Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

James Squire Amber Ale | Malt Shovel Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
James Squire Amber AleJames Squire Amber Ale
110 Ratings
James Squire Amber AleJames Squire Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of Kwak
5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far one of the best beer I ever had. I have only had one but
I loved it.
Creemy malt flavor head nice and thick.
Good aroma a bit hoppy.
A clean body, nicely carbonated.
A dry malt aftertaste ,with plenty of hops.

can't wait to go back

 248 characters

Photo of Brad071
4.53/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that gave me my epiphany about beer. The one that started the whole "there's more to life than Tooheys New and VB"...I love this one as it is so rich and creamy, but goes down soooo smoothly on a hot afternoon.

 227 characters

Photo of Beerhunter500
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My aussie beer of choice lovely toasted caramel feel

52 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4.32/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber color, small head. A medium bodied amber ale. Nicely malty and slightly hoppy. A mild yet full flavored ale. Rich, smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter. Nice beer. Flavorful, light and refreshing.

 283 characters

Photo of joecast
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours with a thick creamy head, looked great in the glass but it didnt last long. nice copper/amber color.

sweet malty flavour. a smooth and easy drinking beer. i have been waiting to review a good "session" beer and i think this is it. very easy to get through two or three before you even know it.

the more i drink it, the more i like it. very nice, full malt flavour that doesnt whack you over the head

 412 characters

Photo of Jamestregenza
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich and vibrant deep copper color with a rocky cream-colored head that semi-laced the glass (I think my beer glass wasn't 100% clean)

You can really taste the malts in this beer. The malt flavor strongly asserts itself and has a "sweetness" to it. There is the hop influence that hides discreetly in the background...it balances the sweetness to some extent. Full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel that was very easy to drink. One of the best ambers I have tried in a long time.

Unfortunately, it appears that a sample of this from the tap is the way to go. Barring any trips to Australia, I won't be able to fully enjoy what this beer has to offer. Still, I'll keep a bottle or two in the fridge.

 707 characters

Photo of Cs1987
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Darkish amber, 3 fingers of head with good retention and great lacing.

Smell - Strong malt stands out, not much else to comment on.

Taste - Quite different to what I expect from an Pale Ale - less fruity but far more malt. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with excellent aftertaste and carbonation.

Drinkability - Above average for the style.

Overall - This certainly deserves its place as my second favourite Malt Shovel beer (after the Porter). Great beer, great value.

 488 characters

Photo of Anonmatel
4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like all of James Squire beers, it's far far better out of the tap than out of the bottle. Nutty, Citrus, Grassy characters, You can certainly taste the Alcohol in it, but for this beers it's quite refreshing.
A great session beer.

 232 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber bedecked with a thick tan head with lots of haphazard lace on the side of the glass.
Aroma is sweet caramel, hint of grass and a sort of cinnamon hop note, very odd to my nose.
Flavor is sweet malt with a citrus fruit hint in the background. This transitions into hoppy finish that is bitter but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is smooth to start and then dries out into a medium-bitter finish, overall fairly soft on the palate.
Drinkability is very high, good have had definitely had another.

 514 characters

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown red ale. WAY darker than Amber.

Smells very malty and fruity, has a nice perfume for the nose.

Taste is mild; there is lots of malt and flowery tastes. Reminds me of Young’s Dirty Dick Ale. There is a mild hops bite in the finish. Well Balanced, I like harsher stuff but this is indeed tasty.

Mouthfeel is very good, boosted by the carbonation.

Very drinkable, If I had to pick a beer I like and something that Budweiser drinkers could tolerate this would be a good choice.

 506 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a 345ml, 11.65 fl.oz brown glass bottle and listed as 5.0%ABV. It has quite the essay about the Brewery, started by a thieving highwayman that my Limey predecessors posted down under as penance for his crimes. It seems like he got quite the deal in the end. Labeled as ‘James Squire Original Amber Ale’.

Appearance: Clear Amber that has a gorgeous russet copper sunset body. Massive cream colored head when first poured that settles to a more manageable collar like head after a short time. Excellent inherent carbonation when swirled.

Nose: Not bad actually, after the disappointing JS Pilsener, it was a nice surprise. Malty and with some slight toffee and caramel hints. Just above average.

Taste: Malts lead the way here, mixed with toffee, caramel and some light grain. A really nice, malt-dominant, drinking beer, although I do detect hops, at least there in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very good, solid “bouncy” type of beer with plenty of dissolved CO2 to add vitality. Immensely creamy at times, with a really nice soothing effect when swallowed. I really enjoyed this beer as you can tell.

Drinkability: It’s a good ‘un. I am not sure if it is the fact that it has been hot today in Los Angeles, but 3 of these were dispatched in quick succession tonight.

Overall: Well above average, made with quality ingredients that show themselves, and a damn good session beer. Some drinkers who prefer a “fuller” flavor, well they may find this a little ‘thin’ - but I see the positive in this, after all its only 5%, so for me, this lends the beer a high degree of Drinkability, which is just enough to make it a real Quaffer.

I easily drank 3 bottles of this for the Review! This one is definitely worth the investment in a 6-Pack, a really nice surprise. I love English Malt-dominant Cask Bitters, and this has all the qualities required for an excellent draft beer. From previous reviews it appears this is when the beer gets to reveal all of its nuances. If I ever get to the land of the ‘Criminals’ – I will definitely seek this one out on Tap for sure (…well at least after sharing a few traditional lambics with my good BA buddy Rastaman anyways).

 2,199 characters

Photo of SmashPants
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Format: a good solid 345mL brown bottle with a reasonable boutique label. Personally I preferred the old labels, but hey - as long as the beer tastes the same!

Appearance: pours out a deep copper bronze with a light cloud. A half-finger of off-white head lasts for a good time. decent lace.

Aroma: moderate aromas of earthy hops, nuts and toasted bread malts. Smells good.

Taste: quite a dry earth quality with some grass hops. The bitterness builds with time. There is a warming alcohol behind. Nice.

Aftertaste: a lovely secondary warmth from the alcohol, bringing the flavours back full-strength.

Mouth feel: moderate in body with a smooth feel. A moderate amount of carbonation brings the flavours forward well.

Overall: at $55 a case, this one is well and truly worth-while. Tasty, sessional and well-rounded. One of my favourites to be had in a session, a great Australian beer.

 890 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the 12 ounce brown bottle a somewhat hazy burnished copper color with the head modest in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a winsome light tan, as it slowly sinks into the sunset the lace forms a sealing curtain upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt with hints of caramel, slightly hint of yeast, quite crisp and clean to the senses. Start is sweet and nicely malted, the top is middling in its feel to the palate, finish has a brisk acidity and the hops personable in their spiciness, a nice drinking beer and one I’ve not had for 3 or 4 years, wish I had better access to it.

 604 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle(room temp) a hazy amber with a large head of foam that dissipated fairly quickly leaving 1 large clump and a fine layer.

The smell is quite nice with a mix of malt and hops

The taste was very smooth with nice balance between the hop bitterness and the sweetness from the malt. I also sensed nutty and vanilla tones and they helped make this beer quite drinkable.

Bottom line: This is a good amber ale. One I'd buy again.

 448 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a short nonic)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear warm brown body with a swirling of microbubbles racing to the surface. There is a creamy beige head that stick to the glass with each sip.

S- The fresh sweet biscuit malt aroma has a lighter caramel malt aroma underneath and a berry quality to the malt that grows as the beer warms.

T- There is a soft fruity sweet perfume quality to the dry biscuit malt flavor and a dry toasted malt flavor follows that. There finish is a soft green hint that has a hint of hops quality. As the beer warms there is a stronger field corn sulfury note that comes though the malt flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizzy in the finish.

D- This beer has some nice malt flavors but there is some odd characteristics to them like the berry aroma and the perfumy quality in the taste.

 854 characters

Photo of ALEBOY
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice amber, like all the James squires it seems to be dumbed down for the Australian public, but it is still a nice beer.
Lovely dark copper brown colour with a strong nose of malt. Hop involvement is a bit lower than I would like, main flavours are nutty caramel malt tones. The body is perhaps a little thin for this style, but, it certainly is easy to drink.

 373 characters

Photo of Finite
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer does everything it says on the bottle which I find very admirable for a beer these days.

Pours nice red amber with moderate carbonization and a thick head which lasts the entirety of the beer leaving a think white lacing down the glass. Perfect.

Smells of fruity nuts with a smooth malt and a hint of bitter hops in the background, perhaps a touch bitter but again, just does what the label says.

Taste is sweet with moderate to small amounts of malt immediately, that doesn’t last long and I would mind if that dragged on a touch longer. Sweet malts are present in the background and some sweet earthy nutty flavors, perhaps dried banana or macadamia? Finished with a bitter late after taste which lasts a long time. If you let that flavor last, some sweetness come back as well yet retains some coarseness on the palate.

It a good mix between malt ale and refreshing bitter hops. The mix is slightly watery however which makes it probably more a summer ale. With its availability so high in Australia I will try this number again. Not bad at all for a mainstream beer.

 1,093 characters

Photo of koolk
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely amber red colour with a slight head and low to medium carbonation.

Light nose of floral hops and a hint of malty sweetness.

Palate is great. Soft, round, rich and very full flavoured. A nice and deep malty flavour with a good dose of floral hops that is a really enjoyable beer in the summer time.

Finally, a reason to go into a Tooheys pub.

 357 characters

Photo of July2Nov
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought bottle in a "Beers of the World" pack from BevMo and poured into a pint glass.

A: A slightly darker amber color. The head was about 1 finger width, that left a little lace around the rim.
S: Very subtle...maybe if I plug my ear up like the character in "Sideways" I'll be able to list the ingredients.
T&M: Yeah...I'm suprised by the flavor. Very refreshing at first. The middle part tastes of a buttery biscuit w/ a some citrus flavor going on. The end has a nutty quality that leaves you with that "cotten-mouth" quality.
D: I was really suprised by this brew. It delivered more than I expected. This definetly could be a session beer.

 651 characters

Photo of aBeeraWeek
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up from Safeways in Melbourne.
Chilled, then poured into a Spiegelau beer glass.

Appearance – dark amber with some dark red coming out when held to the light.

Smell – an enticing combination of fresh sweet bread and caramel

Taste – is well matched to the smell. The same sweet caramels come through early but are not overstated, with a light bitterness coming through from the hops. A sweet fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Agree with previous postings that this is slightly over carbonated. A little less carbonation would be more fitting with the taste and smell of this beer. It takes some of the focus away from the sweeter flavourings.

Overall – a pleasant tasting beer that has enough flavourings to keep the drink interesting throughout.

 772 characters

Photo of magpieken
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of braican
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of madvoice
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mid amber in colour. Not very frothy with the head and it is almost non existant in seconds. It has a rather light fruity smell with citrus overtones. Is a rather sweet beer with a mild texture and a bit of tang on the aftertaste. Not very fizzy which I find is nice. Very very easy to drink.

 292 characters

Photo of Stuckey_Stuckey
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 110 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.