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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
80
good

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:
Photo of Bitterbill
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle(room temp) a hazy amber with a large head of foam that dissipated fairly quickly leaving 1 large clump and a fine layer.

The smell is quite nice with a mix of malt and hops

The taste was very smooth with nice balance between the hop bitterness and the sweetness from the malt. I also sensed nutty and vanilla tones and they helped make this beer quite drinkable.

Bottom line: This is a good amber ale. One I'd buy again.

Bitterbill, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of hero27
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.65 oz bottle. Listed 5% abv.

Mostly clear burnt copper color, with some small yeast particles minding their own business. The head doesn't hold well and it's a bit too oily to leave any lacing behind. Toffee malt aroma and flavor..pretty thick flavor, actually. A bit on the thin side, and too damn expensive for what you get..but not a bad offering out of the land-down-under.

hero27, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

DogFood11, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

DaveFL1976, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of Finite
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer does everything it says on the bottle which I find very admirable for a beer these days.

Pours nice red amber with moderate carbonization and a thick head which lasts the entirety of the beer leaving a think white lacing down the glass. Perfect.

Smells of fruity nuts with a smooth malt and a hint of bitter hops in the background, perhaps a touch bitter but again, just does what the label says.

Taste is sweet with moderate to small amounts of malt immediately, that doesn’t last long and I would mind if that dragged on a touch longer. Sweet malts are present in the background and some sweet earthy nutty flavors, perhaps dried banana or macadamia? Finished with a bitter late after taste which lasts a long time. If you let that flavor last, some sweetness come back as well yet retains some coarseness on the palate.

It a good mix between malt ale and refreshing bitter hops. The mix is slightly watery however which makes it probably more a summer ale. With its availability so high in Australia I will try this number again. Not bad at all for a mainstream beer.

Finite, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

misterscooter, Oct 23, 2005
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 mynie
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

mynie, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of jarmby1711
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
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

jarmby1711, Jun 27, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
3.2/5  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.

BeerNutta, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

GClarkage, Nov 01, 2004
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 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 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 winomark
2.63/5  rDev -24%
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.

winomark, Feb 22, 2004
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 Zorro
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown red ale. WAY darker than Amber.

Smells very malty and fruity, has a nice perfume for the nose.

Taste is mild; there is lots of malt and flowery tastes. Reminds me of Young’s Dirty Dick Ale. There is a mild hops bite in the finish. Well Balanced, I like harsher stuff but this is indeed tasty.

Mouthfeel is very good, boosted by the carbonation.

Very drinkable, If I had to pick a beer I like and something that Budweiser drinkers could tolerate this would be a good choice.

Zorro, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of diablo14
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

took me a while to warm up to this one, but once i did i found it hard to stop buying 6 packs. then i had it on tap. that cemented it for me. the j.s amber is easily one of the best warm weather session beers going around in oz if you want something with a touch of class.

color is a very strong copper color with a light foamy head that stays a fair bit better than it does on some of their others (from the keg no problems with retention at all). sweet nutty caramel like nose with some flowery hops, tastes alot like a brown ale, but less sweet, with subtle malts, caramel tinges and a nutty finish supported with a drawn out but gentle hop bitterness. not too complex or robust, but impressive presentation of flavors. quite light in body and rather carbonated for the style, but this serves to make it very drinkable indeed. never have any problem getting this down.

infinately better on tap than from the bottle, either way you cant get better for the price. more consistant than the other standard j.s brews when in the bottle also. a real thirst quencher from jimmy here.

diablo14, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of koolk
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely amber red colour with a slight head and low to medium carbonation.

Light nose of floral hops and a hint of malty sweetness.

Palate is great. Soft, round, rich and very full flavoured. A nice and deep malty flavour with a good dose of floral hops that is a really enjoyable beer in the summer time.

Finally, a reason to go into a Tooheys pub.

koolk, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of joecast
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours with a thick creamy head, looked great in the glass but it didnt last long. nice copper/amber color.

sweet malty flavour. a smooth and easy drinking beer. i have been waiting to review a good "session" beer and i think this is it. very easy to get through two or three before you even know it.

the more i drink it, the more i like it. very nice, full malt flavour that doesnt whack you over the head

joecast, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber color, small head. A medium bodied amber ale. Nicely malty and slightly hoppy. A mild yet full flavored ale. Rich, smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter. Nice beer. Flavorful, light and refreshing.

beerguy101, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of ALEBOY
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice amber, like all the James squires it seems to be dumbed down for the Australian public, but it is still a nice beer.
Lovely dark copper brown colour with a strong nose of malt. Hop involvement is a bit lower than I would like, main flavours are nutty caramel malt tones. The body is perhaps a little thin for this style, but, it certainly is easy to drink.

ALEBOY, Aug 02, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a 345ml, 11.65 fl.oz brown glass bottle and listed as 5.0%ABV. It has quite the essay about the Brewery, started by a thieving highwayman that my Limey predecessors posted down under as penance for his crimes. It seems like he got quite the deal in the end. Labeled as ‘James Squire Original Amber Ale’.

Appearance: Clear Amber that has a gorgeous russet copper sunset body. Massive cream colored head when first poured that settles to a more manageable collar like head after a short time. Excellent inherent carbonation when swirled.

Nose: Not bad actually, after the disappointing JS Pilsener, it was a nice surprise. Malty and with some slight toffee and caramel hints. Just above average.

Taste: Malts lead the way here, mixed with toffee, caramel and some light grain. A really nice, malt-dominant, drinking beer, although I do detect hops, at least there in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very good, solid “bouncy” type of beer with plenty of dissolved CO2 to add vitality. Immensely creamy at times, with a really nice soothing effect when swallowed. I really enjoyed this beer as you can tell.

Drinkability: It’s a good ‘un. I am not sure if it is the fact that it has been hot today in Los Angeles, but 3 of these were dispatched in quick succession tonight.

Overall: Well above average, made with quality ingredients that show themselves, and a damn good session beer. Some drinkers who prefer a “fuller” flavor, well they may find this a little ‘thin’ - but I see the positive in this, after all its only 5%, so for me, this lends the beer a high degree of Drinkability, which is just enough to make it a real Quaffer.

I easily drank 3 bottles of this for the Review! This one is definitely worth the investment in a 6-Pack, a really nice surprise. I love English Malt-dominant Cask Bitters, and this has all the qualities required for an excellent draft beer. From previous reviews it appears this is when the beer gets to reveal all of its nuances. If I ever get to the land of the ‘Criminals’ – I will definitely seek this one out on Tap for sure (…well at least after sharing a few traditional lambics with my good BA buddy Rastaman anyways).

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 03, 2003
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 RBorsato
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
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]

RBorsato, Nov 27, 2002
James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.