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Dark Cloud - Mother Earth Brewing

Dark CloudDark Cloud

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

256 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: evantwomey on 11-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 116 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2014 01:26:52 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jakehesting
jakehesting

Georgia

4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2014 03:28:18 | More by jakehesting
Photo of krausenman
krausenman

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2012 01:24:41 | More by krausenman
Photo of tastybeer
tastybeer

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 22:25:40 | More by tastybeer
Photo of KenC
KenC

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 17:59:29 | More by KenC
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with a one finger tan head. The head lasts pretty well. A bit of lacing.
S- Dark malts, a good bit of chocolate, just the faintest of hop earty hop aromas.
T- Big ol kick of chocolate flavor. A touch of brown sugar in there as well. Some earthy hops are noted.
M- Smooth carbonation, medium-light body.
O- A very solid dunkel. Lots of chocolate flavor and just all around a solid drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 02:13:20 | More by jsprain1
Photo of PaulfromNoVa
PaulfromNoVa

Virginia

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most of my experience with Dunkellagers hasn't been brilliant, and I ordered this in a dark pub as the only handle I didn't know. Pleasant surprise ensued, beginning with a shooter as a taster, which didn't tell me much apart from the lovely color - the 2 oz. shooter glass enable me to see the burnished deep ruby and clarity of the hue.

Appearance: served in a standard pub pint, was indeed pretty to behold, nice inch of head, place too dark to really examine body.

Smell was clean, predominantly malty with trace of hops.

Taste delivered on smell - slightly sweet, with a slight hops offset, kind of a prune finish, but not at all like, say, a big imperial stout.

Mouthfeel was agreeably nice: light-medium carbonation, felt in my mouth like "I'll have another, please." Reasonably low ABV, probably around 18-20 carbs. Extremely drinkable.

A nice beer that, when encountered, I won't dodge..

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2011 02:37:37 | More by PaulfromNoVa
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
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...

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2011 19:10:54 | More by thagr81us
Photo of devilben02
devilben02

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my home tap with a deep dark chestnut brown color and a luxuriously creamy beige head. The aroma is clean and mild but nondescript, with only a toasted grain character being easily identifiable. The flavor seems more roasted rather than merely toasted, with some dry-roasted nuttiness, and a bit of semisweet chocolate. The texture is very creamy with only a very fine carbonation giving it any energy. Overall, this is one easy drinking dunkel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2010 03:13:03 | More by devilben02
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another gem from Mother Earth. This one really showed it had some legs though. Whenever I see something like this I have to dive in, and upon a recommendation from a friend I needed no further encouragement. A nice dark brown, rusty brown in color with a good bit of cloudiness that seemed to settle itself out after a few minutes. A small but persistent head of off white formed on the top and managed to hang around for a good bit before settling out.

Aroma is deep and dark from the start. Rich dark caramel notes are all over this one. Roasted nuts, some brown sugar, dark frits, figs maybe? Really just complex as I even pull a touch of vanilla through after a few minutes. Really nice, and quite full feel for the style, due in most part to near perfect carbonation. This allows the flavor to roll across the palate and really just cling to every ounce of taste buds you have. Caramel, bready notes, hints of light spice are all leading the charge here as each sip seems to become better and better. Warming brings the roasted nut flavor out again and the deep, resonant hop notes seal the deal and leave a light drying flavor on the palate.

Overall this was as solid as the day is long. Something I would not hesitate to try again in a heart beat. Really just a wonderful creation and remarkably well done.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 00:42:42 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2010 20:33:54 | More by glid02
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint-glass a very dark brown with a thin khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma is slight fruit and dark malts. The taste is a nice blend of sweet fruits, dark malts, molasses and slight dried fruits. The beer is fairly light bodied and smooth with mild carbonation. This is an enjoyable beer, especially for the colder months.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2009 19:19:39 | More by atsprings
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Peace!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 01:59:27 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 01:50:06 | More by smakawhat
Photo of walkinginplace
walkinginplace

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 23:34:50 | More by walkinginplace
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 02:46:57 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 17:07:54 | More by metter98
Photo of TWM
TWM

North Carolina

3.94/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 03:40:08 | More by TWM
Photo of DesertRat
DesertRat

North Carolina

4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 16:26:51 | More by DesertRat
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.83/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 06:38:25 | More by srandycarter
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 18:04:12 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of RWLawman
RWLawman

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 00:55:04 | More by RWLawman
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 22:53:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 00:27:57 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of ExMachina1
ExMachina1

Tennessee

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
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
---

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 19:10:44 | More by ExMachina1
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Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.