malty biscuit character. Taste is very light, not robut at all,as you would expect an amber ale. Mouthfeel, alcohol flavor is not present at all. overall very average beer.I dont know if this is expected in organic ales.

Photo of Drew966
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eel River Certified Organic Amber Ale pours a hazy dark orange with a thin white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's a bit of malt in the aroma, not much else. The flavor is caramel, but an off caramel, kind of old or something. Like a poorly executed caramel candy. Kind of like Bit o' Honey candy if you know what that is. Not terrible, but not really what I'm looking for in a beer either. Average.

Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured a reddish color with a off white, thin head.

Smell- Not much smell to it. I could smell a hint of malts and yeast.

Taste- I can taste the malts and also a hint of nuttiness as you should in ambers.

Mouthfeel- It had a medium body with light carbonation

Drinkability- It was an okay beer. Nothing fabulous about it. I could pick up a Abita Amber and be happier.

Photo of cjgator3
3.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy amber color with a nice off white head. The aroma is largely dominated by the malt that is both biscuity and nutty. The taste is nutty with some malt and a nice hop finish. This beer is pretty well balanced but I find something about the aroma and taste to be a little odd. Overall, not a bad Amber but there are far more offerings in this category that are quite superior.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.88/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden amber with lots of red and a small white head that slowly disappears to nothing.

Aromas are on the malty side...some toastiness and biscuits there.

Taste isn't as sweet as I was afraid it would fact, it has a nice bite of citrus hops from the beginning to a pleasantly drying finish. Amber malts show their sweetness but are quickly overpowered by the toastiness of the malts then the citrus bite of the hops.

Unusal for a red but very refreshing and pleasant.
I could drink several of these.

Photo of acrawf6
2.61/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a somewhat hazy orangish brown amber with a tan head.

Smell. Certainly on the malty side with a touch of buscuit and a little yeast. It's not so high of an aroma in my book.

Taste. more of the malts that have a little bit of a toasted bit in it. I also get a small nutty flavor as well. Other than that it seems quite bland and subpar. aftertaste has a little bitterness, but not much.

Mouthfeel. Body is on the lighter side of medium with a little slickness to it. Carbonation seems ok, though perhaps a little undercarbonated, i like the softness of it.

Overall, not a horrible beer, but not one i will ever pick out again. Just nothing really positive about it. i can get other better beers for cheaper.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second try of this beer, poured from a 12 oz. twist-off capped bottle to an 'hourglass'-shaped glass at Hot Lips Pizza (NE Portland, OR).

A: What else? It's amber, but a fairly thin, lighter color. Mild carbonation, a faint chill haze. Just a thin white head, maybe 1/4" at best, which quickly vanishes. Moderate lacing may be the best feature.

S: Mmm...malty, very sweet. Rich grainy wheat bread, lightly toasted with butter and a dash of cinnamon. Some toasted nuts, too.

T: Again, quite malty with that same toasted grain. A grainy-cereal sweetness with just enough hopping to add a subtle bitterness and round the finish off.

M: Generally, a smooth and light mouthfeel, refreshing & fairly simple. Despite a lean toward sweeter maltiness, the hops that are added do give a more balanced and cleaner finish. Carbonation level is medium to low.

D: Despite some mid-range scoring, this IS a tasty beer, not exceptional but easy to drink, refreshing, low abv. Certainly pairs well with a slice of pepperoni pizza (& ultimately that's important). It's something I'll likely get again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.79/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Charred orange with an infusion of liquid bronze. The upper third of the glass is occupied by a tight-bubbled head that is somewhere between pale orange and toasted tan in color. If the first half inch of deflation is any indication, the glass will be nicely coated with a thin blanket of lace. Amber Ale looks more like an Oktoberfest than an amber ale.

For a beer than supposedly contains a 'liberal dose' of Centennial hops, as well as East Kent Goldings, the nose is a major letdown. The aroma is well-toasted caramel malty, earthy and somewhat diacetyl-like. I hate to say it, but I've smelled plenty of organic beer that had some of those same characteristics. Why that should be so, I have no earthly idea. Do they all get their grain from the same supplier?

While the flavor is a little better, it isn't enough to warrant the next highest score. The beer is dominated by an earthy toasted maltiness that has to be due to some amount of Munich malt. In other words, not only does COAA looks like an Oktoberfest, it smells and tastes like one too.

An underlying malty sweetness is effectively balanced by a bitterness that noses ahead on the finish. I still can't appreciate the grapefruity citrusiness that the Centennial hops should have provided. I don't mind diacetyl in some instances, but I'm having trouble feeling good about it here because there's very little else to get excited about.

The mouthfeel is actually pretty decent. A sufficient amount of malt provides a clean, almost lager-like smoothness and there's nothing at all wrong with the middle-of-the-road amount of carbonation. Other than the appearance, the mouthfeel is the highlight.

Interesting fact: Eel River Brewing Co. was the first Certified Organic brewery in the United States and released the first Certified Organic beer, this one, in 1999. I can appreciate the history, I just wish the beer was more enjoyable.

Photo of rkuhnel
3.92/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This shows you don’t have to get cute to make a very good amber ale. I consider this one of the more difficult styles to do well. Poured a rich amber with a nice big fat head and good lacing. This is a multiflavored ale, with hints of fruits, nuts, hops.and malt in the nose. Very smooth mouthfeel, and easy to drink. I liked it a lot.

Photo of watermelonman
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a somewhat cloudy and deep amber. The head was small and quicky shrank to a ring, while lace is limited to a few thin lines.

The smell is mostly of grains with just a hint of hops. In the taste, grains and malts are stong up front, with a mild bitterness coming through at the very end. The mouthfeel is medium.

Photo of ElGordo
3.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-amber hue topped by a half-inch of light tan head that recedes to just a small halo after a couple of minutes. Slightly smoky aroma of sweet roasted malt, light sweet fruit, and just a touch of mellow fruity hops. Palate is mostly sweet caramel malt, with some light fruit flavors and an underlying base of peaty smokiness. Medium-light body is appropriate for a fairly light ale, although a little foamy. Overall, I'm not really a fan of this one. Not bad, but not something I would buy again.

Photo of blackie
3.43/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a .5" off white head that quickly recedes to only a collar around the glass. The beer is a rich orange-red amber in color, with some floaters suspended throughout.

smell: Subtle, though obvious, aromas of caramel malt, dried grain and grain husk (bready). Slight nuttiness and light fruitiness. Low hop aroma. Not bad at all. Just enough character to keep it interesting.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a lower medium. The body is a very light medium, maybe even a heavier light.

taste: Malt balanced, though subtle on all accounts. The malt give a very light sweetness, as well as a nutty hint and maybe some light toffee or caramelized sugar. Hop flavor low, but a moderate bitterness kicks in to clean up the finish. Slightly watery.

drinkability: very easy to drink, though a pretty average amber

Photo of masikon
2.01/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this for christmas in a sampler pack. Poured a dirty brown, more brown really than amber with a nice creamy head. Smell was dull and malty with some caramel notes but nothing to exciting. Taste was very odd, Extremely dull with a thin mouthfeel. Maltiness was present but in a very unappetizing way, flavors were all very washed out and dominated by the disturbing flat, watery mouthfeel. Finish was something like when I played baseball in college...after a head first slide....lots of dirt in the mouth. Very odd beer, not well done in my opinion but there is certainly a chance I got a bad batch. If I see this at a store I might pick up a bottle just to make sure but if this was a good bottle I'd avoid this one.

Note: after reading some other reviews it appears a few other BA's have possibly gotten bad bottles as well, I'll definitely give this another shot and hopfully Eel River will have the problem worked out.

Photo of WesWes
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thin white lace head that quickly fades; no retention. The aroma is average. It has a musty, stale pale and crystal malt scent. It's grainy and yeast driven from being bottle conditioned. The taste is decent. It has a grainy, sweet malt flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It goes down smooth and finishes slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent amber ale. It's nothing I would buy again, but it's the only beer by these guys I like.

Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown bottle a luminous brown with a substantial creamy light tan head that last and last, the residual lace a clinging sheet to obscure the glass. Nose is sweet malt, earthy and fresh, slight hint of hops, quite appealing, start is sweet with a pleasant grain profile, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish has a stern acidity and the hops delightfully spicy, quite dry aftertaste that last a long time, a fine drinking beer from a brewery that is new to me, well done Eel River!

Photo of rastaman
2.06/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle. Funny tasting. Nutty and mild, sweet, with a very mild bitterness. Some cola and lactic flavours. Really thin mouthfeel aswell, flat and sweet, accidentally bought 2 bottles of this and was so dissapointed i chucked the other one out, really not good. Dull, flat.

Photo of TinusTime
3.62/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours-- well amber with a non descript white head.. It could be a poster for the amber beer by looking at it.. Aroma is well, pretty non discript.. Honestly i couldnt get much off of it but malt and bread. Taste was malty a bit and it dryed out near the end, nothing special, An average beer could be a decent session brew, but nothing to write home about.. although it is organic

Photo of RootedFool
4.3/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dim amber. Creamy white head, substantial -- frothy -- rises about an inch and leaves some narrow streaks of verticle lace on the glass.

Smell: Honeydew (earthy, meaty) sweetness, followed by a more sugary (cotton candy) sweetness. Closes on a citrus rind, dull bitterness. Nice.

Taste: Opens with a short kick of bitterness to the tip of my palate, like licking the rind of a freshly peeled grapefruit; the middle is more powder-sugary and flows into a solid melon-like sweetness backed up by a nice little sizzle of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a perfect blend of all these flavors and lingers for a long, pleasurable period of time.

Carbonation is middling. Mouthfeel -- no qualms with it. Great session brew. One of the more flavorful amber ales I've had. Eel River is a consistently good brewery, they deserve more recognition.

Amber Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.