This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the Kirkland beers - Kirkland Signature Amber Ale.
The Amber Ale style of beer is an interesting category as it has developed as a general term for ales which are not quite dark. Having said that, the beers in this category have little in common other than the fact that they are deep red in color. As explained by the experts at Beer Advocate, the Amber Ale category is:
Primarily a catch all for any beer less than a Dark Ale in color, ranging from amber (duh) to deep red hues. This style of beer tends to focus on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high. Expect a balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness in most examples. The range can run from a basic ale, to American brewers who brew faux-Oktoberfest style beers that are actually ales instead of lagers.Over the last few months, I have sampled (and reviewed) a few of the beers which fall in this vast category including the Fat Tire Amber Ale (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2009/12/sunday-night-suds-new-belgiums-fat-tire.html ) and Killian's Irish Red (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2009/10/sunday-night-suds-killians-irish-red.html). However, the Kirkland Signature Amber Ale was completely different than the very good Fat Tire and the quite average Killian's.
The first thing that struck me when I tried the Amber Ale was the balance between the hops and the malt. The beer has a great deal of caramel maltiness, but at the same time there is a bitterness from the hops. In some ways it evokes a little Bass, almost like it was a distant cousin of the great red triangle.
I tried the Amber Ale with a cholent on shabbos and by itself this evening (yes I do drink the same beer on back to back nights on occasion). The Amber Ale stood up well to the cholent which was rice based (instead of barley) this week. While both the cholent and the Amber Ale were quite good, the flavors did not meld the way I would have thought. I believe that the Amber Ale would be excellent with charred meat, but I expect that I will have to wait for after Pesach to give that combination a shot.
Kirkland Signature Amber Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit and bears the Va'ad logo on the bottom right corner of the front label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Kirkland Signature Amber Ale, please follow this link http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/21516/48556.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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