Amber Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

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143 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of secondtooth
3.17/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of Kakaraht
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light amber with a Finger of white head that has okay retention.

S: Very faint maltiness and a slight hoppines, very subtle, but it does smell like it is smooth.

T: Has a nice smooth maltiness to it, the hoppines is on the weaker side, but it works well with this beer. There is also a faint copper flavor.

M: Medium body and carbonation, but nice and smooth really easy to drink.

D: Nothing spectacular but still a nice easy drinking beer.

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Photo of scottakelly
2.29/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear, orangish-bronze. A decent head stays through the beer. The aroma is of sweet grains, toasted, grains, and butter. The flavor is dinged preety bad by very noticeable diacetyl. Some caramel and toast are also going on, but the butteryness ruins what might have been a good beer.

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Photo of rembrant
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look Deep amber-reddish,i finger cream head

Aroma Grainy and toffee.

flavor A bit of a lager yeast up front with Euro type hops and a rather merged caramel toffee malt bill that never show much sweetness. Sort of a dry British take on an Amber

Mouth About normal for an Amber,a touch of sticky,subtle finish,normal carbo

Drinkability. Ambers are made to be mellow,and this is. It's a bit too mellow though,as nothing is distinctive. It's a pleasant beer but in the category there's a lot of competition. It is organic,and that niche helps it. Price was also good

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Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +23.8%
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 WeezyBoPeep
4.29/5  rDev +32.8%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Copper pour, tannish to white head, lacing clung well.

Taste, roasted, grainy, minimal hop presence, wood feel, a little heavy on the back end. Not real adventurous, not bland, but just kinda meh. Too expensive to even be a desparation beer, might as well order a SA as its comparable in its non offensiveness.

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Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly reddish amber with just a thin cap of off-white head that had low retention and lace. The aroma was the typical malty sweet scent of the style, with a bit of hops at the finish. The flavors were mostly smooth malt with a slight tang of hops on the end. The body was a touch fuller than typical for the style. Drinkability was very good, if I were in the mood, I could drink several of these. Overall, a nice little beer, and easily the equal of (and probably better than) it's counterparts Fat Tire and Alaskan.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at Ebeneezers pub on tap. Served in a pint class.

A-clear brown body and a white head

S-floral smell

t-sweet front, cream, nice grain and hop balance


D-okay representation of the style. Not an outstanding beer but a good one if given limited choices. I would drink again under over those circumstances.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not into the whole organic movement but I do love trying new beers to this fits the bill. Pours a reddish-brown color, small head to it.. moderate amount of lacing. Faint nutty aroma to it.. almost non existent. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel.. not much taste to this one. Slight hops, a decent malt backbone.. but lot of blandness. Not a bad beer by any means, but definitely not exciting or tasty in the least bit.. I'd drink one if handed to me, but I would not seek out and buy this one again. Meh.

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Photo of treehugginslug
2.78/5  rDev -13.9%
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 -26.3%
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 -63.2%
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 -11.8%
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 +19.2%
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 -8.7%
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 -12.1%
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 -17.6%
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 -27.9%
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 +13.9%
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 -26.3%
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 +6.2%
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 -12.1%
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 -10.2%
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 -15.5%
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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Amber Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 143 ratings
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