Wisdom Amber Ale | Big Hole Brewing Company

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Wisdom Amber AleWisdom Amber Ale
31 Ratings
Wisdom Amber AleWisdom Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Big Hole Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by ShwarzAl3r:
Photo of ShwarzAl3r
5/5  rDev +62.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.82/5  rDev +24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed, ruby mahogany body. Offwhite head disappears in seconds, leaving only collar and film for lace.
Aroma is malty, with some dark fruit aromas of fig and raisin. Floral hops lurk in the background. Mouthfeel has spritzy carbonation and a medium body.
Tastes pretty good. Malty up front, with caramel and some molasses. Floral hops lend a welcome bitterness, resulting in a very nice balance. Some red apples emerge toward the finish, giving a bit of complexity to the taste.
Overall, this is a well balanced amber ale that is interesting and a bit complex. I enjoyed this one. It's a cut above the brewery's other offerings.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Found this at my latest trip to Trader Joe's. Presented in a 12oz brown bottle. Poured a clear dark amber color with a minimal fizzy white head that vanished down to a tiny cap. No lace.
Smell was all malt; a mix of buttery caramel and toffee with notes of brown sugar and molasses.
Taste was pretty much one-sided in favor of grainy malt and sweet of brown sugar and molasses. Virtually no hops throughout. Had a vague veggie aftertaste.
Feel was light- to medium-bodied, smooth and slick.
A truly average amber ale. Completely leaning toward a malt character with a minimal hops presence. Nothing I'd return to unless offered to me.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark amber color and is pretty volatile so it gives a very thick foamy head. My wife poured it for me to be nice, but I question whether or not pouring it differently could have gotten a different effect. I have more of them, so I will find out. Anyway, The thick frothy head is a couple of inches thick but settling down nicely. Very faint nose with hints of malt but also with perhaps just a tickle of hops at the start of the sniff. Light and biting attack. Mild maltiness to the flavor throughout. Very light body. Late sensation of caramel malts. Pretty simple beer. A malty amber ale but enough of a hop bite to give it some balance. Some sour notes at the finish.

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Photo of Fabric8r
2.2/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Garbage. I absolutely love Big Hole Brewing's Wisdom Cream Ale. They must have had sanitation problems with it because several reveiwers mentioned things that simply were not true of the beers I have had (maybe 10 6 packs I have consumed)

Anyway as usual on shopping day I picked up a 6 pack of Wisdom, only to pour it in a glass at home and notice it was not the same, and the label said "Wisdom Amber Ale" Fully off guard, and upset, I took a sip, and poured the rest down the drain. What a dirty trick they pulled. Lost me as a costomer.

Anyone know of a brewery looking for a new recipe to brew? Have them get Wisdom Cream Ale, and use sanitized equipment. They will have a winner.

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Photo of mntlover
2.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours a dark dark amber almost brown small off white head but does leave light lacing. Aroma is malt and fruit, figs perhaps light really light floral hop presence. Taste is kind of bland burst of carbonation followed by a bland fruity malt mixture and light hop presence. This beer leaves a kind of bland stale taste in your mouth, kind of tastes like Raison D'Etre that has been sitting out a couple of days except for the carbonation ofcourse. Not much of an Amber Ale, which happens to be my session beer of choice. Mouthfeel is right around medium not bad. Drinkability is not good don't see me buying this again definitely wouldn't recommend it to others.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.18/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange/scarlet/red in color, modest head fades fast to a few islands of scattered bubbles. Smells carmely, nutty, roasted, and surprisngly hoppy. Taste is very robust and flavorful. Hints of coffee and roasted malt defintely add to the flavor of this beer. Hopped very well for an Amber Ale. Another solid beer from Bg Hole Brewery.

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Photo of KeefD
2.1/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured an.... amber color. Nothing surprising here, translucent and amber with no foam or lacing to be seen. These Big Hole brews are quite disappointing in looks. They never develop a head, just some big bubbles on top that disappear quickly. Smell is about the same. They all smell the same to me, regardless of the style. Must be the same kind of yeast used in every style or the lack thereof of ingredients. This one has a bit of biscuit-malt aroma, very light toastiness, and the slightest hint of some burnt caramel. Taste is watered down like no other. Nothing in the way of flavor. Some graininess mixed with some bready malt character that's soaked in H2O. Where are the hops? Water, water, water. Light on the palate, little carbonation. Just a disappointing brew. Would not recommend to anyone.

Into the drain it goes!

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Photo of Tone
3.47/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, slight tart malt, slight hop, and slight grain. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, sweet malt, slight pale malt, grain, and a hint of hops. Overall, then blend is a little off, body is weak, and grain flavor is off-putting.

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Photo of dfillius
3.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Had their Mythical White several years back and I'm psyched to be having another from Big Hole

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/3 finger of white foam with poor retention. A thin patchy layer remains after dissipation - more head please. Chill hazy red-tannish gold. Good looking but not beautiful.
S: I'm congested from being sick, but I am smelling weird muted strong scents of garlic, mustiness, grains, tartness and citrus.
T: Subdued malt with no hop character to speak of. No off flavors, just not anything pronounced. Maybe some wet cardboard - oxidation?
M: Smooth and creamy with a good level of carbonation
D: Session beer. Easy drinking and level headed. Only minus points for oxidation and not being dynamic tasting or smelling.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.95/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes into a thin cap of foam. The aroma is of caramel, and cherries. The taste is of caramel and not much else. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a little too much carbonation. Overall, this beer reminds me of numerous other bland amber ales. It isn't bad, it just has no personality.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

An unfortunate beer. Could've been so much better. Poured out to an amber red / brown color with no head. None. Nothing. Zip. Very poor carbonation. Nearly none at all. Smell... weak to say the least. Maybe some malt, with a tea like character to it. Not lightin' my fire so far. The flavor is not bad, but the lack of carbonation leaves this brew bland and boring. Flavors of malt and grain are noted, with a touch of smoke on the finish. Some bubbles would've helped greatly. Mouthfeel is watery and inconsistant. Maybe there is something there, maybe there isn't. Very hard to say. Lower drinkability. Perhaps I've got a bad bottle... nope, not according to quite a few other reviews.

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Photo of veratyr9
1.8/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

EDIT: I'm contacting the brewery to see if they had a bad batch or something. There's no way any brewery would sell what I sampled and stay in business as long as they have.

Disappointing. That is the best word to sum up this beer. Pours a reddish brown color that resembles a dark apple cider. No head, or even foam to be seen. No lacing on the glass whatsoever. Upon further inspection without tasting or smelling, this may indeed be cider.

Smell. Not cider. Smells like a protein bar, cheap cocoa. For some reason the other bottles in the sample pack all smell like this one. Guessing they used the same yeast between them???

Taste's awful. To be a little more descriptive there is a really bad taste that drowns out what ever flavor the beer actually has. Maybe the brewing equipment wasn't sanitized and it brewed with a small amount of bacteria? Judging by the other reviews it seems that this is the taste the brewery was aiming for. The taste is that of pure bitterness, reminding me of a protein bar. Very sour, bitter, hint of cocoa and caramel, though that doesn't really matter.

It's a lighter weight beer, seems as if water was added, a lot of water.

Drinkability... Well the feel of the beer is that where you could easily down a 12 pack in a very short time, except that the taste makes you gag so the only place this is going down quickly is on the ground.

Will not buy from this brewery again. Very disappointed.

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Photo of zeff80
3.06/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A poured out a copper/auburn color with a huge, foamy, bubbly, off white head. It was long-lasting but left very little lace.

S - It smelled of biscuity malt and some mild floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet roasted malt. It had some grassy notes. Over time the beer became more and more bland. Like it lost flavor.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This was an okay beer. Certainly not the best amber ale.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and malty scent that boasts of roasted and chocolate malts. It is sweet and earthy. The taste is decent. It has a dry, yet malty flavor that is sweet with crystal and chocolate malts. It goes down smooth and finishes earthy and weak. The good aroma doesn't exactly translate to the flavor. It has a complex malt bill, but the overall taste isn't that great. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent beer. I like the unique aroma and flavor. It is an above average drinker, but nothing special.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.03/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a longneck into a pilsener sampler. A moderate pour produces a billowy, frothy, sticky head of about 1.5 inches. The head sticks really well. The beer is a deep copper color with light carbonation.

Lots of rich malt in the aroma-flavor with just a kiss of hop bitterness in the taste and finish. The malts are really flavorful, evoking caramel, vanilla, maybe a touch of dark fruit, honey perhaps, and a little bit of pecan. Creamy mouth feel with a lingering bitter-sweetness with a finish that is relatively dry, minerally, and short in duration, inviting follow-up sips. Lots of therapeutic burps bringing forth a bit of rich mineral water and sweet malt.

There is much here to remind me of some of the English ales I've sampled. Not a hop bomb by any means but very flavorful malts with a mineral quality that you don't often encounter in american ales. Excellent!

Bought as part of a six pack at Hennessey Market in beautiful uptown Butte, Montana, home of the Montana Folk Festival, which starts tomorrow (7-11-14). I'm looking forward to the music (free), unique food, and awesome local beers on tap.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.64/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: The fourth and last of my mixed packs of Big Hole beers that I recently picked up from Trader Joe’s. A tall thin neck 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle. The label on the Big Hole beers appears to be generic in appearance. The Wisdom Amber Ale has a picture of a horned Red Indian dude on a milky coffee colored label. Listed as 5.0% ABV with no freshness date.

Appearance: A lovely chestnut amber – hints of polished copper when backlit. Nice large beige head that laces well; thick and creamy it can leave with you one of those beery moustaches at times. The head reduces in depth, but it stays all the way down the drink and leaves the glass walls with plenty of thick crusty lacing. Good levels of carbonation.

Nose: Some burnt brown sugar odors, which are quite invasive. Apart from that there are malts, caramel, Devon toffee, some sweet molasses and wholemeal bread.

Taste: A sweet malt taste is the ice-breaker. Bready at times. The sweetness persists though, and it supports the toasted malts, chewy dark toffee middle and sweet ending. Sweet, but yet, an astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Overall it is fair to say that this has an average mouthfeel. Light body aided by the sweet malt aspects. Carbonation helps.

Drinkability: Well I had a few bottles of this. I drank two for the purpose of this Review, because it took me a while to ‘tune into’ this one. Could I drink anymore? Certainly not, it is a tad too sweet for me & slightly sickly after the second bottle.

Overall: Another beer that I felt I either did not understand, or I was not concentrating hard enough. Like some of the other Big Hole beers, I found it difficult to nail this one down. Is it poor? – NO, certainly not – but it is average. Would I buy it again – probably not.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.33/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown color. Small white head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. A medium bodied amber ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Hops are spicy and slightly bitter. For an amber it’s a little sweeter and a little drier than the average. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is bitter.

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Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Small capped bottle poured into a pint glass.

I have to say I was expecting very little from this one, and proved to be a worthy try, a nice amber ale.
Light amber color as expected, off white head with good retention.
Well balanced nose and flavors, light to medium bodied, very easy to drink.
Notes on both aroma and flavor include bread, caramel, more grains, with a nice if subtle hoppy bite.
Will not blow your socks off, but an amber is not supposed to. Good summer brew.

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Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BeerManDan
3/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

When poured, it was a very deep amber color, with very little foam and no lace. The smell was of a strong malty nature with a hint of hops. The taste was very disapointed in that it did not live up to the aroma. I will not waste my money on this beer again!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
2.04/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

The beer poured brown, but was amber when held to light. The head was off white and lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was slightly nutty with a Munich malt aroma. No hop aroma, no caramel aroma.

The flavor was chocolate with an astringent bitterness that was not pleasant. No real flavor from grains or hops, just unpleasant bitterness in the back of the tongue and out of place chocolate.

The finish was off dry and astringent. The body was light and watery.

12 ounce bottle. Skip it.

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Photo of ADKbeerguy
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of winomark
1.72/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Way too much carbonation. After over a month in the fridge, it was still almost all foam and no beer. When the beer does appear, it is a brilliant medium copper with a light tan head. Aromas of caramel malts quite strong. Very malty. No hops noticable. Odd flavor combination of metal and CO2. Tastes like chewing on an aluminum can. Excessive carbonation gives a bitter finish. This beer was very difficult to drink, from the beginning to end. Couldn't finish it. Don't waste your time on this one.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazed copper. Small beige head. No retention. No lace. Aroma has some hints of caramel and toasted malts...but not enough. A slight cardboard smell as well. A light toasted malt flavor blends with a graininess to give the beer some light flavor. The body is about light-medium and the carbonation is a little too spritzy. The Big Hole has disappointed me.

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Wisdom Amber Ale from Big Hole Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.08 out of 5 with 31 ratings