Sundown Dark | Berghoff Brewery

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Sundown DarkSundown Dark
56 Ratings
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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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of BEERchitect
2.88/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I love the non-descript lable: Dark Beer. "That's my favorite style, opposed to that damned 'ole Light Beer". Ok, the target audience isn't the die-hard BeerAdvocate. It's someone else who doesn't demand great beer, but doesn't want to pay for a properly malted beer either.

The beer starts with a malty, froathy pour that initially delivers a well-formed off-white head, that reduces to a light film atop of the beer then lingers. The beer is a brilliantly clear brown color with burgundy hightlights showing-- a very cola-like color. Ultimately an above average appearance.

A blend of caramelized barley blends with wet grain scents to provide an aroma that promises maltiness and sweetness, but also cereal grain and husk character. No real hops or phenols present, but light notes of fruitiness and butter come through as the beer warms.

Flavors carry over quite consistently from aroma to flavor. Light nutty notes of almonds and pecans swirl with a toasty, chocolatey flavor and makes the beer quite pleasant in flavor. Grain flavors come in after the sweetness and fruitiness subside and begin to sculpt the rough finish and aftertaste.

The beer begins with a sugary sweet feel on the mouth, but as the beer crosses mid-palate, the hop bitterness assiste the grain astringency and ultimately make the beer difficult to drink. Thinning and grainy characteristics leaves the lasting memories as the beer fades into a cola-like sticky feel.

The beer fares a bit better than expected. But it isn't an everyday purchase for me. The Amber Bock fans will like it though.

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Photo of russpowell
2/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours an effervescent chestnut with a finger of sand colored head. Some head retention& lacing

S: Cornyness & faint leafy hops

T: Cornyness, a bit of sickening sweetness & leafy hops up front. Dryness, a touch of licorice & cloying sweetnes dominate as this warms. Finishes with some orchard fruit, cloying sweetness & metallic notes

MF: Light/medium bodied, grainy & too much carbonation

Drinks slow, this one is a nasty mess, damn near a drain pour, out of style & below mediocre in taste, avoid...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.69/5  rDev -8.8%
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 Tone
2.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark brown. 1/2 inch head of only a slightly off-white color. Poor retention and no lacing. Smells of an earthy malt with what I believe is adjunct. At this point I'm already not looking forward to trying this beer, but I hope it gets better than in its' aroma. Poor example of the style, and I'd rather think it doesn't fit the style at all. Crisp, smooth, and low carbonation, but too thin (watery). Tastes of adjunct mostly and a slightly malt background. Wow, what a major disappointment. This is definitely not worth trying, wow tastes more like a dark American Adjunct, then a brown.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.86/5  rDev -3.1%
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).

 751 characters

Photo of Sweffin
3.5/5  rDev +18.6%

Photo of Haybeerman
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of sweemzander
2.36/5  rDev -20%
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.

 604 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3/5  rDev +1.7%
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 twiggamortis420
3.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear light brown-copper color with a small off-white head that fades fairly quick to a fair coating. A little bit of lacing.

Toasty, burnt coffee smell with quite a bit of corn syrup-esque sweetness. Has a bit of a chalky mineral nose to it, somewhat reminiscent of a British brown ale. Smell is pretty faint and not exactly mouth watering.

Taste is mostly sweet caramel and toasty malts. Not much in the way of hops and is pretty light bodied, but it does have a bit of a creamy feel to it and mineral flavors. The taste is a bit better than the nose and is pretty drinkable. It is not exactly impressive, but it is not a bad tasting beer. Tastes more like a British Brown to me.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +35.6%
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 EgadBananas
2.4/5  rDev -18.6%
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 Vancer
2.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sundown dark pours into the Crown Valley cervoice glass a hazy oaken mahogany, with a creamy ivory head in the beginning, but it fades rather quickly.

Aroma is that same grainy grass pilsner smell that all the Bergoff brews seem to process. Quaff is similar, grainy and gritty - I'm sensing a trend with their brews here. Not much past an average brew and all having the same taste backbone.

Holy crap, I now see on BA this is listed as an American Brown. Wow, furthest thing from a brown I've ever seen.

Gonna pass on these in the future.

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Photo of Redrover
2.93/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz brown longneck with virtually no information on the label except that they use nothing artificial.

Poured into my SA pint glass, the beer is light brown with reddish highlights. Decent beige head.

The aroma is of some lightly roasted grains, a bit of brown sugar and some fruity esters.

The beer starts well with some grains and a bit of toasty malts, but there is a not enough of either. There is a bit of apple and more sweetness late. There is a bit of funky cigar bubble gum taste in the background.

The mouth is a trifle thin with active carbonation. I suppose it's easy enough to drink, but there seems to be a few flaws in this one. I will resample in the future and update my review if warranted.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.75/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a nice tawny caramel color, a finger or so of head churns up but quickly dissipates. Some occasional pockets of lace get left behind now and then, but the foam has a watery look to it.

Aroma - good caramelly, roasty aroma.

Taste - mirrors the aroma, though the toasty grain is a little more prominent than I expected. That's nice as it overshadows the sweetness to give the beer a breadier, more roasted flavor. A touch of balancing hops on the swallow, a late and mild bite of bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel - a little too carbonated for me, it has a slight salty soda-water flavor until some of that burns off. Medium, average body.

Drinkability - this was a fine sixer the missus brought home to me from her last trip to Chicago. They disappeared pretty quick.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.56/5  rDev +20.7%
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 Ri0
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of cliff1066
3.16/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of bashiba
2.95/5  rDev 0%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
1.83/5  rDev -38%
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 Kunstman
3/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of deebo
1.53/5  rDev -48.1%
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.

 733 characters

Photo of hoosier222002
4/5  rDev +35.6%

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +35.6%

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Sundown Dark from Berghoff Brewery
Beer rating: 2.95 out of 5 with 56 ratings