Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

The Unforgiven Amber Ale - Rush River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Unforgiven Amber AleThe Unforgiven Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

74 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 167
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 4
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rush River Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 07-14-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 74 | Hads: 167
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass) bottled 2wk June
A- This beer has a slightly hazy slightly dense apricot brown body with a snow globe of little bits swirling around with tiny bubbles. There is a sticky antique white head that last for most of the beer.
S- The soft sweet but very aromatic caramel malt and honey malt gives way to a soft green pine aroma that grows with each sip.
T- This beer has a slightly sweet caramel malt with some dry honey malt notes underneath. There is a soft slightly sweet biscuit note then a soft pine hint in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture.
D- This beer has a nice full rich caramel flavor but its not sweet or sugary with a nice support of green hops underneath. If there were light classes of beers I would say this is a great light barleywine. (823 characters)

Photo of brow1901
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours and amber yellow color with a thin white head on top. The head disappears to nothing quickly, and leaves no lacing as it goes.

S- The smell that stands out to me is the lager yeast character. Less fruity esters it seems, though it does say ale on the label. The hops smell spicy and citrus.

T- Real light, mostly just hops that stand out. Tastes like typical bitter hops that are found in a lager, (maybe it is ale yeast with saaz or hallerteu hops).

M- Real light, which is apporiate. The carbonation levels are a bit low and the finish is too slick for me.

D- Pretty drinkable for the style, I like the hops in this beer. Not the most complex but this style never is. (683 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is orange brown in color. It looks alot like fresh apple cider actually. Fairly cloudy with a half inch a thick beige head. Nice amount of sticky lace is left around the rim.

The aroma is rich caramel malt. Some spiciness with chocolate and fresh baked bread. This is a great smelling beer for sure. I hope the flavor follows.

The flavor does not dissapoint. Smooth malt and breadiness with a dose of hops to balance it out. Very rich.

Smooth medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a solid beer. This is my first from rush river and I will be seeking some of there other offerings for sure. (633 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one falls on the light and orangey side of amber; there is scantly any tones of red and inspection to the light reveals only a more radiant and more concentrated shade of orange. Its head is elephant tusks white and appears strong and sturdy like them too. A slurry of bubbles and sediment are tossed about as if caught in the updraft of a tornado.

There's no doubt in my mind after smelling this: The Unforgiven is a beer I want to drink. It exudes a rather delightful, highly ambrosial bouquet of fresh baked bread, pumpkin pie spices, withering flowers, caramel-coated pastries and just an ounce of citrus fruit. It is like a busy bakery meets a confectioners' cupboard meets a springtime countryside.

The flavour makes for a beer that isn't quite as trite as its style would have you expect. What sets this amber ale apart from most others I've had is the distinctly perceptible taste of sourdough bread. It may hail from the Mid West but I swear I'm in San Fransisco drinking this! That sourdough flavour is best described as being, well, doughy and bready.

There is also a sweeping wave of buttery caramel that washes the palate in a sticky-sweet coating. A generous hint of diacetyl seems to be the ribbon that ties the caramel and bread together to make one tasty present for the tongue. An appetizing but unexpected note of pumpkin-pie spicing keeps recurring. I like it a lot.

All the pleasantries described so far are likely the result of a couple things: this beer was A) dry-hopped, which explains that underlying earthy tone and those harbored notes of citrus; and B) fermented with a specially cultured strain of yeast, which likely is responsible for the unique sourdough bread character and that pumpkin pie-like spiciness.

Of course, we can't discredit the work of the brewmaster; this malt bill is as hefty as it is delicious and both bitterness and carbonation are bang on the nose for a beer designed to be easily quaffed. Any offering that features both this quality and quantity of both malts and hops is a winner in my books. I'd drink this any day of the week, any time of the year. (2,122 characters)

Photo of will4240
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First beer I ever had... Picked up a case for old time's sake.

Overall a pretty decent brew. Everything that one might expect from an amber/red ale. The maltiness and hops were both pronounced enough to keep things interesting, but this brew is simply not complex enough to be profound.

A decent brew from a company located on my favorite fly fishing river. (361 characters)

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled fourth week of July '09. An orange-amber brew with a half finger caramel coloured head that shrunk to a wispy slightly swirling centre. There was a lot of suspended yeast particles stirred and rotated by very active carbonation but next to no lacing or ring. Sediment left in the bottle not insignificant.

The smell was mildly sweet, dried apricot and citrus fruit. Taste is also slightly on the sweet side with mandarin orange and stated ingredients hops, wheat and barley weighing in. The carbonation held up well and contributed to a pleasant mouthfeel to compliment a very agreeable taste. Some caramel notes in the finish, medium body and good drinkability. By the end of the glass, the yeast had settled leaving a clear light amber fluid. Overall, quite enjoyable and recommended. A special thanks to Beer Manager Annette at Merchants Fine Wines in Dearborn MI for taking my email address in early July and letting me know when she was able to secure a six pack of this, it meant a lot to a dear friend of mine who goes by the same moniker (The Unforgiven) and just happens to be a huge Rush fan. (1,112 characters)

Photo of atis
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazy amber with foamy head that soon fades to bubbly patches. Aroma is pine hops, grapefruit and caramel malt.

Taste is bittery citrus hops first with bready malt, bits of fruit, citrus bitterness lasts into short aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth light-medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall, good and drinkable. Nothing too special about it, but perfect before going to sleep after a 12 hour working day. (424 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap in the back room of my house...hell yeah! Thanks to scoobydank for hooking me up with this 1/6 keg for our annual summer shindig. I'm certain it won't survive the night.

Lighter than a classic amber, more an IPA color, very little reddish slopping around the glass. Smell is distinct, bready, hoppy, & a bit of handsoap, though not in a bad way.

Tastes like Fat Tire without the nasty rubber aftertaste. Crusty twelve-grain bread (ha! it always cracks me up when people describe stuff so specifically, like they're striving for Napa Valley-esque cool), malty, with a paper clip of hops fading into the background. The nice twang in the aftertaste makes me want to screw up my face & gaze quizzically at the glass for a while, to try to figure out exactly what it's telling me. I'm not sure. Easy to drink, really bready.

Good brew. I'd love to have this hot off the production line, I think the hops would be brighter & give this a whole 'nuther level of interest. (977 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer begins with a steady and classic Amber pour. Medium amber to strong copper in color, the beer has near perfect clarity. A medium head fills the rim of the chalice and then reduces to a comfortable layer and holding serve. No real lacing on the glass.

A balanced aroma of sweet, caramely malts and orange-zest hops fill the nose. Light esters and phenols come in late along with a yeasty breadiness.

Malt flavors take the lead with a strong, sweet caramel taste. English malts give a firm bready, biscuity taste and in a rather bold manner. The hops (still in orange-zest mode) makes a valliant attempt to balance the sweetness but falls just slight. Herbal and citrusy hop flavor take a back seat here. Light fruitiness rides in the peripheries along with a light plastic phenolic taste.

Body is medium with the sweetness taking its toll in the end. Bitterness is there but never really balances the superior malt sweetness. Not sticky or heavy, the sweet taste isn't necessarity indicative of the mouthfeel.

Finishes with a deep caramel linger along with an herbal, orange flavored bitterness. Quite a nice beer. It reminds me of Lexington's local Kentucky Ale except with better hop balance and boldness.

Thanks Arvjunk! (1,236 characters)

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Pint Glass
Drank At: Haymarket Grill (Eau Claire, WI)

This is the second Rush River that I have had on tap, and both times they have come out quite clear. The bottle I have had was definitely cloudy so you could see how it wasn't filtered. Perhaps the sediment is settling at the bottom of the keg.

Appearance: Amber.

Smell: Very strong malt and bread aroma.

Taste: A sweet malt caramel flavor. I noticed a lot of people claiming quite noticeable hop flavor and scent, but I didn't detect these.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: It was a good brew, and worth trying. I wouldn't pick it up again though. I'd stick to their Bubblejack IPA. (659 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mr. Quartetman for the beer. Pours a orange hue, cloudy, with a small head, but bits of yeast in there, wow, like unfiltered eh? Interesting, wondering if it's too old.

Nice nose, deep malt and slight hops.

This is a big flavored amber, lots of malt and some hops so it's not too sweet. Love the style. Apples, some other fruitiness, very satisfying.

Big carbonation, heavy and solid in the mouth, silky and easy to drink, a refreshing beer with good taste. A good spring/summer
drinker.

Note: I had a taste of the Troeg NN recently, and I prefer this type, not the highly hopped ones. But of those, the Shark Bite is my favorite. (642 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(A) Clear amber color. Pours with a nice head then settles. Visible sediment.
(S) Slight bready smell with mild hop aroma.
(T) Mellow sweetness and notes of caramel. Bitterness in the aftertaste.
(M) Body is lighter than expected. Crisp with some girth.
(D) Just average. Not a stand out brew. (293 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice amber color with a big head and good lacing it looks great...the smell is woodsy/malty slight hop ... the taste is the same smooth sweet malt carmel with biscuit notes followed by to little hops finish for me ...the mouthfell is strange almost sweet soapy taste..i dont know.. its drinkable if your outside on a cookout or picnic or doing yardwork but not for an enjoyable brew at home in front of the fireplace... it is drinkable.. so ill say try it and you be the judge.. when i want an amber ale i will reach for BELLS instead (542 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: bottle filled to the top, into a tyranena pint, pours a dirty amber color with a khaki head, low retention

s: pale grains and a healthy dose of lightly toasted/caramelized malts, barley husk and chaff, good hop presence of sweet citrus and stonefruit

m: low-medium carbonation, medium body

t: pale and lightly toasted barley flavors, full in flavor as if intact and straight from the fields, earthy hops with a moderate bitterness, more of the citrus and stonefruit from the aroma, rustic

d: enjoyable, a bit homebrew-ish in an unrefined way, but that's a large part of the appeal for me

single purchased in and carried back from Madison (645 characters)

Photo of drizzam
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of a Christmas gift 12 pack from a friend.

Appearance: I poured it into my pint glass and immediately noticed chunks of dark sediment floating around in the beer...apparently this is a normal characteristic of this beer as it is unfiltered. All the heavier dark chunks fell to the bottom of the glass while some lighter sediment remained floating. The amber copper color was cloudy and impressive. Scarce head that left very little lacing.

Smell: Bready and hoppy...and I think I'm detecting a certain citrousy twang in there.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel...the taste is about identical to what I smell. Citrousy and bready with a hoppy backbite on the swallow.

Drinkability: The Unforgiven looked rough and dirty on the pour, like the movie with the same name starring Clint Eastwood. With it's moderately low ABV and moderate hoppiness, it made me high in happiness. I could see drinking this one again. (923 characters)

Photo of garcia2a
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this down at the foodery, hadn't been there in a while so I stopped down.

This beer poured a cloudy rusty-anber color with a fleetong head and light carbonation.

The nose is quite sweet and flowery with hops and a tinge of orange zest. The hops and the sweetness carried over to the taste as I really am getting this ascerbic bite on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is ok, but I am getting heavy cloying, which for me makes this a one-off at a sitting. A decent hoppy beer. (474 characters)

Photo of kmeves
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy amber orange with a smallish white head. Aroma is lightly sweet with fresh grapefruit, pine hop and caramel malt. Flavor has a good malt backbone as well as a decent amount of hops for the style. Nice fruity aspect as well. Medium bodied, sticky textured. Somewhat long bitter finish. (304 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a foggy orange hued amber with a thin creme head. Nose is a bit of pineapple juice and a leafy hop thing. Flavor is nice and sweet (possibly a bit too much, but I'm not bothered.) Mellows out and you get a nice hoppy tone with that standard red ale characteristic. It's true to style. Seems a bit creamy on the liquid feel, but the carbonation is really biting at my tongue long after I am done sipping, and it kind of bugs me. Overall a nice brew. Tone down the high level of carbonation and I'd have a regular line-up beer (if only it were available in NYC.) (566 characters)

Photo of mjryan
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The colour of this beer is, well, amber. Slightly hazy, I decanted carefully as this is unfiltered. Nice white head with ok lacing. Smells strongly of toasty malts, with a slight sourdough breadiness to it. A light citrus, earthy hop aroma makes a cameo as well. The flavour mirrors the aroma with perhaps a tad more hop presence. There is also a slight, almost Belgian like yeast twang in there. Bitterness is there for balance and helps to leave a nice dryness in the finish. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. This is an easy drinkin and well made beer. An intersting variation on what can at times be a rather boring style. I like this beer an awfull lot! (663 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Silty, sediment-laden pumpkin amber with a tight sticky pale khaki head.
The nose exudes plenty of wrought iron metallics and buttered dinner rolls, with a backing of hop-driven tropical fruit punch.
Into the mouth, it's all buttered bread, microwave popcorn, and heavy duty diacetyl. It's a shame, because under this oppressive curtain and burnt butter is a seemingly lovely, lightly nutty and toasty amber ale with a solid, if slightly metallic and astringent, citric and tropical hoppiness.
The mouthfeel is medium full and notably pasty with low CO2.
I've had similar problems with diacetyl in their Small Axe (and to a far lesser extent, Bubblejack IPA). Either they are wildly inconsistant, or I am particularly sensitive about their yeast. Regardless, I think I'm done with them. (787 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, filler in a mixed six pack

appearance: poured into an imperial pint glass, a rather copper body with a fluffy beige cap and decent retention...nice

smell: i was rather surprised to find out that this beer has quite a nice hop profile, sharp citrus and bubblegum combined with a nice grassy malt core...i like what i smell

taste: this is a nice amber ale, i'd definitely drink it on tap if that were an option. I love the hop profile - juicy citrus and bubblegum, tangerine, peach....grassy caramel malts...lovely

mouthfeel: smooth and crisp

drinkability: high (577 characters)

Photo of happygnome
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a nice transparent amber darker reddish color with about a quarter inch of head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing
s: bready, yeasty floral citrusy notes
t: floral and citrus hop bitterness at first, very light bitterness. a caramel yeasty sweet malt flavor nice and refreshing
m: medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, i reallyenjoyed this (377 characters)

Photo of Ragingbull
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with little to no head. Light but active prickle. Almost neutral nose that comes across as delicate but balanced with only the slightest hints of both hops and sweet malts. Clean attack and pretty complex for a standard amber ale. Smooth sweet flavor with that refreshing taste that smacks when you take your first sip in a new brewpub. Malt dominant flavor with the slightest hint of hops. The hops is more easily detected in the initial portion of the attack but the malt quickly takes over. I would rate it a B. (526 characters)

Photo of tjfontaine
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I first tried this beer on tap a few years ago in a small restaurant near Ellsworth wisconsin. This beer WAS brewed in Maiden Rock near the rush river but as they have grown they moved to River Falls.

This is a great beer for my tastes - unfiltered, full body, just the right amount of hops ... tastes a lot like Mac and Jacks African Amber which I think this beer was modeled after. It is now my regular beer when I choose not to experiment with something new. (463 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Geez, I like this beer a lot! Hard to fault it. Poured with a huge foamy frothy pale tan to off white head and plenty o lace. Big hoppy nose. Hazy amber with orange tones looked so appealing in the glass. Mouth filling and pleasing. A little soft. Nice play between the hops and some residual sweetness. Good finish. Great session beer. (336 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Unforgiven Amber Ale from Rush River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.