10 Best Amber Ales

Amber. It’s a beautiful color and arguably the best style of ale. That’s right, we’re talking amber ale today—specifically, the top ten best amber ales available on the market.

Amber isn’t the most iconic color for beer. Post-prohibition a shift occurred in America from more adventurous types of boozing like Applejack to the less conspicuous, more everyman German style of light lager. That means when you picture a beer, you probably picture a pale yellow concoction.

But just because something is traditional doesn’t means it is supreme. Many beer-drinking Americans have begun to sour on the boring, watery, light lagers that ironically do not offer a sour note or bitter hop to intrigue the palate.

We see more and more amber ale options popping up alongside the more traditional “heavy” beer options: the India pale ales, the imperial pale ales, the double pale ales, the extra pale ales, and every other type of beer boasting its pale, yellowish color. Sure, these bad boys usually come packed with hops and the extra burn of some alcohol, but their flavors can end up being a bit one-note. As anyone who has fallen in love with—but soon became disenchanted with—IPA’s will know, sometimes you want more than astringent hoppiness.

You’re a beer drinker. You’re a tastemaker. You want to drink something that will tickle your palate in ways unexpected, but you do not want to waste your money on inferior beer products. Fear not! We have constructed this list to present to you the best amber ales out there, and we’ve done the work of cutting the inferior beers out of our mentions entirely.

By the end, you will be well familiar with each of the amber ales that are truly worth your time. But that’s not enough for us. We want you to walk away with an understanding of amber ales that is unparalleled for beer aficionados on the internet. For that reason, we need to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to amber ales.


Rogue American Amber Ale

Aroma: A truly American product, this amber ale has that true amber color. Not to mention, the aroma is out of this world, with flavors and notes that will tickle and delight your senses.

  • Pros
    • Great head
    • Wonderful tickle
    • Color of amber
  • Cons
    • Price
    • Alcohol content

Flavor: The flavor is deep and the palate tastes expansive. You will love this one.

Fat Tire Amber Ale

Aroma: The aroma is similar to that of an Oktoberfest beer, with hints of leaves and mold that is somehow delicious. It is not for everyone, but the scent is strong, a real winner for the classic beer drinker in the crowd.

  • Pros
    • Heavy head
    • Creamy finish
    • Great taste
  • Cons
    • Too unique for some
    • And too traditional for others
  • Price point can be high for alcohol content

Flavor: The flavor is like the aroma, a sweet and connected one-two punch that will leave you sated.

Alaskan Brewing Amber

Aroma: All the way from the far-off state of Alaska, you know this tastes the way you want it to. It has that clear scent of beer and pine. A great all-around smell drifts easily off the foam.

  • Pros
    • Not your average amber
    • Great for parties
    • Wonderful color
  • Cons
    • Not a lager
    • Shipping cost

Flavor: Imagine yourself sipping this wonderful beer while sitting on the edge of your seat. Yes, that’s right; it is that good. You will love to try this great flavor of oak and amber.

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Aroma: If the name tells you anything, then you are one step ahead of your average beer drinker. It contains the moist scent of an amber with a hint of freshness that will keep you coming back for more time after time.

  • Pros
    • Great taste
    • Price
    • Aroma and general color
  • Cons
    • Too creamy for some
    • Alcohol content for others

Flavor: While your average layman on the street might not like this beer, we know a person of your stature will love it. The next time you see it in the local liquor store, give it a try.

Dry Dock Amber

Aroma: Dry as any dock we have ever seen, you can trust that the head on this beer will smell just the way you want it to. It has a strong scent, yet the taste is subtle in all the right ways. A typical amber smell, filled with all the hints of homecoming, you’re sure to love it.

  • Pros
    • Great taste
    • Unique and familiar smell
    • A beer you can trust
  • Cons
    • Price point
    • Packaging

Flavor: Vanilla all the way through, this beer has it all in terms of taste. The dry taste of balance is apparent in this beer.

Hop Head Red

Aroma: On the hoppy end of the spectrum, you can smell the tang in this beer from two stools down the bar. It is lovely and a great recommendation on our list of ales.

  • Pros
    • Wonderful scent
    • Great flavor and palate
    • Easy to pair
  • Cons
    • Not available everywhere

Flavor: With a color more on the red rather than amber-brown end of the spectrum, you can taste the unique almost Irish tilt on this ale. A perfect addition to any picnic.

Left Hand Brewing Sawtooth Ale

Aroma: Other than having a great name, this ale has a wonderful scent to accompany the full-color experience. It will leave your nose wanting more of its sweet and tangy smell as you order yet another.

  • Pros
    • Great head
      Great name
    • Flavor you can’t believe
  • Cons
    • Also not for children
      Stronger than root beer
    • Harder to pair

Flavor: Milky with a hint of a stout taste, this beer has a refreshing taste and healthy fizz.

Bell’s Amber Ale

Aroma: Strong, simple and sweet. You will love the smell and general aroma of this beer.

  • Pros
    • Great flavor
    • Wonderful aroma
    • A full-bodied taste
  • Cons
    • Too sweet for some
    • Too expensive for others

Flavor: This beer has a really great flavor that you might not expect, with notes that compliment yet dazzle drinkers.

Flipside Red IPA

Aroma: Without the classic IPA on the beer list, where would we be? This drink is great. With an aroma of sweet and salty, you will enjoy this smell if you like ales and IPAs.

  • Pros
    • IPA smell
    • Great taste
    • Wonderful flavor for a beer
  • Cons
    • Not everyone’s favorite
    • IPA taste

Flavor: You can expect the classic sour taste of on IPA with a small twist of a round palate.

Swamp Head Brewery Just the Tip

Aroma: Without mentioning the name, we love this beer. It has a great aroma of hop and spice. Jot it down as another winner on our list.

  • Pros
    • Real winner of a beer
    • Great flavor
    • Out of the park aroma
  • Cons
    • Unique aftertaste
    • Not for everyone

Flavor: The flavor is a real home run with a distinct taste. While the aftertaste didn’t leave us overly impressed, it did have us sucking this one down and asking for another after a few sips. You will love this beer once you try it.

The Verdict

The Alaskan Brewing Amber was our favorite on this list due to the aroma notes and full-bodied flavor. There was nothing significant to complain about in our opinion. This beer is enjoyed by the experts. If you like any of these beers, then we encourage you to try the rest.


Amber Ale FAQ

We know that beer holds a special place in our reader’s hearts. We could not recommend beers that we ourselves found offensive to our palates. Taste is, of course, king when it comes to reviewing beer options. However, it is not the only factor. We considered each brewery’s method and brand reputation, as well as each of the individual beer pros and cons.

Six packs of Amber Ale tend to run about $10 to $15. We love that you can get some of the best beers without having to break the $20 range for a sixer. Unlike wine, beer tends to be a lot more egalitarian.

What Exactly Is Amber Ale?

Amber ale is beer that’s amber colored, right? In part. This ale, of course, receives its name from its distinctive color, but the designation of “amber ale” actually tells you a lot more about the beer than just what light rays it reflects.

“Amber ale” is a fairly new term, and it technically names a beer that is a type of pale ale. Emerging as a category especially among Australian brewers, Amber Ales are made with an amount of amber malt and sometimes crystal malt to produce its titular “amber” color, which sometimes ranges from light brown to light copper.

What Is the Difference Between Amber Ale and Amber Lager?

Both amber ale and amber lager are amber colored. So they might be difficult to distinguish from one another in a line up of decanted beers. However, nobody is asking you to do that. The bottles themselves will tell you “ale” or “lager.”

But what does this distinction mean? Without diving too much into the technical specs of professional beer making, the difference is this: lagers are fermented with cold wort that allows the yeast to settle at the bottom, and ales are fermented with warm wort tanks in which the yeast floats to the top. This seemingly minor difference leads to a host of effects down the line which can create such disparate beers as ales and lagers.

Which Foods Pair Well with Amber Ales?

Because amber ales contain caramel notes and citrus aromas that finish smoothly, the beer ought to be paired with rich, aromatic, smoked, and spicy foods such as beef, chili, BBQ ribs, and grilled chicken. While these may be some of our favorite dishes to pair with ambers, this style of beer is actually quite remarkable in its flexibility. It also pairs with seafood and burgers, although it is hard to find a greater one-two punch than combining amber ale with spicy cuisine.

This style of ale is to die for if you can get your hands on some Port-Salut or other lightly tangy cheese to enhance its flavor profile.

If sweet treats are your desire, then you ought to try your ale with poached pears and dulce de leche. Interesting notes are revealed when paired with banana pound cake. And pecan lace cookies are wonderful washed down with a hearty amber.

Where Can You Buy Amber Ale?

Odds are that your local drinking establishment will have at least one amber ale on tap. You can probably find even more options by hitting up your local liquor store, especially if they boast about being “specialty” in some way. You can also find amber ales online, and we encourage you to use that resource.

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