St. Arnold Amber

Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Houston, TX
Amber Ale

Here’s another offer from the so-far-impressive St. Arnold.

A slightly too-soft pour threatened to leave my beer as headless as Ichabod Crane’s horseman. However, this extremely active brew put up nearly a full inch of cloudy white froth that settled in at a half-inch with no signs of dissipation.

The clarity is excellent, as is the effervescence that swirls up continuously from the bottom of the glass. (This glass in particular has an etching on the bottom, possibly helping to foment the bubbles to action). The color is pure honey gold with just the faintest nod of rouge – a true amber – like the purest specimen of the semi-precious stuff for which it’s named.

The nose is sweet malt all the way. Brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, cane, and some citrus all make their way through the still impressive layer of foam.

The mouthfeel is first-rate and the sip doesn’t disappoint at any juncture. Initially, you are met with some smooth cereal grains, like cream of wheat almost, but that soon gives way to a slightly nutty malt character with touches of walnut. This opens up to a fantastic snap of hops that is neither purely citrus, nor grass. There is a subtle blend of bitter flavors: under-ripe oranges meet German pretzel dough.

This a really lovely example of what American Amber can mean – an amalgamation of West Coast and Old World brewing. Once again, St. Arnold does not let me down. At 5.5% ABV, this is just on the high side of session-dom, but you’ll be able to enjoy a few of these and still be able to read the witticisms under the twist-off caps.

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