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Amber Ale - German Style Altbier | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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Amber Ale - German Style AltbierAmber Ale - German Style Altbier
36 Ratings
Amber Ale - German Style AltbierAmber Ale - German Style Altbier

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.19%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Altbier, literally translated as “Old Style” beer, is a classic German ale. BBC Altbier is brewed with additions of Munich, wheat, caramel, and chocolate malts creating a delicate, but flavorful malt profile. This delicious amber colored session beer is balanced with additions of tradtional spicy German hops creating a light and floral bouquet to compliment its complex malt profile.

28.6 IBU

Added by mooseisloose on 08-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of mwar
1.75/5  rDev -43.9%

Photo of nmann08
2/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of LordHammer
2.41/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Part of this month's BOTMC shipment. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear amber with half an inch of off white head, which quickly faded to a thin lacing that stayed at the top of the beer as I drank it.

Aroma is mainly grains, with the faintest hint of hops in there.

Taste is very similar to aroma, only stronger. The overwhelming flavor is grain, with little else. It really tastes like chewing on raw grain, somewhere in the range of light caramel malt. This taste lingers for several minutes, which is most unpleasant when the taste is less than pleasing.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and the carbonation fairly light. The beer would be very drinkable, if not for the fact that it tasted fairly poor.

I was looking forward to this brew, as I quite like Altbier, but this example left quite a bit to be desired.

 843 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
2.47/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A recent arrival from BOTMC. Smells of grains and malts hint of cinnamon. Pours to a rusty orange. Really no head at all. Taste is watery really with a little fizz and no sweetness or bitterness. Kind of like drinking alka-selzter or beer flavored selzter water. A huge disappointment for what I shell out for BOTMC. Maybe this is a bad bottle? I'll re-review if others bottles fare better. Maybe also this brew is SO balanced that all the flavors are cancelled out. I never heard of that though.

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Photo of argock
2.51/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on date on front label. Single purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.40.

A: Clear tangerine hue with 1-2 finger foamy sandy colored head with average retention and some lacing.

S: Aroma is of some roasted caramel and pale malts with minimal herbal hops bitterness.

T: The flavor is metallic and off with some bland roasted caramel and pale malt flavors that don't approach bready followed by sour and metallic, aspirin notes that leave no trace of bitterness. Not even close to style.

M: The mouthfeel is thin and watery with no personality. Afteraste is chalky.

D: A definite skip. Not really sure what they are going for in calling it both an "amber" and "German style altbier" at the same time. This brew is not a good stab at either one.

 839 characters

Photo of briman
2.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours light copper color, with a lot of orange and golden tones. Slight haze, with a moderate off-white head. Little retention.

Aroma is very light, slighly bready with a slight grainy character. No hop aroma.

Flavor is very mild bready malt, with no discernible hop characteristic.

Medium light body, moderately high carbonation. Somewhat watery. This is classified as an altbier, which calls for noticeable to assertive hop bitterness. This beer has little to no bitterness. It has the color of a Dusseldorf Alt, but none of the assertive hop bitterness. It's the wrong color to be say a Northern German Alt, but still no bitterness, and although both versions of the style indicate a rich malt profile, it just doesn't exist in this brew. Honestly, I'm confused as to what this beer is really trying to be. In then end, it's basically bland and uninspiring.

 864 characters

Photo of Ottertude
2.72/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This offering from the Bluegrass Brewing Company from my home state poured a cloudy coppery amber into my pint glass with minimal head. Very little carbonation to speak of and almost no lacing in my glass.

What smell there was some caramel malt and a hint of vanilla. The taste was an initial blast of caramel, toasted biscuit and something metallic with a subtle underlying hop flavor that all quickly left with little aftertaste. Kinda weird. Guess I was hoping for better.

The mouthfeel was like water so this goes down easliy. But after one of these I would look for something else. This alt is better washing down food than drinking by itself. BBC has other brews that are better. Too bad Alaska Amber doesn't make it as far east as Kentucky. That Altbier is soooo much better. Next time i'll pass on this.

 813 characters

Photo of drtth
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Moderately chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a clear dark amber/orange color with a ¼" off white head that soon recedes. Initially there is some modest lacing which is soon gone but a thin ring around the liquid remains.

Smell: The aroma is lightly bready and has some caramel malt in it but there is no real hop presence

Taste: The flavor includes caramel malt, hints of bready malt and nutty tastes and there are traces of floral spicy hops, but nothing dominates or stands out.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin and there is not much carbonation. The relatively short finish is dry with some hop bitterness trailing off.

Drinkability: While this was an OK beer I'll not return to this one and I probably would not buy this one again if I'd already had one. I definitely prefer the Long Trail Double Bag Stucke Alt.

 917 characters

Photo of mcorwin
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a amber orange with a half inch white head. I was expecting a decently hopped amber ale not an altbier. Smell is malt and grains, very bland with no hop presence. The taste is the same with a slight fruity twinge. It is slightly watered down with no hop flavor at all. It is kind of old and musty as well. The mouthfeel is thin and there is no drinkability. Worst offering from this brewery.

 406 characters

Photo of chrisroarshack
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of bzach
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of huguey
3.01/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

A: Brown with excellent head.

S: Wheat, other grains.

T: Very grainy, slightly bitter. Almost a rice after taste. Bittersweet.

M: Goes down easy and not too oily.

D: I had one, it would be good with food. As a standalone beer, it doesn't stand up to my taste standards.

 289 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As an altbier, this is okay, I guess. Really malty with a thick sweetness. Quite cloying. Overall, not very good or interesting. This beer is marked as retired. And if that is a mistake, they should make it the reality for the beer. More waste of my money.

 256 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.04/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Lightly hazed dark orange color. Two fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention is a touch below average and only a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.25 S: Toasty with caramel sweetness. Maybe a hint of mineral quality to it. There isn't much going on overall though. Still, it's not bad.

3.0 T: The taste is like the nose. Toastiness, a bit of caramel, and mineral. Not much else. Still, it's not terrible. It tastes a bit like a bitter, just not a great one.

3.25 M: Lighter body. Good moderate carbonation. Moderately creamy, but still lacking something here.

2.75 D: It's okay, but it's easily forgettable. In fact, uhh....what was I talking about?

 688 characters

Photo of cmannes
3.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a SurlyFest Stien.

Appearance: Golden color, very little head.

Aroma: Slight bit of hops, and almost a little pepper.

Taste: Slight biscuity flavor. Slight malt, little metallic finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thin, while I can't say it's fizzy, due to the thinness, the fizz is strong.

Overall: Feels sessionable. But it's more of a beer you drink with something, rather than a beer you seek out for the beer itself.

 438 characters

Photo of eporter66
3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Recieved this in the BOTMC - fresh date July 09

A - Poured hazy orange color, 1/2 finger head that quickly dissolved to a small ring around the outer portion of the beer. No lacing left on the glass.

S - I get a fruity - berry aroma from this beer, good smell. As it warmed a more woody or grainy aroma overtakes the beer. Started better than it finished.

T - Beer tasted better out of the fridge. As it warmed up it had a grainy taste, the fruitiness was more pronounced on the first few sip.

M - light to medium bodied beer, with a little zip from the carbonation.

D - One of the few craft beers that I have had so far that was better colder, usually the flavors come out more as they warm up. A drinkable beer, nothing outstanding about it.

 748 characters

Photo of OtisCampbell007
3.17/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of chinchill
3.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle labeled, perhaps wisely, as "amber ale" with "German style Altbier" in smaller print. May 2013 bottled on date. Served in a lager glass.

Pours a deep amber color with an over-sized bone-colored head that leaves plenty of soapy lacing on the glass. Very good retention. Appears to have light carbonation.

Aroma: grassy hops are evident, but a mild, bisquity malt base is there too as is a hint of popcorn. Marred but a slightly metallic and vegetative off-notes. Improved with some airing/warming, then a tobacco component appeared.

T: malt dominated with light floral, spicy and grassy hop notes. Good sweet/bitter balance.

Feel: Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation; smooth.

Overall: decent example of this unusual (for U.S.) style.

 761 characters

Photo of The_1084
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pretty basic in appearance; pours a standard amber color with almost no head; light activity of carbonation and minimal lacing.

S - A small hint of caramel.

T - Tastes of caramel and biscuit throughout leaving a very mild aftertaste.

M - Thin and watery; light carbonation; very easy to drink.

O - This beer would probably be good as a drink with food, perhaps at a cookout or with some pizza, but doesn't do much as a standalone beer. Overall, I give it an average rating for the simple fact that it has an easy drinkability.

 534 characters

Photo of NoetheMatt
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Tone
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber/copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale hops, yeast, and slight grain. Fits the style of an Altbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight wateriness to the mouth feel. Tastes of pale hops, sweet malt, slight nut, and some grain. Overall, a decent blend, good drinkability, and a decent Altbier.

 448 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16Oz on draft

A- Clear red with a 1 finger head, Standard stuff.
S- Earthy and grains with faint sweet maltiness.
T- Creamy and caramel malts, doesnt biring anything new to the table but not bad.
M- Good carbonation, Fairly easy to drink. wont want to take down more then a few but will go well on any occasion.
O- A good amber ale I frequently get because of its availability in my area. Cant go wrong here but if your just swinging into Kentucky for a short time Id try other beers first.

 493 characters

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep amber pour with a frothy tan head. Nice lacing on the glass and most of the head holds on throughout the drink.

Smell: Grassy sweet malt with slight hop tones. The sweetness seems to overpower the nose.

Taste: Smooth and sweet up front, followed by a light hop bite, clean finish. Almost too sweet for the style and the spicy hops seem to get buried by the sweet tones.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, very easy drinking.

Overall: Not the best Alt I've ever tried, but by far not the best. All and all a good easy drinking beer, I just wish they would have stayed truer to the style.

 602 characters

Photo of smarkham24
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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Amber Ale - German Style Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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