James Squire Amber Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire Amber AleJames Squire Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

109 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 72
Photo of Stew41
2.4/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Attractive toffee - caramel hues. Slightly stale malts on the nose and a little pongy - not unpleasant. A bit staid in the mouth like the most of the range. Malts are a bit metallic and hollow, and the staleness pops up again. Finishes a touch bland.

Photo of warmstorage
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

AU$5.50 schooner (~425ml, I believe?) had both on tap at several Sydney pubs, a couple of Victoria pubs, and a pub in the Sydney airport (when they were out of the James Squire Porter.) That my various tastings of this beer included my last Australian beer, after a month of drinking in the country, seems fitting: it's one of the better things on offer, and it's pretty lame.

Notes below were an amalgam of two separate tastings and ratings, though all five or six times I drank this beer my impressions were the same: I disliked it quite a bit, though not as much as whatever else was available in each (next) place along the way.

Bright copper to orange color, visible rising bubbles and average to slightly vigorous tight white head. Schooners, incidentally, are a pretty ridiculous glass for aroma, head, and taste, for most beer.

Nose is fruity and sweet, and a good head is held, with the beer consistently served WAY TOO DAMN COLD. Jesus: it's an airport, it's temperature controlled, and they still serve the beer around 42-44*F. After one taste, I read my book while it sat for about 10 minutes to warm. It was just a little below cellar temp when I rated and made notes.

Taste is significantly sweet, fruity, with hints of apricot (reminded me of Magic Hat #9 or Dogfish Head Aprihop.) Oddly sweet, and totally inappropriately so for the style (whether that's Amber or EPA), bordering on sickly sweet.

The taste lingers briefly, with slightly harsh malt flavors and more sickly sweet fruitiness.

Pretty poor: and that it's one of the better offerings in the country says a lot.

Photo of winomark
2.63/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium amber with a generous, sticky light tan head.

Slight estery tones noticable from a distance. Hops are muted, along with the malt. Overall, quite mild.

Slightly sweet palate. Reminds me slightly of Newcastle Brown. Hops ae present, but buried. Slightly tannic and dry finish.

Very mild mouth, with some flavor, but not too exciting. Short, tannic finish.

An easy drinker, but nothing special by any means. No need to search for this one.

Photo of cokes
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
2.81/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bristol farms had this in their limited stock of beer. Comes in a brown bottle with alot of extra small writing on the label, very vintage or old ale looking bottle. Sticky head leaves a massive blanket covering. Highly filtered and ultra carb'd.

Caramel, some grassy hop background. Mellow and subtle.

I would say overall the mix is pleasant. Malt profile, while light, has enough to keep it somewhat interesting. Hops almost come through with less bitter and more of a flash of dry zip in the middle of each pull. Tends to be a bit more watered than I would like. Its a decent beer but its run of the mill to below average.

Photo of wl0307
2.86/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Photo of davidfoley
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Copper, Amber colour. Light carbonation. Zero head retention. Great clarity

Smell - Light hop, dark fruits, cherry and plumb

Taste - Light hop & malt, dark fruit, woody, flavour with slight dryness. Bitter finish

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation, medium body

Drinkability - Light beer properly carbonated, drinkable

Overall - Better that the other James Squire beers, however still not one I would return to. Generic beer with little character

Printed on the side of the bottle :
Hand-crafted with Pale & Crystal malts & distinctive hops for a long, slightly nutty finish, this Ale writes another page in the glorious & enigmatic life of James Squire

Photo of WoodBrew
3.01/5  rDev -13.5%
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!!!

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not a great beer, but it's a lot better than many of the beers you will find in pubs. It pours, not suprisingly, an amber colour with a decent enough head. Faint hop smells are grassy, but something in the malts just tastes a little off to me. My wife likes it well enough, but this is a bit so-so for my tastes and I'd rather have just about any other James Squire beer.

Photo of machalel
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice and deep red-amber colour. Reasonable amount of white head (2 cm) which disappears a little too fast. Small amount of lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Subdued caramel, toffee, and malt. Not a lot here to write about, as each time I have tried this beer it has had a literal lack of smell.

Taste: Malt and toffee, a little bit of zest and fruit. Enough bitters to balance the malt, but still on the mild side.

Mouthfeel: A bit too carbonated, as it detracts a bit from the flavours, but otherwise acceptable.

Drinkability: Quite easy to drink, and one that I could (and do) have regularly. That being said, it's not a beer to savour or to think too much about. It's a nice BBQ lunch beer, where your mind is on other things.

Photo of RBorsato
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper with a light amber hue and a huge pillowy creamy tan head. Also leaves good lace. Spicy malt aroma and flavor (more cinnamon like when it is fresh). Little to no hop character. Medium bodied, rich and creamy.

Something about this beer just did not add up right for me.

[5% abv per bottle]

Photo of BeerNutta
3.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark amber colour. Had a distinct hoppy aroma with a fruitty aftertone. Smooth malt flavour with a sweet fruity middle followed by a dry hop finish.

Not overly carbonated, however was pretty expensive in Australia for an Australian beer. Not the first beer I'd think of if I wanted a few on a hot summers day. Refreshing none the less.

Photo of soju6
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Portland Brewhouse.

A: Served a dark copper color with a decent head that fades to good lacing.

S: Aroma of mild citrus with a bit of malt sweetness.

T: Taste similar to aroma with a bit of citrus with an easy malt sweetness. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body and quite smooth.

O: Decent drinker, seems to go best with food as it is a bit bland.

Photo of Weizenmensch
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of mynie
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours really pretty. Ruby red with a nice little head.

Weak odor of caramel malt and over ripe fruit. I thought this might be old, but the guy at the store said it just came in last week. Maybe it was a long trip up here?

Nice malt upfront, fruit in the middle, and a spoilt, rotty malt finish. Ups and downs, right here.

This is definetely old, but I don't think it should be exempt from a review because of it since "Old" is the only way us Americans get to sample this beer. Despite its advanced age it's still okay tasting and quite drinkable, but the folks at Malt Shovel should really work on getting their beer to the states faster.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of drtth
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review based upon notes taken during a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear bright reddish copper color with a 1" white head that recedes slowly. Sipping leaves some modest lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by the biscuity toasted malts and has some earthy herbal hops in the background. The malts also contribute a touch of caramel and the hops seem to add a lightly floral character as well.

Taste: The flavors include the sweet malt backbone with its hints of caramel. The hops well in the background here but definitely show some earthy, floral and herbal notes.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied with unimpressive carbonation. The finish is medium to short in length and does have a touch of spicy dryness from the hops as it tapers off.

Drinkability: This was easy enough to drink, but did not stand out in any obvious way. I could drink a second but probably won't.

Photo of ADZA
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one beer that ive had many times before but not for a while and a mate popped around with a sixer so thought id give a review,it pours a see through light amber hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head and some nice lacing,im not impressed by this aroma of sweet malts and grains with the feinest of hints of herbal hops,the mouthfeel is very average and definately lacks the body that i like in a good old fashioned EBA and the taste is only just above average with hints of brown sugar,very i mean very light herbal hops and it finishes with a nutty,caramel finish,overall this brew is not how i remember it i mean i dont know if they have changed the recipie or my palette has changed but its definately not a beer that i would go out and buy but in saying that id prefer this on tap then the other macrobrews on offer at most non-micro pubs as usually the james squire range is sometimes the only other option and i do thank them for that.

Photo of misterscooter
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beautiful Red ale with an amber tint to it. About a finger of head that is a nice white.

Apple smell, a little woody, but sweet.

A little tingle in the mouthfeel, not too much carbonation. Some apple sweetness in the taste with a cocoa malt. Dry after swallowing, especially on the roof of your mouth. Some cinnamon flavoring in the aftertaste.

Not bad but maybe a little dryer than I'd like for an amber.

Photo of Act25
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Just off the plane in Sydney, after walking the city and buying gifts for the family, I'm ready to check in my hotel and while I wait, after many excellent macchiatos around town, a brown amber ale.

A: Poured a dark cloudy amber. A tad thin, short lived copper head, but unlike other reviewers, not much of a head or lacing.

S: Classic English Brown Ale profile, with malt, a bit medicinal, caramel. Too faint.

T: Best part of the beer, more sweet than bitter. A bit thin, but only a little hop. Pleasant but watery, and this is not my style. Never had one I liked.

F: Not a bad finish, good with pub food, and still too malty for me, modest carbonation and a nice crispness in the finish.

O: Better than fosters, this James Squire is the patriot, original convict brewer of AUS. One must try 1, but then move on.

Photo of heygeebee
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of jjkatter
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a goblet... This beer differs from the one pictured in that it is branded "Nine Tales" and illustrating a top hat with a card with the number 9 on it.

A- deep amber in color. No head to review.

S- tried and tried and just couldn't smell much.

T- much better than anticipated. Nice floral malt front to it with a bit of a salty finish. Still, not half bad.

MF- nice effervescence and good balance.

O- yea, I'd drink another of these.

Photo of jarmby1711
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring deep red/bronze capped with a cloud like off white headthis is a sweet smelly malty ale.
The malt predominates the foretaste which is sson consumed by a crisp hop finish that starts nicely but fails to develop any aftertaste.
Its a very pleasant beer but the finish disappoints after the wonderful start.
Label/8/10

Photo of GClarkage
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/01/04-Purchased at Trader Joes San Mateo

Apperance: Poured a dark amber color. A tad cloudy, but a nice billowy creamy head. Very nice lacing

Smell: Smelled a bit medicinal. Other than that, a bit of caramel, a bit malt. Not too much scent.

Taste: A bit thin, but the hop flavor is there along with the sweetness of caramel. A bit dry on the finish. A good taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation and a nice crispness

Drinkablity: Overall a pretty decent beer. A good flavor that goes down pretty easy. Not one of my favorites, but not bad. I think this is my first beer from down under. Well, besides Fosters.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.