Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Beervana #3 - Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale

Name: Boont Amber Ale
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Style: American Amber/Red
Brewed in: Boonville, CA
Origin: USA
ABV: 5.8%
Serving Glass: Pint
OMG Beer Rating: 9.2

I've gone against my own rules twice this week, and written reviews that were also Beervanas (delicious beers found in bars while socializing instead of notetaking). I did both, on some level, and because these beers stand out as examples of how simple beer ideas can still blow the mind of this beer geek.

Boont Amber sits on the amber/brown line, with a frothy, off-white head. Whiffs of flowers and spice and a peach-like fruitiness, and underlying that, grains and bread. To me, the spice bordered on anise, and that came through a little more in the flavor, along with caramel and the same peach notes. The combination of the almost anise-like hop notes, and the peach, really set this apart from both a lot of Ambers, and, from the newer crop of American Red Ales thrown into this "category." Those Reds for the most part tend to be balanced, yet hop forward blasts of the Pacific NW. They're delicious, don't get me wrong. A lot of Ambers tend to be rather mediocre balanced, highly drinkable, but slightly sweet brownish beers. Sometimes there's more of a hop presence, but it's subdued, or kind of typical. This is different. There's a unique hop flavor, a nice clean hint of bitter in the aroma, but a big malty backbone that doesn't get cloying. Very easy to drink a couple of these and really savor the complexity of the beer and experience a classy version of this style.

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