Vicious Circle Amber Ale | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Vicious Circle Amber AleVicious Circle Amber Ale
56 Ratings
Vicious Circle Amber AleVicious Circle Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by twelveinches on 11-03-2013

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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 13
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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fish Brewing Co. "Vicious Circle Amber Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "Spawned" sometime between August and September of 2014... roughly 6 months old.
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

It's a little odd that Fish would chose the name "Vicious Circle" and put sharks on the label because neither of those are really consistent with the beer inside. Rather than being an aggressive, maybe supper hoppy, or at least bitter amber ale, "Vicious Circle" is actually a fairly soft, gently sweet, and easily accessible ale. It's deep copper in color, and surprisingly hazy, beneath a frothy head of khaki that holds well and leaves impressive lacing in its wake. The caramel malts come through, but they're not overdone, and it's a soft, smooth ride that's only gently peppered with floral, grassy, and leafy hops. It finishes drying with some residual gold and dark caramel maltiness, a bit of yeasty fruitiness, and some leafy and lightly herbal hops. A medium body and moderate carbonation level leave it smooth and almost creamy across the palate. Well-balanced (but leaning towards the sweet side) and nicely polished it's an easily accessible amber ale.

 1,162 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of hreb
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is apparently my third Amber Ale I've reviewed from FishTale. I didn't care much for the other two, but with a name like Vicious Circles I'm hopefully this one will be more impressive.

This one comes in a 22oz bottle which I've served in a can glass. Beer pours a deep almost brown color, before settling into a lovely garnet crystal pool topped with loads of tan head. So far so good! Aroma is biscuity and malty, if mild. Flavor is similarly mild, but brings a crisp flavor profile over a fizzy yet creamy mouthfeel. Sensibilities of an English dark ale. Hm actually I kinda want to have this one on cask now. Definitely better than I remember their Organic Amber being... success?!

 698 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is tropical fruit forward (mango and pineapple) with some pine and grapefruit in the background.
The taste is nicely balanced. Some pineapple sweetness, a bite of lemon bitterness in the middle and finishes on a little honey sweet note.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It has great balance in both smell and flavor.

 404 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of CaptainFleeker
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of deansellers
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Jgoth34
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BlueSpader
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Drknight
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Sweffin
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of woodychandler
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another mini-horizontal, thanks to the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody!

The approved pic in this case does not do the label on the bottle any justice. Here, a surfer girl, tethered to her board by an ankle cord, is seated astride her surfboard with her legs hanging down as a pair of sharks and other marine life circle around her! Eeeek. The art itself is not attributed, but it is a pretty cool label.

Once again, the adventure begins with a Pop! of the cap. I followed my gentle pour with a vigorous in-glass swirl to raise a finger of foamy, fizzy, tawny head that quickly fell back to wisps. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Nose had a pronounced caramel malt sweetness, signaling that this may be my last for the day. I am starting to jones for hops & I have a Stout on deck. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, big for the style, but not quite creamy. The taste was more like a Twix bar with a biscuitiness to accompany the caramel that I noted on the nose. Finish was semi-sweet, which was okay for the style, but with the modern shift to more hoppy Ambers, I was left feeling kind of cold. I mean, really, the word "Vicious" in the name sets up an unrealistic expectation. Am I alone in this?

 1,260 characters

Photo of KlayWey
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mralphabet
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of tylerhw
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Mojo
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -&gt; Dogfish Head snifter

A - pours up ruby red with a light tan two finger head, good retention and good lacing.

S - grains, dark fruit, earthy notes, grass

T - not overly sweet with a dry finish that has a bit of pine to it.

M - thin without much carbonation, not much of an aftertaste

O - take it or leave it, typical amber, not bad, not good.

 368 characters

Photo of Needmorebeer312
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of rfoltz53
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Falcone
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of brutusmuktuk
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mactrail
3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is indeed a classic shade of amber. Decent foam in the tall Blanche de Chambly glass, and plenty of spritziness on the tongue.

Mild and beery. Modest maltiness with a bitter tinge, but not really hoppy. I'd call it a Blonde named Amber. The best feature is a warm cereal taste that reminds me of a malty Wheat Ale. No hard edges anywhere on this. LIght and frothy with caramel hints. Fortunately this is on the dry side.

This is decent enough for a quick gulp. Still, wouldn't you rather have an average Pilsner, or a light Saison, or a crisp Extra Pale ale? I don't see much future in this Amber style. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at the Fishbowl restaurant in Everett.

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Vicious Circle Amber Ale from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 56 ratings