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

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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 121
Photo of artacosta
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +18%

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 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 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 shadow1961
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
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 1fastz28
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a reddish brown color with a head that dissipates quickly, smell is of mesquite smoke and biscuit malt, taste is the same, some malt flavor and some other earthy flavors mixed in, but nothing spectacular, its easy drinking thing, the moutfeel is kinda watery but its not terrible, drinkability is average as well, its an ok beer, probably not one that i'd search out for, bud order if was available

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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 biggmike
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured amber, little head, thin, lightly hopped, no real evident characteristic other than bland and disappointing. This is sent to America only. Little mystery as to why. They think this is appealing to us. I usually find UK beers pretty appealing. Not this time. Smells cheap like Beck’s Oktoberfest. I expected more.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
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 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.

 348 characters

Photo of Poser
4.09/5  rDev +20.6%
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 plaid75
3/5  rDev -11.5%
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 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 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 PuckLSHS
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You know, I really do enjoy my John Courage every single time that I go to The Olde Ship in Fullerton, CA.

It pours a nice light amber color and has a nice nose to it...light hops with a sweetness deep within the brew. The taste is very similar. There is a nice hoppy sweet malt flavor and a nice finish with a lingering sweet bitterness brought on by the hops.

The mouthfeel is great. Perfect pour always makes for a nice experience...just the right amount of bubbly.

This beer is completely drinkable for me and I would definitely order it again when I hit The Olde Ship next time around.

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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 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 wedge
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Enola
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this tonight at the Olde Hickory Taproom.
It was a reddish color. The taste was similar to other red ales but without the harshness typicaly found in this style. I would say this is one of the better red beers I have had. Not the best but I have had worse. I would try it again.

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Photo of Bones54
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 12oz bottle and pours an amber color. Faint malty smell. Being a Pale Ale I was expecting a hop presence but did not have much of one, it was actually rather malty and somewhat sweet. I would say this is more of an amber lager. Nothing to great here, but decent to sit back and have a few.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +38.1%
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 sevineyes
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown bottle with a dominanty white label and a red label around the neck.

A: Bit of a haze. Goes from deep copper to light brown. More of a color difference than I'd expect from anything except some black beers. Poured with a thick merengue head leaving very chunky lacing.

S: Bready and toasty. Amost rye-like.

T: Sweet and toasty. Alcohol presence in the mid-tones and dissipating into some floral hop presence about the same time an earthy bitterness sets in. Ends on some sour tones that are almost hidden by a resurgence of a burnt-almond kind of bitterness.

M: Creamy for the style with a big astringency on the end.

D: Not quite as drinkable as I'd like. Not bad, but a bit heavy.

Overall: Great bitterness and finish, but somewhat weak in the other aspects.

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