Sea Dog Amber Ale - Vancouver Island Brewery

Not Rated.
Sea Dog Amber AleSea Dog Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

45 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Vancouver Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bobsy on 03-19-2010

Ready, Aye, Ready! We’re proud that our brewery’s hometown is also the base of the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet. As a tribute to our nation’s Naval heritage, and to commemorate our Canadian Naval Centennial, we’ve crafted a unique beer for a unique occasion. Sea Dog is an amber coloured beer with a burst of hops and smooth malt finish. Here’s to 100 years of protecting our waters, our citizens and our sovereignty...Bravo Zulu!
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 15
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

341 mL bottle from the BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler, currently available at the LCBO (packaged May 23 2013). I used to be pretty big on ambers, but I fear that my palate has moved on because I can't recall the last time I was really wowed by one. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a beautiful, clear copper-amber colour, topped with one centimetre of dense, off-white head that quickly wilts into a soap film and narrow collar. Mild aroma that tends toward the sweet side - caramel and biscuity malts come through nicely, in addition to a slight hint of baker's chocolate that nicely complements the earthy nature of the hops in this brew. Nothing fancy, but it works out well.

No surprises here; this is a straightforward, tasty, malt-focused amber ale. Toffee and toasted, biscuity/bready malts provide the initial burst of flavour, leading into a pleasant nuttiness with a faint wisp of chocolate. The hops are less prominent than on the nose, offering only a modest grassiness that finishes us off, followed by a slight sweetness that lingers on the palate into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with a slightly slick feel on the palate that is effectively scrubbed away by the prickly, fairly sturdy carbonation. Fairly drinkable, but I could see the sweetness becoming tiresome.

Final Grade: 3.63, a B grade. While I wouldn't consider it particularly memorable, Vancouver Island Brewery has still managed to generate a serviceable, full-flavoured, sessionable ale in their Sea Dog Amber. This easily outperforms the macro equivalents like Rickard's Red and Sleeman Honey Brown, but I'd still like a little more punch out of the hop bill - this one is a bit malt-heavy, and for that reason I doubt I'd be up for more than 2-3 of these in a sitting. Pretty good with no deal-breaking flaws, and I'd be interested in trying a fresher sample, but this doesn't strike me as a top tier amber.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Single bottle from the BC Craft Brewers Guild mixed pack at the LCBO.

Poured into a small tulip tasting glass. A deep ruby chestnut colour, with a decent head of foam that recedes into a thick ring. Nice colour to the brew.

Nose is cereal, malt, chocolate. Maybe a touch of hops in there, but its a bit of a stretch.

Decent red ale, not much to it. Finishes surprisingly clean; I'm really not getting any of the "distinctive burst of hops" the label boasts about. What I am getting is a good dose of sweet malt, cereal, and surprisingly a bit of chocolate. Mild, grassy hops I suppose, but not too much to speak of. An okay red ale that sits firmly on the sweet side of the tracks.

Carbonation is mild, beer has a slight oiliness to it. Medium bodied.

Nothing to get too excited about, this is a pretty standard amber ale without too much going on. I'm sure it is probably a great deal better when enjoyed fresh, and of course I would love the opportunity to try some of this on site, but this particular bottle isn't doing much for me.

Photo of souvenirs
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber and clear. Two fingers of head. Sweet grain, some roasted malts. A bit nutty, more sweet grain, slight toffee flavour.

Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO - part of a mixed 6 pack for $13

Appearance - Clear copper/amber colour with an average size off white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/toffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/toffee, and grassy hops. There is also a bit of a chocolate flavour.

Overall - Not a hoppy ale by any means, but a solid brown ale. A nice well rounded malty flavour.

Photo of stormy67
4.55/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer on draught has a serious drinkability to it. I really enjoy it in a bottle but hands down on draught. It gets that malt flavour in your face. Full flavour on the front side with a pleasant, non lingering finish. The tap handle is a nice touch too, the staff at the Garricks Head Pub were all very keen on this brew as well. If you are ever in Victoria the Garricks Head Pub had the best array of local beer I could see.

Photo of IllNate
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very clear amber with a finger of fizzy white head. Poor retention.

S - Similar to the double decker with a more subdued hop aroma. Light biscuit with bit of caramel and medium roast malt, with corn and earthy hop.

T - Again light biscuit malt with hints of caramel and all too familiar corn flavor. Slight earthy but mainly indistinct bitterness.

M - Pretty thin and a bit fizzy.

D - Ok.

Again bought fresh from the brewery and kept cold all the way to my fridge, so I'm a little disappointed. Vancouver Island seems to be less of a craft brewery and more of a big brewery with a craft feel.

Photo of wordemupg
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 18/1/12

A clear reddish copper with lots of bubbles but only a thin film for head, for a thin film it dose leave a fair bit of lace

S herbal, leafy and just earthy hops in general, a little nutty toffee's in there too

T along the smell but a little metallic flavour comes through nothing bad though

M its a little slick and thin but has enough bubbles too give it some life

O not the most exciting beer but nothings wrong with it

my mixed packs slumping a little but still a decent beer

Photo of Graham5161986
3.99/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New packaging and a new beer? Right on.

This amber pours a light reddish brown with a 1 finger off-white head that reduces quickly and doesn't leave much in terms of lacing.

Smell is decently hoppy with subtle notes of citrus, caramel and grain. Call me crazy but I also get a nice scent of honey and yogurt in there as well.

Taste is smooth and malty with a light hop backbone. Clean caramel malts are complimented by notes of bread, light fruit and bread. Nothing fancy but very tasty.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and clean. It goes down smooth and soothes a dry palate very nicely.

Another very sessionable beer from VIB. I could drink this beer all day without any hesitation. By no means is it a flavour bomb but, sometimes, that's exactly what you need. This beer tastes great and is dangerously easy drinking. A great addition to this brewery's rotation.

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type 341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Amber in colour. Shocking. With a slight brown tinge. Poured with 2 fingers of slightly off white head. A decent amount of lacing is left behind. Head retention is decent, halfway done the glass and there's still some left.

Smell - Roasted malt's and a good deal of nuts and biscuits.

Taste - Follows the nose. Very heavy on the malts up front. Toffee and caramel factor in towards the finish. Lingering nutty taste.

Mouthfeel - Not to heavy, not to light. Carbonation is medium. Finish is smooth.

Photo of canucklehead
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is great addition to the VI lineup as I miss the West Coast Wheat . Pours a lovely reddish brown with decent head. Nose is fairly hoppy but malt dominates. This is a well made amber ale that is much better balanced than the pale ale. I love the big mouthfeel and the crisp finish. Could drink a bunch of these and must say that on tap this could be a favourite.

Photo of timtwoface
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I respect Vancouver Island Brewery and like some of their products; sadly this isn't one I would come running back to. It's an easy smooth drink overall, and the aftertaste is OK...I think what threw me off is just the amount and/or type of maltiness that hit me when I took a sip. It really took me by surprise just how strong it was.

Not bad, honestly...just not the one for me.

Photo of maclean25
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The third beer in the pod (sampler) pack. I drank three 341 mL bottles (at 5.2% alc). I've been impressed with the quality of the previous two (pale ale and a dark lager).

This one has a brown, clear body with a foamy, beige head. It left lots of lacing. It had the aroma of rootbeer with a salty, woodsy, mushrooms quality to it. The taste was not very complex, just mostly malt and biscuit. I enjoyed the mouthfeel more than anything else. I found it felt creamy, fizzy, and wet. Overall, not their best offering but, then again, I've never really cared for amber/red ales.

Photo of TerryW
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear copper red brew undr a good-sized head that settles to a heavy film and gives up lots of curtainy lace as you go. Decent looking brew.

Nose is all malts, with just a whiff of hops. Sweet caramel.

Taste is also sweet and malty, and just a hint of hops. Very thin-bodied and watery.

Drinkable, but overall just an ordinary red ale.

Photo of Denver_Dan
4.7/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Ale.

Good mouth feel, even balance between malt and hops. Great look, great drink ability. Best on tap. Good out of the bottle. My personal favorite in Victoria.

Medium head
Fair Malt
Low Hops

Overall, an excellent ale to share with a friend or two.

Trying to get some in Denver.

Photo of mick303
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This poured a large rocky tan amber head, lots of big visible carbonation. Colour is a darkish reddish chestnut brown, very clear. Leaves some light lacing. 3.5

S – caramel malts are forward, some lemon notes with a ruby grapefruit citrus as well. Also some harsher mineral, metallic-y notes. Some fruitiness with the malt, raspberry mostly, although apple and peach could be there as well . 3.5

T – fruity and malty mostly. Grapefruit citrus, and some estery soft florals. Bready malts, and caramel with raspberry jam. Citrus and red berries really are the prominent notes ontop of some bready malts, some minerally edges on the maltiness, it is a light style, but the flavor isn’t bad just fairly shallow Finish is dry, mildly grassy. 3.75

M – quite light, with a plethora of big carbonation fleshing it out. Easy drinking with a mild balanced body, hints of caramel malts at the close. Drinkable yes, not that inspiring though. 3.25

The Alt influence is detectable in this, with a light and drinkable mineral profile, the malt flavor is mildly lemony and interesting but otherwise there isn’t a ton going on and the hops don’t contribute much. Easy drinking summer beer, I’m guessing this batch isn’t that fresh, so I would hope for better next time. 3.5

Sea Dog Amber Ale from Vancouver Island Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.