5 Barrel Brewing Hoppy Amber


17757206_674349339415881_200787210755425434_n“Darker doesn’t always mean stronger. Amber beers usually carry a maltiness that you don’t find with paler styles. The malt character can range from a light caramel to full on rich toffee and toast. Our Hoppy Amber is verging on an IPA, but there is punchy malty body that pushed us to call it an Amber. It has a wonderful fruit, pine and spice balance that develops on the palate. It has a firm bitterness, but the caramel sweetness rounds it out to ensure your senses aren’t overwhelmed.”

Served in an English pint. Rusted amber complexion that reveals a candy red hue when held to the light. A thumb of loosely packed bubble forms the crown before it reduces to a film with some patchy lace working its way down.
We remember this beer as the pick of the range when we visited the brewery last year and it’s great to see it hasn’t changed. It still has all of those superb red IPA qualities with its gorgeous caramel malt base providing the formwork for the fruity hops to work off of. Everything from sticky toffee, caramel and butterscotch to pine, grassy hops and passion fruit. Picking up a subtle hint of toasty malt in here too. Excellent aroma.
Lovely balance of smooth malts and bitter hops on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation with a little tickle from the 6.5% ABV around the edges. Medium body. 50 IBU.
Again, balance is the key in flavour. Sweet and somewhat chewy caramels wash over the front palate. All the while that subtle bitterness plays 2nd fiddle until it comes alive in the mid bringing with it fruity and piney notes that reach well in to the long and dry finish. Good length as this tussle between the pine/herbal hops and the sweet toasty malts duke it out on the back end.
It’s actually really hard to fault this beer. The balance is spot on, the ABV gives it a boost and the delicate toasty note adds that extra complexity. Really classy drop from this brewery.