Sundowner | Adelbert's Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good

Brewed by:
Adelbert's Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 27
Photo of HardTarget
2.31/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Bright golden glass, good clarity, holds a rocky white head that laces.

Aroma: Belgian yeast driven over ripe fruit, lime rind, peach esters, white wine.

Taste: Belgian yeast fruit flavors, heady esters, hints of vinegar, tonic water, white wine, tannin (grape skin?), and a hint of nail polish.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, low carbonation (thought it might be flat given the lack of vigor at the cork pop), medium body.

Overall: I don't like it. The esters are very heavy, I don't care for white wine, and that's a lot of the flavor profile here. I don't think anything is "wrong" with the brew, I think this is what they wanted to brew, I just don't like it. You might.

 681 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a torridly interesting and delicious brew that showed absolutely no sign of its alcohol strength whatsoever. its got some hazy and some body, looks belgian in the glass with a high white head, a light burnt orange tone to it but pale still, bubbly and pretty, maybe not quite at champagne levels of effervescence, there is some grain interference with that much delicacy, but it certainly accomplishes the mission, i wish there were more of these out there! its got a great malty front end, a little honey character, a lot of wheat it seems, some raw and rustic grain elements combining with an estery french/belgian type yeast that lightens it up but also seems to add a cool vinous character, peppery and herbal, fragrant but clean in the taste, citrus and white wine and fresh biscuit. light funk to it, but its not wild or bretty or anything, just farmy and old worldy and full of yeast complexity, bottle condition is on point too, this is super lively, light for what it is, and really smooth in feel. even as it warms up the alcohol stays well hidden, i think the fruitiness hides it well, and the fact that its pretty dry helps it a lot too with that. super complex and delicious, definitely got us a little bit turnt, but i never knew it was so strong as we sipped away, just felt richer and fuller. wonderful beer, easily the best i have ever had from these guys!

 1,373 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
2.18/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I wanted to like this but it was absolutely vile. The taste was mostly yeast, juniper, vomit and lacquer. The combination of all these was even worse than the sum of their parts. Picture the ugliest person in the world, and that's what this beer tastes like.

 259 characters

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was excited to try this and have been pleased with most all of the Adelbert's I have tried. This was disappointing. It had a nice golden color, but it smelled and tasted like old beer. I picked up on the champagne yeast taste just faintly. The one thing I can say is that the 12% ABV was well masked. I was expecting more bubbles in the feel. If you are going to try Adelbert's for the first time, stick with one of their other brews.

 436 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.66/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Having tried (and loved) Malheur Brut Noir, I am always optimistic when popping a new beer in this uncommon style. Though this is brewed by Adelbert's, my expectations are well above average.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Unbranded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork. Unappealing label design.

Reviewed live. Served cold into a goblet at low altitude in Austin, TX. Purchased at a local HEB grocery store. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Bottled: 08/11/14. 12% ABV. The label identifies it clearly as a biere brut. Batch #001.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: White. Fizzy and effervescent (to style). Somewhat thin. Not real creamy, robust, full, or frothy. Retention is below average - about 1.5 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Cloudy lemony yellow of average vibrance. Pale and bright. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a nice looking beer in its style, but doesn't stand out. Not unique or special, but there are no egregious flaws.

AROMA: Belgian character is evident, with soft notes of green apple and white grape coming through joined by Belgian pale malts and effervescent champagne yeast. The floral hop character is apt albeit minimal, lending this needed complexity.

The booze is noticeable but well-concealed. There are no off-notes. Green apple dominates.

An aroma of mild intensity. I find it generally appealing for the style, but not paradigmatic.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Alcohol is evident, but the flavour is interesting: apple rind, green apple, champagne yeast (with its signature effervescence), faint banana, ale esters, white grape, and crisp pear. There's a whisper of banana bread as well. Presentation of flavour is very clean on account of the über-attenuated yeast, leaving the mouthfeel crisp, clean, and hard (as opposed to soft). It's smooth and wet, but its booziness keeps me from calling it refreshing. Medium-bodied and aptly hefty and weighty on the palate, with a nice overall presence.

Overcarbonation does hold it back and reduces drinkability. Moreover, it's on the simple side for a biere de champagne. A darker flavour profile would suit it better, but it's nice for what it is, and it's closer to actual champagne/sparkling white wine than most beers in the style. This might be just what wine drinkers need to ease them into craft beer.

The balance is subpar on account of the obvious alcohol presence, and while it's built with obvious cohesion, it never quite comes off gestalt. The subtlety of the green apple and white grape is nice, as is the subtlety of the Belgian character. Those hoping for a more clove-forward biscuity Belgian yeast presence will be disappointed, but the French champagne yeast character works here.

A drier mouthfeel would suit it better, and lower carbonation is desired. I'd like to see the pear played up more, and the green apple acidity reduced.

OVERALL: On the boozier side for a biere de champagne, but still drinkable - or at least, as drinkable as most low end champagnes. I'll enjoy finishing the glass, but this isn't amongst the better beers in the style. Will fit the bill for those new to the style or hoping for a more champagne like beer drinking experience, but the discerning drinker is best off sticking to Malheur's vastly superior offerings. It's always nice to see more beers in this style available, but Adelbert's didn't quite come out with an impressive offering.

C- (2.66)

 3,468 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light golden pour with a small head that dissipates quickly. Light green apple and grain aroma. Taste has light yeast upfront with a hint of apple juice flavor. Very light bodied and the alcohol is well hidden. Can also taste a hint of white grapes and slight fruitiness as the beer warms. Finishes dry. Different and delicious.

 334 characters

Photo of Ranz
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle, Batch No 1; bottled 8/11/2014

A: With a careful pour in my tall flute glass, it pours a clear and sharp yellow like straw with a finger-thick head. It has beautiful carbonation sprinkling to the top in thin, concentric swirls. Lacing is medium, and the head retention is very good.

S: Notes of champagne, green apples, baked bananas, faint yeast, and white grapes are most pronounced. Lovely and light, this has a beautiful Belgian-inspired aroma.

T: Sparkling wine, dried herbs, apple rinds, and champagne yeast strains come to the fore; the finish is dry yet with a tinge of sweet sun-dried fruit, especially bananas and white grapes (obviously).

M: Mouthfeel is definitely effervescent but not inordinately so, and the finish is beautiful dry yeast with crisp apple.

O: I was so excited to find this unique beer, and it does not disappoint. I've seen many use this for a "Beermosa," and that sounds excellent. This is a fine piece of work to convince snobby wine connoisseurs that beer can indeed stand beside the best wines and champagnes. Brava!

 1,074 characters

Photo of Gevetyn
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Ok. We have all heard of DeuS... and there have been a few people here in the states (im looking at you Boston Beer Company) that have tried to create a rendition of the Biere Brut de Champagne. Don't get me wrong... i really dug Infinium when it came out, but the price point was over bearing for what was in the bottle, and it was a little to peche heavy.

This on the other hand is exactly what I am looking for when it comes to this style. Bone dry awesomeness with a wonderful white wine note on the finish. The bottle quotes flavors of white grape and green apple, and it is there.

Sundowner reminds me quite a bit of a traditional sparkling wine. The carbonation level is the only aspect keeping this out of a 5 of 5 rating for me. It is lack luster for what I was expecting, but it is still substantial enough to impact the mouthfeel, and body.

I got mine at around the $11 mark, and is probably the best beer I have had in the category. I would put this up against the best belgium had to offer for the style, and it wouldn't surprise me if in a blind tasting this one competed really well.

From what I have heard it is only 1 batch a year, so get out there and pick it up, or trade for it.

 1,210 characters

Photo of StuporJew
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

To start off, I’m going to be completely honest. I haven’t always been a fan of Adelberts’ beers, but as is the case with many other breweries,
they brought me around eventually. Especially with the crazy offerings they’ve had of late, and the Beer du-jour tonight is no exception.
Sundowner is called out on the label as “a Belgian-style ale fermented with champagne yeast”. Okay, Adelberts’, I’m in.

Sundowner pours an opaque goldenrod yellow, with a fluffy, tightly packed head, that recedes to 1/4-inch in under a minute.
(No shocker there, looking at the ABV.) When swirled in the glass, the head does kick back up a bit, but fades down just as quickly as it comes,
leaving wispy lacing that cascades back into the golden murk from whence it was born. As cloudy as it is, it’s difficult to get a read on the carbonation level,
at this point, so I guess we’ll have to move on.

The nose leaves nothing to be desired in my book. Everything you’d want from a beer like this is there: Crackery pilsner malt aromas,
light herbal hints from Noble hop varietals, nods at orange-peel, and some yeasty funk too. Possibly some lemon zest, and even a nip of basil.
Awesome. It smells like it’s seen some Lactic fermentation too, but I could be wrong. Hold please…

Yup. Totally wrong. And, WOW. This is one DRYYYYYYYY beer! The malt note I mentioned is still evident, but the flavor is completely different from the nose.
It really hits just like champagne. Lemon rind right up front, white rye bread, and a little bit of basil, again. This little number slides across the tongue like
the Duke boys across the hood of a car, and hits all the right spots too. It’s almost creamy, in a way, which is really messing with my mind right now, and yet,
still dry enough to let you know where its’ yeasty roots lie. It’s prickly, almost in a white-pepper sort of way, but you know what? That. IS. AWESOME.

I’m completely blown away by this beer, and, if I finish the bottle, will be even more so. Adelberts’ knocked it out of the park with this one, in my book.
I could keep tasting, and describing this beer, and not nail down how awesome it is! Instead, I’m going to sit here, play some Uke for my little girl, and enjoy this cool
Texas weather. Damn fine stuff. Go get you some!!! Cheers!

<Matt The Beer-Guy>

 2,352 characters

Sundowner from Adelbert's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 27 ratings