Humboldt State Centennial Brew Big Axe Amber Ale - Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
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3.56/5 rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Given to me by my buddy Dan, who's also a Humboldt County connection in my life. One of my favorite getaways for sure in the whole planet, and it does help that Lost Coast's beers are actually of decent quality closer to the source. Otherwise, they've been pretty questionable overall. Nevertheless, this celebrates Humboldt State University's 100th anniversary, and it was only distributed in Eureka and Arcata, as far as I'm concerned. Still, surprised it isn't listed here. Any Humboldt bAs on here, by any chance? Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Pours a dull amber color, with a bit of a clarity and an off-white head that sticks around about 1-2 fingers high. Carbonation is quite decent overall, and does leave a bit of head retention and lacing in its wake. Definitely creamy and thick looking, but don't expect anything too crazy here - as much as I love ambers, I've developed a passion for imperial and special release amber ales as of late, and I was hoping this release would be a bit more showy overall. At the same time, does it need to be? It's laid back as the average person from Humboldt is, that's for sure.
The aroma is enormously light overall, with light bready, grainy, and citrus notes right at the front. I tried pretty hard to search for anything in this, but alas, to no avail. With further work I picked up some light orange peel notes, as well as pine, orange blossom, and maybe some grapefruit rinds, but it's otherwise mild as their Alleycat Amber is - the only difference in the freshness. This is showcased well in the malt profile, which is crisp, clean, and biscuit-y, but reminds me somewhat of a homebrew amber ale batch I had some time ago. No booze, but definitely some sweetness from the malts.
The flavor is far better, but still slightly underwhelming given the style and release. Right at the front of the palate there are sweet notes from the pale malts, as well as notes of citrus, pine, and floral phenols. As this opens up a bit more, I become more convinced that the hops used here are mainly Cascade and Chinook, as there are obvious pine-y notes that are everywhere in more basic West Coast ales, yet an earthy bitterness at the finish with notes orange blossom and grass that are common to Chinook. I probably should have had this fresh, but it's not my fault I have to wait a century for someone to split bombers with and that they didn't list the ABV on this. Otherwise, not too complex, but pleasant. Creamy, and well carbonated, but like all of their beers, a bit watery at the finish. Definitely crisp and clean tasting, and without a doubt fresher than most of their other bottled offerings.
Not an extraordinary beer, but probably the best thing they've ever churned out, to be honest. I'm pretty sure they can do more limited release offerings that would be decent and welcome in my fridge if they wanted to. Otherwise, I was glad to have a humble but rather tasty brew from them.
Serving type: bottle
09-23-2013 05:46:10 | More by magictacosinus
Humboldt State Centennial Brew Big Axe Amber Ale from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.