Hammerhead Ale | McMenamins

BA SCORE
82
good
136 Ratings
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Hammerhead AleHammerhead Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
McMenamins
United States
mcmenamins.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.93%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
136
Reviews:
43
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
11.2%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 |  Reviews: 43
Reviews by olfolxholme:
Photo of olfolxholme
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12

22 oz bottle poured into a large shaker glass from Big Horn Brewing Company

A - Standard brown bomber bottle with classic Hammerhead logo. Poured a thick tan head w/ large bubbles. Good head retention, bubbles last until the end. Decent lacing. The beer is a clear copper color and stays noticeably still. (no rising bubbles, head is going nowhere)

S - Pleasant yeast aroma with hints of Cascade hops and fresh bread.

T - An understated beer that leans towards the hops. A really nicely balanced pale ale that isn't trying to be an IPA. Some caramel and bread in the background.

M - Nice medium mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess. Pleasant aftertaste. Very thirst quenching.

O - An American answer to a well-balanced British ESB. I believe Cascades are related to Fuggles, and this relates to the character of the beer quite well. An enjoyable, albeit mild-mannered, example of a great beer that doesn't need to slap you in the face. (not that there's anything wrong with that) Recommended.

 1,000 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I think I first tried Hammerhead ale back in the early 90's, on my first ever trip to up to Oregon from California. Back then, it was billed as a seasonal IPA, and it seemed like most of the McM pubs were out of it when I first visited Oregon. Back then, it was a big deal to find Hammerhead on tap, and it goes without saying that there were no bottles or cans of HH. I don't think they did growler fills of it, and I'm not positive, but I don't think you could get jar fill of it to bring back to your room at Edgefield.

My how times have changed.

From a can left by my wife's cousin during a recent visit. The beer pours a copper amber color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. On the nose there's some noticeable dry citrus, but what you really notice is the considerable sweet malt aroma. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the sweetness and (relatively) low abv. reminding me more of an English pale ale or ESB, as opposed to an ale crafted in the NW. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but the beer finishes well (fairly clean with a good, lightly bitter finish), and alcohol is barely an after thought. So drinkability is pretty high.

It's become quite fashionable to denigrate the McMenamin beers in the NW, and while most are fairly lackluster, made for the masses ales, Hammerhead remains a tasty, easy to appreciate and enjoy ale. Probably won't be running down to the nearest McM outpost to stock up on a case, but I'm glad my wife's cousin left this behind so I could take a trip down memory lane. Cheers!

 1,546 characters

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of chossboss
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Thrasher
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bagdad. This is not the best pint of Hammerhead I've had; I wonder from which McMenamins brewery it originates. It's still pretty good though, I had no trouble polishing off a pitcher of it over the course of the movie. This is an exceptionally fruity pale ale, a ripe orange amber color and more reminiscent of New England beers such as Magic Hat or Ipswich than some other West Coast ales. The head is good and lasting but the mouthfeel seems a bit thinner than I remember other samples being. There's a judicious amount of hops but the beer is not overly bitter. I think this is one of the all-around better beers McMenamins offers, which stands to reason since it's available at all their pubs.

 708 characters

Photo of rack0flamb
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of heather625
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Mnewcomer1219
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Magpie14
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: deep hazed copper color, looks like pennies in a glass. No head just a thin ring

S: thin floral and grassy hops, touch of caramel

T: kick of hops, caramel and malts sit way in back. Medium to heavy hop profile. Overall the hops are prominent, but the brew lacks in overall complexity

M: mild body, medium carbonation

D: hops hit you and not much else, hops reminiscently stale to some degree. Nice average-plus pale ale and by far the best showing I have had from McMenamins

 481 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One finger of fluffy head with dark amber colored body.
Smell is a nice pine and citrus.
Taste is pine all the way with a nice malt balance. Solid and tasty.
Soft texture with moderate carbonation and medium body.
A nice and drinkable IPA with a good profile.

 259 characters

Photo of PretzelCity
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Elemental
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great head retention with a good copper brown color. The smell is a little off, it has almost a bit of a sour smell. I was a little turned off by the smell, but the taste made of for that. The taste is a bit sweeter when it comes in the bottle rather than having it from the pub on tap. After the sweetness comes the finishing taste which offers a dry slightly bitter taste. Overall the beer is pretty good but I would suggest trying it at the brew pub rather than in the bottle.

 479 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Illmaticzx
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Docer
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just filled a growler.. but it's basically fresh off the tap....

- Dark semi-cloudy ruby copper color... thin later of white head down to a thin cake of fine foam.

- Sweet malts, English malts... nutty... bready... yeasty.. light citrusy and floral hops.... but malt dominates the nose.

- Sweet bready grains, nutty flavor.. smooth caramel, balanced with a nice bitter touch of hops with a shallow blend of citrus and floral qualities. Certainly balanced and smooth.

- Medium bodied... slightly creamy.. light bitter dryness.

- Overall a staple beer of theirs... it's been around for ever. Does it hold up to a lot of the craft beers out there today? Barely... but it still holds its own.

 696 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with one finger of short duration head that leaves rings of lace.
Smell is bready malt with a slight hint of floral hops.
Taste is bread crust malt with a modest amount hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with alright carbonation. The finish lightly dry and mildly bitter.
Overall a journeyman Pale Ale. Worth having with a meal.

 352 characters

Photo of isualum12
2.62/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at McMenamins Pub, Oak Hills in Beaverton Or

Poured orange with a haze through it. It had a white lace on it.

Smell was appracots and hops.

Taste malts hops with hops winning out in the end. Nothing that will blow your tastes buds away in my opion.

This was a dry beer. I couldn't drink 2 or three in an evening.

 337 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Dcbelkot
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of tjcamm
3.25/5  rDev -9%

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Hammerhead Ale from McMenamins
3.57 out of 5 based on 136 ratings.
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