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Wisconsin Amber - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Wisconsin AmberWisconsin Amber

Educational use only; do not reuse.

170 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 170
Hads: 422
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 20.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 170 | Hads: 422
Photo of zeff80
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, golden-orange color with a very foamy, off-white, one-finger head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of citrusy hops and sweet roasted malt.

T - It tasted of roasted malt with a very subtle grassy hop bite.

M - it was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very easy-drinking beer and very sessionable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright coppery orange with nary a blemish, just jet-quick bubbles that shoot off the bottom of the glass and bury themselves in the underside of what is a pretty nice looking head. Lightly toasted marshmallow in color, the cap begins life at two fingers and has barely fallen in the several minutes since the pour. It's a good lacer as well.

Even though the nose is fairly simple and not all that forthcoming, I like what I smell. There's a beautiful commingling of caramel malt and woodsy, spicy hops that I'm enjoying more the more I sniff. Thankfully, the aroma comes out of its shell over time. Different and some kind of appealing.

I've only had a handful of amber lagers and don't remember what any of them tasted like. Interestingly enough, the best one by far was Capital's own Winter Skal. Will Wisconsin Amber give it a run? The short answer is yes. While not outstanding, life-changing beer, it's a pleasing little malty lager that has plenty of flavor.

The malt side of the equation is semi-sweet, well-toasted and somewhat earthy. It's almost perfectly balanced by spicy German hops that shine brightest on the finish. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of the spiciness comes from malted rye. There's something about this beer that reminds me of toasted, caraway-flecked rye bread.

I don't usually think in terms of ale vs. lager--I just describe what I smell, taste and feel--but it's fairly obvious to me that Wisconsin Amber is a lager. There's something about its delicate (although well-saturated) flavor and its lightly creamy body that says 'lager' to me. I can also see why Capital considers it to be a quasi-Vienna Lager.

I'm not about to criticize the body/mouthfeel for not being ale-like; that's hardly fair. As noted above, it's amazingly smooth and creamy for being so light and wispy in the mouth. A perfect amount of well-behaved carbonation doesn't hurt either.

Actually, I prefer Wisconsin Amber to Winter Skal and now consider it to be the best of the (now more than a) handful of amber lagers that I've had. I've never been blown away by this brewery, but they're beginning to impress me in a quietly competent sort of way. Wisconsin Amber might just be my favorite Capital beer to date.

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Caramel and toffee malt notes with just a hint of herbal hop aroma.

T - Toasty malt with some toffee. A bit more caramel comes out in the middle. Finishes with plenty of caramel and sweet malt character with moderate bitterness and grassy hops.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A pretty solid, if somewhat unremarkable, amber ale. Lots of malt with more than enough hop character to balance; though it isn't a hoppy, west coast red ale by any stretch.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body encircled by a thin ring of white bubbles.

Smell: Simply a light aroma of sweaty grains, bruised citrus fruits, and perhaps a slight floral touch.

Taste: Light toasted maltiness with a mild sweetness. Very, very slight nuttiness. Floral hint. Spicy hop character with a medium bitterness to balance. Fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: There's not much to say except that it's a nice, easy-drinking lager.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to TheStretch for this bottle!

Another brew taken down during the Man's Weekend. It pours a clear reddish-amber topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises orange zest and peel, hot cinnamon, and some smoky toffee. The taste holds notes of light orange zest and light caramel. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, not much exciting going on here, but a nice enough brew to relax with.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready from flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some sweetness comes in from flavors of citrus and caramel. The hops presence is mild and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of russpowell
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Bready & some grainyness as this warms.

T: bready, slight caramel & toffee flavors up front, plus a touch of grainyness. Grainyness, cloying sweetness & a touch of dryness are all there as this warms, plus some leafy hops. Finishes grainy with cloying sweetness & a touch herbal hop bitterness

MF: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation, Starts to thin out as this warms, not that great on balance

Drinks fairly easy but lack of character makes this one boring & forgettable

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Transparent bronze appearance, short-lived, slim off-white head.
Nose is a bouquet of caramel malt sweetness, with herbal, grassy notes, as well...rich and arousing.
Caramel and toffee tones return on the palate, big and brash in taste, sticks long in the senses, before slipping away. Medium-bodied, long, slick finish. Full-forward sweetness, a constant pleasure and easy as pie to travel down the throat.
Unbeatable, as far as Vienna lagers go.
I'd take one any time.

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Photo of jwc215
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper/orange-amber with a thin white head that becomes wispy. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of light caramel-ish malt/grain with slight roast.

The taste is of light malt with some sweetness, a hint of lightly toasted bread with a hint of hop dryness in the clean finish.

Crisp. Light. Clean. Smooth.

In writing the review, I've noticed a repeating word. The label says that it is medium bodied, I'm thinking light bodied - but, I suppose that it is subjective. Anyway, if this is medium-bodied, it pushes towards the light interpretation of medium. It would have been a better brew if it had more body to it. As it is, it is a basic, easy-drinking amber lager. Decent for what it is.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, yet malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. It's dry with a nice malty sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a very dry, malty flavor that has some breadlike notes and a light hop finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a good drinking red lager. It's nothing fancy, but it goes easy.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My thinking has brought me to the CANclusion that I want to relocate to the upper midwest. I want to get a Doctorate from U/W (Madison) and live and teach in Chicagoland. I love anything that enables me to transport myself mentally to the place I'd rather be. I got some of Capital's beers in a (rolling) trade with resi (highly recommended for his patience alone) and I have been so busy at school that I could not get to my beer. What is wrong with my priorities? I drank more as a sailor than I do as a civilian!?! I got out to have more time to myself. It ain't workin', bro.

From the CAN: "Beer for Badgers" and "An Ameri[CAN] Lager".

I wouldn't let a badger anywhere near my beer! They are fierce little creatures that would scratch your eyes out and have them for a snack. I often wonder about the Great Lakes college teams - badgers, wolverines, gophers. Bad news on a stick all the way around. Whoa! Is there a review forthcoming, or what?

Man, I CAN honestly say that I love the Crack & Glug auditory aspect of CANned beer. What great head! I mean, I got a great two-plus (!) fingers' worth of rocky, bubbly tawny head with low retention off of my pour.

Tawny Amber, I think that they used to dance at Papa's just outside the gate in Roosevelt Roads, P.R. Ah, the memories. My faves were China and Cinnamon in 1993, a couple of lovelies from the old river towns around Pittsburgh with whom I not only got along famously, but I actually danced with on a couple of occasions. I was down to skivvies, but they were down to buff. I gotta write a book ...

Color was definitely an orangish-amber, but with a refreshingly light haze. I am not a big fan of clarity, given that it strips away flavor. Natural is better in all things, especially beer and women. Nose was filled with carmel. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and it tasted like a Sugar Daddy. No boostin', yo! It was like liquid caramel. Speaking of Sugar Daddies, it was not just my good looks and sculpted build coupled with my love of Pittsburgh that attracted Cinnamon and China to me - I was making good do-re-mi on active duty. Hell, I spent most of my money on beer and women, the rest I just wasted. Finish lingered with a caramel sweetness initially, but giving 'way to a light bitterness. Ain't no badger gettin' this! I'm keeping it for myself! Samey-same with Cinnamon and China. Go find your own women!

I'm putting some of this beer in the cooler and we're headed to the lake for some skinny-dipping.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is sweet, malty, with a very slight hop note, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, very slight hop note, with some caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice thirst quencher.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opening NFL Sunday!!! Starting with a can of Wisconsin Amber!!! Yeah baby!!! The beer is a cloudy red ale with thin white head. The smell has a slight sweet malt to it....not much else. The taste has a great malt character with touch of sweetness. The mouthfeel is great...very favorful decent abv and smooth. Definitely worth teh purchase!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brought back to Boise from my understanding and outstanding coworkers. Poured into a small weizen glass.

Very nice orange/amber color... very clear... only a little head but good lacing.

Aroma is clean malts... restrained but evident toasted malts.. lite caramel and only a lite dusting of earthy hops.... honestly, a pretty nice nose.

Flavor is perfectly balanced between the big malts and the spicey earthy hops... drinkable .... sessionable definately.. just enough over everything including mouthfeel to make me wish I had another... Unfortunately, this is my last Capital brew I have in my possession... I am glad I saved these for a 6-bottle flight.... Tonight, will be for a long while one of my best beer drinking nights.... Capital is an incredible brewery for somebody who tries to appreciate the ins and outs of a fine lager.... plus as an added bonus, they are made right here in the States.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Almost clear amber color. Light carbonation and light=medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts balanced, some sweetness with hops mainly in background, dry finish, tolerable amber. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden-orange body with a thin white head that soon fades to a ring. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a soft lightly toasted malt flavor and a note of dry pale malt behind it.

T- This beer has a soft taste of lightly toasted malt with a light pot caramel note and a watery taste that increases as the beer warms. There is a light pine note in the finish with a note of sulfur that increases as the beer warms aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel and a crisp finish.

D- This beer is smooth and has a good malt flavor but it is a bit watery in the taste.

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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden / copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, yeast, slight grain, and slight metallic. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of hops, yeast, slight grain, and hints of sweet malt. Overall, a very hoppy lager with little else as far as flavor.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to resi for the trade.Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, some hops. Taste is good, hops up front, a bit of caramel and malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Loosely based on a Vienna Lager?

A: Amber with an off-white head; slight retention & lace.

S: Caramel, spice & a little fruitiness.

T: Modest bitterness allows the residual sweetness to come through & I don't particularly like the balance. Plenty of caramel with slight hints of a pleasant hop spicing and an odd fruitiness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation.

D: Very approachable, but not for me.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is malt, caramel and a hint of hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet malt, caramel and a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodies with a good amount of carbonation. 

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfectly clear amber with a decent white sticky head that has good retention. A really nice deep sweet maltiness on the nose. Very nice toasted quality. A nice clean caramel malt presence. Very little hop presence. Medium body and very drinkable. Definitely one of my favorite Amber Lagers. Another great lager from Capital.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A good easy going amber. Amber in color, looks a little thin at times, but the color is good, even if viscosity isn't the greatest. Head and aroma aren't worth talking about.

Taste, pretty smooth, don't be looking for some high hopped west coast amber. No surprises, mildly sweet, caramel, drinks almost like an Oktoberfest. Almost as good as the Sprecher Amber Lager. Same vein. Good hot n humid beer to relax with.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pretty regular looking amberlage. Medium amber, copper hue with very little head and bubbling. The aroma is a crisp biscuit and grain with some light humulus lupus. The taste has some minerally bitterness interlaced with a strong grain bill. Plenty of toasted malts to go around. The palate is smooth, refreshing but you can feel some grist in this lager. Very easy to drink for me.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

well blackie decided it would be a good idea to knock the empty stone 9th anniversary bottle onto my snifter of such, so I am stuck with this guy...the damage is 1/2 bomber stone anniversary ale, 1 snifter, a beer/SPLIFF buzz, some carpet, and the side of a love seat

appearance: a pale mahogany/amber pour, fluffy beige head, decent lacing around the rim

smell: sweet and malty, bready, caramel malts, slightly peppery, faint fruity/floral hops underneath

taste: quite bready, sweet caramel malts, red apple, orange and other assorted citrus, plum, pear, toasted malt, quite floral hops in the background, a little grainy

mouthfeel: oily and sweet, above average

drinkability: pretty drinkable, good session

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a Pilsner glass. "Beer for Badgers." "An American Lager." 5.2% ABV, 1689 on bottom.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for this can!

A - Light amber and clear, a tall pour unleashes a three-finger head with decent retention. The off-white foam left little as afar as lace.

S - The nose is lightly malty. Pale with a low sweetness. Mainly hops come out. Dry and a bit floral. There is also a light metallic and mineral nose to it. Crisp overall.

T - A good balance of pale malts and dry, floral hops is upset by a metallic mineral finish that just ruins the whole thing.

M - Dry and crisp but slightly flat feeling. The metallic thing just gives a bad feel to it. Light-medium bodied.

D - Not very pleasant but straight from the can at a tale gate party, it would work. Better from a bottle it seems.

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Wisconsin Amber from Capital Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.