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Steep Trail Amber Ale - Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Steep Trail Amber AleSteep Trail Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

35 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 14.42%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mark on 10-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark bronze-like orange with tangerine edges and multiple streams of uprushing bubbles. The pour produced a near explosion of khaki colored froth that is now filling 90% of the pint glass. Small splotches of sudsy lace manage to stick in spots.

The nose is par for the amber ale course in that it's toasted, earthy and somewhat fruity (although not citrusy). It sounds like the brewers were shooting for a British vibe rather than an American one, and it smells like they've succeeded.

Steep Trail Amber Ale is a beer without bells and whistles. Although it doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, it's pretty generic and is destined to be forgotten. That sounds like a summation statement, but we aren't done yet.

Subsequent mouthfuls don't hold up quite as well as the first few. The beer is dominated by toasted-earthy malts and a steely caramel quality. So far so good. However, it has a sour fruitiness and a metallic edge, neither of which are welcome. More (and more distinctive) hops would have helped.

The mouthfeel is a little thin for the ABV (5.7%) and is lacklusterly bubbled. Once again, abundant carbonation becomes wimpy carbonation before the bottom third of the bottle is breached. All things considered, barely average.

Given what else is available in the great craft beer state of California, it's hard to believe that Black Diamond does very well outside of Concord and it environs. Then again, this is my first BDBC offering. Bottom line: the view isn't worth the climb.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
2.75/5  rDev -15.6%

JAHMUR, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

mendvicdog, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of jwc215
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours copperish amber with a sizable foamy off-white head.

The smell is on the mild side - caramel/toffee some plum, with an earthy tone.

The taste of sweet toffee has roasty, slightly burnt, edges. It has an earthy, somewhat metallic, bitterness that clashes with the maltiness that becomes subdued. Slight alcohol shows.

Carbonation is rough. Sandpaper-ish. Rather fizzy as it goes over the palate, yet it does keep the flavor lingering a bit.

It's pretty astringent/harsh. It does have a decent hop presence, but more in the way of bitterness sans flavour. Burnt edges don't help. Too many distractors add up here to make it really enjoyable.

jwc215, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3/5  rDev -8%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colored beer with a small tan colored head. Head doesn't last and falls.

Smell is sweet scorched malt and tea with a faint rye grain aroma. Lastly smoke and a faint vegetable aroma.

The taste starts out dry and malty with a strong woody flavor and a slight astringent effect on the tongue. Good herbal hop flavor, as it mellows out a bit this tastes like a slightly harsher taste clone of Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Tastes a lot like Boston Lager only not as polished. Worth a try but I like the Sam Adams version better.

Zorro, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +22.7%

wrightst, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a hazy/cloudy medium orange-amber color with less than a half-inch of off-white head that had low-to-moderate retention and very light lacing.

The aroma featured some floral hops mixed with sweet malts and a trace of pineyness in the background. The flavors were pretty much the same, a well balanced blend of floral and pine hops, mixed with a slightly sweet malt profile.

The body was the typically medium of the style, was a bit stickier at the finish than some examples, and had a tart hoppiness that lingered. Drinkability was pretty good, I could have a couple of these. Overall, a decent take on the style. Possibly a good entry level brew for someone new to craft beer. Worth trying when you see it.

beertunes, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Brad007
2.88/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One out of 3 Black Diamond ales I picked up to try. Pours a mild amber color as expected with a head that's large enough to leave lacing.

Sweet, buttery malt and not much more. Mild pine hop essence if you smell hard enough.

Ditto for flavor. Cloyingly sweet. Can't tell if it was bottled in July of this year or if it was best-before July?

Palate numbing mouthfeel is unwelcome for the style.

My mind suspects the former as far as bottling is concerned but still, what a disappointment.

Brad007, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
2.68/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is thick, deep brownish-orange in color with an almost tan head that erupted when I popped the top. This one is definitely overly-carbonated and the head didn't even look that good. The bubbles were loose and evaporated rather quickly for the style.

Smell - This has a very stale smell. The malt lacks complexity and while it doesn't offend it certainly isn't inviting.

Taste - There's a bit more sweetness at the taste that livens things up but the stale malt ruins the flavor profile. The hops are leafy and one-dimensional. Their website says that it contains "British noble hops" but whatever character they were trying to impart just didn't come out right.

Mouthfeel - This is thin for the style, not even medium-bodied, but did have a nice, toasty, mild bitter finish.

Drinkability - It sounds worse than it was. I was able to finish the bottle but definitely would not buy again.

RoyalT, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -8%

ROGUE16, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of StJamesGate
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fizzy oxblood with a fast fading off white head that disappears without a trace. Stewed fruit and roasted nuts on the nose, with a hint of orange. Smoke and molasses in the malts with spicy tea leaf and citrus oil hops. Woody linger. Sticky, lively and surprisingly thin for the flavors.

I've had ruby porters that drank lighter. Sticky + English, if that's what you're looking for out of a red.

Like some other reviewers, I was expecting a California hoppy amber like Red Rocket, and didn't get it. However, it does say "toffee, plums and hazelnuts" on the label, so you've got to rate it on what it is.

StJamesGate, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -8%

shelby415, May 10, 2012
Photo of Offa
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fairly good ale, more like a drier English-style ale in character rather than American or typical west coast ale.

From the bottle, it is copper, it has an utterly huge off-white head, usually out of control, sometimes just really large. The head slowly shrinks to a foamy, rocky head and leaves some foamy lace.

The aroma is a bit subdued, somewhat English, yeasty, caramelly, with a little toasted grain, dry hay that has gotten damp, hint of wet wood, leaves, resin, and metal.

The taste is somewhat restrained and rather dry but still basically flavourful. It is a bit English in character with light sweet-sour fruit, tangy teastiness, light caramelly bready sweetness, light spicey-leafy bitterness that is faintly peppery and a faint nutty-vanilla undertone. The finish is drysih, light leafy-peppery bitterness with slight caramelly-bready sweetness.

Offa, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of avisong
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

avisong, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of artoolemomo
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

artoolemomo, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of MisterClean
2.48/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the source.

A - Nice amber color with light head.

S - Mostly malty with light note of bread crust.

T - Nothing distinctly stood out about this brew; Dry maltiness, with a bread crust flavor.

M - Very dry finish, no alcohol presence.

D - Might pair well with a salty dish. Maybe fish and chips. Otherwise, would not recommend going solo with this beer.

MisterClean, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Mark
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Standard copper reddish color, head was slightly off white and retained fairly well. Lacing was not what I had expected as the thin rings were erratic and short lived. Good malty aroma, taste profile was very malt accented and seemed a bit on the sweet side, lightly hopped. It was rather an odd taste and made we wonder if it was off. This well could have been the case since i had this not at the brew pub but at a pizza joint. Still 22oz went down fairly easily. Not outstanding but not bad either.

Mark, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of beachbum1975
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at Hops bar in the Biltmore Hotel, San Jose CA. 12 oz bottle with no freshness date seen.

Pour a clear, dark amber with an average tan head. Head retention was decent.

I get caramel and toffee accents on the nose with a faint hint of earthy hops. Nice and average nose for the most part.

Taste reflected the nose. Causal blend of caramel and toffee (like the nose) with a mild hop bite. Nice amber ale qualities in this one - not complex, but easy to drink.

beachbum1975, May 13, 2010
Photo of climax
4.4/5  rDev +35%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first offering from Black Diamond pours a cloudy deep chestnut brown. The creamy large head is frothy and seems to have no ambition of leaving. The lace is fantastic, my glass can't breath.

The nose explodes with cocoa, hazelnut, and toffee. It is certainly malt heavy, almost a brown ale IMO. The earthy hop tones survive in the mix, but barely.

The flavor follows the same sweet and malty tones as the aroma. Once again, it's packed with nutty chocolate; added doughy notes and juicy plum make things more exciting.. The dryness that follows has a slightly bitter hop character that ties the knot.

The feel is thick and creamy, with just the right amount of bite. It's almost doughy as it slides around my mouth. The finish is dry and does more than beg for another drink.

This is a fantastic beer, certainly good enough to persuade me to look for more Black Diamond.

climax, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of stephendr
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of honey yellow , with a decent frothy off white head – clean crisp nose of yeast , honey , grain , and slight vegetation – taste of slight yeast , honey , grain , mild bitterness , and sugar sweetness - body is grainy , and lightly carbonated – aftertaste of slightly bitter , sweet honey quality , and slightly sour

stephendr, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of h4ger
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

h4ger, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of loupap
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

loupap, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of TwoTrees
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

TwoTrees, Jul 30, 2013
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Steep Trail Amber Ale from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.