James Squire Sundown Lager
Malt Shovel Brewery

James Squire Sundown LagerJames Squire Sundown Lager
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German Helles
Ranked #312
Ranked #45,965
3.27 | pDev: 16.21%
Malt Shovel Brewery
James Squire Sundown LagerJames Squire Sundown Lager
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 43 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From bottle, Sweet malt nose. Clear yellow/amber with solid white head. Light carbonation. Mineral water mouthfeel. Slight bitter finish with late touch of malt. You could drink this all day.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.76/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Format: standard 330mL brown bottle, pretty standard James Squire label.

Appearance: pours out an amber-gold colour with limited visible carbonation. A fluffy white head that drops to a thick cap. Okay lacing.

Aroma: a very mild aroma for a James Squire beer. Some biscuit malts and grass hops. Smells a bit artificial.

Taste: fresh cut grass hops are there, which is nice, but the biscuity hops are the artificial smelling component apparently, and aren't particularly brilliant here either.

Aftertaste: a bit cloying on the finish, without any bitterness from the hops.

Mouth feel: light in feel with a moderate carbonation that really doesn't bring those flavours forward. Average.

Overall: not a particularly brilliant beer from James Squire. A bit of a pity, since I generally like their line-up. All told, not awful but a bit boring. The typically James Squire price of AU$55 a case means that this one is definitely not worth it, particularly when standing up against its Squire brethren.

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Photo of baumaxx1
2.89/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottled beer served in a glass.

Appearance -
Thin 1cm head quickly dissipates, and produces a little bit of lacing. Golden honey in colour, clear and low effervescence.

Smell -
Caramel, sugar cane, honey, grains, yeast, cereal, faint hints of lemonade.

Taste -
Grains, cornflakes, yeast, hint of citrus and cut grass. A strong citrus aftertaste, but not hoppy like a pale ale. Slightly over-sweet with subdued flavours.

Mouthfeel -
Mild mouthfeel, little fizz and a bit flat, watery body, but a clean feel.

Overall -
Looks good, smells good, easy to drink, but a bit sweet and the flavour is on the mild side. One of the better mass produced Aussie lagers though. Nothing to get too excited about though. Will have to see how the Coopers lager stacks up against this.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An atypical review.

Lets just assume for a minute that beer is supposed to be refreshing, easy to drink, thirst quenching, pleasantly, if not fully flavoured, and that after you have one you can easily go another, and then another, and then another.

That knocks out quite a few beers. But not this one.

(Slight aside, it is quite sweet. But not overmuch)

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Photo of soju6
2.89/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a golden color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: Mild aroma of citrus, bit of malt sweetness and grain.

T: Taste of some citrus with a mild malt sweetness. Has a mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp and refreshing.

O: Decent beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.39/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

With much hesitation I approach James Squire Sundown Lager - many good reviewers have trashed this beer and my concern, as I apprehensively reach for the (free mind you) bottle, is that that they have rightfully so trashed it. Plus I hate the two words "Australian" and "Lager" together on the bottle label - it conjures thoughts of VB or Tooheys Red. But let's give it a chance first shall we.

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a pokal.

A: Pale clear golden body with a cappuccino froth white head that sits rather proudly. Looks good so far.

S: There is definite vegetable matter on the nose. Malt grain base, hint of yeast, with Phenolic aromas that give off the impression of chemical cleaner residue, much like any other macro Aussie Lager with a slight Euro Lager yeastiness.

T: Big sugar hit upfront. Malt grains dominate the mid-palate, with that minor sour yeast note followed by a tinge of hop bitterness at the end - you can pretty much discount hops completely but is that really a surprise in an Aussie Lager? The whole flavour profile is very simple, on the plus side though there are a lot of terrible, terrible Aussie Lagers out there and compared to it's competition it's doing OK.

M: Watery and flat. Disappointing.

D: Final verdict? It's not something that appeals to me, but hey I must be in the minority because macro beer makers pump out stuff like this en masse. This is a simple Lager for an underdeveloped beer palate, and I wouldn't be surprised if the sweetness in this brew is there to try and lure RTD (Ready To Drink) people away from their expensive (with the RTD Tax in Australia) beverages. For an old(ish) beer drinker like me it's a fail.

Food match: Footy match food like meat pies, hot chips and hot dogs.

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brewery has churned out some fantastic offerings. So lets see how their flagship lager turns out.

A- Just a typical lager appearance. Decent head which retains fairly well and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells a fair bit better than I expected. Theres's a laid back grassy-hop aroma and some malts. It's all mild though, but for the style.. Hey, you could do worse.

T- Very clean. Although, it's thankfully not one of those "psuedo-beer" macro aussie lagers in the taste department. Sweetness upfront with good hoppiness and some faint Pride of Ringwood on the back. Luckily, the aforementioned POW is not so pronounced. Not bad at all.

M- Crisp and highly drinkable. While this is good by style, it still leaves me wanting a bit.

O- Generally the words "Australian" and "lager" do not mix well AT ALL, but in this case, they do. What we have here is an easy-drinking warm weather beer with some actual taste. I won't be so snobbish to say that's a bad thing.

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Photo of dansmcd
2.2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ugh. Plucked this out of the bargain bin for $2 and want my money back. Just a bubbly, chemically soft drink. Very watery, no smell, weak sweet flavour. Not an overly unpleasant taste, just very, very dull. Probably would have loved this when I was 12. Avoid.

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Photo of Stew41
2.18/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is best described as a dumbed down industrial version of the just ok Golden Ale. Very mainstream lagerish with mildly rough and metallic hops (PoW?) and not really much else. Really JS should be aspiring to more than this given there's no shortage of crap beer brewed here.

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Photo of drtth
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes taken during a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a bright clear golden straw color with a 1" head of white foam. The head recedes to a ring of foam and sipping leaves scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: While not strong the aroma is filled with pleasant biscuity malt and hint of grassy hops

Taste: The flavors include some lightly sweet biscuity malt flavor with some earthy grassy hops present but not obtrusive.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with strong carbonation. The finish is on the short side and barely lets one know the hops are there.

Drinkability: This is a reasonably drinkable beer, but nothing really stands out about it, either good or bad. The best that can be said for it is that it is a thirst quencher and not an adjunct lager.

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Photo of dgilks
3.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a perfectly clear, straw colour with a large, foamy white head. Poor head retention.

Mild, grainy, pils aroma with light sulphur notes and a touch of fresh apple.

Mild, malty flavour with a touch of bitterness. A bit of crisp, spicy noble hop comes through as well. Not too bad.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Okay.

A decent, easy drinking lager but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Finite
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden body with a thinning white head

Citrus and grassy hop aroma with some pale malt undertones

Clean and fresh, More drinkable, well rounded and balance than a standard Aussie larger. Perhaps a hybrid of several styles but like-able to the aussie summer climate.

M- Lively and fresh clean feel with moderate carbonation.

D- Goes down well and really session-able. A good summer beer with more flavor than the alternatives. Not bad. Wont offend beer geeks, wont offend beer ignorant's.

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Photo of leastsquares
3.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep straw colour, crystal clear. A finger's width of head with gently collapses into a thin film.

S: Not much smell at all, except for a faint sweetish/dairyish smell - Milky Bar? Yoghurt?

T: Moderate hoppiness, light-to-medium carbonation. Nothing too special about the taste, but not bad either - what a lager should be like.

M: Once again, nothing too special, but far from being poor.

D: Just enough flavour to make this a decent lager to drink. Probably the best Australian-produced lager I've tried (but that's not saying much).

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.14/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Marly Newtown.

Pours an orange-gold colour, with very dense white head, webs of lace clinging to the glass. Steady stream of bubbles heading upwards makes for a pretty good-looking lager.

Smells grainy and lagery, kind of sweet with crisp lager notes. Mild grass and pine character. Not a lot to it, really. Plain, kind of bland.

Taste is quite dry. Lots of grain on the front, slightly sweet with barley and a hint of corn, then some earthy hops. Bits of POR and some grassy notes, hay. Slight medicinal character comes through on the finish, but mostly crisp and clean, doesn't leave a lot of aftertaste which is good as it is quite drinkable and clean as a result. Not special, but inoffensive.

Mouthfeel is sizzly, but not harsh. Surprisingly good body for how low ABV is. Feels like a real beer with natural ingredients.

A decent effort and more than a match for most Aussie lagers out there.

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Photo of philphilphil
2.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

totally different from the other munich helles' i have tried. Lower than 5 % abv, can't be a munich helles.

A - deep amber colour, average head.
S - nothing surprising
T - heres what truely surprised me, the flavour, excessively floral, but not the most over the top ive had. Not munich helles flavour as i was anticipating...
M - good.
D - over priced, average beer. Floral hops put it back a long way with me, i just cannot undeerstand what people see in them.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a small head.
Has a faint aroma, with sweet caramel and grainy malt alongside some light floral and spicy hops.
Sweet malty flavours, but unfortunately it's still quite grainy. Once again, there's some spicy and grassy hops.
Pretty watery.

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Photo of juju7
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A golden lager with a weak head, soft hop aromas hinting at tropical fruit but you've got to want to believe to find them. Malt presence and med bitterness on the palate. Finishes a little short. Body is also a touch light, lacking in the mid-palate. Not bad, a decent beer that is definitely not worth the $20 a six pack price tag.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.69/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.0
Pours a centimetre of white head that reduced to a thin layer over a clear body of gold.

Smell - 4.0
Very pleasant, although perhaps not as true to style as it ought to be. Little malt on the nose, dominated by citrus, pineapple and a little freshly mowed grass.

Taste - 3.5
Reasonably clean and refreshing with more flavour than your average Aussie lager. Well balanced, malt provides grain and husk taste, moderate bitterness for the style, hops are grassy and slightly citric. The finish is dry and with a little lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Moderate to lively carbonation, light to medium body.

Drinkability - 4.0
A sessionable pale lager with an approachable alcohol level, it will surely be a summer hit.

OVERALL - 3.55
You may be tempted to, but don't drink it straight out of the fridge. Where other mainstream lagers start to taste nasty with warmth, this one doesn't hit its straps until at least 5-6 degrees, where a pleasant fruitiness emerges. Certainly not my favourite James Squire, but it is a beer that will appeal to the masses while not offending enthusiasts.

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Photo of ADZA
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a pale see thru straw colour with average carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head with no lacing only a tiny subtle ring,it has very similar aromas to the golden ale with hints of passionfruit,paw paw and some pineapple but just not as full on and more malt aromas in the background,it has a thinish mouthfeel which prob is a little thin for the style for me so would prob class this as something different than a Helles but neverless on taste it has a hint of citrus with a grassy smooth hop finish,not bad but not great and would prefer to drink something else now.

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Photo of Macca
3.16/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a bright golden colour but with very little head. For most of the time it sat in the glass it looked dead.

Wonderful tropical fruit aromas - pineapple and passionfruit. Probably the best part of the beer.

The graininess on the palate reminded me of a euro lager. Drinkable but not gonna change my world/.

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Photo of Kulrak
3.77/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep golden color with a minimum of head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells vaguely sweet, hard to actually pinpoint what it smells like. It just smells cool and sweet. The taste is grainy and sweet with a woody hop finish. It's very interesting, and not unpleasant. The mouthfeel is heavy but without any real carbonation. Overall, it's a very unusual and very drinkable beer. I'll be buying this again during this season.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent quaffability on a hot afternoon.
This takes me right back to the days when Victorians wouldnt drink NSW beer and vice a versa.
Travelling to the South coast of NSW from Melbourne , one had to endure Resches Draught.My memory was of a very different tasting beer , and tris is what it tasted like (given it was 30 yrs ago)
A distinctive hop and maltiness makes this an enjoy drink.It refreshes and celanses .
what else can you ask of it ?

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Photo of madvoice
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an golden colour with large bubbled head that disappears quickly. Leaves very little lacing.

Smells grassy and citrussy sweet.

Has a fruty flavour with a slight metallic taste and a bit of bite to the finish

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and refreshing.

Something you could drink a lot of in a short period of time. Bought this on a whim to take as a byo to a Mexican restaurant. It accompanied the meal very well.

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Photo of foles
3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a solid lager, built for sessionability. I picked up a carton and its disappearing quickly, despite the fact it does not attack you with taste.

Slight german hop aroma / flavour, rounded crispness, one dimensional flavour. Appears to have a subtle malt backbone. Very soft and easy drinking at 4.4%. Also seems to get better after a couple.

Good offering for summer from Malt Shovel

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Photo of vancurly
3.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't know how this comes to be "Munich Helles"....I guess in terms of malt/hop balance it slots here rather than other categories such as Dortmunder and Euro Pale. But the tropical, "new world" approach to the hop flavour lends it more towards an American all-malt, pale lager.

a) Bright golden, coarse bubbled head which drops quickly to a thin raft. Not much effervescence.

s) From the bottle there's a good healthy whiff of late hops. In the glass, the malt comes through with a strong herbaceous note, kinda like wild vegetation/lantana. Hints of seeds, like wattle or passionfruit.

f) Tropical fruit, light toastiness, slight blood/metal. Late honey at the back. Not particularly bitter.

m) Full, light & tingly, refreshing at first, but finishing slightly cloying, inviting a second one.

d) This is a good quaffer. For what it sets out to achieve, it does so with class. For this I rate it highly for drinkability.

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James Squire Sundown Lager from Malt Shovel Brewery
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 43 ratings