Sundog Amber Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 465
Photo of mrfrancis
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber with a puffy, lingering white head.

S: Aromas of biscuits, toast, caramel, and dried fruit are present on the nose.

T: Notes of heavy cream, vanilla, biscuits, minerals, roasted nuts, toast, raisins, and toffee gently wash across the palate. The finish is malty and smooth with cream, vanilla, and bread notes.

M: Medium bodied, firm, and dry with active carbonation. Very drinkable. Smoother than expected.

O: I do not tend to enjoy American amber/red ales all that much, but this one is a winner. I will definitely be revisiting it the next time I'm in the mood for a beer of this style.

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Photo of mckajd03
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear amber color. A thick white head forms and lingers for quite a while.
S - A sweet maltiness stands out immediately, as well as some dark fruit. No hop aroma.
T - A sweet caramel and light nuttiness come through. No appreciable hop flavor.
M - Thinner than I would have expected, but not off-putting. Clean and smooth finish. Very slight alcohol warmth.
O - Slightly one-dimensional in the malt category, but the one-sidedness is done well. Could use some hops (either flavor or aroma).

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

The color is a mildly hazed copper. The tan head rests at about one finger in height and retains itself well. When it fades to a foam, it fades no further and leaves sturdy lacing well down the glass.
The aroma is a good balance of malts and hops, the hops bringing a light earthy and floral element to complement a light fruity sweetness along with a touch of caramel and toastiness. It's well-attenuated but mild.
From the reviews I expected this be be a little weak, at least as far as hops presence, but it's actually not. For an amber that's not an Imperial and not trying to be Nugget Nectar, this is what you should be looking for: good amount of flavor (not devastating, tongue-obliterating flavor) and substantial contributions from both the hops and malt ends for good balance. This beer's flavor is similar to its aroma with a bit more of a leafy flavor also coming out and grains strong underneath. The finish lingers nicely and is pretty dry.
The beer overall is quite dry for the balance, carrying the leafy edge into the mouthfeel as well. The body is medium with a moderate carbonation giving way to a good level of crispness and allowing for it to smooth out in each swallow.
This is a good example of the style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.09/5  rDev -12.7%
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 salvo
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sundog is a lighter fizzy red beer. Off-white head quickly vanishes with little trace; red-brown liquid. Roasty and malty as well as mildly sour. Not much in the way of hops. Or other flavors. Or complexity. Ends with roasty malt. A little disappointing.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my sister for passing this along.

This pours copperish with a small eggshell head rising and falling pretty quickly with spotty lace. On the nose notes of caramel malt hang out with sticky pine way further back, although the whole thing is a bit understated. In the mouth the hops become a bit astringent and harsh, but not overwhelmingly so, and the sweeter caramel balances this somewhat. The body is a bit sticky and medium with a medium finish.

Overall, this beer is fine enough but lacks anything to really make it stand out. With so many good ambers on the market, be they of the hoppier or maltier varieties, this one just doesn't do enough to make me want to buy it again.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a orangish amber color with a nice foam head with excellent retention. There is a nice amount of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: There is a decent amount of caramel scent, some toast and brown sugar. Very sweet smelling.

T: Starts and finishes pretty much the same. Not an overly complex beer but still a decent tasting amber. The flavor is mostly caramel and toast. It is not overly sweet.

M: A light to medium bodied beer. Leaves a slightly slick taste on the palate.

O: A simple yet tasty Amber Ale. Not overly complex but still enjoyable to drink. Would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of DCon
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received a 12FL. OZ bottle of this from the MoBev Beer Rep, Jim. Poured from the cool sunset bottle into my Schlafly Pint Glass and didn't have a freshness date on it.

Aroma- Starts with Kettle Corn aroma and a hint of caramel. Very watery and almost like a Blonde ale (Malty, Fruity)...

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that is frothy and stays around for a good amount of time. It is an amber color body that is clear. Leaves rings of lace on the glass.

Flavor- Malt is the strongest ingredient here and this brings on a caramel taste. Very sweet and stays around till the finish. The bitterness at the end is medium and doesn't do much to add any complexity to the beer.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, but goes down very watery, and very much light enjoying a Bud Light and Kettle Corn at the same time.

Overall Impression- Its a bit above average but wouldn't buy if I was out looking for an amber/red ale. Have had MANY from Grand Teton and other Breweries who throw much more body into theirs. Drinkability was much to easy for this style as well. Not dissing this beer but New Holland could have done better!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
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 Holland
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark amber, very thick looking. The head is gone by the time it gets to me. Lacing is light, but sticky.

S: caramel, lightly roasted malts

T: malts, caramel, sweetness, a bit of hops

M: very thick and sticks in your mouth. Good body for an amber.

O: Addicting beer, and one that I could have all the time. Had this on tap at the brewery. Great, if uncomplicated, amber.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Another random brewski thanks to the strange buying habits of my brother. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises orange zest, sweet caramel, mandarin oranges, and a pinch of cardamom. The taste focuses on the juxtaposition of orange peel and caramel, with a strongly mild (whatever that really means...) bite of flowery hoppy bitterness at the finish. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice brew, nothing special, though it doesn't pretend to be special anyway. A good brew to just sit back and relax with.

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Photo of BrauKilR
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Sweet malt. Earthy hops, I sense not from dry hopping, but more likely late hops additions. Caramel. A hint of smokiness. No esters. No diacetyl.

A Caramel/amber, somewhat hazy. Off-white, fine head that builds abundantly and then recedes just as quickly once it hits its zenith to cover the liquid and lace the glass.

F Semi sweet up front, mingled with a moderately high bitterness. Caramel is the dominant malt flavor. No esters. Bitterness persists throughout, and into the finish, where it marries a hop flavor. Balanced toward the bitter, with hop flavors and bitterness lingering well past the sip's departure.

M Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. No astringency.

I I had it served from a 12 oz bottle a bit too cold, which undoubtedly muted the aromas and flavors, tending them toward the bitter. Very much like an Irish Red in that neither the malt nor the hops are overly assertive. In this, I find it rather mundane. But this is in comparison to the Dragon's Milk I finished just awhile ago. It's a good beer that fits the style, if not my personal taste at this particular time.

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Photo of r3o
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's a copper like color, with a thin head that dissapears quickly, smells mostly malt with some hops. Taste very rich in malt, a tad sweet, a light-medium body with decent carbonation. I could have a couple more while having a good time with friends.

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Photo of Erish
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. I discern no dating on the bottle.

A: hazy yellow-amber color, aggressive pour produces a two-finger yellowish-cream colored head that quickly diminishes into a good cap with good lacing.

S: earthy yeast aroma is prominent, the malt is very bread-like, there is a butterscotch mixed with the bread note, hops are not readily discernible.

T: very yeasty, bread-like taste up front, the middle shows some butterscotch-like sweetness and a touch of honey paired with an earthy hop presence, the finish is lightly bitter with an herbal character.

M: medium-bodied, lightly creamy texture, carbonation is moderate.

D: There is nothing overly harsh or cloying about this amber ale, but there is nothing terribly interesting, either. A solid effort from New Holland, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of nukem5
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a quickly dissapating head.

S: Smells spicey and floral with very little malt.

T: Zesty and spicey,sweet malts around the middle with a bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied slight lacing down glass.

D: Very smooth and drinkable, lots of good tastes and flavors washing around in there.Keep up the good work New Holland Brewery!

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Photo of JizackFH
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a dark copper color, and it has a small thin white head on it. The head falls quickly, leaving just a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S - The nose is pretty faint, but I'm getting some sweet malt, light hops, and some citrus.

T - It tastes of caramel sweetness and some roasted malts. I am also getting some hops and citrus. Overall, the flavor is pretty light and muted.

M - This has a medium body and crisp carbonation. It goes down pretty smooth, and is a bit creamy.

D - The drinkability is pretty good. It's not a very impressive beer, but it's easy to drink. Overall, this is definitely not one of the best selections from New Holland, but it's not a bad beer.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours into a nice reddish amber colored body with an off white head that has very good retention, good lacing and decent carbonation. It has a sweet fruity smell with hints of caramel. The taste is a caramel nutty flavor with strong hints of apple and pear. The aftertaste is of apple and caramel with a taste of nuts and barley. The mouth feel is a nice smooth medium body that leaves a sticky feeling on the lips, and the soft smoothness makes this a very drinkable beer. Another winner from New Holland Brewing.

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Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a two finger head that slowly falls to a spotty surface foam. Some lace develops.

Smell: caramel sweetness and ripe fruitiness is picked up by the nose.

Taste: caramel, red apples, a soft bitterness, and a nice malt sweetness creates a decent amber ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Very crisp to start, a bit less crisp at the finish. Short aftertaste.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this beer and several can be had in a session.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear russet color, with 1/2" of cream colored head. Decent carbonation is revealed with bubbles dancing up fro mthe bottom of the glass.

Pleasant toffee malt nose, with hints of caramel. Very mild in smell, however.

Taste starts with a grainy malt that quickly melts to sweet caramel and toffee. Ends ever-so slightly bitter. Very nicely balanced in flavor, this is the best tasting amber/red ale I've recently had.

Mouthfeel is medium, slightly creamy.

Fairly drinkable, I'd definitely have this one again.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle not dated

New Holland Sundog Amber Ale poured an amber color with a copper glow. The head was light tan in color and bubbly and left behind nice lacing that circled my mug. The aroma is of toasted malts and balanced with light hops. The flavor starts out a little sweet from the caramel malts, toasty body and a nutty slightly bitter finish. Mouth feel is good, slick and a medium body.

Sundog is balanced amber ale with a good mix of toasted malts and hops.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pretty nice dark amber color. Very little head.

S - Slight bread, caramel and toffee tones with a touch of hops

T - Not very hoppy in the taste more of a sweet amber with a bready malt base. Sweet caramel and toffee notes make it tasty.

M - Light to medium bodied.

D - New Holland seems to have a pretty solid brew here. Perfect balance of hops and malt.

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Photo of st8fan19
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice off white head that dissipates quickly. Left with little to no head. Color is a very nice amber/brown color.

S: Nice smokey notes with a little bit of a caramel in front.

T: Nice roasted malt flavor, very little hops detected.

M: Decent mouthfeel, almost a little flat/thin though.

D: Fairly good beer. I could drink a few of them with no problem. Wouldn't run out to grab more though.

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Photo of jmich24
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Nice clear amber color. Light carbonation coming from etched glass. Very little head.
S: Pure earthy malts. Some burnt scents.
T: Nice flavor for an American Amber. Lots of burnt, caramel malts. Very little bitterness.
M: Very little carbonation, almost flat. Not to thin for the style.
D: Drinkability is just okay for me. The 6 percent ABV as listed on the bottle is too high to be session able and the flavor is just not outstanding.

This was just a okay Amber Ale for me. Would not purchase again.

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Photo of jkrich
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. This is a very unique amber ale color - a clear, amber and brown hue with very unusual golden/orange highlights much like the sunset portrayed on the label. The off-white head quickly dissipates leaving faint lacing.

The aroma was very strong compared to the amber ales I have tried. The aroma was quite spicy and fruity with hints of whiskey and alcohol.

The flavor is well-rounded fruity with a soft malty taste. There are hints of wine flavors. Hops make their presence known only faintly.

For all the nuances and complexities of this ale, it is slightly thin bodied. The carbonation is restrained and the mouthfeel is slick but does leave a very nice sweet coating on the tongue.

A surprisingly flavorful and robust amber, this one offers a lot of subtle, complex flavors, yet remains light enough for several. This is my first offering from this brewery, and I hope not the last.

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Photo of Jpatrix
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at brewery.
A = A nice looking amber but light in color. Small head with quick disapperaing head.
S = A light smokey flavor but not overly impressive.
T = Not bad but a bit thin.
MF = Thin on flavor and a bit "bitey"
OA = Not overly impressed but not that bad.

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Sundog Amber Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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