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19A - American Amber Ale

ABV: 4.5-6.2%
OG/FG: 1.045-1.06/1.01-1.015
SRM: 10-17

Overall Impression

An amber, hoppy, moderate-strength American craft beer with a malty caramel flavor. The balance can vary quite a bit, with some versions being fairly malty and others being aggressively hoppy. Hoppy and bitter versions should not have clashing flavors with the caramel malt profile.

Appearance

Deep amber to coppery-brown in color, sometimes with a reddish hue. Moderately large off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear.

Aroma

Low to moderate hop aroma reflective of American or New World hop varieties (citrus, floral, pine, resin, spice, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon). A citrusy hop character is common, but not required. Moderately-low to moderately-high maltiness, usually with a moderate caramel character, that can either support, balance, or sometimes mask the hop presentation. Esters vary from moderate to none.

Flavor

Moderate to high hop flavor with similar characteristics as the aroma. Malt flavors are moderate to strong, and usually show an initial malty sweetness followed by a moderate caramel flavorand sometimes toasty or biscuity malt flavors in lesser amounts. Dark or roasted malt flavors absent. Moderate to moderately-high bitterness. Balance can vary from somewhat malty to somewhat bitter. Fruity esters can be moderate to none. Caramel sweetness, hop flavor, and bitterness can linger somewhat into the medium to full yet dry finish.

Mouthfeel

Medium to medium-full body. Medium to high carbonation. Overall smooth finish without astringency. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth.

Style Comparison

Darker, more caramelly, more body, and generally less bitter in the balance than American Pale Ales. Less alcohol, bitterness, and hop character than Red IPAs. Less strength, malt, and hop character than American Strong Ales. Less chocolate and dark caramel than an American Brown Ale.

Ingredients

Neutral pale ale malt. Medium to dark crystal malts. American or New World hops, often with citrusy flavors, are common but others may also be used. Neutral to lightly estery yeast.

History

A modern American craft beer style developed as a variation from American Pale Ales. Mendocino Red Tail Ale was first made in 1983, and was known regionally as a Red Ale. This served as the progenitor of Double Reds (American Strong Ale), Red IPAs, and other hoppy, caramelly beers.

Comments

Can overlap in color with darker American pale ales, but with a different malt flavor and balance. A range of balance exists in this style, from balanced and malty to more aggressively hopped.