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: 14.1%
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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Reviews: 120 | Hads: 355
Photo of msubulldog25
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pint glass, Capt. Ankeny's Portland, OR:

A: A really nice looking tawny amber, with golden highlights. Thin but creamy white head with steady lacing

S: Mild floral hoppiness but little else. Beer may have been served a little cold...or my nose just doesn't detect much.

T: An interesting mixture - toasted nuts & malt, but with a nicely balanced hop bitterness. Just a hint of citrus zest & some pine in the finish.

M: Medium body, a fairly thick and creamy mouthfeel with a pleasnt lingering bitterness and moderate carbonation.

D: A pleasant session-type beer. Not overly complex, but good flavors & enjoyable. Try if you see it on tap... (655 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cucina Cucina in Tigard, OR. Pours with one-finger white head that goes quickly leaving a little lace. Clear amber color. Slight hoppy nose. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Starts with a good mix of malt and hops, hops dominate, well balanced for an amber, finish does not linger. $4.50 for a 16oz glass. (319 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inspired by the proud feline on the label, I have opted to employ my lovely Lion tulip glass from the Ceylon Brewing Company of Sri Lanka. That will be all the pointless, self-involved trivia for this review. You're welcome.

Unfiltered, for sure, as it pours opaquely, a rich russet, far darker than I'd expect of an amber, light orange at the foot and along the sides. The head is puffy, bone-white, a solid half inch and holds well. Very attractive glass of brew!

Nose is lightly laced with hops and amped up with sweet malt. Slightly candyish, and aplomb with fruit, soft citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, orange rind and lemon zest. Exceptionally inviting!

Clean entry on the palate, but loaded with flavor, urging the lips to meet the cup again, for a deeper examination. Hangs full in the mouth, then floods the gates with deliciousness, same flavors found in the aroma spilling out.

Body is medium, mouthfeel is smooth, while tangy and tasty. Finish is lighter than I normally prefer, but seems just right for the style. I understand why ambers are favorites among many people and the one that hits the right medium can became "the best beer in the world!" to those folks. There's a lot of them, and I can see why this one can easily be Washington's answer to New Belgium's Fat Tire, Anderson Valley Boont Amber, and so many others. I would drink it up like crazy, if there were no IPAs or Stouts vying for my attention.

Only halfway into the glass as I finish these notes, and yet I can assure one and all that this growler will be gone in no time flat. Well-crafted, unfiltered amber of exceptional quality will always have a home in my stomach. (Actually, it's starting to remind me of other favorite unfiltered ambers, such as Bell's Amber, and also Rush River's The Unforgiven, not surprising that the RR brewers once worked for Mac & Jack's.)

much thanks to Corey for the chance to try it out, at last, after reading of it's cult status for so long! (1,981 characters)

Photo of jclovebrew
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at an airport bar in Seattle. Cloudy, opaque, light orange. Looks like an dunkel weisen that's extra dunkel. Aroma was unexpectedly citrus. Very refreshing. Light bodied and kind of fruity. A touch of citrus, that I can''t figure out where it's coming from (the hops? but it doesn't feel like hops). Detecting some wheat in the malt bill though it could just be my imagination. This would make a great session beer. Unique, tasty, and easy-drinkin. (463 characters)

Photo of xoqx
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don’t drink Mack and Jack’s African Amber very much – I never seek it out. It has never left me wanting more. I do like fresh beer, however. This afternoon, dining at the somewhat concealed Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond, Washington I was confronted with their lackluster beer selection, of which only two are on tap. M&J was one of them. I ordered a pint with an open mind, if some reluctance. HOWEVER, it would have been with much more zeal if I had known then where Mack and Jack’s is brewed. Less than 600 yards from Lisa Dupar’s East Side catering kitchen-restaurant is Mack and Jack’s Brewing Company. I like to drink fresh beer close to where it’s made, so this was a nice coincidence.

Appearance – The beer pours brown and very cloudy with an unfiltered almost ciderish appearance. A one finger off-white head exhibited little retention and very slight lacing. This is atypically cloudy for an American Amber Ale.

Smell – There is very little offered in the nose here. Some slight malted barley, caramel scents are present and not much else.

Taste – The beer has a lot of fruity overtones, no doubt from the amount of yeast still in suspension in this beer. Slight caramelly notes are added by the medium-roasted malts and the slight hoppiness present provide some citric bitterness. The finish is short and unremarkable,

Mouthfeel – The beer is somewhat chewy and medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This is a fairly drinkable beer, but not as drinkable as I would expect from this style. My impressions haven’t been changed too much. However, I will seek out some of the few other brews offered by this Washington brewery. (1,655 characters)

Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Given to me by cvschaller in GIF 6.0.

Well packaged growler with electrical tape around the cap. Upon opening, I noticed that the beer was filled all the way to the very top.

The beer smells sweet. I don't get a lot of hops in the nose, though, from the dry hopping.

Pours a nice amber color. Ample head with plenty of sticky lacing.

Tastes superbly balanced. Hops, malty sweetness, and bready yeast from this unfiltered brew. Plenty of carbonation with a semi sweet coating mouthfeel.

A great session beer all the way from Redmond Washington to my home in Slatington Pennsylvania.

A heart felt thanks to cvschaller for this wonderful Sunday night treat. Cheers brother. (688 characters)

Photo of evoljetta
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First tried this beer on a trip to Seattle by chance. Looks cloudy like a good wheat beer. Good mouthfeel with a wonderful taste..Every time I go to Seattle, a trip to the Mac and Jack brewery is now a staple...The only bad thing about this beer that I can say is they don't sell it in Chicago :( (296 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent example of a Pacific-Northwest brew.

Nice redish-amber hue.

Lots of citrousy cascade flavour, balanced with a malty backbone. The aroma isn't quite as strong as the flavour.

Very drinkable. I'll have to travel back to this area again! (265 characters)

Photo of shark262
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night at the Viking, and again today at The Elk, both on-tap (as if you can get it any other way).

Poured a cloudy orange/amber color. Big, fluffy white head with lots of lace. This looked almost like a hefe.

Smell was of mildly sweet malts and floral hops, with a noticable orange scent to it as well. All very well-balanced smelling. It smelled very inviting.

Taste was similar to the smell. Without being cloying, it was sweet tasting. There was a mild dryness at the swallow, but there otherwise wasn't much hoppiness at all. Though I normally prefer my ambers hoppy, this is not a complaint, as what was here was very tasty. This is probably the only mostly-malty amber I've ever enjoyed, as most taste kind of out-of-whack to me, if that makes any sense. While it's not the best tasting beer I've ever had, it's an excellent accompaniment to one's lunch on a sunny afternoon.

Medium bodied ale, with a normal amount of carbonation. No nasty surprises here.

This makes an excellent session beer. Definitely one to remember when you're hanging out with some friends and want to share a few pitchers. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint ( or 3), at Gregorys Lounge near Sea-Tac.
A nice darkish amber coulour beer with a good sized creamy/frothy white head.
It has quite a spicy aroma for an amber , with notes of citrus and maltiness.
This is quite an unusual amber ,very sweet and spicy with particular notes of peach flavour.,Bitter after taste.
Nice and smooth on the tongue woth lowish carbonation.
A very drinkable amber, unusual for sure,but i liked it a lot. (438 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dirty amber in color with a clean, headless pour. Woven inbetween the hops is a citrus flavor (orange maybe?). Makes me think of a hefeweizen taste; not an amber. There was little lace on the side of the glass. The beer's aroma made me think of being outdoors. My friend said it was tasting funny, so maybe the it was a bad keg. (328 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thank god that I live in Seattle everytime I have this beer. Mac & Jacks is a staple at most bars in the Greater Seattle area. The appearance is amber colored with a dark hue. The smell is of hops and faint hint of malts, a slyte fruity and caramel trace as well. The taste is great. The malts and hops are very well balanced and it has a hint of a caramel. When the beer is in the mouth the carbonation is just right with a smooth taste. This is a very drinkable beer, when in a bar I always go for this, excellent! (518 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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. (669 characters)

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting something more like a traditional Amber. I was very suprised. This was a very good beer. It pours a Hazy amber color. A little head to it. More hops in the nose than I expected. Full malty taste, with a lot more hops than I expected. Definitely, not over the top, however. Very good, I'll have another! (318 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap in Seattle this week. Nice light brown color. Minimal head & lacing (perhaps due to the pour?).

Smell is of malts & biscuits. Very nice and inviting.

Taste is better than average. I like the malt sweetness and the better than expected hop presence. Very good carbonation. This is a nice example of style.

Drinkabilty is high (I had three with dinner). Mouthfeel while decent, could use a simdgen more heft. I liked this beer and will have it again when I'm in the area. (500 characters)

Photo of zacharius
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of enjoying a Mac and Jack's African Amber tonight. Aside from the appearance, I think this is a definate "must-taste" for anyone who visits a NW pub.

Unfortunately, my brew arrived with no head. (There could be a few different reasons for such.) It was sufficiently amber, leaning more towards dark orange hues. The nose is that of simple maltiness.

The flavor is majestic, especially for a malt lover like me. There is such a pleasant, toasty caramel and butterscotch flavor. There are notes of honey and a slight hint of "Hershey's Almond Bar" (!). The overall flavor sticks around long enough in the mouth to give you an appreciation for the balanced finish of the beer. The bitterness/hop factor is just right. Yet, nothing about this beer is never overpowering. The residual sweet taste that lingers is welcomed.

I would definately like to have another. (888 characters)

Photo of tigerpaws
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good amber ale it pours with a nice copper color and a slight head. The aroma is malty as is the taste, but has enuff hops for this hophead to enjoy. A very good brew to pair with food and worthy of putting me at the century mark.......CHEERS (251 characters)

Photo of jreitman
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(draft) Good amber color with nice head. Taste is very clean and crisp with a nice, but not overwhelming hoppiness. Nice maltiness and good body in the mouth. Overall a very enjoyable beer. (192 characters)

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