The Emerson Brewing Company

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English Pale Ale
Ranked #45
Ranked #27,755
3.78 | pDev: 12.7%
The Emerson Brewing Company
New Zealand
Notes: One of New Zealand’s first new generation pale ales and now something of a classic, Emerson’s 1812 is all about balance. Pouring a bright amber hue beneath a deep cream coloured head, the aroma hints at caramel and dark toffee balanced with a light citrusy fruitiness. Medium bodied, the palate first offers a marmalade-like combination of ripe citrus and caramelised malts before resiny hops come to the fore and lead into a lingering dry finish.
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 42
Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into pint glass 12/3/14 from notes
My bottle says "Hoppy Pale Ale"

A clear copper with bubbles of all sizes feeding a finger of foam that lasts a few sips leaving some random lace

S Melon, tangerine, grass, hay, hard toffee, a hint of pine, faint leafy notes, smells like a pilsener crossed with an IPA

T thankfully it mimics the smell, a faint metallic flavour that seem to work for it, only major difference I notice

M enters silky and quickly creams up, slick on the palate, a mild bitter bite, tropical grass on the finish

O interesting take on a pale but it works wonders for me, the 500ml bottles pretty much gone at this point

I can only recall having their pilsener and I remember liking that one to so perhaps its time to go seek out some more Emersons.

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Photo of soju6
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Brew on Quay, Auckland, NZ.

A: Served a copper color with a decent head that faded to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, some fruit with a hint of malt sweetness and spice.

T: Taste of citrus with a mild malt sweetness and bit of spice. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, crisp and flavorful. nice balance.

O: Enjoyable beer worth checking out

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich bronze colour, clear with a light bead. Head is a bit thin, with off-white colour but nice trails of lace left behind. Quite decent.

Smells malty and toasty and English, with bready grain, toffee and some sourdough as well. Hops come through a bit minty and herbal; needs a bit more fruit or floral or citric character maybe, because the whole thing is sweet/savoury and smells like something that isn't really beer, more like a solid baked good and the hops here accentuate rather than contrast with that character. Decent, but I'd like more refeshment on the aroma

Taste is also a bit sweet, with lots of English-style malts - bready grain, hot cross buns and some slightly medicinal hops Slight spice on the back, bit minty and toasty with malt continuing to the finish as well. Mostly malty, but the hop notes sort of add a slight sourness to the grain which is dominant. Not bad, but nothing special. For a 'hoppy pale ale' I would like more dominant, out-there hops rather than something gentle and mild that accentuates the malt notes.

Mouthfeel is not bad, smooth but with a kind of sheen to it. Slight fizz; not a bad pale ale feel at all.

Very English, and I'd just like a bit more contrast between the malt and the hops - or for the hops to stand out on their own a bit more, it's all a rich blend and it comes off ultimately a bit stodgy.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.82/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Emerson's 1812 should be drunk whilst listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture and reading Charles Dickens. No really, it should. But I didn't, perhaps my fatal flaw, going blind into a bottle of 1812 with a flagrant disregard of the possible consequences. Pity me fair reader, pity me.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Looks like a typical IPA with its deep copper body and off-white laced head. Looks can however be deceiving.

S: Hoppy Pale Ale?! What hops?! Magic hops that have no aroma? Well it seems Emerson's has discovered said hops. Apart from invisible hops this IPA has a classic malt grain base aroma, not impressed at all.

T: Metallic, grainy base leads to the invisible hops. It's an outright crime in my opinion to claim in bold lettering on a beer label that it is a "Hoppy Pale Ale" without the drinker being assaulted with brutish and loud, fruity/herbaceous/earthy hops in the first mouthful. Bad Emerson's! If you can't deliver on the hops don't advertise it, simple. Disappointed.

M: Wishy-washy almost watery body and fairly flat carbonation.

D: IPA this is not. More like a mild Kentish bitter without the hop finish. I'm disappointed with the lack of hops when the label is so unashamed about declaring the hops (it even has a picture of a hop flower on the bottle, come on!). Past that it is a hum-drum average ale. Meh.

Food match: Pie.

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Photo of danieelol
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden red with nice head and lacing.

Smell is loads of caramel malt, bit of sourness and some strange spicy hops; most likely English. What's that sourness? Some nuttiness.

Taste is more sour nondescript herbs. More nuttiness. Just weird.

Mouthfeel is OK, bitter, noticeable carb, medium body.

Overall not a bad beer, can certainly get through the bottle. Kind of odd though.

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Photo of bylerteck
2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Beer Deluxe.

A - Pours bright with a dark golden colour. Two fingers of fluffy khaki head. Decent carbonation. Spotty lacing and a film of retention.

S - Toast, caramel, earthiness, and a gentle citrus. Very tame.

T - Quite malty with toffee and breadiness. A very light citrus but the hop kick is there in the end. More of a raisin and caramel complexity when it warms, smoothing it out. Quite earthy and it has some orange rind too.

M - Light carbonation, medium body and a dryness in the finish.

O/D - Not something I would reach for again. The "hoppy pale ale" on label certainly doesn't describe this properly. An alright English IPA but certainly nothing I would rain praise upon. Just meh.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper amber with one inch head. Great lacing.

Aromas of not much. Sorry, have to say it.

Taste is an oddity - I now realise I have served too cold after asking the bottle shop to recommend an East Coast IPA - I get an English IPA. Hops dominate an earthy palate, with some malt to support. No other dominant recognisable flavours.

Nice and carbonated so all here.

Strange beer, really doesn't taste like an EIPA, but where does it fit?


Second half of bottle - I have waited til it warmed - much more understandable now... English IPA characters now prevail. Caramel, toffe, and malts drive a well made beer. Scores adjusted. Funnily enuf - carbonation drops as temp increases.

Normal service resumes at some point :-)

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Photo of warnerry
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by March 2012

A - Pours clear copper with ona and a half fingers of off-white head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing. Great looking beer. If there were some more carbonation rising (there is almost none), I would give this a 5.

S - Citrus and floral aromas, along with a substantial bread and caramel malts. Not bad, but a let down after the appearance.

T - Pretty balanced with hops and malt. Hops are a bit more assertive up front, but quickly fade, leaving mostly malt from the midway point through the finish. I weird metal taste detracts from the finish a bit.

M - Medium, somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but some more carbonation would improve it.

O - A pretty good beer, but not particularly memorable.

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Photo of dgilks
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent English IPA here. A mild spicy hop character plays with a decent malt character. The medium-bodied copper liquid is topped off with a decent head with good head retention. This is a good basic, refreshing English IPA with solid flavour but it isn't anything too difficult.

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Photo of juju7
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's something about this beer I can't quite put my finger on. Like some of the other Emersons beers, it's a little outside the box when it comes to style. It looks like an IPA but that is probably where it ends. As a beer overall, I really like it. As an EIPA, you could probably pick a few faults. But why would you wanna do that to a great tasting beer? The nose is a little fruity and even a little spicy. The bitterness is also a little soft but it still feels wonderfully zesty on the palate. There is some malt chasing those hop flavours and it's all in line. A tasty brew on it's on terms.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with a ridiculously huge soap-suddy head.
Aroma shows lots of floral and grassy hops, along with juicy pears and grapes. There's some sweet clean malt, and later on the aroma takes on more of a herbal note, with coriander and cloves. Different to any other IPA I've had!
Flavours include some floral hops and juicy fruit, with some light sweet malt and a prominent but easy-going bitterness. Unfortunately there's a soapy taste in there that quite off-putting after a few sips.
Moderately high carbonation and a light body makes for quite a refreshing brew.
Very easy to drink. If fact I wouldn't even say this is of IPA strength.

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Photo of ADZA
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice pale copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves a one finger head with very nice lacing,the aroma is full of fruity,passionfruit,piney hops with a malty background,and the taste is pretty much the same with an above average mouthfeel with tastes of piney,fruity hops that finishes with a touch of malty warmness and a tad bitter,i quite like this beer and could easliy drink alot of and definately recommend.

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Photo of lamarr04
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at Tonic in Dunedin. served in a nonic pint glass

A: Pours a clear medium hue orange with thin white head

S: Smells of sweet citrus. a smell I am starting to associate with New Zealand hops.

T: Not overly hoppy. Sweet malt upfront balanced by the citrus and bitter hop notes.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation and a lingering finish.

D: Balanced flavor profile makes for an easy drinker.

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Photo of joecast
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

stout looking brown 500ml bottle. best before 2/10

attractive clear golden/copper color. medium carbonation. full just off white head with good lacing.

aroma starts with a slight metallic aspect which thankfully fades as it warms. what is left is a floral hoppy aroma. not too much malt sweetness on the nose, but it is a nice sniffer.

taste is nicely balanced with plenty of hop flavor and a good level of bitterness. maybe finishes a little sweeter than i would like, but i could see this going down by the pint easily.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Woohoo my first hand drawn pint...

Appearance- Hand drawn light tan head initially with lots of big bubbles filling the glass. Later calms down and overfilled to a proper 1/4inch level by the barkeeper. The body is a copper shade of amber. Limited lacing.
Smell- Big Hop notes of herbs and citrus. The herbs seem earthy and the fruit is oranges and lemon. The malt comes in at the end with a malt bitterness and caramel presence.
Taste- Hop driven goodness, the slight citrus at the front and then the malt bitterness balance and earthy notes. The piney tartness of the hops finishes each taste. -- Awesome
Mouthfeel- A smooth milk-like creaminess. So light and fluffy and full. There is barely any carbonation to disturb the whole experience. Thank goodness, my tongue is so happy.
Drinkability- One step short of selling my first born for more experiences like this. On a serious note- it was incredible and worth seeking out on cask if you had any love for the British way of doing things.

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Photo of vancurly
3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a) Slightly hazy pale amber, white head, fairly still.

s) Honey, hint of spice, warms to briar wildness

f) Wild vegetation, almost ME-twang in there. Herbal, like gin/juniper. Medium bitterness.

m) Medium to light, touch hollow

d) Not bad...perhaps to 'wild' in vegetative notes, and not as strong as IPAs can be.

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Photo of Macca
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured an orange/copper colour with a sizeable head from a vigorous pour but this drops and there is some retention.

The nose is of floral hops. A bit of resin and some malt notes.

The hoppiness and maltiness are there on the palate.

Medium carbonation and a nice bitterness which gives it some length.

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Photo of koolk
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an bronzed amber in colour with a fluffy white head that disappears, however there is some nice lacing.

Fruity nose of citrus and tropical fruits (pineapple) mixes well with some slightly floral notes. A caramel maltiness pops in as well. Very nice.

Great sweet caramel malt flavours on the palate that combines well with a nice backbone of citrus hops. Good hoppy aftertaste - more raw/pine hop flavoured than anything else.

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied, luscious and perfectly balanced. Don't expect anything less from Emersons and this beer is no different. A real sweet and bitter combo with a huge mouthfeel. Top stuff.

Quality ingredients made by a quality brewer - great beer. More please.

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Photo of Lukie
4.63/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a lovely golden bronze with a thick fluffy one inch head, which lingers, before slowly dissipitating into a very delightful layer on top.
S: Floral and beautiful pine notes, with a hint of citrus.
T: Nice soft malt flavours, a hint of caramel with good pine notes and a hop finish.
M: Medium bodied, with a nice creamy feel. Low carbonation.
D: Very impressive beer, and very drinkable. Incredibly refreshing, and currently one of my favourites.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: copper color with thick, impressive head that retains, some lacing, carbonation on the edges
s: malty alcohol with bits of hops
t: soft malts, alcohol then a very bitter finish -- hops & black licorice that lingers on the palate
m: smooth body up front, lots of carbonation on the back end, medium body
d: mixed. the front of this beer is very smooth & impressive, but the bitter finish was a bit too much. will try another some time.

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Photo of brendan13
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange copper colour with quite a large head and moderate carbonation. Lots of lacing.
Smell is floral & piney. Some citrus is there as well as a mild minty aroma.
More english malt comes through with the taste but the floral & citrus fruit flavors are there too.
Quite a full mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy.
Packs a punch in the flavour department. A tasty, highly drinkable beer, wouldn't drink many in one sitting but would drink it often.
I want these guys to come out with more beers as so far everything I've had from them has been pretty damn good!

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Photo of VitBAficionado
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Clear copper orange with a small off white head that sticks around. Small bit of lace and carbonation.
S: Smells of fresh pine resin hops over sweet malt. Nothing over the top like in an AIPA.
T: Increasingly dominated by earthy pine hop flavor over time with a metallic almost soapy linger. Malt character comes through in the beginning but is quickly overpowered.
M: Very full-bodied. Pretty abrasive, astringent. Lingers a long time.
D: Maybe my palate just cannot adapt to an English IPA, but this one just doesn't really do too much for me. There's nothing particualrly bad about this one, but I coudn't see having more than one offering.

On tap at the inch bar.

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Photo of rec
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very little lacing and poor retention are apparent after pour.

The smell is a pleasant one - honey and florals come through the strongest.

Upon tasting, bitter hops are intense and the aftertaste ends up dry, yeasty and metalic.

It's definately something to try, but not something I'd really recommend.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Traditional-looking 500mL bottle with a classy red, green and gold label, I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while. Best before Mar 08.

Appearance: Dark amber/chestnut with a full, dense, fluffy, sticky head that stays put. A large amount of effervescence from the bottom of the mug; the scores of fine bubbles rising to the surface are seemingly endless. Very appropriate for the style.

Smell: First impression is that of a microbrewery crafting a very traditional IPA. No strong aromas jump out at me. The buttery, sweet-smelling hops can be detected, but overall the aromas are not as complex as I expected. As the beer opens up, the volatile hop esters become very prominent and are intoxicating, potent and confusing, but not very balanced.

Taste: Pleasantly bitter and not overly hopped, I am glad this beer is not an American-style double IPA, but more a traditional brew that isn’t trying to invent something new, rather produce an excellent example of a classic style. The bitterness is just what I expected, and I think this beer could even handle a bit of cellaring to alter the hop character. Still, I’m glad to be drinking it fresh. The tiny amount of yeast left in the bottle adds a faint anise flavour to a man’s beer of England. It doesn’t fill you up too much, but it leaves a good taste in the mouth. Skilfully brewed, with the hops making the most impact on the brew without being over the top.

Mouthfeel: This is a very full-bodied beer, and that’s the first thing you notice when it enters your mouth. The flavours of the brew are delivered well, and the taste is authentic.

Drinkability: The most exciting thing about this beer is its ability to teleport you to a 19th-century London porterhouse. The appearance and effect in the mouth are spot-on, and this would make a great session beer. I was not disappointed by my first Emerson’s brew, and will definitely visit the brewery if I ever go to New Zealand.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat cloudy amber-copper colour. Head is comprised of coarse off-white bubbles. Reasonable retention, no lacing.

Smell has hints of tropical fruits, laced with pine resin and peppermint. A little spicy, a little earthy. Nicely complex and mouthwatering. The nose really makes you anticipate that first sip. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint...

Oh no... This one doesn't disappoint. Strong, bitter-hopped front palate, that relaxes to an almost minty, metallic aftertaste. Quite intense, and very powerful.

Mouthfeel is puckering, astringent and biting.

Pretty damn good. Well hopped, and if you can bear the feeling of the enamel being stripped from your teeth, you'll enjoy this one.

Wow. A broad, robust beer standing loud and proud. I couldn't drink it every day, but worth it every now and then. Probably the most interesting Kiwi beer I've ever sampled...

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1812 from The Emerson Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 42 ratings