Sunday, December 6, 2015

Peak Organic Espresso Amber

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20Chad9976 (1509) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2015
Coffee tends to pair well with both stouts and IPAs, though I don’t recall ever seeing an amber ale brewed with it until I saw Peak Organic Espresso Amber. This is a fairly traditional amber ale that uses espresso for a nice coffee bonus flavor (it’s not the predominant characteristic by any means). It’s sweet, but not cloying; though I would’ve preferred more hops and even more coffee. 

I poured a 22oz bottle into a wine glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $8.99 ($0.40 per ounce). Thanks to Maggie for this bottle!

Appearance: A murky mahogany to brown proper hue. Amber highlights. Pours to a thumb-width of beige, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Sweet amber ale malts with an iced coffee component as well. Nothing in the way of roast or hops.

Taste: I’m finding that amber ale seem to be one of the styles no one can agree on. Is it supposed to be hoppy or malty? Whatever the case may be, it seems that coffee would pair well with it and in the case of this beer the espresso does add a lovely additional flavor to the base brew. Light caramel and toffee notes seem to be the dominant flavors, though I detect a bit of lollipop (oxidation?) as well. Hops are quite subtle, creating for just a hint of citrus and flowers and only minor bitterness. The espresso gives the palette a consistent coffee flavor, though it emerges quite strong on the back end with a roasty character that offers a good contrast to the sweetness that precedes it. The espresso fades fairly quickly, but never completely. So at worst you’re left with a solid amber ale.

Drinkability: I was prepared for Peak Organic Espresso Amber to be a beastly brew, but at only 6.8% ABV it’s merely a strong beer. The mouthfeel is surprisingly tame; low in carbonation but low in viscosity as well. It doesn’t feel syrupy or sticky at all; in fact, it finishes remarkably clean. Slight malty aftertaste, but nothing in the way of hops or coffee. I had no problem drinking the entire bomber solo. If ever there were a brunch beer, this is it.

RATING: 7/10

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