We're big fans of Anderson Valley here at 801. Having already reviewed several of their brews, it's about time we made it to their flagship: Boont Amber.
For better or worse, the benchmark amber ale today in America seems to be New Belgium's Fat Tire. But Fat Tire is a bit of a malt monster, and as a result, it's easy to forget that the amber can also be a vehicle for a more complex array of flavors. Boont is definitely an brew that tends more toward the subtler side of the amber genre, and one that will carry more appeal for hopheads thanks to its pronounced hop flavors. The taste on this one leads with a burst of bright and crisp hops balanced nicely against a lightly toasted sweet malt flavor. As the beer rolls off your tongue, this initial burst of crisp malt/hop hybrid is gradually replaced by an earthier hop aftertaste. Despite the full flavor, Boont is among the lighter bodied ambers I've tried, making it one of the more "summery" ambers out there.
Props to Anderson for putting forward a great amber. With due deference to Rogue, Bell's, and all the other breweries that have forayed into this category, Boont really is a cut above the rest of the increasingly-crowded field of amber ales. Grab one, and enjoy!