Descendant Dark Ale - Mystic Brewery

Not Rated.
Descendant Dark AleDescendant Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

138 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 7
Gots: 27 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by jondeelee:
Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown corked and caged bottle. Batch #1

LOOK: Not short of head, towering over the top of the glass. Shade or two from opaque ... full on black.

SMELL: Carob, chicory, nougat, faint yeast, toasted dark bread, ripe plums, green peppercorn, herbal, charcoal.

TASTE: Medium body, smooth, over-toasted bread, unsweetened chocolate, muted blueberries, burnt raisins, kiss of fig sugar, mild char, yeast, mellow herbal hop, estery, dry finish.

This beer is starting to grow on my, love the tri-hybrid style going on here. Stout & porter with a Belgian flare. A lot of flavor to take in here, a clear sipper as it ends up being super complex. I definitely will be revisiting this beer / future batches.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of 05Harley
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Guess2814
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
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!!!

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Popped the cork and poured into my Portsmouth tulip exactly like Coke - dark mahogany with fluffy sticky tan head that slowly settles to a lumpy film.

The nose is lightly grainy, some Belgian yeast notes with a little roast/dark chocolate.

A sip is thinner and lightly carbonated. I get the dry stout vibe from the subtle roast and a nice molasses sweetness and spiciness that blends with the Belgian yeast.

This is a unique brew. It's a bit like a Belgian strong dark ale without the strong...and less of the Belgian. It's certainly got easy drinking porter qualities. I get what they were going for and I respect the endeavor.

Photo of Shaymus
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours very dark with strong pillowy head that fades to a thin covering while consuming!!

S. A sweet almost tart molasses aroma. The belgian yeast comes in with a bit of an alcohol finish.

T. The flavor is roasty with molasses and again that tartnes/tang. kind of stoutish with the exception of the yeast.

M. Actually felt this was a big plus. It is light but, the carbonation is strong and sticks around.

O. I liked it, not as nice as the Saison but, the yeasty tartness & roasty flavor coupled with the mouthfeel "carbonation" make it nicely enjoyable!

Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of Rutager
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
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!

Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small fizzy head, leaves a bit of lacing as it fades, over super dark molasses brown color hint of maroon light sneaking through.

Nose is sure interesting, lots of molasses, a bit syrupy, caramel, hint of black patent malt and slight hint of roast, then light dry saison rustic malts and fruity spicy saison yeast, and hint of cocoa to finish it off. Touch of esters.

Taste is more of the same, starting with dark malts, lots of dark crystal, hint of chocolate and black patent I think, and caramel flavors. Then molasses brings a nice almost syrupy flavor but not much, with a slight nutty hazelnut flavor, and touch of prune. Wants to get syrupy but doesn't, but does get a bit creamy. A bit of booze brings some esters as well. Also easy underneath is a bit dry rustic saison yeast with hint of spices. Finishes still bit sweet but drier, a bit bitter, more molasses and dark malts, hint if saison spices.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, dec carb, slightly syrupy and creamy, hint of warming booze.

overall really interesting, nice dark malts and molasses, light saison flavors, drinkable despite the booze, very interesting and tasty.

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Think light porter roastiness and belgian yeast. Easy drinking. Maybe a hint of tartness.

Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of Anker13
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
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

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of Maxwell
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

Photo of johnnnniee
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the darkest of browns with very faint brown highlights when held to light, a spirited level of carbonation produces a head that fills half the glass no matter how it is poured. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, roasted grains, burnt sugar, dark fruits, yeasty phenols, there's a lot going on here and so far its all good. Taste is dark malts, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, raisins, prunes, plums. This is very complex lots of stuff going on here. Medium to thick body, quite a bit of carbonation, maybe too much, sweet saison-esque mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this beer. The carbonation might be a touch on the high side, but the flavors and aromas are fantastic. I would say this is more of a Belgian strong dark than a stout, but when a beer is done this well who needs labels really?

Photo of taez555
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of Gushue3
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Even with a gentle pour theres a gigantic head 3-4 times the size of the boy. Very foamy and thick head with lots of retention. The body is a very dark brown that can be seen through right around the edges.

S Brown sugar and molasses sweetness come out along with a subtle alcohol scent.

T much like the nose with molasses and some sweetness. Some roastiness and a slight bitterness on the finish. Reminds me of a brown ale with a little more sweetness.

M Lighter side of medium with lots of bubbly carbonation.

O Nice beer here. A combination of nice flavors but nothing really stood out to me. Slightly over carbonated I felt but not a bad beer.

Photo of Dope
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: A dark brown pour with a ridiculously huge fluffy light brown head. Retention and lacing both seem to be nice.

S: Roasted malt and chocolate mainly. Spicy too and with a little bit of alcohol burn. Smells pretty similar to a lighter stout or a porter really. Not your typical belgian dark.

T: Pretty watery right off the bat, surprisingly. Roasted malt and chocolate here but fairly subdued due to the thinness. Tastes not too far off from a guinness, though perhaps even more thin, despite the much higher ABV. Little bit of spice.

M: Super thin and watery, really detracts from the beer unfortunately.

O: A very interesting idea but the execution fell flat unfortunately. It tastes like a really thin porter basically. Some mild belgian influence but nothing really stands out. The watery aspect really lowered the scores too. Unfortunately the taste and mouthfeel just do not match up with the looks and aroma.

Photo of nas5755
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- black with some brown hues close to the bottom of the glass. A nice head with solid retention

S-some molasses and a bit of belgian yeast

T- not quite a Belgian, not quite a dry stout. An interesting take on the style. some roasted malts, some Belgian yeast, some molasses and peppery spice. Very dry and a little nutty on the finish.

M- dry and bit on the thin side, good carbonation levels

O- I enjoyed the take on this beer. I think the recipe needs to be dialed down and tweaked a bit. Either go bigger with more body or tone down the abv and make this session-able. Lots of potential and worth picking up and trying. My scores slightly reflect the style classification but this beer doesnt and cant fit into any category.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Descendant Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.