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Fish Tale Amber Ale - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Tale Amber AleFish Tale Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAngel on 05-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBigBoy
2.25/5  rDev -37.3%

TheBigBoy, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dusky pumpkin with a bright, orange peel border. The head is a frothy pillow of orange-tinted ivory that looks soft, but persists nicely. Unfortunately, it doesn't look so good as it deflates and doesn't leave me with much lace to look at.

There isn't much to go on regarding the nose. In fact, I can't even tell if it's malt-dominant or hop-dominant; something that should be fairly easy to determine. According to the 'spawned on' date notched on the label, this is still fresh beer. Hard to figure.

After one sip, I would have bet a case of Westvleteren 12 (if I had one) that this is an organic beer. Not all organic beer has this particular off-flavor, but all beer that has this particular off-flavor is organic beer. I find it impossible to describe accurately. Words like 'clay' and 'vegetal' will have to do.

Amber Ale isn't very malty, although it's still more malty than hoppy. There's minimal, if any, sweetness and even less bitterness. How can a beer that's brewed with pale, crystal and Munich malt, as well as Santiam and Hallertauer hops, not taste like any one of those ingredients? It's a mystery to me.

The observant will have noticed that I haven't used any flavor comparisons (tastes like... ), because there aren't any. This is one of the few beers that I can recall whose flavor, and it does have flavor, defies description. It's like wind. You're sure it exists, but you can't catch it or hold it; and describing it is nearly impossible. This review is shaping up to have as little useful content as the beer.

I see no problems with the mouthfeel. It's medium in heft, firm rather than soft, slightly slick on the finish and has an acceptable amount of carbonation. With a more interesting payload, it might have impressed me more.

Fish Tale Amber Ale is the poster child for (some) organic beer. While it's far from truly offensive, it tastes as if anything that might have provided zest, or life, or even recognizable craft beer flavor, has been sucked out with ruthless efficiency. Sterile is the word that has just occurred to me. Unfortunately, it fits perfectly.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of RJLarse
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked up some Fish Tale brews to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a schooner glass.

Pours an orange copper color and is slightly cloudy. One finger of bubbly white head dissipates quickly to an eighth inch film on the surface of the beer. The head produces minimal lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is fairly robust and has a sweet fruity aroma.

The taste is fruity, citrus, lemon and orange, with hints of malted grain and something of an acerbic or vinegar taste. There is a mild hop finish. The aftertaste is of slightly bitter hops.

The mouth feel is thin, crisp and refreshing.

This is a drinkable beer, but I think the acerbic flavor is a bit over done. It’s an OK amber ale, but I’ve had better at a comparable or better price. I would have Fish Tale Pale again, but I would not necessarily choose it over many others.

RJLarse, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of Nage37
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Nage37, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of Metz
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Metz, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of troutmask96
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing special here. Very, very mediocre session brew is all. Nothing interesting about the pour, very little complexity for smell, tastes like a watered-down version of better ambers. Low carbonation and mild on the palette, I could drink this all night, but why would I?...

troutmask96, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of ckollias
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cooper-orange hue with a small white head that leaves a nice trail down the glass and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Mild sweet and hoppy aroma. Not a huge nose here.

T: A little sweet and a little bitter with a musty sort of flavor. A little hoppy in the middle and finished on the dry side.

M: Thin body and medium carbonation.

O: Interesting beer – but I’ll pass next time.

ckollias, May 09, 2012
Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -16.4%

harpus, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of beerguy101
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color, large white foamy head. Aroma is malty, fruity and slightly sweet. A medium bodied Amber Ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Hops are citrusy. Mildly hopped, mild malts, slightly bitter, yet the malts are evident. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Aug 14, 2003
Photo of charlesw
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured, well, reddish amber. Crazy, huh? It had a tiny, whitish head that lasted a couple of minutes - not really dense, but not airy. Oh, did it ever smell good - it screamed "Malt! I'm all about malt! Get your malt! Let's talk about malt! I love malt!" It didn't really taste that malty... Anyway, yeah, bummer, I mean, the nose was so promising and then when actually tasting it, well, it was just a beer. Sure, there was a little malt to it and a touch of the hop bitterness, but the taste definitely wasn't up to the aroma. And it got funky as it warmed up in my hand. Still, if you're not going to nurse your beer for 1/2 hour this is a fine beverage.

charlesw, Apr 11, 2004
Photo of JohnY
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard US pint glass. Forms a thin tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer of foam that lasted the remainder of the pint. Copper to Light Amber in color and definately chill hazed. Initially no nose at all, then as it warmed up, it woke up a bit and displayed whifs of malt and caramel. Flavor too, while still cold, was a bit bland. But when it warmed a bit the flavor came out to play -- earthy, well balanced, slightly sweet with a slight hop bite. Overall a descent seesion ale, but let it warm a bit out of the fridge.

JohnY, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of PDXHops
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

Deep amber see-thru body with a smallish head that quickly recedes to a ring of loose soapy bubbles and a skim. What's left behind is not sticky enough for any lace.

Smells of sweet malt and baking bread, with a slight yeasty tang.

Very doughy/yeasty in the mouth up front, followed by soapy and spicy hops, plus some nuttiness and general malt sweetness. Kiss of citrus torward the finish. Medium bodied, highish carbonation. An sort of herby/minty flavor lingers after the swallow- a bit distracting, and reduces the enjoyment factor a bit.

Overall impression: Decent amber ale.

PDXHops, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool bottle sent down to me from my brother. Never had anything from these guys, so, excited to give 'em a try. 22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark rusty ruby color with a small white head capping it off. Light lace left behind. The nose is not hoppy in any way, which is odd, given the style. Lots of toffee and malt in the aroma. Light fruitiness on the finish.

The mouth is moderately full. Ample carbonation. Creamy finish. The flavors are a little tame as well. This is definitely erring on the side of malts, rather than hops. Sweet caramel, toffee, breads. Very faint bitterness. I wish there were a bit more punch to this, but I'm not surprised given its organic background. My experience with most 'organics' is that they are usually mellow, and lacking in zip. Still, not a bad beer to have on a warm afternoon.

Onenote81, May 21, 2011
Photo of mhewes
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A : Pours a clear copper with a offwhite head that doesn't leave much lacing behind

S : Malty with doughy aromas. The smell is slightly off with a tang to it

T : It has a doughy, grainy malt flavor to it. There's a little hop spiciness on the finish. The taste is a little off which I was expecting since it's organic.

M : Light-bodied, medium carbonation, oily

D : It's ok but there's better amber ales out there that I would have instead.

mhewes, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of deansellers
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

deansellers, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of czechsaaz
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma is very malty with a light amount of citrussy hops (cascade maybe?) Nice amber color and clear, smallish head.

Initially starts bitter but gives way to a mostly malty flavor. Some cereal (grape nuts) flavor too. Hop bitterness overall is restrained and there's very little hop flavor too. But enough to keep it from tasting sweet.

Medium bodied and easy drinking. Nice medium/light carbonation.

A nice beer that could become one of my regular, every day type selections. Organic and brewed fairly locally.

czechsaaz, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to NeroFiddled for this one.

It pours a slightly hazy amber color with a light ring and caoting around the top. The nose is slightly caramel, nutty and a touch of buttery diacetyl. Not much on the hops. The flavor is earthy, slightly roasty and nutty. Not my favorite brew here. The feel is light, with a light carbonation. Easy drinking, but I'm not digging the flavor so much. Pretty average brew.

kmpitz2, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of hreb
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle of Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale spawned in October (year unspecifed?? oh well, seems fresh enough). Beer pours cola brown/orange with just a hint of off-white head. Aroma is slightly smoky, slightly fruity.

Flavor is less impressive...only the very edge of bitterness, and the middle is of an average, bland red or brown ale. Carbonation is pleasantly heavy to cut through the chalky mess.

My least favorite Fish Tale.

hreb, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Shadman
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in the cellar for a few months.

Well it certainly has the color down. Nice, slightly cloudy copper red in color with a smallish head that left quickly. Aroma was nice, if a bit muted. Mostly west coast hop and mostly roasted malt. Taste is quite heavy on the malt side, roasted with some west-coast hop in the background, thankfully. Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. A decent ale if, as one reviewer put it, you let it warm a little out of the fridge.

Shadman, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of clvand0
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard amber color with very little head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is somewhat plain. A little caramel and a little nutty - pretty faint. The flavor has a nice caramel malt character with some nuttiness and a hint of darker malts. The finish gives me the feel of slight oxidation, but it's not major. Body is moderate and the drinkability is good.

clvand0, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber in colour. Well balanced aromas of caramel malts and some green (grassy) hops. The flavors are well balanced like the aroma, but with some more compex notes of mint and mild munich malt. Nothing overly special, but a decent session beer. The best of the Fish Brewing beers that I’ve sampled.

fisherman34, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of cokes
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly misty copper with a modest beige cap.
Nose of sweet bread biscuits and browning grass.
Begins dryish, yet with an undercutting sweetness. Like saltines spinkled with toffee. Turns a touch milky sour in the middle, combining with a jolt of underripe pineapple. Dry again at the close with dead leaves and prairie grass, a la hallertau.
Roughly medium bodied, lowly carbonated.
It's a drinkable brew, in a no-frills sense, but that sourness is out of place, and there are superior versions everywhere.

cokes, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

06/20/08- Consumed during my two week Montana vacation.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info on the bottle. Poured into mu Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Light amber colored pour with a 1/2 inch head and light lace tracks.

Smell- Has that slight organic wet cardboard scent I am used to. Light stale hops aroma as well.

Taste- Flavor is much better than the nose. Hops seem very fresh with a mild fruity grapefruit rind flavor. Malt is lightly caramel flavored.

Mouthfeel- Medium to higher carbonation level, light hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad for an organic ale. Worth giving a try.

GClarkage, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of trevorwideman
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my third Fish Brewing ale that I've had, and on first pour it dosen't look much different than the other two.

Slightly cloudy Coppery-Red colour, Almost no head, slight lacing. It does look pretty tasty. Nose is full of West Coast hops and a slight roasted malt character. Very earthy. First taste has some roasted/coffee caramel notes and a not overpowering citrus hoppiness. Grassy and earthy to be sure. Sticky and dry on the way down. Perhaps a bit over-carbonated for the style, but there is a nice bite to it.

This isn't an offensive brew, but I'm a little disappointed in Fish Tale beers. The 3 I've tried (IPA, Amber Ale, Wild Salmon) are all so very similar and the only major difference being how hopped they are. I'm sure that at least one of these beers could be scrapped seeing as their similarities are awfully glaring.

trevorwideman, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance – Nice, deep red tinted with brown and orange. The head was good as well, lasting for a few minutes as it laced.

Smell – There’s a nice mix of hops in there. The citrus and floral are almost evenly balanced, and a hint of pine fits right in. There’s also a mild musty smell though that doesn’t belong, but the caramel malt balance makes up for it.

Taste – Something got lost in the nose to mouth translation. This one didn’t deliver on any of the hop aroma, and the malt was bland. There’s also a funky taste in there that I can’t identify.

Mouthfeel – This felt really good in the mouth. It is dry, medium-bodied, and leaves your lips smacking.

Drinkability – This went down well enough, but I won’t buy again.

RoyalT, Nov 27, 2003
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Fish Tale Amber Ale from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
82 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.