Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dundee Amber Lager

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 25, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012 The High Falls Brewing Company, the maker of the JW Dundee’s line of beers, has really put me through the ringer lately. Having bought their mix pack, I find most of the beers are average in quality, and their Amber Lager is no exception. It certainly drinks like a lager, though, as it’s pretty direct and an overall simple beer. It’s by no means bad, but there isn’t anything special about it, either.


I’m not sure why they decided to name it “Amber Lager” since it’s really more of a straight brown or light-red hue rather than a dark gold. I was a little perplexed upon first pouring this beer since it looks more like apple cider than beer.. It forms a small layer of head, most of which dissipates, but there is definitely a lingering effect throughout. There is also heavy carbonation action which slows down as the beer is drank.

As for aroma, there isn’t anything distinctive to it. It’s a bit stronger smelling of hops and malts than your average lager, but not in a pleasing way. Of course, I’d much rather whiff this beer than Bud or Miller.


I can’t remember a beer being as inconsistent in taste as JW Dundee’s Amber Lager. It starts out with a strong hoppy flavor, but soon becomes flat and watery. This beer has a bit of a bite to it, but not in an appealing way such as with Sam Adams Boston Lager. It’s just very bitter and not very pleasing to the palate.

As the beer is drunk I notice its taste continues to flatten. It’s as if it’s watering itself down, like when you put an ice cube into soda and by the end it tastes like soda-flavored water. This brew is seemingly doing such a thing to itself if that makes any sense.

At least it finishes very clean and is fairly smooth throughout the life of the beer. Lightweights and novice drinkers will probably find this much more appealing than the average beer snob.


As a lager goes, Amber Lager is definitely fuller in body than your run-of-the-mill American lager, but as a craft beer it’s fairly average in weight. It’s not extremely filling, but if you were looking for a beer you could go through quickly and easily this might not be your best choice.


JW Dundee’s Amber Lager is one of the strangest beers I can recall drinking. How can a beer’s taste change so often in just 12 ounces? I’d certainly prefer it to any mass-market brew, but as a craft beer it has a long way to go to become impressive. As an inclusion to the JW Dundee’s mix pack it’s certainly drinkable, but not very memorable. 
Grade: 5/10

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