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Alaskan Amber - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Alaskan AmberAlaskan Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,175 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1175
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.4%

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Richly malty and long on the palate, with just enough hop backing to make this beautiful amber colored "alt" style beer notably well balanced.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-20-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,175 | Reviews: 543 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CorvetteMike

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

While on a cruise in Alaska, visited the brewery, and sampled all of the beers on the tour. The Amber was my second favorite. Brewed with no preservatives, so can not get in New England.

A: Pours an amber color, 1 finger head that does not last long.

S: Malty smell, very pleasant.

T: Malty taste with a slight bitterness, and aftertaste to it.

M: Some carbonation, and aftertaste that lingers on.

O: Above average beer, but I like the Alaskan IPA better.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 17:32:18 | More by CorvetteMike
Photo of Auraan


3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a rich amber with almost no head. What head formed was an off-white. It got the amber part down, but it's nothing too special. Scents of sweet malt, bubblegum and slight banana. Pleasant, matches well with the flavor, but again, nothing too special. Flavors of sweet malt, a little bit of toffee and a slight nutty flavor on the finish. Pretty nice, similar to a brown ale, but with a slightly more German flavor profile. Hop character is low, but is present, balancing the sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good for a session beer. Overall I'd say it's a pretty good beer. I can see this being a good session ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 05:27:49 | More by Auraan
Photo of T100Mark


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A nice copper colored beer. Not cloudy. The head had a slight reddish hue but it didn't stick around to long. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Malty. Sweet. Root beer. This beer has a nice nose.

Taste - Malty. Sweet. Taffy. Nice carbonation. The hops play a minor yet important role.

Mouth - Fizzy. Fresh. Slightly oil.

Overall - A nice Amber. The beer is friendly but a little lacking in character.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 02:53:22 | More by T100Mark
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alaskan Amber has a thin, khaki head, a semi-clear, bubbly, amber appearance, and basically no lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, caramel candy or toffee and brown bread crust. Taste is of those as well, and this beer has a mild underlying bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium and somewhat slick, and Alaskan Amber has a mostly dry, easy going and easy-drinking finish. Overall, this is really nice, and I rate it rather highly. Get some!


Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 21:11:34 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of JamesQuaff


3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Becker pint after about 15 minutes out of the fridge at room temp.

Pours a deep red/amber with good clarity. 1 finger off-white head dissipates very quickly.

Big roasty grain aromas, caramel, raisins, medium hops.

Taste is slightly sweet, prominent caramel malts, with a decent hop bite to balance it out.

Medium bodied with pleasant viscosity, but the carbonation is just too much when i go in for the 'swish'.

Overall a very good beer, but the carbonation kind of detracts from it for me. Digging the aroma and flavor, but the bubbles are a bit too intense.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 13:30:03 | More by JamesQuaff
Photo of Infamous7100


3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clean and beautiful caramel to deep orange with a quick to disappear head and no lacing to speak of.
S: loads of malt, fruit and bread billow out of my pint glass. Caramel and toffee notes are accompanied by hints of apple and perhaps pear. Not much on the hop scale.
T: extremely malty with hints of, you guesses it, caramel, toffee and bread. You can pick up the fruit at the front but its most prevalent in the middle. Apples and pears can be confirmed. Just a kiss of hops in the back.
M: medium bodied with lower carbonation than expected. Smooth and creamy. Pleasant finish.
O: I really enjoy altbiers as they blend the best of ales and lagers together. This is a tad too sweet and I would to have seen a bit more of the lager side to quell the sweetness. Not bad at all though.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 20:56:12 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of rickyleepotts


3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Today's beer is boring. It's from a brewing company I haven't been impressed with, and it is a boring style. Of course, I didn't realize the history behind the recipe. That is what makes this blog fun. Nothing beats learning about beers, brewing companies, and styles. THAT is why this blog will never get boring for me. Sure, there will be a day we run out of beer… but that is a long time from now, and a challenge I will happily accept.

I haven't had an amber in a while. One that comes to mind is the Prescott amber ale. They only can, but it's a pretty drive getting there. I will give the Alaskan Amber a chance… not like I have a choice! Oh, and later we are going to be drinking (not reviewing) four beers from Sam Adams. They are just sitting in the fridge starring at me. It's time I consume them!

In the Glass: This beer has a nice rich copper color to it and produces a really thick head for such a drinkable beer. You know, I am not sure I have ever tried this one. Regardless, if I have had it, it wasn't that memorable. The beer, as I swirl it in the glass, also continues to produce a nice fluffy head.

Nose: We are drinking this cold, but the nose is powerful and is filled with malty goodness. I am not expecting many hops here. As we start to plan the breweries we will feature in our book (title coming soon), I have to imagine we will pick the Alaskan Brewing Company to feature in Alaska. I just want to see it. Oh, and the glacier, too!

A second sniff is offering the same powerful malty aromas that I was getting on my first sniff.

Flavor: While this beer is boring, it does have a lot of flavor. At first, you are hit with malts and some subtle carbonation. Then, as you swallow, while the flavor quickly fades, it does produce some nice drying flavors. Like I said, I didn't have very high expectations of this beer. I am happily impressed. I don't recommend swishing this around in your mouth. The bubbles become overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Considering how much carbonation the beer appears to have in the glass, there really isn't that much on the palate. I would LOVE to see this beer barrel aged. It reminds me, a little, of the Bigfoot mouthfeel. Does anyone know if Alaskan ages any of their beers? I bet there are some good whiskeys made up there in the mountains!

Aftertaste: The tasting notes said the aftertaste was quick, and while it doesn't last for five minutes, it does have a really nice finish. It finishes somewhat sweet (from the malts) and then begins to dry as you swallow. I bet this would be a great food beer. I imagine pairing this with some burgers or some BBQ. Speaking of BBQ, Sheryl went to a BBQ festival last weekend. Maybe she will discuss her experience here on the blog.

I didn't have high expectations going in, but I am leaving the Alaskan Amber very impressed. This makes me want to grab a few more ambers to compare. This original recipe is from 1900… I don't think this beer will age that long! Cheers, everyone.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 21:59:15 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of Dbrown144


2.99/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: a copper/rust color with a very small foam head that dissipates quickly.

S: salty water I guess.

T: the taste isn't bad, at first it tastes bready and beery for lack of a better word. It leaves you with a really nice sweet malt aftertaste though.

M: not much carbonation. Nice consistency. Goes down easily.

O: I like it, I'd drink it again. Nothing special at all, but I do enjoy the sweet malt taste of it.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 05:02:28 | More by Dbrown144
Photo of BradMacMullin


3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Elliots in Seattle. Nice frozen glass. Outside of the glass, I was very underwhelmed. Copper appearance, no head, little lacing. I smelled...and smelled...nothing. A malty chemically type of taste. Went down well, more of a large consumer type of taste which is fine if I can get 30 of them for $20. I was expecting more, don't know why. Hate writing reviews like this, but this disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2013 23:50:47 | More by BradMacMullin
Photo of tubeyes


2.99/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pinkish red amber in color, thin pinkish white head, left quickly,
S sweet malty, hint of salty
T sweet, bready, "beery"
M lots of carbonation, malty bready after taste lingers in roof of mouth.
O Pretty standard/vanilla (un-unique) amber, not too special, but not bad. Had on tap at the Big Fish in Grapevine Texas.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2013 03:10:52 | More by tubeyes
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome


3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color with a thin 1 finger head. Head goes away quickly. Not a lot else to say, looks like an amber.

S: Malty on the nose, slight sweet caramel. Takes a bit to warm up and unleash the aroma.

T: Sweet malty taste. Goes down quick and easy. Surprisingly has a bit of a bitter taste as well.

M: Medium bodied and carbonation. Has a resiny aftertaste.

O: Very solid above average amber, interesting to have every once in a while. Easy drinking beer, great session beer. Having only one on the day, I'd reach for something a little more interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:09:12 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of OldRedLion


4.85/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alaskan Amber is a perennial favourite of mine. A smooth, copper colored ale; heavy on the malt with just enough hop to cleanse the palette from the sweetness. Definitely NOT a "lawnmower" beer, but mild enough to drink plenty in a session. This is another great choice for the milder fall and cooler winter sessions at the pub or in front of the fire at home. One issue I have had with this beer is an omnipresent flaw of the pub to want to serve it cold. This beer suffers greatly from a cold pour, as the floral complexities are completely lost. If you are tasting this beer for the first time, do yourself the favour of letting the bottle stand 5-10 minutes out of refrigeration before pouring, then pour slowly and with the glass tipped as you normally would. The head on this style beer should be low, as the carbonation should be as well. If you have a home draught beer system, set it no less than 45F and I recommend tapping into a pitcher and serving from there, as I have found that helps the head to seem creamier.

Alaskan Amber pairs well with hearty beef dishes, and I enjoy it with any dish which you might pair with a red wine. If I could find a fault with with this beer, it would be the flaw in most/all bottled offerings; that of metallic force carbonation. This is my default bottled beer favourite, as here in California, due to a great distribution network, we can often get it for less than $12/12 pack! Someone show me a better $1 ale!!!

This is a good choice for an American made amber ale without the overbearing hop profile which the west coast has imposed on the style. it compares well with British pale, ESB or German Alt beers in flavour and food pairing. If you have tried it in the past, and were "unimpresesed", try it again properly served. You'll be glad you did!!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 23:36:57 | More by OldRedLion
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours reddish brown with fast white foam. Quick dissolving. Bubbles active. Toffee forward nose, caramel. Light malt - watery. Feels kind of hollow, like some flavor profile is missing. Mild hop, little bite at the finish. Cloying. Had hoped for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 14:44:11 | More by KTCamm
Photo of paulytasker

New York

3.34/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had this while on my Honeymoon at the "world famous" Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, Alaska.

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Medium/light shade of amber. Decent amount of carbonation going on. Half finger of creamy head blanketing top go's away pretty quick. Nice Lacing hanging around almost all the way to the end of the glass.

S- Little bit of grain, little bit of caramel. Not too much to write home about, but what does make it's way to the nose is pleasant none the less.

T/M- Malty, smoth and creamy. Malts are kept in check with the slightest touch of hops. Finishes rather clean.

O- I would have liked a little more complexity here but i'm not going to complain. A better than average lager that drinks easily. Although not mind blowing by any means, I can't find anything i truly dislike with this Amber and that suites me just fine.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 00:53:54 | More by paulytasker
Photo of Scotchboy


3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip-shaped nonic...

A: Pours a clear amber with golden hues...minimal lacing...

S: Sweeter malt..caramel and toffee...fruity notes as well, possibly some yeast esters...caramel apples, other fruit as well.

T: Really follows the nose, not a big beer but the malt really stands out...there are some hints of spices, earthy hints of hops too but the light malty/caramel/fruitiness is dominant.

MF: Light to medium/light body...creamy notes, with lower carbonation.

O: Not a bad malty offering, there is a nice body of work with sweetness here.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 16:38:44 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of bondjedi


3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer never does it for me. It's well-made with good ingredients, and has some heft. Maybe it's TOO well-made, if that's possible. A tough beer to get sloshed on, though you might enjoy it with a big piece of beef. Maybe it's better coming from a tap...

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 02:32:07 | More by bondjedi
Photo of MouthfulOfchris


3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark amber color with deep copper hints. The head is off-white and medium thickness when first poured. It soon dissipates to a thin covering with poor retention.

S- Caramel malts dominate everything though there are some light fruit like aromas and a light grassy hops finish.

T- The taste is a little sweet up front with flavors of caramel, fruit, and grain. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. There's a mild hops presence that brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M- Smooth and crisp with medium body and clean finish though a little heavy on the carbonation for my liking.

D- A tasty beer that goes down very easily and is a solid good representation of style. This is a nice solid beer with a good amount of substance that makes it worth at least a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 22:49:02 | More by MouthfulOfchris
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Momar42 for the bottle! 12 oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a tawny copper color with good clarity, but quite a few yeast particles. The head is a one finger light mocha shade with decent enough retention.

S: Very caramel forward, almost to the point where it seemingly comes across as being chocolaty. Underneath the maltiness lies some fruity esters. A likable aroma, but not an amazing one.

T: Again, it's quite malty, with an almost chocolaty flavor profile at times. The caramel/chocolate maltiness gives way to a very plummy finish. Spots of milky lactose appear at times. It's not really complex, but it's surprisingly savorable for something that's so seemingly middle-of-the-road.

M: Not as drinkable as I'd like from a lower gravity selection - but on the opposite side of the coin, it's quite decadent feeling considering how 'small' it is. In layman's terms, it has a fairly heavy body. The carbonation is quite low for the style, which is honestly kind of refreshing in my mind.

O: I hear that this can be found in quite a few supermarkets in the West. All that does is make me wish I could find this in any ordinary gas station liquor store - I'd sure as shit pick this up over Fat Tire any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 21:32:39 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Altbiers' rich flavour is often attributed to a longer, colder fermentation period (lagering) but their deep, polished amber colour is result of nothing more than high-kilned malts (though clarity is admittedly the result of extended cold conditioning). Man, this beer is super handsome - it's the George Clooney of ambers (albeit without the great set of hair, it's bald atop).

The aroma, on the other hand, won't quite make anyone scream or faint, though this style boasts very few examples that could. Judging by colour and flavour it's obvious that a good amount of tasty malts were utilized so I'm at a loss as to why this doesn't have a little more aromatics. Surprisingly neutral, it takes a bit of swirling before opening up at all. Graininess dominates although a subtle sweetness is detected.

The best altbiers, like the best of every German lager style in existence, are characterized by an ultra-rich maltiness; Alaskan Amber may be a tax bracket or two beneath them. While it has a smooth, subtly sweet malt character with hints of toffee-nut brittle and tea biscuits, it doesn't offer the same degree of lip-licking gratification. As for quaffability, this is nonetheless a clean, quenching lager and as such is hard not to enjoy.

For something with this much caramelly colour, it is fairly bitter. While there's no tangible hop flavour and the beer weighs in at only 18 IBUs, bitterness can't seem to wait to find its way to the end of a sip; any malty remnants are quickly tossed out. The finish concludes with an abruptness akin to a theater flipping bright lights on before the credits even have a chance to start rolling (and then speeds them up once they do). Why so hasty?

The process necessary to make Alaskan Amber is part of the iceberg that people don’t see. A beer like this requires better ingredients, more patience, and a closer attention to detail. That being said, all those expenses don't exactly add up to a more unique (nor impressive) offering. Alaskan Amber is an altibier I was quick to drink, but won't be quick to drink again.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 21:55:01 | More by biegaman
Photo of Mosstrooper


3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Guinness branded tulip-style pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber color with a small, quickly dissipating orange-ish head that leaves behind only a hint of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel and citrus backed up by biscuit.

Taste: Begins with biscuity flavor that rounds out to sweet caramel, plum, apple. Finishes with just enough hop flavor to reveal some citrus and balance out the malt flavors with slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with balanced carbonation and a sticky finish in the throat.

Overall: A good beer that6 could make for excellent sessioning. Definitely worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 20:37:35 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of menkros


3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a 1 finger head that quickly dissipates. Little carbonation. Smells of light peach. Taste is smooth and easy going down. This is their flagship beer and to be honest, I’ve never been much of a fan. I’m going to skip the formalities since just about everyone has had it. I can never get much head on it like they have in the picture, but I’m guessing that was poured on tap. It’s too sweet for my liking, so in that way I think it’s more of an Amber than and Alt, but it definitely has some Alt characteristics. Alaskan brews a few great beers, but this isn’t one of them.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 14:55:37 | More by menkros
Photo of jimmah120


3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no date.

Look is brownish-amber, small head. Smell is sweet malts, dried apricots, and horse manure(!?). Taste is some roasty pale malts, freshly baked bread, tilled earth, dried apricots, hint of licorice and peppermint. Mostly though, it's bready barnyard malts/grain.

This is a different tasting beer, glad I tried it. That being said, I probably won't pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 11:19:45 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Knapp85


3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a clean looking brownish red color. The head on top was cream colored and soapy looking. The smell of the beer is basically all malt, not much in the way of hop aromas. The aromas of some grains and toast come through with some caramel also. The taste of the beer was sweet with a dull earthy bitterness in the finish. The caramel and toast notes balance out pretty well. The mouthfeel of the beer was drinkable, decent carbonation and medium bodied. Overall it's not a bad brew, happy I finally tried it.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 22:13:29 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Sept. 21, 2012 (purchased at a 7/11 in Mission Gorge (San Diego, Calif.) for a 6-pack price of $8.49 on Sept. 21, 2012). Less than a finger of head, that dissipated right away. Dark amber with off-white head. Bad retention all-around.

Smelled caramel, dark fruits, cherry, plum and nuts.

Tasted similar to the nose. Got malts, plum, dark fruits, caramel, light toffee, honey and nuts.

Medium body. Oily texture. Below-average carbonation. Slightly bitter finish.

Pretty much the definition of an average amber for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 04:49:58 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on my Alaskan airline flight on the way home to Seattle on 9.18.12.

A -Served a dark reddish amber with a smaller light tan head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Sweeter malts, bready, and some subtle hop resin.

T - Just like the nose, but much more distinct.

D - Good carbonation, and a medium, slightly bitter body.

O - The best of what was offered. Solid tasting Amber.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 22:34:57 | More by HuskyinPDX
Alaskan Amber from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,175 ratings.