Amber Ale
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Amber AleAmber Ale
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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #775
Ranked #42,893
3.57 | pDev: 13.17%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Amber AleAmber Ale
Notes: Saint Arnold Amber Ale is the brewery's flagship product and first official brew. A well balanced, full flavored, amber ale, it has a rich, malty body with a pleasant caramel character derived from a specialty Caravienne malt. A complex hop aroma, with a hint of floral and citrus comes from a combination of Cascades and Liberty hops. It has a rich, creamy head with a fine lace. The light fruitiness, characteristic of ales, is derived from a proprietary yeast strain.
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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 532
Photo of JohnDon
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very solid amber ale. Very drinkable. Good mouthfeel. I'm not sure why it has such a low rating. I would have again and enjoy the beer on warm days when I don't want something super light.

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Photo of gvickery
4.55/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

My favorite hands down. I've drank it from a glass but mostly from the bottle. Very balanced, just when you think it's sweet some hops come in. The ABV on the one's I get say 6.2, it seems really strong. If I drink more than a 6-pack I'm pretty hammered. It looks more brown than amber to me, clear with slightly brown foam. Average carbonation. I just wish more restaurants carried it...........

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Photo of california_republic
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love that they serve this in the KLM Crown Lounge at IAH. I've had it many times here but always forgot to do a review. I'm kind of going off of memory and I'll update this again when I have another one.

Look: Clear, light amber with a medium amount of head.

Smell: Definitely very biscuity/crackery but with also a good helping of herbal hops.

Taste: Very bready with herbal hops and quite a kick of bitterness. Can be described as malty but hoppy, in between a lager and a pale ale. Not as toasty as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but quite bready and maybe buttery.

Feel: Clean, bubbly, but also creamy. To be honest good texture but the bitterness is a bit biting.

Overall: It's good, and I'm quite happy that they offer this as complimentary alcohol in an airport lounge. Saint Arnold is my favorite Houston brewery because even if they are a bit conventional they do a solid job and have a good bready flavor going for them. Definitely good enough to be a staple beer around Houston.

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Photo of puck1225
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into pint glass. Clear golden yellow with a decent but short lived head, okay lacing. Breads smell. Subdued taste, malty. Not a bad beer, but not one that inspires love.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.87/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Amber, duh, with a small white head.

Smell is cracker, toffee, and a little dry hops.

Nutty toffee, bready yet bitter. An AAL-plus.

Slightly frothy with a dry crisp finish.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at St. Arnold's so it's as fresh as can be. Translucent gold copper, mild carbonation. Very refreshing light taste, smooth finish. High hop concentration for an amber, tips this one once more in my favor as I love pale ales and hops. Haven't tried in bottles but I feel like this is superior already.

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Photo of Myotus
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured hard at 46°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 08Sep15) into a Mikasa Ale glass. Consumed on 30Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with 2 finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates into a half fingers worth within 2 minutes and 35 seconds. There is a subtle amount of thick lacing left behind from the head dissipation. Gold in color (???) with a slight amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are small in size and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is moderate in quantity and thick.
SMELL: Mild aromas of bread, caramel, and sweet chocolate entangle with subtle grass, peach, and floral hop aromas.
TASTE: Mild peach and caramel flavors first strike the palate and are immediately followed by mild flavors of bread and subtle sweet chocolate. Mild floral hop flavors and hints of grassy enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Somewhere between medium-bodied and full-bodied. Carbonation levels are moderate. Goes down somewhat and creamy. Finishes with a slight crispness.
NOTE: A great beer of its style! As the beer warms, the peach flavors grow stronger. I don't see what others are complaining about. This was well done. It was balanced between hops and sweetness just like an Amber Ale should be.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out to a decent head and and moderate lacing. Very light orange amber color. Aroma is malty and clean with slight grassy hops. Flavor is pale and Munich malts, hard water bite and bracing bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel light. Overall a decent Amber Ale.

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Photo of mpk_tx
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A Houston classic, although this city produces much better crafts nowadays. It's brown and slightly hazy with decent head retention. It is almost all malt, and to me tastes almost creamy, which adds to its greatest asset - a silky-smooth feel. You can easily put down four or five of these any time of the year and they will taste pretty dang good.

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Photo of Noooddle
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber? I do not think that word means what you think it means. Give this beer to a thousand beer geeks, not one is going to call this an amber. As a larger it's pale with a bit of sour and nothing of much interest.

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Photo of mrcharlie
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had 2 of these at the Houston Zoo yesterday. It was incredibly hot and humid out there. I was glad to have this over the other choices available there, but would not seek it out under normal conditions. It was poured from the bottle into a plastic cup and it was pretty refreshing and had a nice look to it. Not familiar with the style, so nothing to compare it too.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a Saint Arnold nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, light gold amber. Bubbly white head - recedes quickly with little lacing.

Smell: Cereal grain, butter.

Taste: Slightly coarse, grainy maltiness; faintly toasted sweetness and fruity yeast. Mildly hoppy, herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Far from the best SA or Houston have to offer, but a flavorful and relatively drinkable option in days past when there weren't other local options - a Houston classic at this point.

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Photo of MikeyLegend
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Little head, no lacing. Poured a nice reddish gold with slight carbonation. Bready malt smell out of the glass with a smooth ale taste.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear, light amber color with a head that goes away rather quickly. A tad bit more bitter than most ambers I have tried, and it honestly leaves a bit do be desired. overall it is an ok brew. Definitely one of the weaker saint arnold beers I have tried, but with that said, it is still a fairly good beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

02.02.15: Brief impressions below. Full review to follow.

Screw-top, eh? Interesting...

I bought this 6 pack for $8.00 USD at a Target. In hindsight, I find that vaguely depressing.

Healthy white head. Foamy and frothy and that.

Body is clear as hell. Pale copper.

Aroma is shockingly buttery to the point it evokes diacetyl. Equally shocking is the absence of any amber malt whatsoever, let alone toastiness or caramel. How is this an amber? It reeks of ESB-meets-pale lager. Ugh. Weird notes of peanut butter and starch do it no favours.

Buttery and pale-centric, with no amber malts at all and frankly no amber ale characteristics whatsoever. Oddly grainy and light-bodied, with strange English leanings. If I tried this blind, I'd swear English yeast was used. A faint hint of Nutter Butter throws me. Not sure what they're after with this one, but frankly it's rather crappy for an ostensible amber.

Not undrinkable. Certainly below average. An across-the-board failure at its intended style.

High D+ (2.5)


Colour is anything but amber. A clear yellow-copper at best, with an above average head.

Aroma is flat, with helles malts and diacetyl. Below average strength.

Taste is simple and generic. Helles malts, starch, diacetyl, cream, flaked barley. There's nothing going on here. Shallow as a beer can be. Below average duration and intensity of flavour. Has no amber malts or hop character. Lacks balance. Not a gestalt build, nor an intricate one. Why brew this?

Texture is smooth, wet, unrefreshing, and light-bodied. Okay overall presence on the palate. Adequately carbonated. This mouthfeel fails to elevate the beer, and doesn't accentuate any notes in the flavour profile at all.

It's a downable brew, I guess. I won't be buying it again. Even for Saint Arnold, this is shockingly forgettable. And if they're actually going for an amber, this is flat-out pathetic. Is the whole "amber ale" label just a marketing gimmick? A new low in terms of market presence from one of Texas' most whorishly business-focused breweries.


.3.16.15: Upon reconsideration, this beer doesn't warrant a full review. Brief notes from a third bottle listed below:

A: 4 inches wide. White colour. Average thickness, fullness, etc.

Body is a clear copper of average vibrance. No yeast or hop sediment is visible.

Sm: Not an amber at all. Light starchy malts provide the only note, insipid as they are.

T: Shallow and insipid, with a subtle starchy Belgian edge.


D+ (2.5)

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Photo of FLima
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Drank it straight from the brewery taps.
Amber color with a thin head with short retention.
Very light aroma with hints of papaya and bread malt. Maybe some cinnamon.
Flavor is bolder with predominant notes of caramels, mild spices, papaya, grains and herbal and floral hops. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with good carbonation.
An amber ale that gets increasingly herbal hoppy, relatively to traditional low profilers of the style off course. Pleasant Amber Ale that is very well balanced and doesn't want to show off.
Ap.2,75 Ar.3 Sab.3,25 Sen.3,25 Cj.3,25

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first review here on BA so Ill start with the oldest craft beer in my hometown of Houston, Tx.

12 oz twist-off brown bottle with a bottled on date of 03/21/14 poured into 8oz Saint Arnold tour glass. Text under the bottle cap says "Draft dodger".

Appearance: clear golden amber color with 1 finger of white head that dissipates into a fine lace

Smell: Maltiness and biscuit with a slight floral hop aroma but very subdued

Taste: similar to the aroma with malt upfront balancing into a delicate floral hop finish

Mouthfeel: Slight creaminess from the Saint Arnold house yeast but very well carbonated

Overall: This is a beer that seems to be overshadowed now by Saint Arnold's newer beers and other craft beer in Texas. This amber ale still deserves much respect to its greatest characteristic: balance. The caravienne malt works very well with the floral notes from the liberty hops with neither side getting too overpowering. This beer is very versatile and can pair excellently with a wide range of foods.

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Photo of mblk6062
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one of the first craft brews I ever enjoyed, since it is made in Houston and that is my hometown. I have been a big fan of Saint Arnold since day one, and have always enjoyed their offerings. This one, however is a bread and butter staple and a very welcome daily drinker in my beer fridge.

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Photo of Hops4Pops
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle dated 10-17-13
A: Side pour into a beer mug. Creamy off-white head 1 inch thick. Quickly receding. Sticky lacing. Good carbonation. Bubble sizes from foam to 1/16" of an inch. Brown amber in color.
S: Not very strong. Pale malt base, citrus from hops, a bit of bitterness.
T: Very much like the nose. A bit more hoppy bitterness than in smell. Not very complex.
M: Rather light and crisp and refreshing.
O: Not a very complex beer. Certainly very drinkable and nothing is really off with this beer. Good as a gateway beer for a person new to craft brew.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into a 3 Floyds pint glass

A- almost 1 fingers worth of white bubbly head, dissipates quickly. Allot of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Clear, golden brown/orange color.
S- Not much going on in the aroma. Big malt presence, slight hops, slight sweetness, but pretty bland.
T- Taste is very similar, the hops are a little more present in the taste, but very plain overall.
M- Light mouthfeel, clean finish, refreshing.
O- Not terrible, but nothing special. Would be refreshing in the summer, but does not quite hit the spot in this -6 degree weather.

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Photo of Shaw
3.89/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle provided by Saint Arnold ahead of their Florida debut.

Pale amber in color with a pretty white head.

Good grape-like aroma with a hint of hops.

Nice flavor of biscuit and bread that mixes with herbal hop flavors and a nice bitterness. There's a hint of smoke flavor too.

Solid mouthfeel.

Overall this is a fine beer.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly darker amber color with a slight haze. Thin white head that lingered, no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Malts, Hops and a hint of cloves.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to light bodied. Taste of grains and grassy, earthy like flavors. Bitter hops.

Overall: Not a bad brew, glad to have tried it out.

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Photo of Matt_C
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bottle I got from a local HEB, poured into my 16 oz. mug.

App: A nice gold-amber, and a nice amount of bubbling. The head looks good, but is minimal.

Smell: Sweet. Malt with a bit of hoppiness.

Taste: I like it. Malty, grainy, and sweet. Enough hops. More crisp than other ambers I've had. The after taste is a bit too bitter for me, but some might like it.

Feel: A pretty nice medium. Good balance of carbonation and viscosity. Smooth and a bit foamy.

Overall: A good beer. I think I prefer other ambers, but this is a solid choice.

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

Amber-gold color, a little sediment floating. Lots of bubbles rising up. Fairly nice head.

Malty, caramel, sweet, citrus hops.

Malty, bready, caramel, toasted. Hop bitterness is medium, citrus-spicy, a little floral. Finish is bitter, crisp, dry. Body is medium, slightly cream, smooth, dry, nice carbonation.

It's an excellent beer.

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Photo of Bob1966
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice clear amber ale. Reddish amber, the white head clings to the glass well. Malty nose, not too much aroma from the hops. No diacetyl. Some hop bitterness, but not over powering. Slightly sweet, Mouthfeel is medium and typical of amber ales Perhaps a slight alcohol warmth. A good level of carbonation for this style.
Overall, an outstanding beer.

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Amber Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 532 ratings