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 treehugginslug
2.78/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice amber color with slight head

S - Slight smells of caramel and wheat.

T - Would have liked more taste of caramel, yeast, and malt. Too weak.

M - Went down nice, but would have liked more carbonation.

D - Drinkable, but not very "tastey". If this were my first amber ale, I wouldn't be impressed with them.

Whould I buy it again: No
Would I recommend it to a friend: No
Would I drink it if I was offered at a party: Maybe
Overall: Not impressed

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
2.38/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- light lacing and average head retention, color is a nice amber but a little to hazy.

S- Light bitterness and low malt, nothing really here

T- very light on the malt, would want to have a much more malt forward beer, I can taste a little bitterness which for an amber, is not quite right, if the malt was bumped up it would drastically improve this beer. off flavors as well. :(

M- no cloying but perhaps a bit over carbonated.

D- I really wanted to like this beer since it is usda organic but aparently the non-organic ingredients at this point still make a much better beer. might be ok if you are new to beer outside the big 2.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.19/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer pours a hazy amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes within seconds into no lacing. The aroma is of sugary malt with a nasty chemically hop presence. This smells awful, and it is magnifies too much by the fact that, unlike most beers that smell bad, its aroma is actually pretty strong. The taste is like that aroma. It is full of malt that doesn't really taste malty, and hops that taste like chemicals instead of hops. Just awful. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and flat. Overall, this is the first drain pour I've encountered in a very long time. Usually, I am able to find something of value in every beer I drink, but there is simply nothing in this beer that I like.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.85/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

A - The haze in the beer gives the amber color a muddy appearance. A moderate pour puts the light khaki head to a finger tall. Low retention ended up as a creamy ring and a few fingers of lace.

S - Sort of reminiscent of a dubbel for some reason. I get notes of dark fruit and dark candi sugar with a sweet caramel malt nose and light yeast and hops. Not very amber-ish.

T - What it lacks in amber qualities in the nose it slightly makes up for in the flavor. Lightly toasted notes of bread and caramel malts with a yeasty aftertaste and low hop flavor. Rather bland.

M - Fairly smooth and somewhat creamy with a low carbonation finish and a medium body, this is the beer's best quality.

D - Nothing seems to fall into place for this beer. Everything is certified organic though, and it's one of the "better" ones boasting that title. Also, the manner in which I found it was questionable so I gave it a bit of leniency. It could be old but it certainly doesn't taste "bad/off".

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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 tronester
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Also took a chance on this beer, got on clearance at Mid-Town in Tulsa.

Pours a clear reddish-copper, with a thin light tan head. Smell is slightly sour and vinegary. Taste has a wierd plastic flavor up front, a tartness that tastes somewhat like a wild ale, but not quite. Thick malt middle, and a slightly earthy, sour, salty finish. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation. Drinkability is this beers lowest point, it gets cloying and tireing way too fast. The beer tastes fresh, though, so I don't think it's due to being past its prime. This isnt that great of a beer, I'd take it over say a light lager, but its wierd taste gets old fast. Much better examples out there.

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Photo of russpowell
2.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Took a chance on this, not huge on organic beers got this from Mid-town Liqour today. This was on clearance, sooo:

Pours copper/orange with a finger of tan head. A trace of head retention & lacing

S: Fruitty, hints of butterscotch

T: Caramel, slight citric hops, dryness & biscuitty malt up front. More biscuitty malt, dryness & a whisper of citric hops once warm. Powdery dryness, hints of diathechtyl (sic) in the finish

MF: Light bodied, low carbonation, skews way too sweet

Drinks okay, I don't think this as fresh as it could be, first clunker I've had from Eel River, not sure if its the beer or its care & handling, avoid...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.66/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark brownish-amber body with a fine, beige-hued head.

Smell: Fairly weak nose with only minor notes of dusty, grainy pale malts, fruit, and... that's about it.

Taste: Grainy, simple pale maltiness with just a mere hint of caramel sweetness. Indistinct touch of fruit. Not really much in the way of hop flavor or bitterness beyond and a faint touch of herbal, tea-like bitterness that holds you over until the abrupt, weak finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A remarkably dull and altogether bland brew. If getting the organic "gold star" means a pint full of yawns, then bring on the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers!

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Photo of brentk56
2.33/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a soda pop head that fritters away to nothingness before too long, leaving no lace

Smell: Toasted malt and caramel; the vaguest hint of earthy hop

Taste: Toasted malt and caramel up front, with a developing mineral flavor that arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors fade but leave a mineral after taste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, rather watery, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather unimpressive; for a beer with a picture of hop cones on its label, it sure could stand to make better use of them

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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 seanbhudson
2.38/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear amber color with a large off white dissipates slowly. There is a moderate amount of lacing.
Mild aroma of toasted malts and corn syrup like sweetness.
Not a lot going on here. Lightly toasted malts with a light caramel sweetness. I am also picking up tastes of minerals and soap. A touch of earthy hops.
Light to medium body with a relatively dry texture. Light fizzy carbonation.
Easy drinking beer but needs a little more flavor to make it interesting. Also I don't like the hint of minerals and soap at all.
NOTES: BBCSD-0901-Patrick

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

Light brown, mixed bubble size head, large on the pour, swiftly settles into a thin, but complete, coating. Red-brown to amber in color, minimal hue change towards rims, slightly more basic orange. Malty nose of carob, cocoa and chocolate covered raisins, you get some plum to prune notes as well, very light orange citrus element, nothing noticeably hoppy, maybe corn syrup or oats. Medium-bodied, light enough that the carbonation plays a larger role than may be desired. As with other beers from this brewery, there's a palpable mineral water component which at once adds cleanliness while sapping body and perhaps flavor intensity. More presence in the lemon, orange citrus but peel, not pulp. The milk chocolate, cocoa powder an embellishment here rather than cornerstone. Lower corn, more wheat and grain, without bite or bitterness. Peters out halfway between the mid-palate and finish. No flaws as there has to be general presence for flaws to be present in turn.

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Photo of xhcadamx
2.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - a dusty ruby getting very close to brown with a big head that sizzled into a creamy layer on top.

S - Smells like corn - not a good sign.

T - UNDERWHELMING! Huge corn / vegetable flavor. Slight bitterness. Not what I was expecting at all.

M - thin mouthfeel with a solid amount of carbonation.

D - I am bummed that I bought a 6 pack of this stuff.

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Photo of berebrando
2.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I purchased this beer at Jimbo's in Escondido, CA. I bought a six pack. I poured the 12 ounce bottle into a rounded Snifter.

Appearance: the head was small in comparison, it was white and dissipated quickly, leaving no residues. The beer is warm amber in color.

Smell: nothing noteworthy here, simply smells like an average amber.

Taste: the beer tastes earthy and rough at first, but you get used to it. Again, nothing really special.

Mouthfeel: for some reason, organic beers tend has some sort of earthy grit to it. It was not my favorite flavor, but it wasn't bad either.

Drinkability: I would call this beer drinkable. Maybe you could find some satisfaction in drinking a beer labeled organic, even if it's nothing outstanding.

I might recommend this beer to my hippie friends.

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Photo of cvfish
2.73/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - the beer poured a nice amber color that produced a foamy white head that disappeared quickly and left no lacing

S - some malts, some hops. was nothing special

T - not as much taste as i expected, kind of like the smell, almost there, but not quite

M - light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation

D - average beer, better than a marco, but only just

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice hazy amber with tan head. Smell is kinda of citrusy, grassy, and something a little off.

Taste is citrusy, then quite sweet, then finishes with a grassy, wet hay nastiness that was too in your face to ignore.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick, very satisfying.

That grassy, wet hay flavor was just too present to make me want another. Another big let down from an ogranic beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ouncer, w/o freshness info to be perused. Pours darker honey amber, clear, under a puffy dark oatmeal cap, leaving minor spotty lace. Malt infused nose. Pleasant enough. Mostly malt, minor, yet present hop balance. Smooth enough. Nothing exciting, middle of the road style, middle of the road brew. Would do in a pinch is the best I can say here.

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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 ironbike1
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very transparent amber color. Smells quick of malts not much hop. Thin off white head that fades very quick. Has a bit of an earthy smoked flavor. Not the owrst amber I have had but far from my favorite. Worth a try for somthing new on a chilly night.

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Photo of Sammy
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Promising creamy foamy head that soon dissipitates. Amber colour. Neutral slightly malty aroma, with just a hint of hops. Taste is malty and a bit of hoppy,Centennial and East Golding, but not all that tasty.Light mouthfeel,even watery.
Poor for its style.

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Photo of ATPete
3.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Eel River Organic Amber ale pours a transparent orange brown color with a small, thinly laced off white head. Decent nose of a sweet earthy malt aroma, vanilla, cherry, wood, orange/citrus hop notes and the slightest hint of barnyard funk? Spicy and bright hops appear initially, then followed by a nice coating, toasty and semi-sweet malt character, slightly tart and a hint of pine on the aftertaste. Medium/light bodied. Decent drinkability, wasn't expecting a beer to write home about, didn't get one. Worth a shot is your into organics. Far from the worst organic ive had.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
2.53/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

was keenly looking forward to this one,hoping it could become a staple organic beverage for the ole fridge.
the color is mainly amber, plus some reddish tones. a little lacing after the thin head goes away.
smell is way too sweet, with something offputting. like it's trying too hard to impress with its toasted sweetness.
taste doesn't work for me at all. sweetness in the foregrounds. hops are there but in an oddly disconnected way. lack of harmony. the lead singer is in our face screaming and the rest of the band is belting riffs across the street.

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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 jwc215
2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazed amber with a thin off-white head that lasts, leaving some thin lacing.

The smell is of lightly roasted caramel with a touch of honey. Very mild.

The taste is of caramel. Tinny/slightly metallic notes mix in, though, fitting in with overall character of this brew, they're mild. Mildly sweet, with a touch of tea-like bitterness to give it some balance. A "flat"/blandish aftertaste lingers for a bit.

The body is on the thin side of medium with a bit more than adequate carbonation.

It just has a blandness about it that, unless you are really an organic devotee and can't get anything better, it's hardly even worth checking out. A mediocre brew at best. As for me, I'm glad I only bought a single of it. Wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.18/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Amber body with about two fingers of off-white head that disappears quickly leaving no lacing.

Smells a little malty and lemony, not what I expected at all.

Taste is not what I expected either. A strange sour taste up front and then some citrusy hoppiness inthe middle. Mild, light malt finish rounds out the beer. Unique, decent. Mouthfeel is thin and a little oily, nothing wrong there.

Not very drinkable, I wouldn't reach for another after the first. Not sure if I will even finish the first actually.

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