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 BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very good Pale Ale. Smells lightly estery and spicy. Solid on the English hops and balanced nicely with barley malt aroma. Nicely toasty and earthy. Tastes medium malty with a good hop balance in flavor, bitter, and spiciness. Contatins mild yeast and grass flavors. Medium to the feel makes for a very easy drinker. Light tones of alcohol and carbonation plays on the toung. Finishes clean and crisp. No real flaws in this beer--just safe to the point of bordom.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a small, short-lived head. It leaves some lacing as you drink it.

S - It smells strongly of malt and some hops.

T - It tastes of malt and grasses with a bitter bite.

M - It is crisp and dry. Light to medium-bodied.

D - Very good beer. It's too bad that it is so hard to find.

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Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystalline tangerine-amber with a large, very light tan head that's respectably sticky, falls to a thick disk and leaves a few shreds of lace. The nose is so-so; mostly lightly toasted caramel malt with no real hop aroma to speak of.

The flavor follows the nose pretty directly. Toasted caramel malt dominates and, other than a mild bitterness, I don't appreciate any hops. A little nutty perhaps with a slightly metallic finish. Not much else happening on the palate. The body/mouthfeel is light-medium for the style.

I can't get too excited about John Courage Amber. It's okay I guess, but it does nothing to distinguish itself. Drinkable? Yeah, but there are so many better beers out there, why should I bother?

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
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 WVbeergeek
2.91/5  rDev -13.4%
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 Billolick
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
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 GClarkage
2.9/5  rDev -13.7%
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 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 WesWes
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light malty scent with a dry, yet fruity yeast aroma. There are also some hops present. The taste is decent as well. It has a watery feel along with some malts. It goes down easy with a slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation and a watery aftertaste. This is a good drinking beer despite it's flaws. It could use a few more malts and some boy, but that's just me.

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Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger foam head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was all sweet malt. There was a definite caramel aroma as well.

The taste was nearly all sweet malt and caramel. A slight hop bitterness, but certainly not enough to stand up to the sweetness.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin despite the malty body. Average carbonation.

Certainly drinkable, but the one dimensional malt presence got a bit tiresome.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A brilliantly clear copper colored beer with gold notes to it. It is topped by a thick off white head. A sweet grainy aroma with perhaps a hint of hops contained in the nose. A little bit more hop oriented in the flavor, but it is still fairly subtle. The graininess is in the flavor as well. It finishes with a restrained hop bite. A pretty clean beer, seems like most of the flavor has been stripped out. Much better than a macro-lager but not enough flavor to get it much above mediocrity.

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Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber beer.

Smell is the Standard English ale smell, Perfume and fruity with a grain backbone and a touch of malt.

Taste is malty and bready with a bit of hops. Taste too watery, like a diluted Bass.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is only average. A disappointing English ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as an amber, does not taste like a strong bitter, smooth, good carbonation but head dissipates quickly. The ABV is 4.7%. Part of the Scottish & Newcastle group who brew McEwan's IPA - a much better choice.

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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 bluejacket74
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear amber color with a small white head that stayed around for a little bit. A small amount of lacing sticks around the glass. It smells mainly like toasted malt with a little bit of hops. It tastes the same way, except that the hop flavor is stronger than it smells. There's also a bit of apple and caramel in the taste. The mouthfeel is light/medium, with some creaminess in there. The drinkability is pretty good, as it's smooth and goes down very easy. Overall I think it's a good beer.

 533 characters

Photo of Gusler
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
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 dirtylou
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
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 Dogbrick
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
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 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 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 wedge
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a thin white lightly bubbly head. Toasted caramel aroma and sweet malts with a hint of butterscotch. Taste is similar to the smell with the addition of some fruity elements and a faint earthy hoppiness. Smooth and sweet...medium mouthfeel.

Sweeter and heavier than I expected. I only got this one bottle from a mixed pack, and I'm glad I tried it, but won't feel the need to have it again.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly unassuming. Mild, with caramel malt predominating. There was an odd, mineral aspect to the beer that hung in the background - not sure if this is a part of the flavor profile or if it has to do with the water used in the beer. Tended to skirt the border of a mild ale. Not a bad beer, but not very interesting, either.

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Photo of merlin48
2.54/5  rDev -24.4%
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 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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John Courage Amber from The Caledonian Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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