James Squire Sundown Lager - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire Sundown LagerJames Squire Sundown Lager

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BA SCORE
76
okay

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 17.5%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: lacqueredmouse on 11-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by doktorhops:
Photo of doktorhops
2.4/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

With much hesitation I approach James Squire Sundown Lager - many good reviewers have trashed this beer and my concern, as I apprehensively reach for the (free mind you) bottle, is that that they have rightfully so trashed it. Plus I hate the two words "Australian" and "Lager" together on the bottle label - it conjures thoughts of VB or Tooheys Red. But let's give it a chance first shall we.

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a pokal.

A: Pale clear golden body with a cappuccino froth white head that sits rather proudly. Looks good so far.

S: There is definite vegetable matter on the nose. Malt grain base, hint of yeast, with Phenolic aromas that give off the impression of chemical cleaner residue, much like any other macro Aussie Lager with a slight Euro Lager yeastiness.

T: Big sugar hit upfront. Malt grains dominate the mid-palate, with that minor sour yeast note followed by a tinge of hop bitterness at the end - you can pretty much discount hops completely but is that really a surprise in an Aussie Lager? The whole flavour profile is very simple, on the plus side though there are a lot of terrible, terrible Aussie Lagers out there and compared to it's competition it's doing OK.

M: Watery and flat. Disappointing.

D: Final verdict? It's not something that appeals to me, but hey I must be in the minority because macro beer makers pump out stuff like this en masse. This is a simple Lager for an underdeveloped beer palate, and I wouldn't be surprised if the sweetness in this brew is there to try and lure RTD (Ready To Drink) people away from their expensive (with the RTD Tax in Australia) beverages. For an old(ish) beer drinker like me it's a fail.

Food match: Footy match food like meat pies, hot chips and hot dogs.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Vanz
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Andrewziggy
2.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Citrus notes hint lemongrass and orange zest

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a small head.
Has a faint aroma, with sweet caramel and grainy malt alongside some light floral and spicy hops.
Sweet malty flavours, but unfortunately it's still quite grainy. Once again, there's some spicy and grassy hops.
Pretty watery.

Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Kulrak
3.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep golden color with a minimum of head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells vaguely sweet, hard to actually pinpoint what it smells like. It just smells cool and sweet. The taste is grainy and sweet with a woody hop finish. It's very interesting, and not unpleasant. The mouthfeel is heavy but without any real carbonation. Overall, it's a very unusual and very drinkable beer. I'll be buying this again during this season.

Photo of foles
3.73/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a solid lager, built for sessionability. I picked up a carton and its disappearing quickly, despite the fact it does not attack you with taste.

Slight german hop aroma / flavour, rounded crispness, one dimensional flavour. Appears to have a subtle malt backbone. Very soft and easy drinking at 4.4%. Also seems to get better after a couple.

Good offering for summer from Malt Shovel

Photo of Jake321
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of pin
1/5  rDev -68.8%

Photo of aeolianshredhead
3.78/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brewery has churned out some fantastic offerings. So lets see how their flagship lager turns out.

A- Just a typical lager appearance. Decent head which retains fairly well and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells a fair bit better than I expected. Theres's a laid back grassy-hop aroma and some malts. It's all mild though, but for the style.. Hey, you could do worse.

T- Very clean. Although, it's thankfully not one of those "psuedo-beer" macro aussie lagers in the taste department. Sweetness upfront with good hoppiness and some faint Pride of Ringwood on the back. Luckily, the aforementioned POW is not so pronounced. Not bad at all.

M- Crisp and highly drinkable. While this is good by style, it still leaves me wanting a bit.

O- Generally the words "Australian" and "lager" do not mix well AT ALL, but in this case, they do. What we have here is an easy-drinking warm weather beer with some actual taste. I won't be so snobbish to say that's a bad thing.

Photo of drtth
3.63/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes taken during a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a bright clear golden straw color with a 1" head of white foam. The head recedes to a ring of foam and sipping leaves scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: While not strong the aroma is filled with pleasant biscuity malt and hint of grassy hops

Taste: The flavors include some lightly sweet biscuity malt flavor with some earthy grassy hops present but not obtrusive.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with strong carbonation. The finish is on the short side and barely lets one know the hops are there.

Drinkability: This is a reasonably drinkable beer, but nothing really stands out about it, either good or bad. The best that can be said for it is that it is a thirst quencher and not an adjunct lager.

Photo of Macca
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a bright golden colour but with very little head. For most of the time it sat in the glass it looked dead.

Wonderful tropical fruit aromas - pineapple and passionfruit. Probably the best part of the beer.

The graininess on the palate reminded me of a euro lager. Drinkable but not gonna change my world/.

Photo of juju7
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A golden lager with a weak head, soft hop aromas hinting at tropical fruit but you've got to want to believe to find them. Malt presence and med bitterness on the palate. Finishes a little short. Body is also a touch light, lacking in the mid-palate. Not bad, a decent beer that is definitely not worth the $20 a six pack price tag.

Photo of soju6
2.9/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a golden color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: Mild aroma of citrus, bit of malt sweetness and grain.

T: Taste of some citrus with a mild malt sweetness. Has a mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp and refreshing.

O: Decent beer for a hot summer day.

Photo of adityashekhar
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of magpieken
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of vancurly
3.55/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't know how this comes to be "Munich Helles"....I guess in terms of malt/hop balance it slots here rather than other categories such as Dortmunder and Euro Pale. But the tropical, "new world" approach to the hop flavour lends it more towards an American all-malt, pale lager.

a) Bright golden, coarse bubbled head which drops quickly to a thin raft. Not much effervescence.

s) From the bottle there's a good healthy whiff of late hops. In the glass, the malt comes through with a strong herbaceous note, kinda like wild vegetation/lantana. Hints of seeds, like wattle or passionfruit.

f) Tropical fruit, light toastiness, slight blood/metal. Late honey at the back. Not particularly bitter.

m) Full, light & tingly, refreshing at first, but finishing slightly cloying, inviting a second one.

d) This is a good quaffer. For what it sets out to achieve, it does so with class. For this I rate it highly for drinkability.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.15/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Marly Newtown.

Pours an orange-gold colour, with very dense white head, webs of lace clinging to the glass. Steady stream of bubbles heading upwards makes for a pretty good-looking lager.

Smells grainy and lagery, kind of sweet with crisp lager notes. Mild grass and pine character. Not a lot to it, really. Plain, kind of bland.

Taste is quite dry. Lots of grain on the front, slightly sweet with barley and a hint of corn, then some earthy hops. Bits of POR and some grassy notes, hay. Slight medicinal character comes through on the finish, but mostly crisp and clean, doesn't leave a lot of aftertaste which is good as it is quite drinkable and clean as a result. Not special, but inoffensive.

Mouthfeel is sizzly, but not harsh. Surprisingly good body for how low ABV is. Feels like a real beer with natural ingredients.

A decent effort and more than a match for most Aussie lagers out there.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.7/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bright, clear golden beer with a firm head of fine white foam. The head dissipates to a ring after a while. Carbonation is robust. Nice colour, decent look to it.

Pretty light on the nose - sweet biscuity malt characters and only a hint of grassy hops. Light tropical notes creep in slightly later, but it's pretty subdued.

Clean, dry palate with an extremely light body. Subtle vegetative hop characters again, and a thin grain/hay character. Carbonation is high, which gives a little shake to the otherwise rather flat palate.

It's a pretty bland beer, in my opinion. Drinkable enough, but bland. Like JS Pilsener with all the character removed. Is this MSB's answer to the no-flavour, no-body, lo-carb beer craze?

I'm even more disappointed that I chose to try this instead of buying some Knappstein Reserve. Ah well, you live and learn...

Photo of hopnerd
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of dansmcd
2.23/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ugh. Plucked this out of the bargain bin for $2 and want my money back. Just a bubbly, chemically soft drink. Very watery, no smell, weak sweet flavour. Not an overly unpleasant taste, just very, very dull. Probably would have loved this when I was 12. Avoid.

Photo of ADZA
3.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a pale see thru straw colour with average carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head with no lacing only a tiny subtle ring,it has very similar aromas to the golden ale with hints of passionfruit,paw paw and some pineapple but just not as full on and more malt aromas in the background,it has a thinish mouthfeel which prob is a little thin for the style for me so would prob class this as something different than a Helles but neverless on taste it has a hint of citrus with a grassy smooth hop finish,not bad but not great and would prefer to drink something else now.

Photo of philphilphil
2.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

totally different from the other munich helles' i have tried. Lower than 5 % abv, can't be a munich helles.

A - deep amber colour, average head.
S - nothing surprising
T - heres what truely surprised me, the flavour, excessively floral, but not the most over the top ive had. Not munich helles flavour as i was anticipating...
M - good.
D - over priced, average beer. Floral hops put it back a long way with me, i just cannot undeerstand what people see in them.

Photo of heygeebee
3.53/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An atypical review.

Lets just assume for a minute that beer is supposed to be refreshing, easy to drink, thirst quenching, pleasantly, if not fully flavoured, and that after you have one you can easily go another, and then another, and then another.

That knocks out quite a few beers. But not this one.

(Slight aside, it is quite sweet. But not overmuch)

Photo of SmashPants
2.76/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Format: standard 330mL brown bottle, pretty standard James Squire label.

Appearance: pours out an amber-gold colour with limited visible carbonation. A fluffy white head that drops to a thick cap. Okay lacing.

Aroma: a very mild aroma for a James Squire beer. Some biscuit malts and grass hops. Smells a bit artificial.

Taste: fresh cut grass hops are there, which is nice, but the biscuity hops are the artificial smelling component apparently, and aren't particularly brilliant here either.

Aftertaste: a bit cloying on the finish, without any bitterness from the hops.

Mouth feel: light in feel with a moderate carbonation that really doesn't bring those flavours forward. Average.

Overall: not a particularly brilliant beer from James Squire. A bit of a pity, since I generally like their line-up. All told, not awful but a bit boring. The typically James Squire price of AU$55 a case means that this one is definitely not worth it, particularly when standing up against its Squire brethren.

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James Squire Sundown Lager from Malt Shovel Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.