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Dark Element - Element Brewing Company

Dark ElementDark Element

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

163 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%


Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Previously named "Dark Matter."

DARK ELEMENT
This New American Black Ale, our strongest signature beer, has the malt profile of an Imperial Schwartz Beer and the floral characteristics of an American IPA. Saturated in hops, this intrepid style offers smooth dark toffee and chocolate flavors without the roasted bitterness found in many "dark" beers.

65.5 IBU

(Beer added by: cbutova on 06-04-2010)
View: Beers (17) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 81 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Altrurian
Altrurian

New York

4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The indulgence begins with the pour, which raises a picture-perfect tan head above a reddish mahogany elixir. The head, at least within the confines of my Ithaca-labeled weizen glass, is dense and long-lived, seeming as though, given the chance, it could be a permanent fixture. There is cascading in its lower quarters as it gradually succumbs to the rising liquid. The beer's aroma is pronounced and sweet, combining chocolate and vanilla with a subtle earthiness and a slight waft of volatility. The flavor varies as it traverses the palate, starting with a surprising near-bitter freshness. It culminates in a rich, cocoa-like semi-sweetness, with a finish that is clean, with the merest benevolent suggestion of alcohol. The mouthfeel is slightly more aggressive than expected, contributing to the beer's appropriateness as an accompaniment for a meal. Overall, an excellent entry from a thoughtful brewer.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 22:51:53 | More by Altrurian
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Winooski Beverage Warehouse. Bottled a year previous when consumed. From notes.

A - Deep ruby pour with two fingers of beige head. Spotty lace and a finger of retention.

S - Dark malts, hops, dark fruit.

T - Really nice complexity. Rich malt and noticeable hops, but they've almost faded. Nice sweetness there. Rich.

M - Good carbonation, medium to full body. Sweet dark fruit and hop finish.

O/D - Pretty nice. The age has obviously faded the hops a fair bit but it was still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 00:43:20 | More by tbeckett
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Sept. 6th, 2012

A - Pours a very dark brown with a billowing tan head. Pretty good lacing.

S - A bit oaky, astringent and not too hop forward. Mild roasted malt.

T - Hops at first mixed with some dark malts. Turns a bit sweet/toffee then a bitter finish.

M - Medium body and carbonation with a wet finish.

O - May'be the age has got to it, but I wasn't picking up some of the flavors others were.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 00:21:19 | More by cvm4
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color (black when viewed from afar). It poured with a half finger high dense beige head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts are present in the nose along with some hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is a little more complex with additional hints of toffee and a light to moderate amount of bitterness. The finish has some bits of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I thought that the toffee-like flavors of this beer were quite interesting, and these might have been accentuated a little by this beer being aged for eight months.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 18:40:46 | More by metter98
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really A shwartz beer, a black beer and not a black IPA, freshly acquired by Peter FM. Roasty but not a black IPA, some hops but also some sourness in the finish. Lagerish in texture. Lacy on dark body.OK drinkability. Roast over hops is the smell.A little disappointing for the marketing, with a nicely wrapped bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 12:19:02 | More by Sammy
Photo of TheLostGringo
TheLostGringo

Connecticut

3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seen some of these Element Brewing Co. Beers on the shelf for the last year and have for some reason yet to have one, so tonight is the night.

Poured into a wide-mouth tulip glass and served at basement temperature. Feb 09, 2012 bottle date.

A: looks fairly dark at first glance but held up to light reveals more of a mahogany color. A nice couple of inches of head that slowly disepates into the beverage.

S: Getting mostly toffee and Pumpernickel perhaps a hint of hops, but not a lot.

T: Overly sweet, very malt forward, perhaps some bitterness in the finish from the hops but not sure if I am imagining it because it is suppose to be there.

O: Drinkable I guess, tastes more like a strong-ale then a combination of a Schwartz/IPA. Not something I would seek out again but drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 02:07:07 | More by TheLostGringo
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The fudge brown pour is capped by a rocky tan head; very nice persistance and some webs of lace linger on the pint glass

Smell: Black bread and chocolate in the forefront, with some piney hops in the back

Taste: Black bread and chocolate, building with caramel flavors; the hops arrive in the middle and, after the swallow, balancing out the sweeter aspect, though the beer ultimately tilts malt forward

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This bottle had been in the back of the fridge for a while so I guess a fresher bottle would be hoppier; still, an impressive beer

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 21:25:40 | More by brentk56
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at DC bottle share at Smoke & Barrel. Bottle dating April 20 - 2012.

A light tan head and somewhat creamy looking, with a kind of light red amberish brown body tinge. Somewhat clear also, quite nice.

Nose is strangely wood splintery oak. I am getting a weird sense of beechwood almost rauchbier going on. Not particularly hop forward either.

Palate is just a mish mash of things and all over the place. Hop front and mild resin, mixing with a good amount of pine, a soft clean and very crisp malt, with some off roast sense. Somewhat wet body seems to come through slightly, and doesn't highlight any of these flavors nicely.

I am not getting this brews angle here, this feels and tastes like a mess of things that just don't jive nicely with each other. Every flavor seems to be fighting for attention. It's not awful by any means just not digging it.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 23:15:35 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark Element, April 2012 bottling...

I can't resist the allure of an unusual beer, so seeing this beer wrapped in paper was too much for me to resist - thankfully!

A: black-brown body, slightly translucent around the edges, fat pale foam head; lid of foam persisted; no lacing

S: hoppy toffee and mild roasted malt

T: delicious: toffee, caramel, slight mellow roastedness, some espresso, perfectly bitter and sweet at the same time

M: excellent drinkability, wonderful aftertaste, no astringency; smooth and easy drinking

O: this might've just jumped to the top of my black ales - easily on-par with Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and Uinta's Dubhe (my current favorite black ales) - this beer demonstrates great craftsmanship and has a unique flavor that may veer slightly from the typical flavor profile of an American black ale, but I loved it.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 22:44:16 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new brew for me and pours a kola hue with ruby highlights which leaves a three finger khaki creamy head and clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is dark cherries,chillis,piney hops,booze,milky coffee and grapefruit,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated with tastes of brandied plums,grapefruit,milky chocolate,mocha and finshed just like a bittersweet cappicino and overall i love the balance perfect balance of malts and hops and a nice benchmark for American Black Ales would drink again cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 09:13:16 | More by ADZA
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thnaks to CTSparky for trading one of these.

A - Pours brown with a reddish tone; rusty coloring. Light brown foam. Minimal carbonation; no lacing.

S - Smells of toffee, mocha, and sweet malts. Mild hoppy medley.

T - Flavors are of a beer balanced between malt and hops. Very complex. Sweet initial taste; almost a sasparilla like sugary sweetness. Finish has a hoppy vibe but without a bitter bite.

M - For something that seemed so well balanced, I didn't mind it quite as drinkable as I expected. Fun beer, but oddly I tired of it quickly.

O - Was looking for this guy for a while. A bit of a different beer, and a complex version of the style. Extra kudos for the bag over the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 02:17:42 | More by socon67
Photo of Beernuts123
Beernuts123


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby color when held to the light. Light lacy head that is slightly effervescent on the tongue, indicative of the bottle conditioning process.
Licorice, dark malts and lots of clean hop aroma on the nose.
Body is light and refreshing and taste is well-rounded with nicely balanced bitterness and dark/caramel malt flavors. Does not have an overly roasty back end which allows the hop aroma to clean up the finish.
Not a session beer, but wonderful with a fully flavored meat dish or a rich chocolate dessert.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 16:17:41 | More by Beernuts123
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Brewed on Nov 17, 2011.

Dark maple syrup amber-brown. Tall, rocky, light cocoa brown head. Nice lacing. Light roasted malt on the nose, along with a complex array of licorice, root beer, sugary plums, Concord grapes, and musty herbal hops.

Lightly roasted barley up front. Becomes sweeter and fruitier very quickly. Coffee and herbal bitterness builds in the background. the malt shows notes of caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, and sweet Concord grapes. Nice balance of herbal hops and sweetish malt in the finish. Medium-full body. Prickly, bottle-conditioned feel. Nice and complex. not as hoppy as expected, but still delicious.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 03:39:22 | More by alexgash
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated January 2011. Hmm maybe I should have drank it back when I bought it. Let's find out!

A: A very dark brown pour with a tinge of red to it. Small tan head yet quite dense. Takes a while to fade and leaves a surprisingly nice wall of lacing.

S: Toffee, dark fruit and a little roasted malt. Maybe a touch of citrus character? Pretty subtle overall.

T: Nice roasted malt and toffee flavors. A little bit of hop character, mainly citrus and maybe grass? A bit of a chalky taste in the middle that I can't quite distinguish what it's from. Not unpleasant. There are some flashes of dark fruit once in a while, mainly raisin. There is some nice bitter coffee at the end and continues to linger in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and a bit chalky as mentioned above.

O: Hard to describe this one. It's not exactly a black IPA, at least not an overly hoppy one. Not exactly a schwarzbier. It's kinda in between. Roasted malt and toffee character is at the forefront but it's not a stout or a porter either. It is tasty though, I can tell you that much.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 03:01:09 | More by Dope
Photo of Ommy
Ommy

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Element pours dark brown, and looks incredibly a lot like cola, in both color and head.

And it smells like cola too! Just kidding :P
The nose is quite muted, but after some vigorous swirling I get a really musty, attic type smell. Very peculiar. I'm getting a lot more maltyness than hops. After letting it open up a bit I start to get a little bit of bread notes.

Thankfully the taste is a lot more pronounced than the nose. Ohh, a very interesting blend of tastes. It's semi-dark and rich but with a good chunk of the lighter sides of malts with the splash of hops.

Overall this is a beer that is quite good, new, and interesting. But it's not something I've fallen in love with. Definitely a buy though!

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 00:06:10 | More by Ommy
Photo of TheGordianKnot
TheGordianKnot

Tennessee

3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. 750 poured into a snifter...

A- Pours deep black with dark brown hues on the edges. Has an incredibly light, foamy head billowing up almost overflowing. Settles quickly but leaves a nice lace pattern.

S- Smells like a schwarz. Has a minimally roasty aroma and some floral tones mixed with citrus. A bit chalky, but overall a light and underwhelming aroma.

T/M- Starts with a nice earthy hop bite with a grapefruit tinge. Malt is a little rubbery and roasty. Finishes a bit hot, but not incredibly overwhelming. You could say the hop/malt is pretty balanced. Light body with moderate carbonation.

O- Better as it warmed, but overall a beer that is good but in no ways mind blowing. Would definitely drink again, but only if it's at the right price.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 19:05:45 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle and served in a tumbler pint, the beer pours wit a ton of foamy, frothy, light tan head. The beer itself is a dark, almost black coloring, with some coppery-brown highlights around the edging. Aromas are bountiful and abundant, with a good, slick hops presence, a slight roasted character, and some tangy sweet malt backbone. Steady flow of carbonation along the sides of the glass on the initial pour that quiet down into an intermittent and slow flow after a short time of airating. Flavors are crisp in mouth, with a smokey presence on the forward tongue that fills the sinuses, followed underfoot by a resiny, wet hops character that is both strong and bitter. Fantastic and unique blending of flavor profiles. The dark roasted toffee malt does well to tie the other two tastes together into a very palatable blend. The aftertaste is mostly smokey, with a hint of bitter. The mid-bodied beer leans towards thin and sharp at times with the robust and strong flavor profiles, but finishes with a slightly resiny and drying feel. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 19:53:25 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Friend of mine got me this for my birthday. Poured a cola like body and a fluffy billowing capochinno head. Smelled of faint earthy hops and some roasted grain. Maybe even some light smells of dark cocoa.

Taste is earthy, burnt toast. Has a significant chalk taste. Low carbonation and nice body. Even at 8% abv the beer doesn't have any alcohol burn.

At first I was ready to really give this beer a low rating. Schwarzbier? Not even close. Black IPA? Also not there. This is where BA is right and brewers are wrong with style labels. Good version of an American black ale. Chalk flavor a little off putting though.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 14:48:55 | More by jneiswender
Photo of jimmy82063
jimmy82063

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Welcome to Connecticut Element! (I know I am a bit late) the bottle date is 11/17/11...poured into a tulip glass.

A) Translucent brown almost a bit reddish...no lacing.

S) Get some floral notes.

T) This is pretty fantastic the sweetness of the malts is really balanced by the hop bitterness. I get some mild chocolate and coffee with the resinous hops. Would wonder what this would be like is the hops were featured more.

M) Light Carbonation.

O) Pricepoint is high but I look forward to trying more of their beers!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:39:31 | More by jimmy82063
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jh1982 for bringing me one of these. Dark brown almost black pour, if not for the red edge to the liquid with a nice head. Aroma was roasty bitter.

Taste, plenty carbonated, seemingly like pilsner noble hops in its lively spritzyness and a body that is not as hefty as the color of the beer would lead you to believe. Peppery. Reminiscient of Stone's Juxtaposition, but this one has more roastiness to the body of it, whereas Stone's was hoppier and lighter bodied, despite still being black as night.

Pretty straightforward enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 22:58:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like the way this beer is presented. It is wrapped in paper, the actual bottle is free of any label, and it is corked and caged. Pretty spiffy!

I poured from the bomber into a shaker pint.

Appearance- The body has a dark brown quality to it, not completely black. Almost completely opaque, just a little bit of ruby highlights struggling at the side of the glass.

The head was a really nice, bubbly and lacy affair. It reached about three and a half-fingers before taking a break. The beige, cloud-like cap had plenty of cratering and tiny bubbles.

Retention was pretty good, and there is still a bunch of random chunks hanging on.

Smell- The head has a decent amount of hop character, as a black ale should. Mainly there are resiny-pine notes at play. Dark malt is a little sweeter rather than roasted, sort of toffee. It is not nearly as strong as the hop vibe though.

Taste- Well balanced. I am sure that there will be those that say the hops are not forward enough, but I really enjoy how they put these flavors together. The hops come through, and again, it is mostly that resin feel, and it lingers long in the finish.

The malt is sweet and leads off the drink. It is a little roasty, and has that slight toffee feel to it, just like on the nose. I also pick up a little bit of booze right before the finish sets in, but it is really subtle. This is almost balanced to the point that it mutes the opposing flavors out.

Mouth feel- Dark Element is very smooth and medium bodied. It has decent coating, and goes down pretty smooth for the higher alcohol content and slightly dry finish.

Overall- Although a little pricey, this is a nice black ale to have if new to the style, the hops are not bursting out of the malt. Also, the balance struck in this one promotes taking more drinks.

The nose needs to be substantially bigger, and the flavor profile, while balanced, is a little dull. Adding another layer of intrigue would help this one out immensely.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 01:24:34 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting bottle - labelless, corked-and-caged, and wrapped in a paper bag printed with the brewery and beer info. Bottled 17 May 2011. Enjoyed 25 November 2011, reviewed from notes

Pours dark brown, not quite black, and rather thin, with one finger of medium-tan head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell has floral, fruity hops. A little bit of orange, a little bit of grassy hops. Kinda weak, though. Didn't get much of the roasted malts in the smell.

Taste is a balance of chocolatey roasted malts, with a hint of char but not too much, with grassy lightly-bitter hops. A little bit of fruit. The hops remind me of a balanced IPA - they're present enough that you don't forget about them, but the bitterness isn't heavy or persistent.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, good carbonation, nice smooth finish. Feels really nice in the mouth - it's slick, but in a good way.

This beer is a lesson in restraint. It's not overdone like so many in this style are. As a result, it has great, subtle balance. Not super-heavy on the hops or the roast. Doesn't have the sharp edges that so many black IPAs have. Nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 04:59:06 | More by zeledonia
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter. Thanks to wyllder for this one. Bottled 5/17/2011.

A: Pours a very dark brown near black color with two fingers of dense light tan head that slowly faded into a thick frothy film leaving rings of sticky lacing.
S: I smell apple juice and grape juice for some reason. I get a touch of grassy hops as well. Fruity and hoppy.
T: Grassy hops and sweet fruit juice yet again. The finish is sweet with caramel and the aftertaste has a light citrus bitterness. I get a touch of doughy yeast and bread crust as well.
M: Medium-thin body, slick mouthfeel, low carbonation. The mouthfeel is a tad too watery but this beer goes down smooth.
O: Not a bad black ipa but not the best. I liked most of the flavors but I don’t know why I got so much fruit juice. The mouthfeel could be thicker but I’m splitting hairs. Overall not bad, but I probably wouldn’t drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 03:36:38 | More by scottfrie
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SFLpunk for this one.

Look: Dark brown with brown circles around the edges 1/4 inch head and no real retention

Smell: Chocolate covered citrus fruits

Taste: Chocolate with citrus notes which creates and interesting fruity flavor. But what sets this apart from most east coast black IPA's is the balance it has good balance and it finishes with a nice coffee note

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to high carbonation and just a pussy hair dry

Overall: To be honest I had such high hopes for this beer that is why I traded for it but it is a good black ipa but again cannot compete with west coast black ipa's

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 02:32:54 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for the bottleshare
Pours a dark walnut brown with a foamy tan head with good retention and lacing.

Malt dominates the nose which is surprising for the style. Notes have definitely subdued a bit by the aging. Subtle sweet pine hops are present with a sweet rich earthiness.

Flavor is good but again subdued a bit. But the balance between the deep earthy dark malt, mild oakiness and the dark sweet pines hop notes are very nice.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall I thought it was a very nice beer. Not at bold as many others of the style but there's nothing wrong with that IMO. Everything came together very nicely and it was amazingly easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 23:06:04 | More by MrVonzipper
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Dark Element from Element Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.