Saint Arnold Amber Ale | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Amber AleSaint Arnold Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 503
Photo of aracauna
2.12/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have respect for Venom's ratings, but I think Saint Arnold may have changed the recipe between when he tasted it and I did. The color was extremely pale -- it looked like a pale golden ale with a reddish tint. The head was really small and it had the same big bubble carbonation that the brown ale did. The taste fit the appearance in that it was really light and watery. Not much maltiness or hoppiness.

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Photo of walleye
2.25/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

got this in a trade.from the bottle.poured a light honey with a small white head that did not last very long. aroma, yeast, hops,as it warmed sweet grapefruit, white bread, musty. flavor, sour, grassy hints of hops and , malts not impressed with this one. dry mouthfeel

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.34/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is confusingly called an amber, so I rated it as such. It seems much more like a pale ale to me and would have fared better if I was thinking of it in that way, so I kind of tried to rate it somewhere in between. Anyway, as either style it leaves something to be desired.

It is a light yellow beer with large rocky head and sticky lacing that offers up softly resinous, perfumey hop aroma. The taste is basically watered down red hook ipa with a strange juicy-fruit gum character. Mouthfeel would be nice for a pale. Its light, soft, and kind of fuzzy, but is all wrong for an amber. There is really nothing "amber" about this beer at all. WTF.

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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 winomark
2.5/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not as dark as I was expecting. Medium copper with no head whatsoever. Lots of malty sweetness on the nose. Some mild hop spice also noticable. An interesting combination fo sweetness and a tannic dryness on the palate. Nothing too exciting. Mouthfeel is thin, but has a lasting finish. I wouldn't worry about looking too hard for this one. Disappointing, IMO.

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Photo of StevieW
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. A recent find at a beer store, I had not yet visited. No freshness date that I could find. Pale to hazy burnt golden color. Thin and faint white head. No lacing to speak of. Smell was somewhat sour, grainy, and off. Lots of sour undertones. Taste was slighty sweet, some very positive hints of carmel malt. Slick, sweet, and syrupy feel takes over. Taste is faded. Sweetness dominates. Thin and watery, carbonation is on the way out. Hard to finish. I think I got it past it's prime. The first time I have seen these beers in Florida. I will give it another chance, when I am sure of it's freshness. A real disappointment, I was looking forward to this one.

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Photo of mgdeth
2.59/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Poured and little head appeared. Color is light amber, and actually should probably be a "pale" beer.

Smell - Pleasant hop aroma. Others appear to describe it as floral. Some malt aroma is also present.

Taste - Not great. Actually, quite poor. The picture of stale or rancid hops comes to mind. The flavor really does not match the aroma. Hops tend to dominate the taste of this beer, but some malt is in there somewhere. Maybe the beer is old. I cannot tell because there is not a date stamp on it.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a pretty thick mouthfeel. Not watery. Too bad the other features of the beer tend to detract from this one.

Drinkability - The unbalanced bitterness in this beer tends to make it less drinkable.

Comments - This beer has some redeeming qualities, like the wonderful hop aroma. For the most part, this beer falls flat. This is the third or fourth time I have had a bad experience with SAint Arnold's beers. I keep trying them, and they continue to be sub-mediocre. It's a shame that such a cool name got wasted on such rotten beer.

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Photo of pwoods
2.64/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jasonjlewis for this extra.

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint. No dating.

A: Pours a orangish - light amber, good visibility. 2 fingers worth of lightly tinted head forms a bit rocky but holds for a few minutes. A bit of lacing.

S: Pretty dull. A bit of grainy malts and some subtle sweetness.

T/M: Sweet malts with a touch of caramel, but mostly grainy. A dab of hops and bitterness up front, mostly floral with a bit of light citrus. A metallic taste pops out a bit at the end, just before a lightly dry finish. Body is medium light with decent carbonation.

D: Easy to drink and low ABV, but it's just not interesting enough and has some off flavors.

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Photo of Illini5596
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried this at the brewery in Houston, TX. Not impressed. The owner of the brewery stands up and gives a huge speech before serving about how he wants a beer with flavor and life is too short for bad beer

Unfortunately his beers fall flat on their back. Don't get me wrong, not a *bad* beer per se, but not a good one either. It's C+, B- variety. The taste is thin and a bit on the sour side (not bitter mind you or good and hoppy, just kind of a sour bad beer after taste) at the same time being weak for an ale. The head is non-existant but the color is rich enough.

Overall not something I'd ever pay for, but might drink if it is all that was available.

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Photo of maximum12
2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to mhewes for sending a box with a bunch of St. Arnold goodness north during the reluctant Minnesota spring of '09.

Beer is very pretty in my New Belgium snifter, a coppery, golden amber. Very nice. Smell is slight but sweet.

Taste is a bit disjointed. The oily hops upfront are at active war with the malty sweetness that comes rushing behind it, leading to something that doesn't really taste...right. Malt is good. Hops are good. Combo is good. But there's something about these that isn't working for me. I dunno.

Straightforward enough, but the oddness lowers the drinkability for me significantly. Decent beer, but not one of the better ambers I've had.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.67/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out a honey color with a nice looking head that fizzles out to near nothing, leaving no lacing, OBTW. Has a typical pale ale smell of light, toasty malt along with a punch of some citrus hops. Alcohol is all too present and kind of stings the nose. Taste starts off big on hops, citrus fruit and grass. Turns into something fruity, with a lot of Juicy Fruit gum. Finishes sweet and sticky. Mouthfeel manages to be flat, syrupy, and slick all at the same time. I have little interest in drinking this again, but I guess it'd be better than most of their other offerings.

How is this an amber? More like a half-assed pale ale.

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Photo of DuqTroops
2.7/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank on January 18th. Travelled to Houston on business and had this at our hotel - no real glass.

It tasted like a pale ale with a hint of honey in it. Not what I originally expected an amber ale to be. It was delicious, however, I probably won't go out of my way to get it again. It boasted being the oldest micro-brewery in Texas; good for them, but they need to work on the flavor more here. Not the best in Texas.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.75/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 5/20/2006 (On tap @ Brewery):

Pours an amber brownish-reddish colored body, with a decent sized head, white, a good sized head. It has an aroma of malts, hops, some bitter freshness, but there's not much aroma present. Clean smelling too. Has a clean malty taste, slightly bitter. Not bad.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - hazy light orange with a thin, pale orange covering.

Aroma - some good malt and sweet fruitiness up front to start, but loses most of its nose after a few moments. Hangs onto some of it, though, and what is there is appealing.

Taste - an unusual assortment of flavors in this beer. A typical malt start turns into a back and forth shoving match between raw bitterness and some brash alcohol. Sometimes I taste one or the other, when they combine it has a medicinal flavor. The finish is dry and bitter. Some parts I rather like and some I rather don't.

Mouthfeel - average carbonation and body. A good smoothness, well done for the style.

Drinkability - interesting beer, but medicinal flavors turn me away.

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Photo of mothman
2.81/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery into a pint glass.

Pours ½ finger of white head. Color is a clear straw yellow. Decent retention leaving some lace. Not very amber in color.

Aroma: Straw, grains, corn, earthy hops. Very boring.
Taste: More flavors here. Fresh floral hops with some hop bite. Has a bit of citrus as well. Bready malts and some biscuit. Grain and corn. Kind of macro like.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and dry. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very bland and it lingers on and on.

Overall, the nose was very weak, but at least it had a little taste. Drank kind of like a pale ale. Not bad, but I would have never guessed it to be an amber.

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Photo of nem2006
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell of the beer was malty. Poured amber with a nice head. Had a hoppy finish to it. The beer has a medium body to it. I did not think the beer had a very smooth finish. Almost a little sour.

The aftertaste left in my mouth was overly bitter and not at all tasteful.

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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 burnheartsMKE
2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I crack it open and smell a skunky lager funk, not what I'm hoping for with this brown bottled ale with a monkish figure adorning the label. I wait and re-sniff, this time I get a more malty, bready note (but that skunk is still there).

Once this beer hits my tongue I get a really bready taste and not much else. Light-bodied, light-tasting, boring. It's as if this beer dreams that it is a really great beer, but in morning after it wakes up, it looks in the mirror and realizes it's not any better (or any worse) than your average Joe 6-pack.

That being said, this beer would be delicious washing down some brisket, ribs & sausage BBQ & smart enough to let the tangy, tomato-based BBQ sauce do the talking.

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Photo of WhiskerWrangler
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Very nice dark gold color. Hardly any head. What head is present dissipates quickly and forms a nice film on the top. Carbonated bubbles rising from the bottom constantly. Zero lacing on sides of glass.

T- My first impression is that it tastes like apple juice. Has a apple taste to it to me for some reason. Somewhat carbonated feeling, but not too bad. Not hard on the throat.

S- I got nothing.

M- Very full, easy to swallow, easy on the stomach. The flavor seems almost overwhelming.

D- Very good beer to have by itself but I can not see myself drinking several of these in a sitting. The flavors are full but are good and seem to be put together very well.

Overall this beer just wasnt for me. It has a pleasant enough flavor, but something just doesnt feel right to it for me.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to optimator13 for sending me this one in The Small Aquatic Mammal BIF '11! Served from bottle into a Spaten Optimator dimpled mug. Poured a slightly hazy yellow-orange with a two finger bone white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wheat,

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Photo of ibrewaletx
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Was a little less 'amber' then expected, poured out as a pale ale by looks.

Smell: Did a nice job with the malt tones, which an amber should showcase. A slight spicy hop aroma is present. Nice smell overall

Taste: Malt does dominate, the bitterness of the hops came through balancing fairly well with the malt. Maybe just a little too much bitterness for this malt bill.

Overall impression: A decent amber, and reading their website where they mention their first batch of this (in 1994?) was accidentaly an IPA, made me think of this as more of a pale ale, and less Amber. That is probably being more technical then needed though. As an amber, a nice average example.

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Photo of dwarbi
2.96/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a nice head that lasted for the length of time it took me to drink it. Warm auburn color. The problem I had with this beer was the smell. You had to smell very hard, then you get hints of open fields. Pleasant, but not nearly enough. Very, very mild taste matched the arouma. Light and just a little tiny bit tangy. Felt nice on the tongue... soothing, but too bland to have more than one or two.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.99/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale, light orange color. If this was a pale ale, I'd give it a 4. Light white near finger of head thats there and gone. No real lacing.

Aroma is faintly sweet and malty, somewhat biscuity and bready. With a touch of caramel.

Taste is lightly sweet and nutty, hints of spicy hops. Finish is a bit lingering. Not much else, though whats there isn't bad.

Feel is light in body, though it has substance, slightly bubbly, and a bit creamy and slick and smooth.

Drink ability is ok. There's nothing horrible, but it's just not good enough to drink many or revisit.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

ballewblake was exceedingly generous, and this is yet another awesome extra he sent me. Thanks, man!

A: Not really amber, this is more of PA/IPA territory with a slightly hazy orange body capped by a thin, off-white disk. Retention is OK, and there is a little lacework too

S: Mild citrus hops with juicy tangerine and a little peach.

T: Opens up with a rather weak hop character that's mildly citrus in nature with some lemon and orange. The rest of the beer is poor, with a very watery body, not much of malt character apart from a light sweetness. The finish is acceptable, dry and mildly juicy and bitter. However, this beer is far from where it needs to be

M: Apart from the watery body, the carbonation and finish as where they need to be

D: I'm not really a fan. Not just this, but most other SA beers I've tried, too.

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

Some might call Saint Arnold's the Dogfish Head of Texas.
I can see that with the marketing but minus the swagger and daring.

Amber ale doesn't generate too much excitement here on BA
and this beer won't change that trend.

A fine session ale [esp. if its on sale] that has a bit of sweetness and more
body to it than some Amber ales.

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Saint Arnold Amber Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 503 ratings.
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