Total Score: 7.75/10
Back again with Akasha, this time it’s their Fire Within Amber Ale, which was kindly gifted to me by the local Akasha rep (see doing reviews sometimes has its perks). That said I’m never one to give a beer an easy ride simply because it’s a freebie. Nope, the inner critic in me never dies, like a little Jay Sherman inside of me it doesn’t hesitate to cry out “It stinks!” if a beer is bad or amiss, fear not dear reader. Nevertheless I am a fan of Akasha’s brews and their “take no prisoners” approach to dry hopping all their beers, there’s something to be said about a classic West Coast IPA that is packed to the rim with Yakima Valley’s finest – it’s really quite breathtaking.
Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Pours a hazed deep copper/caramel body with a nice 1.5 centimetre Ecru-coloured cappuccino foam head that leaves lace scrawl-work on the side of the glass as it goes down. She’s a beaut, there’s no doubt about it. 8/10.
S: Piney/earthy hops mingle with a dusty/roasted and nutty malt profile that really encapsulates the American Amber Ale style rather eloquently. If one needed to find an example of a typical American Amber, this beer would prove an excellent representation of the style so far. 9/10.
T: Flavour leans heavy on that dusty/roasted/nutty malt profile with a dry cracker base in there as well, those piney/earthy hops take a bit of a back seat and we end up with an almost mild piney bitterness in the finish tempered by a long cracker dryness. Fire Within is pretty spot-on and this is a good American Amber profile, but it’s missing a bit of hop punch I’ve come to expect from Akasha now in the flavour department. 7/10.
M: Almost medium bodied with a nice creamy medium carbonation, pretty good here too, not much to fault. 8/10.
D: Overall this was a decent American Amber, it definitely had that real earthy/dirty/malt character you would come to expect given the style, yet I was found wanting purely because of Akasha’s own oeuvre of excellent hopped beers that I’ve had previously. Compared to them I was missing that big hop kick, and whilst this was no shrinking violet – a bit more hops wouldn’t have gone amiss. Still I do enjoy a good earthy Ale on a cold winters day, so time and place is the key here with Akasha Fire Within Amber Ale. 8/10.
Food match: Earthy stuff: Stews, sage and mushrooms would be my picks.