Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Amber Ale

One of my fondest childhood memories is that of my grandfather's telling of his heroic battles during the War of 1812. To you, a rational adult (I presume) this sounds ridiculous. But, as as a six year-old child, I was neither aware of fact that there was such a thing as a "War of 1812", nor the fact that my grandfather was not that old. So, of course, I believed every word he said until, long after his passing, I realized that it had all be an elaborate hoax. Imagine my astonishment! Regardless, that is memory I will hold forever, no matter how silly.

Therefore, when I spotted Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Amber Ale at a local grocery store while on a recent trip to Rochester, New York, I had to have it (if for no other reason than sentimental value). I had never heard of Sackets Harbor Brewing Co., but I'm willing to give just about anything a try, so I picked up a six-pack. My enjoyment of this beer, though, extended beyond my mere discovery of it; it's a pretty decent beer.

I don't know that I would necessarily call this an Amber Ale, because the color is more golden than amber (my photo editing above may be a bit deceiving), but I realize I'm splitting hairs here. When I poured it into the glass, I got a small amount of off-white head that disappeared almost immediately and left no lacing on the glass. There is not a lot going on aroma-wise; malty with, perhaps, a hint of nut and very little hops. While this isn't the best tasting beer I've ever had, I do enjoy it a lot. It is sweet upfront with a slight fruity taste. I got a hint of toffee and caramel as well, but almost no hops. It has a fair amount of carbonation (despite the lack of head) and is a little on the light side in terms of mouthfeel. What this beer is truly lacking is a nice hoppy kick on the finish.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, and if I could get it locally I'd be inclined to buy it again. It's a very easy beer to drink, and it seems like a good one to keep on hand if you want something you can drink 2-3 of in an evening. While I'm not in any rush to drive another 500 miles just to get some more, I'm sure I'll get another 6-pack on my next trip to Rochester. And, while drinking my next one, I'll ponder what it must have been like for Grandpa in the War of 1812.

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