Mile Rock Amber Ale
Harbor City Brewing Company

Mile Rock Amber AleMile Rock Amber Ale
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American Amber / Red Ale
not listed
3.31 | pDev: 15.11%
Harbor City Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Mile Rock Amber AleMile Rock Amber Ale
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 25
Photo of drizzam
3.51/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date to be found.

A - Pours a hazy amber with ruby highlights when held to the light. Topped with an off-white one finger head that leaves some spotty lacing on the inside of the glass.

S - Not much going on here...A bit of sweet malt and maybe a touch of hops.

T & M - Sweet caramelized malt base with just the slightest hop hint. Not very hoppy by any means. Light bodied but very creamy and smooth.

D - This is a very sessionable brew! It's not a hugely flavorful brew but I would certainly take it any day over a macro. This would be a great Summer beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.11/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. No date. [Reviewed 8-11-09 - taken from notes.]

A - A slight haze formed over the golden-amber colored beer. A vigorous pour created a massive four finger head with good retention and spots of sticky lacing.

S - Light amber malts are instantly recognizable on the aroma. Slightly sweet but overshadowed by a hop aroma. Slightly sweet but overshadowed by a hop aroma. Overall the aroma is very one-dimensional. It's not bad but there are no distinguishable characteristics to it.

T - Sweet amber malts dominate the palate right away but have a nice balanced finish with a crisp hoppiness. Very light citrus and a touch of pine needle give the floral hops a bit more character than the aroma lets on to. Still mediocre though.

M - Light-bodied and dry on the finish. Somewhat watery but perfectly carbonated.

D - The best aspect about this beer is the drinkability by far. It's really mediocre but presents more flavor than an American Adjunct Lager and is easily drinkable. I wouldn't turn this down but I would never go out to pick it up again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
1.76/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thank you lukaski for the Wisconsin beer hook-up.

Pours a medium, woody amber. Quick, flash in the pan head. Very little bubbling. Old taste and musty orange peel hops make up the smell. Start with, waery, toasted malts. Then quickly turn to musty and moldy hops. Thankfully the musty/mold taste lasts only a minute. I'm glad I was able to try this beer. But was very dissapointed. This is finishable though.

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Photo of Rennpferd
4.24/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured medium gold color with a one finger head. There was no activity to be seen.

It was slightly hoppy with a nice bread dough undertone.

A well balanced taste of malt and hops. The malt is up front and followed by a nice moderate hop flavor in the finish. It has a nice medium body and a tinge of alcohol.

Very drinkable. It's a good beer with a refreshing overall characteristic.

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Photo of keoki182
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My favorite Harbor City beer. This amber pours a, well, amber color with thin offwhite lacing rather than a head. Very, very nice balance of malts and hops, perfect amount of bitterness and smoothness to make this beer very easy to enjoy. It's one imperfection is a very slight metallic aftertaste that sometimes appears when the beer warms. However, I rarely let my pints get to that point!

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Photo of terrabyte
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, copper-amber color with a small, off-white head.

Smell is quite mute. Just a hint of caramel and citrus.

Taste is pleasant, but not very strong. Caramel base, decent bitter finish. I detected a bit of sourness, but nothing unpleasant.

Light, and extremely crisp. Carbonation is a little high, but still enjoyable.

Drinkability is ok, but the flavor isn’t that exciting to seek it out. Again, I’m afraid it fades into the blur of all the other somewhat boring ambers I’ve had.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mile Rock Amber Ale pours a hazy amber-copper body beneath a good-sized head of off-white froth. The head retention is pretty good and it leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass. The nose is fresh with a delicate, caramel-accented maltiness, a slight touch of yeasty fruitiness, and what seem like Fuggles hops in the background. It's medium-light bodied and smooth across the palate. In the flavor it's delicate, lightly caramelish malt is accentuated by a flash of yeasty fruitiness and a mild smear of leafy and grassy hops. A stiff bitterness backs it and it finishes short and dry. Overall, it's an accessible, basic, clean, well-balanced and refreshing pale ale that could easily find its place within a myriad of events and occassions. Quaffable!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Old Fashioned

Nice amber body with a healthy off white head. Simplistic but pleasing aroma of caramel malt and English style hops. Flavor is light and well bittered. Carbonation is moderate. Body is medium-light. Drinkability is decent, although there really isn't anything exciting about this beer. It's just average but without and significant flaws.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a light bright copper clear body with a creamy off-white head and a very gentle carbonation.

S- The smell is slightly yeasty at first with notes of pale malt and dry biscuit malt with a faint coffee malt note in the finish.

T- The dry highly roasted malt notes has a faint chocolate malt finish. As it warms there are notes of biscuit malt that are pretty strong with a slight tartness in the malt. There is a soft piney green hop finish to balance the malt.

M- There is a medium light mouthfeel that fits the taste.

D- This beer has a good balance between the malt and hops with a nice crisp malt taste. It is not exactly to style but it is nice to drink.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gaudy ripe orange with a polished bronze influence; a great color for an amber ale. The richly creamy cap is impressive as well. It's pastel orange, perhaps dark enough to be considered palest ecru, and is sticky enough to leave messy chunks of lace on the glass. I hope the rest of the beer is up to the standard set by the appearance.

The nose is pleasant, no more than that. Relatively well-balanced, it has elements of lightly toasted, somewhat earthy malt and fruity, English-type hops (Goldings is my guess). There appears to be a generous quantity of ingredients, which bodes well for my taste buds.

Mile Rock is a decent amber ale. I don't know about a generous quantity of ingredients, but it certainly has enough flavor and body to please me. There's an earthy (possibly Munich malt combined with caramel) malt base that really doesn't provide much sweetness. What malt sugar is present is easily countered by the bitterness from the hops.

I'm still going with Goldings and I'll go out on a limb and say that Hallertauer are in the house as well. I much prefer the citrusiness of the American varieties in my amber ales, but then I prefer them in almost all styles. Although there isn't a great deal of personality here, I'll give the brewers credit for creating a solid version of a style that often struggles to be distinctive.

The body/mouthfeel is medium-full for the style, a direct result of the fact that the brewery didn't skimp on malt. The rather jaunty amount of carbonation is fine-bubbled enough to enliven the mouthfeel without annoying.

Mile Rock Amber Ale is Harbor City's best-selling beer and I can see why. It's in the same league as their Full Tilt IPA and is superior to their Mainstreet Brown Ale. I'd still like to see a bit more adventurousness out of these guys, but this beer deserves a look if you happen to run across it.

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Photo of EddieGlick
3.32/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harbor City Brewing in Port Washington, Wisconsin puts out some solid if unspectacular beers. Keeping squarely in that vein is their Mile Rock Amber Ale, a drinkable but ultimately unremarkable American Amber.

It pours a light amber, almost too light, maybe closer to a pale ale than you'd like. My pour sported a very nice head, though, which hung around throughout the drink.

I like my ambers maltier than a sumbitch, but my nose wasn't in for any pleasant surprises. There was a hint of that wonderful old-school sweetness, but it plays second fiddle to some of the strong yeastiness you normally get from dryer alts/ambers/reds.

Tastewise, the road didn't fork any. Not nearly as malty as I yearned for, but that aforementioned resilient head kept things interesting. Instead of that sweet backwash we all dream about, I got a mild but distinct tinny aftertaste, more than a little reminiscent of a Fat Tire (take or leave that as a compliment as you see fit).

But I'm not saying this ain't a drinkable ale. Just don't get set for the ride of your life. It's lighter in body than most others of its ilk, so you could easily sit at your favorite bar and down a sextet of these without having to do windsprints in between. And, no, the earth won't have moved, but you won't have much of a rue on, either, afterward. So what the Hell. Give it a try.

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Photo of Skidz
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After hearing many things about how this beer is brewed using the same recipe as used for Fat Tire by New Belgium, I decided a side by side review was necessary. My review of Fat Tire can be seen here:

This is my review for Mile Rock Amber:

Pours out light gold and sits hazy amber-orange in the glass with a large, creamy off-white head. Fades to a thick layer of foam with nice lacings around the glass.

Smells of toasty, caramel malts with an underlying layer of oranges and apples. Light, grassy hops beneath it all.

Tastes faintly toasty with a fair amount of fruity esters coming through. Apples, pears and orange all stand out. Mild hops bitterness delivering grassy tones barely scratches the surface before fading out into the nearly tangy, fruity finish.

Soft and lifting in the mouth, mild to moderate carbonation and a medium-light body.

Not as clean tasting as an amber should be, lots of foreign fruity notes throughout.

In comparing Fat Tire to Mile Rock Amber, the visuals are key to the interpretation. Held up side by side, both sit fairly equal in color and depth, but MR definately has some chill haze going on. Head retention is very similar, though I'd say MR has a bit of an edge.

After that, these beers are nothing alike. While they may have started off using the same, or nearly identical recipes, the yeast divides these two beers significantly. Earthy, nutty tones dominate in FT, while fruity flavors hit home in MR.

Which is better? I'd put my money on FT, hands down. Best looks, nose, taste, body, drinkability all-around. Not to say MR doesn't hold a thumb to it, it's just not as good as FT.

So to everyone buying Mile Rock Amber here in WI, thinking your getting the same thing as Fat Tire, or close to it, you are not.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.53/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A whole lot of carbonation makes this beer pour gently with a three-inch head of loose foam. The beer is clear under the foam. It is a light Amber color with a whole bunch of bubbles rising to the top.

Aroma: Through the foam I get some hops coexisting with a chalky aroma. Little malt to speak of in the nose.

Taste: There is more malt in the flavor than the nose. The chalky note is still in the flavor, along with some hops. The flavor is quite unrefined. It starts off with a tad of sweetness, and then it fades pretty quickly to a minerally and hoppy flavor. Finally it finishes dry and fizzy from the carbonation with just a hint of some serious roasted grains like Black Patent or Special B.

Opinion: This is an OK beer. Not my favorite, but you can't compare everything to Red Seal. It lacks body and girth to carry the hops through. The bittering hops are reserved to make up for the mild malt, but this makes it come across as a bit hollow to me.

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Photo of lampkins
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps Harbor City's best beer and quite often my session beer of choice. This amber ale is the characteristic copper color that leads to a decent head for the brew.

Beer is not overly carbonated and I have found that the taste improves when it is warmed a bit.

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Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep clear reddish-copper color, decent small white head that doesn't last, not much lacing either, light sweet roasty nutty-caramel aroma. Some roasted malty nutty flavors, medium body, soft and smooth mouthfeel, finishes clean and dry, not a bad amber ale.

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Photo of ZAP
2.7/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A pretty run of the mill amber ale...thin character and body...some toasty characteristics on the nose and taste....taste also some caramel and a touch of fruitiness....just way too thin and low flavored...not horrible or off just not very enticing..

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Photo of cokes
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tea colored with a filmy, pocked, tan head.
Crusty aroma with buttery, caramelized pears. Some trace citrus from the hops.
Begins with an impression of toastiness. Turns fruitier from here on out. Juicy pears and brown sugar. Sweet, but not oversweet. Touches of diacetyl and acetaldehyde. Ends much closer to green apple cider than I prefer. The lemon-infused, floral, lilac-hued hops help rein things in at the end.
This seems to thin out as it sits, and its problems are manifest more with increased temperature. Downable while cold, turning increasingly more ragged.
Ho hum.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark amber almost brown; maybe a touch too dark for an amber, but just how I like it. Looks very malty and, perhaps, oily (head fizzes out after a minute or two, leaving a thin ring). I like more head on ambers and pales, but having seen Sierra Nevada on-tap never sustaining much head, I don't fault Harbor City much. This is very inviting.

Raisiny, "brown" malts on the nose with no hops. Pear. Quite fruity and sweet.

The taste is sweet with more raisins. Munich-like malts, followed by plums. Akin to a light tawny port. Reminds me just a bit of DFH Raison d'Etre; this is much better balanced. The slightest of hop bittering on the finish. This beer is all medium roasted malts. The decidely medium mouthfeel works well; the malts slide down your tongue as the weak hops hang on for dear life. Somehow, despite its sweetness, Mile Rock closes dry -- the hops, though relatively undetectable, are doing their job. My beer guy tells me Mile Rock uses Fat Tire's yeast.

By no means a West Coast amber ale (and what we normally think of as an amber), this is brewed in the heartland of America. You get, therefore, a heartier brew with less of those intensely floral and citric hops. It does what it does well. Perhaps the exact opposite of something like Bell's Amber, Mile Rock still remains within style and, in fact, achieves a level of style unto itself. This is a fun, well-balanced brew. And whether you like it or not, its precision craft suggests it's exactly what the brewery had intended. They made it, they tasted it, and they were pleased.

Mile Rock Amber Ale is what I'll reach for when I'm in the mood for a Newcastle and remember that it sucks.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of beerguy101
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and carmely. A medium bodied amber. Malts are carmely and slightly sweet. Hops are spicy, and the spiciness fades rather quickly. Fairly standard American Amber. Drinkable, but very average. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade, and amber ales are wierd. Some are great, and some are just way too boring. This is a good one. Pours a medium and somewhat dull amber color. Very average looking. I'm feeling a little disappointed. The aroma cheered me up. Nice and malty, with a bit of sweetness and a good balanced hoppiness. Some apple and pear esteriness. Flavor is sweet and malty, with a nice fruitiness that permeates throughout the sip. Hops are mild and balance the maltiness very well. I was in the mood for a sweetish beer, and this one hit the spot. Not candy sweet, but a nice change of pace from ESBs and IPAs.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear bright copperish-amber with a nice light beige head. Nice balanced malt-hop aroma. Non-descript malt flavor, very light taste, decent balance (not sweet), and no hop character. Light-medium bodied (leans light) with a standard brewpub amber character.

Way too average to be part of a M.J. Beer Club....

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Photo of packetknife
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rich amber color with a off-white thin and relatively dense head. Smelled of burnt caramel, pleasantly so. Malty, caramel, and (however), reminded me of cashews. Light across the tongue, leaves a buttery taste at the back of your throat that lingers. It was ok from the bottle but I suspect it's quite good off tap, I'll plan that out someday.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this at a liquor store in Kissimmee, FL thinking it was a Florida beer. Strange that the only micro they had was from WI. Brownish-amber color with a thin off-white head. Thin lacing. Aroma is lightly malty. Flavor is slightly above average for an Amber and did have a nice malt presence. However the body was kind of thin and there was not enough caramel or nut flavor to keep it interesting for long. Finish was somewhat malty with a hint of hops. This would do in a pinch if the rest of the selection were limited, but that was not the case with me as the store also had Anchor Porter.

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Photo of StevieW
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pale blue label.
Medium copper color, faint amber hints. More orange than anything else. Nice bubbly beige head. Not much lacing to notice. Smell was harsh at first. Oddly metallic as well. Bad smell never diminished. Taste was decent though, once you get by the smell. Nice sweet carmel malt. Hop balance, nice bitter taste in the middle, but lacked and real balanced combination of flavors. Needs a touch more rich malty biscuit taste and fuller body. No earthy full tastes present. Reminded me more of a basic pale ale, than an amber ale. Light to medium bodied and really easy going down. No real negative qualities, other than the smell.

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Photo of Gusler
3.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep amber color, generous beige head, and sheets of lace. Nose buttery, caramel, malt and a slightly floral. Start sweet, the middle is light, the finish somewhat dry, nicely hopped, moderate carbonation, a nice drinkablr beer.

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Mile Rock Amber Ale from Harbor City Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 25 ratings