This is a review of the original Hop Head by Green Flash (2009 version). This version was 55 IBU and only 6.4% ABV (it’s currently 70 IBU and 8.1% ABV). When it was at the original version, it was a nice hoppy American Amber that showcased how Green Flash could hold off on all the hops for once. The new version is more of a Red IPA, whereas the original was teetering on the brink of being one. The hops mixed with the deep roasted malt led to a surprisingly long finish for a nice bodied ale.
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.
Mild Amber at 5.5% ABV, this is a easy-drinking medium bodied beer. It has a nice color and head, but tastes a bit watery. Counteracted by a long herbal finish. Smooth throughout. Has caramel and toffee malt notes. Would classify this as an English style amber (malt-forward). Hops are pushed to the back of the plate. It’s okay, but you’d struggle to remember the name of the beer.
Nugget Nectar from Tröegs Brewing Company is labeled as “Imperial Amber”, but that’s really more like “American Amber” and some people might classify it as an IPA (or red IPA). It weighs in at 7.50% and is hopped with a variety of hops, then further hopped with Nugget hops (obviously, therefore the name). It’s basically a hopped up / stronger Hopback Ale and is a spring seasonal release. It usually gets released near the start of the year (January-March) rather than when you’d think a traditional spring beer would be released. A nice way to start warming up along with the weather. Doesn’t age very well, so drink it fresh. One of my favorites, but I don’t mind skipping it some years.