Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sundog Amber Ale

Luke and I picked up a bottle of this from the brewery during my interview. Tasted Friday, March 2nd, 2012 night after attending the Mississippi River Distillery tapping of the Cody Road Bourbon. I was really tempted to participate in their barrel program - for $400 you "buy" the barrel for a year while the bourbon ages. When bottling comes, you get your barrel back AND 6 bottles!
New Holland Scooner glass served
Tasted a final time for the review on May 22, 2012
6% ABV

Appearance: Bright amber colored with a brilliantly clear pour. The head is sustained for several minutes of a soft white pillow of bubbles across the surface of the beer. Carbonation is visible from within. Lacing is wet and speckled down the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Similar to what the bottle explains, this beer presents a caramel scent up front followed by a hint of toastiness near the finish. Some nuttiness alongside a characteristically notable hop profile at the end.
Half pint at the brewpub
Taste: A brief caramel/ grain based sweetness caresses the palate and swiftly transforms into a distinguishable mild bitterness. I feel that this beer has a hop profile similar to that of Mad Hatter - with a assertive earthiness about it. I would almost say there could be a hint of rye in there. I don't pick up on the alcohol, but judging by the dryness of the beer, I'd certainly say the complete attenuation led me expect it. Nevertheless, it is well masked.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied and brisk. The bitterness at the end, combined with a full attenuation makes for a dry, but very refreshing beer with high drinkability.On the second trial, (and on tap) the beer was a lot more velvety with a smoother mouthfeel and similar dryness as before.
Overall Impression: This beer definitely was a change in style expectation for me. Normally I associate amber ales to be dosed full with a caramel/biscuit malt character. However, this one retained its light body, crisp hops and quenching finish. Certainly one to appeal to the masses, without being filling or too sweet. I see this as a viable beer to take to any party, or even great for summer. The second tasting helped me recognize the slight variation between bottle and draft. I could see getting this as my pay case in the coming weeks, if it's ever an option.

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