Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Dark Cloud - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Dark CloudDark Cloud

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

125 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 125
Hads: 376
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 18.81%
Wants: 32
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mother Earth Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: evantwomey on 11-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Cloud Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 125 | Hads: 376
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.89/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Was on tap at Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe in Chapel Hill, NC.

With a straight brown color, it is light, yet fully malty with toffee and a milk chocolate roasty taste. Balanced and slightly sweet with a great mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. Fantastic for the style!

 284 characters

Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

June 2014 bottling I picked up last year at the brewery and forgot about in my fridge. 12oz into a tulip, the brew appears a deep mahogany color with ruby clarity when held to the light. A khaki cap fades to a thin film leaving spotty lace.

Nose is pleasantly chocolate-like mingled with fruity raison and suggestions of caramel, toffee and molasses before a bit of herbal and mineral/metallic edge comes into play.

The taste is sweet and fruity like raisons and plum mixed with dates, light chocolate malt, earth, minerals and roast. There is a very subtle buttery diacetyl touch to this that brings the focus back to caramel malt and slight fruity alcohol inclusion.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. A decent brew that I probably did a slight disservice by forgetting about for a year but it still held up fairly well.

 839 characters

Photo of TheRock7755
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I can't find too many Dunkel's out there. I came across this at a 1st annual craft brew tasting fest in the Cumming, GA area. I was happy to find this in the store. It is regional, and has a distinct smoky flavor.

 216 characters

Photo of Fieldzy27
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a footed pilsner glass.

Look: Pours an almond brown color with a lot of light penetration, the head is bone white and deflates quickly to very thin layer of tiny bubbles covering the surface of the beer. Not insanely impressive but the color of the beer is very nice.

Smell: dough and bread with hints of toffee and a little caramel are the strong points here, a little nuttiness and dark fruit upon further inspection. Not a wildly complex aroma but nothing offensive for sure.

Taste: Malty and sweet , bread and biscuit with some toffee notes again. Sweetness is washed from the pallet by the carbonation and the beer slips into a clean dry finish with a slightly nutty aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Feel: carbonation level is perfect for this beer. Keeps it light and refreshing with out being fizzy. Very well done.

Overall: A tasty beer, I'm a big fan of this style and enjoy the german varieties very much. This doesn't exactly stand up to its german counterparts but If I was in the mood for a dunkel and this was on tap I would not pass it up. Drinkability begs for a liter mug.

 1,122 characters

Photo of Chessmaster
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into German beer glass.

A: Pours a rich dark brown with ruby highlights and streams of gentle carbonation slowly making their way to the surface. There is pretty much no head, just a bit of wispy foam on the top and around the glass. From what I could read online this appears to be appropriate for the style. Some lacing on the glass as I continue drinking...

S: Mild smells of sweet caramel/malt. No hops. Again, seems according to guidelines

T: Pleasant notes of malty sweetness, light and crisp, with a finish balanced between caramel/biscuit and just enough hop bitterness to balance. No discernible hop aromas nor flavors - except the bittering hops -- (which is as should be)

M: Light, refreshing, crisp, with just enough carbonation. Very sessionable

O: I am enjoying this beer a lot. Not an expert on the style, but from what I read online, this beer appears to be within the guidelines for a dunkel lager.
Would buy it again for sure.

 969 characters

Photo of dogchasecats
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

I'm drinking this a local bar in a standard glass from the tap. The taste is excellent. It has a smooth malty flavor and a fine finish. I'm enjoying the aftertaste very much. Not a lot of bitter, as it isn't that kind of brew. This pour doesn't have hardly any head, nor lacing down the side. I think my bartender is better at serving mixed drinks than pulling a beer. I like a bit of a head on my drafts when I get them.

I would absolutely drink this again, but I had to knock it down for the slight flatness of this pour. Again, that may be because of the local tap. I will amend this review if I that turns out to be the case.

 644 characters

Photo of Roser
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- medium to dark (root beer) brown. Nice tan head. Light to moderate dissipation with some lacing, but nothing noteworthy.

S- clean. Roasted coffee. Caramel and malt. Mineral quality (similar to an oyster stout).

T- burnt coffee, cocoa,

M- light body. Not too much carbonation. Bitter up front. Very crisp.

O- good. Would recommend and have again. A solid American version of a classic German style.


 418 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and mocha in shade. Retention isn't fantastic, but the creamy texture leaves behind a nice ring of sheet lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is bringing a lot of chocolate, along with some roasted notes. As it warms up, it becomes more and more nuttier - perhaps even resembling hazelnut coffee at times. It's a simplistic aroma, but a perfectly reasonable one.

T: It starts with a nutty, chocolaty tone. The finish is *very* well attenuated - dry and mineral-esque, yet with a subtle fruitiness. Just like the nose indicated, this is about it as far as the flavor profile goes. Still, it's pleasant and sessionable.

M: Even for the style, it's insanely dry, to the point of evaporating off the tongue. It does this without relying on intense carbonation to get the job done. There's just enough lingering sweetness to keep this out of "pure chugger" territory - still, it's a very drinkable brew.

O: Not an amazing beer, but a good one to pair with food thanks to its easygoing nature. I'll probably return to this one again, just not on a frequent basis.

 1,150 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It is a deep amber, almost rust, in color. It has some amber highlights. On top sits three inches of thick, tan head.

S - They managed to capture that skunked smell of a Euro-lager. I manage to get some cocoa aroma as well.

T - The taste starts out with some sweet cocoa. Then some metallic and skunk flavors creep in.

M - Moderate

O - It is a good representation of the style. I enjoyed the cocoa aspect of this beer. The skunked metallic flavor was not my favorite.

 523 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle and into the Bruery snifter.

Coca cola lite here, my peeps. It has all those Dunkel flavors like a Starbucks in Munich...and that's pretty much it. Looks aite like Heidi Klum in the early 2000's and I'll pretty much end things there.

Ok, and just... ok.


 281 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, chestnut coloring with a filmy, clingy, white head. Nose of roast notes, coffee, and dark caramel, and some fig and date notes. Flavors are roast and nutty forward, with some old world fruit sweet highlights, and a bitter undertone. Smooth and crisp bodied, with a tangy caramel sweetness and roasted notes. Crisp, clean finish, with a sweet linger. Very solid brew!

 444 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner tall style glass.

A deep red mahogany brown, with red chestnut edges towards the bottom. Just a big dark red, with light cream tan bubbles at about three fingers in height and soapy retention.

Lots of clean and flavorful aromas. Nutty and husky grain. Hazelunt almost into caramel. Clean, crisp and mineraly. Very nice.

Kind of interesting. Palate is rocked litteraly, but an almost mineral and earthy body. Big crystaline mineral rock finish, which just cuts through the malt base like a sharp sword. Finishes popping mineral fresh also with real dry carbonation. Hints of caramel and some backbone but a bit jarring palate feel.

It's not bad but the super spritzy mouthfeel just slices through the palate and destroys much of the flavor that seemed to be hinted on the nose.

 818 characters

Photo of jakehesting
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance was dark reddish brown

Smell wasn't over the top which is typical for a good lager. Not much on the nose.

Taste...rich malty biscuity heaven, perfect amount of roast.

Mouthfeel very clean lager refreshingly light on the palate.

One of my favorite beers to date. Outstanding lager. I don't know a whole lot about Mother Earth Brewing but I know that this beer alone has made me interested in their other stuff.

 424 characters

Photo of walkinginplace
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Cloud pours into a ruby color with significant lacing. It's smell is a complex blend of coffee, toffee, and malts, amongst others. The taste is bready, chocolatey, and a little malty with a late rush of toffee sweetness. Honestly, it's difficult to even detect any hoppy bitterness. It feels very well-balanced and medium-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A very drinkable and sessionable lager but far more complex than that designation might suggest. An awesome achievement for a Carolina brewery.

 516 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “BOTTLED ON” date printed on the label is “012913.” This bottle is getting a little old.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is clear, medium mahogany. Two fingers of buttery, light tan head dissipated slowly, leaving a spotted and uneven lacing and trails along the side of the glass.

Smell: Rich, dark maltiness. Caramel, toffee, toasted malts, chocolate, cherry, plum, and some nutmeg.

Taste: It is definitely more dunkel than lager. Caramel, toffee, toasted malts, a lot more chocolate than the smell, some smoked malts, cherry, plum, perhaps a little raspberry, and a nice beery bite.

Drinkability: This is solid stuff. It likely sets the bar for the boldest versions of the style, at least as far as I have experienced.

 784 characters

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of Munich malts and spicy hops are present in the smell.
T: The taste is similar to the smell with the Munich malts offering flavors of toasted malts. A slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink but offers some complex flavors from the Munich malts and noble hops.

 659 characters

Photo of TWM
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not terribly familiar with the "Dunkel Lager" style of beer, so am just writing how I found the beer as opposed to a comparison to expectations.

I didn't know what to expect when I got this; I bought it because it's a local brewery but the beer isn't my favorite porter/stout/dark ale type. In fact, I tend to avoid lagers. This one surprised me very pleasantly.

Overall, what made me happy is that it has the rich tones of a dark ale while maintaining the lighter, "crisper" notes of a lager. The appearance was a nice color and a small head, minor lacing.

Smell was not much. For some reason I smelled a lot more sweetness than I tasted.

Taste was excellent- and I'm not even qualifying it as "for a type of beer I don't generally like." It's good, full stop. The malt was delicately roasted, and blended with the hops. None of the flavors were powerful; this is not a strongly flavored beer, but rather a well balanced, more moderate blend of flavors. Definite caramel tones, lightly bitter that was just perfect to balance out the malt. A nice mouthfeel, not syrupy or watery.

Really like this one, and will keep it in mind next time I am in the mood for something other than the usual.

 1,197 characters

Photo of DesertRat
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark amber into a pint glass beautiful color. Smells much richer than a premium lager, but drinks extremely smooth with a full flavored finish.

The bottle I had was a fresh bottle as I got it in NC where Mother Earth brewery is located.

I had never had a dunkel lager before as they are more popular in Germany from what I understand. This seems like a good alternative for those of us who enjoy stouts and porters but end up feeling full after a few. I feel like this beer could be consumed all day.

Very interested in trying out more beers from Mother Earth.

 569 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Amber to brown, Near white head, some cling lace.

S - Almost smoky malt, hops wrap around it nicely.

T - Clean, pure malt with just the right amount of hop backing.

M - Light to medium body, good carb, good balance.

D - A little dull for me, but a nice session.

 270 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and very light gentle carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted bready malts, some light amounts of chocolate, and some notes of nuts.

T: Moderate flavors of toasted bready malts with a hint of brown bread plus some much lighter notes of chocolate and nuttiness. There are light amounts of earthy hops that contribute a light amount of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised to find this excellent example of a Munich Dunkel Lager being produced by a small brewery in Eastern NC - not one of the more common styles for American craft breweries. This was a delicious beer and one I was very happy to drink - it is sessionable and I would be happy to have another of these.

 1,054 characters

Photo of RWLawman
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brownish red. You get the red if you hold it up to the light.

S - Mostly malts, chocolate, and dark fruit.

T - Roasted malts, a hint of chocolate, and dark fruit along with something bready.

M - Medium-bodied beer with some sticky coating as well. Easy to drink though.

O - Pretty good beer, but nothing to flip out about. Maybe this beer just isn't my style, because this is the second I've had of this type that wasn't memorable. Enjoyable, nonetheless.

 474 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, chocolaty-hued body with a moderate-sized, faint khaki-colored head. Slim lacing on the drop.

Smell: Solidly malty nose, though not overly effusive, with notes of darkened bread crusts, dark brown sugar, mild chocolate, milk chocolate, and nuts. Near nil fruitiness, very low hop accents.

Taste: Bread crusts, brown sugar, little hints of coffee, chocolate with a decent degree of sweetness. Very faint dark fruitiness. Light hop character, bitterness. Drying, malty finish with a carbonic pinch to it and a lingering nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly dextrinous in the mouthfeel beyond the crisp suds.

Overall: Easy drinking and highly approachable, it's a solid dunkel.

 812 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Hannen Alt glass on 10/13/12

Deep tobacco brown in color. Rust and copper highlights. One finger head thins quickly to a smooth layer of foam. Pretty good rings and drippy lace.

The aroma is simple but smells pretty good: roasted dark grains with a touch of coffee roast and hints of bread dough. The taste is in the same vein, but ramped up a tad in robustness and, in turn, the enjoyment factor. A good amount of dry roast, but not at all bitter. Cereal grains. Very low hops. Maybe a dusting of cocoa. The body is a medium-light with moderately low carbonation. The feel is thoughtful and is a great vehicle for the flavors.

Overall, this is pretty good. I would certainly drink it from time to time if I could.

 731 characters

Photo of ExMachina1
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE (6/18/2012): Back on my annual pilgrimage to NC, I picked up a six pack of this beer after having fallen in love with it two years ago. Unfortunately my experience with this beer last summer was not positive (see below). Fortunately, whatever was plaguing the batch that I sampled last year is no longer a concern, and this beer is back to its old, delicious self.

The beer I'm drinking now has a bottling date: 03/20/12.

Previous Review from 6/27/2011

Bottling Date: 03/01/11

This is the second six pack from this batch (bought in two different stores on opposite side of the state) and there is definitely something wrong here.

I first sampled this beer last year and it was superlative. One of the best dunkel I have ever tried. However, this batch is a different story...both samples of this batch smell vaguely phenolic (rubber and clove) and are in this way reminiscent of a hefeweizen. This is definitely not the clean lager that I had last year!

It is also sweeter and more full bodied that a dunkel should be. I could even call it "filling"--this too is all wrong for what should be an easy-drinking style of beer.

I can only speculate that Mother Earth Brewing has some yeast contamination problems to work out. And I hope that they take this problem seriously--the "real" Dark Cloud Dunkel is outstanding.

EDIT: High marks to Mother Earth for contacting me personally expressing their concern. This brewery is not only making good beer but seems committed to making their good beer, BETTER. I'm looking forward to writing another review of another batch of this beer

 1,600 characters

Photo of busterwhite
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brown/ dark copper color with a 2 finger head that dissipatned quickly. A small amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, a little spice and yeast.

Tastes of roasted malt, a little sweetness and spice. Just enough bitterness to balance things out on the finish.

Mouthfeel is light, carbonation is good.

First time drinking a dunkel lager, this is a smooth and easy drinking beer.

 403 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.