Cedar River Amber Ale

Cedar River Amber AleCedar River Amber Ale is brewed by Hale’s Ales under the "Northwest’s Best" label for Trader Joe’s. The alcohol content isn’t listed, though I’d guess it’s around 5 to 5.5% by volume. It’s a pretty standard-fare amber, and I picked up a 12-pack for $9.99, which is a good deal all around.

Appearance: Mostly brown with some orange edges… a dab of red. No real head to speak of.

Smell: Sweet and malty, grainy, a bit of caramel. Nothing surprising.

Taste: Malty though a bit bitter—a harsh bitter from some grain astringency or something. Chocolate/caramel notes in the sweet portion of the body. Hops are oily bitter but otherwise take a back seat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a harsh (bitter) note to it.

Overall: Drinkable, not outstanding. If I lived close to a Trader Joe’s I could see buying this to have an "everyday" beer on hand, but otherwise I wouldn’t go out of my way.

On BeerAdvocate, there are only four reviews; the average score is 3.68 out of 5 but all four reviewers were positive. On RateBeer, it fares worse, scoring 2.84 out of 5 and is in their 27th percentile.