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War Of 1812 Ale - Sackets Harbor Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
War Of 1812 AleWar Of 1812 Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 106
Avg: 3.38
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 1
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sackets Harbor Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-14-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 106
Photo of logicalparadox
4.31/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No idea why this beer isn't higher rated than it is.

Pours dark copper to mahogany, with a nice frothy head of at least two fingers. Head dissipates somewhat quickly but leaves a thin layer of suds.

The nose is dominated by malts. A very subtle rosti almost smokey quality is hidden behind layers of caramel, coffee, molasses, and that carmelized goodness that you get from anything that's been fried to the point where it's golden brown delicious. Very slight hop aromas are present but difficult to pull out. They offer light Herbal and bitter aromas that accent the malts nicely.

The flavors in this one mostly follow the nose, but to put it into synesthesia terms, the palette is perhaps best described as fall leaves. The cell carries most of the best qualities of an amber and a brown ale, while evoking some traits of an English bitter, all without being overly complex. Easy drinking fun. Would say crowd pleaser, but ratings from community don't seem to agree.

The mouthfeel is medium light, almost ... Crunchy... if I can say that without having someone question my sobriety!

I really enjoyed this brew the first time I had it and its only grown on me since then. I could imagine this beer, perhaps served warm, being the all day everyday beverage of soldiers on the front lines at the Battle of New Orleans.

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Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is a tawny dark red-brown color, some light coming through for an overall effect of translucence. The tan head starts off big, a mix of foamy and spritzy, which condenses for a strong full finger and sticks down good lace.
The aroma is somewhat nutty and earthy with some fruity esters and a fairly strong tang.
That nutty tang carries through in the flavor. It's sharp to the point of almost being sour, and there's some bitterness from earthy and herbal hops.
The feel is crisp and biting, medium dry with a fair smoothness that could use just a bit of cleaning up.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a not quite amber pale ale. pours as average as can be, clear golden with only a hint of red color to it, small head. smells malty and boring, and the taste is similar, but with some sort of sour finish, almost like a weaker version of a flemish sour at the end. not unpleasant at all, but it doesnt belong in this beer. its got decent drinkability but it isnt exciting enough for me to want to drink all night.

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Photo of mayorwalda
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the good ol' War of 1812... in the form of an amber ale? Sounds like a good time.

From the pour of theis amber ale you actually get an off-amber color, it's a little more yellow or gold than your typical amber or red ale; but all's well in the aroma department as this beer gives off the fragrant maltiness you expect from any malt-centric style.

The head's about a finger or so with a vigorous pour and , leaves just about nothing for lacing. The carbonation of this beer, too, is a bit dull, but I find in a malt focused beer, carbonation can keep you from experiencing the true smoothness of the malt selection, so perhaps this is intentional--if not just beneficial.

Upon the first sip, you can taste, of course, a lot of sweeter, caramel malts with too, a bit of some darker roasted malts and an array of fruitiness I can't quite put my finger on (I want to say mango, but that can't be right...) as well as some vanilla and a general nuttiness. There is also a little bit of an alcohol taste which balances out some of the between-sip sweetness.

I am not usually too big a fan of amber ale's but this one drinks pretty well and has a nice balance of sweetness and heartiness, which makes it stand out from some of the other red ales that have become more mainstream (Killians for a good example).

A: This amber ale is actually not quite amber, but I don't hold it against it!
S: You got some real red/amber ale aromas here! Malty, fruit, nut, more malt--great amber ale stuff here.
T: I find this to be a well balanced amber ale, where I find others to be either too sweet or centered on just one facet of it's flavor this seems to embrace all of its different flavors.
M: This brew has a medium body and mouthfeel with a surprising creaminess which helps you taste some of the more subtle fruit flavors hidden away in this beer's complexity.
O: I would recommend this as a good session amber ale that is well balanced and equally complex. Sacket's Harbor's brewers have done the War of 1812 justice (in an odd way, no doubt) I'd say!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was given to me as a birthday gift from my parents. They tried finding me something that I've never had before and they did with beer. Had my first one of the 6 pack last night. The beer poured out as a amberish orange color. The head was thin white and fizzy. The retention wasn't the greatest or anything and neither was the lacing. The smell of the beer has a grainy sweetness to it. The taste of the beer is also a little sweet up front and remains that way for more of the time I was drinking it. The bitterness isn't very strong on this one. The mouthfeel of the beer was on the light side, kind of watery, overall it's a drinkable brew but I don't see myself buying more of this once I'm out of it.

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Photo of Swedes21
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Auburn, one finger head, min lacing, no carbonation

Smell - Malts, caramel, black lycorise

Taste - Dry, toffee, caramel

Mouthfeel - Added volume, metallic all very distinct in the taste.

Overall - not a beer id run out and buy a case of, but as the beer got down in the class, i found myself enjoying it more and more. great share with SpinRSX!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size frothy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, toffee, licorice

Taste & Mouth - There is a slightly below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with toffee. There is also a very distinctive flavour in this beer.. perhaps licorice. It finishes with a malty toffee aftertaste.

Overall - At first I wasn't crazy about the taste but it grew on me and I progressed through the glass. At least it's a little different than most of the amber beers out there. I'm not sure I could drink more than a 1 or 2 in a sitting though. Thanks for the bottle Swedes21

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Photo of DrewV
1.93/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

In order to not subject myself to another bottle of this stuff, I'm reviewing this from memory. Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Bought as a 2-for-1 6-pack deal for 9 bucks. Figured it was "cheap stock" for when friends come over.

A: Darkish amber, one-finger cream-colored head that dissipates quickly.

S: Sweet malts, not much hop aroma. Some diacetyl? Almost syrupy.

T: Pretty much like the smell -- syrupy, buttery malts. Some diacetyl. Can be cloying. Nothing good here, not even a nice hop bite to clear the palate at the finish.

M: Moderate-high carbonation. Doesn't help the taste at all. Aftertaste is present and simply builds into the next sip.

O: Not a good beer overall, nor is it a good representation of the style. The best that can be said is that it may possibly be a very small step up from the BMC mainstream beers. On the other hand, maybe just different, not necessarily better.

Every chance I get, I try to pawn this off on visitors. Most of them are BMC fans, so they're not overly offended by this stuff. But certainly nothing I'm looking to try again.

EDIT: After posting this review, I scanned through the other user reviews and it seems like my memory was pretty accurate. Nothing totally offensive with this beer, but it's just nothing I care to subject my taste buds to again.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.44/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

War of 1812 amber has a translucent, light brown body with basically no head.

The aroma has lightly toasted malt and a hint of hops to it.

1812 is a little bit off. The toasted malts come back with a bit of light sweetness, but a moderate amount of sourness accompanies it. Just a hint of hops in the back-end, but the flavor is rather muted.

Mouthfeel could use a little bit more carbonation, but the beer isn't flat or anything.

All things considered, I don't know if I will be trying 1812 again or not.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the fridge into a pint glass.

pours out a clear deep golden amber color with a small one finger of fizzy white head that faded almost instantly to nothing.

lack of aroma. some buttery diacytol, biscuity malt. very faint herbal, grassy hops.

in the taste, toasty biscuity malt, some buttery diacytol, some fruitiness. grassy, herbal hops balance things out a bit. some lingering bitterness.

light body, just a touch on the watery side. carbonation is a bit overdone as well.

a drinkable beer for sure. although its a pretty one dimensional brew, it doesnt taste nasty and its very cheap which makes it a nice session choice. these were buy one get one for 8$ for awhile at my local store.

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.12/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

War of 1812 Ale...in a bottle.

Appearance-a light amber red, frothy head at first but it doesn't linger long and falls away.

Smell-not that aromatic, what I did get was a mix of light malt, spice, alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel-again very light. light body, light taste, muddled and syrupy and finishes very clean.

Drinkability-nothing memorable.

Overall-not very enjoyable, didn't hit any notes, seemed rushed, flavors didn't work and melded together. Not recommended.

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Photo of lovindahops
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear amber with a light head that barely survives the poor. Not for much lacing. Moderate carbonation

S- a moderate malty apple cider type smell. It's actually strong throughout the process

T- same theme with the cider concept. The malt decorates the substance of the brew. Meanwhile the sweets participates in a concoction of complimenting the brew. Truly a sweet amber

M- a little too syrupy for me... however the flavor does deliver substance

D- you can slam this no question. A good amber ale with local ties. I can drink a ton

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a think clear brownish with a decent head. The aroma is roasted malty, but a bit of solvent is in there. The flavor is very thin and light, mostly malt with just the faintest whiff of flowery hops. The finish is rather sour and the mouthfeel is flat and chalky.

It is good on tap in the brewery, but nothing to sing folksongs about in the bottle.

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Photo of soju6
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a nice amber color with a head that fades quickly to nominal lacing.

S: Malt and caramel sweetness aroma.

T: Taste of malt with a light sweetness and mild bitterness. Dry finish.

F: Fairly light body, smooth, nice balance.

D: Nice beer, seem to compliment food. good for a couple.

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Photo of mash4077
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark amber, almost red. Almost no head.

S- Wow, intense caramel smell upfront. Sweet and dark, malts are almost overpowering. Very simple.

T- Brighter in the taste, the carmel flavor calms down a bit. Very light hoppiness, almost completely hidden. Simple like the smell. Caramel comes back again in the aftertaste.

M- A light creaminess, carbonation isn't great.

D- Very drinkable, probably the best aspect of it.

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Photo of smcolw
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Starts with a single finger head which settles to less than single bubble layer. Amber color and clear.

Fairly mild aroma of brown sugar-like malt.

Sweet molasses flavor that gives it a rich body with a below average level of carbonation. I can't detect any hop, which would surely improve the flavor here.

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Photo of LLENROC
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this beer on tap at Kilpatrick's Publick House in Ithaca, NY. Since then I have been buying it by the case. A great beer for sheer drinking pleasure and boy can you drink plenty of these in one sitting. It's has good flavor and goes down smooth. Unfortunately for me they are not available in my region. One weakness to this beer is the lack of mouth feel.

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Photo of billab914
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured fro ma 12oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. pours amber in color with a small white covering that quickly disappeared. Not much lacing on the glass.

Aroma is crisp and slightly sweet with some caramel malts. Taste is sweet with toasted and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK. it's fairly light and easy enough to drink. Overall it was OK, nothing special and pretty average.

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Photo of bilyboy65
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a good amber. Good color to fit the style. Not a lot of head though. Nutty malts with some light hops in the background to round it out. A little sweet as well, but I think its from the malts. Light bodied ale makes this very drinkable. Nothing to shock the taste buds. Would consider this a very good session ale. Something that is easy to drink with enough flavor to keep you entertained for a few pours.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
2.89/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm always looking for a great amber. This one wasn't it.
Appearance is that of a Pale Ale; no darker. Medium head.
Aroma is very malty, flavor is much the same, toasted malts but with some powerful butterscotch and anise flavors that get in the way. I assume they're byproducts of whatever strain of yeast is used, but they're out of control. Hops are a non-factor.
Feel is average. Medium to light body.
It's not undrinkable, but it's too sweet and the off-flavors will not be denied your attention. I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass. Pours clear amber red with a thin white head that dissipates.

Aroma is mild with hint of malt. Taste is mildly malty with a bit of hops, fairly well balanced. Nothing overly special, but easy drinking. A bit dry in the finnish.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear amber color with a slight white head that sticks around for a bit.

S: Sweet malts with pine hints and a touch of fruit. Nice.

T: Slightly sweet and toasted malts make up the body. Finishes with a dry biscuit flavor.

D: Not a bad brew, just a tad on the boring side.

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Photo of caddybuyer
2.53/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney Orlando

A-Amber nut brown with a virtually non existant head.

S-slight caramel malts and little else.

T-Caramel malts continue but there is little else going on here. Quenches the thirst, and that is about it.

M-slightly over carbonated and thin. A good alternative to soda.

D-Thank you...I'll pass, and I ordered something different.


If you call yourself the "War of 1812" live up to it. This was a wimpy brew unworthy of the name.

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Photo of nick76
2.48/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The aroma is papery and grainy with dust, grass, and brown sugar. The appearance is amber gold with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin and the finish bitter. This is not a good beer. There is a likable maltiness but there are a lot of off flavors in it as well.

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Photo of yesyouam
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[On tap at MacGregor's in Penfield, NY] Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Ale is an amber ale with a thin, dense, splotchy white head that soon fades. The aroma is faint, slightly sweet and slightly roasty. It has a medium light body and it's reasonably smooth. The flavor is faint and a little sour. It's not very bitter and a bit wooden tasting. Overall, it's a pretty unoffensive beer.
(rated Jun 23, 2008)

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War Of 1812 Ale from Sackets Harbor Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.