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Portland Brewing Company

Official Web Page 

Opened: 1986
Date Visited:

Beers Reviewed

(click on beer name for full review)
MacTarnahan's Amber Ale Type: Scottish ABV: 5%

This is a beer thatís aesthetically English, an image that would reinforce itself later on the palate. Itís a reddish copper color, with striking clarity, fine cascading carbonation, and a soft adequate white foam. 

I get the smooth sweetness of the caramel malts immediately in the aroma, a light toastiness. The malts are also accompanied by a floral citric hoppiness, reasserting this beerís roots in the Pacific Northwest. 

As I mentioned thereís a further English feel to the palate, falling somewhere between medium and full-bodied, with a firm robustness, and an unchallenging easy drinking smoothness. There is carbonation, but to a much lesser extent, while it does turn a little foamy towards the end.

The malt and sweetness impart the initial taste impressions, with a sugar candy that runs into a toffee, caramel, light-estery, toasted middle. The hop strikes a fine but subtle balance throughout, adding a light dryness, before unleashing its full citric bitterness and pleasant astringency in the finish

Ratings: Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 7/10 Palate: 4/5 Taste: 8/10 Overall: 15/20 Score: 3.8


Woodstock IPA Type: IPA ABV: 6%
Orangey amber in color, slightly clouded, with streams of cascading bubbles and a soft enduring creamy colored foam. The nose displays imminent signs of malt, with a light sugary treacle aroma mixing well with a balanced fruitiness, while the bitterness is not yet immediately forthcoming. I also get a warming alcohol aroma and a slight toasted character which may in fact have been my misinterpretation of the oak.  A couple of initial sips reveal a soft medium bodied, smooth, creamy palate. If the hops seemed subdued in the aroma, they certainly come through in the flavor, lightly dancing across the palate climaxing in a satisfying if not overwhelming citric bite. The smoother malts, while somewhat secondary also demand some attention with a pale toffee, biscuity character. The oakiness does have a minor role to play although if I didnít know it was there I might not have noticed it, or maybe tried to define it as something else, while I also detected a faint orange sweetness in the middle. The hops pretty much take charge of the aftertaste providing for a lingering refreshing and lightly puckering sour citric tang.

This is essentially a hoppy brew although does lack some of the more bracing qualities of other west coast IPAís. As many brewers load a little extra malt to balance out these styles, the malts in this one are very noticeable maybe a little too much so, and this did allow me to recognize the same characteristics that go into the brewerís Scottish Amber and Cream Porter that I tasted recently. The oak aging could have also been a little more evident for my taste buds.
Ratings: Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 8/10 Palate: 4/5 Taste: 7/10 Overall: 14/20 Score: 3.7

Last Updated: 10/05/2001

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