Breakfast Beer Tasting: Caldera Ashland Amber
First things first. Yes, it’s a can. So? This is 2012. Can is the new bottle. Bottle is the new keg. Keg is the new cask. Get over it. Indeed, Caldera Brewing Company proudly boast that they are actually the first craft brewery in the state of Oregon to brew and can their own beer. So put that in your lightweight, 100% recyclable aluminium pipe and smoke it.
It’s 350ml and is 5.6% in alcoholic strength. It poured, as the name might suggest, amber with soft carbonation and an off-white head. The aroma was pleasant and not too dissimilar from a standard American IPA. There was plenty of citrus, some pine and a little sweet malt.
The actual taste followed the pattern of the aroma, but with a more restrained hop presence that you might expect. A smooth mouthfeel soon gives way to Cascade hops, but the medium citrus kick is well matched by a good dose of caramel in the finish. Easily suppable for its strength; it has a finish that just veers on the right side of dry.
This isn’t really a beer for hopheads, as it’s a little under-hopped for an Amber ale and seems more like a mild IPA. However, it’s an accomplished enough beer. And if cans are your thing and you’re looking for some quality higher strength refreshment, you could do a lot worse than this.