Shore Leave Session Amber Ale What’s It Like

Shore Leave amber ale is a fairly new beer from Brewdog. It’s a session beer coming in at just 4.3% Abv and is a standard real ale. It is not trying to be fancy, it’s just a straightforward beer. So what’s it like then?

Well actually it’s pretty good if you take it for what it is, a straight amber ale. It pours a mid gold amber with a one finger white head. The nose is a solid biscuit malt with a hint of caramel, and a little fresh citrus kick in the background. Taste wise it has a strong caramel malt base with a good fruity citrus hit. The finish brings a subtle bitterness. It’s a nice standard ale with a decent depth of flavour and gets a rate my beer score of 4.5 out of 5.0.

I like the fact that a modern brewery have brewed a standard ale.

Table Of Contents

Shore Leave Amber Ale Review

A Review Of Shore Leave Amber Ale

So lets get into this beer in a little more depth and find out how good it is. According to Brewdog they have made a real up to date ale that is not boring and has a complex flavour.

According to other reviews online, it is an unexciting, boring beer. So have Brewdog missed the mark? Or are people not getting what this beer is about?

Maybe its a bit of both, but I quite like it.

The can is pleasant enough with its off white, navy blue and gold colouring. However whoever thought it was a good idea to have gold writing over an off white background got it wrong.

Once poured the beer settles to a mid amber gold with a one finger white top. A constant stream of bubbles rise up the glass, quite a lot for a real ale.

On the nose it has a distinct biscuit malt with the sweetness of caramel and a fresh citrus hint too.

The taste reflects the aroma, a strong caramel malt base with a nice fruity citrus kick. A medium body and a hoppy feel finishes with a nice but subtle bitterness.

It’s a session 4.3% ABV ale that is easy drinking and has a decent flavour.

Rate Shore Leave

For me it screams a standard beer, nothing fancy, just a decent ale ideal for when you just want a pint of beer.

An improvement for me would for it to have slightly more of a bitter finish, as I find to be too subtle.

I think that is what Brewdog wanted for this beer. It gets a rate my beer score of 4.5 out of 5.0.

M’Lady also likes it, saying “A fresh crispy hoppy amber ale with a hint of citrus which I can’t Identify, and a slight bitter aftertaste. All in all a nice amber ale.”

Lou scores it a slightly lower 4.3 out of 5.0.

Shore Leave in my opinion is a good ale. Put it up against a hoppy craft beer and it will fall short. But put it up against a standard real ale and it holds its own.

If you just like good beer with no bells and whistles, then Shore Leave amber ale is worth a shot.

Brewdog Beer

As we know Brewdog have been a little controversial over the years turning their humble beginnings into a massive brewery.

Brewdog History

Along the way they have brewed many beers from alcohol free to the mighty 55% ABV beer packed in roadkill.

So what’s new in the Brewdog range. Here are a few beers that I will look out for.


Wingman is a session IPA weighing in at a light 4.3% ABV. Made with Ahtanum, Chinook, Citra, HBC 692, Mosaic ans Simcoe hops it is going to be a tropical fruity and citrus carnival.

As you would expect from the hop bill it is a hoppy IPA with a medium bitterness and a low malt base. Expect a refreshing smooth IPA that fits comfortably in the session bracket.

Candy Kittens

Candy Kittens is an Eaton Mess New England IPA. A beer I expect not to like because it screams sweetness. That doesn’t stop me wanting to try it out.

Brewed with just the one hop Ahtanum it is going to be a low hoppy beer with low bitterness. Yep, that means it is going to be way too sweet for my palate. Flavours of strawberry and vanilla scream from this beer, the exact type of beer I dislike.

Candy Kittens weighs in at an out of session 6.0% ABV, which is probably just as well, I might find it hard to finish one.


Grind is a coffee stout made with organic coffee. Rich and decadent with dark bitter chocolate flavours and obviously coffee too.

Made with just Simcoe hops and a combination of malts it should be low to medium hoppyness, medium bitterness and a strong malty flavour.

At a strong 6.0% ABV it is not a beer to knock back, more a beer to savour.

Final Thoughts

As always Brewdog manage to split the crowd with Shore Leave amber ale. Many saying it is dull and even boring, while others think its a decent beer.

For me I go with the latter, if you just take this beer on as a standard ale, then it scores well. Pretty well balanced, although I would prefer a little more bitterness on the finish.

What do you think?

If you have tried Shore Leave then do share your thought below and tell me which side of the fence you fall on.

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