Sea Dog Amber Ale - Vancouver Island Brewery
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by thehyperduck:
3.63/5 rDev 0%
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.
09-24-2013 22:55:40 | More by thehyperduck
More User Reviews:
3.29/5 rDev -9.4%
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.
08-12-2013 20:13:40 | More by JohnnyBarman
3.53/5 rDev -2.8%
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.
08-13-2013 01:33:49 | More by spinrsx
British Columbia (Canada)
4.6/5 rDev +26.7%
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.
05-13-2010 02:26:16 | More by stormy67
British Columbia (Canada)
3.38/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
02-25-2011 02:38:32 | More by IllNate
3.48/5 rDev -4.1%
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
01-28-2012 19:01:27 | More by wordemupg
British Columbia (Canada)
4/5 rDev +10.2%
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.
04-30-2010 18:37:11 | More by Graham5161986
Sea Dog Amber Ale from Vancouver Island Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.