NOT QUITE stereotypical amber ale (i.e. a cyclical bore), Happy Amber makes an effort to distinguish itself through an extra zip of West Coast dry-hopping. The effect certainly does brighten up the aroma a bit with pine and some floral notes, though not quite as dramatically as either Cascade or Chinook are capable of at their best. The beer’s foundation is otherwise quite standard, colored almost identically to the can with a medium head and delivering a crisp mouthfeel with some biscuit malt in the early going. But for all the variation (2-Row, Munich 10L, Melanoidin, Carmel 80L, Victory) the midsection ends up being slightly vacant. Perhaps the 6% ABV fermented out a bit too much of the body? The finish is left a little plainly bitter, rather highly carbonated, and seemingly stronger than its 30 IBUs. Some engaging sensations but overall lacking in the sturdy balance suitable to the style.
Served: 12 oz can