May 30, 2011

War of 1812 Amber Ale from Sackets Harbor Brewing Company

By Guest Reviewer Jim Walter of Chittenango, NY

All of us have a “gateway beer”  That beer that helped you take the leap from weak yellow fizz to strong, full flavored ales.  I really have two, Saranac’s Adirondack Lager and probably even more influential is/was War of 1812 Amber Ale from Sackets Harbor Brewing Company.

I have a very good friend whose advertising agency for a brief while helped promote Sackets Harbor Brewing.  It was endorsed by hall of fame basketball coach Jim Boeheim, but legend has it he doesn’t even drink beer.  I think he was actually paid in beer, because there was always some in the agency and we enjoyed our fair share of it while stopping in to local bars with their sales manager.  That’s how I was introduced to the beer and it helped open more doors for my pallet to enjoy good beer.

The Amber Ale presents a nice Amber color as one would hope.  It clocks in with an ABV of 5.2% so you can enjoy several if you desire.  It pours into the pint glass with about an inch of head that quickly disappears.   The beer presents well on the nose, with hints of fruit, or even malted cider.  The taste is the similar with a decent flavor and maltiness, but an aftertaste that is a bit more bitter than I’d expect for a beer of this style. 

The beer is very drinkable, but as I’ve learned more about beer, and developed a stronger appetite, I now find it to be one of the more less impressive ambers on the market.  It is priced right and can be found in a number of locations around the northeast, but mainly in New York State.  The beer is brewed in Sackets Harbor, NY which is about 90 minutes north of Syracuse.  I have never made the trip to their brewpub but a summertime jaunt is in order this year.  If you find it, pick up a six pack I think you will find it enjoyable, just not memorable. 

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