Sundog Amber Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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Sundog Amber AleSundog Amber Ale
469 Ratings
Sundog Amber AleSundog Amber Ale

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 469 |  Reviews: 191
Photo of kylehay2004
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger off white head on a clear copper body with nice lacing.

S: toasted malts, burnt caramel, some sweet citrus.

T: toasted malts and burnt toast, herbal and earthy hops, finish has hint of tart citrus and sweet caramel.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: unique and not too boring for the style. not a amazing but certainly drinkable and one I would have again.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a standard looking amber ale. The head has a yellowish tinge to it and it fades within a fee minutes just leaving small ring around the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet with some subtle hops in the background. The same in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel was a little heavier than medium. This beer was alright, not one that I'd need to have again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not really the biggest Amber Ale fan, I find myself liking this brew. Colored somewhere between amber and orange, leaves a little carbonation and head retention to be desired. Mild aromas of lightly toasted malts, fruity sweetness, and earthy hops. Tastes sweet and bready with toasted malts. Decorated with a light nutty flavor, earthy hops, and flowery / fruity fermentation esters. Textrued nicely creamy / bready feel for a medium mouthfeel. Finishes a little less than clean, but pleasantly sweet and malty. Pretty decent stuff.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oline73
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. There is a decent amount of retention and some very nice lacing. Pretty beer.

Smell: Mildly sweet malt, some caramel. The dominant smell is mildly toasted bready malt. Just a bit nutty.

Taste: Not sweet at all. Bready malt up front with a slightly soapy bitterness in the finish. There is a very mild fruity note in the background, reminds me of cherry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a solid American Amber. The appearance was the best part, but it was still solid. Don't know that I'll search out again.

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Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear reddish, orange color with a foamy, white, two-finger head that left some patchy lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, malt and some mild floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel malt with a subtle bitterness.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a slightly dry finish. A light to medium bodied red ale.

D - This is a pretty decent amber ale. It makes a nice session ale.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Holland's Sundog Amber Ale offers a basic but pleasing ale that's well-balanced with a touch of sweet malt and notes of yeasty fruitiness. Its clear, deep amber body appears copperish in the glass beneath a creamy head of off-white froth that holds well and leaves sticky rings of lace. The nose is limited, offering just a bit of malt, but it's clean and welcoming. It's dextrinous in the mouth with a fine, moderate carbonation (@2.4 volumes CO2/ltr) that leaves it quite smooth. In the flavor, the just-slightly-caramelish and subtly toasty malt dominates upfront but is quickly backed by some spicy hop flavors and a firm bitterness that reigns it all in. It finishes with some lingering malt and a bit of the yeast fruitiness found in the nose, as well as more more spicy hop flavor and bitterness. It's really well done, and although this beer won't bowl anyone over, it could serve quite readily as a steady session ale. Very nice indeed!

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich copper with a rather thin white head,aromas are pretty basic for an amber some caramel malt and biscuit dough with a a light grassy hop note but its pretty faint.Flavors are on the malty sweet side but that was expected, caramel and toasted malt take hold and control this ale mainly with a nice dry earthy finish that makes this beer more enjoyable.Not a world beater of a beer basic but well made and food friendly,quite quaffable.

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Photo of nickfl
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, amber brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Rich toffee malt with a touch of herbal hops and toasted grain.

T - Toasty malt up front with some spicy hops. Soft malt with a touch of wheat like character in the middle and a finish of toast and light bitterness,

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry but flabby finish.

D - There is something off about the malt character of this beer. Too much dry toast and an oddly bready thing in the finish, not something I would drink again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at New Holland last week. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a thin off-white head and some good lacing. The nose carries a bit of bready malt without too much else. Slight bit of earthy hops. Flavor has an amber-malt base and a slight biscuity chewiness. Other than that, not much going on. Pretty plain. Light-medium body.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of atrocity
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent amber with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Bready & malty notes, plus a touch of pear

T Woody & herbal hopa, faint musty grain, dryness, pears up front. leafy hops, apricots & woody hops as this warms. Finishes with a lot of dryness from woody hops, plus a touch of fruittyness

MF: Medium bodied with firm carbonation, starts thinning out as this warms, okay balance

A very run of the mill amber, glad I got this as part of mixed sixer

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Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.16/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours a clearish amber body with a foamy white head.

Smell: Light aroma of toasted malts and equally light hops.

Taste: Caramel malts and, ugh, unfortunately what I suspect to be a little DMS (and a little DMS goes a long way).

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Its no wonder that Sundog looks so forlorn and inconsolable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished orange-gold, almost clear. The head is tan in color, reasonably dense and looks to be a good lace maker (only average as it turns out). The nose is too weak, but I can manage to pick up both malt and hops. Finer distinctions aren't possible however.

The flavor is, likewise, a bit too understated. Toasted grain-like caramel malt dominates with less hop presence than I appreciated in the aroma. The beer is neither sweet nor dry at the start and in the middle and dries out at the end. The body is firm enough, but without a more assertive flavor, it doesn't have much to do.

Sundog Amber Ale is my fifth beer from this brewery and it's, by far, my least favorite. That doesn't mean that it's bad or that I don't want to finish it, just that it doesn't have a whole lot to recommend it. Slightly above average, but way below New Holland's average.

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Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle purchased at Total Wine and consumed on 07/16/2008.

I used this one to round out a mixed six pack the other day as I realized I had never tried it before and was curious. Served it straight out of the fridge into a pilsner glass while I was cooking on the grill last night. Nice pour with a good orange amber color to it. Very clear with excellent carbonation streaking up through the glass. A two inch high head of white foam then rose up and quickly settled down but not before depositing copious side glass lace.

Nice light aroma of bready malts. Musty with a good solid base to it and hints of wheat. Light hop nose in the beginning but it quickly faded, a touch one sided to be honest. The flavor was solid. Roasted malts, beady with a good biscuit like flavor to it. Nice medium bodied feel. A bit slippery at times, but still good carbonation. I was able to session this one with no issues at all, even in the 100 degree heat so it has to get marks for that.

Overall I thought this was a rather nice summer ale from New Holland. Not the best thing in the world, but pretty darn good for what it is. Cant really go wrong here.

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Sundog Amber Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 469 ratings
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