Review: Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale

Review of Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, CA.

Beer Type: Amber Ale  ABV: 5.8%  IBUs: 16  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “Balance is what makes our Boont Amber Ale so unique: rich, crystal malts give this beer a deep copper hue and contribute a slight caramel sweetness while the herbal, spicy bitterness from carefully selected whole-cone hops impart a crisp, clean finish.  Hints of sun toasted grain, toffee, and fruity esters compliment the mellow, noble hop aroma.”

The Reality: It’s rare that a company does such a good job describing their own product, but I found their description of this beer to be spot-on. Basically a nice balance of mild malty sweetness and hop bitterness with herbal notes. The finish was clean and I’d say almost semi-dry. It does have a nice hop aroma, and I’ll give them the hints of toffee and fruity esters, but the “sun toasted grain” might be pushing the limit between accurate description and pretentious romanticism. (Yes, I do realize that using the phrase “pretentious romanticism” is in and of itself, pretentious).

Final Verdict: This is a really drinkable amber ale that doesn’t go too heavy on the malty or the hoppy, which I believe is where a good amber ale should find itself. A quality amber ale can be an “everyday drinker” for someone who like beers with a bit more richness and body, without being too heavy, and this beer certainly fits that niche. It won’t blow your socks off with creativity or innovation, but you certainly won’t mind polishing off a six-pack of them on Sunday afternoon either. Plus, it’s fun to say the word “Boont”. It’s like “rutabaga”, “lollygag”, “brouhaha” or “Francisco” (as Buddy the Elf pointed out). Just don’t mispronounce it, or that could turn into a “Boont-doggle”.