Tamarack Brewing Company in Lakeside, MT, turned four years old recently, marking several years of great food, great atmosphere and a frequent rotation of one-offs and seasonal brews. To help celebrate, Tamarack once again brewed up an anniversary amber, based off their popular Yard Sale Amber Ale. We stopped by last weekend during a couple of days visiting Flathead Lake. As usual, the place was packed on a Friday night with a great vibe and some excellent live music from Missoula’s John Floridis.
Because the place was so busy, I wasn’t able to ask about this year’s Anniversary Amber, but we compared it side by side with the Yard Sale. Yard Sale is an easy drinking, medium bodied, smooth drinking amber flavored mainly with caramel malt and some classic brown ale characteristics. The Anniversary Amber poured a cloudy, deep amber color with an off white head. The aroma consists mostly of caramel malt with some floral hops mixed in. The flavor is dominated by caramel malt, like Yard Sale, but there’s a noticeable initial dose of hop bitterness and floral hop flavor. I’d guess it had been dry hopped. After about half way through the pint I started picking up on some flavors I hadn’t yet noticed. There was some light vanilla and maybe even a hint of bourbon making me think it had been aged a bit in bourbon barrels. It’s a good brew and I had more than one.