John Courage Amber | The Caledonian Brewing Company

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John Courage AmberJohn Courage Amber
172 Ratings
John Courage AmberJohn Courage Amber

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 121
Reviews by danadeny:
Photo of danadeny
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

had this at The Brittish Brewing Co. in Hyannis, MA. Served to me with no head. An amber-brown colored brew with a very faint smell. Couldn’t detect anything from the smell. The taste of floral hops are present, some of the roasted malt/caramel flavor, as well as a light bittery finish. The brew is smooth though lending to a high drinkability when coupled with the fact that this is an overall mild brew. No flavor is too strong that it might offend. Overall I would say this is like a mild IPA with the smoothness of a brown.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew seems to be on tap at a few of the local watering holes that I go to I finally brokw down and ordered one the other day at Keegans Pub.Pours a copper/amber with not much head to speak of,aroma was lightly sweet and cider- like but pretty faint,malt accented to say the least I didnt get hardly a trace of any hop going on some caramel sweetness and some biscuity notes.Very average and lackluster but it is drinkable when socializing at the bar,my friend who was with me thought he was drinking a high falutin English ale, I let him think that.

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Photo of Pav42
4.65/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of merlin48
2.54/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a chill hazed, amber body with a small, bubbly, offwhite head that quickly drops into collar and minimal patch lace. Aroma has some caramel malt undertones, but some euroskunk, sulfuric hops spoil the nose. Doesn't smell like any English Pale Ale that I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and has moderate carbonation. The taste is dominated by the skunky hops, with very little malt presence. This is just not what I expect for this style. It becomes somewhat watery, as it warms, but instead of additional malt flavors, all I detect are some mineral characteristics akin to the water used in some of the Burton-On-Trent ales. The hops dominate all the way to the finish, which is not a good thing here. Hops are more euroskunky, in the Heineken manner, instead of like English hops. Wish I could say that this was an old bottle, but it was a recent arrival at the store where I purchased it. Not recommended.

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Photo of Billolick
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, w/ no freshness dating. Pours clear, light amber in color. White medium bubble head. Cabadgy off flavor aroma detected. This is pretty middle of the road stuff. Not impressed. So so mouthfeel, bland flavor notes. Watery. Not much going on here. Tastes like a british macro with some off flavors tossed in. Lots of better stuff out there.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich-looking amber color followed by a bubbly, frothy head that laced the glass nicely.

Aroma is that of butterscoth? Carmel? Malts and hops are certainly present in the aroma as well.

Somewhat muted flavors...the hops are there, as is the malty contribution, but nothing reaches out and grabs my taste buds.

Finished somewhat bitter and really doesn't have much of an aftertaste.

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Photo of ryanocerus
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color (go figure) with moderate, short-lived head. The smell was of nice aromatic hops and slghtly malty. The taste was very bland however. The hops were nowhere to be found, which is obviously not indicative of an ESB. The mouthfeel was watery and lacked flavor. It is above average in drinkability, just because you can throw alot back, similar to a macro.

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Photo of far333
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light amber/copper color, with an off-white thin head that dissipated real quick, and left no lace. The aroma is faint, and consists of malt and floral. Mouthfeel is a bit tingly, you notice the carbonation. The flavor is very light in malt, a bit flowery, with a distinct finish of corn. Corn? Three more sips...yeah, it's corn. Malt comes through a bit more in the aftertaste.

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Photo of niknar
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review was transcribed from some notes I took while on vacation last week...

Pours out a copper color with a large head. Great head retention. Smells of spices and some floral notes. Taste is of smooth malt, finishes sweet and smooth with hints of hop bitterness. Not as big of a flavor as the smell led me to expect. As it warms however, there are some excellent complexities that emerge (but unfortunately I didn't describe them in my notes). Mouthfeel was slightly thin, but still very pleasant. Very drinkable beer, and I did enjoy it quite a bit.

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Photo of ADR
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber color, head is persistant at 1/4 inch with some ability to hold rockiness. A little lemon in the malty aroma. I was surprised at how fleeting the malt impression was. Hops are nice, though, bittering in the back taste. Lighter bodied and less persistant flavor than I anticipated. OK brew, I guess, not a big favorite.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper amber hue with an almost tan off white head. Though the head doesn't last very long it leaves a fairly uniform lace. A good amount of malt is present in the aroma with a tad of hop presence lurking, but definitely not trying to make an impact to kick me in the face. The sweetnes is mellow when it first touches the tip of the tongue, and it finishes sharp with a bitterness and a bite of alcohol has I gulped it down. I drank this beer paired with a DP Dough calzone, and it is a great beer for that kind of meal. The body is between medium and light bodied it falls with in the perimeter of it's style. For me I could drink quite a few in a session, but why would I put all of my efforts toward a decent overpriced beer when there are so many fine brews in the world. A sixer ran for around 8 bucks, and next time I will definitely opt for something else. I still love the name of this brew, John Courage, I think it works.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer was quite a gusher but might have been knocked over in my fridge? The body is a warm tan-orange with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. IT has a nice creamy head of off-white foam that last a good while.

S- The smell of good lightly toasted malt comes through very nicely. There is a faint hop note but it is almost not there.

T- This beer has a fresh lightly toasted malt and fresh grain taste and good pale malt in the background. The finish is a nice bitter hop with some fizz to give it a little kick. The overall taste if very smooth and soft but it is very nice quality.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel with a bit of fizz that could be less noticeable.

D- This is a light smooth drinking EPA and even though the flavors are not huge they are very fresh and you can taste real malt and hop flavors. A great session beer.

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Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for the bottle. Review from notes 11/20/10.

A: Pours a hazy brown with a foamy head that dissipated quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Somewhat fruity with a heavier dose of caramel malt and nuts.

T: Has a nice toasty flavor. Can taste a little bit of the alcohol. The nuts come through stronger in the flavor.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation. Has a slightly bitter finish. Overall it has some nice flavor with a nice finish, but the mouthfeel is a bit weak.

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Photo of soper2000
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a local bar simply because i've never had it before. Pours a nice amber color but appears to be a little thin. Smell has some hints of malt and a general burnt finish. Taste... hmm not a lot of flavor in this one. Just small notes of malt. Maybe this is Scotland's Bud, but this beer is anything but offensive, i guess that's a plus. I don't think I'll will be buying this again.

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Photo of Reverand
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer years ago and just recently had it again. Johnny C is just an average beer but the one thing that I did like was it's drinkability.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz single, Steve's - University

appearance: pours a clear dull amber, quite see through, foamy white cloud...decent retention and fair lacing

smell: typical import skunk aroma, toasted malts, spiced english hops are present, a defined sweetness, aromas

taste: I like this for a mass-imported beer. It served as a change of pace beer many times in college. medium caramel sweetness, noble european hops, well toasted malt, slightly nutty, a touch metallic, slight skunk. pretty decent all around but i probably wouldnt drink it outside of a bar setting

mouthfeel: medium body, slight bitterness

drinkability: pretty good

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Photo of Jon
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

John Courage is labeled as an amber, but in acuality, it's an ESB. Either way, this is a pretty solid ale. It pours a orangish, light amber hue from the tap with a relatively creamy head. The smell is of nothing in particular, perhaps just a little malt and a slight hint of bittering hops. The taste is barely bitter with the malt profile taking priority. The mouthfeel is rather creamy and nice, and it's pretty easy to drink. Overall, a good ale that seems to be widely available.

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Photo of jackndan
2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

John Courage, on tap: A fairly pedestrian effort, even on tap. A fairly reddish cast to this beer that was presented to me with no head whatsoever (can’t blame the beer for that). The tastes were smooth malts, and not a whole lot else. This beer was just not very flavorful, and had little hops taste. I guess one could call this a session beer, but at my session, I quickly grew bored.

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Photo of bditty187
2.81/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tawny and translucent, white head, poor retention… some soapy remnants but skimpy lacing. Sweet malty nose, hints of acid, faintly medicinal, clean. Not inviting. Weakly malty, equally mundane hops, weird subtle flavors… lemony-clean. Boring flavor profile, too carbonated. Slightly tacky mouthfeel but, overall, it is uneventful and clean. I was not very impressed with John Courage Amber; I need not drink it again. I would not recommend it either.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $4.00 at an Atlanta Irish pub (only beer that I hadn't tried on the menu). Not the biggest fan if English Pale Ale's, especially one that says its an Amber. Crisp balance of hops, nothing else too exciting, and I stopped after one. Very funny experience sitting by a very drunk girl . . . I've got a feeling she lost her job the next day.

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Photo of EBeckett3
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of artacosta
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of edchicma
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amber appearance with small head...Apple aroma...malty bouquet...light but nice. Light taste also, but with a nice bitterness that offsets this quality. Medium to light mouthfeel that ends in lightly bitter aftertaste. Easy enough to drink, just not remarkable.

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John Courage Amber from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 172 ratings