Amber Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

83 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Organic

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2003

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 141
Photo of RootedFool
4.3/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dim amber. Creamy white head, substantial -- frothy -- rises about an inch and leaves some narrow streaks of verticle lace on the glass.

Smell: Honeydew (earthy, meaty) sweetness, followed by a more sugary (cotton candy) sweetness. Closes on a citrus rind, dull bitterness. Nice.

Taste: Opens with a short kick of bitterness to the tip of my palate, like licking the rind of a freshly peeled grapefruit; the middle is more powder-sugary and flows into a solid melon-like sweetness backed up by a nice little sizzle of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a perfect blend of all these flavors and lingers for a long, pleasurable period of time.

Carbonation is middling. Mouthfeel -- no qualms with it. Great session brew. One of the more flavorful amber ales I've had. Eel River is a consistently good brewery, they deserve more recognition.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.29/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike most users on here, I will review this beer as we are supposed to: within the style.

Poured from a bottle into a Fenway pint glass.

A: Dark orangish amber with a tannish hue. Not much head to speak of and minimal lacing.

S: A nice honey character is supported well by a decent crackery malt and light floral hop presence. This beer is not overly fragrant, mostly matly, but nothing offensive going on here at all.

T: This is a great example of an amber ale, pure and simple. A subtle balance of hops and malt with a refreshing honey hint, especially in the finish. Hints of dark fruit are detectable with a raisin flavor somewhere in the middle.

D: I could easily take down a few of these.

Value: A strong point that this beer possesses and one which, unfortunately takes away from its score on here. It is reasonably priced at around 8 bucks a sixer so lots of people apparently think it's sub par. WRONG. If you're not in the mood for a bomb, be it malty or hoppy, and a nice solid amber ale to enjoy, you can't go wrong with this one here.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second from Eel River via the health food store.
12 oz brown short neck simple label depicting ears of barley and a wreath of hops
Very nice looking amber dark red almost a garnet colour when held to the light, small off white head doesnt last long but nice lace.
veru nice strong aroma of malts and an aroma like fresh baked biscuits.
Nice strong malty profile taste..and a good hop ending this is very well balanced..slightly salty..but nice.
very good on the palate did all the right things!
very drinkable amber.
Eel River continues to impress me with their Organic beers..had three now and loved em all.Probably the best organic ales I have tasted anywere.

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Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown bottle a luminous brown with a substantial creamy light tan head that last and last, the residual lace a clinging sheet to obscure the glass. Nose is sweet malt, earthy and fresh, slight hint of hops, quite appealing, start is sweet with a pleasant grain profile, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish has a stern acidity and the hops delightfully spicy, quite dry aftertaste that last a long time, a fine drinking beer from a brewery that is new to me, well done Eel River!

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Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Somewhat murky amber, off whit head slow to leave to disk, some spot lace.

S - Malty, bready, caramel. Smells hopeful.

T - Falls short of expectations. Nice, but not as nice as hoped. Matches smell but in a smaller degree.

M - Light, good balance, very easy and well carbed.

D - At this challenge level for the palate and ABV, quite drinkable.

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Photo of schrist275
4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All organic? hmm.. I'm not a vegatarian nor a purist.. but.. havent had this beer nor this brewery will give it a shot. pours itself nicely into my pils glass a nice burnt orange with a small showing of head that leaves a cute ring of lace..(so far its promising), smell comes across malty with caramel and a light note of dark chocolate, and tastes exactly the same way.!!!! very nice mouthfeel, no oily residue, clears out but lingers just long enough to enjoy. gonna have to admit, its good

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.92/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This shows you don’t have to get cute to make a very good amber ale. I consider this one of the more difficult styles to do well. Poured a rich amber with a nice big fat head and good lacing. This is a multiflavored ale, with hints of fruits, nuts, hops.and malt in the nose. Very smooth mouthfeel, and easy to drink. I liked it a lot.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.88/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden amber with lots of red and a small white head that slowly disappears to nothing.

Aromas are on the malty side...some toastiness and biscuits there.

Taste isn't as sweet as I was afraid it would fact, it has a nice bite of citrus hops from the beginning to a pleasantly drying finish. Amber malts show their sweetness but are quickly overpowered by the toastiness of the malts then the citrus bite of the hops.

Unusal for a red but very refreshing and pleasant.
I could drink several of these.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.85/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eel River Certified Organic Amber Ale is a clear red ale with a thin, eggy white head that leaves very good lacing. It smells malty and slightly sweet; fresh and herbal. It's medium bodied and very smooth with a lively finish. It's well balanced and pretty dry. It gets minty toward the finish. It seems like it was made for sessioning. Served in a mason jar at Farmer Brown's in San Francisco.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eel River was a brewery I had not heard of, until I saw it on the shelf at Vintage Cellar, in Blacksburg, Virginia, on 10-15-04. I see that most of their products are certified organic, under California criteria.
This one pours a chillhazed, copper amber with a small, beige head that holds for several minutes. Attractive, sheet lacing on the glass.
Nice amber ale aroma, with caramel malt, nutty walnut, and hops notes of grapefruit and orange.
Mouthfeel has spritzy, high carbonation and a medium body.
Taste is well balanced, with a creamy, caramel malt backbone, and a grapefruit hoppiness that suggests Cascades hops. Finish is mildly bitter, with a grapefruit aftertaste.
More hoppy than a lot of American amber ales, but a solid and above average effort for style. I will buy this again.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - Medium brown body. Thin offwhite head, even after a vigorous pour. Great lacing and low retention.

Smell - Dark fruit. Lots of alcohol. Yeast. Somewhere between Dog Bite malt liquor and a Belgian quad. Strange.

Taste - Alcohol and malt up front, which quickly dissipates into a dusty dry body and an acidic dusty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Dry. Somewhat solvent and astringent. Strange, unexpected, and admittedly, unwanted; but not necessarily bad.

Overall Drinkability - Wouldn't go out of my way to get this beer again, but it's not bad, especially for being organic.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a tall pilsener glass. Out of the bottle it poured a deep amber, almost copper color, with a good stiff head balancing atop the coppery liquid. Smell was of hop spice with hints of woody earthiness, maybe oak. Taste was good, nice malt backbone balanced out evenly with the spiciness of the hops. This beer had a really clean taste and quality to it. Very refreshing. Would definitely recommend.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.71/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A> Dark amber, lively little head with no retention, no lacing.

S> Sweet.... burnt sugar, alcoholic.

T> more complex than I had expected! Sweet, hoppier than you anticipate from a standard amber, toastiness, followed by a smooth resiny hang.

M> effervescent

D> Easy to drink. Nice. Real amber.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a better than normal amber ale, but its a pretty basic beer, one we have all tasted before. copper colored but much more rich in grain flavor. its got caramel and toffee and molasses and sticky bread all there, and its a little sweeter than i like, especially for sessioning it, but i think its well made and i like the layers. not much hops, it could stand a touch of bittering backbone. forthy feeling and palate coating, carbonated well enough and somewhat decadent overall. feels like dessert to me, lots of body and that left over sugar, almost maple syrupy as it goes down. a beer to enjoy one of, let it warm, and appreciate its bigness. thats not what i usually get in an amber, but i really did enjoy sipping it like a barleywine. the sugar content required it.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.68/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the west coast beer festival

A - Pours a nice amber color (surprise!!) with a 2 fingered off-white head, which dissipates moderately slow. Leaves nice lacing.

S/T - Notes of caramel, citrus, and light grass.

M - Full bodied and well balanced.

D - Good, but could have more flavor.

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Photo of Gavage
3.66/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear amber color with a 1" head that lingers around a while.

Smell: caramel sweetness is barely detectable and very light on the nose.

Taste: slightly grainy malt profile with some caramel, ripe fruit sweetness, and a very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is almost clean, just a bit a sweetness lasts in the mouth for a second. Lightly crisp throughout.

Drinkability: a pure session beer here. Flavor is a bit tame so it may bore you after a few, but it is easy to consume.

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Photo of seand
3.63/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a medium amount of white head. The head mostly dissipates except for a ring around the edge of the glass, and doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Light grainy sweetness. Not bad, though not too exciting either.

T: Medium level sweetness, light grain, finishing with very light hoppy fruit notes.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

This beer won't win any awards or be the standout of your next tasting, but it's pretty decent, drinks easily, and isn't too high in alcohol. Not a bad choice to have 6 or 12 around when you want to have a few beers with a few friends when the beer isn't the focus.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.62/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours-- well amber with a non descript white head.. It could be a poster for the amber beer by looking at it.. Aroma is well, pretty non discript.. Honestly i couldnt get much off of it but malt and bread. Taste was malty a bit and it dryed out near the end, nothing special, An average beer could be a decent session brew, but nothing to write home about.. although it is organic

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.59/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a day of drinking at "The Bank" in Wheaton, I come home to find a beautiful Amber in my the form of Eel River Amber. The beer pours a very nice cleart amber with virtually no head and no lacing. The smell includes a malt with slight molassis balance. The taste follows the smell and there is a very nice sweet malt base. the Mouthfeel is a medium to light boddy with average carbonation. Overall the beer is taste, but I would not go searching for it.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second try of this beer, poured from a 12 oz. twist-off capped bottle to an 'hourglass'-shaped glass at Hot Lips Pizza (NE Portland, OR).

A: What else? It's amber, but a fairly thin, lighter color. Mild carbonation, a faint chill haze. Just a thin white head, maybe 1/4" at best, which quickly vanishes. Moderate lacing may be the best feature.

S: Mmm...malty, very sweet. Rich grainy wheat bread, lightly toasted with butter and a dash of cinnamon. Some toasted nuts, too.

T: Again, quite malty with that same toasted grain. A grainy-cereal sweetness with just enough hopping to add a subtle bitterness and round the finish off.

M: Generally, a smooth and light mouthfeel, refreshing & fairly simple. Despite a lean toward sweeter maltiness, the hops that are added do give a more balanced and cleaner finish. Carbonation level is medium to low.

D: Despite some mid-range scoring, this IS a tasty beer, not exceptional but easy to drink, refreshing, low abv. Certainly pairs well with a slice of pepperoni pizza (& ultimately that's important). It's something I'll likely get again.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Certified Organic Ale pours a lovely raspberry color with a single finger foam head with some nice lacing.

The smell was a slight caramel but not much more.

The taste was malty with an awesome hop bitterness. It tasted really good. In the mouth it was thin and didn't leave much of a mark that it had been around. Overall I thought it was okay amber, probably better than average organic effort.

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Photo of nekronos
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Veyr good but it is not my style. Too bitter for my taste and it was more like an american bitter if it exists than an amber. IT is good, do not ake me worng but just not my style. Great for being an organic one but not the best of the 5 I know of these guys.

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Photo of DamDweller
3.47/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Not as amber in color as I would have imagined. I think it looks a little more on the brown side. The head retention wasn't what I was hoping for.

Smell: Smells sweet with a slight hint of honey and biscuit.

Taste: I taste a lot of caramel malts. I was hoping it would be a little more balanced with the malt and hops. It would have been nice if they brought out the hops to top off the initial malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. The taste seems to hang around a bit on my tongue almost a little bit to long in my opinion.

Drinkability: Pretty easy beer to have a couple in one sitting. Living in Pennsylvania I would have to say I couldn't drink a whole case of it, although I would enjoy it in a mix pack.

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Photo of mntlover
3.47/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear burnt amber color what off white head there was of is entirely gone now, looks like no carbonstion is present but it is there. Aroma is lightly toasted malt caramel light chocolate in background some very light hops are present. taste is caramel malt lightly toasted with a nutty flavor that announces itsself while the sweet malt is fading. Finish is a mixture of nuts light chocolate and light hops, no lingering bitterness just a touch at the end. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy due to lack of carbonation there is a little burst of carbonation as sweet malt flavor fades but thats about it. Drinkability its a pretty average, nothing worth searching for, I would not buy it again will be sticking to my favorites.

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Photo of blackie
3.43/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a .5" off white head that quickly recedes to only a collar around the glass. The beer is a rich orange-red amber in color, with some floaters suspended throughout.

smell: Subtle, though obvious, aromas of caramel malt, dried grain and grain husk (bready). Slight nuttiness and light fruitiness. Low hop aroma. Not bad at all. Just enough character to keep it interesting.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a lower medium. The body is a very light medium, maybe even a heavier light.

taste: Malt balanced, though subtle on all accounts. The malt give a very light sweetness, as well as a nutty hint and maybe some light toffee or caramelized sugar. Hop flavor low, but a moderate bitterness kicks in to clean up the finish. Slightly watery.

drinkability: very easy to drink, though a pretty average amber

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Amber Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.21 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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