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Dark Cloud - Mother Earth Brewing

Dark CloudDark Cloud

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

256 Ratings

(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 BeerAdvocate


4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 01:47:02 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown. Translucent in the light, but sits there ominously in the glass, begging you to just drink it.

Hm the smell. Not really sure what to make of it. The first thing that comes to mind is heavily roasted corn.

Now the taste is something of beauty. Its a different monster than German Munich Dunkels. It tastes earthy. Very earthy. Slight caramel notes. I can almost feel a woody bitterness that might be more from the hops than any wood.

A woody bitterness flashes across the tongue then disappears just as fast. Not as slick and sweet as the German incarnations, but still very good in its own right.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 02:36:38 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 23:33:54 | More by tdm168
Photo of jsprain1


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 micromaniac129


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

Had this beer at Cosmos pizza in Corolla NC. The best food in all of Corolla period.
Pours a light chocolate brown color with a thick and dense tan head that lingers and takes it's time fading. Carbonation is unk.
Aroma is rich and malty some roasted and even smoke malts can be smelled, but listen thier not overpowering at all.
Taste is rich and malty with sutle hints of nuttiness and chocalate.
A medium body lager with a clean finish.
I asked this chick sitting next to me what she was drinking. I can't believe I came that close on missing out on this great beer.
THAT was a close call. word

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 14:56:36 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of rockyfire

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The name fits this beer perfectly. Dark Cloud, like a warm summer afternoon when the clouds start rolling in.

Apperance: Pours a dark rich mohogany. Light colored head forms.

Smell: Aromatic. Its definitely a very malty beer. There are great malty notes to it with a faint sweetness; some fruits, surely a little caramel, maybe toffee.

Taste: Heavy dark malts, roasted, in the taste. The caramal taste is there as well. Its a great taste. It is definitely worthy of a high score.

Mouthfeel: This does a good job of taking away some of the crisp, bubbly charactoristics of a lager and gives it good smoothness. Its thin, but heavy enough to have some depth.

Drinkability: You can drink these all night. Its a world class beer and its definitely good enough to satisfy your tastebuds day after day.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 14:53:28 | More by rockyfire
Photo of mdaschaf


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 02:20:34 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of ExMachina1


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
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown. Khaki colored head with good retention. Toasted grain. Toffee. Chocolate. Caramel. Touches of fruit underneath along with earthy hops. Flavor brings a nice balance of sweet, toasty, and bitter. Chocolate, toffee, caramel, fruit, toasted grain, hops. Wonderfully balanced. If anything, a tad more carbonation could do this wonders. An excellent brew from Mother Earth. I really like their portfolio in terms of styles. The quality isn't lacking either.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 02:58:33 | More by ncvbc
Photo of 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 jakehesting


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 jwhancher


4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received a few bottles as a gift. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a clear dark amber with slightly tan head. Head was two fingers thick and took its time to slowly fade.

S: Some good roasted malt character with toasty notes. Solid malt profile aroma.

T: Nice chocolate & caramel malt profile. Very pleasing. A bready character comes through.

M: A bit on the lighter side. Nice carbonation. Even on the sweet/bitter category.

D: Excellent in drinkability. With a lighter mouthfeel & very solid malt profile, I could see myself flying through these.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Will go nicely with a hot sausage w/sauerkraut later tonight.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 20:57:42 | More by jwhancher
Photo of 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 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 righthereisay


4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Mother Earth beer...I heard some good things. I was impressed with this one.

Drank on the beach in Emerald Isle with beer cozy...served Ice cold as it was in the freezer for 10 minutes before going out.

Smell: Heavily chocolate or toffee, nice.

Taste: I would call this a full body, with little to no bitterness. VERY NICE FRESH TASTE. Some carbonation, not too little, not too much. Impressive!

Great dunkel, if they start selling in Pennsylvania I will definitely purchase more. Otherwise, I will just enjoy on Vacation.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 18:02:55 | More by righthereisay
Photo of ComfortablyBum

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into glass.

A - Deep brown almost black. Got darker as the glass got thicker. Nice full head that quickly faded into a thin lingering one.

S - dark and sweet smell. Like a damp basement, but in a good way

t - chocolate roasty flavor with a hint of sweetness

m - lightly carbonated for a medium mouthful

d - wonderfully smooth and refreshing. Left me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 19:27:53 | More by ComfortablyBum
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Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.