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Dark Cloud - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Dark CloudDark Cloud

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

352 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 28
Gots: 35 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 125
Reviews by krausenman:
Photo of krausenman
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap served in a pint glass at the Mellow Mushroom in Fayetteville NC.

A-The beer was dark brown to garnet with no visible haze.

S-Chocolate and nutty-like graham craker aromas were predominant with little to no hop aroma.

T-Initially, the beer taste of roast and chocolate malt. Moderate to lower hopping levels balance a mild malt sweetness that is accented with a slight graininess in the background.

M-The moderate carbonation and lighter body made for a lighter to moderate mouthfeel.

O-Overall, this was an enjoyable session beer that can be enjoyed in quanity. The beer was fresh and free of defects.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DesertRat
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

Photo of Chessmaster
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of TWM
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of jakehesting
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of walkinginplace
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep garnet with a thin but well retained off white head,a nice mix of cocoa and roasted nut in the nose,rich aromas.Flavors are well rounded with a mix of sweet caramel malt and bitter unsweetened chocolate,a nice earthy/roasty finish makes it highly drinkable.A very nice dunkel lager,not overly sweet but just the right amount,well done.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #36 (Jan 2010):

Tight off-white lacing; dark amber color shows some clarity.

Toasted malt aroma, hints of grape skin and dried hay. Smooth with just enough body, without being heavy at all. Very clean from start to finish. A hint of mineral or salt? Very well balanced, hops are layered under the malt so the bitterness is soft yet enough herbal flavor comes through to make it interesting. Ends on a semi-dry note with a heavy hand of clean toasted malt.

We can think of only warm pretzels and liter mugs of this beer. N.C. craft brewing flexing its muscles here.

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle bottled on 7/3/11.

Pours a near clear dark brown, with a moderate size, creamy tan head.

This is an exceptional brown lager. It has a lovely sweet malt aroma and corresponding flavor. Hints of caramel; no burnt or off-notes.

Medium-thin body with perfect carbonation.

O - one of the best of style, in my experience.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of muted dark malts with very slight amounts of crisp lager yeast. As the beer warms hints of light chocolate also waft out.

Tastes a bit more complex than it smells. Dark malt flavors with very slight hints of sweeter caramel malts kick things off. Midway through the sip hints of earthy hop flavors make an appearance but are showed up by hints of sweet light chocolate flavors. The chocolate fades out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this is a tough style to do well as there's nothing present to mask off-flavors but I think these new guys did a pretty good job. A solid beer that's worth a shot.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep ruby/copper color. A 1.5 finger head formed from a slightly aggressive pour and reduced to some splotches of foam on top. Nice lacing down the sides.

S: A deep aroma, roasted malts, some caramel, nuts, and a little bit of dark fruit. As it warms there is a slight vanilla and coffee aroma as well.

T: Very bready up front with a light spicy/roasty flavor in the middle. Caramel malts, some nuts, and a little bit of brown sugar round out the flavor.

M: Medium bodied, but somewhat filling despite the low abv. It seems like it should be a bit higher, but I am quite happy it is so low.

O: A really good low abv beer. Again, a beer you'd expect to be higher in alcohol based on the flavor profile and mouthfeel. Mother Earth did a really nice job with this one.

Photo of tastybeer
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is oaky brown with 3/4" orange tinted white head, hazy with a slight ruby glow. A pretty beer. Aroma is lightly sweet...kind of straight up dunkel smell. Malty chocolate, earthy hops, some lemon perhaps. Taste matches with a bit of tartness. Bitterness has a solid presence but is not overwhelming. This beer does get better as it warms up which frequently is the case with most beers I like, though not always with layers. Body is medium-light and this goes down very easy.

Photo of KenC
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark mahogany. A solid three fingers of off-white head. Head retention and lacing lasted to the bottom of the glass.

S: Light caramel malt and cherry aroma. I could detect a little bit of the hops and bread.

T: Like the smell, there is malt and cherry with hops. The finish is slightly bitter, and a touch chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. (New keg??) A clean after taste, a tad dry.

O: A good example of its type. Dunkel lagers are rarely offensive. Sitting out by the bay in Currituck… sunset…beer, yeah nice.

Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber bordering on dark brown. There's a quarter inch of off white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of sweet caramel and dark fruit. The taste is bitter and sweet. There are notes of caramel, dark fruit, toasted malt, toffee and a decent hop bitterness in the finish. This is a medium bodied, well carbonated, smooth beer.

This is a pretty solid, well rounded beer. For the style this is all around right.

Photo of socon67
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours brown, with a bit of foam on top. Some lacing, and visibole carbonation.

S - Scents of caramel, fresh malt, and a spicy, earthy vibe.

T - Flavors are very well balanced. Pure sweet caramel, a malty taste that has a bit of spice at the end. Actually a very flavorful dunkel that is not sweet as much as it is hearty with fresh flavor.

M - Makes an awesome drinker. Smooth, full bodied, and very refeshing.

O - Glad to have tried something from Mother Earth. Solid showing of a less common style.

Photo of dirtylou
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Vintner Wine & Spirits - Charlotte

appearance: served in a duck rabbit shaker pint, murky cola body with garnet hues, light tan ring.

smell: roasted nuts, english toffee, cocoa, caramel, dark fruits provide a nice sweetness. Smells great.

taste: nice and smooth - dark malts, woody, caramel and toffee, cherry and cocoa, lots of dark fruits, earthy tones.

mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, smooth with a dry finish

drinkability: good

Photo of sampstar
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard Pint glass from the bottle.

Based on the description of a munich dunkel, this beer is spot on.

Looked pretty good, a nice dark brown, tint of red. Lacing hung around slightly, not lining the glass on the way down, but always there with every drink.

Malty with no resistance, i can't put my finger on the after taste, but it wasn't my favorite. Very smooth.

Strangely, with every other taste i go back and forth on being a fan and questioning if i would get it again. Final decision was i would drink it again.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Chip's Wine and Beer. Poured a dark amber with a short tan head. The aroma (very strong aroma) and flavor are ruled by a rich, dark bready crust, caramel, and coca character. It begins dry and then a sweet candy note rolls in before a mildy bitter and fruity finish. This is a great take on the dunkel lager style and the best beer from Mother Earth I've had. Find this beer if you dig the style.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a thin tan head. The aroma has some nice malty complexity with notes of cocoa, pumpernickel bread, oats, chocolate and a little dirt, along with some toffee and coffee. The flavor is very similar to the aroma, with a huge maltiness that is reminiscent of unsweetened cocoa, coffee, toffee, pumpernickel bread, and some peat, along with a mineral hoppiness and a little alcohol. The mouthfeel is appropriately light without being thin, and drinkability is really good. Really solid dunkel here, this isn't a style that I'm especially familiar with or fond of but this beer was nicely executed.

Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with a finger of off-white head. This sticks around with a ¼ finger of foamy richness, which dots the sides of the glass with lacing. The aroma smells of dark roast, herbal hops, and a deep tangy fruitiness. Sweet malty notes of cocoa and caramel sweeten things up some on the edges. Solid little nose here.

The taste has a toasty and roasty sweetness to it, with a herbal and fruity tang that works its way in as well, before spreading a gritty and earthy bitterness out onto the tongue. That sweet tang hangs pretty tough in the back of the throat after each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp throughout and is generally pretty easy feeling overall. No complaints with the feel.

While I appreciate this being a bit more complex feeling than your average Dunkel, all of that sweetness, hops, fruit, and roast helped create a deep tang to the taste that got to be a little much at times. Nose and body was spot on though and really helped keep things on the right track. I would give this another try at some point.

Photo of thagr81us
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured dark brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earthy note, wheat, and corn. The flavor was of sweet malt, earthy notes, nutmeg, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with low-mild carbonation. Overall this wasn't that bad, but it also wasn't that great. The aroma on this one was not that great, but the flavor was decent. Just not a fan of the wheat flavor unless it is in a Hefe personally. Not sure if I would have this one while out again or not...

Photo of Bung
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. A rather brown, but dark brown, pour, only a minimal amount of cream head. Recedes to a small ring.

Nice malty aroma, plenty of cocoa and chocolate. Light lager yeast, earthy peat, leather.

Flavorful, yet not overbearing in any way. Nice malt, cocoa, peat earthy grass and minimal hops. Finishes pretty dry almost like an Irish stout. Probably the best for this style I've had, but not sure what to expect. Liked much better than the Penn Brewing version listed at right.

Really shines here. A much better than average mouthfeel, pretty creamy and mid bodied. The carbonation keeps it lighter on the pallete though and extreamly easy drinking. Possibly found my new session semi-local craft brew.

First from Mother Earth and an excellent effor. Wish more brewers would put out a dark lager or Schwarz.

Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from Chips. I've been impressed with Mother Earth thus far, including this ale on-tap.

A: The dunkel lager has a rich brown fullness that could pass for cola or coffee. The more concentrated the glass makes the ale, the darker, blacker, it gets. A finger of head on pour was quick to dissapate.

S: The nose is bready, predominantly roasted malts, that isn't overwhelmingly strong. Chocolate aromas follow the breadiness, adding depth.

T: My first sip is luxurious, velvety smooth with a heavy dose of dark malts. Chocolate flavors mix with the roasted grains, a dark flavor that isn't as strong as the lager makes it look. The dunkel is remarkably smooth, going down very, VERY easily.

M: The beer is moderately carbonated, allowing the chocolate flavors to linger after each sip is gone. Velvety and smooth, a nice dunkel lager.

D: I prefered the beer out of a bottle, as I was better able to control the temperature. I really dig the full flavors and sweet smoothness. A hit from Mother Earth.

Photo of n2185
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear mahogany with two fingers of off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good.

S: Touches of caramel malt and dark fruits at first followed by lightly bitter hops and biscuit and bread aromas.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are touches of malt and dark fruit followed by some bitter, piny hops. The finish is of hearty bread and is lightly bitter.

M: Medium-light body with lots of carbonation, this beer is fairly crisp but leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

O: Overall, a pretty decent dunkel lager. I could easily put several of these back on a warm day in the sun.

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Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.