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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mark on 01-30-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of IntriqKen
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
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 DogFood11
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
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 gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of OStrungT
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
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 barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber with a nice white head. Nose is well opped, caramel. Taste is good, really good. Caramel, spiciness and creamy with perhaps even some cocoa. Mouthfeel is creamy and sticky, goes down very good. Drinkaility on this beer is outstanding. Great taste and nice ABV keeps this as a great amber I could drink any and all of the time.

Photo of Nage37
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Bubbles
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Mark
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
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 bcm119
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
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 TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a very colorful and nicely decorated crown cap. Simple brown glass bottle is covered in one of those plastic shields where the see through parts lend the impression that the bottle has separate front, back and neck labels, when in fact it does not. My bottle looks just like the one pictured here on BA. Standard “Drake’s” 12oz design is differentiated only with the words “Amber Ale” against a blue background. Described as a Flagship Amber Ale and listed at 5.9% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: Deep brown body, polished chestnut hue, clarity is superb and the tan colored head is deep with a satisfying creamy texture that is easy on the eyes and which laces nicely. Fine carbonation is at prevalent levels which assists the overall presentation.

Nose: Malt driven aromas with some soft sweetness and a fruity character. Hints of spices and maybe some herbs too.

Taste: A definitive malty swathe cuts right through this amber ale. The carbonation helps to circulate the flavors I find. Starts with a deep malt entrance, has a fruity middle and ends with a lightly spiced bitter finish. Not your typical Amber, moreover it reminds me of a malty English Premium Bitter, but I like the deviation from the usual bland Ambers experienced. Dependable and damned tasty.

Mouthfeel: The texture from the malts is thick but it is lightened by the soft carbonation which supports throughout. Sturdy stuff!

Drinkability: The whole package works extremely well. Great looks, decent nose, solid taste profile with a beefy Mouthfeel. The combination works well and the quaffability factor completes the synergistic collage.

Overall: I have seen this Drake’s brew for some time but never tried it. Not sure why I waited so long, but this is a fine robust brew, not your typical wimpy Amber but a very malty version that is tasty with a refreshing Drinkability. Another great brew from Drake’s, they continue to impress me.

Photo of Talisker
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Do these guys make a bad beer?

Pours from a 12oz bottle a deep reddish brown. Medium head diminishes quickly, retaining a nice cap and lacing throughout. Nose is malty caramel, although there's a pleasant alcohol edge, the general effect is muted by a general dull mustiness - the only slight flaw in an otherwise superb beer.

Taste - wow - led by chocolatey malt, with hints of toffee followed by toast. Not overly sweet, not overly bitter (clearly European hops wrapping up this one), but assertive for the style with an unmistakably distinct personality. Medium texture that lasts just the right amount of time - positively invites another drink. The entire thing just clicks together.

Not your typically anonymous "amber". Great example of what can be done to create a flavorful beer with balance.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ferric oxide orange with a fat slice of juicy tangerine along the bottom edge of the pint glass. The head (which is equal parts pastel orange, beige and ivory) would look right at home on a hopsticky IPA. The foam has a wonderful texture and is laying down loads of lace.

The nose has a great deal of character as well. My first thought was 'Oktoberfest', given the presence of what smells like Munich malt. That earthy, toasted nuttiness is impossible to miss. There's also an ale yeast fruitiness and a helping hand from English hops.

Amber ales are like brown ales for me. Most of them are okay, but are hardly memorable. The good ones stand out, though, usually due to abundant ingredients. Drake's Amber Ale is unquestionably one of the good ones

When it comes to flavor, malt holds a slight edge over hops (as it probably should). I'll say mostly pale, with a modest amount of the more toasted varieties and a dash of something darker; chocolate malt perhaps. Whatever amounts and percentages were used, the malt backbone is sturdy and has a great deal of depth and flavor interest. Well done.

Malt alone does not a good amber ale make. A surprising amount of hoppiness is what puts this brew into overdrive. They're earthy and herbal and ripe fruity (apricots and oranges). East Kent Goldings and... something else? They also provide a balancing bitterness from beginning to middle, and a snappy, tight, drying finish.

The mouthfeel gets the job done with no trouble at all. It's at least medium-full for the style and is as smooth as a summer day is long. An ideal number of bubbles doesn't hurt.

Amber Ale is my second Drake's beer... and is my second impressive Drake's beer. It goes above and beyond the call with respect to malt and hops, as all the good ones do. Seek it out if you're a fan of ambers or if you just like good beer.

Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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 PintOHops
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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 xoqx
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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 Troyone
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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 mc4z
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Boilermaker88
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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 crob3888
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sevenshubby
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange gold color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is fruity, malty and sweet. A medium bodied amber. Malts are fruity and slightly sweet. Hops are grapefruity and spicy. Well balanced. It’s a little hoppy and spicy for an amber, but it does keep it from being the same as every other amber out there. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of JosiahS
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

g: Standard pint

a: Straight up amber color. Dense yet frothy 1 finger off white head. Splashy lacing.

s: Surprisingly malty, i get chocolate up front but followed quickly by just a little alcohol and earthy hops. Analyzing further, it's very nutty, reminds me of a brown ale even though Drake's says this is an ESB and BA says this is a Amber. Lets taste!

t: Definitively saying this is an ESB rather than an Amber. It lacks the fruit flavors typical Ambers give off. This has a richer more roasted malt profile. Lots of nuts, chocolate and caramel malt. It has a definite earthy hop presence that really sides with an ESB rather than an Amber. Finishes with more nuts and floral hops. A little lingering bitterness.

m: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation.

d: As an amber, it falls out of style and i would have a problem with that but i'm going to judge this as an ESB. It's actually really nice and the bit of chocolate malt is a nice touch. Bitterness is right on. Great beer.

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Drake's Amber Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.