Mission Amber | Mission Brewery

37 Reviews
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Mission AmberMission Amber

Brewed by:
Mission Brewery
California, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 04-29-2009

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 138
Photo of LennyOvies
2.54/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

L- Vivid clear red body and a white head, lacks a bit of carbonation.
S- Heavy caramel malt aroma, also smells a bit like milk.
T- Full toasted malt and burnt caramel taste.
F- Medium, smooth.
O- This is not a style I really like overall, I was a bit mislead but the "Amber Ale" tag. My fault.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is super-foamy. Pours a bright, crystal clear, pinkish-toned copper coloring with an off-white head that is big bubbled and lightly packed, and finally settles into about half an inch. Slightly sweet and sour caramel malt smells on the nose. The taste has the same caramel characteristics, but also a smokey tone that blends well with the sweet flavors. Very malty, but not overly sweet. The beer is dry and crisp, and the aftertaste again has that slight smoked quality to it. Very interesting. The finish lingers a bit with the caramel flavors. Nothing really outstanding about this one, but nothing overly disappointing, either.

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Photo of rawfish
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with highlights of cherry wood. A small soapy cap of off white foam forms atop that keeps just long enough to deposit some spotty lacing on the glass.

Stale bread, wild berry and a touch of caramel on the nose. Some herbaceous odd notes on the back end. Malt and hops smell equally balanced neither of which is very pleasant.

Crusty bread, heavy caramel and a touch smokey without much sweetness. Hops come in herbaceous with pine undertones, followed by a earth steady bitterness that comes in phenolic but disappears as the beer warms. Very little crispness or drying on the back end. Well balanced but comes off as an esb and not a altbier.

A bit heavier body than expected with moderate carbonation. Bitterness gives the impression of dryness though it doesn't really clear out the hops and medicinal feel.

Very average fare in my opinion comes off heavy handed in both the malts and hops, neither of which were handled very pleasantly. It was much more drinkable warm as the plastics fade. An affordable session beer if you like ESBs and medicinal hops.

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Photo of Bricelyn
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Its coloring is very much like the lucite stem on a pipe Golds and oranges mixed randomly through this beer.

Its smell is wet steel and malt odd but pleasing

A slight bitterness that smooths out into smokey malt that bitters again at the end. sticky finish.

A very light bubble that is almost flat I don't like it mouthfeel to me is very blah and it also seems sticky... just not in the mood for it.

Good beer ok taste but mouthfeel ruined it for me.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up this beer in Totowa, not knowing if this would be more like an Amber or an Altbier. It certainly wasn't the former in any way and it went down just a bit too easily to be considered a good example of the latter. While this won't offend anyone, there's not a lot to take away from this afterwards.

The pour was a decent almond hue with some head and virtually no lacing. Not a lot of carbonation here either and this was one of the clearest beers that I've had in some time. The creaminess and malts reminded me of a Vienna Lager and there was quite a toasted aspect to the mouthfeel. Lots of bread in the aftertaste with a bit of caramel to the malt but that didn't last long either. I haven't had a lot of Altbiers but given how smooth they tend to be, this one could have broken a mold just a wee bit and stood out more.

Thankfully, this would make for a good session beer as there wasn't a lot of alcohol here and this went down easily. While not the best offering from Mission, this is worth a go once since more examples of this style need to be on store shelves. Just don't look for anything deep or fancy here.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a medium amber color with a finger of off white head. Ok retention.

S- malt forward aromas with notes of caramel, crusty bread and a subtle spiciness.

T- also malt driven in the flavor. Notes of caramel, toasty crusty bread and a substantial grain characterize the brew. A touch of leafy hop just for some balance on the dry crisp finish.

MF- dusty grainy mouthfeel with a light medium body and medium carbonation.

D- drinkable just not that exciting.

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Photo of kflorence
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured an amber in color with hints of cherry. A small amount of head sits atop which dissipates to a few scattered patches of cream. Not much lacing. Carbonation seems average. Has a very nice color too it, but looks a bit weak.

S: Nutty, malt aroma with some hints of fruit and an underlying hop presence... flowers and soap.

T: Roasted nuts, maybe a bit of toast, some fruit: apple, pear, cherry, dates... A bittering quality towards the finish which is very crisp and dry. Lingering flavors of roast and bitter hops. Not quite what I expected. I thought this was an amber ale, but on here it says "Altbier" which hints at the fruitiness I found in this one. Reminds me more of an ESB than an amber.

M: Pretty light bodied, really, with average carbonation and not much substance. A bit thin, but not watery, and it really bubbles on the tongue (quite reminiscent of mineral water). I could use a bit more body, but it does make it quite drinkable.

O: Not quite what I expected. Not necessarily a bad thing, but this came off as an ESB, which I am too fond of. That said, it's got something to offer and is quite drinkable, but I think I'd pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of Zorro
3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear caramel colored beer with a good light tan colored head.

This is sweet and malty with a faint metallic smell. Bread and toffee candy with a bit of soapy hop in the background. Not really one that is big on aroma.

Sweet and malty with a big toffee and caramel flavor, slightly bittersweet like burnt sugar. Solid bitterness in the aftertaste and some yeast fruitiness. Little bit earthy at the end.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not sure if this is really an Altbier or not. My reference beer for this beer type is Alaskan Amber and it is frankly better than this.

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Photo of Samp01
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper amber with a large lasting creamy beige head. Aroma and taste is of toasted caramel malt and grains, some grass notes, mildly fruity with a bitter finish on the end. Palate is a medium body with good carbonation. The finish is the same as taste with a good sweet toasted caramel malt and nutty flavor and a bitter ending for balance. Nothing really standout but overall a good drinking brew.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Small chunks of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but nothing really stands out about this one to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of missingsense
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very fizzy, clumpy head, that died pretty quickly. Odd color separation & tiny particles floating around. Amber color looks a little thin.

S: Cola, steel, some light berries, caramel, maple syrup. A little earthy. The sweetness of the aroma is a bit overpowering.

T: A nice, sweet maltiness, with a minor hop kick. The taste is considerably more balanced than the smell, but I would prefer a little less sweetness. Decent, but not a standout amber.

M: Sticky and a bit grainy

D: Overall, a good attempt, but it could use some improvement. I don't think I'll be rushing to try their other beers anytime soon.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/21/12
*From notes

A: Rustic amber-orange in color. It looks just like a Marzen. A generous pour yields an off-white two finger head. Clean and filtered. Solid lacing and collar follow.

S: Lots of golden, maybe slightly toasted grains. Earthy. I get a really peanut-like quality to it.

T: Also very nutty. It's got an almond-peanut-cashew thing going on. It's also pretty plain jane and drinks (as it looks) a lot like an Marzen. A bit green on the finish. No real hops, which coming from a downtown San Diego brewery, is disappointing.

M: Feels like a decent session brew. The carbonation is a bit light, and the body a tad thin. It ain't bad, but it's not overly memorable either.

O: Not a whole lot going on with this Amber. Not nearly as expressive as I'd like, though if I was looking to crush a sixer, I guess this would do. Not bad, just not all that great.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa.

a - pours a deep copper color with a two-finger ivory head, low-to-moderate retention and lacing, fairly hazy

s - lots of malt with a very toasty aroma, moderate orange/tangerine citrus component, light caramel malt

t - toasted malt and bread up front, light caramel flavor, decent amount of hop bitterness on the mid-palate and finish, some orange and lemon notes mixed in with the toast, pretty dry and slightly bitter finish

m - light-bodied, medium-to-higher carbonation, fairly dry but not overly bitter finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable stuff in that it's easy on the palate and balanced, unfortunately, the flavor, while solid, just isn't very interesting

Not bad stuff overall, but nothing memorable. I'd like to try some of the brewery's other offerings.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - I give it a 3.5 since I drank it from the bottle. Carbonation seems good enough.

S - Fairly good alt bier it smells of caramel malts an a mild twang of hops.

T - Not bad has sort of a lingering bitterness but good caramel and biscuit background.

M - Light to medium body.

Overall sessionable but forgettable this beer was decent.

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Photo of mactrail
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The classic amber color. Quite hoppy at first sip, like a Pale Ale. More malty in the body, though, and plenty of carbonation. Lots of the browned biscuit taste. Bitter lemon flavor. Nose of roast malt is the best feature. Otherwise it's very plain. There is just a hint of cardboard taste. Kind of savory and salty in the aftertaste, along with the bitterness.

On tap at the brewery's Skid Row location in San Diego.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with a quarter inch of bone foam. Dotted lacing and a few whisps on the surface remain for the rest of the glass.

Aromatics are a blend of sweet malt, proofing dough, and a hint of raisin. Zero hops but perhaps a hint of gypsum.

Medium bodied with a crispish mouthfeel. A bit tacky.

Plump malt with drizzeled caramel starts the palate. A hint of fig and toffee follow through. Bitterness to balance.

Finishes with a touch of lingering sweet malt and a minerally crispness.

A pretty tasty, albiet kind of boring, Altbier.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

technically an altbier, I already like this because we need more of these in the usa. however, this one is less than stellar. brick red with a decent off white head and decent carbonation. im picking up aromas of dry red malt, german caramel grains, and the aroma of a well toasted everything bagel. the flavor is pleasantly not sweet at all. the grains come through a little stale, and there needs to be some more hops so balance things out, but the dryness and relative lack of residual sugar for the style is a welcomed respite from the droves of sugary reds out there today. a nice almost oaty smoothness to this, but the carbonation dies a little and the beer gets a tad heavy for that reason. the finish is the best part, clean and dry, but still full of flavor, exactly as the style dictates. its not a flawless alt by any stretch, but this is a step in the right direction for American brewers. now that ive covered the basic mission lineup, I think they are a little all over the place, but might be on to something with their slight twists on mass appeal styles. I will keep checking out their beers as they come in.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery amber, with a finger of frothy white colored head that has a bit of an off-look to it. Pretty good retention here, staying rich and leaving a latticework of creamy lace behind that hangs in some thick swathes. The aroma is mostly floral and citric, with a touch of herbal quality about it up front. Underneath is some light notes of smoky roast, bread, and caramel sweetness.

The taste is overall fairly roasty in the mouth. Caramel malts come out to play, as does some fresh citrus character, giving this a tangy pop at times. Good bit of hops here as well, making sure that this finishes very dry, with just a little touch of leftover sweetness hanging on the palate. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a smooth and creamy touch to it. Maybe a bit too smooth, as this does feel a tad light in spots.

This was decent. A bit more beef would have been welcome in the body but for the most part this was a flavorful and easy drinking Alt.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Standard bomber poured into a narrow pils glass. This offering shows a copper amber with good clarity. A half inch of just off white foam offers decent though a bit substandard retention initially, yet keeping a thin film and showing fair lacing.

Aroma is clean and a bit light with some grain and an understated nuttiness. Subtle earthy hops and a touch of caramel present themselves. Nothing overwhelms nor detracts in classic alt style.

Flavor is again clean and smooth, albeit with a notable hop spice character which delivers some unexpected body. Some nutty caramel notes up front segue to a subtle orange citrus character on the finish and a touch of smoke. Offers a touch of spice and a moderately lingering finish as the pour warms. Nicely done and with a well placed level of carbonation.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into new belgium chalice, color is amber, translucent, nice lacing from head that is off white in color.

Smell is subdued, hints of toast and light caramel, but not emphatic, nothing out of place, clean hop notes of grass, some breadiness comes through as it warms.

Taste is pretty clean, again not emphatic but mild flavors, caramel, toast, bread, toffee, hints of hop grassiness and slight earthy profile.

Mouthfeel is somewhat strong on the tongue from carbonation i assume, the hoppiness is not there; sweetness lingers leaving some caramel and bready notes on the palate.

Overall, a mild, subdued amber ale, easy to drink, no off flavors.

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Photo of MrOH
3.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with no head.

Toffeeish malt, some herbal hops

Deep, rich malt flavor for the color, with a nice bitter hop bite at the end. Well balanced.

Medium bodied, slightly sticky, low carbonation.

A pretty good everyday beer. Probably wouldn't buy it again, though.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich red colour, not as vibrant as an American red maybe. Head is beiege, OK when poured but dissipated to a thin ring of lace. Looks alright.

Smells sweet, malty. Touch of roast but lots of caramel, toffee, touch of pumpkin even. Notes of citric hop floating over the top gives it an American edge. Quite nice, not sure if it's true to the mission statement though (no pun intended).

Taste is more what I expect from an altbier. Roasty, but lightly. Malt-driven with some grain soup characters, a touch of earthiness, sour clove spice and some noble hop bitterness at the back. Earthy, kind of woody notes finish up. Nicely balance, pretty to-style and well-made alt.

Nice body, but there's a fair bit of fizz to it that shouldn't really be there.

Nice altbier. Drinks like a hearty mid-season brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glowing amber when held toward the light, a bit darker than the average amber, labeled as a Dusseldorf style altbier. Forms a light beige head, thicket with fine speckled lacing across the sides of my glass. Aroma has a pleasant fruitiness/grapes/roasted malts with spicy earthy/herbal hops going on as well. Toasted Vienna malts stand out and really bring to mind a good Vienna style lager. Tastes leaves a bit to be desired, a bit of harsh grain husks, dry finish, not enough malts shine through, with a bit of nutty earthiness making things pretty bitter and almost off putting. So far, I can deal with it but it's way to hopped up, earthy dirty hop profile muddles the whole malt experience in this beer. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh with hop oils/bitterness on the palate lingering, not as crisp as I would like. Carbonation is solid medium bodied alt style bier from SoCal. Good stuff, enjoyable brew I'm liking more as it warms up take your time with this one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright burnt orange with bumblebee yellow trim. A thick chunk of sandstone colored suds rests atop the beer. When the head evenutally melts, scattered sheets of sea foam lace can be seen on the sides of the glass. It isn't a great look, but it gets the job done.

The nose is classic for the style. It's big on toasted-earthy-nutty character, thanks to what Mission calls 'the generous use' of Munich, Vienna and Pilsner malts. For those who have never had an altbier, they smell like Oktoberfests. Hops aren't appreciated.

Beer that counts on pale and mid-range malts (see above) for the lion's share of the flavor(bocks, marzens, altbiers) will never be among my favorites. Having said that, I have given a few altbiers some pretty high scores. Therefore, Mission Amber is being given every chance to impress me with its magnificence.

Malt sweetness is easily matched by hop bitterness. While 43 IBUs seems a tad high for the style, more hops than expected is rarely a problem. Specifics include toasted whole grain bread, steely caramel, roasted peanuts and bitter black tea leaves. Next to no fruitiness gives the beer a cleanliness that lager lovers should enjoy.

Since the flavor score was rounded down, the drinkability score will be rounded up. Ideal sweet-bitter balance helps drinkability quite a bit. The mouthfeel is light-medium and has fairly bright carbonation. Softer and smoother would have been better... and things are edging that way now that the bottom half of the bomber has arrived.

In the end, Mission Amber is a respectable altbier that I probably won't think about again once this review is in the books. Kudos to the brewery for trying something different rather than rounding out their lineup with yet another American amber ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial pint glass a clear deep amber/bronze with a thinner but well defined white head.Aromas os sweet dough with some light toastiness,a faint earthy hoppiness compliments the sweet element pretty well.The palate is pretty straight forward with lightly sweet doughiness standing out,not mush hop presence but there is a decent drying in the finish.A no frills malt tilted alt,pretty true to style just not anything spectacular.

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Mission Amber from Mission Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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