Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing out of Michigan is an American Amber weighing in at 5.5% ABV. It’s a pretty decent beer, but doesn’t taste like a normal amber beer should. Somewhat toasted malt flavors lurk in the background, and there’s no hops to speak of. Spicy like a Witbier – definitely would classify this more as a red Wit, because we have black IPAs. Definitely touches of banana esters and isn’t carbonated very well. Overall – would drink again, but wouldn’t seek this out either.
Sampled in 2009 – Year-round oatmeal stout brewed by New Holland (Michigan) at only 5.2% ABV. Full bodied, but not creamy. Balanced roasted malt flavors with touches of coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate. Silky smooth mouthfeel and highly drinkable. Slightly dry due to the oatmeal, but slightly bittered by the hops to remind you to slow down and enjoy this excellent stout instead of chugging it like it was water.
There really isn’t much to say about KBS that hasn’t been mentioned before. I’m not even really a fan of stouts, much less American Double Stouts. And yet, the feeding frenzy that goes on every spring when KBS is released is justified. It’s brewed with some coffee and vanilla beans, then aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year. Pitch black (completely opaque), and showing a bit of chocolate flavor as well, it looks the style and walks the style as well. It’s bitter and hopped enough to not be cloying. And yet, I don’t feel the need to personally sample it more than once. Great beer, just not my preference.