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Key West Sunset Ale - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Key West Sunset AleKey West Sunset Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

333 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.02
pDev: 16.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Florida Beer Company visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 12-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Key West Sunset Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
2.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep orange body that is crystal clear showing off a big carbonation of big bubbles. There is a thin wisp of head that fades to a ring around the edge.

S- The smell is very light with a hint of pale malt and a green noble hop note. The smell is very dry with a light sulfur note.

T- This beer has a thin taste with a bitter noble hop with a bitter grapefruit hint to it. There is a carbonic acid bite in the finish. There is very little malt in this beer. There is a light almost sulfur note in the finish also.

M- This beer has a light crisp mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.

D- This beer has really little depth to the hops and no malt flavors to balance it or support it. This has more qualities of a light adjunct lager than an APA.

rhoadsrage, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber, off-white head, very little retention, no lace.

S: Pale malt, caramel, citrus, a little fruity esters.

T: Too sweet. Some hop flavour (grapefruit & floral), not enough bitterness. Plenty of caramel malt flavour.

M: Moderate body and carbonation.

D: Too sweet for me to session, but easily approachable for the average Joe.

Derek, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangey amber with a quickly diminishing head. The aroma is slightly fruity, caramel and floral hops. Taste is really not too bad. Taste starts out malty with a bit of citrus that has a decent enough presence. Overall this is a decent brew that I was actually surprised me a bit as I was expecting a little worse.

cjgator3, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of MeLikeBeer
2.9/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Might have been influenced a bit by the heat on this one, but I rather enjoyed it.
Pale orange in color, thin head, glass sweating in the heat of the Florida sun.
Smells faintly of caramels, malt and hops.
Tastes grainy and sweet, a little hoppy/fruity flavor as well.
Refreshing and light, a good beer to sample after a day at the beach (just like I did).

MeLikeBeer, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours out an amber color. It had very little head and it didn't last long. It smelled like malt and grass/grains. Those flavors came out when tasting it. There was also a slight hint of hops, but it also seemed a little watery. Mouthfeel was descent. It's drinkable because it is not overpowering, but it also isn't very flavorful for a pale ale.

zeff80, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber-copper color, slim head of light foam, fast dissipation. Aroma is faint, with light caramel malt smell and low hops. Decent bready and nutty flavor from the malt, lightly sweet, not real bitter or alcoholic in finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but bubbly. Drinkability is decent for this beer, not alot of flavor, but no real off-flavors either. Light in alcohol, and its pretty much a solid choice down in the Keys where I couldn't find much else...

bennetj17, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, from BIF across america and BRoss42

appearance: pours a pale orange-amber, quite a clear body, small beige head with no retention and very little in the way of lacing

smell: a big whiff of sweet malt, bready, apple, syrupy, not a whole lot of hop aroma, caramel

taste: as has been mentioned, this is not much of a pale ale, certainly a lot closer to an amber ale...that said, sweet malty flavour, caramel covered apple, bready...a little syrupy, pretty decent

mouthfeel: syrupy, medium body

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of shirfan
2.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden-orange with a blink-and-miss it head, Sunset Ale has a fairly unique aroma. Somewhere between oktoberfest style malts and a strawberry milkshake. Slightly alarming.

Taste: a medium-light dose of caramel malt and *very* faint leafy hops. Seemingly meant to appeal to timid macro-accustomed palates. And there's that damnable "I was brewed with Florida tap water" funk..a mild kiss of vegetation and salt that doesn't belong, which turns light-but-drinkable into ehhhh.

I can almost taste what seems to have been attempted... a light but malty refresher...it just doesn't quite deliver.

shirfan, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of RonfromJersey
3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden amber body, good clarity, topped by a rapidly decaying off-white level head which went from a two fingers to a table top in the time to walk to my kitchen and back.

Light bready aroma, bits of hay and grass lurking in the corners.

Sweet, maybe a little too sweet, caramelly beginning and middle, with a quick zap of somewhat undefined bittering in the finish and aftertaste.

Light medium mouthfeel is ok, particularly for sunset. Might want something lighter for a hot Florida afternoon though. Drinkability is also just ok.

An average amber ale, not flawed, but not really interesting.

Served my purpose of a local beer to keep in my hotel room on a recent Disney vacation, but I would pass it by if it showed up on my local shelves.

RonfromJersey, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
3.3/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a golden yellow, with a thin off white head. It I look hard, I can see slight orange tints in the head. It fades very quick, leaving no laces.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. Not much aroma really. Sort of plain. I can detect a very slight biscuit aroma. No hop aroma is present.

This beer has a bready flavor. As with the aroma, though, there is a bit lacking in the flavor. There is just not much to it. I can not taste any hops.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a week grainy aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

This beer would probably make a great session beer. It is low in alcohol, and in flavor. I could probably drink this stuff like it was water.

OStrungT, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Orange-copper with a wispy head.

S - Slight skunky hop with some sweetness and citrus.

T - Some grain and mild bitterness. Some lemony notes as well, but this is not a particularly flavourful brew.

M /D - Basic, medium-bodied lightly flavoured, easy drinking beer. Doesn't really stand out.

allergictomacros, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.3/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall this is a very nice beer. Had on tap at Papa Joe's in Islamorda. An absolutely wonderful setting. Called Sunset Ale probably due to the nightly tradition of gathering in Mallory Square to watch the sunset. The beer retains a close resemblence to the sunset, an appropriately named beer. The bottle does a decent job of educating the drinker about its characteristics. This is an Amber Ale, not a Pale Ale. Sweet malts all over the place with this one. Virtually no hops anywhere. A great session beer, when the alternative is well..you know.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of DrJay
3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very clear amber with a dark cream coloured head. Minimal lace, fair retention. Sweet malt with a bit of grassy hops in the aroma. Mild flavour - some malt, some bitterness and a hint of hop flavour. Slightly high carbonation gives it a bit of a metallic finish. Light, but not thin. An inoffensive beer. Thanks Wintermute!

DrJay, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
3.33/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The first sips were the best with this one. The only non-macro swill available at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee at $5 a pint . . . ouch. Crisp fruit with enough hops and a nice finish, a bit nutty at the end. Reminds me a lot of Bell's Oberon Ale. Got tired of it, however, before finishing it all. Would be good on a really hot day.

Backer2004, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of mooseisloose
3.33/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer here in SoFla. I have imbibed this brew from the tap in the Keys so thought I'd try it in the bottle. Smell in the bottle is sweet hoppy and yeasty like my first homebrews. Poured a bottle and a half into a 20 oz goblet. Not much head. Rusty bronze color. Seems a bit bitter for an ale, needs more carbonation in my opinion. A steady flavor but a little bit watery. Doesn't finish with a more bitter aftertaste you would expect from when it first hits the lips. Not a bad beer but nothing to write home about. I'll be back to it, if the price drops, its pricy for a run of the mill brew unless you're at the Island. I seem to remember it being alot better out of a barrel.

mooseisloose, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After drinking much of the warmer climate crap beer, it's refreshing to have a true micro on a hot summer's day in the Keys. Though a better than average APA, there's nothing outstanding about this brew. The hops lend a nice spicy character (not piney or woodsy) in the nose and flavor that cut through the thirst nicely. The malt character was a bit big and sweet, more akin to a good amber ale. Nevertheless, the brew had no real flaws other than a slight malt / hop imbalance. The spicy hops lingered breifly into the finish and aftertaste. A tasty brew after an hour of walking Duval Street.

BEERchitect, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of PatYoda
1.93/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Consumed at Sloppy Joe's in Key West. This is a pretty poor offering.

Smell is very bland with some mild malts. Taste is just as bland. Malts do show up but so does a buttery slickness which becomes rather sickening making me unable to finish my glass. Mouthfeel is nothing special. Just get a mixed drink instead.

PatYoda, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of hustlemuscle
3.13/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This strikes me as a gimmicky beer, looking to cash in on two words. "Key" and "West". Big big head, over an almost orange body. Actually, it is orange. Vigerous carbonation. Smells mostly of candy like malts. Nary a hop to be found. Sweetly malted, astringent hops. Vaguely citrusy, but overall a bit bland. Smooth, perhaps from lack of flavoring. Easily drinkable, but why bother? Watery finish.

"American medium bodied amber ale with a tropical twist"- as per the lable. Huh? What is the twist, a big dose of bland?

hustlemuscle, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of Ego
4.08/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

location location location.

I just got back from the keys tonight.. I sampled this beer in every form except on a hookers ass (that fell through).

on tap @ papa joe's this was pure heaven looking out onto the sunset after a hurricane has landed.

in all seriousness this sucked in a bottle but I am basing my scores on the best case scenario I had in the keys on tues night.

papa joe's is a tiki bar perched about 20ft up on the end of islamorada (a collection of islands in the keys, think a town made up of islands).

Down here you get Killians if you are lucky... seriously. but it doesnt matter this time of year, hot as balls, 90+ plus (yes, that reads 2 pluses) every day and bright, burning sun (I have bacon ears now folks). This beer stood out. On tap in a crappy frat type clear plastic cup it even called to a non beer friend of mine "this smells like pine".. Yep, this has a citrus/pine nose (mellow) with a hop kick (mellow)... medium color, light head.

in a bottle this is pretty much suckage but on tap @ papa joe's (and I had it at the lorelei as well) this is one damn tasty beer.

imagine the sunset on the gulf side of the keys blazing, with shark, tarpon, and all sort swimming beneath you into the mangrove trails...

I dont think an extreme beer in this environment is needed at all, when in rome do as romans do. If you dont like margaritas get this on tap from a popular place, sip hardy! Thinking about it brings me right back to the balcony. and this was after Katrina came through.. this isnt something to order out of its element, it wont be appreciated.

side note: the tap is a conch shell on top... I had ample opportunities to take photos of it.. but hell, I didnt care.

Ego, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of ddellarocca
3.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was quite average, nothing spectacular. The taste was crisp with a hint of citrus, with little to no aftertaste. I poured it from the bottle into a cup and I feel it helped enhance the citrus undertones. Bought from a street vendor, it was a good offering compared to all of the bars nearby pushing Bud Light.

ddellarocca, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of EMV
3.03/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly good for a novelty beer that I picked up on a 98 degree day on the streets of Key West. I was most impressed with the dark golden color, and indeed this was the best aspect of the beer. The head was insignificant and quickly dropped, and there was a large (almost excessive) amount of carbonation. The smell was also mild, but I was able to detect some hops in the brew.

Maybe my estimation of the drinkability was skewed by thirst, but I was genuinely surprised that for a "tourist beer" it went down so easily. Definitely a cut above macro-swill, and well worth the novelty of sampling. I wouldn't turn one down, and the bottle itself looks kinda cool. I have it sitting on a shelf in my kitchen, and it often receives comments from visitors.

EMV, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
3.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I recieved this brew in a trade from fellow BA Chatter down in Florida. It's a decent pale, but not one of my faves. I'm still thrilled by the prospect of drinking beer that I can't get around here, half the continent away.

It looks good. Has a clear and golden amber color to it with a moderate carbonation and a decent white head that recedes to a ring after a minute or so.

The smell is interesting. It has a bit of a sweet spiciness that reminds me of a belgian. Does this have some candi sugar in the recipe? Also smells a bit grainy with some feint grassy hops.

The taste somehow seems belgian in character as well. It is a bit sweet followed by a very moderate spicy hop. The sweetness shows through in the finish over the hop, but it still has a bit of a dry bitter finish to it.

This isn't the most highly drinkable pale I've ever had. It doesn't seem to fit the same refreshing niche as something like SNPA does. Not to say that it is bad just because of that fact, but I like my Pale Ales to be slightly hoppier and ultimately quaffable. This was a good attempt, but it doesn't seem to fit the APA style too well. I find the belgian-like grainy sweetness to be a bit odd for the style.

neonbrown82, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of schrist275
3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a very cloudy dirty dark gold.... head is white with fairly tight bubbles stemming from alot of carbonation, turns down into rim only with a whisp across the top fairly fast. smell leads lighty into the malty zone.. nothing to heavy.. but nothing that stands out either. taste gives a more fuller sensation than does the nose... a taste of the caramel and then sits solid malt on the top of the tongue. mouthfeel improves as it warms. not to bad, this would go good with some hawaiin bread i think.

schrist275, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
3.63/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a cream colored head over clear light amber liquid. Light and sweet malt nose. Toasty-sweet malt flavor with a weak hoppiness following. Finishes on a more assertive hop note than I would expect, yet still sweet. A nice tourist beer, nothing to write home about.

beerluvr, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of PorterLambic
2.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice orange-amber color with a relatively small head that quickly drops to 1/2" then a film.
Smell is almost non-existent, just a light hint of malt.
Taste is malty, a light indistinct fruitiness, and a hoppiness that increases as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel is lightly effervescent with a bitter bite that increases as it warms.
Drinkability is not very high, unless you want an IPA masquerading as a tropical ale. Entirely too hoppy for the style, not enough fruitiness for it to be "tropical". Flavor is one dimensional.

PorterLambic, Nov 01, 2004
Key West Sunset Ale from Florida Beer Company
69 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.