Tuesday, March 23, 2010

266. Alaskan Amber

Our third beer from Alaskan Brewing Company, although this is our first non-porter ABC beer. We’ve previously enjoyed both their Baltic Porter and their Smoked Porter.

Alaskan Amber pours a hazy copper color with a light tan head, leaving behind a rich malty nose with some melanoidin and biscuity aromas running along the edges of the malt profile. Opening with a rich caramel malt flavor, Amber moves into biscuit and melanoidin flavors with a light touch of fruitiness and graininess in the middle, and finishes clean with a touch of bitterness. Amber is medium bodied with some crisp and dry lager characteristics that help balance out the large malt profile; there is also a touch of creaminess in the mouthfeel, but not very much. The carbonation is a bit soft, accentuating the malt sweetness of the beer. This beer certainly falls on the malty side of things—Elli calls it a “malt bomb”—and could use a bit more of a hop profile to balance out the beer as a whole.

From the Alaskan website: “The name of this beer style comes from the German word ‘alt’ meaning ‘old.’ This refers to the aging that alts undergo since they ferment more slowly and at colder temperatures than most ales. Slow fermentation helps condition the flavors in Alaskan Amber, contributing to its overall balance and smoothness. Richly malty and long on the palate, with just enough hop backing to make this beautiful amber colored ‘alt’ style beer notably well balanced. Alaskan Amber is based on a recipe from a turn-of-the-century brewery in the Juneau area. It was voted ‘Best Beer in the Nation’ in the 1988 Great American Beer Festival Consumer Poll.”

ABV: 5.3%
IBU: 18
OG: 1.054


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