Zymurgeist2 (748) - Redwood City, California, USA - APR 24, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
On tap at the brewhouse. Pours a slightly haze amber with off-white head. Aroma of slight cracker malt. Flavor is slight malt and not developing the hops too strongly.
JPDurden24 (1384) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - SEP 12, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Red amber pour with a slightly off white head. Very tropical fruit in the nose and taste. Maltiness is ever present. It’s a decent amber, but nothing special.
FlacoAlto (3677) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 9, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled on tap @ Borderlands
The beer arrives from the tap with a murky, hazy amber color and it is topped by a half-finger thick, amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The aroma is quite fruity with notes of pear, melon, tropical fruit, and berry like notes. A supporting maltiness provides some crystal / caramelized malt notes and a sweetness, a touch of nut like character, and lots of cracker / whole grain bread like notes.
The beer has a fizzy texture from lots of carbonation, and this makes the beer seem a bit more light bodied that it might otherwise be. The malt and fruit notes mix together at the front of my first sip and the beer finishes with a light bitter bite, a husky grain astringency, some yeasty notes and perhaps a hint of phenolics. The body gets chewier as it loses the excessive carbonation. A whole-grain sweetness is a mix of brown, caramelized crackers and bread notes. The beer is quite a bit smoother without the excessive carbonation, and it is fuller bodied as well. The malt character seems a bit muddled somehow, and I am wondering if part of this is a yeasty interference; there is a definite whole grain spiciness here that contributes to the chewy grain character. The hop character is sharp, though not well defined, it is a touch astringent, and a bit herbal leaning in the finish. The upfront fruitiness reminds me of some sort of apple / pear / berry combination with perhaps a touch of melon character to it.
The expressive fruit notes in this beer seem to be a combination of the malt, yeast, and hop character somehow; it is certainly at a more noticeable level than I was expecting, and it is hard to tease out the specific contributors between those three. This is not a bad Amber Ale, I am certainly enjoying my pint. It seems like it could use some cold-conditioning or perhaps even a rough filtering to more refine / polish the finish, which can be a touch rough at times.