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Dark & Handsome - Box Steam Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark & HandsomeDark & Handsome

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Box Steam Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 12-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%

Bottle: Poured a dark black color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some dry bitter notes. Taste is a mix between some medium dry roasted malt notes with light fruity ester. Body is about average with good carbonation. Interesting though lacking complexity or some subtlety are maybe just too subtle for me.

Phyl21ca, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of andrenaline
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%

From notes...

A - Pours a dark ruby red, finger of head with solid retention and some spotty sporadic lacing.

S - Rather mild, leafy citrus hops, hints of cocoa and espresso, burnt sugar and molasses.

T - Dark cocoa dominates, espresso follows, hint of citrus, some black licorice and molasses. The cocoa lingers alongside a leafy bitterness. Could be a bit sweeter, but nothing offensive.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty dark ale, nicely balanced and very drinkable. The flavours are present but not overwhelming, making it surprisingly sessionable.

andrenaline, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of jrenihan
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%

Best Before September 2012.

Beer is very dark brown, little red hints. Moderately sized head that is somewhere between tan and off-white in colour. Some lacing is present. Pretty good retention.

Nose has lots of sweet caramel malt, coffee, cocoa, a bit of spice and dark fruit. Has some similarities to a stout but the sweet malty scents differentiate is pretty clearly.

Flavour is similar to the nose, but not quite as enveloping. Cocoa, coffee, caramel malt, slightly bitter. Not bad. Nice flavours but not exciting.

Pretty highly carbonated, medium bodied. A bit chewy.

Overall, pretty good but not anything to get too crazy about. I like it but I wouldn't be seeking it out again.

jrenihan, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

irishkyle21, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +10.5%

ThinkAgain, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of WeissBoy
4/5  rDev +10.5%

WeissBoy, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of scott451
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

One finger tan head on a very dark amber. As others have remarked it looks a lot like Coke. The head diminishes to a persistent ring.

Sweet spicy malt smells. Tastes of toasty malts. Some liquorice in the aftertaste. Blackcurrants emerge as it warms.

Fairly light mouthfeel. Creamy texture. A very nice dark ale. Smooth and well balanced.

scott451, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%

Pours like an English porter with good darkness and a decent head. A tad more lacing than you'd expect as well.

The nose is the highlight of this drink for me. It sports a fair amount of roastiness as well as some dark malt.

Taste-wise some hops come into play. Mostly spicy and grassy but they are a bit foundational to the drink. As it warms up it really seems a lot richer.

The mouthfeel is medium full and a little thicker. Carbonation is kept under check but fills the drink up nicely.

Overall, it's a nice drink. I'd probably reclassify this as an English porter, but it fits the old ale style as well. I think it suffers a bit playing a stronger style while getting lighter in alcohol, but it's still a great drink.

BBP, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%

Deep brown, ruby in the light, one finger of creamy off white head, lace along the top of the glass. Smell is of roasted malts, herbal notes, liquorice, citrus notes, lemon, light smokey/ashy scents. Taste is herbal and lightly sour initially, followed by smoke and roast malts, ashy notes, coffee in finish, mildly chocolatey as well, light citrus hop bitterness is there with mild citrus behind the liquorice and roast. Light-med carb, light-med feel, medium body. fairly serviceable brew, lots of interesting complementary flavours, goes down quickly.

peensteen, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Stocean1
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%

A - this is a deep brown brew with a beige two finger head that disappeared quickly to a thin collar of bubbles. Some light patchy lacing.

S - earthy and nutty malt with faint grassy hops and wood

T - follows the nose and is rather muted, faint coffee and herbal qualities but nothing really stands out, rather disappointing.

M - light bodied with a watery quality, there is plenty of carbonation. Relatively smooth and drinkable this brew has a nice amount of bitterness in the lingering finish.

O - I was disappointed by this brew as I have enjoyed the other offerings I haved tried from this brewer. Quite simply a one dimensional brew with nothing standing out.

Stocean1, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +10.5%

beerhunter13, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of kelvarnsen
4/5  rDev +10.5%

kelvarnsen, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%

Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, not bottle-conditioned; BB 21/06/2011, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. Note: according to the beer label, this beer was awarded “Beer of the Festival” at the 2008 Pig’s Ear beerfest in London.

A: pours into a stemmed tulip-shaped bulb glass a deeply dark brown hue, coming with very restrained carbonation and a fast dissipating beige foamy head.
S: light smokiness skirts the main theme of roasty, chocolaty and dark gristy malts, with fruitiness as of Chinese black prunes, sour berries and licorice in the background, while a light touch of woodiness seems to lag behind as well. Not much of stale-ness is noted, though, if the style is taken into account, but overall the aroma is refreshingly fruity and nice.
T: mildly effervescent and soothing, the foretaste is rather… “settled” in flavour, showing restrained dark fruits coupled with only the “body” of mixed dark malts at presence without a single bit of malt sweetness, followed by a very smooth wave of mildly chewy, refreshingly bitter-sweet herbal (powdered licorice, etc.), even woody bitterness that develops nice and quietly into the aftertaste. The bitterness is so well structured, not rough, but rather… “mature” and retains its depth well, which I think comes from a long process of conditioning, on top of good quality roast malts and hops used in the brewing. The finish has a bit more fine smoky notes to it, apart from the lingering semi-chewy palate.
M&D: as experienced throughout the drink, the texture is smooth yet kept refreshing by the interesting level of microscopic fizziness, almost like what can be expected from a cask. I haven’t had an Old Ale for many months now, but this bottle seems to rekindle my interest in just a sip, despite a huge difference from its many counterparts I’ve tried in the past. All in all, this is a medium-bodied, unimposing and well-balanced dark ale definitely worth a try for those who are not afraid of, well, “quieter” tastes for their beers.

wl0307, May 18, 2011
Photo of korguy123
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%

Notes from 5/5/2011

A- Dark root beer hazzy pour. Half finger egg shell creamy head. Lacing is decent.

S- Roasted malts, black coffee. Little vanilla. Fairly bland and boring. None of the tasting notes on the bottle are in this.

T- Watered down coffee. Slight dark fruits. Very bland and boring.

M- Thin with a little chewy in the back end. Light carbonation. Zero aftertaste

O- Very one dimensional, quite bland. Will not grab again.

korguy123, May 11, 2011
Photo of hopsolutely
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%

Beautiful dark colour with amber highlights. Pours clear, with no sign of head. In fact, this particular bottle is pretty much flat.

Smokey aroma and ending with a pleasantly dry and bitter finish. The taste is well balanced, with roasted malts, coffee undertones and smokiness. I don't pick up on the licorice flavours advertised on the bottle, but I'm clearly no cicerone or anywhere close to a refined palate...

Overall a pleasant ale, but not one for which I'd pay a premium.

hopsolutely, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%

Dark and Handsome is neither an inaccurate name nor a pretentious one. This deep maroon coloured beer has perfect clarity and appears rather brown away from the light - it most certainly is a looker. But its bubbles are so offhand so as to be almost undetectable and, as direct result, the foam that should be accumulating on its surface is completely stunted.

The nose starts off as fairly straightforwardly roasty and malty but gains in complexity as it warms; a curious wine-y character is loosely reminiscent of an aged tawny while a strong tobacco note also evolves. It becomes like an ashtray lined with molasses. I'm not entirely sure how much I like it, but it is distinct and I can't seem to stop smelling it.

The smoky, roasty, oily taste of coffee grinds juxtaposes with the beer's sweet and fruity undertones. Dark cocoa, wafers, treacle, figs and black olive round out the taste. Bubbles this lackadaisical are better suited to higher gravity tipples and might be a bit too casual for this offering; the beer is damp and heavy as wet socks in winter time.

I don't consider this much of an 'old ale'. Not to be a stickler for style, I bring up that this is really more of a mild dark ale or nut brown only because I think it'd be useful for potential buyers to know. While deliciously flavoured, don't expect much complexity and, although a bit hefty, know that it's better geared to high-volume consumption.

Dark and Handsome definitely has some nice qualities, but it's not everything you'd want in a beer. That said, it's not everything you'd assume either - this is certainly a distinguished ale and positively sets itself apart from other, more predictable British beers. This was an interesting pickup and is a positive first impression from this little brewery.

biegaman, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of mrnobody
3.33/5  rDev -8%

500 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cola coloured with half a finger of off-white head that immediately disappears.

S: Smells of roasted malt, molasses, caramel.

T: The flavour is quite mild but there is some bitterness in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel seems thin and the carbonation is prickly.

D: This is a pretty harmless beer but not interesting enough to bother with again.

mrnobody, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

500 ml bottle with best before date of 16 Aug 11 from the LCBO.
Poured in to brandy snifter.

A - Medium brown colour with very little head.

S - A lot of chocolate on the nose. Some dark fruit and spiciness.

T - Much lighter chocolate than the nose seemed to indicate but the chocolate is still present. Sweet brown sugar, some dark fruit and light licorice notes. The finish has a tart lemon taste that lingers a little bit.

M - Medium body, moderately carbonated.

D - This one started out tasting very good and seeming unique and interesting but as I continued to drink it, the tart lemon aftertaste became a little overwhelming. An interesting beer and I am happy that I tried it, but this is not a beer that I would seek out again.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of ludachris
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%

A more than gingerly pour yeilds about a finger's worth of soapy cream coloured head that sits on top of a cola brown body with intense mahogany highlights. Active streams of carbonation are visible, rising up the sides of the glass.

A rich and chewy nose gives of notes of sweet and sticky raisons, toffee, and dark chocolate. There's a nutty component to it as well that I liken to a brown ale. Hints of slightly tart blackberries also peak through.

An earthy nuttiness with a hazelnut sweetness is the first and most prominent thing I get in the taste. Tangy lemon peel and blackberries add an interesting and welcomed edge to this beer's straightforward base. A flash of raisons graces the back of the palate before being quickly subsumed by a roasty and dry character that is imparted from the nuttiness.

Medium bodied in the mouth with a level of carbonation that compliments the fruity/tangy aspect of the beer, oddly making this dark ale refreshing. Well balanced and easy to quaff with the only downfall coming from a bit more flavour being desired in the taste.

The simple,tamed, yet decently flavourful characteristics of this beer make for a good intro into this style or into darker beers in general. I prefer something that packs a bit more of a punch, but at 5% ABV it does well. This attests to the LCBO's willingness to bring in beers from incredibly small/not-well-known breweries and I respect that. Overall, a decent beer from a great winter line-up.

ludachris, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with a small to average size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some average lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, molasses, coffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste consists of malts and molasses, and coffee/chocolate. The bottle says it has a licorice taste and I guess I kind of picked up on that as well. There was also a bit of a dark fruit taste. The beer finished with a malty molasses aftertaste.

Drink - Not a bad beer.. just not spectacular. It would probably make a fairly decent session brew. I'm happy I gave it a try but I don't think I'd seek it out again.

spinrsx, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of paxkey
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

Bottle and label lend to a 'craft' brew appearance, with 'engineered by hand' scrawled across the front.
Plain black bottle cap.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark dark ruby with an off-white thick three finger head.
lots of carbonation off the pour, gonna let this one sit a few minutes and warm up from the fridge.

alcohol and malt are picked up right away. fruitiness from hops gives a grapefruit aroma.
I'm tasting the bitterness from the resin aroma and like pavlov's dog...

really enjoying the balanced aroma between malt and hops, the aroma is fantastic.
hints of whiskey--this may be barrel aged, i am not sure.

tastes great, with lots of roastiness coming through. coffee, mocah, chocolate. These tastes are not really present in the aroma so it is a pleasant kick when it hits.

smooth mouthfeel with a little thinness on the end and slightly sharp carbonation.

paxkey, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of MrHall
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

Overall, I kind of like this ale - Hell, CAMRA loves it. Like others have said, it really seems more like a brown ale than an old ale.

The appearance is the most disappointing part of this beer. I really does look like murky cola. The head even dissipates like pop does.

There's a nice fruity aroma. I get dark fruit like black berries.

The taste is really balanced. nice maltiness, a bit of the citrus, as advertised, and some hops at the end.

Mouthfeel, is a bit thin, but mine didn't seem to suffer as much as others did. Perhaps it's best as a light drinkable brown ale.

I also wonder if people are afraid to label their beers as "brown" because brown is boring. But I love a good malty brown ale.

MrHall, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of OldGrowler
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%

I wish they would stop giving craft beers childish names and sparse labels that look like a logo-generator program designed them. I almost didn't try this one because of the packaging, but because it was British I relented at the last minute to this "Smooth creamy beer with hints of lemon, blackcurrant, liquorice." Nothing could be further form the truth. Mouthfeel was watery like cola. Looks like cola too, but who cares really? Aroma on the other hand was delightful, like baking. Taste is spicy, raisiny, cocoa--equally comforting. Remarkably, not bitter, not acidic, not super-malty like others of this style. This is a baking-spice, savoury beer, not fruity really. Very likeable and drinkable because flavours and characters balance perfectly. A little thicker, and this beer could be top notch by critics standards.

OldGrowler, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of Mit
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%

pours a dark almost cola colour with almost no head at all.

Smells vaguely of raisins, currants, a light hoppy character in the background.

Very light almost watery tasting. Slight hoppy bitterness, very mild malt character.

Mouthfeel was very thin. Almost like drinking a macro light beer.

Fairly drinkable but the lack of mouthfeel really did detract for me.

Mit, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Pours a murky brown colour with hints of red. Starts off with white head that quickly dissipates, leaving a small amount of lacing. Smells of dried fruit and lemon with toasted malt. I don't get any hops or bitterness whatsoever. Very sweet flavour, and a bit of alcohol which is odd at only 5%. Thin mouthfeel, very light carbonation overall. I was looking forward to this beer and i think it is just ok.

kwjd, Dec 24, 2010
Dark & Handsome from Box Steam Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.