At the risk of ruining the surprise, I’ll come right out of the gate confirming that this is a straight-up American Amber style of ale (Jeff called it in his ruminations on that very subject). Personally, the American Amber is one of my favorite styles of beer, and I have a particular "benchmark" in mind when I talk about the style (as you’ll see as I lay it out in my notes, below).
The other spoiler—I like it. I think they’ve crafted a winner here, despite the cynical remarks that inevitably occur of a now-Belgian-owned company producing an "American" beer. (Among other things.)
It’s 5.3% alcohol by volume and will be available generally after mid-September.
Appearance: Amber in color, very clever, with a nice, substantial off-white head.
Smell: Very clean, caramel and floral nose—sweet and delicately hoppy. Crystal and brown malts in there, too.
Taste: Pretty classic example of what I like to think of as the "American Amber"—malty and sweet with rich brown malt notes (but not astringent or burnt) with hoppy notes but not too hoppy (not like the current trend in American pales). It’s lighter than my "prototypical" American Amber, but still—it tastes good.
Mouthfeel: Very clean, fairly crisp, nicely medium-bodied with a sweet malt backbone.
Overall: I like this, it’s not revolutionary for the craft beer scene but it is for Anheuser-Busch, and this is a solid, well-crafted ale.
(I’m mostly overlooking the irony of ratings being available despite the availability of this beer not being for another month.)