Clutch Brewing Company
Clutch Brewing Company The Narrows is an Amber Ale (5.7% alcohol by volume) brewed with Marris Otter malt for flavor and Best Malz Red X for color and hopped with Northern Brewer and Simcoe hops. My crowler was packaged 3 days ago. At the dawn of craft brewing, craft brewers made amber ales as an introductory beer, designed to not intimidate novice craft beer drinkers while giving them something with a little flavor. Those of us at the dawn of craft brewing tend to dismiss them as something nondescript, boring and insipid. Clutch Brewing the narrows stands that thinking on its head. The Marris Otter originated in England where it was grown for flavor rather than yield and prized for its rich malt character and dash of nuttiness. Marris otter is all over this beer. In the aromas it balances moderate fruit and piny hop aromas with moderate but rich malty, nutty aromas with a hint of caramel. A low yeast character provides some light fruit notes. The beer drops brilliant copper brown under a 1.5” beige to off-white cap with fair to good retention. The Marris Otter malt infuses complex and nuanced malt flavors into the beer not found in other malts. The malt flavors provide traces of nuts, bread, biscuit, bread crust, and hints of various malt sugars such as caramel, and very faint honey and treacle. Hold the beer in the front of your mouth and it is lightly sweet. A moderate hop presence seasons the malts with fruit and pine notes and a crisp, clean and assertive hop bitterness shows up mid-palate and briefly edges out the malt, leading to a long, lingering malty finish where the bitter gradually dies out. Over all the balance is to the malt. The body is medium and the carbonation is medium plus. This is a delightful full-flavored beer that you can drink all evening. Take your time with it and explore all the Marris Otter malt flavors. No longer a nondescript beer for newbies, with The Narrows, Clutch puts Amber Ales into big boy pants and gives you a beer you want around to grab when you need it. I liked this beer with the first sip and with each sip, liked it more. I rate it 89 which is about as high as I have ever rated an amber ale.
Go to American Amber Ale for a brief discussion of the style, links to reviews of similar beers, food pairings and glassware recommendations.