John Courage Amber | The Caledonian Brewing Company

120 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 170
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...

 424 characters

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

Pours a golden brown when up to the light and has a 1/2" head that sticks around. The smell is mostly of malts nothing else really decent. Taste is nothing with malts at the end, not impressed at all. Would rather drink something else but does have good amount of carbonation for the style.

 290 characters

Photo of jp32
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a golden shade with minimal head retention. Soft and light colored for an amber beer. The nose has a faint fruitiness but is subtle and weak. The taste is grainy/spicy. Mouthfeel is just under medium-bodied with excellent carbonation. The drinkability is superb, these go down quick, but aren't exciting enough to live up to the price.

 341 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Pours an amber color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a trace of lacing on the glass. The aroma has some toasty and bready malts going on, but not much hop notes - still smells promising. The flavor has a lot of caramel maltiness with just a hint of hops in the background. Not a ton going on here, but still a fairly tasty and drinkably brew.

 367 characters

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.

 492 characters

Photo of Citadel82
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very drinkable brew, Perhaps a nice session beer. Nicely balanced, not too heavy with some nice malt and hop notes that make it interesting enough to savor. Pours a delightful amber with a nice short-lived off white head. Aroma of caramel and toffee mixed with faint floral notes.

 290 characters

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.

 465 characters

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.

 444 characters

Photo of Naes
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
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. ItÂ’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.

 399 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale / slightly amber coloring. Crystal clear with a marginal head and no lacing. This is on the lower end of the hop profile for the english pale's I've had, Leaning more towards the malt sweetness and the hops are used just to alleviate making this candied. As it warmed up it had a much more lively hop zing and finished strong.

Overall this was on ok beer.

 364 characters

Photo of cracgor
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber color with a nice white head and tons of sexy lace left to the glass. The beer smells of malts, and maybe a bit of butterscotch. The butterscotch comes across most in the taste. The beer seems a little lacking in balance. It is a decent brew. Not the most drinkable thing out there, but no big negatives on this one.

 340 characters

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.

 566 characters

Photo of palliko
3.12/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a nice dark golden with an off-white head of foam that leaves some lacing. Aroma is composed of brown sugar, coriander, and hops. Initial taste contains just-right carbonation, some sweetness balanced with acerbic and a little lacking in flavor. Pretty average, and not worth another try for me.

 309 characters

Photo of packetknife
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quite possibly the most inconsistent beer I've had over the past three/four years. I never liked it out of the bottle but I'm putting that down to a storage issue before it made it to me. A light-brown/orange color with a very slight bit of haze. The nose smells strongly of malt but that doesn't really come through on the tongue. A decent hop kick, acidic enough, and a lingering metallic hoppy sensation. A bit on the thing side. For all I was told about it I've never been happy with it compared to OSH or other English Pales.

 530 characters

Photo of Luigi
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-red color. Slighty hazy with a great head retention. Smells malty and buttery. A little bit of hop aroma is present. Meduim body with a good amount of carbonation. The taste is an up front hops spiciness balance out with a sweet malt. Some buttery flavors are present. This is a pretty good English ale. Kind of Bass like.

 329 characters

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.

 343 characters

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.

 361 characters

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.

 672 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.01/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy amber color. A few tiny bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. Thick white fluffy head. Good head retention. Grainy and skunky aroma. Slight toasty notes as well. Slight caramel, toasty malt flavor. Not much sweetness. Dry, slight floral bitterness. Not much malt character at all. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Not very impressive.

 348 characters

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.

 554 characters

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.

 551 characters

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

Had on tap at the Coat of Arms pub in Portsmouth yesterday. Over-all, this beer was on the bland side, hence the average score. Clear medium when served, with a low head. David had just gotten a different beer, which was almost ice-cold (the tap had just been changed), whereas this beer was just at celler temp. So basically, I was looking for some flavors to jump out at me, or at least wave, but nothing really did. I thought the aroma was slightly earthy though. Taste was pretty much low malt, primarily in the finish. That's about it. The beer had every opportunity to shine, especially at the nice serving temp, but that was all I got out of it.

 652 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 937 characters

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.

 300 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.