The Marc’s & Tony “Amber Light” Czech Style Half Dark Lager

Name: Amber Light
Brewer: The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Co. (Philippines)
Style: Czech Amber Lager
ABV: 5.5%
Review Year: 2021

Amber Light is another instant classic from Tony Sindayen of The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Co. This complex, malt-forward yet easy-drinking lager was brewed to be enjoyed all day long in good company.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Czech Amber Lager (3C) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Semi-clear medium amber with a low head that did not hold up long. The aroma initially opened up with a moderately high nutty character with a hint of toastiness. Revisiting, the nutty aroma was more evident and surfaced alongside subtle impressions of cola and spicy hops. Medium-bodied; low carbonation. The flavor profile is complex and malt-forward; a mix of nuts, caramel, and cacao nibs without any intense dark and roasty undertones was the most dominant attribute. A distinct spicy hop character (medium-low) was also present but supportive, while residual sweetness and perceived bitterness were on par with each other at fairly low levels. Low fig/ dried fruit accents were noted late and lingered into the aftertaste with additional yet also subtle cacao nibs and dough. Diacetyl, which is allowed for this style at low levels, was not evident in the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel.

THE VERDICT

Amber Light is an easy-drinking lager that highlights complex “Maillard” malt characters with a distinct spicy hop accent. Maillard products encapsulate a wide spectrum of characteristic flavors that include chocolate, roasted coffee, bread crusts, maple syrup, soy sauce, cooked meat, and malt. The malt attributes of Amber Light are on the lighter side (e.g., caramel, toasty) of the range leaving no room for any inappropriate heavy, dark, and roasty aromas and flavors. Malt aside, the hop character was appropriately spicy and supportive. Just a side note, we use “spicy” to describe spice-like hop qualities typically found in Noble Saazer-type hops and is not an exclusive adjective to describe capsaicin common in chili peppers and hot sauces.

The balance between the residual sweetness and perceived bitterness is another strong point of this beer. Meanwhile, others not familiar with the style may find Amber Light lacking in carbonation, but a low to moderate range is typical for Czech Amber Lagers.

If there are minor points for improvement for this beer, these would be to have a clearer look and better head formation. Considering everything else, Amber Light is another excellent beer from Tony Sindayen and is just one of those beers you can geek out on with fellow beer enthusiasts all day long.

Related Reviews:
The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Co.
Craft Beer from the Philippines

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