Sundown Dark | Berghoff Brewery

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Sundown DarkSundown Dark

Brewed by:
Berghoff Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wheatyweiss on 11-30-2008

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 56
Photo of burns1066
2.42/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

While I don't think that this beer is as terrible as some of the other reviewers, it is decidedly mediocre. Very thin, unsubtantive mouthfeel, odd, soda-like carbonation, lingering and sickly sweet aftertaste, and a non-descript, almost un-beery smell. I might drink it again if offered, but I don't think I'd pay for it. There is nothing pareticularly memorable, either pro or con. I guess it's a pretty color...

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Photo of WastingFreetime
1.83/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a dark brown (yet oddly transparent) color with the same vanishing foam collar as all the Berghoffs thus far, smells mostly of a strange cross between sweet corn adjunct, lightly toasted malts, and a vague muddled nutty scent. Flavor is sweet and malty, but has a very disturbing medicinal aftertaste that I really don't enjoy at all, texture is a somewhat too fizzy on a thin body like this one has. This one is an "avoid" in my book.

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Photo of deebo
1.53/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A-Dirty brown and murky with a tan head that quickly breaks down, plenty of tiny CO2 bubbles.

S-Smells like a lager and not a brown ale. Not much going on here, corn and ethanol. No hops or more importantly no roasted barley malt.

T-This is one fucked up beer, a bit sweet but not malty, lingering almost soy sauce like but not in a good way-salty without the umami. A bit of a bitter finish.

M-Highly carbonated, pretty thin a hint of grain body at the end.

D-This is a fairly drinkable beer, but is very unremarkable. I'd rather have Miller Lite or make that Natural Light or their Mountain Crest. Their is no reason to spend an extra penny to drink this one.

O-This is a shitty beer. Life's too short to have this one again.

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Photo of osusullins
1.18/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love beer and view the wasting of beer as almost sacrilage. That said, I could only finish about a third of the pint that I had poured for me.

It poured a dark brown, but not opaque at all. Almost lager clear. Very carbonated taste, but not much head on the beer.

Almost no aroma. Some subtle malts, but my mind may have been reaching for what it thought should be there.

Taste was just awful. Sounds bad, but I've compared it to dish water. Very light bodied, with nothing stepping forward on the pallate but carbonation. I did not enjoy this beer and would discourage everyone I know from trying it... well, everyone I like anyways.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Well this isn't my favorite style (I often don't like these), and I only stuck it into a singles 6 to finish it off. We have been travelling through Southwestern Wisconsin and wanting to try Wisconsin beers that we don't see every day. We bought these in a nice liquor store in a little town along the Mississippi.

So I'm drinking it a bit warm, which no doubt helps. The flavor is extremely well balanced and not in any way funky. The malt, hops, and yeast are all just right.

This is a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.56/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the tap a superbly creamy and cratered off-white head, on top of a ruddy color. It's a very nice looking beer, no question.

There's a sweet nuttiness dominating the flavor, but also with a milk or cream type smell. Very slight mineral in the back.

While it doesn't taste like anything totally special, it still is a solid, enjoyable, tasty little beverage that does everything this style should do. Sweetness and nuttiness are mellow but very much the stars of the show, there's a cola flavor as well, almost even Dr. Pepper (or Mr. Pibb, whatever you like). Sweet cream and a very mild mineral bitterness pervade through the taste and into the finish. A slick, well-carbonated but also slightly creamy body delivers the flavor nicely.

Maybe it's because I haven't had a decent brown ale in a while, maybe it's because it's been freshly tapped, but this is a really good brown, from a brewer who rarely do much of great interest. I'll stand up for this beer (but only on-tap, no idea how the canned version fares).

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Photo of cagocubs
2/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part Two of my Berghoff testing. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: pours a transparent brown color. Another bubbly thin head that dissipates as fast you can say, "that don't look right". Light and headless for a brown ale.

S: Malt, some hops, and maybe barley. Not too powerful.

T: Urgh. I'm quickly learning Berghoff beers are going to have similar flavors and taste, none of which are very enjoyable. Starts with some malt taste, but ends with an odd fake sweet taste.

M: Way too over-carbonated that you can't recognize taste until the tingling stops. Funky aftertaste.

O: It's simple, there is nothing appealing about this beer. I'm not too happy with this brewery claiming it's beers as 'craft'.

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Photo of dali27
3.36/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear, dark brown in color. More carbonation than I was expecting. Creamy off-white head which disapates quickly.

S: Breads and slight nutty aroma. Sweet smelling caramel too.

T: More of the same from the smell. Bready maltiness with slightly spicy nut flavor. A little too sweet. Combination of flavors comes out artificial tasting. I sometimes like artificial tasting things, so this was not too bad with me.

M: Pretty thin, making this beer easy to drink.

O: Nothing great, but I enjoyed this one more than other reviewers seem to have. It 's kinda artificial and adjuncty, but it was easy to drink and certainly not the worst thing that I've ever comsumed.

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Photo of SudSavant
2.93/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Aroma: Roasty malts, molasses, and almost a smokey/chaw-like spiciness (chai tea? But not as sweet).

Appearance: Lovely shades of copper, dark amber, ruby, and cola-brown. Moderate-sized head remains as a thin covering for the majority of the pint.

Flavor: Where is all the cool stuff that was in the aroma? Mostly malt-tastic molasses, and a lower level of spiciness (a la the hops). Finish just fades away. No parting flavors or variances. Aftertaste is also lacking in any bitters, dark flavors, etc. Ingredients are in this for something better, but it falls short.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation fakes a sense a creaminess, but also feels flat. Could use more. Light-medium body also felt light for the style.

Overall: Better than macros. Needs work to compete in craft beer world. Friends unaccustomed to craft beer world might enjoy its taste as would a person trying to get into darker beers, but doesn't enjoy the bitterness. Very sweet, very simple, but not in a good way.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Picked up six different varieties of Berghoff beers and went through them while hanging out with the girlfriend. This was the first to be cracked. It pours a clear ruby-mahogany topped by a finger of light cream foam. The nose comprises balsa, caramel, and a touch of what might be construed as nutmeg. The taste generally follows, but things are decidedly muted, as though they'd been left out in the sun to fade for a while. There's also a very minor, but still detectable, hint of metal in there. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, this just wasn't a very good beer at all, especially if you wanna call it a brown ale (I wouldn't, but hey).

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Photo of bashiba
2.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep clear brown with mahogany highlights, almost no head to speak of.

The smell is light a sweet with a touch of toffee and cedar.

The flavor is very mild with a light sweet malt quality to it, hints of brown sugar and a very light bit of chocolate. Clean and sweet with almost no hops,

The mouthfeel is very thin with low carbonation.

Not terrible, but fairly average. Has that thin massed produced with the least amount of ingredients possible taste to it.

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Photo of wmtxbb
1.42/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Very light body, dark amber color with absolutely no lacing or head.

Smell: Strong maize scent.

Taste: Creamy corn, overly sweet... moderately drinkable until this crazy metallic zing hits my mouth.

Drinkability: I can't drink this. Why would someone sell this? How could this sell? This brew, if you can call it that, needs to be scrapped. Minhas should start over.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.4/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Light hazy brown color with a finger of beige head and no lacing.

Aroma is light sweet malts, maybe a little nuttiness and metal.

Taste is pretty much on par with the aroma, but there is this bubblegum-like sweetness (which has now made an appearance in 3 out of 3 Minhas beers I've had---WTF??) that is not helping make this a pleasant experience.

Feel is smooth, slick, fairly light on the palate, with decent carbonation.

It's not undrinkable, but it's definitely not very inviting. If that errant sweetness wasn't there this would be decent.

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Photo of SykDoc
2.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear ruby/brown mix. A 1/8 inch off-white head forms reducing to a nice lace. Carbonation visible and no sediment.

The aroma is a pungent but sweet maltiness with mostly dark fruits coming through.

The taste is not what I was expecting. Very sweet, I could have seen this being a fuit beer. Mostly toasted dark fruit malts and not much else.

The mouthfeel is reasonable again with a little light on the carbonation and a medium-light body. It goes down reasonably smooth despite the flavor and leaves a mild dryness.

Overall, this beer was not what I expected. Too much on the sweetness and lacking in complexity.

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light cream colored head at pour, quickly settling to a small cream ring around edge. A caramelly, dark malty aroma. Can't pick it out, but somekind of bright aspect to aroma. Start is very sweet and malty. Mouthfeel is a little more than thin. Dark malt, maybe some dark fruit notes, and brown sugar seems to be the main players in the flavor of this one. The huge metallic taste on end and finish is hard to get paste. really hinders you from wanting to take the next drink. Carbonation seems to be a good moderate level. The metallic taste tames slightly with warmth but still pretty heavy. Defininately not he best example I have had of this style.

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Photo of noirguy
3.86/5  rDev +35%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think the other reviewers are being more than a bit hard on this beer. For the price ($10.99 for a 12-pack locally), it is exceptional. It is a poor-man's bock, but that's okay. It has a nice (though a bit overplayed) brown-sugar quality.

It is perhaps not quite rich enough to drink just on its own, but it goes well with food. I am about to enjoy a glass with a bowl of red beans and rice with Andoulille sausage. . . .

If it were as bad as many reviewers say, then how could it have won so many awards? As their website touts: "The dark beer was rated as 'One of the Top 100 Beers in the World' by Wine Enthusiast magazine, won the Silver Medal in the 1993 Great American Beer Festival and the Silver Medal in the 2002 World Beer Championships."

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Photo of cnally
2.33/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I (sarcastically) love it when there's no description of the beer's qualities, ingredients, or style representation printed on the label. Kind of like an open book, huh?

The appearance is a barely see through mahogany, and a dissipating wispy off white head.

Aroma is sour and sweaty. Overripe plum, dark malts, a little woodsy.

Flavor is a wanna-be bock here, with a shockingly sweet initial taste. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no depth besides the sweet dark malt. Good luck finding any semblance of hops, or the burnt bitter woodsy qualities of the dark malt which was sacrificed in this brew.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery. Not much creaminess, mostly lightly carbonated water with little body.

As I always say, I love beer and never want to speak poorly about a brewer's creation. There is just no depth or interesting qualities to this beer. Just a sweet dark well positioned for the unititated to believe they are branching out.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.03/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown color; red in the edges. Poured a 2 finger light beige head that dissipated to a thin skim. Sheets of lace.

S: Toasted mailts predominently. Slight woody aroma with a hint of bitter cocoa. Little hop character.

T: Pretty much like it smelled; toasted malts with a little cocoa. Very muted mettalic aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth with a litte bitter in the finish.

D: Nothing seriously wrong (other than the metallic flavore), but not a very special beer. One and done.

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Photo of CHL
2.06/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown with rapidly receding off-white head. OK so far, but the smell is seriously deficient, especially for something purporting to be a dark beer; just a slight sweet malt, no hint of hops or even much grain.

Taste follows that. Strong sweet bias (which I like), but nothing to back it up. Malt sweetness, but no malt. Tastes metallic going down. The mouthfeel is thin, and consequently seems too carbonated. It is like soda--bad soda.

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Photo of hwwty4
2.28/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz twist off into my Brother Thelonious goblet. This beer pours a cola brown with a cola like carbonate head that quickly disappeared into just a small brown cap with just a little lacing. The aroma is well, kind of, weak. It reminds me of steeped grains that have been boiled instead of steeped. Little bit of malt sweetness and weak coffee. The flavor has serious cola notes and not in a good way. Slightly grainy and finishes with just a odd aspartame sweetness on the back of the palate. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated, like a soda poured from fountain. Overall this is a bad beer. Definitely wont be getting this again.

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Photo of dstc
3.13/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby brown color, rather clear. Big foamy light tan head falls real slow. Nice sticky lace.

Has a roasted malt taste that is backed by a big metallic "WI beer" aroma. Looks good and at first smells good but typical WI beer smell comes through.

Starts with the sweet roasted malt taste but like the smell is backed by a big metallic not so pleasant taste.

Rather thin in mouth for how it appears. Not too carbonated. Very average.

Looked like it might be good but not really. Just average. Nice try though.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.36/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the trade.

(A)- Pours a clear dark brown color that produced a quickly dissipating gray head.

(S)- A sweet roasted molasses aroma combined w/ a weird funk that is almost mineral-like.

(T)- That funk returns in the taste. Has a roasted nuttiness, but not much else.

(M)- Good carbonation level. A balance of what it offers.

(D)- An alright beer that is what it is. Nothing fancy, just a really basic brown ale that you can have a few of, but I would much rather grab something else than this if I had a choice.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler Pint. No date or info.

A - Pours a lightly red-brown color with a solid finger of off-white head. Low retention that left bits of lacing on the glass and a very thin blanket of bubbles.

S - Toasty, crisp malts with a little hint of cocoa and chocolate. No real hop nose and a pretty one-dimensional malt aroma.

T - Toasty malts in the background with a hint of that chocolate flavor but totally overwhelmed by a strong metallic mineral flavor. No hops in here. The metallic/mineral thing went away about half-way though the beer but was way off-putting at the beginning.

M - Light-medium in body with a dry, roasted-like finish and a crisp carbonation tingle.

D - A very average beer overall. Nothing terrible (besides the initial metallic thing which went away) and nothing exciting or good. A plain-jane dark beer you could have a few of but why would you want to?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours up a clear, brown body with a frothed, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Dismal collection of faint notes: bready malts, apple core, dry caramel, cocoa. It's disappointing.

Taste: Initially taste of bready barley with a faint caramel sweetness and dash of clearance bin cocoa. Hint of apple fruitiness. Dash of spicy hops but almost nil in the bitterness department. Dry, indistinct maltiness on the thin finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A sad, sad underperforming brown ale, but, unfortunately, I would say that about pretty much their entire line-up. Not recommended.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.78/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A deep reddish brown color pour with two fingers of light tan foamy head , leaving some spotty lacing , light to medium carbonation . Aroma is nice ,some roasty malt , molasses , brown sugar and some faint hops . Flavor is lightly sweet , good roast , malty , a light hop bitterness , with just a bit of ripe fruit . Smooth ,clean mouthfeel , full body for the style . Very sessionable . I had never heard of this brewery , so I was not expecting much , this was very good and way beyyer than expected . Will buy again.

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Sundown Dark from Berghoff Brewery
2.86 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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