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James Squire Amber Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire Amber AleJames Squire Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ColSanders123:
Photo of ColSanders123
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

ColSanders123, Feb 11, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Weizenmensch
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

James Squire Original Amber Ale, 345mL brown bottle with "Malt Shovel Brewery" embossed on the neck, best before 19/2/06.

Appearance: Not really amber, much darker than that, more like rusty dark orange/tangerine with some ruby colour. Head dissipates reasonably quickly, leaving a skin of lacing around the glass. Low carbonation.

Smell: Grain, an unusual rusty blood smell, some slightly citric hops. For the style, there could be a whole lot more hop aroma than there is. I like a good fruity hop smell, and this certainly doesn't have it. But the mild scent it gives off isn't bad.

Taste: Satisfying, especially since I've been drinking much sweeter beers recently. Dry and bitter but with a complex, lingering mixture of tastes on the palate. Fairly watery and fizzy on the tongue, so hard to tell what's there, but nice hops, vanilla, maybe stone fruit (apricot) on the palate. Enjoyable, though not that special for the style, particularly since this tastes so watery (probably one reason it's become so popular in Australia, despite its colour).

Mouthfeel: Not so great, watery and bubbly on the tongue. A thin feel also.

Drinkability: Good, especially for a reasonably flavoursome ale in the hot weather. Can be consumed cold without losing too much detail. I'm really glad we've got this as a mainstream beer now, it's infinitely better than the other options - New, VB, Hahn, soapy Old - and it's available in RSL clubs etc now, so it's the same price there as any other tap beer. Good stuff. As a standard (non-premium), it sets a good standard for Aussie beer.

Weizenmensch, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle picked up at a Canberra supermarket.

Poured into a small tumbler glass. A nice amber-copper hue, good colour, about a half inch of white head, survives as a thick ring with some flecks of lacing. Not bad.

Nose is caramel, toffee, light hopping.

Begins with a sweet malt character, a little bit of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, before finishing with a slightly metallic, tart, lemony taste that doesn't quite work. Still, goes down fairly well and has some nice things going for it.

Carbonation is quite aggressive, doesn't really fit. I agree with a previous poster, it reminds me of a red lager in this respect. Slick, thin bodied. The finish is long and a bit metallic.

A decent amber ale, certainly drinkable and worth trying, but nothing fantastic. Needs a bit of work on the hoppage to really finish well.

JohnnyBarman, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich and vibrant deep copper color with a rocky cream-colored head that semi-laced the glass (I think my beer glass wasn't 100% clean)

You can really taste the malts in this beer. The malt flavor strongly asserts itself and has a "sweetness" to it. There is the hop influence that hides discreetly in the background...it balances the sweetness to some extent. Full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel that was very easy to drink. One of the best ambers I have tried in a long time.

Unfortunately, it appears that a sample of this from the tap is the way to go. Barring any trips to Australia, I won't be able to fully enjoy what this beer has to offer. Still, I'll keep a bottle or two in the fridge.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 15, 2003
Photo of Dinkel
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Dinkel, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of rastaman
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer, but perhaps a bit edgy and thin at times, great on tap though, not so good out of the bottle, i can dig this stuff.

rastaman, Feb 18, 2002
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a short nonic)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear warm brown body with a swirling of microbubbles racing to the surface. There is a creamy beige head that stick to the glass with each sip.

S- The fresh sweet biscuit malt aroma has a lighter caramel malt aroma underneath and a berry quality to the malt that grows as the beer warms.

T- There is a soft fruity sweet perfume quality to the dry biscuit malt flavor and a dry toasted malt flavor follows that. There finish is a soft green hint that has a hint of hops quality. As the beer warms there is a stronger field corn sulfury note that comes though the malt flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizzy in the finish.

D- This beer has some nice malt flavors but there is some odd characteristics to them like the berry aroma and the perfumy quality in the taste.

rhoadsrage, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Anonmatel
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like all of James Squire beers, it's far far better out of the tap than out of the bottle. Nutty, Citrus, Grassy characters, You can certainly taste the Alcohol in it, but for this beers it's quite refreshing.
A great session beer.

Anonmatel, Jun 25, 2002
Photo of cokes
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ruby-traced amber with a thin heading of bleached tan.
Nose of rusted tin, tart apples, raisins, and dabs of caramel.
Begin with green raisins. There's a slight toastedness that follows. Circles back towards green fruit, this time with apples. Notable cola-like sweetness. Maltiness is pretty minimal. Yeast adds a strange sense of rusty butter. Unique strand, sort of mimicking ringwood, but not nearly as intense. Ends with very little hop related traits, aside from a dryness that seems mostly derived from the carbonation.
Thin bodied with uppity carbonation. This seems like a undistinguishable Sammy Smith brew cut 30/70 with a macro...or just seltzer water.

cokes, Aug 23, 2004
Photo of WoodBrew
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G'day Mate! Let's throw another beer down the gullet!!!! What can be said about James Squire's Amber Ale...well....its a a solid beer, very enjoyable. There is now alot going on with the beer...it's just solid. The color is a darker amber, decent head with lacing present. No much to smell, but the taste is well balanced by malt, caramel, and a wee roast. Not solid beer to enjoy during your next session of chasin the Sheilas!!!

WoodBrew, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of Vanz
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Vanz, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber. Half inch of white head fades to a thin covering.
Aroma is mostly sweet dark/toasted malt, with some thin hops in the background.
Very similar malty flavour, with some grassy hops kicking in later followed by a short-lived bitterness. Yalnikim is right about the slight coca-cola similarity.
Good carbonation and body.
A bit thin for my liking, but very easy drinking all the same.

CrazyDavros, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber bedecked with a thick tan head with lots of haphazard lace on the side of the glass.
Aroma is sweet caramel, hint of grass and a sort of cinnamon hop note, very odd to my nose.
Flavor is sweet malt with a citrus fruit hint in the background. This transitions into hoppy finish that is bitter but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is smooth to start and then dries out into a medium-bitter finish, overall fairly soft on the palate.
Drinkability is very high, good have had definitely had another.

CRJMellor, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of BeerSingh
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was briefly available on the shelves here, but I guess was taken off as soon as the batch expired. I had bought a mixed case of the Amber and Golden, plus 6 each of Hahn and James Boag lager. The amber was poured into a Stella glass with enough aggression to create an inch of off white, sudsy head that settled into a fine collar within a minute. The beer itself was a deep copper - amber hued, with plenty carbonation. Decent so far. The nose was pretty muted - faint malt, a little caramel with slight graininess. The beer may have been a tad cold, but the nose was definitely stunted and shortlived.
The taste was far better than the nose, with the malt and caramel - toffee character making their presence felt. It definitely tasted like a sweet lager, like a bock. There was slight hop bitterness and a fruitiness to finish with. The palate was left moist, and the above average carbonation made the mouthfeel a little livelier than chewy, although it could have been more than required. Overall, a decent beer and can be had all year round with ease, but no need to go looking out for it.

BeerSingh, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber-copper with a nice, off-white, 1" head. Aroma is a nicely balanced malty, roasy, slightly sweet (brown sugar) with a light hop profile. Flavor is sweet candy sugar, with a light sense of dates and figs. Not bad, but sweetness is too strong- overpowers everything else. Mouthfeel is creamy, not heavy, not exciting. Overall a nice brew with good drinkability, but nothing to get too excited over.

Dukeofearl, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of Kroehny_Loves_Hops
2/5  rDev -42.2%

Kroehny_Loves_Hops, May 27, 2014
Photo of LathouXaris
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

LathouXaris, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

BrazilianAussie, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the 12 ounce brown bottle a somewhat hazy burnished copper color with the head modest in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a winsome light tan, as it slowly sinks into the sunset the lace forms a sealing curtain upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt with hints of caramel, slightly hint of yeast, quite crisp and clean to the senses. Start is sweet and nicely malted, the top is middling in its feel to the palate, finish has a brisk acidity and the hops personable in their spiciness, a nice drinking beer and one I’ve not had for 3 or 4 years, wish I had better access to it.

Gusler, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of foles
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty solid ale - it has the characteristics of an english ale, but scaled right down to suit the average aussie drinker who may not be familiar with the style. Subtle english noble hop presence, with a possibly excessive caramel backbone. Somewhat watery and lacking body, but this doesnt detract too much from the overall product.

Was well served with a decent head and looked impressive with the coppery transparent hue.

Not too bad. Seems better on draught than in the bottle in my opinion.

foles, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of eric5bellies
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on tap at the Palace, Kalgoorlie.

A - Nice dark amber colour with an off white head that dies pretty quickly.

S - Not much by the way of aromas.

T - Slighly sweet citrus notes and some caramel.

M - Medium body an low carbonation.

D - MAkes a decent winter session beer.

eric5bellies, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Jake321
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Jake321, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of rec
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I can't get my hands on a Belgian beer, this is what I'm drinking. You're right, it's not a lot like a Belgian ale, but has a strikingly strong and full flavour which I've really grown to appreciate.

It reeks of malt and hops; you can almost taste it before taking a sip. Like the Golden Ale, it screams boutique, and is perfect for changing things up but definately not a session beer as the taste can become tiresome after a few.

It's quite complex but well-rounded. You'll taste nuts, fruit and florals. Served cold it's quite refreshing, but for the best flavour having it served a bit warmer than most pubs have it on tabe would be recommended.

I'd almost say it's my favourite Australian beer, if only I didn't get sick of the taste after so few at a time.

rec, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of NeoClassicist
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

NeoClassicist, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -13.3%

pin, Jul 04, 2012
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James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.