Buena Vista Brown Ale | Alley Kat Brewing Company

very good
56 Ratings
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Buena Vista Brown AleBuena Vista Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company
Alberta, Canada

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Alley Kat Amber

Alley Kat Amber, is our version of the original London-style Brown Ale. Amber pours a nice reddish hue and accompanied with a nose of caramel malts and floral hops. Golding hops are used in this brown ale to give it that light floral hoppiness and slight bitterness.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very bland and boring amber. No discernible hopping and a very bland caramel/sugary sweetness that becomes unpleasant half was through the bottle. Obviously not aimed at the beer geek crowd but could still improve a lot.

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Photo of NorthernSoul
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Corson
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of armock
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a mahogany color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of caramel malt faint hops

T - Is just like it smells caramel malt at first then some slight bitter hops

M - This beer has a medium body wth medium carbonation to it

D - Overall is not a bad beer easy to drink with a decent taste I could have a few of these in a sitting without thinking too much about it

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Photo of bsp77
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received in August shipment of my BOTM club.

First of all this is a Brown Ale, a London-Style or Southern English Brown Ale to be precise. It says so on the label and on the website, plus it tastes like one. Yes, it is called Alley Kat Amber, but is that enough to fool most people here who talk about how well it fits the American Amber style? C'mon, we are supposed to have discerning palates. Anyway...

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Brownish-amber with thin white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Caramel, fruit, molasses and earthy English hops.

Taste: Somewhat sweet caramel, slight fruitiness, with a nice touch of English hops. Very mild overall, but it does have nice balance.

Feel: Low carbonation, somewhat thin body.

Drinkability: This seems to be relatively true to style for a London-Style (or Southern) English Brown Ale, although 5% is slightly higher than typical. Unfortunately, it is not the most exciting style that is often trumped by Northern English Brown Ales (or American Brown Ales for that matter). That said, it is still nice, albeit mild, and quite sessionable.

 1,136 characters

Photo of papat444
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to stagger for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, best before Dec. 12, 2009.

Appearance: Pours a ruby colored body with a thick & fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Nuts, malt, some caramel but not sweet. Creamy with slight hint of fruit but this is all on the low spectrum of aroma. It's very but it's brief.

Taste: Starts out malty with a discreet caramel presence. Ends at first with a low bitterness. There's a metallic feel to it, subtle, like licking the shell of a nut. As it warms, it has a weird spoiled finish to it. I almost downgraded the score to a 2.5 but it's really only at the end and doesn't terribly affect the taste though it is weird.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit high but otherwise the smooth feel on the palate is pleasant though more of a low body than medium as the label states.

Drinkability: It was ok but just had a weird aftertaste. I'd have another once in a while.

Overall: So-so. Not bad but not great either. Middle of the road with nothing particularly memorable.

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Photo of sAws
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a Light to medium Brown color with small white head and slight lacing. Smell is delicious with sweet malt, caramel and cloves. Mouth feel is thinner than I expect with a brown ale. Taste is very mild with less malt taste and more hop taste than I come to expect with a Brown Ale. Half way through the taste pretty much disappears except for the slight hop flavours. Overall this beer was disappointing I was expecting a nice malty Brown Ale rather than a slightly hoppy flavour.

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Photo of LDuke
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Howlader
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of artemh
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Sathanas
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mmcnaughton
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had this one up in the sleepy little town of Sylva, NC.

A - It pours into a pint glass a clear but deep red amber with moderate carbonation. Head quickly fades into a fairy ring. A bit of lacing.

S - The nose is malty, sweet, with perhaps a few floral hops.

T - It has a very good amber ale flavor. The flavor is a bit more richer and complex than the typical amber ale and that is very welcome. It's flavor is a winter spice sort of maltyness with a splash of floral/citrus from the hops. The finish is a bit off but compared to the overall experience isn't a big deal. This is a really good red ale.

M - A medium mouthfeel and a bit biting.

D - I will be having more of this beer when I can get it. Very drinkable.

 736 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alley Kat comes through with a solid amber!

A - Deep golden brown, almost no carbonation present after the pour. Poured a 1/2 cm head which dissipated, with small islands and some fine lacing, which held more than halfway down the pilsner glass.

S - A sweet malty scent. Nothing overpowering, typical amber ale.

T - Definitely a caramel flavour off the top. Finishes with a slight malty flavour.

M - Not too carbonated, pretty decent balance, though slightly reminiscent of a porter. The feel is quite fitting for this amber.

D - I quite enjoyed this amber, and would definitely enjoy a couple at a time. By no means a mind blowing offering, but it still delivers a solid flavour and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a delicious amber!

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Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquire in a trade with voonder - thanks Alex!

The pleasant amber pour is true to style, and it kicks up a small off-white head that only leaves a little lace as it drops to a fine film. I like my ambers to have nice clarity, and this one fits the bill, but does not go the extra distance to secure a higher grade. The same can be said of the aroma. There is some floral hopping which pleases me, but its overwhelmed by a large sweet malt bill and lacks the complexity and depth to kick things up a level.

So it continues... Good balance in the flavor between a very solid malt body and a combination of floral and citrus hops, although the bitterness is quite light. Again, the combination is pleasing, but without depth. The medium-light body and medium carbonation is fairly true to style, and actually fairly refreshing, which makes this beer quite drinkable despite its faults. Overall, though I'd say this is a middling amber which is pleasant but instantly forgettable.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed a pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. A reddish bronze brew with an aroma of light caramel, nuts, and toast, with a whiff of candied apple fruitiness and tangy Goldings hops. Nothing overly aggressive but everything is in its right place. Same with the palate ... Semi-dry, quite bitter, faintly floral, and quite nutty, with bar nuts and perhaps peanut brittle, brown sugar, and raisin providing both the appetizer and the main course, with the leafy hops do exert themselves during the finish, dried grass and an echo of forest floor wildflower. On the low end of moderate in terms of mouthfeel, just a little chewy. I generally prefer my English browns a tad sweeter than this but I laud the hopping regime and the malt flavors do develop nicely over the course of a session.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Smokeless Joe's, the only Ontario place with Alley Kats. A brown colour and tradition to it. Reminded me of Hebrew, with a roasted taste. A bit of bitterness, and grass hops with some malt and molasses. Mixed reception by my mates. More experienced drinkers thought it was better than average, and similarly for less experienced drinkers.

 350 characters

Photo of Merlin68
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Mlkluther
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Nice smooth beer with a roasted malt finish.

44 characters

Photo of Trancesexual
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of david_wolf
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really solid offering from Alley Kat. First had this at a local pub when I was fairly new to craft beer, and it convinced me to eschew my macro ways.
Took a couple of notes on the brew, but I've had it so much since it's highlights are ingrained in me. Has a really nice nose, and a lovely malty flavor that isn't overpowering.
This is consistently my favorite Amber, as its simplistic but incredibly difficult to match. Incrredibly difficult to find now that I'm in B.C.

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Photo of rogerdandy
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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Buena Vista Brown Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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