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Dark Element - Element Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark ElementDark Element

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 45
Gots: 24 | FT: 2
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."

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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Auror


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

01-25-2012 05:00:53 | More by Auror
Photo of JmBrkr


5/5  rDev +23.5%

01-23-2012 03:20:54 | More by JmBrkr
Photo of Robtobfest


3/5  rDev -25.9%

01-16-2012 14:06:41 | More by Robtobfest
Photo of jimmy82063


4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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 acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

12-31-2011 18:46:27 | More by acurtis
Photo of OBIrish24


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

12-27-2011 02:24:16 | More by OBIrish24
Photo of Gatch


4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ The Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA.

A - Deep, ruby red with a short, light brown head. No lace.

S - Malty, boozy, caramelized sugar, tart apples.

T - Delicious malty coffee with a very pleasant boozy finish.

M - Smooth, little carbonation, and way too drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 02:55:35 | More by Gatch
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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 beer4colin


3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Union Brewhouse, 12 oz pour.

A - dark is an appraise name but not light capturing. Dark amber tones with a thin head.

T - good mix of char with a nice hoppy backbeat. I have had black IPAs that haven't had this amount of hops. Finishes with a nice sweet toast.

OA - A very nice offering.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 22:16:06 | More by beer4colin
Photo of FrankLloydMike


5/5  rDev +23.5%

12-12-2011 15:29:33 | More by FrankLloydMike
Photo of Pintofbrown


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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


4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
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 gthompsonri

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +23.5%

12-04-2011 02:43:07 | More by gthompsonri
Photo of jh1982


4/5  rDev -1.2%

12-03-2011 03:31:09 | More by jh1982
Photo of PEIhop


5/5  rDev +23.5%

11-23-2011 17:35:12 | More by PEIhop
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-18-2011 00:01:45 | More by nmann08
Photo of Trailmix242


5/5  rDev +23.5%

11-15-2011 19:52:03 | More by Trailmix242
Photo of Aberration


5/5  rDev +23.5%

11-14-2011 07:02:14 | More by Aberration
Photo of scottfrie


3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
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


3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark dark brown to almost black color with a decent tan head. the smell is where this beer shines. its lightly roasty and very hoppy like a black ipa. the taste is similar but the roastyness takes the cake with the hops being a backup flavor. the mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. overall this beer is very good, but there are better black ipas out there for less money.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 16:20:33 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of SFLpunk


3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased at Liquors 44, Northampton. Bottled 3/02/11. 750mL brown glass cork, caged & paper-wrapped.

Pours a thin black with sudsy khaki head that has great retention. Nose is like a deeply roasted porter blended with pot. Super piney and resinous.

Palate is immediately bitter, with hop resin right up front then backed and intertwined with roasted black patent malt-like bitterness. There's lots of coffee and 80+% cocao chocolate flavors here. Body is fairly light and carries all this flavor by a thread.

Notes: Big, black and bitter. Yum...BUT there is an emptiness in the midpalate. Just seems a little too thin for me. On the other hand, it does a great job of capturing the "Black India Pale Ale," what with the paper-thin mouthfeel and big bitterness. Rated accordingly as an American Black Ale, not a Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 05:56:05 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (dated 3/2/11) poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, opaque. Nearly 3 fingers of light brown head, fairly tight, that slowly dissipates and leaves fairly good lacing.

S: Hops are still there with leafy and floral character, lots of lightly roasted grains, a little chocolate, and a slight smoked character.

T: This has definitely become malt-forward now. There's a little bit of the floral and somewhat spicy hop character right up front with a touch of heat, but it quickly subsides to a big malt character. the middle is dominated by the lightly roasted grains: a touch of roasted quality in the background with a little smoke and bitterness. There's a little chocolate there as well. Finish is dry and leaves a little lingering bitterness (slightly leafy and floral).

M: Medium to slightly full bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly smooth and not overly bitter.

O: At 5 months old this beer is still drinking pretty good. Fresh, the hop character plays beautifully with the malt character and is easily my favorite of the "American Black Ale" category (mainly due to the lack of true roasted quality). My preference is definitely fresh, but still it's not bad right now.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 01:04:22 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of THECPJ


3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger off white head

smell: Roast, Black Patent, Malts, Pine, Hops,

taste: roast, black patent, malts, hops,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: well balanced black ale. Usually you get more hops or more roasted malts, but this one is balanced.

the CPJ

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 00:28:21 | More by THECPJ
Dark Element from Element Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.