James Squire Amber Ale | Malt Shovel Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 110
Photo of mynie
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours really pretty. Ruby red with a nice little head.

Weak odor of caramel malt and over ripe fruit. I thought this might be old, but the guy at the store said it just came in last week. Maybe it was a long trip up here?

Nice malt upfront, fruit in the middle, and a spoilt, rotty malt finish. Ups and downs, right here.

This is definetely old, but I don't think it should be exempt from a review because of it since "Old" is the only way us Americans get to sample this beer. Despite its advanced age it's still okay tasting and quite drinkable, but the folks at Malt Shovel should really work on getting their beer to the states faster.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring deep red/bronze capped with a cloud like off white headthis is a sweet smelly malty ale.
The malt predominates the foretaste which is sson consumed by a crisp hop finish that starts nicely but fails to develop any aftertaste.
Its a very pleasant beer but the finish disappoints after the wonderful start.

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark amber colour. Had a distinct hoppy aroma with a fruitty aftertone. Smooth malt flavour with a sweet fruity middle followed by a dry hop finish.

Not overly carbonated, however was pretty expensive in Australia for an Australian beer. Not the first beer I'd think of if I wanted a few on a hot summers day. Refreshing none the less.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/01/04-Purchased at Trader Joes San Mateo

Apperance: Poured a dark amber color. A tad cloudy, but a nice billowy creamy head. Very nice lacing

Smell: Smelled a bit medicinal. Other than that, a bit of caramel, a bit malt. Not too much scent.

Taste: A bit thin, but the hop flavor is there along with the sweetness of caramel. A bit dry on the finish. A good taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation and a nice crispness

Drinkablity: Overall a pretty decent beer. A good flavor that goes down pretty easy. Not one of my favorites, but not bad. I think this is my first beer from down under. Well, besides Fosters.

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Photo of cokes
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ruby-traced amber with a thin heading of bleached tan.
Nose of rusted tin, tart apples, raisins, and dabs of caramel.
Begin with green raisins. There's a slight toastedness that follows. Circles back towards green fruit, this time with apples. Notable cola-like sweetness. Maltiness is pretty minimal. Yeast adds a strange sense of rusty butter. Unique strand, sort of mimicking ringwood, but not nearly as intense. Ends with very little hop related traits, aside from a dryness that seems mostly derived from the carbonation.
Thin bodied with uppity carbonation. This seems like a undistinguishable Sammy Smith brew cut 30/70 with a macro...or just seltzer water.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber-copper with a nice, off-white, 1" head. Aroma is a nicely balanced malty, roasy, slightly sweet (brown sugar) with a light hop profile. Flavor is sweet candy sugar, with a light sense of dates and figs. Not bad, but sweetness is too strong- overpowers everything else. Mouthfeel is creamy, not heavy, not exciting. Overall a nice brew with good drinkability, but nothing to get too excited over.

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Photo of winomark
2.63/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium amber with a generous, sticky light tan head.

Slight estery tones noticable from a distance. Hops are muted, along with the malt. Overall, quite mild.

Slightly sweet palate. Reminds me slightly of Newcastle Brown. Hops ae present, but buried. Slightly tannic and dry finish.

Very mild mouth, with some flavor, but not too exciting. Short, tannic finish.

An easy drinker, but nothing special by any means. No need to search for this one.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of diablo14
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

took me a while to warm up to this one, but once i did i found it hard to stop buying 6 packs. then i had it on tap. that cemented it for me. the j.s amber is easily one of the best warm weather session beers going around in oz if you want something with a touch of class.

color is a very strong copper color with a light foamy head that stays a fair bit better than it does on some of their others (from the keg no problems with retention at all). sweet nutty caramel like nose with some flowery hops, tastes alot like a brown ale, but less sweet, with subtle malts, caramel tinges and a nutty finish supported with a drawn out but gentle hop bitterness. not too complex or robust, but impressive presentation of flavors. quite light in body and rather carbonated for the style, but this serves to make it very drinkable indeed. never have any problem getting this down.

infinately better on tap than from the bottle, either way you cant get better for the price. more consistant than the other standard j.s brews when in the bottle also. a real thirst quencher from jimmy here.

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Photo of koolk
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of joecast
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
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

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Photo of beerguy101
4.32/5  rDev +23.8%
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 ALEBOY
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5  rDev +14%
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 OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.11/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper with a light amber hue and a huge pillowy creamy tan head. Also leaves good lace. Spicy malt aroma and flavor (more cinnamon like when it is fresh). Little to no hop character. Medium bodied, rich and creamy.

Something about this beer just did not add up right for me.

[5% abv per bottle]

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Photo of Kwak
5/5  rDev +43.3%
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 Anonmatel
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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James Squire Amber Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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