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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

46 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 107
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 2
Gots: 8 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 107
Photo of JeffBlue
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

(Draft, Bay Area Brew Festival, San Francisco 1/24/15) Nothing really that memorable about this beer; fairly decent.

Others:
Drakes IPA (favorable)
1500 (favorable)
Denoginizer (favorable)
Hopacalypse (favorable) (213 characters)

Photo of stakem
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle with no indication of bottle date and what I assume is a new label design that boldly displays the name of the brewery and name as Drake's Amber. Description states this as an ESB with 5.9% abv and 28 ibus.

The bottle cap was removed and large bubbles swelled to the surface before I could even get a glass in hand. A careful pour down the side of a pub glass formed 3 fingers worth of large bubbles with only half the bottle poured. The yellowish tan cap quickly dissolves down to a finger of creamy head that is cratered and uneven all over the top of the brew. It hangs in thick patches about the glass. The color of the brew underneath the rich cap is a clear copper amber color with a constant stream of rising bubbles that support more than a finger's worth of solid head.

The aroma of this brew includes a very rich scent of sweet caramel malt. There is a bit of fruity alcohol and citrus/fruit hop character. A light amount of sulfur is also evident mixed with a scent of grass and herbs.

The taste of this brew is grassy and herbal with a bit of a sulfur and mineral note to it. The caramel malt sweetness that was so pronounced in the nose takes on more of a toasted quality in the flavor of this brew. A lingering bitterness hangs in the mouth tasting grassy and herbal with a bit of a medicinal quality. There is a dry almost bitter fruit character in the backend of the taste that mixes with a musty grain flavor that lasts inside the mouth and just doesn't go away. The flavors really clash in this brew and it does not make for an enjoyable experience.

This is a medium bodied brew with an excessive amount of carbonation that just doesn't go away. The smell and the taste of this brew are quite polar, and unlike the qualities you look for in an ESB. All together this brew is quite disjointed and just not doing it for me. Even the alcohol inclusion in this brew is off. It clearly states this brew is 5.9% alcohol but the warming factor and solvent taste it produces in the back of your throat would indicate more. (2,056 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of climax
3.07/5  rDev -19%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A burnt copper/orange. Head is off-white and small. Drops to an almost non-existent cap with a small creamy collar.

Smell: Sweet bready malts. Some caramel malt sweetness. A hint of toffee and some grassy notes. Sweet. Some hints of citrus with a nice clean yeast profile. So much biscuit dough. Cooked and caramelized malts. A bit of roasty and toasty malts.

Taste: Some slight hints of citrus hopping,. A bit of pith. Sweet caramelized malts. Some caramel and toffee with a ton of undercooked biscuit dough. Lightly toasted. Pretty mellow. Warming drops the sweetness a touch. Clean yeast profile, but still present.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to slightly above average carbonation. Medium body. Clean, very clean.

Overall: From this beer dinosaurs are made.

Good. Bready and easy drinking. Not much going on, but that's cool. (840 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy medium brown color with a creamy beige head. Good head retention and lacing. Bready malts with a chocolatey tinge. Also some toast and caramel. Flavor has some cocoa and toast with lighter orange and butter notes. Sort of earthy and maybe a bit vegetal. Nice heft to the body but not a very clean mouthfeel. Reasonably drinkable. (334 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (461 characters)

Photo of jhammerly
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this beer.

Brownish body with an amber hue and creamy off-white head that fell into a thin cap within minutes. The smell of toasted malt and a bit of sweet caramel. The taste is the same as the aroma, but I taste some hints of cocoa and some hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is good - light to medium bodied. A good beer that has potential to be highly drinkable. (387 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty good ale, solid, with lasting character, but not great or complex, a bit lopsided and uninteresting.

Dark red-brown-copper, it has a medium head, tan with orangie hints, slowly shrinking to a thin, permanent sheet of foam and leaving some weak hints of foamy lace.

The smell is malty and dark, toaty bread crust, slightly burnt caramel, hint of stwed plums and scorched dried fruit, plus light earthy-woody hints.

The taste is similar, darkly malty, toasted bread crust, slightly burnt caramel and overly caramelised prunes. It's dryish with a light sweetness, but a light burnt-spicey-peppery bitterness taking over by the finish and lingering a bit. That said, it's enjoyable and has lasting character that holds up well, even if it lacks complexity and the character it has is a bt heavy-handed and one-dimensional.

It's pleasant enough to drink but it's a bit heavy and is more like a brown ale in some ways. (933 characters)

Photo of badbeer
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (710 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of veinless
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish amber, much darker than expected. Looks like a clearish barleywine in many ways. Head is foamy and has big bubbles, dissipates to a half-finger collar, and is very well retained once it does.

Aroma is of toffee and caramel up front, with some clean bitterness behind it. Hops are tough to discern particular flavors from, but just a bit of citrus comes to mind.

Taste follows, with nice malt profile starting the beer off, and mild bitterness taking over to finish the beer. Toffee and caramel once again are clear, and the bitterness is kind of watery and clean, as is expected for the style.

Body of the beer is a bit thin for my taste, as the malty profile would be helped by a little more fullness. Drinkability is very good, as the bitter finish helps to keep throwing these down, and the abv of 5.9% is amenable to sessions. Pretty good beer. (875 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (864 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Total Wine

A - Poured light mahogany, with a FIST full of cappuccino head. Dissipated slow and left nice lacing.

S - Burnt caramel and cinnamon. A malt bomb.

T - Caramel, cinnamon, bread, and light bitterness.

M - Full-bodied, very malt dominated with a spicy aftertaste.

D - Not bad, but could have been entered in as a spice beer and I may not have known better. (375 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When poured there was a tawny color with very little foam and no head to speak of. The smell was a yeasty aroma with a hint of hops. The taste was of a yeasty nature and with the hops and a slight hint of malty chocolate flavor. The after taste is short and not really bitter. (276 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sunset orange with a little haze and a nice frothy head that leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Malts are victorious in the smell. Brown sugar, toffee, hints of chocolate. A light fruit and citrus. Taste is nice and rich for an amber. Full of flavor with the malts again more dominant to me. Good toasted bread and again hints of chocolate malt. Toffee and caramel and a decent dose of hops, mostly of the pine variety. Mouthfeel is a bit too full for me. The bready flavors make it a little dense and dry on the tongue. The bitterness is there but it doesn't have the same affect as my favorite ambers. A decent drinker overall but not one of the best. I'd compare it to Palmetto's Amber, which is pretty local to me. A nice change of pace but not something I'd have often.

Thanks to Zorro for the Brews N Tunes brew! (821 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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 (301 characters)

Photo of codfeast
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle to pint.

A: A dark cherry with thin head that disolved to a ring and island, some lacing.

S: Malt, Caramel, toffee, with hints of dried dark fruit, bitter chocolate, and hops.

T: Big malt start, with some dark fruit, and roasted flavors. faint bit of alcohol turns bitter at the end.

M: Pretty high carbination, medium body a long finish that finally turns dry.

O: Big malt flavor and pretty smooth drinking no real hops flavor but dry finish cleans the palate after every sip. A little to much carbination for my taste. All and all a solid beer. (558 characters)

Photo of avaldivia
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (361 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear copper/amber color with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and slight hop aromas. Taste is the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a better taste than smell. (434 characters)

Photo of goldendenizen
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Rose & Crown, on to the beer:

Amber as the name suggests, topped off by a small head with okay retnetion and no lacing. Little traces of carbonation bubbles run through the body. Its nose is very English, not American styled as I was expecting. Very earthy aroma with some toffee thrown in.

The taste is very toasty. Some earth runs around in there, light toffee crisp makes its introduction. Even traces of pine are involved. I was guessing one way and got something else. No complaints though, as this makes a good alternative to things that are hoppy. (571 characters)

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Drake's Amber Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.