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

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

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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 TicoCali
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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

Pours a rich copper, deep color color with a finger width off white head that slowly fades to cap the whole beer, leaving lacing behind as the beer is drank. The smell of sweet toffee and grain dominate the nose. The beer opens with a huge sweet, toasted grain taste that is quickly balanced by the hops leaving behind a pleasant, almost candy aftertaste with the back of the tongue bitterness from the hops. Has a medium body and a sweet mouth feel with ample carbonation. A good amber ale, easily drinkable.

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of justinbrown
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of TGS
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of allstar255
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of mactrail
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
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 codfeast
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of avaldivia
3.88/5  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 WillCarrera
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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 DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of veinless
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of stakem
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of climax
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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 mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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 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 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.

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 Offa
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of MisterClean
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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