Atlantic Amber | New England Brewing Co.

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Atlantic AmberAtlantic Amber

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 06-19-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 141
Photo of Schmittymack
2.25/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From notes scribbled from a recent mini-tasting.

Pours an amber/brownish color, with a lasting head. Aromas of caramel and light hops. Taste was pretty light bodied, nicely carbonated, with a God-awful metallic taste. I guess the drinkabilty would be ok if not for that metallic taste. Maybe it had gone bad? Definitely can't recommend this one; very unimpressd.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.56/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce can at a recent tasting. Pours a clear amber, with a lasting amber head. Aromas of metal, caramel and light hops. On the palate, light bodied, fully carbonated and metallic. I was really unimpressed with this one, after enjoying the last couple NE beers I tried.

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Photo of mwa423
2.6/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jcb890 for the extra, always cool to get new cans!

A - Pours into a pint glass a very dark red with a half finger of head. Very cloudy. Meh

S - Extremely fruity along with caramel sweetness, could use some hops.

T - Mouthfull of malt, a bit of hop at the end, but overall very sweet, almost closer to a cider than an amber.

M/D - Not good, not bad. I honestly think this is closer to strongbow then any amber I've ever had. I should have saved this a couple months and would have liked it in chilly September.

Lots of meh here.

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Photo of tempest
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single from Abe's 6-pack shop in Bethlehem. I don't know if this beer was in the cooler too long, but it immediately foamed over and then smelled a bit of dust. The flavor and aroma were almost a plastic-like sweetness that just didn't seem right. The hops were fine, a mild bitterness to balance the malt, but that malt, oh man. It tastes odd and felt wrong. Maybe I over exaggerate, I still finished the beer, but I wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark reddish-amber with a white head. The aroma is not good, with a muddy, earthy malt. Smells almost like dirt. The flavor is very malty, earthy hops with some toffee. It also tastes a bit dirt like and has some cooked vegetable notes. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can (red and black) bragging a bit too much on being the best (the best what?). Also stating its pride in being in a can -- not a great way to impress me. No freshness/canning date. Poured into an American pint glass.

I had to agitate this beer as hard as possible to get a head out of it. Even in doing so, no more than a 1-finger head arose. Beige/white head with minimal lacing. The head dissipates with the first sip.

A pleasant cinnamon spice introduces the toasted caramel malts with prune like fruits in the nose. Sweet toffee notes are quickly followed by a faint hop earthiness. The cinnamon-like spices linger at the end with faint grain husk.

Unfortunately, not up to par with the aroma. A chewy mouthfeel makes it hard to sift between the flavors that loiter on the tongue. Toasted caramel malt and husk are predominant here, followed by sour/dry cider notes along the sides of the tongue. There seems to be a sweetness, reminiscent of Belgian candy, that is trying to break through but is - alas - watered down by too much grain and lost in the metallic flavors that New England's dearest aluminum cans give off. Soft bitterness in the finish

$10 for a six-pack of cans? Complete rip-off.
The worst part is, I live less than 5 miles from the brewery. If they charged $10 for distribution to, say, New York or Maine, then I would understand. But I live just down the street. And this is how much I pay for it? No-sir. Not again. I'm not sure if I'm willing to pay this much again just to try their only other two beers available. So much for supporting local breweries...

However, I think this has a lot of potential. It's aroma is very pleasant and the taste has nothing wrong with it, other than that it is extremely weak. Also, I am half way through the six-pack and have yet to feel a warming from the alcohol in my tummy.

Due to its lowered alcohol and flavor, this could make a great session beer during the fall. However, at such a steep price, there is no way I would ever consider this as something to "session" with.

I would love to buy from NE more often, and support them as a local brewery. But with only three beers currently available, only in can, and sold at such a high price, it's hard for me to truly enjoy this brew.

With its low-key profile but highly aromatic notes, this brew would best be paired with savory red meat and creamy cheeses.


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Photo of brentk56
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy caramel color with a rocky head that leaves a few hints of lace

Smell: Caramel, roasted grains and an earthy aspect

Taste: Sweet caramel up front, with a touch of earhty fruit developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors are joined by a lager twang, though the finish remains very sweet, with very little hop character

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit sticky

Drinkability: An odd beer, brewed with lager yeast but fermented out at ale temperature - the opposite of an alt, in fact; just cannot cozy up to this one, with its overwhelming sweetness

Thanks, Ezone024, for the opportunity

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Photo of Puttenham
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a forgotten dusty six-pack of these Red and Black cans at my "liquor supermarket" in the forgotten dusty heart of Plymouth County, Mass. I've read about this beer I thought. Sure enough my 1997 copy of "The Great American Microbrewery Beer Book" by Jennifer Trainer Thompson proves I've read about it as this brew has been around (or was around) for some time. This "Amber Beer" (remember when that was considered an entire beer category?) was presented in a brown bottle with a tan label back in Bill Clinton's second term. Very Elegant looking back in those Halcyon Days (better than Red and Black cans anyway).

Appearance: These cans practically exploded when I opened them. Fizz everywhere! Huge head at first but it eventually settled down to a thin but steady canopy of froth. A dark reddish...errrr...Amber hue and cloudy as well. Inviting appearance.

Smell: Faint but steady aroma of caramel. "Something" in the background though. What is it?

Taste: The caramel quality is more pronounced in the flavor. Definitely on the malty side of the equation but not too sweet. I didn't notice the hops in the flavor but they're in there somewhere (they have to be, right?). That certain "something" is there in the aftertaste too. Just a subtle hint of butter? or butterscotch?

Mouthfeel: smooth and easily drinkable

Overall: Not a great beer but not bad either. I think this beer may be a little off as these cans are at least a year to year and a half old.

This beer won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1993 in the Altbier Category (Long Trail and Otter Creek would have been in the running I'm sure). Am I drinking the same beer that won the Gold Medal? Hard to say as New England Brewery has been through so many changes in the last 10+ years.

Oddly enough, both the New England Brewing website and the 1997 book describe this beer as a Steam Beer. So, was it an Altbier or a Steam Beer? Does it matter? It was definitely unique in any case, and it is sad to see a piece of early New England microbrew...errr...craft brewing history pass on. Glad I was able to try out this piece of microbrewing history even if it wasn't in the best of shape when I sampled it.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crisp amber colour with a good sized off-white frothy head that has decent retention time and leaves wisps of itself on the glass once it dissolves.

The aroma is a faint bit of sweet caramel, some biscuity bread and a hint of hops. Basic and bland, but not bad.

The flavour hits on the aspects of the aroma but doesn't expand on them. Each sip is earthy all around with notes of caramel sweetness mixed throughout. Hop flavour is very minimal to non-existent at times. I also noted a touch of smoked malt flavour at the finish of each sip. Mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment in that it's light bodied and more watery than it should be.

This is really a run of the mill Amber overall. Hop presence could definitely be beefed up a bit and it could stand to be a bit heartier. Simple, average and not very memorable.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz can into nonic.

Deep red amber hue with a light tan one finger frothy head that slowly settles to a thin cap, with sticky lacing along the glass.

Mild grainy aromas with some piney hop aroma. Some subtle spice is there as well, mostly from the hops.

There is some grain and a little hop flavor, but the overall taste seems a little watered down. Light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation, feels a little fizzy on the tongue. The finish is somewhat clean, but mostly because it tastes so watery.

This one seemed to present itself well but it fell off the table once I got to the flavor. It's mildly enjoyable, but nothing I would repeat.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Porurs a slightly hazy medium dark amber color with a thin head that fades quickly. No lacing. There is a sweetness to the smell before you can isolate the character. It has warm malt notes with a watery caramel underpinning. A touch under carbonated with a small tingle of hops. The mouth feel is a little watery. The taste is similar to the nose with an extra burst of the nutty malt in the finishing breath. Not my personal favorite.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

straight from the red can.

hazy, even reddish tinged brown in appearance. foam lingers cautiously around the beer's surface. lacing is spotty but definitely there. this beer looks decent, but barely has any distinguishable beery aroma.. even with warmth. some pale malt crisp sweetness, maybe.. and noble hops. faint aroma of rotting food which translates eventually into an overripe gourd sweetness. interesting, not too appealing, and not what i expect from an amber ale.

taste is more on the inoffensive side though. a creamy malt base provides something to an otherwise-vacant beer. it drinks really easy and goes down smooth.. the lighter taste is strange as it has a really velvety body- you would think this would be sweeter or maltier based on the way it feels going down. pleasantly, hops begin to arise after several sips, leaving a vanilla (the strength, not the flavor) hop tingle on my palate. one can in and i am liking the overall taste happening in my mouth. clean yet subtly peppery malt freshness and a hop twang that dares not offend. two seconds after drinking a sip, i can't taste any beer in my mouth nor can i remember what the beer tasted like.

who would have thunk it.. the darkest canned beer is the lightest, most obscurely flavored of the new england bunch. not a bad beer, per se, just not something i could see drinking on a regular basis. this is a craft beer that successfully manages to mimic some of the darker macro offerings. iffy.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to capra12 for this one. Poured from a 12oz. can into a Captain Lawrence pint glass.

A: Vigorous pour creates a 1.5 finger coarse, light brown colored head with moderate retention. Brew itself is a semi-cloudy reddish-brown. Lacing is ample.

S: Alcohol in the nose is very strong, masking other flavors initially. However, after getting used to it, nutmeg, cinnamon sugar and spice are detectable. Smell is very aggressive.

T: Mellow nuttiness with hints of brown cinnamon sugar and nutmeg. Brew is a bit sour on the finish.

M: Medium body that is relatively smooth but not without carbonation. Finish is clean, watery, and quick, leaving little trace of what once was.

D: This beer is really average. Tried it, reviewed it, not disappointed, but not too impressed either. Have it if you get the chance, but really not worth going out of your way for.

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Photo of droomyster
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, almost cloudy amber with a small off-white head that settles into a soap slick layer. Aromas are very subdued, tending towards sweetness. Taste is very balanced: biscuity malts and earthy hops blend very well, but are very simple. Medium body suffers from undercarbonation. I'm glad to have found another craft brew in a can but this one isn't particularly interesting.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is an odd one. I used to drink this long ago, when I first moved into CT (from NJ) in the late 80s, when it was brewed in Norwalk, CT. NEB was actually one of the first microbreweries I can remember in CT--Elm City Lager and Gold Stock Ales were the "it" beers in Fairfield County back in the 80s. I enjoyed most everything about this beer, but did not care for the after taste. I made sure I tried 2 sixes over the last month or so, to make sure that I didn't get a bad can. The after taste is somewhat metallic and a bit of a turn-off for me. As I normally like Alt Biers, I was overall somewhat disappointed with this one in the end. Still much better than any US or Euro macro though, and I do like the malty sweetness, so I'm sure I'll try this one again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tawny with a reddish blush and a wonderful looking creamy crown. The golden beige foam is as sticky and as rocky as anyone could reasonably want and is more than capable in the lace department. What a nice surprise.

The aroma is 'crunchy autumn leaves' earthy and is more appealing than that description makes it sound. It's nicely balanced between (light) caramel malt and muskily fruity hops. This should be an interesting ride.

New England Brewing Company's Atlantic Amber is interesting beer. It's also unlike any California Common/Steam Beer that I can recall (although I've only had a handful). For starters, it's maltier and less hoppy than most, with a gruding balance achieved by the finish of each mouthful. Note: since reclassified as an American amber/red ale.

One of my first impressions is that the beer is too odd for its own good. I'm not sure what makes it so, but I don't know that any unusual ingredients were used. Again, the 'autumn leaves' things keeps running through my head. Distinctiveness isn't always a good thing.

This one of the earthiest beers in the history of beer. So much so that I'm tempted to call it an off-flavor. Whatever is responsible, it's becoming less tolerable as the ounces pass. The word 'funky' fits as well. Maybe the lager yeast doesn't like the warmer temperatures and decided to revolt.

The mouthfeel is decent in terms of heft and is adequately bubbled initially. However, it becomes dangerously close to flat by the bottom of the can and is less enjoyable as a result.

Atlantic Amber looks like a dream... and then it's all downhill from there. It never does make it all the way to the nightmare stage, but it isn't a beer than I have any desire to drink again. Stick with the excellent Sea Hag IPA if you have a choice.

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Photo of smcolw
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber color and very cloudy. The beer glows when placed in front of a bright light. Impressive head that lasts. Initial lace was spotty and unimpressive. A quarter of the way down, it started leaving thick ring lace.

Light perfume to the smell--attractive and subtle. A blend of grain and mild hop.

Starts off grainy and a little sweet. The hop is too mild to balance this beer effectively. The body is solid as is the carbonation. The aftertaste is smooth and malty. There's a touch of metal to the flavor as well.

I love the idea of canning beer as it prevents skunking. So, I'd love to score this higher to encourage the practice but alas this is a middle-of-the-road beer.

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Photo of drunkmonk
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crimson amber, creamy thin head. Thin lace. Sweet bready malts and toffee aromas. Toasted bread malt flavors with some caramel and toffee notes. Just a slight hop note. Nice moderate body. Drinks very easy, nice session canidate, and a good gateway beer. True to style. I like my Amber's a little more hoppy, but just personal preference. Not bad.

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Photo of akorsak
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint glass served at the Brewhouse in Norwalk, Ct.

A: The amber ale is just that, a robust brown-red mixture that has a nice brilliance to it. The ale is very clean looking, crystal clear with a thick 1 finger head.

S: The nose is nutty, full of malty strength that does not betray much hoppiness.

T: The nuttiness in the flavor is a nice continuation from the aroma. The malts dominate that taste with the nutty toffee flavors. Hops add a balancing element but don't do much from a flavoring perspective. The finish sticks with the malts.

M: The mouthfeel is nondescript, nutty without a wow factor.

D: This could be a sessioner but it needs a little more oomph.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint, then immediately transferred to a 16oz Harpoon 100 Barrel tulip upon my casual comment about how shaker pints suck. Thanks, Caitlin!

A: Clear orange-amber body with an inch of ecru head. Solid retention and a bit of lace. Nice.

S: Intense aroma from the glass, but sadly it's a boring, generically malty nose with nothing terribly interesting about it at all.

T: Smoothly sweet, toasty malt flavor with a slightly fruity finish. Not great by any stretch, but not bad at all, either.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Just fine.

D: Easy to drink, but not terribly enjoyable to drink.

Notes: It's a nice color. And it isn't hard to drink. And it's brewed by great people. Those are about all the positives I can think of for this beer. Thank God NEB is coming around with IST, Gold Stock, Ghandi-Bot, etc, etc, since this (much like its year-round brethren) is kind of weak.


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Photo of woodychandler
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another day, another CAN.

The pour produced a good finger's worth of rocky, medium-tan head with decent retention. The beer itself was a slightly hazy deep-amber color. The nose had a nutty sweetness to it, undoubtedly borne of the malt. The mouthfeel was medium with a mildly sweet, nutty flavor on the tongue. The finish was also sweetish, but I got some light bitterness at the end. Ambers generally are not my bag and this seemed a little lacking, so probably would not return to it. I liked the Lager and I want to get some Sea Hag, which I hear is quite good, but I'll pass on the Amber.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this from beeronthebrain, cheers; Khen!

Pours amber/caramel with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Rich doughy malt & not much else, a bit of leafy hops once near room temperature

T: A bit of caramel & some herbal hops up front. Some leafy hops, some citric hops & a bit more caramel as this warms. Barely earned a 3.5

MF: A bit thinnish with low carbonation, skews sweet

Drinks alright, but this beer lacks real depth, works as an alternative to BMC, but not much more IMO

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass on 3/31/10

Thanks to Pabs311

Hazy & dulled amber in color. Poured a solid one finger head that started to dissipate in short order with bubbles popping rapidly. Very thin retention & ok lacing.

The nose isn't particularly potent. Caramel & toasted malts are most notable with earthy hop aromas strewn throughout. Not bad, but it could be a little more assertive.

The taste is unsurprisingly in line with the nose though thankfully the flavors are at least a little bolder. A mild bitter twinge of earthy hops offsets a reasonably solid caramel malt backdrop. Hints of toasted bread in there, too. A few grassy notes, as well.

Medium-light body with appropriate carbonation that leans just slightly to the lower end of the spectrum. Almost has a slick, medicinal quality on the finish. Notes of toasted caramel linger on.

It's a easy enough drinker. It's not bad, but seems pretty average for the most part. I could easily throw back a few over the course of an evening.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Hooray for local beer... not many CT breweries so happy to give this one a try. Pours a mahogany color with not much head to it. Aroma is a bit fruity... never thought I'd say that about a red ale. Mouthfeel is good... beer seems a tad flat though, definitely affecting the body. Nice caramel malts mixed with some decent hoppiness, along with a sweet/fruity kick to it. Nice smooth finish to it... for sure one of the more unique red ale's I've tried but I must say this one would only rank as average, maybe slightly above average as this style goes. Cool to have something local but I can think of 5 other brands of this style beer I would pick at the beer store ahead of this one.

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Photo of jvdineen
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out of the can smoothly into a pint glass with a nice average sized head and Newcastle brown color

S - Not a overpowering hop smell

T - Pretty good. Malty, but is it a alt? The can says it won a contest in 1993 for Best Alt. Probably too carbonated to be an alt. Hops are in the background big time.

M - decent.

D- A bit gassy even though when the can is opened it doesn't have that soda can snap.

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Atlantic Amber from New England Brewing Co.
3.7 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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