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Tall Ship Amber Ale - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tall Ship Amber AleTall Ship Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 28
Hads: 61
Avg: 3.15
pDev: 19.37%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CAMRAhardliner on 09-07-2004

This refreshing premium ale is golden-amber with light maltiness, crisp hop aroma, and smooth, clean finish. Launch into Halifax’s own Tall Ship Amber Ale, and celebrate our rich nautical history.

14 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 61
Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Tall Ship is far too golden to be sold as an amber ale. I realize that many pale ales aren't actually all that pale but this clear, beaming, daisy yellow beer has hardly a drop of orange, nevermind red colour. Its loose-fitted head and dainty bubbles give it the air of a pilsner.

The raw graininess in the aroma is also reminiscent of a European lager (and, it must be said, not one of outstanding quality). While there's certainly no adjuncts or off-notes there's also not a trace of toasty, nutty, or caramelly maltiness either. And hops? Ha, forget about it!

While light, familiar and agreeable, one has to ignore what's written on the label in order to truly enjoy Tall Ship. Once we get past the fact that it isn't actually an amber ale, then there's fairly little to quibble about (at least from a low-standard, mainstream beer drinker's point of view).

What distinguishes the good from the bad in this category isn't depth - pale, light-bodied thirst-quenchers like this are plain by design - but rather the quality of ingredients. When a recipe leans so heavily on a no-frills, thin-as-rail grain bill the caliber of the raw material is extremely important.

As is process. An unadorned flavour profile allows zero room for error. Barleywines and Imperial Stouts have layers of alcohol and complexity to hide behind; pale ales do not (especially those trying to be like popular commercial brands which are made with industry-best equipment and quality control).

There are good and bad examples of ordinary, unexciting beers. And while simple golden lagers and ales have fallen out of favour with craft drinkers, they undoubtedly still have a time and place. There's a market for Tall Ship, and there always will be. What's more enjoyable than a simple beer well chilled?

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Photo of beerguy1001420
3.26/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

nice flavor . could be darker in color more amber be nice .. also could use stronger smell . but taste boss . the head lasts 3 mins tops. i find whats realy good is adding a lemon to this beer smooth n great flavor .. maybe they should do a lemon flavor of this ..

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Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good head for a bar pour. Mild haze with a solid amber color. Some streaky lace, nothing that sticks around for too long.

Nice combination of paler malts, flowery hop and brewer's yeast. Some stone fruit (cherry?) in the background.

More sweet on the tongue than I expected, but the hop counterbalances this on the swallow. It has many elements of a typical amber, but with an elevated level of bittering hops. Full bodied with a below average carbonation.

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Photo of leaddog
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy and pale amber yellow with a ½ finger width of bubbly head.

Smell – Apple juice, grassy grains, straw/hay.

Taste – Predominantly malts (some caramalts) with very light hops. Little more bitter than expected. Grassy on the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall – A generic amber ale by Garrison. A little better than some of their other offerings, but lacking in complexity. Better than the big-league macros, but could use a little polishing up.

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Photo of Long813
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear red body with one finger of white bubbly head. Retention is poor and leaves some lacing.

S: Light notes of hops and malts mixed with some wheat character at the end.

T: Faint notes of nice malts and little hops. The wheat leaves an interesting taste in the mouth. Overall very light flavours.

M: Light bodied with medium-high carbonation. Texture is water like and the after taste is not very pleasing with an odd wheat finish that lingers.

O: Not very impressed with this brew. It's better than any other mass beer I'd drink, but I feel it's not up to par with their others.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle - thanks to frenchy for this one

Appearance - Clear amber colour with a small size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a minute or two.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grains/straw/hay, metallic

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste is made up of caramel, light hops, and malts. There is also some farm like flavours.. grains/hay/corn. It ends with a malty herbal and caramel aftertaste.

Overall - Not my sort of beer.. but at least it's a step up from the macros. The taste is interesting but not something that I'd want to drink more than one of.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.16/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a medium orangish rust color with a good amount of foam that left alot of sticky lacing. I'd have to say the color reminds me of an IPA instead of an Amber ale, but overall it looks like a nice beer.
S - there is a slightly burnt aroma to this one, i wa hoping for more hops, but it seems dominated by malt and an over roasted smell, there is a bit of citrus that tries to fight through, but fails in the end.
T - there seems to be a slightly over attenuated taste to it, a bit too think maltiness, this one lacks any kind of flavor i'm looking for.
M - There is some good carbonation, the body is medium, but overall its a bit too syrupy for me.
D - For some style the thickness syrupy feeling can be overcome but in this one, its lacking big time. I feel like it was oversparged. In the end, there is a bit of leftover maltiness that isn't that appealing and still some leftover unfermented sweetness but ends up tasting stale. I'd try this one again based on the rest of their beers I've had so far and just hope that it gets better.

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Photo of Rutager
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a slightly hazy, gold-amber with a finger of bubbly off-white head.

Smell. Light caramel and a little floral hops.

Taste. Toasty grain, caramel, some bitter hops at the end. A bit thin.

Mouthfeel. Light body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Not a bad beer. I'd probably drink another without much of a fight.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light amber colour, thin layer of head which quickly dissipates leaving no real lacing.

S - Quite light on the nose, but some caramel notes with buttered bread and some faint grassy hops on the finish.

T - The toasted caramel notes dominate the flavour and the grassy hops come through on the finish. A bit of a earthy amber ale with some leafy green notes.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

O - Overall a tasty amber, but there's nothing that makes it all that memorable. Worth a try? Sure, it'll quench your thirst, just don't set your expectations too high.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - bubbly slightly hazy golden, thumb of white head retained well
S - grassy, grainy, and a light banana odour
T - leafy hops with a bready malt, a little sour fruit with an astringent metallic through the finish
M - light and generally smooth with a slightly puckering finish
D - not a bad beer but not one of their better beers, not quite the flavous I was expecting, worth a try though

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From a variety 6-pack, a 341 ml brown bottle. Pours out a slightly hazed copper hue, a finger's width of creamy off-white head that settles to a thin cap.

Toasty malt and sharp grains on the nose, faint toffee and leafy greens in the background.

Sharp grains and bitter herbal hops square off in the flavour, while a near cloying sweetness lurks behind it the whole time.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, slick and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Comes across as rough around the edges, I'd pass on a second round.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.4/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml bottle, the first from a variety pack 'invasion' of Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden copper hue, with one thin finger of weakly puffy, but generally creamy eggshell white head, which dissipates quickly, leaving a few sparse streaks of snow rime lace around the glass.

It smells of semi-sweet, grainy and biscuity caramel malt, pressed apples, overripe pears, a touch of earthy yeast, and mild herbal, grassy hops. The taste is quite in line with the aroma - more sweet, grainy, and slightly toasted bready malt, a bit of clammy yeast, degraded apples, and somewhat zingy floral, herbal, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a meandering frothiness for the most part, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit airy in its checked smoothness. It finishes off-dry, with a thin metallic edge, and the sweetness not exactly giving way to the hops.

A fairly agreeable session ale, all other things being equal, given the balance and the ABV here, i.e. certainly preferable as an alternative to the ubiquitous hegemony of Sleemans and Keith's amber ales. On its own, and against more prominent competition, however, things kind of lag and sag, y'know?

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Photo of socon67
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured golden to amber in color. Not much of a smell; maybe some malt. I thought the taste was generic. Nothing all that interesting. It had some characteristics of malt and honey.

It is not a heavy beer. Surprisingly, I didn't think it was as drinkable as the style. Finished one and fel tlike it was a chore.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
2.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice deep gold with some amber, or you could just call it a pale amber. Not much head, and nearly no lacing.

Not much in the smell... a bit of a hint of bread pudding... get some grain with sugar.

I'm not digging this one too much. If I closed my eyes, I bet I'd swear the taste was some generic, green-bottled, European stuff.

A little thin and watery. Not terrible. Not great. Carb is fine.

Given how much I like some of Garrison's other products, this one was a bit disappointing, really. It'd be a fine beer to have a lot of... not much to expect from it other than some decent or fair refreshment.

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Photo of Evocatus
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper-amber color with a beige head, although a thin one at that. Aroma was ok, not too strong though. A mix of some carmely malts. Taste was kind of bland, but not watery. I could get the malts hops, but they just werent that strong. Good thickness though. Garrison has better, but this isn't terrible.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light amber color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and surprisingly very good lacing. Aroma of light caramel malt with a semi-dry finish is OK. Taste is also dominated by some caramel malt with not much in terms of other characteristics. Average body with good carbonation. Very easily drinkable but well done for the style.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into pint glass dec1 2009

A clear copper with a fast falling head that settles as a thin film and leaves no lace

S sweet grassy grains but it smells a little sour

T a little sour apple and toffee

M light bodied and a little flat

D pretty average beer and a little less then I expected

I've had better beers from this brewer for sure, and I doubt I'll be drinking it again anytime soon. mostly because I can't get it in Alberta (cheers Long813) but on the shelf beside other beers by these guys it's a not a hard choice

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Photo of ludachris
3.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber with a one finger cream coloured head that fails to leave any lacing. Slightly hazy and minimal carbonation.

Smell of sweet sticky roasted malt, strong toffee and vanilla. Grassy hops are very muted.

All the same in the taste; sticky malt, toffee, vanilla and a light grassy finish. Very under pronounced in comparison to the smell.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side; clean but very watery. If anything, I think this beer would be best sessioned, not enjoyed slowly.

Overall, a decent offering from Garrison but by far, not their best. If anyone was anxious in trying some of Garrison's beers, don't start with this one.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium, clear amber with a good amount of bubbly head that diminishes down to nothing much at all.

The aroma called in sick today. I let this warm up for twenty minutes before drinking it so it can't just be me. It's a tad grassy. Maybe a little toasted malt too.

Tastes suspiciously like a toned down version of Garrison's Irish Red Ale. It has the same drying metallic undertone to it that I don't hate, but I don't exactly love, with a toasted sweet malt. There's a slight toffee mixed with orange juice aspect going on. Yeah. They could almost call this Irish Red Ale Light.

Thin mouthfeel. Mildly creamy.

Overall this is a pleasant enough beer and at 4.6% would make for a good session beer, but at the end of the day it's kind of wholly unremarkable. This is far from Garrion's best effort.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewery purchase, a souvenir from my recent trip to see those Tall Ships. Amber alright with an orange hue, off-white head one finger with creamy lace. Well carbonated, a bit gassy. Taste is mild hops, sour dough bread, dry bitter finish lingers. A bit of toffee but overall not as memorable as the tall ships themselves. Garrisons makes some really good beers but this was just average.

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Photo of berley31
3.1/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a relatively small head andlittle lacing, with a very clear, light amber body. Aroma yields some roasted coffee and maybe some chocolate, and light hops, with a slight whiff of yeast. Thin and light on the palate, with average carbonation, it has little aftertaste which isn't as bitter as some other amber ales. Overall, pleasant enough, worth the price, even if it is slightly forgettable.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.56/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottle from a mixed 6 pack, poured into a pint glass.

Amber in colour, clear with a decent amount of carbonation visible. One finger of white head vigorously bubbles, then fades to a patchy ring.
Malty nose; sweet caramel, lightly toasted, and a hint of vanilla. Quite muted.
Malts are up front, followed by a brief burst of floral bitterness, leading into a sweet finish with hints of vanilla and caramel. Sweetness becomes medicinal and cloying as the beer warms.
Chewy, almost gummy body. Carbonation is tight in the middle, with the beer smoothing out on the finish.
This is a decent tasting amber, worth trying for sure, and sessionable, though I'd recommend it on the cold side.

This isn't a spectacular beer; slightly biased toward malt flavours without really standing out in any way, but it is pleasant and drinkable. I doubt I would buy a six-pack of this stuff alone, but I'll no doubt add one or two to a mixed-6 from Garrison again.

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Photo of bobsy
3.05/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber body with a rapidly diminishing off-white head. Light grassy aroma, with some caramel malt. Light grain and malt flavour, with some caramel coming through at the end. A little non-descript and inoffensive. Fairly light bodied, with medium carbonation. I would definitely see this as a decent session beer, as the flavours and alcohol content are very mild.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mixed sixer. Pulled out an amber and down the hatch it will go. Light abv for the style ringing in under 5%. Light amber body that teters towards orange. Fizzy white head fades like a cheap bubble bath down to a thin island covering.

Malts have a young grain edge followed by a distinct cereal body. The cereal aroma and taste are the theme here. As with the only other Garrison offering I also thought this could be cleaned up a bit. There is a metallic annoyance as at warmed. Golden toast crumbs and golden grahams cereal with a dab of honey.

Notes: Better than the red. Not worth your time.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack at the NSLC.

Appearance: An orange/amber colour with a smallish white head diminishing rather fast to a thin ring

Aroma: Soapy with a small amount of toasted malts. Notes of florals, grass, fruit and caramel

Taste: Buttery caramel and toasted malts coming in at the finish. Nicely balanced. Not very noteworthy.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin, but still drinkable. Maybe too much carbonation.

Final Statement: It's a session beer. I don't buy it very often simply because there are better beers for that purpose. This doesn't really commit to a style, which is it's downfall. It's a good introductory beer I suppose, but for anyone above novice, you might want to seek out something else.

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Tall Ship Amber Ale from Garrison Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.