John Courage Amber | The Caledonian Brewing Company

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 170
Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer was poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a very clear deep amber coloration. The head was a fluffy honey coloration almost an inch thick. The staying power on the head was amazing. There was very thick sheets of lacing remaining behind on the beer glass.

Smell: The beer has a very well combined hoppy cloves combination with sweet caramel maltyness.

Taste: Wow! This beer has a very good sweet caramel maltyness fighting for dominance with hoppy cloves. This beer is very well balanced. This beer almost seems like a Scotch Ale.

Mouthfeel: The beer is very full bodied and nicely carbonated. This is a very well balanced beer treat.

Drinkability: This is just an awesome sessionable beer to me. Screw you very much New Castle for not continuing to export this beer to the USA.

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Photo of bvillejohns
4.33/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This beer was the first import I tasted in college. It is still a treat to find it on tap. Clear feel in the mouth and strongly refreshing but the taste is brief, leaves the mouth at the swallow.

Good warm weather beer with just enough initial bite to refresh but in the colder days up north it lacks the body and lasting taste to keep you warm until spring.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.18/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice Scottish beer. If the Scots know one thing, it's how to make a mean beer. Copper color and rich head. Fruity taste, mixed with a light malty taste. Starts out strong, but ends out a little weaker but still smooth. It's a definate if you like ESB's.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.17/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - light golden color; brought a decent head, but didn't last too long

S - almost fruity-malt smell with a little bit of hops...not overpowering at all

T - very impressed with the taste. at first, tasted more like a fruity golden beer than an amber, but the amber kicked in towards the end

M - good mouthfeel..little carbonation

D - I would definitely buy this beer again if there was nothing else new to try...

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Photo of Poser
4.09/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has long been a favorite of mine, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I live in Alabama where the beer laws are restrictive. It was the best ale you could easily find in the state, but I've heard it was pulled from distribution to the U.S.

Has an amber hue with a short head and a distinctive honey-carmel aroma. The taste is good with a sediment background that leaves a slightly woodsy feeling. Slightly more hops taste. The best part of this beer is its drinkability. It's very smooth and serves as a great introduction beer for newbs who might not be ready for something more complicated.

All in all, a very clean and solid ale to be so easy to find in the US. I'm going to miss it.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.99/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice "amber" colour with a small white head. The aromas were malty, and hoppy, with not much else going on. The taste was malty, and hoppy at the same time...with the malts fighting against the hops the whole time that this beer is in your mouth. When you finally swallow this stuff, and the war is over, it seems that the malt won the war, as it lingers on in the after-taste of this one. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but the drinkability is great.



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Photo of DarthMalt
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

How do they do it, those Highlanders? Is it some secret-society, symbiotic, maltose relationship between Scotch whiskey and ale producers?

The color is regal. The butterSCOTCH/diacetyl notes are impeccable, and the malt......where do they get that malt?!

Old Jock, SkullSplitter, Black Douglas, Merlin, McEwan's, John Courage....MALT! Heavenly malt!!!

John Courage is a Non-F.U.B.A.R. iteration of the Scottish nectars, but it still has all those Duncan McCleod essentials.

There's beer....
And there's Scottish Ale.
Do not confuse!

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Photo of mikethebeerguy
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

As a beer that is a tribute, it does justice. John Courage-the dead heir to the European brewing fortune died in a firey car crash. Actually it was in a formula 1 car of the team he bought. For beer royalty who literally burnt to death where they sat, this beer is for them and is inarguably perfect based on what it is. Drink responsibly.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
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 AaronRed
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber color, with good head retentionas well as enjoyable, rich malty aroma. Hops hits on the first few sips, but seems to mellow out a bit as the beer warms. Sort of a nutty flavor as well- maybe some toasted malt. Loved this beer. So easy to drink- doesn't try to be something that it is not.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a nice, super deep copper with a nice off-white head that fazed out quickly and left little lace. Smells of sweetly roasted malt and has a soft bread-like grainy aroma with just a hint of floral hop. Taste is more of the same, lots of roasted malty sweetness, slightly dry, soft bread and a bitter, dry hop thats balanced in nicely at the finish. Feel is medium bodied but has no hold of flavors in the mouth, very mild and a little empty. Along with a handfull of others, this is one of my all time favs for early fall drinkin', right as the leaves start to turn.

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Photo of inebrius
3.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper amber with minimal head and no lace. Malty nose. Well balanced form slides nicely down the back of the throat making this a reasonably drinkable beer. I would spend my money on the McEwans IPA which is actually a better ESB than this one which is called an amber. I think Scottish Courage is just trying to confuse the hell out of everybody with their beer designations.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.93/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a lovely amber-colored pale ale with an inch of creamy head that subsided but never went away. It left rings on the glass as I drank.

The aroma was of caramel malt, a little bit of apple and pine thrown in, and traces of aromatic hops. A little fainter than I expected though.

The taste was bitter, yet crisp and clean, with a slight fruitiness and some pine notes thrown in. It was quite refreshing. The mouthfeel was a little thin, however. I expected a little more body to it.

A very drinkable beer, nonetheless. It went down easy.

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Photo of putnam
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was lighter in color and leaner in texture than the Old Speckled draught which sat beside it. Roasted alcohol, toffee and branches preceded brushed steel-flavored hop powder. There is also some trace of grapefruit flavor that I associate with Cascade hops inattentively employed.

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Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear amber color with a white head. The head fizzles down to a ring around my glass and there is no lacing.

The aroma is mostly of caramel and malt but also has some hop presence.

The taste is good. It is malty sweet with some caramel and has a nice crispness to it from the hop addition. It almost seems like there is a flash of citrus as the beer goes over the sides of my palate near the back. Interesting.

The mouthfeel is good. medium/light body with medium carbonation. It's a very drinkable beer. This would be a good session beer.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a medium copper color with impressive creamy tannish head that had good retention. Minimal lacing to be found. Smell is a nice toasted malt with some caramel accents. Taste follows through on the caramel with also some toffee present. Background gives a good hoppy bitterness, that when combined with the maltiness was enjoyable. Mouth is fairly creamy., and leads tom a finish that is more dry than malty. I enjoyed this beer. Good job.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.79/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this amber ale largely because of its excellent appearance. The look is of a clear honey amber body with a huge billowy head that lasted well and laced with tremendous gusto. The nose was strong, but gave nothing more than an average lager sense from the aroma.

The taste was surprisingly bready at first and then sttled into a more familiar pattern of maltiness with a nice hop balance to smooth the sweetness of the malt. The feel was good, creamy and smooth leaving the impression of very good drinkability. Nice beer - can't wait to drink it in person in Edinburgh.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

John Courage Amber pours a finger of creamy foam over a slightly
cloudy deep amber brew. Carbonation is very active, and the nose
is bready and toasty malt. The flavor has a slight fruitiness and toasty
malt balanced by a crisp herbal hop. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and a
little dry too, with a bit of grain in the aftertaste. It finishes very clean.
It's pretty good the way it is- it occurs to me to wonder what it might be
like perfectly fresh. Give it a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived in a pint glass looking slightly cloudy orange color. The head was 1" thick, and the aroma was of light malts. The flavor was of malt, bread, mild citrus, and some mild bitterness. No lacing developed during the drink.

This was a medium bodied brew with a smooth start and a short malty finish. Nice session brew, especially when paired with some British food like steak & kidney pie.

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Photo of Murph
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightish amber color with a decent sized, somewhat fizzy, off-white head that fades too fast. Good smoothly biscuity malt aromas with some light fruitiness as well as a slight hop profile. Smooth biscuity malt profile dominates the flavor with the hops hanging in the background until the fairly bitter and somewhat fruity lingering finish. The brew is a little more carbonated than many of the style but remains very smooth across the tongue . The slightly thinner flavor profile makes this an impeccably drinkable brew.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.73/5  rDev +11%
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 MobBarley
3.72/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mild amber hue with a small and fizzy white head. Leaves a nice bit of lacing, too. The nose is minerally and malty with a little bit of citrus hops in the finish. The taste is well-rounded with some interesting fruit and metal notes and a sweet, bready finish. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, much thinner than American ambers. Drinkability is decent, but the peculiar taste might lose its novelty after a couple of pints. Decent, and a refreshing change of pace.

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Photo of tigerpaws
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the deep mahogany color to the nice creamy head this brew has a good look to it, not to mention the good lace as you drink it. Not much of an aroma to wet your appetite but is a very drinkable and very smooth beer...............CHEERS

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Photo of AeroBrew
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is rather disappointing. It has a deep amber glow, not crystal clear, but damned near it. Little to no head, lace is spotty around the glass, but holds on until the end.

Smells rather bland, no scents really stick out and grab you.

Tastes good though, smooth, hops contribute nicely to the bitterness at the finish, nice refreshing aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is weak, nothing holds it together except for the carbonation. The alcohol is present, but not overbearing. Smooth to drink.

Definately drinkable, acquire a buzz, then layoff, keep it going all night.

This is a good beer, not the best, not the worst. Worth trying, and would recommend to a first timer of the style.

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Photo of whynot44
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy copper/amber color with a fizzy ivory head that disipates quickly to just a thin ring with only traces of lace.

The aroma is light toasty malt and caramel.

The flavor starts slightly sweet malt, caramel and toffee but is quickly followed by some mild hops bite with a hint of citrus. The hops become more noticeable as the temperature increases.
Finishes slightly dry with lingering caramel and citrus.

Light/medium body gives a decent mouthfeel, easily drinkable.

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John Courage Amber from The Caledonian Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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