Drake's Amber Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Amber AleDrake's Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mark on 01-30-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 45
Reviews by WestCoastBrew2:
More User Reviews:
Photo of badbeer
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with an offwhite head that retains very well and leaves good lacing. Smell is fairly hoppy; pine and some caramel notes come through. Taste begins a little grassy from the hops, but then gives you more toasty caramel flavors with some pine sap at the finish. Fairly high carbonation with a medium body, fairly slick on the tongue. I got this in a trade a little while back, so maybe it was a little old, but either way, this was a pretty decent beer.

Photo of OStrungT
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a light reddish brown color, with a thin light tan head that fades quickly, leaving no lace.

This beer smells of toffee, and sweet caramel. It has a slight biscuit like aroma as well. I can smell a slight peppery aroma as well, but it is very subtle.

This beer tastes like it smells. Malty up front. Some toffee and caramel, with a hint of biscuit.

This beer is carbonated just right for the style. It is crisp and refreshing, leaving a bready aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It tastes good, and the alcohol content is low enough.

Overall: This beer is pretty darn good. I have overlooked it in the past, but I wont do so in the future. A good malty easy to drink beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.57/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing a full bottle because a fellow BA thought I was shortchanging it. Ok...we'll see.
Pours a clear dark amber with a nice single finger head that melts to decent lacing and a full covering the entire drink down the glass.
Aroma is initially nutty malts...sweet but definately with something nutty going on...maybe an earthiness like bark. Pleasant and rich.
Taste is sweet toasted malt followed with a dry earthiness and again, the nuts that seem to add to the dryness and complexity.
Aftertaste is really nicely drying...perfect for style.
Mouthfeel is sort of rich and thick, but not too much so. More like it really should be for an Amber. There is nothing thin, watery, or weak about this.
Yeah....I can drink the sixer...
Yeah....I'll need to get more.
Good call, DogFood.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours clear and has a dark ruby color with a hint of brown. Head is khaki and a holds finger's width with fair retention, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Fair lacing with little stick.

Smell - Toffee and caramel with touches of chocolate and a light metallic note.

Taste - Follows the nose. Plenty of assertive toffee upfront with very light caramel. Cocoa powder and a touch of roasted malt character comes through mid-taste and into the finish, mixing with a touch of metallic twang in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with sharp, bitey carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall - A pretty good beer by Drake's here, something I'd consider buying again if it were on sale, as SN Stout and Anchor Porter are similar in both flavor profile and price, but better overall. Drinks much closer to an American brown or porter than an ESB.

Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium root beer color with an amber/copper hue, a frothy off biege head that dissipated within minutes, and some carb action.

Has a bready roasted caramel malt smell with some citrus hops.

Lightly sweet, lightly/moderately acidic, moderately bitter, grainy, roasted caramel malt taste with grapefruit/orange hops flavor.

Medium/full bodied, slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carb, and a slight metallic/astringent finish.

A decent beer, kind of grainy, can be a session beer.

Photo of bcm119
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep reddish amber color with a tight tan head. Sweetish, estery nose with lots of dark fruit and a touch of alcohol. Starts off with big, roasted malt and lots of dark cherry fruit with some background earthy/leafy flavors. Toasty caramel and sherry cask flavors mid-palate. Round mouthfeel; fine carbonation and deep roasted malts lead into a long, clean finish. For a malt-driven beer it is very dry, which highlights the fruity flavors without being cloying in the least. Hops are subtle and soft, but balance the malt perfectly. A really nice amber-- clean, full flavored, and complex enough to keep you interested through a long session.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12oz bottle with a shrink-wrapped label. Poured into an imperial pint glass. Drake's amber had a nice dark auburn color and a firm, long-lasting off-white head. A nice appealing look.
The smell was loaded with sweet - caramel and a bit of dark fruit, a decent amount of sweet grains and maybe a light dusting of molasses. Hops aromas were less pronounced but a mild grapefruit scent was noted.
The taste had a richly sweet malty flavor laden with caramel up front. A lightly nutty taste came across mid-palate along with a more earthy grain flavor. The finish had a pleasant level of citrusy hops to it, producing a lasting bitterness. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth and a touch slick.
This was one of the better ambers I've had. Worth picking up if you see it.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

decided to go nuts and open a bunch of new beers tonight. served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/03/2010.

the pour was a gusher straight up with a huge foamy head that just soaked up the whole glass that took forever to settle down.

aroma was light piney hops with lots of caramel and bready malts ancing inside the middle as it warmed up and really showing themselves nicely as it warmed. flavor followed through very similar with a deep malt backbone and a light hop bitterness that really just served to balance out the profile. nice medium feel did the job and made it very sessionable.

overall a nice and even amber. nothing to write home about but certainly did its job.

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy amber with a small head that disappears a bit too quickly.

Smell: Earthy malts, a bit of chocolate/cocoa and lots of hops.

Taste/mouthfeel: Lightly roasted and bready malts underneath ample hop bitterness. The finish is slightly thin. This is extra hoppy for an amber, but the hop flavor isn't overly impressive. Medium in body and effervescence.

Notes: A decent and fairly solid amber, but not something I'd go out of my way to drink. Drake's has better brews than this.

Photo of Zorro
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red to really bronze colored ale with a small off-white head.

Sweet and aromatic beer strong malt and a spicy hop aroma. Hops seem to be mostly English type but there is a clear lemon aroma here. Little bit of butter and toffee smell and a little wood. Cookie dough and vanilla aroma, quite an aromatic ale.

The taste starts out sweet and wood with a strong bitterness. Woody ale with quite a lot of oak flavor in it. Not as complex as I had hoped, but it is a good solid ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not a bad beer, wish it was more complex though. The scent promises a lot but in the end this is just a good beer and not a great one. If I were at the brewery I would try something new though.

Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark amber ale bordering on red. Nice head, scattered lacing decorates the glass. A very toasty caramel and an almost chocolatey character hit the tastebuds. Nice substantial mouthfeel, a decent amber ale, fairly drinkable. Nice bottle with a sailing ship and the slogan, " A Pint A Day Keeps Scurvy Away"

Photo of aracauna
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as impressive as the blonde and the hefeweizen (mainly because those two beers are styles that are usually half-assed and bland but Drake's actualyl did something good with them), but this still isn't a bad beer. Slightly hazy ruby brown. The head is sluggish and fades quickly. The aroma is strongly malty and most of that malt is caramel. Then flavor is also heavily malty and while the hops are evident (mostly as a bitterness in the end, but some faint grapefruit rind), the malt remains dominate with it's caramel. The flavor edges on thick, but isn't. It's not as quaffable as the other two, but Drake's is still impressing me.

Photo of xoqx
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a real treat on the hand pump at Ben 'n Nick's Bar in Oakland, CA, though I suspect it took less time for Drakes to brew it than for our sever to finally take our order and deliver it. The color was wonderfully mahogany. There were malty, hoppy smells present; more hops than I would expect for an amber. I appreciate a brewery that’s willing to properly hop an amber style, but people who don’t love hops might find this one too bitter for their liking. The taste was wonderfully complex, even though it was slightly overchilled for a hand-pumped beer. This amber beer was very balanced between a smooth malt beginning and a fruity hop finish. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth and then well rounded by the hop bitterness. Drinkability is good for an amber.

Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf.

Poured a dark and cloudy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of oranges, citrus, and caramel. Caramel malts dominate the tastes with the hops noticeably lurking in the background. Sweet start with a light bitter finish.

Notes from 4/7/05

Photo of WillCarrera
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a vibrant, well... amber color. Produces a very thin half finger of white head that diminishes to a thin film.

S- Lots of caramel, bready malt. Hops are detectable with a bit of citrus and pine.

T- Loads of malt, bready and a bit grainy with some hazelnut. Caramel and toffee sweetness. Hops produce a solid bitterness and aren't overly citric or powerful.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, good carbonation maintains a bit of cripsness.

O- A good, drinkable beer for malt lovers, very tasty.

Photo of climax
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one poured a completely cloudy chestnut brown with ruby highlights. The head was creamy and massive, lasting as well. The lace consisted of solid wave marks as it receded.

The nose was cidery to me, hopefully not a bad beer. Citrus and a bit of caramel round it out.

The flavor is big malt with a hoppy aftertaste. The malt profile consists of cocoa, caramel and a bit of earthy hop flavor with a leafy aftertaste.

The body is medium with a lot of carbonation. It's pretty smooth in the mouth and leaves a long chalky finish. I'm left feeling like this may have not been a 100% good example of this beer, my findings were a dark cloudy body (most reviews say a transparent amber). The cidery nose makes me even more uneasy.

Photo of Gavage
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: dark amber in color with a short head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: caramel and some fruit sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, bread, ripe fruits, and a bit of earthiness are the main flavors. The bitterness is soft and takes a back seat here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a mild flavored ale that is a bit tame overall, but it is very easy to consume.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very cloudy and hazy dark orange and amber hue, the head is a nice layer of white pillowy froth, big thick lacing on the glass
S- Aroma is roasted and caramel malts, pine hops punch through the malts, some sweet fruits and nuts, nice earthy almost dirt-like scents, some pepper and alcohol
T- Initial taste is mostly caramel and earthy malts which flows to floral and fruit hops and finishes with dry, spicy bitterness that fades quickly
M- Medium-bodied with a thick watery texture and dialed-up, biting carbonation
D- Pretty smooth and easy drinking at 6%abv, I don't have much to say about this beer, nothing horrible but nothing great, overall a solid amber offering.

Photo of stephendr
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle- color of light mahogany , with a medium white head - nose of balanced malts and hopps , coco , red fruit , and toasted wood – taste of spruce , red fruit mostly red cherries , earth , that is balanced malts and hopps - body dirty , but crisp – aftertaste of bright red fruit and hops

Photo of avaldivia
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep, dark red, amber color. Great head with perfect lacing.

S: Caramel. Some citrus hops. Bready.

T: Same as smell. More of a ... Not coffee ... But a cocoa or chocolate flavor perhaps. Nice flavor.

M: Medium to thick bodied. Medium carbonation

O: Another solid offering from Drakes. Well made and very enjoyable.

Photo of goldendenizen
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark amber. Different from the norm. Strong head with lacing to boot.

T: Malt, biscuit, slight toffee goodness. Yumm. Well done!

M: Carbonated which is echoed by fellow reviewers. I actually really like the mouthfeel.

O: Great local, FRESH Bay Area brew. Not my go to brew, but a very good bitter to break the hop monotony.

Photo of DogFood11
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip it formed a meaty off white head that leaves lots of coat lacing. Brown body with copper outer edge.

Freshly ground coffee beans mixed with a sweet malt bill. The sweetness is really an afterthought and not much more than a balancer and it works rather well. Light hop twinge about 3/4 of the way through. The nuts and bolts of this brew is the earthy malt bill that includes some ground coffee, Woody, fresh bark, and even throw in some bitterness from the deep end of the toasty malts.

Notes: Friggin loved this offering. A top notch amber ale that will see my fridge every time I see it available. I think scores will rise as more folks review this gem.

Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a modest swirl of lacing in the snifter. Some bready tastes. Fairly sharp in the mouth with decent carbonation. Faint scent of piney hops. Starts out as a pleasant well-balanced ale but doesn't seem to wear well. Flavor veers off to some earthy malt and that old fruit taste. Fairly bitter. Brewery says hops are East Kent Goldings and Willamette. Metallic aftertaste. The fruity and browned biscuit flavor becomes more pronounced as you drink.

Photo of PintOHops
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Pint

A - Clear amber color with a bit of visible medium Co2. It produced a 2-finger head that held very well. It left a splotch & spots on my glass.

S - A bit of alcohol with roasted malts, deep malt notes of toast & biscuit, caramel and faint chocolate. A bit of candied fruit or prune. Hop notes are mild lending soft leafy notes, it reminds me a brown Ale almost. As it warmed I picked up nutty notes.

T - Candied fruits & sugars upfront with a bit of noticeable alcohol, it softly unfolds into leafy & herbal hop flavors and roasted malts. I get biscuit, toast, caramel, hazelnut & chocolate on the finish. Lingering dry bitterness with leafy hop flavors.

M - A smooth lite-medium body with soft-moderate crispness.

D - A rich & flavorful ESB, I say that because on the bottle label & the company site they categorize it as an ESB! I really liked it's deep malt profile with accompanying leafy hop flavors. I would sit down have a couple but it's so flavorful so that would probably be it. Very good brew, I might pick it up again sometime. Cheers!

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

the beer pours a dark hazy amber with only minimal head that fades fast leaving nothing. it smells very strongly of toffee with hints of apple. the taste is of syrupy sweet tofee/caramel roasted malts with just a tiny hint of the fruitiness of malts at the end. definitely a little on the sweet side. mouthfeel is thick but a little bit on the cloying/syrupy side. overall a decent beer but nothing amazing.

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Drake's Amber Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.