Rathskeller Amber Ale | Gray's Brewing Company

Rathskeller Amber AleRathskeller Amber Ale
Liked This Beer
3.16 w/ 55 ratings
Rathskeller Amber AleRathskeller Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Gray's Brewing Company
Wisconsin, 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 karst on 08-05-2005

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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look of this beer pours out as a typical amber color. The head and lacing don't really stick around very long. The smell is a little grainy with a little hops aroma in the background. The taste is malty upfront fading into a dry hoppy taste. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated. It's a decent brew nothing too crazy. 

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.92/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got a mixed eight pack from grays for $10.99 at The lager Mill. I was expecting to get all the beers I got in the last eight pack, but instead of getting Busted Knuckle I got two Rathskeller Amber Ales instead, so lets give it a try and see how it goes. All the other beers I have had from Grays had a bottling date but this one didn't. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, its got a look to it like it is going to be an oak aged stout or something. It poured a nice clear amber red color with one fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring.

S- The first thing I pick up in this beer are lots of sweet caramel malts and some brown bread. There is also some subtle dark fruits and equally subtle amount of grassy hops at the end.

T- Just as in the nose the caramel malts are the main player here and are not as sweet as the nose led me to believe and they retain some of the brown bread aspects I picked up in the aroma. The hops are mild and earthy and make for some good balance in this beer. The finish is clean and slightly bitter.

M- Medium light bodied, crisp, and lacking in carbonation, I thought it could have used a little more, but it still retained a prickly mouthfeel.

Overall I thought this was an average Amber Ale. There were no off flavors in this beer but the flavors that were there were muted and didn't do much for me. It was smooth and easy drinking, but nothing about it made me want to come back for more. There's many other Ambers to be had that are tastier, this is the beer I liked the least out of the five I have tried from Grays. It's worth a try but this beer is nothing other then average, more then likely I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of dhannes
4.05/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint and drank at 45ºF or so. I believe that Gray's created this recipe for the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union to serve on the Union Terrace and in the "Rathskeller" inside, hence the name.

A=Nice reddish amber; foam was light yellowish-white that reached 1" for over a minute.

S=Predominant nose--honey and fruit...faint smell of berries.

T=Very sweet, with hint of hops and even less malt. I drank the second half with grilled chicken, and taste seemed to improve as it warmed.

M=Very little carbonation made this pleasant.

D=The sweetness hampers this. I've consumed large quantities of this in the past at the aforementioned Union Terrace, but can't see me drinking a 6-pack in one sitting.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Gray's Tied House.

The beer is amber orange with about a half inch of off white head. A tiny amount of soapy lace remains.

The aroma is mostly caramel malt with a touch of hops. Mild citrus fruit and spice are present as well.

The flavor is pretty much a mirror of the nose. Mostly malt with a touch of spice. A solid amount of black earth in the finish.

Medium to light body modest carbonation.

Overall a simply average beer. Nothing special.

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Photo of drizzam
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. The body of this brew is a cloudy dark amber/red topped with a very slight off white head. The head receded to a thin cap rather quickly and left little in the way of lacing.

S - Sweet caramelized malt. Not much else going on here.

T & M - The same sweet caramelized malt I smelled is dominant in the taste. A bit of a nutty taste as well. No hop presence to note. It seems to have a bit of a metallic twang toward the back end. Thin bodied but finishes crisp and fairly clean.

D - I didn't realize this was brewed by Gray's when I bought it...I was kinda hoping for a new brew from a new brewery. That being said, I've had better beer from Gray's. This is an easy beer to drink, and I would take it over a macro any day, but there are better examples of the style easily available.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.17/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle to a cloudy amber-brown hue with thin off white head that disipated quickly and left no lacing. Nose was very faint, but what I could detect was a mix of hoppy fruit (apples) and malty chocolate. Mouthfeel was on the the thin side with little carbonation or tingle. Taste was more aaccentuated than the nose, as it picked up the fruit and chocolate, which then led to a somewhat watery, short finish. Not terrible, but won't go out of my way to drink again.

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Photo of lester619
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

They make this five blocks from my house. Not really relevant, but they do. Looks nice, typical clear reddish, coppery amber, not much head or lacing. Bready, sweet caramel malt smell, a little floral, citrusy hop presence. This is your basic drinkable unoffensive amber. Not a damn thing wrong with it, but it's not going to excite anybody either.

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Photo of gmfessen
2.51/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep copper-red color with a nice, two-finger, cream colored head. The nose is pretty average for an amber; slight caramel/toasty malt sweetness, no real hop presence. The taste follows suit with an initially sweet maltiness that transitions into an astringent, metallic taste that is not flattering. A bit grainy. The mouthfeel is like water but the carbonation is slightly creamy and does help the overall feel. Overall, another beer that is not very impressive by Gray's.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

French burnt peanut orange that is darker than most amber ales; few of which are actually amber in color. There must be quite a bit of caramel malt present, or perhaps even a little chocolate malt. The smallish cap is equal parts beige, pale gold and pastel orange. A few feathery rings are seen, but glass coverage is less than impressive.

The aroma is nondescript, which is often the case with beer of this style (unless it's highly hopped). It's somewhat earthy, with what smells like a modest shot of German hoppiness. No real positives and no negatives equals... an average score.

The flavor profile pushes things back up to above average. That said, this is one of those decently well-brewed ales that is ultimately forgettable. Approachable and easy drinking? Sure. Balanced? You betcha. Exciting in any way? Nope. It's still early in the bottle, but Rathskeller Amber might be my least favorite Gray's beer to date.

Toasted cereal grain-like, slightly earthy, mildly nutty malt leads the way. There isn't much malt sweetness, but there doesn't need to be because hop bitterness is on the low side as well. Balance isn't hard when neither side is fighting for supremacy. With respect to hops, I'll guess Tettnanger or something similar.

The body/mouthfeel is full enough to be enjoyable, with carbonation that is more sharp and biting than smooth and caressing. It's a minor complaint, but it keeps the score from sneaking up a notch.

Gray's must have felt their lineup had a hole that needed plugging. Although there isn't anything horribly wrong with Rathskeller Amber Ale, there isn't anything in these twelve ounces that will bring me back for another go round.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.53/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a cloudy amber color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes into a quarter inch of foam. The aroma is of caramel malt with only a hint of hops. The taste is light, watery, and dull. The mouthfeel is light bodied, and watery; not things I look for in a beer. Overall, this is a weak example of an amber ale, and I will not be drinking it again.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy amber brew with a one finger beige head that has some serious staying power. Some smatterings of lace coat the glass, and that head is really not going anywhere. This is a really nice looking amber. Looks good, like a (snap, snap)... amber ale should.

S - Lightly toasted and caramelized malt undertones with a gentle whiff of leafy hops on top.

T - Like the nose, this is pleasantly malty with some nice hoppage. The hops are very well balance.... unlike many west coast ambers that are really just malty pale ales, we midwesterners know how to keep the hop craziness in check. This one has a hint of toast and a hint of butter, but not in an English amount. Like the hops, the mild diacetyls are kept in check. This is a very well balanced, if a bit restrained brew.

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated and initially neutral on the finish, a growing dryness slowly builds, but its never really dry. Mild fruit on the finish.

D - This is a relatively average and unassuming beer that is immanently drinkable due to its perfect balance and mild manners.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.55/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear bronze-amber with a modest white head.

Aroma is very powdery and musty, with a strong mineral aspect. Very odd.

Taste is caramel malt, and subdued nutty earthy hop. Finish is metallic and minerally.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

I couldn't get past the musty old basement odor. Taste is acceptable but uninspiring.

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Photo of bashiba
2.7/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice clear amber with a light white head.

The smell had a musty basement quality with some mild toasted malts sneaking through.

The flavor was very grainy with toasted bread and light cedar malts and strangely a bit of salt.

The mouthfeel was thin and a bit dry.

Pretty uninspiring overall, nothing I couldn't swallow, but I sure wouldn't search out.

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Photo of orangemoustache
2.69/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent amber/red with a fluffy yellow tinged cap that leaves huge lace and retains like a champ,well done. The nose is caramel and malt, with not a whole lot going on besides the thin malt profile. On the pallet the caramel falls flat and the malt needs the volume turned up a notch or three. A bit of alkaline/mineral breaks in and is less than appealing. A subtle touch of fruit,apple and pear isn't enough to help this be anything more than mediocre at best. A bit thin and highly carbonated,slightly sweet aftertaste is all I can really appreciate at this point. Nothing offensive and average drinkability, if I lived in Wisconsin I would purchase over a BMC,maybe.

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Photo of emerge077
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darker amber color, fizzy foam that fades quickly to a ring. Aroma is sweet, slightly cloying, butterscotch, caramel, fruitcake or stewed fruit. Flavor is similar, sweet and malty, brown sugar, butterscotch again, with a hint of fruitiness from the yeast. Low carbonation, a little viscous in mouthfeel. Engineered for multiple consumption.

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Photo of kmeves
2.86/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a amber/copper color with a small off white head. Aroma is lightly sweet caramel malt, dough and light hops. Flavor is nicely sweet but balanced nicely. Finishes sweet and creamy with a slight bit of grit. A very light bodied Amber Ale but still very good tasting.

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Photo of ibashmuck
2.91/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Small head on top of a dark amber/copper body. Very faint, almost non-existent smells. Caramel, little sweetness. Coffee dominates the taste, with a slight bitterness. Relatively smooth to the mouth, as the bitterness is mild. Okay, but not too much there to talk about.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Crystal clear with a rusty copper hue. Small, thin head that was very bubbly and harsh and left no lacing.

Aroma is of caramel malts and honey, molasses and corn?

Flavor is malty, dark roasted malts with a nutty undertone. Adjunct like corn. Cloying sweetness abounds. Phenolic alcohol like flavors that just don't fit.

Mouthfeel is very thin and dry.

Drinkability is good, slightly above average.

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Photo of Cresant
2.67/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a DFH pint glass. The body was a hazy amber, honey color. The mild head faded to a ring rather quickly.

Smell was toffee and brown sugar. Alcohol.

Taste was sweet, with a tiny bit of sourness. Very light bitterness. Wholde grain brediness. Pepper. A bit too sweet for me.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin with a fine/light carbonation.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at the Rathskellar, U of W, Madison.

Amber-copper in color with glowing orange highlights beneath a frothy off-white head. The head retention is fair and it leaves only minor lacing about the glass.

The nose is malty with notes of sweet caramel and toasted grain. Some floral hops flutter in the background.

In the mouth it's gently bristling and then smooth, with a medium-light body and a median, fine-bubbled carbonation.

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, with a decidedly malty (rather than hoppy) character that's nutty, toasty, softly caramelish, toffee-like, and even has occasional flashes of milk chocolate. It never becomes sweet, however. The moderate bitterness steps up just prior to the swallow, along with some mild grassy hops, and it simply fades away to nothing in the short, clean finish.

Great drinkability! I can see why the students go for this one! It's got much more character than the Spotted Cow (still the best seller) or Capital Amber. I was pleasantly surprised, and I'd certainly suggest trying this one on tap - the bottles don't seem to translate quite as well.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber color with modest slightly off-white puffy head.
Smell is light and notable for a slight fruity maltiness.
Taste has some nice fruit malt characteristics,. but is very light.
Finishes with a nice rich mouthfeel taste that only slight taste retention.
Good drinkability, but nothing better than average.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I thought this a relatively pleasant amber ale that tasted very much to me like a Marzen/Oktoberfest with its fairly rich malty taste.

Appearance is a somewhat sparkling copper red color with decent head formation which dissipating a bit too quickly for my liking. Aroma is malty and bready; like a sourdough. Taste is very malty and bread-y, and tastes a bit like a decent Oktoberfest. Mouthfeel is fairly sticky and not bad. About average drinkability.

All-in-all, not a bad beer.

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Photo of terrabyte
2.81/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A tan and amber color with a medium head.

The smell has a hint of fruit and nuts.

The flavor isn't bad, but seems a little watery. Quite carbonated, which can cause a foamy body during the aftertaste (which seems to have more flavor then).

A disappointing beer of this size.

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Photo of ProfessorHops
4.37/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- medium red, with a very fast head. Laces well

Smell- fruity sweet very similar to a weak white wine. Toasted almond in the back.

Taste- excellent!!! Carmel beginning. Their are hint of chocolate malt, that are gorgeous. A great balance between a flavorful beer that is drinkable as well. Brew finishes with a long Carmel disintegration.

Mouthfeel- juicy and rich.

Drinkability- bright but not bighty very easy to drink. A refreshing drink as well.

I loved this beer. Almost every aspect of this brew was fascinating and very tasty. What's really weird is I was able to buy the bottle for 99 cents out of the broken box been at my local grocery store. Awesome beer!!!

Gulp Gulp,

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.57/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle. Rathskeller Amber pours out a dark amber color topped with half an inch of off-white head. Lots of caramel in the aroma along with a strange, indescribable artificial flavor. Thinly malty flavor with caramel. No hop flavor. This beer is quite close to water. It tastes as if they mixed on part amber ale with two parts water and bottled it. Thin mouthfeel. I suppose this beer could be consumed in large quantities, but I don't know why you would want to. Weak attempt at an amber ale.

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Rathskeller Amber Ale from Gray's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 14.5% out of 100 with 55 ratings
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