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Descendant Dark Ale - Mystic Brewery

Not Rated.
Descendant Dark AleDescendant Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

41 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 141
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 8.18%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Mystic Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BostonBrewins on 10-22-2011

Mystic Descendant is a strong dry stout made with molasses and Saison yeast for rustic, tavern ale character.

It is meant to be served at warmer/ cellar temperatures as were similar tavern ales in the era before refrigeration.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 141
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a half finger light brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet dark toasted malt, molasses, nuts and a hint of dark fruit and chocolate. Flavor is dark toasted malt with light char, cocoa, dark stone fruit, light suggestions of Belgian yeast, molasses. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Nice, and unusual flavor progression starting with the nice lighly smoky toasted malt, molasses and chocolate with developing Belgian flavors of dark fruit and yeast, then finishing with solid chocolatey dark malt. The Belgian flavors lightens the middle flavor, but does not add tartness nor becomes a dominant flavor. The balance is well done and quite interesting. Much maltier than a Belgian stout, with a very flavorful English or dry stout profile. I liked this quite a bit and will look for other ales from this brewery. (915 characters)

Photo of Guess2814
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I think this beer is certainly a good beer. Every time I go to the Mystic Brewery this beer is always brewed the best. It has a nice dark look to it with a bit of a chocolate taste to it. A stout that is just right as far as alcohol percentage. Must try if you like Stout beer. CHEERS!!! (287 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, 1 inch head, low carbonation, opaque

Smell: dark fruit, pumpernickel bread, chocolate and light char

Taste: dark fruit, pumpernickel bread, chocolate and light char

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, medium body, sweet with slight char bitterness

Overall: Tastes like a dubbel mixed with an Irish stout. Very interesting and complex combination of flavors. A nice and complex brew that I will pick up again. (440 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From the caged, corked 750 ml. bottle marked Batch #006. Sampled on May 23, 2013.

It pours a very dark chocolate brown but looks darker once it is in the glass. Very heady with a puffy, fluffy tan colored head that lingers.

The aroma is full of coffee and dark fruit like cherry. Playing second fiddle are the chocolate and yeast esters.

The body was the weakest part of this one coming in at about medium with an astringency the made my tongue slick.

The taste also brought out the dark coffee notes and dark malts withe dark fruit more in the background. There is a mild hop bitterness that leads to a dry finish. I found it to be quite good. (649 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a molasses color and sits in the glass as mahogany brown with a massive head of light khaki-colored bubbles of all shapes and sizes, which takes its time in dissipating. The head leaves a ringed lacing of fat soapy bubbles on the glass. In body, the beer appears too dark for light to penetrate it, though it did seem clean as the beer was being poured. That being said, the folks at Mystic are the wizards of yeast, and they don’t filter their beers, so I’m willing to bet there are a few floaties hanging out in this beer. On the nose, the beer smells initially like a metallic pear, but not in a bad way. As you shove your nose in this beer it opens up into soft cocoa scents with touches of earthy espresso and dark fruity notes. The smell is soft and subtle on the nose, much like an Irish dry stout is, but this smell is also deeply complex and interesting with yeast esters. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then tart, and then slightly bitter with roast. In flavor it begins like a classic stout with dry roasty chocolate and coffee flavors and even a touch of coffee, but this is then blanketed as the taste moves forward and yeast esters plunge onto the tongue to suggest funky dark fruit flavors with a slightly metallic twinge. Pear and even slight peach flavors can also be tasted in the esters. The beer finishes closer to a dry stout with bitter roast, but with a nice tart dark fruit kick that adds complexity to the finish. The aftertaste is fairly soft and sweet with light fruit flavors and a faint reminder of dried roast malt with a touch of smoke. In the mouth the beer feels fluffy with medium carbonation and a slight pucker from the acid. In body the beer feels just about medium, and after the beer leaves the mouth is left slightly dry but puckering. Overall, this is a fantastically bizarre beer. It’s not an Irish dry stout at all, though it does show some qualities of a dry stout. It has amazing funky esters, and could quite well be the start of a new style. A New England Dark Ale! Or a Suffolk Dark Ale if we must call it that… Whatever it is, it is super drinkable and tasty, with amazing and flavorful yeast character. Try this beer! It is bizarre and tasty! (2,225 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thank you, Franklinn!!

Appearance. Pours a very deep dark brown with only a little reddish light coming through at the edges, topped with a massive, 3+ fingers of tan head.

Smell. Molasses, dark grainy malts and some dark fruits with just a little bit of herby spices.

Taste. Dark grainy malts again, some fruity yeast, some dark chocolate, maybe a little dark fruit. Fairly dry and a little bit of booze.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with strong, but smooth and soft carbonation.

Overall. Interesting beer that seems to border on a belgian strong ale. Glad to have tried it, thanks again Franklinn! (601 characters)

Photo of Anker13
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

1/26/13- Mystic Brewery| Descendant | Suffolk Dark Ale 750mL 7%ABV

Appearance- in a chalice glass, off white cream colored lacy head that persists for about 1-2 minutes, deep deep mahogany brown, very opaque, little light getting through, slight haze

Aroma- malty upfront, roasted and toasty, bittersweet chocolate with a hint of coffee, yeasty and earthy, mocha, slight dark fruitiness… raisin? Plum? Molasses. Reminds me of a dunkel.

Mouthfeel- Interesting mouthfeel. Not really astringent, but not coating. Juicy is a good way to put it. Very light CO2, really lets the flavor take the lead. Slight puckering?

Taste- Almost like Raisinets (candy), the chocholate and mocha smells really take a backseat to the fruity profile of the beer. The alcohol is definitely a component- any more and this beer would be ruined. Definite molasses, slight cherry, also has winey characteristics

Residual- Weird aftertaste, lingers like a wine. Semi-sweet aftertaste

Overall- An acceptable beer. It’s not bad, probably wouldn’t get it again, but I’m not disappointed at all. Still a tasty beer, different from a lot of beers out there. There’s a lot going on and the flavors continue to get stronger as it warms (1,216 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 12/29/12 notes. Bottle shared by jslot38; thanks Justin.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spice, yeast, roasted malts, toasted malts, earthy notes, raisins, and plums. Nice nose full of malts and dark fruits.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, plums, figs, Belgian style yeast, spices, roasted malts, earthy notes, burnt malts, and sugar. Something seems a little off or weird; reminds me slight of the smell of wet dog. Not the biggest fan of the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and pretty easy to drink; no heat.

o - Overall an interesting beer and hybrid of styles, though I wasn't a huge fan of it. The nose was nice, but I didn't like the taste. Considering I like some of their other saisons, I'd rather grab those off the shelf than revisit this one. (906 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish. Corked and caged.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 2" light brown head over the almost opaque dark brown/burgundy brew. Head lasts and lasts, with thick lasting lace. Aroma is tart cherries and coffee.

Taste is chocolate sweetness to start, light fruitiness in the center, and closes with a soft bitterness that leaves with a tart aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is pretty good. Interesting brew. (485 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml into a duvel glass

A: settles almost completely black... Just a little light around the edges when held to the light. Ferocious two finger head even after a gentle pour.... Dissapates slowly and leaves virtually no lacing. Good lookin beer dispute the no lacing thing... Oh yeah and the head has a touch of mocha color to it.

S: light roast and coco... Blending with light belgian yeast aromas.... Begins to remind me of a hot coco like aroma with a touch of black coffee... The aroma is very pleasing and well balanced.... The Belgian yeast seems to blend in nicley and not overwhelm the malts and grains here.

T: much like the nose... I get yeasty breadiness up front melting into banna and fruity hints of rasin and dark cherries. over roastyness and chocolate.... Again the yeast blends very nicley here not overwhelimg the other flavors bit adding a nice accent and complexity. Different and enjoyable. As the brew warms some nice caramel notes start to show.. This brew is really growing on me the more I drink and it warms.

M: light/medium body with medium/high aggressive carbonation... Giving the body an fluffy creamy mouthfeel... It's almost to much carbonation... And I think I wish it was a tad thicker And with slightly less carbonation... Pretty easy drinking. Deffinatly dry.

O: a very interesting and complex brew... A lot going on here between the malts and yeast notes.... And deffinatly a more carbonated mouthfeel then I am used to... Overall I enjoyed this brew and would deffinatly drink it again. It just seems to grow on me more and more as I drink it. (1,603 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
A) Pours with a big tan colored head, settles slightly but not much - good retention. Tight and creamy. Opaque body.
S) Roasted malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate.
T) A spicy opening to this brew - pepper, alcohol. Earthy, chalky. Hints of molasses. A bitter bite in the finish.
M) Medium to full body. Dry finish.
O) A very good brew. I'd definitely have another. A diverse flavor profile with a lot of good things going on. (442 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Descendant Dark Ale opens with a spicy, peppery, malty nose. The aromas here bear witness to the “dark” part of the beer’s name, focusing heavily on chocolate, whole wheat toast crust, molasses and brown sugar, fig, anise, and dark caramels. Smatterings of peppery spice punctuate the nose, joined by kola nut. There’s also a lighter layer here, though, with candi sugar-like notes and touches of vanilla, lending the beer a sweet-shop like undertone, which provides strange, but lovely interplay with the darker tones. Hops are present in just enough quantity to add a grapefruit and light pine edge to the aromas. As a whole, the nose is quite interesting, being varied and nuanced, and is very inviting. My only qualm is that the nose is lighter than expected, likely a side effect of the lower 7% ABV, and I wanted a greater sugary malt presence.

On the tongue, the beer opens with dark ashy notes, bringing coffee and tobacco, but these are quickly joined by an excellent series of fruity esters, bringing fig, orange, apricot, berry, and touches of banana. Hops add a smidgen of citrusy grapefruit and lemon. The sugars die off after a little while, and the ashy notes rise again, with black malt and tobacco present in good quantity. The aftertaste is almost entirely ashy notes, and fades with moderate quickness. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is very high, almost champagne-like, and burns the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, there are excellent flavors in this brew, and the combination of ash and lovely fruit esters was delightful. However, the flavors ultimately come across as quite light and airy in presence, fading quickly and never quite reaching a decent strength even at their zenith, giving the brew a watery feel. And the high levels of carbonation add a strange mouthfeel, and quickly fill the stomach with air. Tone down the bubbly and boost the amount of ingredients by a few notches—say, make it 10% ABV—and this will be great beer. (1,996 characters)

Photo of YouSkeete
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a black appearance, two-finger thick light khaki head. Big smoky booziness with a complex arrangement of molasses, heavy cream, ground coffee, bittersweet chocolates, and dark fruits such as figs, cherries and dates come off the aroma. First sip is heavy on the dark fruits, moving into the creamy richness of coffee, bittersweet chocolates and molasses. Hints of smoke and bourbon make their way through into it's medium-sized body. Mildly bitter, rich and complex mouthfeel. Smooth and dry, boozy finish. (527 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Will pour a five+ finger cream head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving a thick lace. Black color, no highlights. Strong carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose and flavor is malty, bready, fairly smooth. The 7% ABV is totally hidden. $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma. (323 characters)

Photo of SABERG
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (batch 004) into an HFB belgian glass.

A - Dark color, not much activity, very little head and no lacing.

S - Quite a bit going on here, figs, sugar, young bread dough and a splash of coffee.

T - Sweet up front with some boozy heat. The finish is long and fruity. No bitterness here.

M - Smooth and oily, sweetness but not sickley sweet. A linger on the tongue persists.

O - A tough read, this is strong, sweet, and intriuging. I read on prior reviews that the carbonation was strong, I could see that as a plus for the this brew, however not my experience.
All in all a solid effort.

SABERG (616 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Approx 16 oz. Poured from the cask (@ the Union Brewhouse) into a srandard pint glass. Sort of cola brown in color, you can see light brown highlights on the edges. Looks like a little setiment floating around, but eventually falls to the bottom. Off white colored head about 1/2 finger thick doesn't last every long, slightest of slight lacing.

Smell is pretty good. Pretty earthy, slight roasty to a weak, almost charred smell. Very bready, the yeast is a very dominant feature in the smell, almost Belgian-like.

Tast has a lot of similarities as the smell. A certain bitterness throughout but isn't too overwhelming. Roasty with some slight bitter (cooking) chocolate tones. Much like the smell, its very bready and grainy. Slight herbal and earthy hop flavor with a hint of alcohol. Funny the combination almost gives it a slight soy sauce flavor; very interesting.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Full flavor but very soft, gentle feel. Not too carbonated, but it gets a mulligan since its cask. Unbelievably smooth the whole way through with a. Perfect butter bute at the end. Overall a real quality beer. I'm very happy to have tried it on cask. (1,145 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from batch 3.

Pours nearly opaque and very dark brown. Two-plus inches of tan foam settled slowly into a solid skim coat and dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, brown sugar, bubblegum, chocolate, and apples. Hints of coffee, char, and dark rum follow through.

Medium to fuller bodied with a velvety mouthfeel. A bit lush.

Dark chocolate, Kahlua, espresso, and bananas start the palate. Shades of dark rum, raisins, and oreo shells follow through.

Finishes with lingering roast, chocolate, and a hint of grape jam.

Tasty brew, somewhere between a stout, dubble, and quad. (608 characters)

Photo of grannaniwa
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, Batch 001

Left out of the fridge for about 20 mins, which seemed about right. Pours very dark with a strong head. Chocolately aromas. The taste starts out with the same chocolate flavors, then the sour and tart flavors slide under the strong malt. Went great with molasses baked beans!

“Renaud yeast, refermented with Rockpile. A dry Irish stout meets an English porter and is then fermented in the fermentorium with our saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area's past: molasses.”

Overall: B+, fun if you can find the right time to drink it. (584 characters)

Photo of ksimons
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown with no visible highlights seen and a nice creamy looking head that sticks around for the glass

S-dark malt, dark fruits, molasses, a nice hint of chocolate and coffee, and then some Saison yeastyness. Very interesting

T-taste is similar to the smell, dark fruit comes up dominant, followed by dark bread, very light dry coffee, and chocolate. Not picking up as much yeast in the taste.

M-Descendant just reaches a medium body, medium carbonation. Wish there was just a little more body in this one

Overall a very interesting, complex beer. I really enjoyed it and will definitely try it again. (616 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/4/11
Batch# 001

Purchased @ Julio's Liquors, Westborough Ma

Price -$9.99/bomber

A dry Irish stout meets an English porter and is then fermented with a saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area's past: molasses.

ok, based on my experience this example should be labeled more as a saison than a stout or porter, but I'll play..

Pour this one to the side like a saison because it foams quickly (through out the whole experience) revealing a long lasting soapy light tan head and a deep brown color. Thick heavy lacing adorns the glassware, Wow the Belgian yeast is more than evident.

The aroma is unmistakeable with spicey saison yeast, brown sugar, clove, pepper and molasses. Somewhat soft like a summer breeze.

The flavor is light and a little misleading. The nearly complete absence of funk, noticeable malt sweetness, molasses and nutty finish leads one down the path of something other than a saison.

The mouthfeel is not surprisingly light for a saison style. Thin and somewhat dry with a ton of carbonation this beer is refreshing.

Overall I really dig this as a unique style and look forward to more throughout the New England seasons. I'm not sure it's listed correctly, so therefore I need to experience this in all three seasons. Me thinks it will work well in spring and fall. (1,338 characters)

Photo of Cord018
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- jet black with a big frothy head.

S- coffee and a little chocolate. First off you can pick up the smell of a Belgian dark ale with the coffee and chocolate coming in after reminding you of a stout.

T- raisins, dates, coffee and a little chocolate. Very interesting. I can taste the belgian dark ale followed by a stout and porter. You pick a bit of the alcohol but it is far from overwhelming.

M- carbonation, yet smooth. Not heavy at all, very drinkable.

O- this is a very interesting beer. I am a big fan of the darker beers so this appealed to me. The Belgian dark ale, stout and porter mix is done very well. You can taste and smell each one. Very drinkable beer as well. A bit too carbonated but once it settles it is a winner. I will definitely look out for other Mystic brews. (794 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark black body with an off-white head.

Taste is surprisingly thick and full bodied with a very slick, almost oily mouthfeel. Taste is interesting. Ripe dark fruits, raisins, dates but with an old coffee and oddly fruity funk espresso flavor. On top of that there's a rather large coffee bean type bitterness and a very earthy fungal sort of taste. Not in a bad way at all, more like a very natural earth flavor. Very dirt and grass sort of flavor. Actually you know what it is, it's more of a licorice flavor. Definitely a beer that gets much better as it warms

Interesting beer, it's sort of middle ground between english stout and belgian dubbel. A nice and different beer from a MA brewery. (714 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Large, beige head that recedes steadily to minimal level of bubbles. Ultimately, there is no lace. The color is dark ruby, brown. Light does pass lightly.

Smells a bit milky with light burnt toast in the background.

Mostly malty (of the darker variety), some near-burnt toast flavors. Thin bodied with higher level of carbonation. The swallow has an element of alcohol warmth along with mild hop. (400 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Descendant pours a very dark brown/near black into the glass, with a massive creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves very slowly and leaves the glass coated in lace as it descends to the surface of the beer.

The aroma is not too strong and is malty with a sour twang mixed in. Notes of molasses, roast malt, yeast, clove, pepper and flowers. Almost reminds me of a Belgian beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth with an oily feel on the palate and soft effervescent carbonation. The flavor is malty and sweet with some spice and flowers at the end. It begins with roast malt and chocolate. In the middle some dark fruit notes (raisin or fig?) and molasses appear. It finishes dry with a touch of clove and hint of flowers. Once gone the chocolate, dark fruit and clove lingers on the palate.

This is an interesting, complex beer. There's a lot of different flavors in each sip that work in harmony together. No one flavor dominates. (957 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle...Batch 001. Bought in October, sat on for 2 months, perhaps should have drank this one "fresh"??

A- After an uncorking...champagne like "POP"...pours a clear very, very dark brown molasses color....red highlights up against a very bright light. Light tan/beige never ending head. Clumpy lacing throughout. Looks great!

S-Really sort of bland. Some dark fruit. Hint of molasses. Slightly bitter on end.

T- More or less follows the nose. Bittersweet finish. A little malt and yeast?

M- A little light for how it looks. Very light carbonation towards the end. Light filmy coating to mouth. Kind of dry.

O- First taste of this style. Nothing to compare it to. Not bad. But, nothing I can say that I would rush out for again. (739 characters)

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Descendant Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.