Almost Heaven Amber Ale | Mountain State Brewing Co.

17 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Mountain State Brewing Co.
West Virginia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nut brown in color and lightly hopped with Willamette, this beer is dominated by a pleasing caramel finish that is darn close to heavenly.

Added by WVbeergeek on 10-10-2005

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 79
Photo of beerthulhu
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

-can to spiegelau ipa glass.

A: A dark cranberry coloring with a feverish pitch of effervesce. A huge beach sand colored head sits atop, frothy on top, soapy with large air pockets along the sides. Nice looking head formation and retention with a good deal of lace coverage left behind.

S: Fresh wet lemons and sweet toasty caramel of average regards. Short duration quickly turns to dry grains and a so so affair.

T: Spicy apple skin and caramel grains. Sweet with some fruitiness, pear, but not alot of hoppiness. More red ale then amber finishing with an apple-caramel sweetness.

M: Slippery sticky malt texture, medium body, some good carbonation vibes makes this slighty above average.

O: A bit sweet, to much so for multiples. More red ale, not a lot of hoppiness or sturdy malt backbone, more light, fruity with a generic intro feel to it. Moderate in small flashes, but hardly entertains to the finish. Have to go sub 80 here, sorry, a single only curious try. Almost heaven is far from it and almost a drain pour.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Interesting amber ale for sure... The tart, fruity tone sprouts while the anticipated caramel, nut and earthy hop flavors. Some caramel malt, slight nutty aroma, some piney hop aroma too. I was happy enough with the nuttiness and earthy hops to keep sipping away. This beer is quite tasty. It immediately hits the palate with a flavor of hops and finishes off with a surprising flavor of delicious malty surprise. Cheers!

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Photo of brentk56
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a half inch head building; the amber liquid is crystal clear; dots and streaks of lacing hang around

Smell: Caramel and nuts, with an unusual tart, fruity tone

Taste: The tart, fruity tone sprouts while the anticipated caramel, nut and earthy hop flavors receding to the background; the finish is slightly puckery

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not sure whether this was what the brewer intended but this is truly unimpressive

Thanks, xJMFCx, for the opportunity

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Photo of soniktoothe
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, opaque. Little to no head on it. May have sat at the bar too long.

S: Mildly sweet and a toch of caramel.

T: Lots of malt, and a huge amount of butterscotch.

M: Kind of flat. Medium in body. Nothing remarakable.

O: It was okay. More along the lines of a nut brown ale with malt for milre. A touch sour and a big butterscotch sweetness.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Transparent caramel colored body with some cola-like bubbles. Fizzy tan head that lingers around for a while.

S- Some caramel malt, slight nutty aroma, some piney hop aroma too.

T- Almost a cross between a brown ale and an amber. Caramel malts give way to some toasted malts with the nuttiness coming through. Slight bitter hop taste towards the end.

M- Medium-high carbonation, very bubbly, medium bodied and smooth.

O-Pretty good offering. More like an amber/brown hybrid.

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Photo of mattday25
3.14/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color with a hint of copper.

Smell: Nothing special about it. Similar smell to Budweiser, with a hint of nut

Taste: Very tasteful with several spices, but the nut taste is the dominant trait.

Mouthfeel:A mixture between watery and syrupy. Not very good.

Overall While thus beer has nothing about it that standouts , if you're looking for new beers to try I'd give it a go.

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Photo of jcw122
2.62/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appeared much darker than an amber ale normally looks to me.

Smelled fine.

Tasted very watered down, this was a big disappointment.

Mouth feel was equally watery.

Overall beers from MSB were a big let down for me, they don't seem high enough quality to be served.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appears a deep amber semi unfiltered body with light tan, fine speckled lacing down the sides of my mug. Aroma has caramel malt sweetness, hints of nut and earthy hops pretty nice overall. Flavor had some roasted malt character some caramel malt sweetness a bit of graininess, light hops in the backend earthy herbal floral hop notes going on. Mouthfeel was medium to light very refreshing going down I enjoyed this at a Mexican restaurant in Parkersburg, WV called Los Agaves. Overall a nice sessionable homegrown West Virginia amber ale I was happy enough with the nuttiness and earthy hops to keep sipping away, plus I was charged for a Yuengling in at 3 bucks in one of those huge mugs they use in the Mexican restaurants.

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Photo of Treyliff
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a dark and murky copper color with a creamy white tan head with good retention and lace

S- grainy corn husk with some sweet malt, a touch of caramel and no hops

T- mineral-like earthy, malty, a bit of caramel with just a trace of hop. Finishes with a tart sourness that throws it off a bit

M- light-med body and carbonation, creamy mouthfeel and finish

O- this one was pretty good, it just seemed a little off balance. Worthy of trying but not something I would likely go back to.

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Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear dark amber in color with a fluffy 2" head that hangs around a while.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness leap from the glass and the aromas are easy to detect.

Taste: a nice grainy malt presence with some dark ripe fruit sweetness. Bitterness is moderate but provides enough kick to keep it interesting.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth at the finish. Medium bodied beer. The malty goodness lingers in the mouth for a short period.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this beer and the bolder flavors keep it intersting. Worth giving this one a try.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, reddish brown. As with other of their beers, not much head to speak of. Lacing nill as well.
This one smeled sweet with crystal malts, sugar beets come to mind. Hops are there, but the malts are winning the show.
Taste was very nice, smooth, malty and sweet. Nice, thick on the tongue, with a slight tingle of hops just for the balancing act.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark amber ale, that comes out with no trace of head. At least the pint glass was full to the rim with beer. A bit chill-hazed but fairly nice looking.

Aroma of caramel and some roasted malts. Taste of caramel malt and a bit of burnt sugar. Nice bold flavor. A bit syrupy on the feel. Not so heavy as to not be sessionable though.

Good drinkable amber ale from one of the few brewpubs in this state.

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Photo of atsprings
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wagenvolks on the growler share. Poured a crisp clear light copper with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was some sweet caramel and a hint of pine hops. The taste is sweet caramel with some subdued hops that open up a bit as the beer warms. The beer is light and crisp with low carbonation. This is an enjoyable beer, just not something I'd seek out regularly.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the brewery...opened a day later and poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

Pours a clear, brownish-amber hue with a slim light tan head that recedes quickly to a patch of bubbles. The aroma is an intoxicating blend of sweet caramel, toffee, cotton candy, and piney hops. A sherry-esque alcohol note is barely detectable.

This is one of the better amber ales I've had the good fortune to taste. The hops are resinous and slightly spicy, while a nutty, caramel malt note provides an excellent balance. Some sort of candied sweetness lingers along the back of the palate, along with a simple, non-overbearing hoppy bitterness. Body is medium-thin, with a good carbonation level and very refreshing. All in all, an exceptionally easy-drinking amber ale that I'd gladly purchase again.

{Review edited on 12/26/2009: Bumped up appearance to 4.5 after a re-visit to the brewery, and the aroma to a 5.0. Taste dropped down a notch to 4.0}

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Photo of JamesS
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a very nice copper/amber coloring with a good head and nice lacing. The scent was a bit weak, not much to smell but a bit of malt. It has a very nice sweet taste without being overly malty. Felt like a small hint of caramel was in it. Goes down very smooth.

The guys at MSB are quick on orders, too, as my local pub (in Morgantown) that carries the amber was out on Monday, ordered that day or Tuesday, and it was back in today.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer on-tap at The Junction in Snowshoe Village, WV.

Appearance: amber- maroon color with about a 3/4" head off the tap
Smell: not much, I notice some hops, but overall a pretty weak aroma
Taste: flavor is good; i notice a nice caramel malt flavor with a mild hoppiness; a good balanced flavor for this ale; however, the beer was a little watered down
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied
Drinkability: good, you could drink three of these in a night

I think this would be a good introductory beer for someone starting to get into craft brews.

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Photo of xtacyturbo
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Black Bear in Morgantown, reviewing right here at the bar on my laptop with the beer in front of me.

Almost Heaven is a deep, cloudy copper color, topped with a creamy off-white head that recedes quickly, leaving a white ring around the top of the glass.

The aroma is earthy with a dominant smell of hops. Not a whole heck of a lot going on in the smell department, but solid.

This beer is quite tasty. It immediately hits the palate with a flavor of hops and hop oil, and finishes off with a surprising flavor of coffee. A delicious beer that totally caught me by surprise.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing, with a dry finish. Prickly carbonation all the way through complements the flavor well.

A very drinkable brew, I went through over half of it just while writing this review. Could easily have a few of these in a row.

Never had heard of this beer or brewery before, a friend called me and told me about it, and I headed down to try it. Very impressed with what Mountain State has to offer, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised with this offering. I'm looking forward to trying more of their products.

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Almost Heaven Amber Ale from Mountain State Brewing Co.
3.73 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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