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 SudSavant
2.93/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -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).

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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.

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Photo of wmtxbb
1.42/5  rDev -51.9%
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 -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 SykDoc
2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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 +7.8%
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 +30.8%
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 -21%
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 +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.

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Photo of CHL
2.06/5  rDev -30.2%
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 -22.7%
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 +6.1%
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 -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.

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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 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 WakeandBake
3.78/5  rDev +28.1%
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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Photo of BedetheVenerable
2.81/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12o brown screw top, simple label, no freshness date I could find

Appearance: Hard pour produces a brilliant dark walnut beer with dark ivory cap...cream head with good retention

Smell: A little touch of dark grain and toasted caramel, but with big doses of sweet macro-lager blahness

Taste: Clean, light, a nice hint of fruitiness, just a tad bitter and minerally on the finish...just a ghost of dry roasted grain on the finish

Mouthfeel: Light and a bit watery

Drinkability: Medium-high, but I don't really want another

Conclusion: Would be nice to wash down average pub fare, but that's about it...

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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 webbcreative
3.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured clear, light brown, with 2 finger white head. Read were this 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. So im wondering why the "C" overall score. Anyway. The smell is a bit boozy, and sweet, not hoppy at all. Since the label says nothing as to what the beer is except "dark" I didnt have a clue as to what I was buying. And I started tasting before I looked up the info about it, all that to say that I would have guessed this to be an Old Ale, or a weak dobblebock. Taste is again, sweet, and a lil booziness to it, and not hoppy, although its not overly sweet, so theres gotta be some in there.
Overall this is just an okay drink. wouldnt bother picking it up again, but I got this becaue Its not available in my home state...

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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 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 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 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 ajmoody76
3.3/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought this at the grocery store. pours clear brown with a one finger tan head. the head fades. no lace.

bready malts on the nose. faint fruity hops. no off odors. not much depth.

sweet malts. good hop crispness. floral hops. fruit hop aftertaste.

light-mid body. not much carbonation. beer drinks good though. may try this again.

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