Saturday, January 17, 2009

Budweiser American Ale Review

Brewery: Anheuser-Busch, Inc. | Beer: Budweiser American Ale
Style: American Amber Ale | ABV: 5.1%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Budweiser American AleBy now, I'm sure you've been exposed to plenty of marketing for Anheuser-Busch's newest beer: Budweiser American Ale. The commercials promise a bold beer dry-hopped with one of the most exalted varieties in the American craft-brew realm: the Cascade. American Ale is an all-malt beer, with caramel malt as the spotlight ingredient. I'm glad to see that Anheuser-Busch went with an all-malt backbone for this beer, it would have been quite a joke if it were loaded up with rice like it's brothers in the Budweiser line.

I do like the fact that they're being honest this time, and packaging this as part of the Budweiser brand, instead of a fake craft-brewery with a heart-warming country scene on their six-pack holders. I actually really like the packaging they went with, I think it fits the image they're striving for. The bottles even feature a pry-off cap, instead of the regular twist-off. I think that's AB's way of adding a touch of class to the beer...

Appearance: Crystal-clear copper body. Pours a good two-finger, frothy head that leaves decent lacing. This presents rather well.

Aroma: Pretty thin. There's some sweet caramel malt and some hints at the advertised Cascade hops, but nothing substantial.

Taste: Once again, very thin. There's an initial burst of caramel malt that fades rapidly. I'm not getting the characteristic Cascade citrus, or really anything out of the hop department at all. There's still that shitty twang and the bizarre metallic taste you get with other AB beers. Not really much in the way of an aftertaste, except a bit of biscuity malt.

Mouthfeel: A watery light body, with smooth carbonation. Very poor.

Drinkability: With hardly any flavor and a thin body, this goes back only slightly slower than water. Thing is, you probably won't be ordering a second anyway.

Verdict: Fool me twice, shame on me. American Ale is just another bland Anheuser-Busch beer. While it might be the best of the line, that really doesn't count for anything. If all you drink is Bud Light and you're looking for something a little more daring, you really can't go wrong with American Ale as a stepping stone. However, if you're already solidly in the craft-beer world, this is nothing but a novelty.

Grade: D


Anonymous said...

I'm also glad they didn't go 'undercover' with this beer - It wouldn't have stacked up anyway.

Its OK if all you drink is 'Bud', but you are absolutely right that it will be a hard sell to anyone who has a broader taste in beers.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see that this beer received a low grade from you. The beer giants are all trying to jump on the craft beer wagon, and it's driving me out of my mind.

If I hear anything about Blue Moon being a microbrew one more time, I may scream.

Anonymous said...

I think Killians ventures farther into craft beer land than this mass-produced garbage.

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised with this ale. I really didn't want to like it. But I do... I prefer it to Sam Adams.
Grade B+

salmon said...

Can't agree with your review or most of the comments so far - this beer is a good example of an American Amber/Red ale style. In my location in Northern Wisconsin it is better priced than other similar beers in it's category.

Reminds me of Elk Mountain Amber, an excellent beer AB produced in the mid 90's.

Anonymous said...

Love this beer, I consider it a little on the lite side but has a great overall taste. I think people over think a good tasting beer from the U.S. It just taste good, Horray for Budweiser. In California it's actually hard to find, wish they would market it better round here.

Anonymous said...

Helpful review for those who have not had it. Budweiser American Ale tastes like crap. That 'twang' you mentioned is right on the mark. It's watery, way overly dry for an ale and, unfortunately for Anheuser-Busch, will appeal to neither the masses nor the quality beer bunch. I think they tried to appeal to both at the same time with a single beer and failed.

If it's true, I'm glad they tried to stick with an all barley malt, but what a mess. This thing needs a little more body and a lot less edge. If they are going to lean bitter I suggest they fill out the body to offset it or go the dry lager route. IMHO, your "D" grade was a kindness.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much detest AB. And I'm torn on the American Ale. It's not a great aromatic ale that's full flavored like many craft beers. However, I believe AB realizes that for many Americans there horse piss beer just doesn't cut it anymore. I'd much rather drink the American Ale than Bud Light or Bud that's for sure. I'm hoping the brewing of American Ale is AB's attempt to brew a "bridge" or "training" ale for Americans to get use to real ale. After drinking a few of the American Ales the average beer drinker might be willing to appreciate aroma, mouth feel, and taste and explore other heartier ales. Yeah, compared to craft ales or my home brew its weak but I give AB credit for trying-it sure beats Bud Light.

Anonymous said...

It's not Newcastle, but it's not bad either. I'm happy with it for the $6.XX I paid for the 6 pack.