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African Amber - Mac and Jack's Brewery

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African Amber
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BA SCORE
87
very good

339 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 339
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.88%
Wants: 15
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mac and Jack's Brewery visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 | Reviews: 124
Reviews by Bfarr:
Photo of Bfarr
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark brown with no head or retention as served not to mention ridiculously cold. Muted hops and malt aroma with a hint of something unidentifiable. Good caramel with strong hop presence for an amber albeit rather nondescript. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy but with a fairly high carbonation.

This is a very easy drinking and nice unfiltered amber. It is typically served way too cold to really be able to appreciate any distinct flavors but has a very nonthreatening flavor. It's served in just about every chain restaraunt in Western Washington so there's never a shortage of places to try it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – I had this at table seating at the Cheesecake Factory, so I didn’t see what kind of head that it produced. The color though was a very thick, dark orangish-brown.

Smell – An interesting mix of hop and malt aromas. The hops were more on the floral side.

Taste – The hop flavor dominates the malt, but both are there. The malt is sweet, like caramel, and very chewy. The hops are sharp with a hint of mint that brings up the rear.

Mouthfeel – Some carbonation that felt just right on the tongue.

Drinkability – The various flavors tend to collide, so this brew didn’t go down smooth. But, it is a very interesting mix and well worth a try.

Photo of hbensinger
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Coppery. Doesn't look like a red ale. Looks like a hazy IPA as it is unfiltered. Pours with a thick head and leaves heavy lacing.
S: Subtle aroma but is very nice. Has some citrus and spices in the nose.
T: much like the smell but the citrus and spice character shines through.
M: Nice rich mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Photo of drinkofczars
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark amber color. Unfiltered so the beer is very hazy when holding up to the light. Not much head when poured.

S- Hoppy and citrusy smell. Some dark roasted aromas coming from the beer as well.

T- Mostly a malty and hoppy flavor, with a slightly darker taste than Manny's (which is very similar). When first taking sips you detect citrus, but that sensation dissipates as you drink more

M- Very thick type feel in your mouth for an amber because of the unfilteredness. Not too carbonated so the subtle flavors are very detectable and stick in your mouth for a long time.

O- I normally don't like amber beers, but this one is something I used to drink a lot and enjoy very much. WARNING: if you drink too much of this beer you will get burnt out on it as I have. Very similar to the NW Manny's beer.

Tasty beer.

Photo of shark262
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers and a great example of American Amber Ale. Distribution is limited to the Northwest, but definitely a brew worth seeking out.

Unfiltered orange/amber color with a nice long-lasting head.

Smell is very inviting, apricots with floral hops. There are also a couple citrus notes, but they don't overpower.

Taste is excellent - hints of caramel present. Cascade hops come through in the finish.

Medium body and low carbonation makes it even more easy-drinking.

Photo of erikjon
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty sure this is the one I had last night... it was only referred to as "Mac and Jack's" on the menu, but the description seems to fit. An organish-red colored ale that was very cloudy and had a good head on it (not too big, not too small... just right). Tasted very smooth and had a good balance of bitterness and hopiness. Was very drinkable, and the three (or was it four?) I had went down very smoothly... and a little too fast. I would definitely recommend this one as a must-try if you're in the Seattle area.

Photo of chadjulius
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I heard a lot of good things about this beer before trying it. I wish I hadn't. I was expecting something I could almost make love to. But I barely got to 1st base with it. Yep, a let down. Yet, it was still a pretty good beer. Definitely not going to be my go to beer though. But I will definitely try it again.

It's fairly dark, with an amber tint (go figure). The taste is a cross of hoppy citrus and what is apparently caramel.

Photo of chrisms86
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, opaque brown with a thick frothy head that sticks to the side of your mug until you're finished. Not much of an aroma and the taste comes up just as mellow, with light hoppy notes that finish just mildly bitter. A delicious brew but not one that dominates your tastebuds. Because of this it is an easy drinker, with a fantastic thick mouthfeel that is usually found in more filling beers. A great session brew that tastes great

The taste of this one is really hard to describe and I feel as thought my review is lacking, but the best way I can explain it is very toned down. The taste, when you search for it, is delicious but it isn't very intense. Highly recommended for parties or any other situation where you might have more than one.

Photo of Slsalta
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Stopped at Seatac prior to a red eye to NYC. Was pleasantly surprised by the balance and flavor of the African Amber. A big fan of malty IPAs this was a good alternative

Photo of Wattman4
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Smooth and creamy african amber. Not too heavy, but not too light. Beautiful color with reddish brown coloring. Nice Bitter start with a smooth and sweet after taste. One of my favorite beers whenever I head into the Seattle area.

Photo of appenzeller
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this from a growler I picked up at the brewery today next to Marymoor Park.

Pours an amber/red with a thin white head. Minimal carbonation, head left minimal lacing.

Smell is subdued, caramel notes, grain, and apple.

Taste is full of malts, bready, some sweetness like caramel/honey with a solid backbone of hops. Finishes fairly crisp for such a malty brew. Mouthfeel is good, this goes down silky smooth (wow this stuff is fresh!) and has a lightness despite its heavy appearance.

As the other comments indicate, this is kind of a Pacific Northwest classic. It's a nice brew, no doubt, not my favorite style but I'll often order it on tap around town. A good cold weather brew.

Photo of Dave128
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*Reviewed from notes*
Enjoyed on tap at Sazerac restaurant in Seattle.

A - Brought to me topped off with no head room so I can't really judge the head. What is there is retaining pretty well. Cloudy red-amber in color. Lacing is moderate.

S - Dark malt apparent on the nose. Has a smoky smell up front. There is another light grain smell and light hops to complement it.

T - Like the nose, it is interestingly smoky. The smoky flavors lead into a light malt sweetness with a moderately bitter finish. Sweet wine like esters are noted from time to time.

M - Medium bodied and a little overcarbonated.

O - A decent amber ale, but I believe some of the flavors aren't very well done. There is that wine like flavor, which from home brewing experiences leads me to think this beer is not fully matured with residual sugars remaining.

Photo of Kale99
4.91/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

one of my favorites very smooth

Photo of zaphodchak
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Bete Lukas.

A finger of white head, amber body, hazy. Tons of sticky lace.

Nose is faintly lagery, but not much else.

Tangy, spicy-corn body. Big hop finish, well balanced and nutty.

Slightly coarse, but well textured.

Nice, full-bodied nutty amber.

Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz draft, on tap at Anthony's on Pier 66 in Seattle (great seafood by the way)

appearance: came to be in an awkward glass that I was unfamiliar with....bright amber with a light beige-tan head, retention is rather low

smell: aromas are rather light, bready, caramel malt, certainly well spiced

taste: very nice tasting beer...my initial reaction was that the taste resembled a big graham cookie flavour, quite toasty and bready, good nuttiness factor, light citrus hop profile. enjoyable

mouthfeel: medium, average carbonation

drinkability: high

Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours one finger of head on a hazy copper colored body.
The aroma is burnt fruit (apricot, plum and banana). Unique but good.
The taste is malty with mild lemon bitter, fruity but not that sweet.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
A great beer that remains unique among a growing category.

Photo of russpowell
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in Twin Falls, Idaho

Poured caramel with 1" of white head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Earthy & piney hop with just a hint of biscuitty malt

T: Piney hops, breadyness & citric hops up front. Finishes with loads of hops & good malty presence

MF: Medium bodied with slighlty too much carbonation, but superb balance

Super drinkable, one of the better ambers I've encountered as of late

Photo of GimmeAles
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wonderful local ale I can't beleive I haven't reviewed yet. Could review this from memory any time of the day.

A beautiful, quite cloudy amber, with the sparkle of red and orange sprites who dance winsomely within. A silky 1-finger head sits atop andh recedes to 2cm neatly sealing the glass to the bottom. Nice lacing the whole way down.

Smell is of toasty, wheat-bread and unsalted sunflower seeds infused with plenty of flowery, citrusy hops. More subtle, berry-like fruitiness mingles in the background.

Creamy, medium mouthfeel delivers big malty presence in the form of toasted bread crusts with a strong, earthy-ness coming in suggesting unsalted mixed nuts. A dab of caramely sweetness is delivered before the tart, citrusy hops make their presence know with a very pleasant fruity bitterness. Piquant strawberries and fresh Rainier cherries are quite evident, and the stand-out taste component of this beer in my mind. Wonderful.

A delicious beer, but one whose body makes it hard for me to have more than one, drinkability is only hindered by its richness. The only beer my wife actually gets near regularly - it's impressively complex and yet approachable. The fact that I can always get it very fresh makes this a excellent local standby.

Photo of Docer
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at Big Als in Vancouver...

- Nice foamy finger of head that stuck around in the pitcher.. Dark somewhat cloudy murky brown and copper... a good looking amber.

- Slight English malt funk, touch of roasty character, sweet caramel, malts are bready... citrus and floral hops... zingy.

- Smooth, bright hop bitterness... floral hops.. somewhat grainy and semi-sweet... and that malt funk again. Seems certain kinds of malts I catch this slight odd funk.. must be an English malt..

- Medium bodied, well carbonated, slightly chewy.. rather filling.

- A decent drinker. I bet their IPA would be killer.. going off of the flavors from this amber. More like a strong English IPA or ESB. Not too bad.

Photo of Spikester
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a sports bar in Corvallis Oregon. Redish amber with a good sized head and copious lacings. Aroma was caramel and mild floral hops. Taste is sweet caramel malts with just the right amount of hops for the style. Easy drinker, I could sip this all night. Fairly low abv from the taste but don't know what it actually is. Not the biggest amber by any means but pleasant enough and super sessionable.

Photo of jacksdad
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

An old stand by at the college inn in Seattle. Great beer that I used to love drinking, resulting in the strangest hangovers, sadly I had to stop.

Photo of hopwave
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another always on @ The Conway Muse... pours a cloudy amber/sticky lace with small white head... mouthfeel is nice... rich and smooth, with slight sweet aftertaste. overall a nice on-tap only beer thats been around forever. give it a shot if your in the great Pacific Northwest.

Photo of zacharius
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer beer had little head and carbonation. The african amber is a very cloudy amber beer. It smells good but the taste leaves something to be desired. It seems to sweet for my tastes with the malts overpowering the hops. There also was a bit more fruityness than to be expected for this style. This beer is only available on tap and a bunch of people I know wish that they could get bottles but I don't see any reason to bring this beer home. This is a great session beer as it is so easy to drink so make sure that you get a pitcher.

Photo of DKRowden
4.74/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap poured into a 22oz mug. Has a nice thick fluffy tan head about 2 cm tall with good lacing. Has a sweet citrus nose. Incredible taste. A combination of citrus, rich maltly flavors, and a spice note. Mouth feels is thick and smooth with a medium dry finish. Overall very enjoyable as I have came to expect from mac and jacks offerings.

Photo of DoctorQ9
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mac and Jack's is a draft-only brewery with a very limited distribution. I had my first pint at a McCormick's Seafood restaurant in Downtown Seattle, then again at the Seattle Airport Marriott bar.

This amber ale is uniformly excellent and quickly became my favorite "it doesn't come in a bottle" brew.

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African Amber from Mac and Jack's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.