Pros: Some good malt character
Cons: A little too light in overall taste; Nothing memorable.
Texas has many special things to offer. It has many miles of coastline and beaches. It is rich in history and once enjoyed status as an independent country. It probably has more registered Republicans than any other state (I said it had many special things to offer, not necessarily good things to offer). Oh, and it also enjoys one other special status: The only state in the nation where a certain beer produced by a national brewer is presently sold. The beer I'm talking about is Ziegenbock, a product from Anheuser- Busch.
Basic Facts About This Beer:
Ziegenbock Amber pours to a light brown/copper color with a nose that emphasizes soft caramel malts and a small amount of roasted malt. The head of foam on Ziegenbock is very fizzy and it reduces itself to nothing in a very short amount of time.
Ziegenbock Amber offers the taste of caramelized malt, wheat, and toffee. I could pick up on some bready flavors as well, along with a slight nuttiness that helps make the flavor a little more interesting. There is practically no hop character and the finish is a tad watery.
Ziegenbock Amber is brewed using select imported hops, roasted malt, and caramelized malt. The beer has an alcohol level of 4.0 percent by volume
With its light, accommodating taste, Ziegenbock Amber would match up with many lighter snack foods and appetizers such as nachos, potato skins, and chili fries. Its taste might also go well with hamburgers and other beef dishes.
Ziegenbock Amber is an beer from our good friends at Anheuser- Busch, the macro- brewing giant that every- so- often attempts to show the world that it really does know how to brew good beer by producing a craft beer or an imitation of a craft beer. Many of A-B's attempts have been complete flops, but there are some exceptions and while none of them are classic standouts, some are good enough to give them a try.
Ziegenbock Amber is one such beer and most people who sample it will come away from the experience without much to say, good or bad. The reason is because Ziegenbock Amber is beer without much attitude. Considering that it is brewed only in Texas for sale only in Texas, I expected something a little different. At the very least, I was expecting a beer with a fuller taste and a little more authenticity. Ziegenbock Amber isn't full bodied and it isn't really true to the bock style. It is similar to Shiner Bock in many ways, and there are many in the beer world who have already compared it to the popular Texas- based Shiner.
Taste- wise, Ziegenbock Amber is, well, not bad. It doesn't have anything special to offer, but it isn't offensive or foul in taste either. The very fizzy head of foam from the initial pour makes a good amount of noise as the bubbles pop and it fizzes out in a short time, giving it the appearance of a soft drink. The nose, however, holds some promise and while it isn't extremely enticing, it isn't bad and it does pique your interest to take a sip.
Ziegenbock Amber is lighter than most amber beers and it isn't really a true bock beer. Judging it as a bock, it would certainly earn a thumbs- down rating but judging as a generic beer, I can find about as many good points as I can bad points. It tends toward the sweeter end of the spectrum and it offers some good caramel flavor and a slightly roasted character. I like it just slightly more than Michelob Amber Bock (another beer that this one will invariably be compared to), in part because there seems to be a slightly maltier taste with less influence from rice, when compared to Michelob Amber Bock.
Overall, Ziegenbock Amber is an okay brew that won't rank high on my list of beer to buy in the future. It also doesn't rank at the bottom of my list because it does have some unique taste and some malt character. It isn't one of Anheuser- Busch's best, but it does outrank most of the beer brewed by A-B, with enough good qualities to make it worthy of a slight recommendation.