A few months ago, the topic of our homebrew club meeting was amber ales. The presenter brought in a few examples, but the one that seemed to impress me the most was the Boont Amber Ale by Anderson Valley Brewing. However, he said that he could only find this beer up near Chicago, and nowhere downstate Illinois. So, when I went into one of the local liquor stores and saw this in the “you pick 6” section, I was really excited (especially considering it was $8/6 pack for the you pick six and this one was on the shelf for $10/6-pack all by itself). However, based on the quality of this particular liquor store (Famous Liquors) I just hope that the bottles I got weren’t extremely old.
When I poured it in the glass it had a dark reddish color and was hazy from the yeast that was in the bottle. The head disappeared almost immediately, but there was still some carbonation in it. The aroma was sweet and malty, a bit like caramel, with no hop smell noticeable.
It had a light body and the carbonation was noticeable on my tongue. It had a fairly sweet caramelly malt flavor. It was pretty heavy on the sweet malty side, with very, very little hop flavor noticeable.
I don’t remember it being so malty when I had it at our homebrew club meeting. In fact, I remember this beer being about 10 times better at our meeting – with a good balance of malt and hops. As I mentioned, I’m not sure how old this beer was, since Famous Liquors is a bit notorious for leaving things on the shelves until their sold. If I had to pair this beer with a food, I’d go with BBQ because of the malty sweetness. I am definitely going to have to try this beer again to see if it’s always like this one or if it is better fresher.