Crazy Mountain Amber Ale

Amber Ale - 5.25% ABV

Crazy Mountain Brewing Company (Denver, Colorado)

IBU: 25

What I think:

This beer pours a deep, clear amber color with a dense head. It might have been my pour, or it might have been the beer, but I had to let the beer rest for a bit to get the whole can into a 12-ounce glass.

On first sniff, the beer’s got a slightly tangy or citrusy smell, with sweet undertones. When the head dissipates a bit, it leaves a good bit of lacing on the glass. On first taste, there is a bitterness that comes together with the malt you’d expect in an amber. The mouthfeel is slightly bubbly from the carbonation, but nothing extraordinary. The bitter taste sticks on your tongue for a bit, but doesn’t linger in the back of your mouth.

With an IBU of 25, it’s still pretty low on the bitterness scale. The hop flavor was more than I initially expected, especially because I normally think of New Belgium’s Fat Tire when I think of ambers. This beer, however, has less sweetness from the malt and more bitterness from the hops.

I definitely like this beer as an amber. If you want a good comparison, think of New Belgium’s Fat Tire with less sweetness and more bitterness.

On a non-taste note, this beer also has a pretty sweet illustration of “Seamus,” an owl-mule deer-bobcat hybrid. I was in a “judging beer by their cans” mood when I bought this brew, along with the Crazy Mountain Hookiebobb IPA. Be on the lookout for that beer post in the future.

Overall, I’d say I prefer this beer to most ambers that I drink, but that’s because I typically go for a citrus or hoppy taste, rather than going for malt. If you like Fat Tire or other ambers, though, it’s definitely worth a taste.

Rating: 3.8/5

What I learned:

Thanks to the sturdy head on this beer, I googled what leads to head retention and lacing. I came across this interesting conversation where the answers re: lacing were “protein” or “a clean glass,” alongside a healthy dose of “why does it matter? It doesn’t affect the quality of the beer.”

I also learned, per this article on BrewWiki, that anything from the shape of the glass to the type of the hops to the malt could cause greater head retention. Personally, I don’t think head retention or lack thereof really affects my opinion of a beer, but I’m going to try to pay attention to this in the future for potential differences in flavor and quality.

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