Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beer Review: Kirkland Amber Ale

New Yorker Brewing Company Kirkland Signature Amber Ale

Thanks to my very generous father-in-law I got a sampling of some of the craft brew offerings from Cosco. After doing some research and noting that the brewing company is located in Utica, New York it seems that this is actually brewed by the Matt Brewing Company. I guess they don't want to be associated with an established brewery. I would think an association like that would only help give credibility but I suppose if they are paying for the production of this beer they may not want to share any credit. The bottle displays both the alcohol content and the bitterness (IBU) measurement, which is fantastic. Very rarely do breweries display the bitterness measurement. The amber pours as suspected a clear amber color with a slightly tan head. Aroma of clean malt, not much else.

The flavor is very clean and malty with a pronounced toasted flavor. I don't taste much in the hop department but at 25 IBUs they are going to be dominated by a malty beer like this. The toasted malt comes across a little too strongly for me, almost like burnt toast. The flavor is rich and malty with some definite caramel character but that deep roasted flavor gets to be a bit abrasive.

Overall, this isn't my favorite beer but it is tasty and far beyond the cheap adjunt lagers that dominate most of the beer market. I read that a case of the four different beers goes for $18.99 which is a huge plus. I have yet to find craft beer that can compete at that price level. If you happen to be at a Cosco that sells this I would recommend picking it up. It probably won't be the best beer you will ever have but it is affordable without sacrificing much quality.

Final Score: 75% (Nice Sweet Malt but Marred by Burnt Flavors)