I wanted something “smaller” for my final beer of the night since it had been a long and eventful day. Amber Ales are traditionally aren’t known for being big or in your face, so they lend themselves to being great beginning/ending beers. This time was no different.
CARLSBAD CHRONIC is an American Amber Ale with a sessionable 5% ABV.
My final beer of the night arrived in a beer splashed pint glass. It was an enticing amber/iced tea color with no real light penetration. The head was a thick and foamy off white that turns into a film that reminded me of an iced over pond. Goopy lacing followed every sip.
The nose was awash with tobacco, caramel and salt water. Mild herbal hops were also detected after the initial burst of flavor. This was such an odd combination of scents that I was really intrigued as to what it was going to taste like.
If I thought the nose was weird, then I was definitely not prepared for the odd flavor spectrum. It starts with a caramel and faint Nestlé Strawberry Quik in vanilla almond milk flavor. I told you it was weird. A medicinal/herbal hop flavor appears toward the end for just a beat and levels things out. It ends with a touch of honey.
Mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium. The slightly creamy body goes down smooth and leaves the least amount of noticeable drying possible.
I can see why Carslbad Chronic is their best selling beer. It’s a tasty brew that goes down smooth and has a mellow ABV that lends itself to a long day bellied up to the bar. More in the traditional Amber style without the “excessive” hopping you see often in West Coast Amber Ales (which I honestly expected from a beer with the word “Chronic” in the title). I kinda wish I would have had time/space left in my stomach for another round.
Overall: 7 out of 10
As an AMBER ALE: 7.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Pizza Port O.B. CHRONIC, Lagunitas CENSORED, Rogue CAPTAIN SIG’S NORTHWESTERN ALE