One of my fondest childhood memories is that of my grandfather’s telling of his heroic battles during the War of 1812. To you, a rational adult (I presume) this sounds ridiculous. But, as as a six year-old child, I was neither aware of fact that there was such a thing as a “War of 1812″, nor the fact that my grandfather was not that old. So, of course, I believed every word he said until, long after his passing, I realized that it had all be an elaborate hoax. Imagine my astonishment! Regardless, that is memory I will hold forever, no matter how silly.
Therefore, when I spotted Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Amber Ale at a local grocery store while on a recent trip to Rochester, New York, I had to have it (if for no other reason than sentimental value). I had never heard of Sackets Harbor Brewing Co., but I’m willing to give just about anything a try, so I picked up a six-pack. My enjoyment of this beer, though, extended beyond my mere discovery of it; it’s a pretty decent beer.
I don’t know that I would necessarily call this an Amber Ale, because the color is more golden than amber (my photo editing above may be a bit deceiving), but I realize I’m splitting hairs here. When I poured it into the glass, I got a small amount of off-white head that disappeared almost immediately and left no lacing on the glass. There is not a lot going on aroma-wise; malty with, perhaps, a hint of nut and very little hops. While this isn’t the best tasting beer I’ve ever had, I do enjoy it a lot. It is sweet upfront with a slight fruity taste. I got a hint of toffee and caramel as well, but almost no hops. It has a fair amount of carbonation (despite the lack of head) and is a little on the light side in terms of mouthfeel. What this beer is truly lacking is a nice hoppy kick on the finish.
I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, and if I could get it locally I’d be inclined to buy it again. It’s a very easy beer to drink, and it seems like a good one to keep on hand if you want something you can drink 2-3 of in an evening. While I’m not in any rush to drive another 500 miles just to get some more, I’m sure I’ll get another 6-pack on my next trip to Rochester. And, while drinking my next one, I’ll ponder what it must have been like for Grandpa in the War of 1812.