Common Ales: Portland Brewing MacTarnahans NW Amber

Yike. The title of this post might be longer than the post!

Portland Brewing MacTarnahan's ale

First thing’s first: the nose is way hoppier than I expected, and I was really surprised until I read the “NW” part of the amber ale. “NW” is now code for “hopped”. It’s pleasant enough: piney without being overpowering, but it’s a little different.

The flavors are trying something unusual, too: there’s a bit of roast from the malt, but this is a pretty light beer, designed to be a more sessionable ale. The label says 5.1% so that tracks. Then the bitterness arrives and it’s a strong echo from the nose; not exactly pine needle bitter but lobbed in that vicinity.

The nose holds up nicely through the drink which is a definite plus, if this is what you’re hoping for. But it’s such an unusual style; hoppy ambers may not always play nice with each other.

I can’t say that it’s a bad beer but the flavor profile just doesn’t ring my bell.

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