James Squire Amber Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by doktorhops:
3.5/5 rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4
The James Squire bottle tells a story of a man that received a hundred lashes from a cat-o-nine tail because of his insubordinate and wanton lust to brew beer. This to me sums up Australian's well - so great is our thirst for the amber drop that we will gladly suffer punishment to brew the ultimate beverage.
Today's serving vessel is my trusty old clay chalice/tulip 450ml cup (from the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Pilsen). The amber ale itself was poured from a 345ml bottle.
A: Oh dear, I poured the beer before realised that I cannot see through lacquered clay... err, I'm sure the body would appear amber as advertised (actually it's more of a "caramel brown" - I've had this beer before). 2cm tan head that dissipates to a thin layer that leaves lacing in the chalice.
S: Nutty malts, followed by a woody fragrance with a hint of puke (not a good thing to have a hint of mind you).
T: This "ale" has a mild, slightly nutty flavour balanced with some sweet malts. The hop bitterness is slight, and doesn't spoil the aftertaste which is earthy followed by a sour note. I'm glad there's no taste of the 'puke' I noticed from the smell.
M: Here's my bugbear with this "ale" (and I'm using inverted commas for a reason) - this is no more an "ale" than my grandmother is a scuba diver, and it comes down to the carbonation for me - this "ale" is carbonated like a lager (which really p****s me off!). Unfortunately this is where Aussie brewers drop the ball over our English brethren. Points have been deducted.
D: So we've got an "Amber Ale" that isn't really "Amber" or an "Ale", but how does it stand on the drinkability front? Quite well actually. I could easily go through a 6er of these - there's very little confronting me. And that is the only thing holding this brew back - lack of complexity... apart from that - this is one drinkable beverage, worth a hundred lashes? Perhaps not, but otherwise enjoyable.
Food match: Roast chicken, leg of Lamb, Lyonnaise potatoes and light barbeque fare.
Serving type: bottle
01-18-2011 09:04:47 | More by doktorhops
More User Reviews:
3.74/5 rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
one of my staple aussie beers. one of my first loves as far as craft beer goes, and one of the only sweet beers I actually like. it pours a clear coppery red color, with a robust lace head just off white. aromatics of rich red malt, sweet caramel, and of all things roasted corn. its got that starchy sweetness and late summer vibe. the taste is malty of course, but its layered, with various sweets from honey to toffee to molasses each appearing and receding. not a whole lot of hops here, just some English bittering stuff towards the finish. the feel is great too, its clean for a sweeter beer, not a big long drying aftertaste but a short burst of fresh grains followed by basically nothing. unique in the beer world, especially in this style. good enough bubbles, hyper refreshing when ice cold, and one of the better james squire offerings. I cant tell you how many liters of this I consumed from 2007-2010! wish we could get this in the united states through commercial rather than subversive avenues.
Serving type: on-tap
10-15-2013 22:33:29 | More by StonedTrippin
United Kingdom (England)
2.84/5 rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
Coming in a 345ml bottle; BB 31/10/13, served cool in a short-stemmed goblet.
Appearance: it pours a bright reddish copper colour, rather than amber, coming with a thin layer of light-beige foamy head and rather lively carbonation.
Smell: syrupy-chestnutty and lubricating caramely on the nose, on top of sour-sweet prunes and lots of overripe fruit esters; given a good swirl, the ripe melon aroma comes to the fore, along with more estery elements, grassy hoppiness, and full-bodied honey-ish malts. Altogether the nose is a touch too sweet and estery at the expense of a balance.
Taste: quite fizzy on the entry, the thin-bodied foretaste is lubricating and caramely, featuring random flavours of brown prunes, licorice, and random nutty malts, then a rough mouthfeel of semi-acidic fruit esters and spicy bitterness catches up, rendering a rather rough, chewy and then sugary-slick finish with quite restrained bitterness.
Mouthfeel & Overall: the mouthfeel, as described above, is indeed not smooth and even rough, which is not helped by the sharp-ish carbonation which comes simply too much to pair with the boring flavour. At times, this medium-bodied beer tastes a bit green-ish to me, that the conditioning perhaps was shortened for unknown reasons.
Serving type: bottle
07-16-2013 17:55:32 | More by wl0307
3.45/5 rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
On tap at local in Berowra.
Interesting to review this as this was my first staple craft entry beer a few years ago. Didn't even know what it was style-wise then, but I did know I liked the taste.
Pours a deep copper rather than amber. One finger head stays and good sheet lace.
Smells of nothing really, even as it warms.
Taste is a 100% caramel malt bomb. Big, Big, mid palate balanced by moderate hop presence, not too earthy, not too lifted. Hint of honey sweetness. Quite big for an English Brown Ale.
Mouthfeel moderately carbonated, smooth, and medium to light weight.Pub-style in a word.
So, was it as good as I remembered? Well, yes except I had two and did not want a third, as a slight astringent note crept in. I also got a headache from hell after this and two Chancers.
Serving type: on-tap
10-25-2012 22:58:03 | More by heygeebee
James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.