Hammerhead Ale | McMenamins

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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
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Guy for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and citrus juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid citrus forward hop qualities all around.

 583 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at McMenamins Pub, Mill Creek, WA

Poured a dark amber with a small white head that receded to a fine layer of bubbles. Caramel malts in the aroma and some crisp hops coming through. Similar taste, with a pretty decent balance of malts and hops, but nothing overly distinctive. Light-medium mouthfeel with a decently dry finish; fairly drinkable.

 364 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.25/5  rDev -37%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a typically aley dark orange, head is a nice white that knows it's place. Aroma: fresh, citrusy, grapefruity, nice, and tasty, but nothing to shout about. Fits perfectly in the form of "American Ale", without going overboard in any way. This seems to be the "male" version of the two bottled varieties this company offers. The other is called Ruby Ale, and provides hints of fruit over a wheaty base, for the girls, you know.

 434 characters

Photo of stevoj
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bend location. Decent, but average pale ale. Light bodied, some dry hops bitterness, overall light mouthfeel, but just an average beer to enjoy with food.

 164 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap served in a pint glass at McMenamin's in Mill Creek, WA.

Appearance: rich orange hue with lots of haze and a creamy orange-tan head. Quite good!

Smell: mild and yeasty, but rather nice. Not particularly hoppy, though.

Taste: yeasty and malty with a nice helping of citrusy hops. Bitterness is good, if a little bit rough. A nice example of a Northwest-style cloudy pale ale.

Mouthfeel: creamy and smooth with a medium body. Creaminess is pretty high despite low carbonation; I like it!

Overall: this beer makes a good session quaffer -- I like it.

 575 characters

Photo of NickThePyro
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color and is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma is sweet and redolent of crystal malt as well as hop notes of orange peel and grapefruit. The aroma is definitely dominated by hops, though it is certainly not as full as say an IPA, which it shouldn't be.

The beer has a solid hop bite to it up front that carries through to the finish. The finish also has a slight spritzy note that tastes like orange zest. The beer is only lightly sweet, but has a fairly full mouth-feel driven by crystal-type malts. These malts add a bit of balancing sweetness and caramel notes, which, while not that noticeable under the hop character, certainly helps in balancing the hop notes. The hops gives this a certain zippy twang that is quite nice, but in the end something seems to be missing from this beer. Perhaps the malt could be a bit more clean.

 895 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4.18/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Donkster46
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of WDJersey
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

At McMenamin's Edgefield.

Wow, this is wretched. A turbid, under fermented mess. I can't believe they are actually serving this keg. This certainly isn't my favorite APA, but it's not usually this bad.

 204 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark, cloudy orange with an average sized white head. Solid retention and rings of lacing left on the glass.

S - Not much here. Some carmel sweet malts, slight floral hops, and that is it.

T - Sweet malts, grass, leafy.

D - Good carbonation, medium body.

O - Average all around. Zzzz

 303 characters

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +5%

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