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Descendant Dark Ale - Mystic Brewery

Not Rated.
Descendant Dark AleDescendant Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

120 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 8
Gots: 21 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mystic Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BostonBrewins on 10-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Descendant Dark Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

t0rin0, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

nmann08, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

ygtbsm94, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Jason, Nov 22, 2011
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.

jlindros, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

mdfb79, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Rochefort10nh, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

DrunkinYogi, Dec 21, 2013
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.

smcolw, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

InspectorBob, May 14, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

jdhilt, Mar 30, 2012
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.

ppoitras, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

rab53, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Kelp, May 15, 2013
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?

johnnnniee, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of puboflyons
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

puboflyons, May 23, 2013
Photo of rudzud
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at the Julio's release. Poured into a duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark, what has to be clear black with a two finger off mocha head that faded to leave a halo and minimal cloud.

S - Different nose. Light smokeyness combined with roast malts and chocolate/coffee. Some light subtle belgian yeast notes.

T - After the strong booze taste and slight metallic there are some nice roast coffee and light chocolate flavors. Not getting much in the way of hops, but, there is some pleasant belgian yeast.

M - Really surprising mouthfeel. Excellent carbonation, light, prickly, almost refreshing. Only knock is the ABV is somewhat hot.

O - I remember liking this alot more at the tasting I was at. Its still a nice beer, just, not up to par with their saison.

rudzud, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Is the cork kidding me? One moderate push via my thumb easily sends the cork flying to the ceiling with a frightening pop explosion. Blew the cork-guard clean off. Anyways… Pours like cola. Color is brown but with transparent edges. Big tan head. Head is bubbly but dies away quickly and leaves a slight bubbly layer atop the liquid.

S-The nose is strange. This beer smells like an intense combination of chocolate and ashy bonfire. Very burnt nose. The alcohol is far too intense. It actually stings the nostrils. I am beginning to wonder if something is wrong here. I have heard that some of Mystic’s first batch of Saison had a super-boozy nose and flavor. I had two of the first batch of Saison and had no problem; but I have heard others who have.

T-The flavor does not display the super-boozy quality like the nose. This beer tastes like a Rauchbier almost. Smoky and a bit salty. Chocolate and a tiny hint of coffee too. Slight hop bitterness on the back end. Molasses is there too. Definitely different. Doesn't really appeal to me.

M-Much lighter than the look would lead me to believe. Moderate to high carbonation. Feels almost watery at some points.

O/D-I love their Saison. I think it may be my favorite Saison. But this one does not impress me at all. The nose is off putting. The flavor is strange. The feel doesn’t match the style well. Just not very good. At $8.50 a bottle, I will finish it. However, I wish I had waited for someone to tell me about this before I tossed out nearly $10 for this one.

VelvetExtract, Oct 23, 2011
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.

tigg924, May 28, 2013
Photo of UncleJimbo
3/5  rDev -19.4%

UncleJimbo, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of Dope
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Dope, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of ncaudle
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

ncaudle, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of kwjd
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

kwjd, Oct 04, 2013
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!

Rutager, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200!

I picked up a bottle of this and their saison on a recent Boston outing. The saison was excellent but this beer is the one that I really shows Mystic’s unique voice coming through. The Descendant is a hybrid stout/porter fermented with a proprietary house saison yeast, brewed “in homage to our immigrant ancestors.” Now that’s a philosophy I can get behind!

This is from Batch 001. It pours a malty cola color with a nice creamy head. Smell is reminiscent of a solid stout—roasty malts dominate, with some dark coffee and toffee in the mix. A sprinkling of dark chocolate rounds it out.

The roasty notes carry over to the taste, with a clear dry finish. Light in body for a stout. Starts off sweet, in the manner of a darker English mild-style beer (aged in cabernet Sauvignon barrels, perhaps? Seems like it strikes a similar flavor profile and mouthfeel to some of the things I’ve tried from Austin’s Jester King) but in a stout-porter hybrid form. Simply wonderful, a great find!

elNopalero, Dec 05, 2011
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Descendant Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.