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Review of Full Sail Amber

09 Jan
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Full Sail Amber produced by the Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon.

This will only be the third Full Sail brew that I’ve tried thus far and the other two, the Pale Ale and the IPA, were solid enough, so I’m ready to give this one a test drive.

From the website, fullsailbrewing.com, we find this commercial description of the Amber.

Anyone remember the grocery store cooler back before it turned into a kaleidoscopic fantasy world of beer options? You pretty much had two choices: Regular or Light. In 1989, when we brewed our first batch of Full Sail Amber, not only was it the first Amber ale here in Beervana (aka Oregon) — it was the first craft beer to go into a bottle. And two things became immediately apparent. It wasn’t Regular and it sure as heck wasn’t Light. Our Amber is a sweet, malty, medium-bodied ale with a spicy, floral hop finish. It’s brewed with 2-row Pale, Crystal and Chocolate malts. And we hop it with Mt. Hoods and Cascades. We’re as proud of it today as we were back in ’89. And over the years it’s earned 14 Gold Medals. Not that we’re keeping track or anything.

Sounds nice enough.  Let’s pour.

This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.8%.
It poured a clear amber color with some burnt orange highlights around the edges and through the middle.  The cap was slightly off white and sized very well from a fairly aggressive pour.  The texture was soft, fluffy and kind of rocky.  The retention time was pretty good and the lacing was patchy and commendable.  
The bouquet smelled of toasted grain and lightly toasted breads.  It was somewhat nutty with a bit of sweet toffee.  It also had some earthy hops, which helped create a nice, round profile.  It was well balanced and I thought it smelled pretty dang good actually. 
The flavor seemed a bit hoppier and it also seemed like the roasted grain and toasted malt were a tad more prevalent.  Some bread crust characteristics were found as well. The toffee was discovered, however it was not extremely sweet or anything.  I didn’t get any of the nuttiness in the taste, although I did gather some leafy components.  Like the fragrance, the taste was nicely balanced and pleasing.  
The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Mostly dry, smooth and just a bit chewy.  The carbonation was of medium strength and a decent amount of flavor was left behind between gulps. 
Overall, I thought this was a solid beer.  I thought it was well made all the way around. The drinkability was great and I think it would be an excellent brew for the Fall season. This is not a brew that’s going to blow you away, although I think it would be both an excellent “gateway” brew for those just getting into craft beer and a sturdy beer for some of the more experienced craft beer drinkers.  It has enough character to keep most Amber fans happy in my opinion.  So, the next time you see the Full Sail Amber, give it a try if you have yet to do so.  Be sure to let me know what you thought about it as well.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.  
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.95 out of 5
Grade:  B+  
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4 responses to “Review of Full Sail Amber

  1. Zach

    February 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    This is a beer I've heard of… and just discovered it is distributed in my neck of the woods. I am in search of the 'perfect' dark lager/ dunkel/ schwarzbier. It sounds like this might not be it, but still worth a try.

    This search is a fairly new one. There are only 3 of note that are worth mentioning: Dark Cloud by Mother Earth Brewing, Black Radish by Weeping Radish Brewery, and 1554 by New Belgium.

    Would love any recommendations for a dark lager that may be easy to find… Just discovered your blog. Looks great. Will pop in from time to time…

    Zach

     
  2. Zach

    February 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    This is a beer I've heard of… and just discovered it is distributed in my neck of the woods. I am in search of the 'perfect' dark lager/ dunkel/ schwarzbier. It sounds like this might not be it, but still worth a try.

    This search is a fairly new one. There are only 3 of note that are worth mentioning: Dark Cloud by Mother Earth Brewing, Black Radish by Weeping Radish Brewery, and 1554 by New Belgium.

    Would love any recommendations for a dark lager that may be easy to find… Just discovered your blog. Looks great. Will pop in from time to time…

    Zach

     
  3. Scott Shrewsberry

    February 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hey Zach,

    Thanks for checking out the blog. Feel free to reference and comment on it anytime you want. That's one of the reasons why I started it.

    As far as dark lagers are concerned… to be honest with you, they are not a style that I really gravitate toward. That's not saying that some aren't spectacular beers, but I just have trouble finding one that I really like. The only advise that I may give would be to try as many as you can and you will start to discover some that you really enjoy.

    Of the ones that I've had thus far I'd say that the New Belgium 1554 is one of the better ones. Actually, I haven't reviewed too many dark lagers, so I'm probably not the one that could give you an accurate run down of the best ones out there.

    Check back from time to time though because I try new beers nearly everyday.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  4. Scott Shrewsberry

    February 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hey Zach,

    Thanks for checking out the blog. Feel free to reference and comment on it anytime you want. That's one of the reasons why I started it.

    As far as dark lagers are concerned… to be honest with you, they are not a style that I really gravitate toward. That's not saying that some aren't spectacular beers, but I just have trouble finding one that I really like. The only advise that I may give would be to try as many as you can and you will start to discover some that you really enjoy.

    Of the ones that I've had thus far I'd say that the New Belgium 1554 is one of the better ones. Actually, I haven't reviewed too many dark lagers, so I'm probably not the one that could give you an accurate run down of the best ones out there.

    Check back from time to time though because I try new beers nearly everyday.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     

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