Bulldog Amber Ale | Half Pints Brewing Company

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Bulldog Amber AleBulldog Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company
Manitoba, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
British crystal malts give this beer its distinctly deep amber body and nutty aroma that persist throughout the glass. The soft underlying hop bitterness is tempered with the flowery aroma of the U.K. Golding hop. Like its namesake, Bulldog Amber Ale is tough on the exterior with a soft disposition, so it’s a great introduction to Half Pints.

20 IBU

Added by fisherman34 on 08-19-2006

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 73
Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle. No bottle date could be found. Copper color with a quickly settling head. Sticky lacing is left down the glass. Not getting much of an aroma. I get caramel and some grassy hops. Nice mild, clean flavor. Just enough caramel malt to give flavor but not too much to make it taste artificial. Very little hop character. Light body and nicely carbonated. A very approachable beer but also not very interesting.

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Photo of nmann08
2.79/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

From a bottle, pours a clear copper color with a wispy thin ring of white head.

The smell is mostly malt, caramel, a little toffee, but mostly buttered popcorn. The flavor is light floral and earthy hops, more caramel, a little toast, butterscotch. It is a bit syrupy and leaves a very thick coating aftertaste.

Look, amber ales are rarely excellent, but when you miss, it is easy to miss bad.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Carlsberg tulip glass.

A real nice clear copper light orange body, real thin carbonation with a large soapy off white to egg tanned head. Forms four fingers tall with some soapy retention and minimal lacing.

Real large notes of caramel sticky quality almost toffee like doppelbock character. Good toasty brown ale like notes and almost biscuity aromas. Bouquet is a bit of a one hit dominant nose though.

Palate is fairly solid. Caramel notes are more subdued compared to the nose, but a light toast and caramel in the mid palate. Not much aftertaste, and a little watery as well. Some mild wet sensations but the caramel notes manage to just dominate and almost burst. Muted hop quality and indistinct, but some muted bitterness letting the malts shine a bit.

Overall a pretty easy drinking flavorful amber its nose is a bit of a one note wonder but sings loudly.

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Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving glass: Poured from tap into pint glass.

Appearance: Rich amber with decent beige head.

Smell: Spicy and fruity, almost reminiscent of Belgian yeast. Lots of caramel.

Taste: Caramel, some nuttiness. Quite fruity and spicy - once again, a little Belgian mixed in with this otherwise English Ale.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a semi-dry finish. A little thin.

Overall: Nicely balanced Amber.

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

Bulldog Amber looks like a sunset awash in rhubarb juice. It has a great orange-y-pink colour and striking, glossy complexion that is transparent although not altogether clear. Its head could be called soapy or sudsy but only for so long; after a certain point the only word to describe it would be 'non-existent'. Same goes for lacing.

The grassy, floral qualities of U.K. Golding hops are pleasant, although I find pine resin and grapefruit ideal matches for nutty crystal malts. (Then again I enjoy peanut butter and roast beef sandwiches. These things are subjective.) However, what concerns me more than which variety of hops were used is the quantity - this is only mildly hoppy, at best.

The fact that it's a bit under-hopped is easy to forgive considering that it's well malted. Lots of nutty-sweet crystal maltiness abounds and with it notes of toffee, pecan, praline and just a hint of rum-raisin. And it's not like the hops were entirely disregarded either. Traces of tree bark and flower petal can be appreciated, especially on the finish.

Given all its nutty sweetness, the beer drinks quite smoothly with little bitterness to get in the way; 20 bittering units is a modest amount for any style but especially in an amber ale. A few more kettle hops might have amounted to a bit of spiciness, lending the beer the additional texture needed to earn a higher grade for mouthfeel.

Half Pints' portfolio is up-and-down as solid as a brick house. Their amber ale demonstrated all the quality and craftsmanship I've come to expect from this brewery. There's nothing not to like here. Anyone comparing Bulldog to the highest rated ambers is failing to appreciate what is a well balanced, super agreeable and highly enjoyable ale.

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Photo of leaddog
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a orange amber with two finger widths of foamy and fluffy off white head.

Smell- Caramel malts, nutty characteristic, and mild hops.

Taste- Caramel malts followed by the nutty characteristic. Mild earthy hops are present. A slight tartness at the end (which came as a surprise).

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Leaves a pleasant tart and dry finish.

Overall- A nice amber ale by Half Pints. Supplies the classic caramel malts and nutty flavours but kicks it up with the hops and slight tartness. Worth a try.

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Photo of korguy123
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz into tulip.

A- Clear rich amber pour with a finger width soapy white head and moderate sticky lacing.

S- There is a nutty sweetness, slight brown sugar with a nice pastry aroma. Hops are very faint but floral.

T- Slight butterscotch and slight grassy. Very balanced between sweet and bready.

M- Light bodied, chewey and smooth.

O- I tend to stick to more bold styles but this is something I would enjoy all night.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from kjyost. Thanks.

A - Pours a nice copper with mild carbonation. One finger of off white head at a sort of foamy texture. Moderate chunks of lace and a half finger of filmy head.

S - Bread, caramel, earthy hops, and a yeasty note.

T - Caramel/toffee, bready, yeasty, and earthy again. Maybe a pear or apple flavour too.

M - Nice carbonation lifting it off the tongue. Medium body. Easy to drink.

O/D - Meh. Nothing overly interesting. Pretty simple. Well crafted and probably what it set out to be, which is an easy drinking amber-ish beer. OK, but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of marty21
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber/orange with a nice white head that eventually settles to a very nice solid cap that lasts the entire time. Nice lacing present for the most part.

S: A crisp biscuit malt smell as well as some floral hops.

T: A sweet caramel malt and flowery hops taste. Very sweet.

M: It has a medium body with very light carbonation. Finishes a bit dry. Wouldn't mind a bit more carbonation to make the sweet aftertaste more crisp.

D: Not my favorite offering from Half Pints but still a decent amber ale.

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Photo of papat444
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kjyost for this one. Had it with my supper, takeout chicken.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: A big 3 fingers of head appears atop a ... well... amber body that kind of looks like dark honey. The foam lasts quite a while and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of malt, roasted maybe? A bit of hops also.

Taste: Tastes like a red ale. More malt than hops though the hops leave their mark in the aftertaste. A nice overall caramel flavor minus the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Active carbonation with a smooth, restrained bitterness.

Drinkability: I'd have it again. Drinks rather well.

Overall: I really dug this red ale. Nothing mind blowing but makes an average style stand out.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml brown bottle with twist off cap. Part of a Taster 12-pack. Poured in a pint glass.

Hazy, copper-amber. Off-white head is 1/4 inch on the pour, but quickly recedes to a thin ring around the edge.

Aroma is malty and sweet. Caramel and malt with a hint of floral hops.

Smooth and sweet. Caramel and malt backbone with a hint of floral hops. Wet finish lingers a long time before giving way to a slightly bitter floral hop aftertaste.

Medium bodied with minimal carbonation.

Smooth drinking beer. A little too sweet to drink more than a couple, but still a nice relaxing ale.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear copper red, 2 fingers of bubbly off white head that retained very well
S - caramel roasted malts up front, piney and metallic hops scents, and a little citrus tang
T - caramely and nutty malts, mellow citrus, and a nice piney hop bite on the finish
M - a relatively thin smoothness, medium carbonation, but the bitter and slightly dry hop bitterness is delightful
D - nice balanced ale with a little extra hop kick is right up my alley. Easy drinking and tasty.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium orange amber hue, with two fingers of chunky light beige head, which leaves a nice wallpapering of webbed lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of bready, biscuity malt, and earthy, floral hops. The taste is sweet caramel malt, a bit of biscuit, some mild nuttiness, and a soft herbal, earthy hoppiness. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and a bit prickly, and it finishes off-dry, the caramel sweetness most evident.

A decent, balanced amber ale, with hops that are not just an afterthought.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a semi-transparent golden orange colour with a half thumb of head which dissipates into islands with a little lacing.

S - A floral wheat scent, with a grassy finish. A bit of a nut malt also present and a very mild hop scent on the finish.

T - The mildest flavour from the Half Pints line-up that I've had the pleasure of trying to-date. That being said, it is still quite nice with a very sweet caramel, a bit of vanilla and some very light nutmeg flavour on the finish. The mild hops come through on a bit of a bitter finish, but the flavours are very nicely balanced.

M - Quite light on the palette, and bubbles up nicely on the tongue. Quite smooth.

D - Overall, quite a delicious amber ale, goes down smooth and has a nicely balanced flavour. Bit of sweet and a bit of bitter. Half Pints produces yet another winner in my books!

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Photo of pootz
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml twist top bottle:

Puts a murky amber orange ale in the glass with a massive rocky white head that reduces to a 1 finger tight cap which lasts and laces, Soft carbonation and unfilterd.

Aroma is very pleasant cookie dough with toffee and some grassy mustiness.

Wonderful crystal malt toffee tones in front are quickly met with wonderful apricot fruitiness and a herbal hoppiness, soft carbonate mouth feel, finishes wet and lightly fruity-sweet with the dry hop golding "tang" balancing it.

Great flavorful quencher. Well done Dave!

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Photo of Clutch28
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light copper with thin tan head that dissipates quickly

S: Uninspiring malty aroma with stock caramel note, little hoppiness.

T: Boring and uninspired but not unpleasant. Caramelly malt highly present before drying to a gentle hoppy dryness on the finish.

M: light bodied and pleasant. Not below average for the style.

D: About the same standard of drinkibility as a standard, north American macro-brewed lager.

I'm rather disappointed by this particular Half Pints effort only for the reason I would have liked to see some of their more exciting beers available in my area such as the Humulus and the Sellout. Bulldog Amber is not a bad beer, just uninspiring.

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Photo of Long813
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dated: N/A
From: Chris (wordemupg) via trade

A: Light copper body with one finger of white head. Head retains for only a slight amount and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Although pretty tame, caramel and breadiness dominate the nose with a faint smell of hops.

T: Caramel and bread, not to strong though. There is a slight citrus taste and not to hoppy.

M: Medium-light bodied and medium-high carbonation. The caramel create a creamy texture and a hoppy bitterness is left behind.

D: I was glad I was able to try this out, but it wasn't what I expected. not offensive, but mild and dull. Thanks again to Chris for the extensive list of HP brews!

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Photo of Shadman
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another top-notch ale from the mcro brwery from the 'Peg in the looks dept. 4 fingered head in the pils glass ( heathen) nice rentention and loads of sticky webs o' lacing. Colour is a true hybrid mix of amber and reddish brown. Slight haziness/cloudiness to it.

Decently rich toasted grainy malt aroma.

Hmm...two letdowns in 1 night. A fairly generic, bland attempt here. Weak toasted maalts follwed by a bland wateriness. Pattern repeats it's self until a faint bitterness that reminds me of the bottom part of a lettuce heart finishes things off.

Light to medium in body...Carbonation is about right.

Not their best effort...an attempt to fill out their beer stable perhaps?

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

341ml bottle poured into pint glass april29 2010

A slightly hazy orange amber with bubbles of all sizes floating up to a fast falling fingers worth of head that leaves a few patches of lace

S some bread with a little sweet caramel, some hops and a faint metallic smell, not a lot of the nutty aspect I see on the bottle

T more caramel and hops then the nose but pretty close other then that

M I wouldn't mind a little more carbonation but not bad overall

D easy enough to drink just nothing is going to blow you away about this beer

being brewed by Half Pints I had pretty high hopes for this beer and was a little let down, not by any means a bad beer just a little below what I'm used to from this brewer

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Photo of kjyost
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lazy, lightly cloudy amber with a moderate head and minimal lacing. Aromas of sweet crystal malts and light hop bitterness are on the nose. A crisp, beer that finishes cleanly delivering very lightly on the hop bitterness and an underlying sweetness that comes from the crystal malt used in the brewing. A touch bready on the palate. Enjoyable, but nothing to make it stand out from the rest of the pack.

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Photo of eat
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear, glowing amber with a frothy off-white head. Good retention and lots of awesome sticky lacing.

Caramel malt, a little bready, similar hop character to both the Little Scrapper and Humulus Ludicrous. Decent smelling beer.

This is better than I was anticipating, I'm not generally a big fan of 'amber ale'. Lots more hops than you would usually find in other examples of the style. Bready, wheaty. Maybe a bit thin on flavour for my liking but I could see lots of people really enjoying this one. Not complex in any way but I'm sure it's not intended to be.

Solid medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a tasty brew that goes down easy. I don't think I would buy it for myself, not being a big fan of amber, but would gladly drink some more if it was offered to me.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Deuane for hooking me up with a 4-pack of these Half Pint brews from a recent trip.

Pours a hazy coppery amber, with 2 fingers of frothy off-white head. Retains with a creamy 1/4 finger that fires up very nicely, leaving back lacing that hangs in heavy clumps on sides of the glass. The aroma is bread and caramel, with some light spice and a bit of a green citrus edge. There is really only a moderate assertiveness to this, taking a bit to really grab a foothold in the nose.

The taste is initially a bit dead up front, before notes of toasted malts, caramel sweetness, and some citrus roll in. A touch of spicy hops punches up the back. This is popping about as much as the aroma did. Just OK. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a gentle and softer carbonation that rides on top of a much slicker and slippery feel. Very easy feeling and drinking.

The mouthfeel was probably the saving grace of this, as the the flavors just didn't give up a whole lot for me. It all went down pretty easily though, so no harm, and no foul. Still pretty average though.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clean amber with a thick creamy flat-topped head. Nice lacings.

Enticing caramel malt aroma with some soft hazelnut highlights. A surprising hint of new world hops.

Juicy malt up front, great caramel flavour with a slightly fruity touch. Nutty middle. Finish with a touch of pine.

Great body, easy on the carbonation, but no less drinkability for it. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ENjoyed at Bar Volo. Light amber,with a thin white covering head, and some lace follows. Aroma is not rich, there is some hops and it is neutral at best. Medium mouthfeel, smooth drinking. Medium bitterness yet only 20 IBU. Later sips produce more maltiness. A mild brown plus, a prototype Canadian beer. Well crafted owing to its good balance, absence of distracting carbonation.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce botte- pours a cloudy, murky dark orange/brown with some soapy lacing. Nose- sweet crystal malts, some grain. Initial sip is dough, caramel, a little creamy. The finish is grainy with earlthy hop bitterness, and again the crystal malts. Moderate carbonation.

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Bulldog Amber Ale from Half Pints Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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