Copperhead Ale | Fordham Brewing Company

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Copperhead AleCopperhead Ale

Brewed by:
Fordham Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The name isn’t a coincidence. This Düsseldorf style Altbier blends caramelized malted barley with pronounced hop character to create a subtle copper hue. Copperhead Ale is famous for its signature balanced flavor & impeccable smoothness.

Added by stirgy on 07-30-2002

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 263
Photo of agreenman19
3.51/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L - nice glowing amber color. Clear as can be.

S - stale bready malts. Some acetone and caramel.

T - surprisingly drinkable caramel toffee sweetness.

F - low carbonation and kinda oily. Slick.

O - solid copper ale. Nothing more, nothing less. Easy drinking.

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Photo of smcolw
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful and clear copper-amber color. Excellent starting head which lasts. Less lace than I was expecting, but there is an initial ring to start and a few spots thereafter.

Clean, semisweet deep caramel malt aroma. Almost buttery with some almond notes. Light alcohol to the nose.

Rich bodied with a strong leaning to the malt side. Low carbonation level. Normally, I'd like this combination, but the lack of bubbles makes this sweeter than it should be. I believe the low marks for this beer are from its inherent sweetness from strong malt sugars; the roasted flavors are simply not strong enough to right this ship. Very low hop presence--I only get a touch in the swallow. The aftertaste is, again, predominantly sweet malt. Overall, a bit of a one-trick pony.

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Photo of BJB13
3.27/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. Bottle poured into a tumbler pint glass.

Amber in color and just a bit of cloudiness, it started with one finger of foamy, tan head that last a little sticky lacing. This quickly diminished to just a thin cap before vanishing all together. A little lacking in the nose, light aroma of bready malts and not much else. Light and refreshing to drink with only small flavor coming from grain and caramel malts. Slightly bitter and dry, it finishes clean with some small bite from the medium to high carbonation. I wouldn't call it watery but it is rather thin. To me this beer isn't bad but very plain.

I drank a lot of these fifteen or so years ago and really enjoyed them. I would guess that I have changed in that time as this feels like a light beer to me now. Most of my friend will love it though, these won't last in my fridge for long.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours deep red with a fluffy white head. Smells of caramel and roasted grain. Tastes of roasted grain and very slight caramel. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, very good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color, modest head and a ring like lacing that retains well.
Sweet aroma overall, caramel malt, and dark fruit. Occasionally sme floral tones can be detected.
The taste is malt forward. A sweetness coats the tongue. Bread like. However, some light spicy hops and sourdough bread like qualities balance out the sweetness.
The body is medium but on the higher side as I found it to be somewhat hearty.
I thought this was a decent ale, but not outstanding. I do not necessarily see myself going out of my way to seek this one out.

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Photo of gautch726
3.76/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an extremely drinkable beer. Whenever you want something to drink, it won't let you down. It's not a great beer, but a consistently good one. No real weaknesses outside of a smell that isn't great. An everyday beer. Give it a try.

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Photo of Dirtyhands
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark gold, light Amber in color (srm 10). Very clean light malt aroma, only the lightest hint of bready sweetness. Not too many esters here whatsoever, on point, crisp. A slight caramel malt flavor here but there is no way you would call this ale 'sweet either'. This is refreshing.

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Photo of scotorum
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


First of four new brews (new to me) from my gifted beer club membership. We do not get this brewery's products in my state.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams English nonick.

a: Clear copper with an inch thick white head which receded to even surface foam and fairly dense lacing.

s: Nothing much detectable by this old nose. later, some grain notes.

t: Light caramel malt with enough hop bite for a good balance.

m: Medium, good body and moderate carbonation tingle.

o: A pleasant red, quite true to the altbier style, although in appearance and flavor it reminded me somewhat of British Bass but with more hop presence. I admit that Bass at one time was one of my favorites before I discovered craft. This one made a fine dinner brew with red bratwurst and homemade fries.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.87/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint of copperhead ale on draft at Boatyard Bar & Grille along with Conch fritters and crab and artichoke dip. Paired perfectly with both
Amber and chestnut color with no head. Hint of stone fruit balanced with toasted nuts flavor that was refreshing and we'll delivered. Great local brew perfect for a Saturday at boatyard.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

BOD 4/3/15. Pours a clear copper. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Very light nose of biscuit with a hint of caramel and toasted grain.

Light body with a texture slightly heavier than water. Superb carbonation with a nice effervescent middle and a finely bubbled prickly finish.

The flavor profile is rather weak. You get some toasted grain, very little biscuit and a mere hint of caramel. The middle has a mild bitterness. The finish is a slow bitter fade.

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Photo of delta490
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep cloudy copper with a thin tan head that leaves small amounts of small sticky lacing. The smell is barely there, with just hints of caramel malt sweetness and a hint of bread. The taste has a little more flavor than the aroma would indicate but not much and not much different. The body is lighter and a little too fizzy.

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Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center and a dense collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toasted and biscuit malts are present in the nose; notes of caramel malts also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of biscuit and toasted malts along with hints of caramel and some metallic notes.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This altbier seemed to be rather malty and lacked the fruitiness that you normally associate beers from this style with.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

App: nice copper colored, translucent with fair amount of white head
Smell: classic altbier with smells of toasted malts, biscuit, hint of floral hops
Taste: sweet malts forward, lot of caramel and hint of burnt sugar, a bitter floral finish to offset the sweet and a fairly clean finish
Mouthfeel: Fair amount of carbonation, light bodied
Overall great for the style, and easily quaffable, well balanced and good beer to accompany burgers and hot dogs or by itself – I consider it an alternative bier to the routine lagers and people are always surprised to find they enjoy it.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pours a bright copper colour, with a decent white head that disappears quickly. Didn't recognize this as an "alt" beer until reading the BA classification, as it struck me as a more mundane "macro American" amber. Stilted aroma of some caramelized malts, but without the breadth of many and with a hint of a stale, industrial tang. Flavour is simple and may appeal to a wider crowd, but lacks the depth for which I'd hoped. Some simple caramel, but divorced from the malt spectrum found in a traditional Dusseldorf "alt".

Sweet finish without complications - which I hope will act as a gateway beer to bring others over to the more interesting "craft" side...

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Photo of Omnium
3.21/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a hazy orange color, barely any head, no lacing.
S - Some caramel, toffee, and bready malts, I cant detect any hop aroma in this.
T - Sweeter malt flavor and a little roasty in the finish, very minor though.
M - Medium thin feel, a little sticky.
O - Not really the best try at an Altbier, but not the worst, though its not a beer I'm going to return to.

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Photo of horshack7
3.44/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber in color with head is off white but thins out quick.

Aroma: Bready caramel malts, brown bread. toffee, raisins.

Taste: Quite a malty backbone, caramel malts, twinges of dark bread, toffee, dark fruits. The mouthfeel is chewy with faint molasses notes.

Notes: Good stuff drinkable with a smooth finish. Cheers.

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Photo of jonb5
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half pint from the Rake, served in a snifter. Bronze colour, hazy, one finger head, retained some lacing. Aroma was malty with notes of rasperry. Tasted malty rasperry and burnt caramel. Charcol like finish. Lively carbonation, smooth texture, medium body. Overall this was quite a well made beer but it seemed more like a weak Dopplebock than an Altbier. Style is best left to brewers in Düsseldorf.

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Photo of searsclone
2.05/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

bottle into a pint glass

off white head over a golden amber copper color. nice lace

I get almost zero smell from this. maybe a little honey?

taste is mostly bitter hops. a little caramel after it warms up. not bad, but not much going on.

mouthfeel is good. nice carbonation and creamy. Drinks easy, but the taste and smell are mostly nonexistent.

Overall, I think there must be more to this than what I'm getting from this bottle, but this one fell flat.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber brown body with a half finger head and some lacing. Aroma is typical alt with caramel malts and barely. The hops are minimal. Flavor is also malty with cracker and bread notes. The hops turn out to produce a more metallic earthiness. Lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall very bland as this style can be at times with metallic notes hurting drinkability.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kudos for taking a stab at an Altbier- not the most common style found here, but unfortunately, not everything works here. Pours a copper color, but it's pretty hazy and has very little head. Smells slightly metallic and quite earthy- but it lacks a snap of hops and seems more esb in style than altbier. There is also a faint grainy sourness in the nose. The taste is surprisingly hollow tasting until the finish where you suddenly get a hit of coppery bitterness and some graininess. I'm not sure if I like that or not. It seems a bit too one dimensional, but the coppery bitterness is long and somewhat intriguing. Could have more depth at the start, and a more integrated finish as well as a snap of hops- which is sorely missing. Strange beer, and an unusual interpretation of the style.

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

Copperhead Ale
Fordham Brewing Company
Style: Altbier
ABV: 5.20 %

LOOK: Copper colored brew with a small head leaving little lace. Showing a fine clarity as well. Lives up to the name "copperhead" by the appearance.

SMELL: American hop variety giving off floral and citrus notes, along with burnt caramel and nutty malt aromas.

TASTE: More like the nose with a firm hoppy punch of orange citrus and pine. Caramel like malts possibly caramunich variety used to get a bit of German influence. Still, ends up drinking like an American pale more than a German lager. Faint toasted malt, complimentary bitterness, a bit thin but agreeable flavor.

FEEL: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, loose overall feel.

OVERALL: A pretty decent beverage from Fordham brewing, nicely hopped and easy drinking. Would be a good beer to enjoy alongside a summer BBQ.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slight chill haze to this nearly clear, dare I say copper colored beer. Sea foamy off white head starts at about 1 finger and dissapates somewhat slowly to a patchy sheet. A few nice lines of lacing around the glass. Rounded aromas of caramel and biscuit, slightly toasted. Mild fruitiness. Not a whole lot going on aromatically, but whats there is pleasant.

Taste is a bit fuller than its aroma with more fruits coming out, letting the toastiness of the malt recede a bit. Still respectably toasty with a good bit of grainy caramel and bready malt. The fruitiness comes through over top it, combining with a floral and citrusy hop character that suits the ale just fine. Nothing crazy about the hops, but they do a good job in creating a balanced little beer. They also combine with a medium carbonation to create a bit of excitement on the palate. The hops actually even finish up a bit on the earthy side, just there in the finish and aftertaste a bit. A little thin in the mouthfeel but the carbonation makes up for it a touch. It ends up taking away from the beer a bit unfortunately, especially because the flavors are nice and rounded with a great balance.

Close to a good beer, but it settles for solid with a few things holding back, such as the lack of aromatics and the thinner body. That said, its light and refreshing and I'm enjoying the drinkability. Not a bad beer at all. Now just get rid of the twist off caps...

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Photo of huxcrunner
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- clear copper brown color with about two fingers of off-whitish head no major lacing in the glass average retention

s-aroma is light nothing really shining through shilght hop aroma

t-taste is clean and hoppy bitterness is in good balance jjust letting you know that is there keeping the malts in check

m- average feel not great strengths or weakness

0- overall this is a pretty good beer just tried it on a vacation looking to expand the repertoire and mission accomplished worth a try

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft, on a whim ... only draft selection at the Courtyard in Newark, DE.

Poured w/short off-white head over a clear copper-to-amber colored body. Decent amount of carbonation flowing up with a touch of lacing.

Aromas are pretty nice - lots of wheat bread, caramel and toffee sweetness. Smells richer than the ABV would suggest.

Pretty thin on the palate, with floral hoppy qualities I was not expecting. But the malts continued well enough, with some toffee and wheat (maybe rye) bread. MF was pretty nice for the style and ABV... above avg.

Not one that I would seek out for a case or sixtel, but it's better than most standard offerings.

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Photo of chilly460
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper body with a short white head. Dissipates quickly, speckling of lace on the sides.

S - Sweet malts, maybe some toffee, but very faint.

T - Basic sweet malts here, not as much depth to say they're caramel malts. A bit of earthy hops on the end.

M - Medium bodied, nice smooth beer

O - Nice easy drinking session beer, no surprises

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Copperhead Ale from Fordham Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 263 ratings.
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