Amsterdam Big Wheel Deluxe Amber - Amsterdam Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Amsterdam Big Wheel Deluxe AmberAmsterdam Big Wheel Deluxe Amber

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100 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Derek on 05-23-2009

To master the Big Wheel takes patience and practice. So does making the perfect amber beer. Our award winning amber was created out of a desire for the perfectly balanced beer combining all the qualities of a rich traditional pale ale with the drinkability of a modern lager. Big Wheel Deluxe Amber is brewed with a blend of imported Pale and Crystal malts for a bright amber colour and sweet malt character then dry hopped with a blend of UK hops to achieve a perfect balance of rounded malt and hop taste. Take one for a ride and discover the pleasures of a perfectly balanced beer.

19 IBU
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 29
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Kitchener Rib and Craft Beer fest. My last sampler on the day - their keg lines took a long time adjusting to the heat and humidity, so I had to keep coming back to see how things were going.

Poured into the 6oz sampler glass. A red-russet brew, with a thin foamy head to it. Nose was caramel and grassy hops.

Tastes like a typical mass-market red lager, pretty boring and with only a mild caramel-malty character to discern it from a standard pale lager. However, it was an easy drinker, smooth and refreshing, and entirely inoffensive. Nothing wrong with it, but not much going on either.

Forgettable, but drinkable.

Photo of biboergosum
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473ml can, a rather inexpensive entry point into the Alberta market.

This beer pours a clear pale golden amber hue, with three hefty fingers of puffy, somewhat densely foamy ecru head, which leaves a bit of high-flying, sparsely-strewn cloudy lace around the glass as things gradually sink away.

It smells of sweet, mildly toasted caramel malt, a certain Halls-esque warmth, some middling cherry and lemon fruitiness, and subtle grassy, weedy hops. The taste is gritty, grainy, mildly biscuity caramel malt, some indistinct orchard fruitiness, and more relaxed earthy, leafy, and weedy hops.

The bubbles are present, and nothing more than a tad frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and maybe a bit thin in its overall smoothness. It finishes well off-dry, the malt picking things up a bit, while the fruitiness and latent hoppiness remain fairly weak in their offset.

Another aspirational, yet still lacking, entry to this broadly woebegone style - you could have a whole Canadian (and other countries, I'm sure) sub-category there. Better than average, sure, but at the same time rather underwhelming, and pithy. I dunno - maybe amber ales just beget this sort of thing, an experience which I'm finding harder and harder to enjoy.

Photo of Sammy
2.93/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at C'est What Spring Festival of Craft brewers.A plain and boring beer, lagerish. Amber colour, with little head. Not something advancing the local beer scene. There is a tad of hops, some malt. Neutral aroma. At best average even for this brewery.

Photo of DaveBar
3.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.65 or so for a 473ml can. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a small white head that is gone in a minute. Very dark gold almost brown color. Clear

S- Oodles of malt here. Nice hops but not much

T- Good balance of flavors in the malt/hop ratio. Good touch of grassy coriander and a hint of caramel

M- Dry. Good and dry. Good fall beer on the patio

O- Enjoyable. Had it before which is why I bought it again LOL

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with....... Whole wheat pizza topped with hot peppers, pineapple and peperoni.


Photo of paxkey
3.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a pale amber. no head and some lacing.

smells a bit skunky even though it was packaged in a cardboard box. The bottle is green and clear like other skunky beers i.e. heineken.

also picking up some grasiness. wet cardboard aromas as well. after it warms a little the off smells fade and i can pick up some spicy hop aroma and some faint malt.

sharp with good carbonation. some bitterness in aftertaste. some cracker malt. the spiciness and malts come through more as the beer warms.
not terrible but some of the taste reminds me of macro lagers. not a big fan.

Photo of spinrsx
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

473ml Can

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is really isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hay/straw, light hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with caramel and some very light hops. There is also a bit of a pear juice fruitiness. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a touch of bitterness.

Overall - The beer reminded me a bit of an English IPA. It's pretty drinkable, just nothing exciting. I wouldn't seek it out.. but there are far worse beers out there.

Photo of mrmanning
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can- A clear but fairly deep copper pour, with a half inch of eggshell head. Nose of grains and caramel, fresh hops, a bit fruity too. Sweet grainy flavour is met with a marked grassy hoppiness, then leads to caramel which seems a bit too sweet at times. Not groundbreaking but I'd happily drink it if I had to. Thanks Dave!

Photo of BigBry
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Amsterdam BrewHouse.
Clear, golden amber color, with bubbly head. Foam fades slowly, nice lace rings left behind.
It smells of toasted caramel malt, and some grassy, leafy hops.
The taste is on the sweet side, biscuity caramel malt, finishes with that earthy hop flavor.
The body is medium to light, lots of carbonation bubbles, maybe a bit thin, but still smooth.
Better than average, enjoyable and easy to drink.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.32/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tallboy can from the LCBO, courtesy of their Summer Entertainer sampler pack. I considered purchasing a six-pack of this a while ago, but the lukewarm BA reviews sort of turned me off of it. Thank god for sampler packs! Served slightly chilled.

Pours a lovely clear orange-amber colour, topped at first with about a half finger of creamy, dense, off-white head. It wilts away over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin cap and narrow collar, with some sparse strands of lacing. The aroma mostly showcases the malts, with a mixture of toasted, biscuity sweetness and caramel making up the bulk of it. Some faint grassy notes are the only hop presence I can distinguish from the malt sweetness.

Tastes fine; nothing unusual or unappealing to note, but certainly nothing adventurous or intense about it, either. Once again the malts are the major player, with toasted bread and biscuits coming through first, followed by a mellow caramel/butterscotch sweetness. This is nicely balanced with a brief dose of grassy, vaguely citrusy hop dryness toward the finish; these linger into the aftertaste alongside the caramel sweetness. Light-bodied and somewhat thin, with fairly low carbonation for an amber; this gives it a creamy mouthfeel and the result is one smooth-drinking amber.

This is probably the best of the four offerings contained in Amsterdam's current Entertainer sampler pack, but that really isn't saying much because the other three are (IMHO) rather lame. This isn't exactly an inspiring, memorable sort of beer that I'd seek out or recommend, but I could see myself getting this again on-tap, or if I were just in the mood for a balanced, malty session ale.

Final Grade: 3.34, a decent B-. Amsterdam's Big Wheel Deluxe Amber is a serviceable, relatively unremarkable amber ale. I could take it or leave it - finding a better amber isn't that difficult, but on the flip side of that coin, this is easily superior to the macro equivalents (think Keith's/Rickard's Red). It's nicely balanced and quite sessionable, but I have a feeling the lack of American-style hop flavours has a lot to do with this one's mediocre overall BA score. Probably one of the better year-round offerings in the Amsterdam portfolio, but nothing to write home about at all.

Photo of Antikythera
3.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ETA: changing the review scores, because I've had it on tap and from a can in the past month, and it's much, much nicer. That proteiny smell is gone, which is a big relief. Without that distraction, there's a nice wheaty taste and the aroma is much more complex. This is a refreshing not-too-fancy amber, and I'll drink it again -- at least on tap or in a glass from a can. Of course, my review of it bottled was from a year ago. Maybe they've just fixed something. Well, I like this now.

02-18-2011: Looks amber-coloured even through the green glass bottle. Very pretty and warm looking in a clear glass. Odd bit of meaty/proteiny/metallic smell from the foam? Not nice but not turning me away. Flavour is not too complex, pleasant and refreshing, a little bit sweet and then turns bitter/hoppy and estery. I might not buy it again but I won't turn it down either.

Photo of karait95
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber color with lively carbonation, medium size head white color medium to fast dissipation with some sickness to the glass.

S: Full malty smell, barley aroma, not to complex nor to simple, it has something that can not be identified.

T: Barley flavor with a characteristic bitterness.

M: A sparkling and refreshing sensation in the tongue, with a medium bitter ending.

Photo of bryehn
3.32/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The golden-amber colour that this one pours is nice and it creates a moderate head that settles as a collar, but leaves little to no lace.

The aroma is hoppy, buttery and just a bit spicy. Develops more of a malty sweetness, along with a citrus note as it warms.

The taste is quite dry, but with a caramel sweetness to it. There is a toasted bread note as well as a citrus-like tang after warming a bit.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a low carbonation. Goes down easy, but leaves a fairly thick smokey wood flavour on my tongue.

Very inoffensive beer that I could serve to casual beer drinkers at a party, but not enough going on to keep me interested.

Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With UK hops & malts, as well as a nice fruitiness, I'd call this an English Bitter.

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, some retention, good lacing.

S: Slightly earthy with big, bubblegum fruity esters.

T: Earthy citrus, slight spicing, balanced bitterness and a nice fruityness.

M: Light to moderate body & carbonation; smooth.

D: A decent drinker.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.12/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finally got around to re-reviewing this beer, after trying from a growler pour a couple of summers ago. $2.65 CDN buys you a 473 ml can from the LCBO. Served cold into a St. Pauli girl mug.

Appearance - clear amber color beer is poured, with a large 3 finger head off of n aggressive pour. Lots of sticky lacing left behind and good head retention.

Smell - fairly aromatic, more of a grassy slightly metallic aroma with some blended grains in behind. Rather pilsner esque with its aroma actually.

Taste - some grainy flavours, with a little bit of biscuit but rather weak with a mild earthy bitterness underlying the whole beer. Very mild.

Mouthfeel - decent body but very light feel and on the low end of the spectrum in terms of carbonation too. A bit too thin.

Overall - not a bad beer, but not anything I'd hurry out to get again. I think I had this pegged about right the first time.

Photo of cantoization
3.79/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great, drinkable beer from Amsterdam. Haven't met a single person who dislikes this. While my IPA fellows might find it bland, for a regular lager drinker it's flavourful, crisp and entirely sessionable. Best amber I've found.

Photo of MasterOfArgos39
4.31/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Strong flavour with a pleasant, if heavy, nose.

Photo of leaddog
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a coppery amber with two fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - Bready malts, grains, apple juice, light grassy hops.

Taste - Bready malts and grains. Very, very light presence of grassy hops. A bit one-note.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Clean finish.

Overall - A simple amber ale that plays to one malt note. Really wish I could experience more toasted malts and perhaps a tad more hops. Good base to work off of.

Photo of PorterPro125
3.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Golden Amber colour with plenty of head

S- Very yeasty with a little caramel sweetness. Slight bitterness

T- Lots of yeast with more sweetness. Not much bitterness in the taste.

M- Medium-High carbonation with a light-medium body. Not a body I was expecting. Similar to AAL's.

O- I'm glad I finally got to try this beer but I can't say it lived up to my expectations. The aroma was pretty good but the taste left way too much to be desired. I might try this one again but I will be a little hesitant. Not a bad brew, just not really my cup of tea.

Photo of wordemupg
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can poured into tulip 2/11/13

A hazy amber liquid, lots of tiny bubbles feeding a massive 3 finger foam that has great retention and leaves lots of spider web lace

S sweet grains, wet herbal tea bag, lots of butterscotch, some brown sugar, leafy hops, smells alright

T grainy, herbal notes are still strong, just a little fruit, lots of caramels, more of the same really

M medium bodied, slightly creamy, slippery after the fact, herbal finish

O OK brew, a little boring but nothings wrong with it, easy enough to drink but forgettable

I doubt I'd bother again, not a bad beer but nothing worth looking for, just another basic brew

Photo of pootz
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours a clear amber ale with a 2 finger tight cap. Moderate retention and lacing.

Aromas of sweet caramel malts, over a herbaceous leafy hop aroma.

Taste is much like the aroma. Light. slightly watery mouth feel, caramel malts almost cloying but held in check by hop balance.
Fast clean finish, no after taste.

I wish they were honest enough to just call this another lawnmower cream will appeal to that demographic but its too bland to hold my interest.

Photo of hopsolutely
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An uninspired brew. Beautifully clear, light amber colour with orange hues. Limited head and no lacing. Mouthfeel is decent, but nothing extraordinary.

Aroma is predominantly of caramelized malts, as is the taste. Fairly single-dimensional, there is little beyond the caramelized sweetness. The finish is sweet and does not linger...

Photo of biegaman
3.08/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This heavily blistered amber imitates a spectacular summer sunset quite well. It's also one of the heaviest, most vivid concentrations of the colour orange I've seen in a beer in recent memory. Likewise it's one of the flattest beers. The chilly haze in its complexion may tarnish clarity but it also seemingly enhances the magnetism it has over a thirsty palate.

My guess is that British noses will score this aroma better than North American ones, or at least find it more familiar. Unlike most the amber ales and lagers conjured up by the new generation of microbrewers, this one has hardly a trace of hops. And with scarcely much more of a sweet malt presence it can really be said that it bucks North American trends.

What little can be discerned beyond the beer's highly accomplished mineral content, in both aroma and taste, is a lightly sugary, biscuity maltiness and a faint spritz of zestful citrus oils. A subdued, palate tranquilizing floral element washes away much of the harsh, cutting minerals in the finish. Taken altogether, the beer is considerably refreshing...

But not very flavourful. This has plenty of components but yet no content: Despite a keenly attendant bitterness, a water profile full of chalky, brisk minerals and enough malt to lace both the above with a faint caramel sweetness, the beer has virtually no perceptible flavour. Which makes drinking it pretty much pointless in the mind of this reviewer.

Calling Big Wheel a "deluxe" amber is less a pretentious statement than it is an entirely untrue statement. By all standards, it is an average beer, deserving of average scores, brewed by an average brewery and is best suited (and likely catered) to the average consumer. And it's a beer that I averagely enjoyed, but not one that I'll buy again.

Photo of NV9
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall can into a glass.

Nice looking beer, very deep amber colour, good head at first but dissipates very quickly.

Caramel and hops in the odour with a light hint of citrus as well.

Some carbonation up front, not an overly strong taste, easy to drink a whole lot of these. A little bit of hops in the finish with a slight aftertaste.

This is a small step up from the mass produced reds but not a whole lot more than that. It is often the best available option though.

Photo of cyrenaica
2.68/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

20 oz draught
5.0% ABV
I tried this beer on October 30, 2009 on tap at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer was poured a translucent red with a huge foamy tan coloured head. The aroma was caramel malt with some grass. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was grainy malt with a 'burnt' sense to it. An alright beer.

Photo of Maverick25
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I really enjoyed this beer. I would agree it has a watery mouth feel, but it has a nice flavour punch. Easy to drink, great finish and I enjoyed the after taste. I had a tough time picking up on the hops, and felt it carried more light malty tones throughout.

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Amsterdam Big Wheel Deluxe Amber from Amsterdam Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.