Sundog Amber Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
191 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Sundog Amber AleSundog Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
newhollandbrew.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
191
Ratings:
465
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
13.84%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
68
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 465
Photo of Blackop555
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with a thick, medium sized tan head that is short lived.

Smells caramel malts, bready, hints of fruit and roast

Tastes sweet malt and bready with roast and light citrus. Fades to a mostly dry light citrus bitter and roasted nutty linger. Lighter medium body with a slight bite from medium carbonation

 324 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love the name of this beer! As a sailor, long days at sea could literally and figuratively be brightened by the appearance of a sun dog. There is also a Stephen King novella named "The Sun Dog" & it is one of the few of his writings that I a) liked & b) sticks with me.

From the bottle: "Double suns, a.k.a [sic] sundogs, have inspired artists and philosophers for centuries. This amber ale pays tribute with toasty caramel tones and a nutty finish."; "Pairings: food off the grill, caramelized onions and tomato sauces like bbq and pizza."

My Bottle Backlog bottle has a 180-degree label from the current one in the approved pic. Mine shows an easily identifiable German Shepard on his haunches, poised in a left-facing direction while sitting on the edge of a wooden dock, taking in the Sundog. The current one seems more in line with King's imagination.

The dog yelped when I Pop!ped his cap, so I decided to be gentle with him. Once I got him into my glass, however, I felt compelled to do a vigorous in-glass swirl. This raised two fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with good retention. Who's a good boy? He sat down when commanded so that I could get a better look at him. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Pretty. Nose was sweet and bready, much like I remember the early versions of craft brewed Ambers to be. For a long time, an Amber was a brewpub staple until AIPAs took off and then they became forgotten until a modern, hopped-up revival brought them back in earnest. This was like old home week. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, big for the style. The taste was quite sweet, lots of bready and caramel malts at work with just a touch of cool, minty hops. It really sent me back - the year was 1987 and I had just reported for duty aboard NAS Alameda, CA. I was 22 y/o & I had developed a taste for better beer over the course of several overseas deployments. I mentioned my affinity to someone & they suggested Triple Rock Brewing Company in Berkeley. That was my first microbrew & I never looked back. Man, this beer is so evocative of that first one! I feel like I could hang out with this 'dog and drink all day, but I have places to be & people to see, so I gotta start wrapping it up. The 'dog whimpered when I gave him the news, but I promised him that I will be revisiting this beer. Finish was semi-sweet. I don't want to oversell its sweet qualities.

 2,436 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer via a beer trade. I thought it was a pretty good amber ale, a bit different.

Look: semi-clear dark copper or dark amber with a half-inch bubbly off-white head.

Aroma: bready caramel with a tad of piney hops

Taste: The taste is caramel, bready, nutty, as well as some IPA like piney hoppiness. Perhaps not a typical amber but pretty good..

Feel: light to medium body

 385 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

1/31...pours dark cloudy brown, foamy 1/4 inch white top. Sweet caramel nose, bready. Light fruit too. Bready nutty taste. Thins out fast. Toasty start, nutty finish. Smooth. Peanuts!

 183 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is an amber color with a medium sized tan head. The aroma is a very nice blend of hops, citrus and caramel. The taste matches the smell.

 200 characters

Photo of AleMan66
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a clear teardrop glass from a bottle. There was an impressive two-finger light-colored head. It poured a really nice amber red color. The taste immediately blew me away. It's a medium bodied, almost heavy bodied beer, lightly carbonated. It's one of my favorite red or amber ales.

 305 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.05/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into my beer mug, pours a really dark brown, not what I expected from something labeled an "Amber Ale" Very thin foam head.
Smell like a fruity IPA.
Tastes strong bitter of hops, like an IPA would. Not too familiar with Amber Ales but this doesn't taste like ones I've had.
Despite the strong bitter flavor mild carbonation makes it smooth.
Overall: Like most "craft" beers I keep trying it's too strong with the hops, and I'm not an IPA person.

 466 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Milky red-brown body, tan head, lively carbonation. Toasty malt and weird prune comprise the smell. Body is more toasty malt, raw grain, mostly dry. Despite the fairly high carbonation, this is a pretty drinkable brew.
Beer.

 224 characters

Photo of delta490
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy, deep amber with a creamier tan head that has moderate retention. Leaves some nice smears of tight lacing throughout. The aroma is milder but has some dark fruity sweetness and a little caramel. The taste is more robust and retains the malt forward approach. The body is lighter, but not watery, and there is a decent carbonation tingle all the way through. An easy drinker with a more malt than hops.

 414 characters

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown with a copper/red hue. Clear with a small white head. Poured into a pint glass. Medium carbonation.

Smell: A biscuit and bready malt aroma with some caramel notes.

Taste: The malt provides what you would expect from an amber. It's biscuity and bready, but it isn't as interesting and distinctive as some other amber beers. Some nut brown and caramel notes complement the the other flavors of the taste profile. Very mild earthy hop aroma.

Mouthfeel: Malt body is a bit thin and I expected a bit more depth. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: A decent amber and certainly a good beer to enjoy in fall and winter months, but it's sort of two dimensional beer and it could use some more character.

 721 characters

Photo of bwood06
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a pint glass

A - 1 finger off-white, frothy head dissipates slowly to a thin lacing. Beer is clear and amber in color with very little visible carbonation. 3.75/5

S - Very simplistic and subdued. Dark stone fruit with a caramel sweetness and some light breadiness are really all that I get. 3.5/5

T - Dark stone fruit and caramel hit me right off the bat. The middle of the profile is formed by a bit of citrus rind and grapefruit. The finish features a pine resin with some light lingering bitterness that lasts quite a while. 3.75/5

M - Crisp and light bodied amber that has a light carbonation burn. Slightly drying on the back end and feels very clean. 3.75/5

O - Decent amber offering but the aroma and flavor could really have jumped out more. There are some great aromas and flavors present but nothing jumps out and makes me go "wow!". Good, enjoyable, even more enjoyable with food. 3.75/5

 928 characters

Photo of pb9613
4.51/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful deep amber color with a nice tan head that lingers.

Smell: This beer has a strong caramel nose with some citrus of the hops.

Taste: This beer tastes like it smells. Heavy on the caramel of the hops and just the right bitterness of the hops to balance the flavor.

Mouthfeel: This has a has a nice sweet body.

Overall: This is a winner. I think it is underrated because people do not rate to style. If you are drinking an amber ale, you expect a caramel flavor balanced by the hops.

 526 characters

Photo of CycleDad
4.47/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark Amber with a thin cream-colored head that dissipates within a few minutes. Very drinkable. Malt forward with a very smooth finish. Carbonation on the low side but just right for this beer. One of the best Ambers that I have had in a long time. Will definitely be having more. I do not understand the lower-rated reviews.

 343 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium reddish-brown with an off-white head and lots of lacing.
The aroma is bready with a bit of spice and slight hints of fruit.
The taste is led by a touch of light bitterness then some biscuit and caramel sweetness and a bit of fruit, ending with a long, drying and lightly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.
Overall, a tasty and easy drinking beer.

 373 characters

Photo of drunkenmess
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark ruby amber. With an amble amount of white head. Generous lacing. Smells of oats, nuts, and slight roasty aromas. Taste is light bodied with a nice balance of nuttiness and ale. Light fruit taste is present. Very nice mouth feel and after taste that lingers and stays. Good brew overall.

 305 characters

Photo of Boca-X
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. A malty fudge brownie in a glass...you could pour this over vanilla ice cream and it would be delicious!

Personally I think this is a very underrated brew on BA...

Very well done IMHO...cheers!

 227 characters

Photo of EmGM
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: deep amber color
Smell: a little nutty, deeper smell, a tad hoppy (not expected)
Taste: a tad hoppy (not what I expected), malty, nutty, deeper flavors that i didn't really expect the richer flavors based on the color
Aftertaste: deeper flavors linger for a while
Overall: not what I was expecting, was a tad disappointed but overall an ok tasting beer. not my favorite.

 376 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
A dark red-brown-amber. Small amount of head. A little hazy. A good amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer. A good look overall.

Smell - 3.5/5
Slightly fruity (cherries?) malts, roasty nutty aroma. Smell does not seem super strong though

Taste - 4/5
Darker carmelized malt flavor with some fruity esters. A little of alcohol, roastiness, and hops. Nicely balanced. In my mind this beer would taste similar to a 2 to 1 mixture of Bell's Amber Ale, and Arbor Brewing Co's Red Snapper. Basically a good amber, but with roasty undertones.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, smooth. Creamy. Carbonation is very light.

Overall - 4/5
I'd say this was a pretty good beer overall. No major complaints. I would have perhaps liked the roastiness to be a little more prominent.

 797 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
2.66/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours orange-amber with thin head. Chocolate and citrus notes on the nose. Those flavors carry over, plus lots of sweet maltiness. Appealing mouthfeel, but mediocre overall.

 173 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured a deep, red-amber with an oversized off-white head. I had to wait for the head to die down a bit before sampling this amber.

Aroma: the earthy Fuggle hops work great in the flavor but not so well for my nose.

Flavor: rich and malty; lightly sweet but turning mildly bitter by the aftertaste which also has a touch of hops. Approaches 8.

Feel: very smooth; near medium body; Medium, soft carbonation.

O: a wee bit more malt and hops than your average amber. Nicely done.

 500 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle picked up at a store in Mackinaw City; bottled May 7 2014. Served well-chilled.

Pours a deep, muddy copper-amber colour, topped with an inch of creamy, light beige-coloured head. Good retention; it sticks around for more than a few minutes, slowly dissipating into a frothy cap and collar. The nose is mostly malty; lots of caramelized/brown sugar aromas, with a nutty, toasted character. The contribution from the hops is very subtle, and a little on the leafy, earthy side.

This is a tasty, well-balanced amber ale with a malt-forward flavour profile. Bready and nutty, with lightly toasted malts and lots of caramel/toffee sweetness. Nutty, somewhat earthy finish with a light hint of citrus, with a mildly bittersweet aftertaste that lingers briefly. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a very smooth, almost luxurious feel on the palate.

Final Grade: 3.84, a solid B+. Sundog Amber is a well-rounded, highly sessionable brew that I am really enjoying. I would not say that it offers anything particularly unique or memorable as far as this style goes, but amber fans in general will want to give this one a look. A very approachable beer and a nice selection for my 800th tick; I'd certainly consider picking it up again, at least if it became available on this side of the border.

 1,314 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is the color of rust, hazy and murky. A thick cream colored head sits on top and doesn't recede much. Good patches of foamy lacing remain on the glass.

In the aroma I get spiced apples, subdued bread malts, and apple tart on the back end.

The beer tastes bread and malty up front with a good cinnamon spice note coating the body. In the finish a tart fruit note emerges.

The mouthfeel is creamy.

Overall, this is pretty tasty. It has some interesting notes in it such as cinnamon and apples that go well with it's malt bill, making it a good beer for Autumn drinking.

 616 characters

Photo of Chris_Hager
5/5  rDev +41.2%

This is one of my favotires. Slightly bitter, extremely flavorful, right in my sweet spot. I am not on the IPA bandwagon. I like some IPAs and dislike the extremely bitter ones. This amber ale is more my speed and this one from New Holland is one of my go-to beers that I could drink copious amounts of.

 303 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Date stamp 0174 13:38

Appearance: Hazy dark amber. Thin white persistent head – some sheets and thick strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Orange citrus backed up with a caramel sweetness. Some floral and leafy notes as well as the beer warms up.

Taste: Sweet with caramel, toasted barley flavors, and bready flavors. Orange citrus mixed in with some sweet-tea like flavor along with some more toasted flavors at the end. The finish has a lingering sweetness that is tempered with some lingering citrus hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation – sticky on the teeth and palate.

Overall / Drinkability: Quite the malt bomb for an amber ale – not quite wee heavy territory, but I’m surprised with how much malt this beer has. I was expecting something lighter than what I got. I think it helps that I have a bit of a sweet tooth otherwise I think this beer might be a bit much. I had this by itself after mowing the yard and I think it may have been better with food. Still a good beer though if you’ve got a sweet tooth. As for drinkability, another one of these in an evening strikes me as a good idea – despite the sweetness there is enough other flavor going on that I’m not tiring of it.

 1,279 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 5/27/2014. Pours lightly cloudy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, nuttiness, light citrus zest, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, light citrus zest, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, light citrus, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish, Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good amber ale. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,396 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sundog Amber Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe