453. Hilliard’s Beer – Hilliard’s Amber Ale

Hilliard's Beer - Hilliard's Amber AleA couple of months ago, I sent my cousin – who lives in Seattle – a box of my homebrew. I asked him if he could find some local beers and ship the box back to me. He obliged, even checking this blog to see what I haven’t had yet, and sent me 10 or so beers from the area. I’m finally getting around to trying a few of them. This can just happened to be in the door of the beer fridge, so it goes first.

Location: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass from the 16oz can at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 5.5% ABV, 60 IBU, ~ 180 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep amber in color with a little bit of haziness. The tan head was extremely thick and creamy, and had some incredible retention, leaving some very nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was slightly malty and caramel-like with some hints of earthy hops.

Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium and the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy from the thick head.  The flavors up front are lightly malty, with primarily yeasty and caramel notes.  A earthy and slightly peppery-spicy bitterness creeps in during the middle and the finish is fairly dry with a mix of malty caramel sweetness and earthy/spicy bitterness.  In the aftertaste, the bitterness comes through a bit more, lasting for a couple minutes.

Food Pairing: This beer had a mix of malty caramel flavors and earthy-spicy bitterness.  I think it would go nicely with a big, thick juicy burger, or even a pepperoni pizza – as the earthy spicy bitterness would go well with the spiciness in the pepperoni.

Overall Impression: I hadn’t heard of this beer before and the can looked pretty plain, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.   I thought it was a pretty drinkable amber ale with a mix of malty and bitter flavors.  The malty flavors started up front and the hop flavors moved in during the middle, taking over in the aftertaste.  Overall, I thought it was a pretty good, very drinkable beer.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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