African Amber - Mac and Jack's Brewery

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African Amber
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BA SCORE
87
very good

120 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 120
Hads: 355
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.85%
Wants: 16
Gots: 52 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 120 | Hads: 355
Photo of SerialTicker
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Ivar's Mukilteo Landing in Washington.

Fantastic. One of my favorite from the style. I really appreciate the fact that they stray away from loading this with hops, and instead accent the beer with it. This has a great, sweet caramel-like flavor, with a subtle pine bitterness. This stays true to the style better than many others do. I hear this is the best selling draft beer in Washington -- I don't know how true that is, but if that's the case, they've got some good taste in the Northwest. (509 characters)

Photo of ckornmannn
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a growler, and many times in restaurants: cloudy brown-orange beer with a delicious thick creamy head. Biscuity like most amber ales and hints of apple. A perfect hop presence in my opinion. There is something about this beer that is distinctive. Can't put my finger on it but I feel like if someone handed me a pint of it I could immediately recognize it as a Mac and Jack and I wouldn't say that about most beers. Absolutely delicious and a tremendous bargain at 6.50 for a growler fill at my local place. This beer is a godsend because chances are if you go to a restaurant in Seattle with a limited beer selection... they will have Mac and Jack and you can still have a great beer with your dinner. Its popular for a reason! (742 characters)

Photo of dabone
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from draft. Dark orange and cloudy with a creamy white head. Cereal grain aroma, not much hop. Taste is a lot of cereal grains with a bitter aftertaste. Not much hop flavor. Texture is expected. I rate this as an average Amber. (234 characters)

Photo of Svingjo
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy caramel brown with a thin white head. The nose has a sweet malt with toffee notes. There is some citrus hop to the edges of the smell. The taste is much the same. The mouthfeel is a bit carbonated and the hop bitterness comes through coating the tongue. (272 characters)

Photo of Slsalta
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
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 (170 characters)

Photo of psruss
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I happen to be a fan of amber ales. I was travelling to Washington State. On my way back from Selah to Sumner, I stopped for a burger at The Tav in Ellensburg. I ordered a pint with lunch and there was some pleasant difference between Mac and Jacks African Amber and standard ambers. I have to say the look and taste were the standouts and would probably be a good session beer. Alas, I was just there for lunch and glad to have had it with the burger. (452 characters)

Photo of LouZ
3.34/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

One of the most common beers around these parts. It's a very sweet brew - pretty much liquid honey. No hops whatsoever. If you're a serious beer drinker, you'll probably want to avoid. But if you're like me and you wind up somewhere with no real options and commercial beer en masse, this is an easy-drinking alternative. (321 characters)

Photo of Redneckwine
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cold pint on tap (this beer isn't bottled/canned)

Appearance - Glowing dark golden/amber and totally hazed over, 1 finger head dissipates to leave a wispy cap, a little lacing. Unique look for an amber.

Smell - Not getting much off this, very subtle: toasty malt bready sweetness, kind of a super clean floral hoppy note. I had this in a stinky bar atmosphere... Not the best for smelling beer: score will have to default to 3, though I'm sure it deserves better.

Taste - Excellent, wasn't expecting it to pop so much since the nose is so faint. Lots of toasty, bready maltiness underscored by a nice floral hop kick, a touch sweetness and bready yeast ties it all together. Very clean tasting... Unique. Finishes pretty dry with mild hoppy bitterness.

Feel - Creamy and very smooth, drinkable medium body, carbonation is gently scrubbing. Nice.

Overall - Really a surprisingly excellent amber. It's clean, malty flavor really pops and jives perfectly with a pretty unique floral hop profile. It's a tragedy they don't bottle this! Outstanding brew. (1,054 characters)

Photo of WAbeerfiend
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Poured from a growler filled fresh from the tap into a tumbler on 06.14.14.

A: 3 finger fluffy head. Nearly opaque brown body. It's unfiltered, so it's cloudy.

S: Sweet, bready malt. Flower too.

T: Bready sweetness dominates. It's like drinking a cinnamon roll. Flower, sweet yeast, and spices are subtle.

M: Creamy smooth. Chewy, but still easy to drink.

O: The bready sweetness hits first, then the flower takes over. It all blends very nicely. This is nothing like other amber ales that are out there.

Rating: A+, 100/100. (532 characters)

Photo of Wattman4
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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. (234 characters)

Photo of Dsimenson
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft poured into a pilsner. Nice one-finger head, unfiltered red-honey amber color, not much lacing. Aroma is subdued initially, when it is cold. When it warms up a bit, the aroma is still mild, but very pleasant--gentle malt and floral hops. Flavor is malt, mild hops, a bit of pine, not citrus-like, a bit of sweetness. Mouth feel is on the thin side of medium, not thick or chewy. Overall this is a very good red ale, not quite outstanding. It was great fun to sample, and I would drink it again. (500 characters)

Photo of FannyBack
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first beer on tap!

Off the pour it looks smooth with a white top finish. Nice warm golden brown look.

Tastes amazing. It is unlike most other beers with a strong wholesome wheaty taste, followed by a satisfying after taste.

There are so many other beers on tap to try I feel like I cannot score it a high 5. However, it is also not served as a beer. I wish it was, I would buy so many of them. It is only served on tap in Washington. If you come to the NW, ask for Mac and Jacks and take what they give you! (515 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Tawny brown and wonderfully cloudy due to being unfiltered. This is the sort of beer which makes you understand the whole 'liquid bread' thing.

S - Sweet malt pairs nicely with the minor spiking of hops.

T - Unlike so many amber and brown ales this beer does not short change you on flavour. This beer has a wonderful rich, malty flavour and then a little hops pops up to keep things interesting on the back end.

M - Fabulously thick and full-bodied for the style and abv. Boosts the beer's character, taking it further and further away from the mass of humdrum and watery red and brown ales.

O - A real Pacific Northwest classic. I drank this at Ixtapa. Coming from Britain I would not have expected to have such a good beer at a place like Ixtapa. God bless the Pacific Northwest and Ixtapa. (801 characters)

Photo of Brisket
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy copper color. Thick head and heavy lacing.

S- Subtle, citrus hop, bready yeast.

T- Amber style malt, very light hopping. Some fruit, not much.

M- Relatively heavy body, light carbonation.

O- Good beer, not great, ubiquitous in the area, worth drinking. (268 characters)

Photo of DKRowden
4.74/5  rDev +21.5%
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. (340 characters)

Photo of hbensinger
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (328 characters)

Photo of zbkai189
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at SeaTac airport's Africa Lounge. Served far too cold, so had to let it sit for awhile. Glad I did, because this one was pretty good. Appearance is very hazy copper. Looks more like an IPA. Smell is malty and sweet which contrasts nicely with the spicy mouthfeel. Overall pretty decent American amber. (313 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (303 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap at the Oxford Suites motel at Jantzen Beach. Color is dark amber and appearance is cloudy in the pint glass. A modest head to start with. Plenty spritzy in the mouth with a distinct club soda taste.

Quite malty mouthfeel. Some browned flavors and a little sharp. The hops are herbaceous and on the dank side. Collard greens and the old oaken bucket. Murky and something tasting like "rust" overall. More bitter as you sip. I find it really quite unpleasant, but maybe people like this particular taste. (510 characters)

Photo of DoctorQ9
3.94/5  rDev +1%
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. (303 characters)

Photo of bondjedi
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This luxurious and chocolatey brew meters out as a "5" on the mouthfeel, one of the few top marks this reviewer has ever handed out. Lots of lacing, all the way to the bottom of the glass. The only thing that keeps this pop away from the Chimay-level is its appearance, which is reminiscent of the Cuyahoga River circa 1978. Bravo to you Mac, bravo to you Jack. (361 characters)

Photo of BoFoSho
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

One can find this brew on tap in many establishments in the Northwest. This African Amber is copper in color with a minimal head. The smell is that of mild hops. By far and away one of the most balanced beers I've enjoyed. Barley and citrus flavors can be picked out, while the hoppy taste diminishes quickly. Mac & Jack's African Ale is not as ferocious as the lion on the tap may seem, but it is certainly one of my favorites. (428 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've had this beer countless times, but not in recent recollection.

Turbid oragey amber with a etched surface of light foam. Smells of, well the cleaner of the restaurant here (can't dock 'em). Flavor is malty with some hints of oxidation and a good bit of bitterness and some sweet honey in here as well; not a bad flavor. Medium on full bodied here with plenty hi carb (too high) and a wet finish. The aftertaste is a bit sweet and has that slightly milky character. It's an alright beer. (492 characters)

Photo of mfavoino
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap 10/2/12.

Appearance: Hazy orange/amber color with a thin white head.

Smell: Caramel malts and some floral hops. Smells nice and malty.

Taste: Caramel malts, following the nose with a bit of bready dryness. Light citrus hops as it finishes.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, but almost on the full-bodied side for the style. Finishes nice and clean.

Overall: Nice representation of the style that is more malt forward. Flavorful and definitely a go to. (455 characters)

Photo of pirkle668
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very quality Amber Ale. Only available in Washington State, and only on-premise.

A bit heavier than typical ambers / alts. Smell is hard to detect, but the taste is really quite good. A very smooth offering. If I lived in the Seattle area, I would seek out an occasional growler for the fridge. (305 characters)

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African Amber from Mac and Jack's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.