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RATINGS: 271   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.64/5   EST. CALORIES: 213   ABV: 7.1%
Editor’s Note: Contract brewed for Stienhaus Brewing Co. / Trader Joe’s by August Schell but more recently by River Trent Brewing in Ukiah, CA; which is assumed to be Mendocino Brewing as River Trent Brewing is not a true entity.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Dogbrick (10019) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - OCT 16, 2004
Thanks to Darkover for the trade. Orange-amber color with a very thin off-white head and very little lacing. Light caramel malt aroma. Thin-bodied with astringent hops and alcohol at the forefront with not enough malt to balance it out. The finish does contain some sweetness but the underlying bitterness throws the whole thing off. Overall this is pretty much the same quality as the other Trader Joe’s beers I have tried.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerBaronLS (85) - Grove City, Ohio, USA - OCT 5, 2004
I got a six pack of this for like $4.50. At 7.2% that has to be the best alcohol per dollar you can get out of a six pack. While its not the best beer I’ve ever had it is more than worth the price. It doesn’t really taste like an amber to me; more of a barley wine. The flavor isn’t very complex, mostly just hoppy. If the price stays the same, I will certainly buy this again/

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Darkover (1529) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 19, 2004
Orange color with a small beige head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt. Flavor is very unusual, its pretty tangy with notes of caramel and honey.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jasonp (1562) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - SEP 14, 2004
Pours a clear orange/gold with a white head. Aroma is very malty with some floral character. Taste is very full-bodied, sweet and malty with notes caramel, honey and of fruits such as grapefruit and mango. Moderately bitter with a good dose of hops, this brew also has a slight alcohol burn at the end with a hint of dark fruit. As it warms, it seems like a very light barleywine. Doesn’t feel like an amber ale at all. Mouthfeel is very full and round. An underrated brew.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rib109 (6) - USA - SEP 10, 2004 does not count
Overall I was not disappointed with this brew, the balance between alcohol and grains was suprisingly good. The taste and finish were better than higher priced European imports. Color, lace and small bubbles remind me of Martinelli’s, except with a brief head. I can go through a few of these in one sitting. $4.49/six @ 7.2% is a decent value for me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mjg74 (2910) - La Mesa, California, USA - AUG 13, 2004
Pours a nice medium color. Has a sweet hoppy floral aroma. Has a decent hoppy flavor. This stuff tastes quite sweet. Can’t taste the alcohol, I think the sweetness covers it up.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - JUN 18, 2004
Bottle: LIght amber w/ a lasting off white head. Heavy crystal malt aroma at first with strong fruitiness right behind it. Seems to also have a tea leaf English hop aroma to it; also very, very light hints of diacetyl and a little yeasty aroma. Well balance flavor but to the malty side at the start, then turns lightly bitter in the finish & aftertaste. Very fruity and a little caramel & diacetyl. Very smooth body, lighter carbonation, and for 7.2 ABV, very well hidden alcohol. Overall not bad, but a little to high abv for a session ale and not quite complex enough to enjoy as any thing other than a session ale. Seems to be a beer missing an identity?!

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
edden (925) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - APR 10, 2004
4/10/04: Bottle.
Slight hop nose. Orange-brown body with a small off-white head. Minimal lacing. Tastes include floral, hops, some malty sweetness and a tinge of honey. Small bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
jtw (1148) - farmington, Michigan, USA - MAR 31, 2004
UPDATED: APR 2, 2004 rather belgian-like citrusy aroma...malty and floral, very inviting. not particularly amber, but fizzy and frothy. extremely malty, almost too sweet. definitely not enough hops and complexity to balance out the significant amount of malt and alcohol in this one. cloying, but still plenty drinkable; just not a great beer. but for $5 per 6pack at trader joe's, i'd buy it again.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ClarkVV (4645) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 12, 2004
2003 Bottle. Dark orange-amber with a medium sized beige head. All I really taste is some light malting and a huge dose of alcohol. It's like they use the alcohol for the flavoring. Not getting much hops. Drinkable enough though, but it's just too sharp on the throat to drink that much of. Medium to medium light body, smells of alcohol and grains.

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