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.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
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.