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Copper Altbier | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
82 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
North Carolina, United States
oldemeckbrew.com

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Copper Amber Ale

Added by AlexJ on 04-29-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
373
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
28.5%
 
 
Wants:
66
Gots:
111
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 373
Reviews by Bung:
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of THANAT0PSIS
4.84/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Olde Mecklenburg Copper Altbier

A: This alt pours a crystal-clear, light bronze/copper (true to its name), with flecks of orange in the thinner regions of the glass. It is topped by a thick, off-white head of about a finger-and-a-half, which sticks around for an impressively long time. Carbonation is very good. Lacing is equally awesome, covering the glass in swaths. This is perfect per style. 5/5

A: Melanoidin-rich toasted bread and toasted nuts are the primary aromatics. Sweet breadiness like pretzels lays just beyond the toasted notes, adding further richness. Finally, spicy, floral, perfumey hops and an underlying hint of biscuit round out a complex and subtle aroma. This reads like the BJCP guidelines for Altbier, meaning it needs high marks, but perhaps it is just a hair too subtle. 4.75/5

T: While it follows up on the aroma very thoroughly, the sheer depth of flavor here is incredible to behold. It still remains restrained, but not as much so as the nose suggested. Rich bready malts, toast, almond paste, walnut, and pretzel all work perfectly in concert with earthy, spicy hops and just a hint of floral qualities. Bitterness is medium-light and is accompanied by similarly soft minerality and a last suggestion of dry, toasted bread. The aftertaste has that biscuity, sugar cookie richness that only comes from lager brewers that really knows their stuff. Amazing. The only drawback is a lack of any noticeable esters (this is a lagered ale after all), but that can be forgiven as it is certainly not a requirement. 4.75/5

M: The feel of each sip is a thing of beauty. It is medium-full, creamy, and somehow crisp and light on the finish. It is dry enough to keep you drinking yet refreshing enough to make each sip something to savor. A study in opposites combining to create perfection. 5/5

O: Olde Mecklenburg is unquestionably one of the best lager producers in the country. Doing an Altbier and making it a mainstay in the lineup should be suicide in the current ale-heavy craft beer scene, but when you do it this well, it does not really matter what the masses are clamoring for. This is beautiful, subtle, complex, crushable, savorable, and everything else a truly great beer should be. The things I would do to have OMB distribute anywhere near me are unthinkable. North Carolina is lucky to have such an amazing brewery, and they should really be hyping this stuff up a lot more. Pair with The Hotelier's amazing and comparatively subtle "Goodness." 5/5

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, brown tinted copper color. A moderate, but thick soapy, almost foamy light tan head.

Aroma is excellent. Toasted bready grains, sweet caramel, some spunky Noble like floral hops, and a touch of nuttiness.

This thing tastes sooooo good initially and it only gets better. Rich, but not overly sweet, caramel/toffee up front with some yeast and barley followed by a kiss of spicey hops. A lot of floral flavor, but very low bitterness. A little bit of fruit. White grapes and/or apple. Then it comes back around to that toasted biscuit malt base that has a fresh lip smacking grainy flavor that lingers for minutes. Just imagine grabbing a handful of malted barley and chewing on it.

The body is almost unreal for the ABV. Prickly carbonation. Fluffy texture. Crisp finish.

They say it is "an amazingly fresh, easy-drinking beer that tastes like beer". I could not agree more. This is one of the most enjoyable beers overal I have had in awhile

 958 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BOD 10/29/14. Pours a clear medium amber with a rich garnet cast. Normal head volume, exceptional lacing and normal retention. Light nose of biscuit with a bready background over a light caramel. As it warms, earthy noble hop notes are present. Heavy light body with a bit of creaminess and oiliness that produces a very smooth texture. I've never encountered so much texture in a body this light - exceptional job. Well carbonated with effervescence from the middle on. The World Class flavor profile is reasonably intense, superbly balanced and a bit complex. It begins with bready biscuit that flows into a very mild bitterness. As the bitterness fades, a slightly sweet caramel base is noted along with a hint of nuts. The finish is fairly clean and here is where the hop flavor comes forward, which I believe is Hallertau Mittlefruh. An outstanding Altbier.

 873 characters

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fun one. Great nutty, toasty aroma to start with. It's a big malt character up front and then mild, spicy hops finish. Reminds me, oddly enough, of Sierra Nevada's Nooner for the malts. There are doughy notes that veer towards a little diacetyl, but taste great. I can easily say this is the best amber anything I've had in a long while.

 347 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap

A- pours a clear copper color with a one-finger foamy white head that has good retention

S- smells of toasted malt with notes of brown bread & some spicy herbal hop notes

T- tastes of toasted bready malt with some sweet caramel notes, along with toasted crackers. Grassy and floral hop notes compliment throughout as it finishes with more toasted malt on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- had a few pints at the hotel bar with ease, high drinkability and very well balanced

 543 characters

Photo of humuloner22
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

What a flavorful beer that will knock you out. You can drink several of this one without getting too intoxicated and it keeps its flavor profile as well. Nice mouthfeel, robust, and just an overall enjoyable beer. The label calls this one an amber lager ale. So its more of an ale with a lager style. I like this. Its an Altbier, I have had only a few of this style from my knowledge, but this is a beer that would seek out in the future.

Nice head retention. Beautiful copper/brown color.

Malty, yet, enough hops to make it interesting. I think this might be my new go to beer. It is a beer that will not kill you on the booze but still maintains enough balance. Perfection. I just wish I could find it more readily available.

 732 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-07-27 in Pineville, NC from a 12 oz bottle. Had this again in Pineville, NC from a 12oz bottle on 2016-04-15. Enjoyed it but noted the butter (diacetyl) flavor more than last year. I've become more sensitized to this flavor. I dropped my ratings a bit to reflect the diacetyl flavor, which many very much enjoy. I'm having the same issue with Pilsner Urquell. My tastes are changing.

A - Clear copper-Amber with a 1-finger white head and moderate lace

S - Lightly toasted bread, floral and spice, yeast.

T - Bread, caramel, grass, light chocolate, nutty. Complex and malty but there is the right amount of bitter balance. Delicious.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O - This is a top shelf altbier. I'm impressed.

 783 characters

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first OMB beer to try.Poured into a becker a rich clear copper with an awesome sticky one finger white head atop,great definition and clarity,top notch looks.Fruity esters along with sweetish pizza dough in the nose,oddly enough even a little booze for such a "small" beer.Fresh pizza dough and caramel sweetness upfront on the palate with some mild fruity esters and a hint of leafy hops,again the fresh dough comes in late in the aftertaste.This is one damn fine rendition of an alt beer it packs alot of subtle delicious flavors,Iam lookin forward to trying the rest of the OMB line.

 589 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #36 (Jan 2010):

Clear and copper, so the name is fitting; stiff lacing. Clean, toasty maltiness in the nose. Smells of toasted Portuguese sweet bread with a side of spicy herbal hops. Maltiness brings the palate to new heights as complex layers of toasted bread, caramel, dried hay and fresh- baked crackers unfold with each sip. Faint grape skin and nougat. Hopping is assertive and clean, yet is capped right below where the maltiness peaks, meaning there is a perfect bal- ance here. Long, beautiful, malty finish.

Authentic is the first word that comes to mind; stellar is another. If you are even remotely close to Charlotte, N.C., make a trip and get a growler or two. Kudos to the brewers for hit- ting the bullseye on this one.

 778 characters

Photo of Todd
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of mmcurran
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mediocre at best. Maybe just not my type of beer

49 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Prospero
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dankjohn
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of rsquared59
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Roscoe1847
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from the Bulldog bottle shop near the brewery, served in a pint glass.

Copper (what else) colored with a good head and foamy lacing. Excellent clarity.

Aroma: sweet and medium roasted grains; faint hops.

Flavor: follows the aroma but with more obvious hops adding some spicy notes and a balancing bitterness.

Feel: smooth and slick; medium body and near medium carbonation.

Overall: outstanding version of the style; certainly among the best I've ever had.

 477 characters

Photo of tomgeorgia
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer in a growler years ago and then more recently on draft. Agree with the over reviewers that this beer is an underutilized and underappreciated style, German Altbier. It was one of their first beers and definitely a winner. Very clear and an excellent example.

 272 characters

Photo of MontfortBrew
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CrusinforaBrewsin
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

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Copper Altbier from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4.07 out of 5 based on 373 ratings.
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