DarkElf (3067) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 28, 2005 Flipbrewer (33) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 24, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled Pour produced a fairly large and long lasting rocky-frothy beige colored head that left a thick frothy lacing in the glass. Clear coppery red color with amber highlights. Fairly hefty sweet caramel malt aroma layered with a citrusy, spicy hop nose and an interesting candy-like bouquet. Assertive bitter/sweet character at the start accompanied by a fine acidity that lasted throughout. Middle was fruity and hoppy with caramel notes. Finished with a fine grapefruit-like character; slight astringency in the aftertaste. Creamy full bodied palate with a contrasting moderately lively carbonation. A nice red ale with a West Coast twist: assertively hoppy balanced by an equally firm and assertive maltiness.
(22 oz bottle: $3.70 at BevMo in La Mesa, CA) Fairly malty and flavorful, lightly sweet and roasty, and moderately bitter for a nicely balanced and easy to drink read ale. The bitterness increases in the finish, leaving a citrus hoppiness as the dominant flavor. The nose is malty and lightly hoppy, but it also seems a little musty, though that doesn’t prevent the aroma from being enjoyable. Medium body, with a lighter and thinner palate that is barely average for the style. Deep ruddy amber in color, and fairly cloudy, especially when the final pour unleashes the dense sediment from the bottle. Significant carbonation help prop up a head that might well show excellent retention anyway since clumps of head stick the glass is large patches. It’s a decent beer, simple but enjoyable, one that you could drink all night and not think much about. Of course, with Ross Valley having gone out of business the week after I visited, I probably won’t be having another any time soon. Best of luck, Melissa, at your new brewing home at Drake’s. SDalkoholic (2434) - Linda Vista, California, USA - OCT 28, 2004
Deep brown with a red tint. Huge foamy head that looks like shaving cream sitting on top of the beer. Few spots of lacing inside of the glass. Nose is soapy and sweet. Has a hint of citurs,caramel and spices. Very bitter for a amber ale but thats okay by me. PieTaster (32) - Humpton, California, USA - SEP 11, 2004
Heavy diactyl in the nose, reminescent of buttery popcorn, spicy hop underlay. Fairly rich brew. Pours a deep rich mahogany colour. Gusler (2652) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 20, 2004
The beer after its separation from the 22 ounce brown bottle pours a bemused mahogany color with a mountainous frothy light tan head, as it slowly fades away, the resultant lace forms a thick blanket to conceal the glass from view. Nose is sweet malt, crisp and fresh, hints of caramel and maybe a tad of yeast, start is sweet with a pleasant malt profile, the top is fair to middling. Finish is persistent in its carbonation, the hops forthright but not overpowering, quite dry aftertaste, a fine drinking beer.
5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUL 6, 2004
Bottle exploded when opened, gushing out roughly 1/3 the bottle.   Pours a dark caramel, bording on brown, medium off-white fizzly head, with tons of yeasty bits floating about.   Aroma was somewhat light, a bit malty with notes of toffee or caramel.   Up front it tasted like roasted malt, but that dimished as the beer warmed.   Otherwise malty with somewhat sweet hints of toffee or caramel.   Mouthfeel and body were average.   Overall, not bad.   Thanks goes out to Flipbrewer for the trade! beerguy101 (5364) - Newark, California, USA - APR 30, 2004
Medium brown color. Large white foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet with a touch of hoppiness. A medium bodied amber/red ale. Malts are mostly nutty and sweet, but there is a touch of must/dust and chocolate to it as well. It is fairly aggressively hopped for an amber. Hops are grapefruity and fairly bitter. Nicely balanced. Lots more flavor than most ambers. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. jazz88 (2684) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 23, 2003
Bottle. A hazy reddish brown color with a huge light brown head. A wonderful appearance for this style of beer. A strong sweet caramel and malty aroma. The flavor is heavily malty, a little bitter, some wood, and dust, caramel and chocolate. I'm not a fan of amber ales, but I like it when they make them like this.