Amber Ale
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #1,178
Ranked #48,782
2.82 | pDev: 21.63%
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
California, United States
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

3.18/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Standard brown glass 22 ounce Bomber. Neck label has a Whale spouting water through its blowhole with the words ‘Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’ encircling it with the words ‘Hand Crafted’ and ‘Dry Hopped’ either side. The Main label lists the brew as ‘Amber Ale’. Certified Organic and Listed at 5.4% ABV on the label. No discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Solid presentation. Lovely deep light tan head sits above a slightly cloudy bronzed-copper body. Sticky lacing and average conditioning.

Nose: Bready nose full of fruity yeasts. Warming hint of roast chestnuts. Grainy malts in the back end.

Taste: A mouthful of the creamy head implants a dough laden impression on the tongue. Middle continues the bakery association with wholegrain wheat flavors and grain encrusted freshly baked cobs. Reminds me of home made brown bread, you know its good for you, but it becomes heavy and one-dimensional in the long run. Finishes with baked malts, toasted with a soft sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The middle of this brew is right where it should be, but it starts with a grainy entrance and finishes a tad thin, which spoils this one a bit.

Drinkability: OK, fair enough, not that bad, so-so….all the expressions for this average brew have been used thousands of times before, and they all mean the same thing. I soon found myself staring at the latter third of the Bomber and wandering why it is taking so long and if I should finish the bottle. Fades quickly and soon feels like a chore.

Overall: Not that bad, but as with the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Belgian Style Pale Ale that I had last night; this one just doesn’t do it for me. Great presentation, nice nose, but boredom soon sets in midway through the drink. Like one of those old fashion schoolteachers that wears jackets with reinforced elbow pads, it does the job, but in a rather predictable way. Needs a little more “joi d’vivre” to become that favorite female French teacher, if you know what I mean. OK, but a bit boring!

Jan 24, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy from New York

3.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - popped the cap, turned around, and whoa, a gusher all over the counter, huge light tan head billowy head with great retention and lacing, very hazy with lots of sediment, lots of bubbles as well

s - lemon and citrusy hops mixed with biscuity malt, some tangerine hints, slight caramel, no alcohol evident

t - fairly malty without much hoppiness, sourdough bread, slight caramel, some lemony bitterness on the mid-palate and into the finish with a graininess developing on the tail end, not much alcohol, pretty well-balanced and about what I would look for in an amber

m - somewhat light-bodied, high carbonation, well-balanced on the finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable in that it is easy on the palate, but it's really not that interesting in flavor, that said, I could easy drink a few pints of this, particularly on a warmer day

Not too bad of an organic beer overall. Kind of interesting that the only two ingredients, according to the bottle, are "organic malt, organic hops." Go figure, here I thought you needed water and yeast to make beer...

Dec 04, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux from Texas

2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle tried 4 Dec 2007.

Small tight yellowish head. Well carbonated. Cloudy caramel color. Aroma of sour apple and green vegetables. Tastes of earthy raw veggies. Somewhat dry. Finishes slightly hopped. Medium light body. Alcohol not really noticeable.

Had this on tap at the bar and was much better...

Jul 01, 2010
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover from Oregon

3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought at Capital Market, Salem. 22oz brown bottle.
Wow what a bad pour!..even taking it very easy I got a huge frothy tan head, that over took my pint glass and did not go down for several minutes. When it did i saw a hazy amber ale, tan creamy/rocky head. Aroma is not up to much just a maltiness. Taste is bitter type malts, with an fruity undertone that almost reminds me of a dry cider.Slightly sour Slightly hoppy. Ok on the palate nothing special, though the bitter aftertaste begins to get annoying. All in all I suppose this is an OK beer but really not my thing and not worth the $4.50 I paid.

Dec 12, 2006
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chill hazed medium brown colored beer without much head formation at all.

The smell is sweet, nutty and malty with a little wood and caramel scent. Hops on come through as a wood and tea aroma.

The taste starts out sweet and a little nutty with a little patent malt flavor to it. Decently bitter but not real complex and not outstanding at all.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Pretty much a straight 3s beer for me. Nothing nasty or great about it, just your basic Amber Ale. Personally I can't see drinking this again; any place that would have this likely has something better or something new for me to try.

Aug 30, 2007
Photo of hayesjw
hayesjw from California

3.89/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 23, 2017
Photo of dgherm
dgherm from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +6.4%

Jul 29, 2013
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11 from California

2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice appearance. Frothy, eggshell white head that maintains above a neatly carbonated dull copper to amber. Lacing is ring like and sliding. Solid.

Fruity in the nose and up front in the taste. Flour and toasted bread make up the body. Hop presence is more of a balancer than anything that stands out. Partially sharpened at the end.

Notes: Ambers are a category that is wide ranging and allows some expirimentation. This is rather boring in the end. It fits the style well but I'll pass. I think I'll pass on any more offerings from this brewery until I see something positive in the reviews.

Aug 14, 2006
Photo of illidurit
illidurit from California

2.37/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery tasting room. Brown amber color with a beige fluffy head. Aromas of caramel, bread crust, and slightly sour/rotting fruits. Flavor is similar. I don't think this is a quality control problem, I just think it's a by product of the fermentation of organic ingredients. I've had several organic beers from different breweries that have all had weird off-flavors. This is no exception. Mouthfeel is a bit flat and a bit thin.

Feb 13, 2009
Photo of charlzm
charlzm from California

1.62/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Consumed June 30th, 2012 at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

Not really very amber colored; this looks pale yellow?

No aroma at all.

Has a bit of a burned, dirty, ashy flavor. No hops, no malts.

Not very well carbonated. Still in the mouth.

Not recommended. How is this even an amber?

Jan 07, 2013
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME from New Mexico

3/5  rDev +6.4%

Oct 26, 2014
Photo of wavenger
wavenger from California

1.84/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Looked rather appetizing. Good head, good excellent amber color.

S: Well, this is where it started to go bad. No discernible smell.

T: No taste, no hops.

M: Flat and not very refreshing. The level of acidity was more consistent with an english brown than an american amber.

D: Drinkable in the sense that it is almost indistinguishable from tap water.

I can only suspect that it's a mediocre beer to begin with, and I got it when it was well past its prime shelf life, or it was just a beer that went bad. That's what I hate about organic food: excellent taste when you get it, but nonexistent shelf-life.

Dec 18, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= The beer pours a bright hazy amber color with a thin finger high head on it that holds some steady retention and lacing but nothing outstanding. The color is pretty beautiful however.

S= The smell is a little sweet and honey like. No hop character to speak of so it's not one of those hoppy ambers you are seeing more of these days. A light malty sweetness to it. A small amount of dough and biscuit to it but mostly just the slight sweetness to it. It doesn't have the play-doh like smell that you get with many subpar ambers.

T= The taste is a little more of a suprise. It starts very sweet on the tip of the tongue again with a honey like sweetness to it and as it passes across the tongue I get a transformation from the super sweet amber I smelled to something of a little more complexity and a little hop bitterness to balance. The middle is sort of doughy and biscuity with a lot of the sweetness to it still but the finish has a nice bitter bite to it. While not "hoppy" by any means there is a bit of balance to it.

M= The mouth is nice and smooth about where it should be.

D= I had my GF buy me a few beers in Cali while she was there and she got a really nice box set up with this being sort of a wild card beer I've never heard of... I looked at the score but didn't read any reviews before this and I was a little worried. A "C" average isn't usually a good sign here but I would say this is a very nice very middle of the road Amber Ale. It has the balance I like with enough complexity to keep me happy. An easy drinking Amber made with organic ingredients.

Dec 30, 2010
Photo of heysuz
heysuz from Indiana

2.75/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz from California

3.5/5  rDev +24.1%

Nov 23, 2013
Photo of baybassboy
baybassboy from California

2.25/5  rDev -20.2%

May 14, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549 from Texas

2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

Feb 18, 2014
Photo of raynmoon
raynmoon from Colorado

1.94/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer tasted like vegetables and smelled like it too. It was like really musty and bitter asparagus, and I love asparagus, but just not this beer.

It tasted nothing like an American Amber Ale to me, kind of yucky. However it looked pretty good and the picture of the cougar on the front is kind of cute.

Apr 29, 2012
Photo of MryJack
MryJack from California

1.54/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Mar 19, 2018
Photo of Gravelost

2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

Jan 02, 2013
Photo of Matt_Ortiz
Matt_Ortiz from California

3/5  rDev +6.4%

Jul 28, 2014
Photo of CJNAPS
CJNAPS from California

3.47/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 09, 2016
Photo of brittanylicious
brittanylicious from Indiana

2.75/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of Mneme1984
Mneme1984 from California

3/5  rDev +6.4%

Aug 02, 2014
Photo of CFH_101Proof
CFH_101Proof from California

3.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Not much Aroma.

The flavor is slightly sweet but nothing of note. Not bad but not great

Nothing special

Sep 30, 2014
Amber Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 26 ratings