Key West Sunset Ale | Florida Beer Company

131 Reviews
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Key West Sunset AleKey West Sunset Ale

Brewed by:
Florida Beer Company
Florida, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 12-23-2001

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 416
Photo of cosmicevan
3/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a 24oz version with lunch at The Island. Showed up a deep amber with some carb and no head. Smelled mostly of malts but not much else. Tasted pretty good, somewhat standard. Had a bit of a spicey subtle hop with mostly malt flavor. Touch of brown sugar and a subtle flavoring of amber ale. Pretty easy drinkung and mostly beerish water. Not my favorite, bit far more pleasamt than most standard offerings, and I am more than happy to drink one after the other after the other when available.

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Photo of LuthersLager
1.75/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I really can't say I didn't like this beer because it tasted like water and everyone drinks water. However, being that it was suppose to be a beer, an Amber beer at that, I found it disappointing... I wonder if they even used hops at all. The scent was very faint, not the malty nostril filled bliss you get from say Bell's Amber. While lacking in taste and smell this beer, like its sibling the Beachside Porter, seems over-carbonation. About the only thing this beer had going for it was the color. The color was a beautiful gold which did remind me of sunset behind Florida's ocean coast, which is exactly where I drank it.

Unless you enjoy gold colored seltzer water I would not recommend this beer. Beers I don't like usually get 0 points for taste but I'll give the Key West Sunset Ale a little credit for not being nasty and a little more credit for its color.

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Photo of ExtraStout
2.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer at Chili's in the Ft. Lauderdale airport. This beer was quite average, nothing spectacular. The taste was crisp with a hint of citrus, with little to no aftertaste.

It's better than a Bud or other common beers but not by much. Next time I'll go with hard liquor.

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Photo of wallaceandvomit
3.38/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- nice golden amber color with a small head if poured aggressively, minimal lacing
s- not much of a smell, reminds me a little of yuengling but milder
t- a hint of caramel malt and a touch of hops, just barely enough to make this an amber,not much going on really but not bad
m- medium mouthfeel, a tad creamy
d- overall this is a drinkable beer but i see it as more of an upgrade from corona and the likes for party purposes

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Photo of epicness
3.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish amber in color, Key West Sunset Ale is easy to see through, as it lacks any type of cloudiness. A small white head and ring form upon pour but dissipate rather quickly and leave no trace.

S - Upon first smell you get a good whiff of citrus and caramel malts. After deciphering the scent more there's a slight presence of grainy malt hidden.

T - The taste actually follows the scent pretty well. The first response to the taste is grapefruit which gives way quickly to what seem like out of place caramel malts. The finish is full of floral hops and grain. In my opinion it's a truly odd pairing of tastes, but it's not bad. (I didn't say it was great either.) It's just unique.

M - Low to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. It's got a smooth texture to it. Easy on the palate.

D - It's a drinkable beer, definitely. Seems like a good beer to be out on a hot day, which is when I was able to taste this. It's not something I'd want very often. Heck, it's not a bad beer but I'll probably never have it again. It's not extremely appealing to me.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.61/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a small off white head. In the aroma, sweet malt and hints of gingerbread. In the taste, sweet malt, a small hop and a small grassiness. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry to clean aftertaste. The name sells this beer, ok but nothing to exciting.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.76/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a nice reddish-amber color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, and light citrus and fruit. Kind of weak and not that enjoyable.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, citrus, and fruity malts. A tiny bit of bitterness/tang which is odd.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - Pretty easy to drink but I don't think I'd want to drink it again. I thought the smell was a little weak and the taste had some weird bitterness to it that was not enjoyable. Wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of errantnight
2.4/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a copper amber hue with a couple fingers of lacing, no real retention or lacing to speak of. Aroma is caramel malt with a very faint hint of hops on the perimeter. On the palate this has a simple caramel forward flavor that is snapped off by an off-putting, almost lactic twang, that shuts out hops or any sort of finish. This was barely drinkable.

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Photo of Contagion
3.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer itself has an orangish amber color. There is no cloudiness to it at all, light passes through easily. You can make out images easily looking through the beer. A thin white head formed when it was poured into the glass. It faded quickly to nothing. There is no lacing on the glass or a ring around the edge.

The first thing you notice when you smell it is a citrus hops scent. Feint grainy malt finishes off the scent of the beer. The smell itself isn't very strong and until it warms up almost to room temperature and then a caramel malt scent becomes more noticeable. The flavor is much like a scent. There is a thin malt flavor with a grapefruit and floral hops. The flavor really opens up, much like the scent, as it warms. The caramel malt flavor becomes more noticeable.

This is a light bodied beer with mild carbonation. There is no coating or creaminess to it.

This beer is pretty unassuming. The scent and flavor isn't all that impressive. What it has going for it is that it is an easy to drink beer. It doesn't sit heavy in the stomach. I reviewed this beer on a hot summer day, and this seems to be a perfect beer for just that, hanging with friends at the beach or lounging around a pool on a hot day. After I finished the first one, I wished I had a second one in the fridge to help fight off the heat of the day. It's not a great beer, but it isn't bad either.

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Photo of bierguru
4.05/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I must say I was very skeptical about this beer at first since it was made with key lime. I have had lime beers in the past and I couldn't stand it so I was figuring I would have the same reaction to one made with key lime. Not the case
The beer pours a light amber color and finishes with a nice thick creamy head.
The smell is a nutty sweet with slight hints of citrus
When tasting the key lime is not over powering at all the beer itself does have a bit of hoppiness to it
I would have to say this beer is very much like a killians red with key lime in it

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle without a freshness code. Thanks to my Aunt Christy, who brought this back for me from a recent trip. Pours a mostly clear light copper color, bordering on dark golden. Foam is nice and fluffy and displays above average retention. Not much in the way of lace.

Nose is buttery with a little bit of caramel malt and light fruit. A hint of nuttiness is there as well. Not a whole lot going on here, pretty average smelling amber.

Has a little bit of sourness to go with some toasty and husky malts. It is not sweet, as I thought it would be. Instead, it is pretty dry with a definite hop bitterness on the end. Not really a whole lot of flavor going on in this one, it is pretty watery actually. It goes down easy without much fanfare, which is ok I guess on vacation chillin near the beach. There are certainly worse options you could have while in the beer desert of South Florida.

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Photo of glid02
3.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at a seafood place near St. Augustine, FL.

Pours a clear amber color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of slightly sweet and grainy malts and not much else. As it warms very light amounts of indistinct fruit aromas waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors kick things off with hints of graininess. Midway through the sip an almost vegetal flavor kicks in and carries through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's got a decent thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is not so great. I finished my glass but didn't enjoy the last few sips very much.

Overall I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this beer and that's exactly what I got. Not the worst beer in the world but it's not too far up the ladder.

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Photo of david18
3.31/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber with a unique aroma. I think this beer is better than the reviews for it primarily because, as a red/amber ale, it has a lot of fruit character, which is appropriate for Key West where I had it. Good amber ale character with good fruit aroma and flavor.

Often the only non macro beer available at many locations in Key West.

The draft is maybe a little better than the bottle and, again, a perfectly good local example of a region that doesn't have a lot of local beers.

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Photo of Andreji
3.97/5  rDev +31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the miami airport, while on a layover between flights to new york....

pour is quite orange-toned, based on the bottle and the pour alone you wouldn't expecto too much from this beer. very thin head (no more than 0.5 cm even though i tried), it's quite opaque , though.

Smell is fruits right off the bat. very citrusy which i found much in sync with it's florida-style, i'm thinking ruby red here and oranges. in spite of the small head. some hops and grassyness hidden in between, but it's mostly tropical.

taste is different, but it's good, it's once again like biting into a fizzy tangerine or something, full of straightforward taste but with a nice soft hoppy finale, not too bitter either, and not watery at fact i think it was full bodied and the carbonation was just right for the sunshine state feel throughout.

Decent beer for the state, not my top pick but a decent one anyway that i would dare drink again.

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Photo of tjkurz
4/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe this is skewed because it was the only beer besides bmc or yuengling that was even on tap when I visited my folks in South West Florida. Nice amber color with good head and lacing malty taste up front with a bit of hops just to balance and something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Mouthfeel was great easy going down lager like - this is a good beer - if you see it on tap in Florida - buy it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My pour resulted in a finger's worth of eggshell-white head with good retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was light and slightly malty. Mouthfeel was medium with a light, mildly sweet flavor. Finish was still on the malty side. Kind of like an amber ale. Not bad, but not worth going wild over.

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Photo of HiGravShawn
2.3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I can't even give this a full review. The look and smell seems okay and malty like it would be light and tasty (although a little too fruity), but in actuality it's harsh and one note. Starts malty, but in a slimy cloying way. Ends with the harsh and tangy after taste that sticks with you in a bad way. The finish is almost like commercial swill, but somehow worse because it follows the malty sweetness. I have to admit though, this is the best Florida Brewing Co brew I have tasted.

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Photo of maximum12
3.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at the Undertow Bar in St. Pete's Beach while here doing, uh, work, and, uh, stuff. No, really, this time I would rather be home. Happy birthday little Leah!

Anyways, a light amber color, nothing exciting, not much to smell either. Although the 21+ a few weeks bartender in the bikini popped it open, stuck her nose up to the neck, & declared "I just love to smell this one!" A BA in training?

Tastes more like a pale than an amber, but hey. Malt-dominated, but with only some mild sweetness. Finish is probably the best part, nice & smooth.

Sunset Ale is macro without the nasty aftertaste & a touch of color & ingredients. Not bad if you're looking for something to sip illegally on the beach as you're walking the surf in the dark, but it's drinkability is its strong point. Fo sure.

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Photo of corby112
2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber orange/ light copper color color with .5 finger off-white head that immediately fades into a very thin ring.

Light caramel malt aroma with crisp hop presence and faint notes of grass and straw. Very bland with subtle hops and the faintest trace of spice.

Lighter side of medium body with sweet caramel maltiness and crsip bitter hop balance. Citrus fruit notes mostly orange peel and tropical fruit with slight spiciness (corriander, pepper). Clean and crisp and pretty well balanced. Sweet fruit and matly flavors balance themselves out fading into a slightly bitter crisp dry finish.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
3.28/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - A definite sweet malty aroma

Appearance - Light orange amber with a good amount of carbonation.

Taste - A sweet bread maltiness upfront that gives way to a watery middle and ends on a slight twang that must be the hops.

Notes - The mouthfeel was good and this is a beer I wanted to like. I like a malt heavy amber and hoped this beer would provide that. It did but then everything fell a part (not totally just compared to a A+ beer). This is a beer I would session with friends but as a shining example of an American Amber if falls short.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while in the Keys.

Was actually a bit better then I had expected, flavor wise.

Very thin foamy head that vanished. No lacing. Amber colored with some brown tones. No real carbonation visible.

No aroma at all. Maybe some slight sweetness.

Bready, light caramel, a bit of fruit, then a very mild hop note. Back to a bread flavor and finished a touch sweet.

Shy of sticky, but again a touch sweetness that you can sense in the body.

Drinkable. Not too bad. Won't run for it again.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 6/15/2008 (Tap @ Rum Barrel, Key West, FL):

Pours a somewhat cloudy, dark orange color. Smallish, lasting head, yellow-whitish, decent lacing. Orangish aroma, good. Citrusy taste, some small nutty taste. Some dusty taste, some lager. Hoppy, somewhat bitter taste.

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Photo of spointon
2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had this one in Ft. Lauderdale while on vacation last week. From my notes:

A= This ale poured a dark amber/orange with a thin white head. The head dropped quickly to a thin skim with minor spotty lacing.

S= I found mild sweet malts and a bit of hoppy bitterness. Some off-aromas as well. Possibly infected beer...

T= The malt was ok, decently sweet with some hops to balance, but the off flavors were really off-putting...

MF= Medium body with a moderately crips tongue feel.

D= That off-flavor, whatever the cause, was a real deal breaker.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice lacing of thin white head on top of an amber color.

S - Nice hoppy aroma.

T - Robust, sweet, English hop flavor. Not much else though.

M - Watery with a slightly uncomfortable coarseness in the finish.

~ A good try once but not as dry as I'd like this type of hops to feel.

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Photo of Sammy
2.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle sampled at the brewery. Some lace, nothing else to look at or smell. Aggressive carbonation. Malt job, macro beer, or as we would call it back here buck-a-beer basic. Boring, hard to beleve they brew Abbey brews here, but that's what quality control can do.

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Key West Sunset Ale from Florida Beer Company
3.03 out of 5 based on 416 ratings.
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