Annie’s Amber Ale is a canned beer brewed by High Noon Saloon & Brewery in Leavenworth, KS. According to High Noon’s website, Annies Amber is an English-style pub ale and was the brewery’s first beer, winning a Bronze Medal at the 2004 World Beer Championships in Chicago. The brewery started canning the beer earlier this year and I found it recently at Lukas Liquors in Overland Park for $7.49/sixpack.
The beer pours a clear dark amber, but with a swish of the can it becomes obvious that this is a can-conditioned brew. Once I got the yeast mixed it, the beer was pretty cloudy with a fluffy, off-white head that sticks around for a long time.
The aroma was a little strange to me, with hints reminiscent of the spice you get from pumpkin ales as well as something a little smoky. The first sip nailed me with that same smoke flavor, too, with hints of hops dancing around, but the initial flavor was really smoky and malty, although this is not a smoked beer.
The hops kick in late in the flavor, but that smoky flavor really sticks with me. The aftertaste is smoky, too, with a little pepperiness to accompany the flavor. If I didn’t know what this beer was, I would definitely say it was some sort of a smoked beer!
As is the case with most ambers, you just never know what you are going to get. At 5.5% ABV, this is close to a session beer, and there is some complexity that make it an interesting beer to taste, but as I was drinking it more there was something not altogether pleasant in the flavor… something kind of sour that reminds me of the way beer smells after a long party when you wake up the next day with half empty Ubiquitous Red Cups strewn all over the place. This is definitely not in the same vein as the amber-in-a-can that is New Belgium’s Fat Tire, but it isn’t altogether bad, either. It may have a flavor that I need to let grow on me with a few more cans. One thing this beer does suffer from is a rather thin body and watery mouthfeel, but it is an interesting beer for an amber and something I will have to try a few more times and let you know about before I make a judgment one way or the other.