1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

O'Doul's Amber - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
O'Doul's AmberO'Doul's Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
55
awful

196 Ratings
THE BROS
34
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 2.18
pDev: 31.19%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Low Alcohol Beer |  0.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
O'Doul's and O'Doul's Amber are non-alcohol malt beverages.

O’Doul’s has a mild, sweet taste with a slightly dry finish. O’Doul’s Amber has a rich, slightly sweet taste with flavorful hop finish.

O’Doul’s and O’Doul’s Amber are brewed as traditional premium beers – fermented and aged to full maturity. The alcohol is then removed through the use of low temperature, low-pressure distillation. This extremely gentle process allows the alcohol to be removed without heating or cooking the beer, which retains the full, rich and delicate flavor and balance of our non-alcohol brews.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of O'Doul's Amber Alström Bros
Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrainBamage
4.18/5  rDev +91.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with thin lace of head that doesn't dissipate completely. Smells like a macro lager except with a little more malty aroma. The taste is quite surprising. I have to give it a five because even though it doesn't have as much flavor as a beer with normal level of alcohol, you can't get more flavor out of a low alcohol beer than this. It's malty and has a bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is high carbonated and crisp. I would give this a higher drinkability rating, but you obvious can't get any buzz out of this.

DrainBamage, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
1.55/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A - Clear amber with a fizzy short-lived head and no lace.

S - Lightly toasty and pretty acrid....sort of smells like a watered down amber ale mixed with a really bitter pils.

T - Vinegary and a little bitter with some caramel and toast. Very weak....nearly flavorless really. You basically have to swish with it to taste anything.

M - Watery, thin, and flimsy.

D - If you really need to avoid alcohol, then I guess this isn't terrible, but your better off just drinking half of a real beer.

pmcadamis, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of Durge
2.68/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a neighbor's house when nothing else was available. Figured it would be interesting. I have had a number of these 0.5% "beers" and some I like fine once you get over the fact that they are never much like any real beer. I call them by the old fashioned term, cereal beverage. Anway, this one looked pretty good with a fairly dark golden brown color, a big frothy white head and even a bit of lacing on my mug. The aroma was OK too, a bit of brown sugar and wheat, clean. But the taste was far below some of the imported ones I have generally liked, like Haake Beck, St. Pauli's and Clausthaler. The immediate impression is with how thin and weak flavored this feels and tastes. It is well carbonated, very sprite and as a result can be called a refreshing drink perhaps, but the flavor implied by the aroma is quickly lost in a peppery and watery drink that has a metallic overtone It's very thin and just a hint of some wheat here. I thought the Amber might hold some promise but don't bother with this when there are much better choices for the no/low alcohol options. Sure you could drink plenty of these like any other of it's kind but why would you? Handy in the desert I suppose...

Durge, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
2.3/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours an amber brown, with a quickly dissipating off-white head.

S: Smells of light caramel malts, though the overall smell is very faint.

T: Tastes of some malts, some caramel, a touch of hops, but really not that much more different than your average macro.

M: Bad, it feels just like water in the mouth, the carbonation is very low, though the initial head would say otherwise.

D: Since it is so low in alcohol, it can be drunk just like water, I had no problems drinking it, I'm glad I tried it, but I won't be revisiting this one.

Halcyondays, Aug 30, 2007
Photo of happygnome
2.48/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: amber in color with half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a little bit of lacing
s: caramel malt aroma is detectable as well as some faint floral hops
t: caramel malts are really the only detectable flavor, there is a very slight bitterness, however i find the flavor rather bland
m: light bodied beer with average amonud of carbonation

overall this isnt a bad example of a low alcohol beer

happygnome, May 18, 2007
Photo of ithacabaron
3.08/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gimped up from foot surgery, this is the strongest tipple I can throw back for a while.

Pours a decent light...well, amber (or a deep golden, as PopeDX, sitting next to me commented). Nice, foamy, but thick head, with tight, rising bubbles to the top. Leaves decent lacing as the glass is drained.

Aroma is nice, with a notable caramel malt presence, and a light noble hop backing. Not offensive in the least.

Taste, as with any N/A beer, is going to suffer, but this still has a lot going for it. Unlike many N/As, this is relatively dry, with a clean lager snap from the yeast, with a touch of malty, grainy tannin to let you know, that, yes, this is beer, made from grain. Deceivingly beer-like. The score is low, yes, but this was far better than expected.

Mouthfeel is spot-on, crisp and clean, never overwhelming. If there's one thing that Anheuser-Busch does extremely well, it's mouthfeel. Well done here.

Drinkability....well, we were debating how many it would take to get you drunk (there is some alcohol in here, after all), but, before that, I think that only a few of these would get to be too much for the palate. Put it this way -- I ended up drinking two of these, and one regular O'Doul over the time we spent at the bar. If we had stayed for another round, I would have easily gone for another Amber.

All in all, no, this isn't on par with many beers out there, but for an N/A brew, it's hard to go wrong with this. I imagine this would be excellent to throw back while doing a weekend construction project in your backyard, if Radlers and other things like that aren't your style.

I'm actually impressed! Well done, and cheers to Anheuser-Busch for making a N/A beer that can be found in almost any bar in the world. There are a lot of temporarily (and non-temporarily) dry folks out there who still like to have a beer or two.

ithacabaron, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of scaliasux
3.05/5  rDev +39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Clear light amber. Bubbly. Head is soapy, tall and white. Receeds pretty quickly. Nice for style.

Smell - Very faint, almost undetectable. Just a hint of chocolately or caramely malt and lemony hops.

Taste - Very light in flavor. There is, however, definitely a caramel malt flavor to this beer. Hops also pretty light, but present - appears well-balanced. For style, one could do much worse. The flavor is, as expected, watered down, but this beer provides more and better flavor than many of its ilk.

Mouthfeel - Obviously quite light and highly carbonated. Nothing unusual.

Drinkability - I felt like a dork buying this. While this is better than O'Doul's regular, it's certainly not good. Possibly one of the better beers in its category, but the category is rather uninspired.

scaliasux, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of ski271
2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

In exploring the world of NA beers, I've found very few beers that satisfied me. This one is a step up from the lifeless regular O'Doul's, but not a very big step. The medium-dark amber color is a pleasant greeting, but it's all downhill from there. The fizzy off-white head quickly disipates, the smell is faint, grainy and a little metallic with absolutely no hops, the flavor is bland with a caramel sweetness that is at first not too shabby but quickly gets old on the tastebuds, and the worst is the mouthfeel. Just lifeless. Not worth getting again.

ski271, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of mrmanning
1.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle from loblaws- Pours transparent amber,and a short lived, off white head. Zero lace. The aromas are faint, and it smells like other NA beers. Pretty cardboard-ey, but perhaps due to the amber designation, they did use some decent malting here, which is detectable in the aroma. Caramel and toffee nuances as well. Flavour is bland, mild sweet malt with some paper/pepper/fillers. Spritzy finish, completely forgettable. But it’s the official NA beer of the PGA.

mrmanning, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Derek
2.65/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden-amber, white head, hints of retention & initially a touch of lace. Good for what it is.

S: It smells like a regular beer, but the aroma isn't very strong. Floral, slightly spicy hops with a little sweet caramel & grain.

T: It's not overly sweet, but it's seriously lacking bitterness. Some spicy, floral and somewhat earthy hop flavour. Caramel & cardboard?

M: Light body, fairly dry, moderate carbonation.

D: It's light & has some beer flavour, but I don't find it's not interesting. I did actually finish it though!

Thanks for the bottle Len... it's probably not something I'd ever buy!

Derek, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.4/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The time has come for NA Shootout (With Blanks) II, the second in my periodically recurring head-to-head comparison of Low Alcohol Beer, the choice of the designated driver set. This bottle of St. Louis's finest, O'Doul's Amber, will be facing off against the NA challenger from Germany, Paulaner's ThomasBrau. May the best beer-like beverage win.

O'Doul's Amber is actually rustic orange with tangerine edges. It's much darker and richer looking than its competitor, but then that was by design. Although there are many more visible bubbles in this beer, the head doesn't look nearly as good. It's beige in color and is soft and frothy rather than bubbly and sticky. Soap sudsy lace makes a brief appearance on the glass.

The aroma is remarkably low on power. A hint of minimally toasted grain greets my nose... and not much else. While there's nothing much here to like, it's vastly superior to the olfactory mess coming from the German NA. Definite edge to the American.

It's obvious that Anheuser-Busch has decided that the best way to get people to drink NA beer, a historically bad tasting style, is to eliminate virtually all traces of flavor. Michelob Ultra has more flavor than this stuff. Interestingly, a faint burst of sweet, faintly caramel-like malt becomes apparent on the finish. I say 'interestingly' because the finish is preceded by absolutely no flavor whatsoever.

No surprise that the mouthfeel is on the light side. It earns some measure of respect though by failing to descend into wateriness and by having a 'just right' amount of carbonation. Another winning category for the stateside beer.

O'Doul's Amber wins NA Shootout (With Blanks) II by a mile and wins it, essentially, by default. Like a politician who refuses to state his positions prior to an election so as to not offend potential voters, Amber doesn't provide much of any flavor so as to be palatable to those brave souls who are forced to drink it. No one gladly drinks this stuff, do they?

BuckeyeNation, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of jwc215
2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

"Born on" 25 July 2006.

Pours light amber with a decent head at the start, for a NA, that eventually fizzles to barely a ring.

The smell is a hint of caramel. Do I smell grain in background? Hard to tell...

The taste is malty, but not really in a good way. Sweet caramel, which itself is weak, is backed up by only a hint of roasted grain that does not hold up.

The feel is watery, with residual sweetness. Leaves a pretty bad aftertaste, like a caramel malt drink that has gone flat and lifeless.

Not an easy drink to have. It's only overly sweet because of nothing backing it up. Weak, but somewhat sticky, despite high water, malt runs the show.

If you're the designated driver, or you find yourself in a situation in which you want a NA, I suggest picking the regular O'Doul's. It's not really good, but better than this. They tried something different that just doesn't work. Scores based on NA standards (and still low, even for style.)

jwc215, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
1.68/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear amber with a frothy ivory head. No lacing to speak of. Smell is...it's got that Bud smell present in many of their beers, Not sure if I'm smelling rice or what. Very crisp smelling and woody (?). Not particularly pleasant.

The carbonation really masks alot of the flavor initially. Some malty, dark lager flavors. Lightly musty, almost smoky.
Thin and bland. Eh.

ViveLaChouffe, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of Noxious26
2.5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Despite the name Amber, it's actually more of a dark gold colour with brown highlights. Off-white head is 1/8 inch on the pour but quickly recedes to a thin ring around the edge.

Aroma is exceedingly sweet with corn in the foreground and malt in the background with a faint whiff of maple syrup. No hops. No balance.

Taste is sweet with an acidic bite in the middle and malt in the background. No aftertaste.

Mouthfeel actually resembles a macro lager. Light bodied and fizzy with a bit of an acidic bite.

Just like every other low alcohol beer I've had, this isn't very appealing. I would have to say that I prefer it to the Molson and Labatt offerings though.

Noxious26, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of rhythmguitartz88
2.78/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The apperance was an amber/dark yellow color with not much head...it did however have stuff floating in it...I'm not certain if that was of the fault of the manufacturer or the fault of myself for trusting my friends around my unatended drink
any who

The smell was bellow average although not always clearly present

The taste was a sweet/sour mix with a main taste of bitterness

Mouthfeel was smooth-esque

drinkability was average but seeing as I'm a big time moocher, and seeing as it's what my friends have, i will most likely be having another very soon.

rhythmguitartz88, May 16, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This “beer” poured a very light copper with little or no head.

Smelled like sweet malt, almost in a breakfast cereal sort of way with a hint of distinct and separate hop sourness.

Tasted like sour and tangy orange juice with some watered down molasses followed by a small dry hop sting.

The mouth feel was light bodied with lots of small bubbled carbonation.

Meh. Not entirely terrible.

DarkerTheBetter, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of shererjt
3.08/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very light clear copper with an awesome rocky head. Aroma was sweet with some malt and a bit of hops as well. Not exactly beer-smelling, but pleasant. Lots of malt in the flavor, and some off-tastes as well. Did have some beer-like richness and a bit of bitterness in the background. Mouthfeel was a little watery; could have used a bit more oomph. Drinkability was pretty good for a N/A.

An above average representative of the style. Makes a nice substitute for the real thing when the need arises.

shererjt, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
2.6/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

O'Doul's Amber is really no better or worse than any other adjunct light lager. In my opinion, it's not "what beer drinkers drink when they're not drinking beer" - why do I remmeber that jingle? It looks a little nicer than light beers and goes down easy enough. If you're pregnant and love beer, go for it. If you've had enough and need to drive home, go for it.

Other than that, don't go for it.

Backer2004, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
2.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium-amber color with initial white puffy head that was quickly gone. Smell is mostly a sweetness that is not especialyl enjoyable. Taste is sweet and malty, with typical low-alcohol notes. Finished with a not pleasant aftertaste. There are acceptable NA's out there, but this is not one of them.

tgbljb, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of Phatz
1.13/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer pours a very light yellow/Amber, clear. The head was a very small white fizzy (blink of an eye and it was gone) head. So it is not impressive but it is not repulsive yet. I am afraid it only goes down hill from there. The smell is actually BAD! It makes me pull away like I smelled dirty socks. Is there a rating below 1? like a zero or something. The taste is bad two. Tastes very sour and skunked, not at all like beer. There are no hop or malt characteristics at all. There is some sort of artificial syrup flavor trying to make this sweet enough to get past the sour skunkiness. It fails at making this a drinkable beer. I could hardly keep it in my mouth long enough to think about the mouthfeel it seriously made me shudder. I have never dumped out an unfinished beer before, even if it was bad. This was a first. I have also never had a beer this bad before. This is my first time drinking a NA beer. I don't know if they are all like this or not. I certainly can see NO redeeming characteristics that would justify buying O'Doul's Amber. It may suffice for cooking but I don't think I'll personally risk it. That is just my opinion.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

---
EDIT
I have since had other N/A beers and the truth is it can be done a heck of a lot better than O'Doul's Amber. I may have had a skunked bottle because another BA described it to me as sweet but, I am in no hurry to find out.
---

Phatz, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of xgrigorix
1.48/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Twelve ounce brown twist cap bottle. Date of bottling printed on label.

Bright amber color, clear. Thin off white head.

Light hop aroma, and a jumble of artificial caramel aromas.

Sweet, and fake tasting. The hops that were barely there in the nose are completely gone. Light and fluffy. Drain pour.

xgrigorix, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of nicksta
2.73/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I wanted to pick up a six pack but I remembered I had to work in the early morning so I got some low alcoholic beer. This beer poors a brown/red hue with a small, but stoic, frothy head. The taste is pretty okay. Slightly sweet caramel malts, but not very hoppy. It is smooth but it doesn't exactly sit down. The most negative parts of this beer include the smell and mouthfeel. The smell is pretty bland, not giving any info on the beer itself and the mouthfeel seems watered down after witnessing the color of the beer. Typical of an AB product. On the whole it is probably the best AB product out there in my opinion that I have tried so far.

nicksta, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of nekronos
3.68/5  rDev +68.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

IT was not very different from the O'Douls one, but was a little more dissapointed with the flavor, is alittle heavier, and it makes it a little more annoying, perhaps. The colour is more green than ambar, but anyway, it is yellow after all. The aroma is proper for a beer like this, and maybe with some limes would be better.

nekronos, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of tesguino
1.15/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Like the beers of anheuser busch, had an abuse of adjoincts in rice an other grains; poor in taste and mouthfeel, no comments inappearance, taste and drinkability, smell a little hops and malt, rice and corn; recommended if case on american food no try this beer with mexican, its flavor not go with powerful taste of this food.

tesguino, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of Suds
2.23/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

An attractive copper-amber color, with a nice effervescence makes this NA look appealing. Unfortunately, the head is fleeting at best. Smell of cereal grains seemed a little more pronounced that some alcoholic AB brews. Mouthfeel is light and empty, but about what is expected for the style. Almost no hops anywhere in the beer, save for a trace at the finish. This is a simple, unoffending, average NA beer. I’d drink it over water or soda, but that’s about it.

Suds, Apr 02, 2005
O'Doul's Amber from Anheuser-Busch
55 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.