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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 121
Photo of Boilermaker88
1.89/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Served on-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse (formerly Heroe’s Bar & Grill) in La Verne, CA. I decided to keep with a UK/Commonwealth theme after my first brew and opted for this beer. In light of the resulting experience I wish I had chosen something else.
Arrived at my table in a pint glass. Had a clear dark gold/light amber color and minimal white head. No lace or carbonation was noted. The smell was rather off-putting; of lightly roasted malt, toffee, and some citrus hops. Underlying those aromas lurked an unpleasant buttery scent. The taste was pretty much off-the-scale nasty. Had a rather metallic flavor, redolent of bitter hops, and a displeasing taste of over-buttered popcorn. Light caramel and toffee notes hovered at the edges of the palate but could do little to mitigate the overall negative taste. Feel was medium-bodied, smooth, and oily.
Overall, this brew was an adventure in rude. I managed to choke down a ¼ of the pint before my palate screamed “no mas!”. In a word, “crap” (spoken with a good Scottish brogue accent). Maybe it was an old keg or dirty line or some other reason but it will be a good long time before I screw up the “courage” to try John Courage again.

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Photo of mikr
2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
2/5  rDev -41%

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 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 clemsonbrewer
2.64/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a weak transparent amber color with a thin white head that disappears quickly and leave very little lacing. Not a good start for this beer that I've been wanting to try. The smell is faint malt, maybe some toffee? to it... Not much else. I don't detect any hops smell to it. I'm searching for some malty taste but don't find much, to my dismay. Still no hops present. It has a smooth taste/feel to it but not as much zip to it as I was looking for. Finally finding a little hoppiness in the palate but still not much. This drinkability is giving me problems... I don't know too many situations where I would want this amber over any other I've ever tried. This is a pretty big let down for me. I guess it isn't hard to drink but then again it isn't fun to drink... I guess that's all I have to say while staying constructive...

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Photo of danielharper
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

(Beer consumed 3/16/06. Verbatim notes follow.)

A: Amber color, slightly hazy, thin head.

S: Apple aroma, mushy hops. Vaguely unpleasant.

T: Flavor similar, strong notes of apple, a touch of hops.

M: Heavily carbonated.

D: Don't much care for it, not bad but not good.

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Photo of tmitch75
2.71/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light dingy orange color with light white head. Musty malt smell.

Caramelly sweet, but not much else there.

Medium body, not bad for the style but nothing special either.

A very average amber ale, if a bit musty. I have to question its freshness, but with no clear bottling/freshness dating system there is no way to know for sure.

Tasted on 5/23/08.

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Photo of elmocoso
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A solid straw color, with a tinge of read hiding a milky cloudiness. This one doesn't seem very red for and amber. Very little head but a makeshift isle of lacy foam in the middle and a collar around the edge. Subtle carb.

Not much smell. Malty and i could swear there is a hind of burntness, but not much. Not much in the way of hops either.

Taste seems pretty bland. malty with a bite of carb. mouth-feel is pretty watery and overall i would skip this beer in the future.

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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 HochFliegen
2.82/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This amber pours a very light amber almost pale color.
The head is good with good carbonation.
Lacing is evident on the glass.
The smell is malty. Kinda bland. No hop smell at all. The malt smell was very mild as well.
The taste was mild as well. Mostly malt. A hint of carmel and a slight dough flavor.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured an amber/brown color that was basically clear. It didn’t have much head and what there was dissipated quickly. The smell is slightly sour and a bit skunky. The taste is more hoppy than malty. It has a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thin with a bit of a bite. This is a fairly drinkable beer that would be a good old stand by.

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Photo of Naes
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a light amber colored beer with a tall white head that provides some lacing.
Its aroma is malty sweet.
The flavor is a bit watery for my likings, but has a semisweet malt base. It’s a little bit toasty and has a slight hop presence near the end.
Mouth feel is light bodied and moderately carbonated.
This is an alright beer, though there are countless others that I would rather have.

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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 katdaddy210
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Great pour from this brew...well thats the good thing. It smelled of an average beer, but lost that upon the taste. Pugnant bitter/sour hop taste,quite unlike the usual Bass/Fuller's line of pale ale. Hello, where's the malt?? Really would never need to try this again. Sorry to be so short and blunt. Seems to be so much else out there to waste your time and $$$$ P.S> How 'Bout Them Steelers!!!!

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

On draught at Winking Lizard. Pours a light clear amber color with a medium beige head. Thin lacing. The aroma is faintly malted with some hops as well. Thin-bodied with low levels of hops and malt flavor, and not much else. The finish is on the bitter side. Quite honestly I would not have tried this again if not for the logo glass that came with it, and even then I am wondering if it was worth it.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer looked so good. Nice amber color. Thick, frothy head which went down to a nice frothy lace. Went completely downhill after that. Very little flavor to speak of. Which only leaves the alcohol. Very astringent. Pass this one by and go onto other beers.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1/28/05- On tap at the Prince of Wales in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- Served in a typical pint glass.

Appearance- 1/4 inch head that disipated quickly. Amber-golden coloring and decent lacing.

Smell- Mostly of a sweet malt. Maybe a wee bit of hops, but very minimal.

Taste- Light malt taste and ultra light hop taste. Not much else going on here. No aftertaste whatsoever. A bit bitter in the end.

Mouthfeel- Very thin and watery. If you are used to drinking hoppy carbonated beers, this one will taste like drinking out of a water fountain.

Drinkability- Not horrible, but just ultra bland. Very boring. Nothing to excite me or to leave me wanting more.

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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 BrewAskew
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold-amber color and off-white head, leaves a little foam lace on the glass. Smells weakly of malt, yeast esters and hops. The flavor is very weak to me: malt sweetness and yeast esters dominate with a slight alcohol warmth and hop bitterness/dryness in the finish. I think I must be spoiled by American breweries that over hop and put more punch in their malt flavors. This is OK beer but not my thing.

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Photo of Gusler
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a glassy light gold to amber color with a commodious head and thick clinging sheets of lace of coat the glass. Malt dominates this beer, in the nose and the start, basically throughout the whole beer drinking experience. Finish is minimally carbonated, sparsely hopped, dry aftertaste, drinkable and a "fair to middlin" session beer.

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Photo of Ahhdball
2.96/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this at "The Winking Lizard" in Columbus. Poured a average red that turned bright amber when hit with the overhead lamp at the table. The cap was small and dissappeared to quickly. As much as I tried this offering didn't send any aromas my way so it was slightly dissappointing. Bitter hops with a slight malt aftertaste this was a good pale, not the best but certainly maintained the style. Light lemon in the end put a decent touch on the bitterness but it never cleaned up. The hops and malt could have played a little better. The liquid left me feeling like it was never there. I may be able to have another but I doubt I'd pay for it. I got a nice mug out of this though.

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Photo of changeup45
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty nice amber color (of course) topped with a moderate head but not a whole lot of lacing. Decent malty taste, finishing slightly watery without much of a hop bite. Not a bad beer but nothing too special. I'd agree that it's pretty easy to drink and a good session choice.

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Photo of Winter
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear copper color with a thin white head. Aroma conisted of malt and not much else. Thin body with a somewhat creamy, fizzy mouthfeel. Bready middle with a clean finish. This is an average amber ale that's very drinkable, but nothing about it really makes it stand out either.

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Photo of budgood1
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

amber color. fine head that leaves a fair amount of lace. muted caramel malt aroma...not much hop nose. fairly pleasant, albeit light malt flavor with a good deal of hop bite in the end. pretty light body...very crisp. a rather boring, but easy drinking british bitter.

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