Espresso Amber Ale
Peak Organic Brewing Company

Espresso Amber AleEspresso Amber Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #81
Ranked #23,258
3.84 | pDev: 13.28%
Peak Organic Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Very Good
Espresso Amber AleEspresso Amber Ale
Notes: A robust amber ale brewed with locally roasted, organic fair trade espresso with help from our friends down the street at Coffee by Design. This malty amber ale is brewed with substantial amounts of Munich Malt, providing a perfect backbone for the rich, roasty flavor imparted by the espresso.

Peak Espresso Amber is the first Fair Trade Certified beer brewed in the United States. Read more here.

22 IBU
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"A robust amber ale brewed with locally roasted, organic fair trade espresso with help from our friends down the street at Coffe by Design. This malty amber ale is brewed with substantial amounts of Munich Malt, providing a perfect backbone for the rich, roasty flavor imparted by the espresso." Brewed in the style of an American Amber Ale with Organic Coffee added. Available as a year-round release in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy cream head of a caramel white color over a moderately hazy dark amber body. Carbonation is plentiful, spritely. Retention is very good and lacing is light and curtained. 4.25

(Smell) Smooth earthy coffee beans forward, atop a smooth caramel cake body with a moderate sweetness. Mild graininess, notes of vanilla extract and a pecan nuttiness. Potency is medium. 3.5

(Taste) Faint bready caramel malt with a light sweetness forms the malt profile in the flavor, relatively easy to drink, then yields to a wave of well-roasted coffee bean. The most memorable part is the finish with a lingering coffee bean kick, surprisingly potent and flavorful. Compared to a coffee stout, the coffee comes through so much brighter as a result of limited to no roasted malt and a simple arrangement of ingredients. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation generates a silky froth for a smooth, soft fuzzy mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, medium overall. Balance is evenly bitter to sweet with a general lightness all-around, even the espresso bean is nicely balanced with a pinch of cream and sugar sweetness. 3.75

(Overall) A fairly curious brew as I don't commonly find amber ales stepping outside their rigid style guidelines, but the addition of coffee gives this beer a mysterious angle that works more in favor for the beer than against it. The simplicity of the malt profile manages to showcase the coffee much clearer than in just about any coffee stout I have tried. Ultimately the espresso comes out nicely as the star of this beer. Enjoy it as fresh as possible since coffee fades rapidly. 3.75

Peak Organic Brewing Company's
Espresso Amber Ale

Nov 29, 2014
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 11/26/14

A: Pours a clear amber with some caramel and some ruby highlights - medium, off-white head to start, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some splotches of lacing

S: A somewhat rich coffee bean aroma - very roasty, a medium roast (not really burnt) - coffee and coffee beans - caramel malts and caramel underneath - not much depth, and mild overall, but still nice thanks to the coffee

T: Well, it's an amber with some coffee, as the name of the beer would suggest - somewhat of a medium roast coffee, with a nice level of roastiness and some earthy coffee beans - balanced with a nice level of sweetness from the malts - caramel malts, caramel, and maybe even a touch of molasses for additional, but light, sweetness - no bitterness to report, although a light astringency from the coffee in the finish

M: On the light side of medium, smooth, nicely carbonated, highly quaffable, could finish a little cleaner

O: Adding coffee to just about any style = worth a try

This is a decidedly average amber ale made interesting thanks to the use of coffee. It's definitely worth a try.

Nov 27, 2014
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delta490 from Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -1%

Pours a clear amber with a slightly fizzy white. The head dissipates quickly leaving a little lacing on the glass and a little around the circumference. The aroma is an interesting blend of the malt body of the ale and the coffee used. No one flavor dominates. The flavor is equally interesting, with a nice malt backbone holding up against a strong coffee flavor. Again, they balance pretty well and two flavors I wasn't sure would mesh actually do so pretty well. The body isn't heavy or slick but there is a little bite and a tingle on the finish. All in all, a unique and well-made beer.

Aug 20, 2014
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice amber mahogany color with a fingers worth of tan head that fades down to a decent cap with some sticky bubbles

S: Lots of coffee/espresso up front with some sweet caramel malts backing it up. Very coffee forward

T: Starts off with the coffee and caramel malt sweetness and goes into a light coffee astringency. Some breadiness and light fruitiness come forward after that. Finishes with a light roastiness and some toasty maltiness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little on the thin side

O: A solid base beer backed up with lots of coffee and espresso. Definitely recommended for coffee lovers and fans of coffee-forward beers

Apr 30, 2014
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Good head that leaves a blanket of lace. Dark amber color. Very clear.

Strong espresso aroma, not a favorite of mine but I note that it's well done.

I should probably disqualify myself from rating this beer. I do not like true coffee tastes. I cannot detect very much beyond this flavor in this beer. If you like burnt, I mean really burnt black patent malt or black coffee that has been sitting on the stove for four hours, then you'll love this one. I don't.

Apr 06, 2014
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JasonLovesBeer from Canada (BC)

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Opaque medium brown with a dusting of cream head. No lacing.

S: Sweet salted caramel, hint of fresh coffee

T: Fruity, fresh coffee with slight mocha, nutty finish

M: Medium bodied, silky texture, nice carbonation feel

O: Pleasant, bordering on rather delicious! The coffee flavour is bold and fresh, really nice. Fruity / nutty combo works well.

Dec 16, 2013
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, day 13 (a Friday at that) of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent calendar.

This beer pours a hazy, dark orange-brick amber hue, with one skinny finger of fizzy, tightly foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some interesting string cheese lace around the glass as things duly drop away.

It smells of bitter ground and roasted espresso beans, lightly toasted grainy pale malt, a touch of nutty caramel/hard toffee, soft bittersweet cocoa, and citrus, leafy, and herbal hops. The taste again leads with semi-sweet coffee notes, with a more bready and caramelized malt, understated stony minerals, some ethereal milk chocolate, and earthy, leafy, and mildly citrusy hops.

The carbonation is fairly unremarkable, in a pleasant enough way, the body a decent medium weight, but a tad watery in its smoothness. It finishes well off-dry, the sweetness of the caramel malt holding tough against the still peppy, but now waning coffee character.

An enjoyable java-infused amber ale, and this from a guy who isn't a big fan of either. Very little acridity from the coffee makes for a smooth, easy-drinking affair, I have to say. I could see this being popular enough around here amongst the hipster bean & brew crowd, outside of the mostly secretive confines of this holiday special.

Dec 14, 2013
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Sam's in Durham

Pours a light brown coffee color with a slim head. As expected from the name. Smell is of espresso and not anything else. Its not overpowering but its definitely there. The taste is much more of the same, huge espresso flavor dominates the palate on this brew and not much else. The feel is what brings this one down, its lighter than expected and i'd even call this one light bodied. Easy to drink though, you could pound a few of these quick.

Overall if you like coffee give this one a go. Because it delivers what it promises.

Jun 12, 2013
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Chris_Mac from New Hampshire

3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful rich amber, with a darkness lurking beneath. Thick soft foam meets the liquid component. Rich expresso beans smell freshly ground. Mild lacing apparent after the first sip, which is refreshingly light. Lacing becomes more apparent and layered with subsequent sips. Taste of the alcohol and malts are in the backgrounds, with mild carbonation. A very enjoyable beer, well crafted. Although I don't think the sum is greater than the parts, and am unsure if there is an ideal situation for an expresso amber, I will be trying it again to find that situation.

May 07, 2013
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TappaKeggaBrew from Virginia

3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, medium-dark red-brown liquid. An aggressive pour yields 2-plus fingers of light tan head that starts to fade fairly quickly, although a thin layer lingers a long time; delicate lacing was tenacious all the way down.

S: Toasted grain and floral hops are the dominant aromas at first whiff. Then the coffee takes over and there's nothing else to smell after that. Sadly, it's not the rich smell of fresh-brewed coffee -- it's more like the cold coffee grounds you dump out of the filter from the previous day's last brewing.

T: There is a fleeting moment of grainy malt sweetness when it touches the tongue, but the coffee jumps up quickly and knocks the malt aside. The coffee is rich and acidic for a short time, and tart fruit makes a brief showing as well, but then it's all bitter, cold coffee in the finish (and it lasts...)

M: Moist, a little chewier that I expected from such a clear brew, and moderately crisp and carbonated. Just a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Not my cup of tea... er, coffee. I think that the marriage of the strong flavor of espresso with an amber ale just didn't work -- it's potent flavor needs the strength of a porter or stout to balance it (or it needs to be added in more conservative measure), as well as the creaminess of the darker brews to take that bitter edge off. It's not bad, but it's certainly not good (especially compared to some other coffee flavored brews I've sampled in the past). I won't be going back for seconds...

May 02, 2013
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bigkingken from North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you're looking for a beer to deliver a great coffee taste without the heaviness of a porter or stout, this is the beer for you. It's got a pungent yet sweet coffee aroma, followed up by a true espresso flavor with a solid malt backbone and just enough hops to balance it out. It has a nice drawn out finish, leaving the palette wanting more of that delicious coffee on the tastebuds. Only drawbacks are that the mouthfeel is a bit thin, leading to the sensation of over-carbonation.

All-in-all, I'd say it's a solid offering and a pretty decent beer. I still prefer my coffee with some thick stout, however, so I doubt I'll be taking another one of these off the shelf.

Mar 07, 2013
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EgadBananas from Louisiana

4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffee amber ale. Interesting.

Pours and amber/copper color, with an off white colored head. The aroma has a nice coffee note, caramel, nuttiness, sweet malts and a tinge of chocolate. The taste has alight coffee bitterness, caramel maltiness, slight citrus fruits, herbs, grass and cocoa.

Creamy feel on the palate, light to medium body, light carbonation. Ever so slight hop/coffee bitterness linger.

I love trying unusual coffee beers and this is a nice one one nothing phenomenal. Very glad to have tried it.

Jan 19, 2013
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a deep slightly hazy amber/orange with a huge frothy tan head that takes forever to recede. I can smell the coffee as soon as I pop the top off this bad boy. Holy coffee Batman the closer my nose gets the more intense the aroma. I can find little in the nose other than Java. If only the flavor followed the nose more closely. Lots of coffee flavor but also a bitter buttery earthy mineral flavor kicks in. Medium to thin body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick watery mouthfeel. Sadly this brew is not for me. I generally enjoy the peak products, but not this one.

Jan 12, 2013
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

2.94/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass not sure when it was bottled. Pours a cloudy amber with a two inch off white head that leaves some lace. Smell is huge roasted coffee and faint piney hops, very unusual smell. Taste is lots of coffee, carmel, dark chocolate, and vanilla, very odd beer. Body is thin for these flavors, plenty of carbonation, a little dry, and goes down easy enough. Hard to describe this beer style, with these flavors.

Dec 08, 2012
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Organic, fair trade, local coffee shop hippie beer.

Dark stained cherrywood color with a dirty, pocked beige head. Healthy sheen of retention wraps splashy lace around my glass.

Smells like stale coffee that's been sittin' in the pot for awhile. Caramel and maple syrup blend with the coffee and it's a really odd combo. A sweet tooth breakfast beer.

Bold, old gas station coffee and toffee candy flavor. Very munich-y. I believe there are two ways of coffee infusion: warm and cold, and it's the cold infusion that makes coffee beer taste like old gas station coffee. I prefer warm infusion. I could also be completely ass backwards on the cold infusion thing.

Well executed just not my type of mash up.

Oct 20, 2012
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shand from Florida

4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one coffee beer that does not mess around. It pours a hazy crimson color with a small head. The taste is excellent, it's got a very strong coffee flavor over some sweet malts and a surprising amount of earthy and leafy hops. It's very good, if a little bit one-dimensional. The mouthfeel is lighter and well-carbonated - it kind of feels like a carbonated coffee would. Overall, this is a solid coffee beer that really doesn't mess around with the flavor. It's got a hell of a lot of coffee taste - nearly to the point of being grating. I love coffee, so it gets a pass. Seriously though, do not buy this if you don't like coffee.

Oct 15, 2012
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BrownAleMale from Wisconsin

2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance- A very dark reddish brown hazy beer with a white cloud head that dissipates.

Smell- Lots of espresso with a sour hop.

Taste- Black coffee, espresso, and sour grape hop middle finish. Wallop of sourness.

Mouthful- Oh so watery.

Overall- The idea sounded neat, but the red ale mixed with stout like flavors was just a mis mash mess!

Sep 21, 2012
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Cavanaghty from Maine

4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sampler glass on tap.

Appearance: Brownish amber color with a whte head.

Smell: Coffee, all coffee. I could not smell anything else.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to light bodied. Taste like a good coffee stout, but being an ale it was much easier to drink in my opinion.

Overall: Glad I tried this one, great beer. I will order it again Im sure.

Sep 17, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky light reddish-brown with a 2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, roasted coffee/espresso beans, biscotti, and some cocoa powder. Taste is slightly tart with some dark roasted malt, roasted coffee, and cocoa powder flavors. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable and an interesting concept but not something I would go for again.

Aug 02, 2012
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tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a big, thick, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - nutty, faint coffee, caramel

T - coffee, chocolate, caramel, faint nuttiness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but it's one-dimensional. The coffee is good and welcomed, but it covers up the rest of the underlying amber. Overall, it's a good offering. I would have this again.

Jul 13, 2012
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nickfl from Florida

3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of light tan foam on top of a slightly hazy, amber-brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves nice lace.

S - Carmel and toffee malts with some spicy hops and perhaps a hint of roast.

T - Sweet malt up front with notes of caramel and toffee with some light hop notes. More of the same in the middle and a light coffee note. The beer finishes with sweet malt, lightly spicy hops and low bitterness with a lingering spicy coffee note.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, the coffee flavor is really key to this beer as it would simply be an overly sweet amber ale without it. The coffee only really shows up as the beer warms and it is sorely needed to balance out the sweet, sugary malt. This beer, more than most, really needs to warm up to be properly judged, it was a much less enjoyable experience before the coffee woke up and joined the party.

Jul 01, 2012
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Hopfenpeter from Maryland

4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy amber, but produced only a finger high bubbly head which dissipated fast. Good lacing!
The smell is really nice coffee bean, some malt back ground.
The taste is just like. First the pure coffee notes, being met with a malty back, yet also balanced by nice mild fruity hops.
A really attractive binational of flavors, this medium bodied beer is very drinkable.

Jun 21, 2012
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cjgator3 from Florida

3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish amber color with a creamy light tan head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and faint hits of espresso. I was hoping for more of an espresso presence in the aroma, hopefully I can pick up more of it in the taste.

T- The taste has some sweet malt and caramel up front with smooth lingering espresso and hops in the finish. 

M- The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I love coffee beers and this was a solid one. It would get a higher score with more espresso in the aroma, but the taste was solid. Recommended!

Jun 20, 2012
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Hopdaemon39 from New York

3.14/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours a clear mahogany with two fingers of bubbly beige head, decent retention and fantastic sticky lacing. Looks really nice.

Smells exclusively of coffee.

Tastes like a lot of coffee that's been brewed too strong (has a little sour acidity), with some amber malt sweetness coming in mid-palate. An odd blend of tastes in a beer.

Mouthfeel is all right- that coffee acidity really does some damage for me. Medium body, moderate carbonation. This ones not my thing. Too much coffee.

Jun 06, 2012
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Jake351 from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Amber sunset color is beautiful. Had about 2 finger-widths of foam

Smell-Smelled sweet, and it took a while of warming up before my nose picked up on the coffee bean. Quite nice.

Taste-Wow! Coffee forward. When they mean this is a beer made with coffee, the taste definitely screams espresso. The coffee flavor lasts far beyond the swallow, and lingers more than any taste-remnant of ale. A very novel taste sensation that while the mid-taste does remind me that this is a beer, the beginning and end emphasizes the coffee bean.

Mouthfeel-Carbonation is nice, and not excessive. Would have preferred a wee bit more syrupy and cloying (just a bit more), and less ephemeral, but overall very well done.

Overall-This might be one of my top 3 when I'm in a mood for a coffee-flavored drink, and an awesome alternative to ice coffee. Great sipping for a Sunday afternoon while doing some yardwork. Stimulating and relaxing at once. Well done, Peak Organic!

Jun 03, 2012
Espresso Amber Ale from Peak Organic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 213 ratings