Amber Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

142 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of hayesjw
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper color. Bubbles clung in masses to the glass initially. The head settled quickly, but it's easy to see plenty of little bubbles coming up from below. Smell is of malt, caramel and a hint of ripe fruit. Taste is a little more bland with a slight hop bitterness. A little watered down though. Feel is nice a carbonated. Definitely an average brew, but at the $1 price that I bought the bottle, I'm content.

 424 characters

Photo of tmm313
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a slightly murky copper with a tan 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 malt, caramel, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same but slightly watery. There is a very mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with a better smell than taste in my opinion.

 502 characters

Photo of Bacchus
5/5  rDev +55.8%

Photo of ElGato33
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of javi10653
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of OPBrewCrew
2.75/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of tizride
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of TeamUgly
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
5/5  rDev +55.8%

Photo of KevdoggNasty
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Nage37
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mrfrancis
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy amber with a tight whitish head.

S: Aromas of caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and molasses dominate the nose. There are no hop aromas of which to speak.

T: This ale is almost completely dominated by malty notes of heavy cream, toffee, caramel, milk chocolate, molasses, raisin, and prune. A trace of grassy, herbal hop bitterness develops just before the finish, which presents a mixture of grass, caramel, and cream flavors.

M: Medium-bodied and somewhat dry, but with weak carbonation. This ale feels watery and insubstantial in the mouth.

O: This is a very mediocre amber ale. Much like Eel River's California Blonde Ale, there really isn't much to this beer. I would probably pass on this ale if it were offered to me again.

 749 characters

Photo of ChuckStingray
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of shigg85
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of williamjbauer
2.78/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear amber with half finger of white head. Moderate lacing on glass.

S: Very light wheat scent, pretty underwhelming

T: Light grain, light sweetness with a molasses and slight citrus hoppy finish

M: Medium body, medium carbonation

O: Really underwhelming beer, was hoping for something stronger with the organic ingredients.

 332 characters

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.

 470 characters

Photo of tclapper
3/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

 641 characters

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.

 623 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Not bad it is amber brown of course with a half inch of head that turns to a lace ring , lacing is pretty sticky.

S - First smell is a strong caramel or butterscotch but I can't seem to detect anything further than this sickeningly sweet smell. No hops or nothing.

T - Wow for such a sweet smelling beer is is rather dull. No distinctive hops or otherwise taste of caramel malts or anything. Just slightly sweet and watery.

M - Again like sweet water there really isn't any body to this beer. They might as well call it a "light" amber

Overall I should have know I would get just another lackluster beer from this brewery. It really makes me want to avoid any future beers I find from them since they are 2 for 2 sucky.

I do find it quite odd that what they lack in beer making, they make up for distribution. Found this beer in at least 3 shops around my one horse town.

 880 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Rogue Public House, in San Francisco.

Eel River Amber has really good clarity but not much luster; the beer's deep amber colour (with its almost brick-red tinge) is seriously lacking in the highlight department. Likewise, its head is good in size and subsisting, but incapable of leaving lace. In fact, it's a very no-frills beer all around...

I don't have any idea of prices on the wholesale organic agriculture trade; I imagine organic hops are quite a niche and therefore might be considerably more expensive than other commercial varieties. At very least this theory would explain how this amber came to be so dull; there is no aroma what so ever except a faint smell of crystal malt.

Ditto for taste. Bitterness is scarce - the malts aren't even that sweet (especially for an amber) but there's literally nothing to note apart from a generic, somewhat cereal-y graininess. Sure, the use of crystal malts has added a bit of flavour but the caramel notes are far from pronounced and there's not overtly toasty or nutty about it. It's boringly bare.

The beer has a couple of things going for it: it's clean (no fouling adjunct taste); it is well brewed, with no obvious faults; and it's not too uncommon to turn away the average beer drinker. As for that third thing, while it's good for sales, it doesn't make for a very impressionable beer; a little more character would make it a lot more enjoyable.

Organic beer may be better for the planet but in my experience it's not better for the palate. It's unfortunate that there exists a stigma of organic beers as being somehow inferior, but if they continue to be as ordinary and average as Eel River Amber (the first organic beer to be commercially advertised as such) consumers aren't likely to pay the extra money or switch their consumption patterns. At least I, personally, won't be.

 1,858 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint. Cloudy darker amber color. Thin off white head. Little lacing.

Aroma is just kinda malty. Don't know how else to describe it.

Taste is ok. It's just kinda there. It's not bad. Just boring. Ok malt character. Slight bit of hops.

Mouthfeel is ok. Bland.

This beer is ok. Won't buy it again but I ticked it. Wouldn't really reccommend this beer to anyone. But is not like I drain poured it.

 418 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Attractive deep amber, with tan head and not a lot of lace on my ale glass.

Awesome nose -- fruity, berries, yeast...unusual and enticing.

Flavor is biscuity, with some subtle spice undertones. Seems rather thick-bodied. Tastes rather dull, with almost no hops presence. Flat and malty, this one's not too impressive. Glad I didn't get a whole 6-pack, and I'll stick to Fat Tire, thanks. I like the organic angle, but this one didn't cut it.

 443 characters

Amber Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.21 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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