This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Leinenkugel's Classic Amber.
Occasionally a brewery will introduce a beer and leave unsaid what style of beer it has produced. Often times, the beer will have some kind of odd name (usually named after a fairy tale creature or some variation on a crude joke) and the point of leaving off the style of beer is to increase the novelty of the brew. There are certainly some people who will buy beer based solely on the coolness of the name or the look of the label or packaging. If you are into surprises and don't mind drinking bad beer if the brew does not taste as good as it looks, then I guess that's OK.
I have also experienced beers where the brewery gives the beer a generic beer type name but they don't actually tell you what kind of beer is produced. This can also be a negative sign as knowing that the beer is a certain color or strength does not really tell you anything about the beer.
In the case of the Leinenkugel Classic Amber, I can't tell you that reason that they left the style off the label has anything to do with the quality of the beer, but the beer is not anything special. Having first verified on the Leine website that they don't classify the brew (I mixed a six at the store so I did not have the packaging to check) I then went on the Beer Advocate and saw that it was classified as an American Amber, which BA defines as "A sort of catch-all category, these lagers boast a bit more malt backbone and overall character than their lighter sister styles. Bitterness is generally low."
The Classic Amber poured a golden orange color (almost like good scotch) with a decent amount of foam at the top. The flavor was not very strong, a little coppery and not much else other than malt. This is not to say that the Classic Amber is a light beer, the beer has some kick to it and there is certainly more flavor than a "lite", but nothing really stands out.
Leinenkugel Classic Amber is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, although the product currently in the marketplace does not yet have an OU on the label. If you would like a copy of the LOC please contact me via email.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Leinenkugel Classic Amber, please follow this link http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/710/46559.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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