Iron Range Amber Lager | James Page Brewing Company

54 Reviews
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Iron Range Amber LagerIron Range Amber Lager

Brewed by:
James Page Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.48%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-1999

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 66
Photo of supercolter
4.42/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know if you all have noticed but the midwest makes the best American Ambers out there. Appearance was pretty good but the head faded quite quickly.
Smell and taste are the closest to perfect I have had for this style to date, a decent amount of malt, but also some unknown sweetness- maybe grape.
Mouthfeel is a bit light but good.
Drinkability is well- ask my 12 pack.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.98/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Crystal clear light copper color, big white head dissipates to a solid layer of bubbles on top of the beer. Smell is carmel malt through and through. Maybe a little biscuit and alcohol scent also. Flavor is also carmel malt and a solid hops backing. Flavorful, and a thicker mouthfeel for a lager. Very good.

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Photo of stoutman
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never heard of this beer until a stewardess recommended I try one. Had 4 cans on a flight to Detroit from St. Louis.. Its caramelly, malt flavor produced quite a surprise. Since this is a "canned beer", I was shocked to see a a nice frothy foam when poured and a steady stream of bubbles. This brew is perhaps the tastiest "canned" brew I have tried in many years.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.95/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stonequarrywest for the bottle.

A: Pours a nice rich mahogany/amber color that produces a tiny 1/2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: The nose is a light bready malt-backbone flavor that has hints of artificial cherry and a few other fruits.

T: The flavor profile is malty, sweet, and slightly dark-fruity. Very refreshing (especially in 94 degree, 100% humidity days in FL). A metallic note lingers thru the finish.

MF/D: Nice carbonation, med-light in body for a Vienna, and exceptionally drinkable for its style.

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Photo of joe1510
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
Herman's Package Store

James Page Amber Lager pours a beautiful crystal clear amber leaning toward orange. A one finger eggshell off-white head formed on the pour a fell down to a skimming. Leaves drink lines that quickly slide back into the body. Good looking brew.

The aroma is of 100% malt. Big on the Munich nuttiness malt with a pleasant lightly toasted grain quality in there to mix things up slightly. There are some fruity tones as it warms I can't really put my finger on. Pretty straightforward but good.

This beer actually drinks good. The nutty chewy Munich malt comes through nicely on the palate. The fruitiness comes along just before the swallow. Surprisingly good.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Does get a little thin on the backend but doesn't detract much from the overall mouthfeel. Slightly gritty finish.

This is a good sessionable brew I can see myself buying again. I really don't drink many Vienna lagers but this is a good one.

This is a surprisingly good Vienna Lager. Truthfully I didn't expect a whole lot from this brew but it's a pleasant surprise. I don't run into this style too often but this is a good example.

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Photo of PCaravan
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like a previous post, I too was introduced to this brew courtesy of Northwest Airlines. I was told by the flight attendant that the beers available were Bud, Bud Light, and James Page. I said "What's that?" and I was told it was a Minnisota Ale. Well when I got the can I saw that it said amber lager so I knew she lied to me but to me it resembled a cleaner version of an American Brown Ale. There's way more hop character than in an Oktoberfest/Marzen as this website has it classified.

Overall, it's good boot not great, worth a try... particularly if you like the clean taste of lagers and the hopy yet sweet balance of an American Brown Ale (Pete's Wicked Ale for example).

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Photo of Strand
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had James Page on tap at a hotel in St. Paul, MN. That's the only place I've ever seen it (I'm in ND) or even heard about it. But I tell you what, it's an excellent beer. It's a darker lager, with a bit of a sweet taste. I like dark beers, and I really like James Page Amber Lager. If you get a chance to try it out, do it.

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Photo of morimech
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a large white head that had decent retention. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. Mild hop aroma but it is evident with earthy and spice hints. I detect a hint of diactyl. Nice malt base is the strong point in the flavor. The hops I was expecting from the aroma kind of fall away in the taste. Just hints of noble hops in the finish. Again I detect a little diactyl. Light body and moderately carbonated. Nice texture to this lighter bodied beer. Probably the best James Page beer and is very sessionable. One of the better Vienna Lagers I have sampled.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice amber color with a full frothy head. Mixed aroma that is pleasant with more malt than hops. Flavor starts quite mild which contrasts a strong middle and finish. Malt is strong in middle and end, but finish includes hop presence. Beer closes with a long dry finish that is present especially in front, but noticeable in the back as well. Fairly high in carbonation. Has a lager crispness.

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Photo of mac56
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

James Page was our "neighborhood" brewery when I lived in Northeast Mpls. Financial misadventures ensued, resulting in the draught versions still being brewed in NE while the bottled versions (and eventual canned versions) were farmed out hither and yon. Not the same products at all anymore. Eventually the brands were bought by Stevens Point - a good home for them.

I like this beer. Others have reviewed it as being flat and weak. But I think it's one of the better examples I've had of an American Amber. Just the right balance of hop and sweet malt. Good mouthfeel, very sessionable. It compares well to Schell Firebrick, both of which are constantly available in my fridge.

A very good go-to beer.

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Photo of bort11
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass. A little more than an inch of head goes up to the rim of the glass, daring to go over the edge. Color is a clear copper/amber. Tons of carbonation bubbles cling to the inside wall of the glass. Speckles of lacing here and there.

Smell has a dry grain husk base with a hint of hops. Taste is cracker crisp with a mild malty sweetness. Very grain forward.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Finishes clean. This would be easy to session and an ideal alternative to a standard American lager.

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Photo of hanco005
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my James Page sampler pack. Label on the bottle is a western railroad scene with a guy holding a pick axe wearing a red bandana…unclear if he works there or is planning on robbing the train.

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A—clear orange amber color with off white 1 inch fluffy head, leaves medium lacing on the glass

S—spicy hops and sweet malts. Peppery

T—perfect balance between the hops and malts, neither is dominate, sweet and mild, is going down way too smooth and fast

M—smooth and mellow, but a bit watery, not much carbonation…a little bit flat.

D—I like it. Smooth and very drinkable. It reminds me a of a slightly flat Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I expect this would be good with spicy foods.

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Photo of aracauna
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown with odd grayish head. Light hops on the nose on thick malt backbone. Taste is good malt with hint of caramel. Floral hops play in the background. Good match with pretzels; brings out the malt.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into 16oz. pint glass. Golden straw color, lot of light pass through, about 1 finger off white head that sticks around. decent lacing.

S: Decent lager with a touch of malt. Not to sound technical, but it "smells like beer."

T: Crisp malt and light hops, a touch of Pilsner to it. Even a touch of sourness in the finish, which i enjoy.

M: A bit of tartness, good carbonation and fairly solid brew. A bit thin, but this is to be expected from the style.

O: I enjoy this brew as a laid back session beer. Low ABV, solid flavor, doesn't really get old. This is a go to for a classic American beer. Drink it while listening to a little Dylan on a warm summer night, and you might just appreciate it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, reddish amber color with a very bubbly appearance. It had a small, short-lived head of white foam that left no lace.

S - Aroma is malty sweet with some grassy hops. Not a lot going on here.

T - It tasted very good. Bready, biscuity malt with nice caramel undertones. There was just a touch of grassy bitter hops to mellow out the sweet.

M - It was crisp, sharp and snappy. A light bodied lager with a dry finish.

D - As far as Vienna Lagers go, this one is pretty tasty. Appearance and aroma were not impressive but this is a good sessionable lager at a good price.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A small off white to light tan head settles into a nice lacing above a clear amber copper colored beer.

A lightly roasted caramel malt aroma with hints of toffee.

Sweet lightly roasted caramel malt taste with a tad bit of hops coming through.

A light slight dry aftertaste with hints of sweet caramel malts hanging around on this light to medium light bodied beer.

A decent light tasting amber.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, slight coppery hue, with a frothy white head. Not too big, but enough. The head dies away to a thick ring about 1/4 through the glass.
Aroma is rich and malty, with a light woody and egg bagel aroma. No hop presence. Possibly a touch of alcohol.
Flavor is full bodied and malty. Some caramel and woody flavors, mild hopping in the finish, giving it a crisp dryness. Medium carbonation. Very slight alcoholic sweetness in the finish, much like a single malt. A rather nice beer, and a good marzen with a lot of character.

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Photo of dmowen
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a nice reddish color. The smell is of roasted grains with a slightly sweet smell detected also. Has very little
head that dissappers rapidley to nothing. Not much carbonation either. Mouth-feel is a little slick and it goes down pretty good with a very slightly dry finish. Taste is good for this style and I would recommend giving this brew a try.

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Photo of Todd
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz can

Appearance: Medium amber in colour with a thin semi-clingy white head.

Smell: Smells of sweet grain.

Taste: Smooth with a nice rich malty mouthfeel. Semi-rind hop twang flavour with a well balanced leafy bitterness. The carbonation amplifies the hop and adds a dryness to this brew. Finishes with a slight husk/malt character.

Notes: Purchased and consumed on Northwest Airlines (Detroit to Boston). Not so bad for a canned beer on a plane.

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Photo of Suds
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on an airplane, after being upgraded to first class. It was the only semi-interesting beer selection available.
Poured from a can, this beer is a clear amber-bronze color with an average-white head. The aroma is somewhat enticing…a little caramel malt, a little grain, some lightly toasted malts. There’s very little hops in the aroma. The taste is similar, this is a very malt-centric beer. The malt flavor, though, is very light. Slight, extremely slight, hop bitter in the finish. Moderate carbonation, and a moderate but solidly appropriate mouthfeel. The brew does produce a minor slickness on the tongue. It’s enjoyable and fairly flavorful. It’s definitely more than I expected.

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Photo of hylton44
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tart odor, quickly receding head atop an actively carbonated drink wtih a pretty, rich amber/orange hue. Taste is comprised of a nicely balanced bitter edge on a sweet malt subtly spiced with black pepper and clove. Rich flavor, substantial mouthfeel. All in all a fine example of a style that is not inherently all that adventurous.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on-tap 09/14/05 at Brit's Pub in Minneapolis, MN.

Striking amber color with a low off-white head that didn't last for long. Almost no aroma but had a slight malty character. Mellow caramel flavored malts with just a touch of Munich malt character. Fairly light bodied in my book but a very clean lager.

Nothing really stood out enough in this one to be memorable... surprised about the Gold medal...

Per JPBC website:
Gold - GABF
A smooth, malty Vienna Lager. This beer is a true European red with 100% two-row malted barley, Spalter hops and Munich malts, German lager yeast and a minimum six weeks of cool cellaring.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery orange with bright tangerine edges and a creamy cap that is somewhere between pale orange, pale gold and beige in color. I'd like to see some semblance of red in a red lager, but there's none to be found here. Interestingly, the brewery says that this is a red lager, but has used Amber Lager in the name (Same style? Probably). The head is nicely persistent, so the lace assessment will have to wait. I don't see a whole lot wrong with the appearance; it's more than passable.

The nose is way too weak to be considered above average. I get a whiff of barely toasted caramel malt coupled with a little Munich malt earthy nuttiness, along with a hint of fruit that I would attribute to an ale yeast... except that this is a lager. Underwhelming.

Actually, this is pretty good beer for what it is. Munich malt makes much more of a statement on the palate and hogs the lion's share of the flavor profile (how's that for a mixed animal metaphor?). The beer is lightly malty sweet with just enough hop flavor and hop bitterness to make a stab at balance.

The more I drink Iron Range Amber Lager, the more I like it. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but it's definitely a good version of the style and suits the purpose for which it was brewed. It's a solid, flavorful lager that would match up well with a wide range of picnic-type foods. If there was any justice in the world, IRAL, rather than BMC, would be the easy drinking beer of choice up there in Badgerland.

I have no problem at all with the mouthfeel. It's lagery light with a wonderful smoothness and a laid back amount of carbonation that would make sessioning a pleasure. It even manages to hold together reasonably well as it sits.

The only other James Page Brewing Company beer that I've had was Voyageur Extra Pale Ale and I was pretty lukewarm about it. It may be nothing more than the circumstances surrounding the consumption of each, but Iron Range strikes me as a better beer. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for more from this brewery whenever I next take a trip up Madison way.

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Photo of johanvond
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Presentation was in a 12oz bottle and produced a large head with an amber almost ruby in color. There was a huge sweet malty aroma that staied there through the inital taste with a strong yeasty bready flavor. there wasnt too much hop flavor. For my oppinion there was way too much carbonation for the style. it has the amout of carbonation you would see in a secondary fermention, the was no indication of that, or in a beer like a belgan blonde. The over high carbnation distracted from the over all flavor.

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Photo of Doppelmax
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a can, on a plane, served in a plastic "glass" but wait, with the second can I had a real glass...we up graded to first class with ff miles.
By far the best canned lager I've had.
Clear medium amber with a good head with moderate retention and a nice veil. Decent malt nose, little if and hops detected. The initial taste was a sweetish malt flavor, to my liking then it developed into a balance, quite pleasing in my opinion. Medium body with the right amount of carbonation. I wish I could get this beer in NH. I've been looking for a canned beer I enjoy for carrying during various outdoor type activities, Iron Range would fit the bill.
As a side bar, the flight attendant gave me 3 cans as I got off the plane for our sampling group to savor.

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Iron Range Amber Lager from James Page Brewing Company
3.34 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
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