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Carlton Black - Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

Carlton BlackCarlton Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

26 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 26
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.18
pDev: 13.84%


Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd. visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
English Stout |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-30-2002)
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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SmashPants
SmashPants

Australia

4.08/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: good 375mL brown bottle with decent label. Good for a macro brew.

Appearance: dark thick black colour. One-and-a-half fingers of thick, tan head. Head has excellent retention.

Aroma: strong burnt coffee and chocolate flavours. Lighter than it used to be.

Taste: the main flavour is burnt coffee, but some chocolate and over-ripe fruits are also present.

Aftertaste: the harsher coffee disappears and is replaced by a smooth chocolate / caramel flavour.

Mouth feel: some may suggest that the mouth feel is too light for a stout. I reckon it's bang on for the Australian climate, combining the English Stout with a somewhat lighter body and more carbonation for easy, refreshing drinkability.

Overall: very good quality Australian version of the English Stout. Used to be 4.9%, but now for some reason is 4.4%, tastes a bit more like a very strong-flavoured English Mild rather than a Stout. Still very tasty though, and I assume Carlton did it to bring the prices down when the Aussie Gov't decided to charge more the higher the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 13:13:43 | More by SmashPants
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Northcote Social Club. From notes.

A - Poured ruby or reddish. Bright with mild carbonation. One finger of off white head. Thin and light lace with a film of retention.

S - Nutty, some sugar, toffee. Pretty malt forward.

T - Nutty and sweet with bread and some cola. Fairly sweet.

M - Medium carbonation, light to medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - Nothing special yet not bad for a macro dark ale or whatever style it's intention is. A tad sweet, but otherwise I wouldn't have a problem drinking this over Carlton's other offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2012 05:19:29 | More by tbeckett
Photo of dansmcd
dansmcd

Australia

3.33/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of eggshell coloured soapy head sits on the molasses coloured body flecked with red tints. The head has excellent retention and is joined by sticky lace throughout the drink.

S - Coffee and chocolate. Simple but a classic combination.

T - Quite ashy, chocolate and plum bring a nice sweetness. Mild flavours.

M - Thin and watery with moderate carbonation.

O - Not sure about the categorization as English Stout but it is surprisingly good. It is very basic really but it works. I cant think of anything better from CUB.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 13:11:35 | More by dansmcd
Photo of Stew41
Stew41

Australia

2.73/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad drop from the world’s worst brewer. Mild, dry porter. Inoffensive style and somewhat lighert in palate weight than the beer (I think) is trying to emulate (Tooheys Old). Excellent colour - its actually black! Surprisngly easy to drink as a quaffer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 12:49:42 | More by Stew41
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

2.75/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a quickly fading, scummy-looking head.
Nose shows roasted malt, cardboard, chocolate. There's a burnt rubber character too.
Rather sweet-tasting, but weak. Flavours include nutty malt, caramel and a faint roasty character. No way I would call this a porter.
Extremely watery body really detracts from the experience.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 12:49:21 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown cola colour, darker than Coke perhaps, but similar in body. Head is a surprisingly light tan, and is surprisingly large bubbled, forming a comb of bubbles around the edge of the glass - filmy otherwise across the top. Lacing is decent, although it just accentuates how light it is otherwise. All things considered, it's not a particularly good looking dark beer.

Some faint roasted grain and a hint of chocolate on the nose, giving a pleasant sweet-but-savoury toasty darkness. Charred bread, and coal embers are noticeable. It's not very robust, but it's quite pleasant. It certainly has pleasant characters there.

Taste is a little thin, which is perhaps to be expected, although the roasted notes and light cocoa sweetness are still noticeable. They waft around in the back of the palate, whereas the front stays meek and inoffensive. Certainly weaker than the average dark ale, but it's not unpleasant anyway.

Like I said: it's not unpleasant. That's pretty decent praise for a brewery which comes up with some of the most diabolical beers on earth. While it certainly is lacking, it has some pleasant characters, and I'd certainly rather down a pint of this than of Carlton Draught or VB.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 05:32:38 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of LittleCreature
LittleCreature

Australia

3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.5
Pours a lovely domed marshmallow-like beige head over a clear, dark reddish brown body (It's not black!). Left nice lacing and head showed excellent retention.

Smell - 3.0
Not much to speak of here - slightly sweet and coffeeish on the nose with a rye bread sourness.

Taste - 3.0
A nice roastiness is balanced by flavours of grain, coffee, a little fruit and mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Smooth, fine carbonation gives a silky mouthfeel, medium bodied.

Drinkability - 4.0
Easy drinking, sessionable ale.

OVERALL - 3.5
I am truly in shock! Fosters Group actually makes a good beer! I'd be happy to drink this any time - it's hard to believe that this comes from the same company that makes Carlton Draught and VB.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 09:05:10 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of madvoice
madvoice

Australia

3.1/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark chocolate colour with a frothy head that lasts quite a while. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Roasted malt, coffee and caramel smell to it. Quite pleasant.

Tasted very much of espresso coffee with a slight malty/caramel aftertaste.

Quite a creamy mouthfeel but expected a bit more body to it.

Quite drinkable but I felt it was lacking. Not something I'd actively seek out but OK every now and again.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 09:55:52 | More by madvoice
Photo of Macca
Macca

Australia

3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This pours an almost black colour. Perhaps a tinge of ruby in there. Not a lot of head to speak of and what was there drops quickly.

Nice chocolate/roasted malt aromas.

Chocolate and coffee are there on the palate.

I was expecting it to be a bit thin and unfortunately that was delivered.

Still not a bad beer but I'd prefer an Abbotsford Invalid over this.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 11:11:00 | More by Macca
Photo of WHROO
WHROO

Australia

3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: very dark, not black though despite the name...1 finger creamish head that held for most of the trip. As typical with Carlton this had great lacing, & good carbonation.

Smell: Not too strong at all...had to search a little until it warmed up...dark roasted malts, a little smoky.

Taste: again a little smoky, hint of caramel sweetness, although I sadly missed the bitterness I am used to in a dark ale or stout...in fact just about zero bitterness detected. I did find this a little syrupy & sickly sweet by the end of the pint. &&& the typical CUB chemical dankness was evident.

Mouthfeel: definately not too heavy, but the visual carbonation was just not lively enough on the tongue. Very creamy

Would I drink it again? yep, but only if I am in the mood...the final sweetness left after the swallow just seemed a little artificial & syrupy for my general liking.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 09:26:54 | More by WHROO
Photo of Cs1987
Cs1987

Australia

3.7/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Almost black, but not quite. 1 finger of head which reduced.

Smell - Sweet and malty

Taste - Sweet and chocolatey. A little too weak to get a 4.

Mouthfeel - Not quite as smooth as I'd expect for the style. Carbonation level is good.

Drinkability - If I had to choose between this and a macro lager as a session drink, I would choose this every time. Very drinkable.

Overall - Tastes a bit like a dumbed down porter, but enjoyable nonetheless. A good beer from one of the most boring breweries in the world.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 02:29:34 | More by Cs1987
Photo of vancurly
vancurly

Australia

3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stout ? Porter perhaps....or a strong Mild even...
Pours a beige rocky froth, which sinks..
A mahogany red-brown...some bubbles....
Aroma typically Carlton, I reckon. The metallic P.O.R is there in abundance, light note of caramel.
Flavour of dark malts... not bad actually, with a nutty component in there also.
Not much bitterness... I think the term Mild is best applied here. This beer is, basically, mild & inoffensive.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2006 05:55:09 | More by vancurly
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

3.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle best before 7/07 4.4%abv.

pours not quite black (despite the name). lots of reddish hues around the edges. low carbonation. not much head, barely a wisp of froth across the top.

light dark malt aroma. more crystal and chocolate than roast. faint nose, but ok.

surprisingly lively on the palate. smooths out as it warms.
lightly chocolate taste, little bitterness. finishes just on the sweet side.

not a whole lot to work with here, but still manages to be quie enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 09:32:49 | More by joecast
Photo of jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As far as I know this is my first English Stout to date. Poured into a Stella Artois chalice a black color, with a little bit of brown towards the bottom of the glass and a small white lace head. Not much in the nose department besides maybe a bit of burnt coffee and some smoke characters. Taste was decent, with coffee, light chocolate all up front and a roasted background. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied, with a surprising amount of hop bitterness right up until the end. Being on the light side made it a pretty easy beer to drink. Not a beer with a myriad of complexities or anything groundbreaking, but it is still an easy drinking beer. Not bad, not great, still probably worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 08:15:57 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of Kulrak
Kulrak

Australia

3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark ruby color with some tan head that's really not as creamy as I'm used to with stouts or 'black ales'.. There really isn't much aroma to this beer at all, I think I smell a faint faint hint of chocolate malt, but I can't be sure. The taste is pretty mellow for a stout, but looking at the bottle, they're not claiming it's a stout, just a 'black ale' and for that, it tastes good. Balanced flavor with some chocolate notes to it. Not a whole lot of bitterness, but there's a little hop flavor on the back end. Mouthfeel is very creamy, not much carbonation at all. All in all, it's a very drinkable beer, the flavor is not overly strong, but it is there and it's good, which is more than most macro beers have.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 10:51:55 | More by Kulrak
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.33/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark cedar colour, there is a head but it disappears quite quickly.

Chocolatey nose, not very pungent, particularly for a dark beer. Almost a hint of vanilla, although maybe my nose just tells me this as the antithesis of chocolate, because it's not really very powerful, and not what I expect from a stout.

Taste isn't bad, however I am not usually a fan of strong darker beers, and so I am led to believe that this one would generally be considered bland. It's essentially chocolatey and weak. There is (naturally) a dark beer flavour, but without the overwhelming chloriney, burnt-toast bitterness I sometimes experience. I am leaning towards giving this a rave review for a dark beer but I can step back from my own general mistrust of its style and appreciate that it's really too simple to be regarded as a truly great beer. It's very drinkable, I like it, but it's nothing to cream yourself over.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2006 08:14:36 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of jraldous
jraldous

Australia

3.2/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've now had this on tap and from the bottle...

On tap it was a lovely drop... the porter-style malt flavours come out nicely and you begin to think that CUB might finally have gotten something right.

I think its attempting to be a Porter and its flavours are similar to Squires Porter and Tooheys Old, and the colour is in a similar shade... dark but calling it black is a stretch. As others have reported the head just vanishes quickly when you have it from the tap.

It is certainly drinkable, and you never really taste the alcohol as much as with say Tooheys Old where it cuts in as an aftertaste.

But then when you drink it from the bottle... its VB with extras, that standard CUB yeasty flavour predominates and you realise its all a sham. Get it fresh on tap if you're going to give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 22:34:52 | More by jraldous
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling this beer in a pint mug at cock n' bull in Cairns.
The beer is cold and pours pretty dark black. There is a soft tan cream head resting on the surface.
Aroma is caramel and some black roasted malt, smells kinda like a black lager or Schwarzbier. I also sniff a bit of molasses and black licorice.
The first sip reveals a medium body with smooth texture and very fine carbonation that tingles across my palate.
Flavor is sweet toffee and some black coffee with again a hint of molasses. The finish lingers bittersweet. AN enjoyable beer for sure. Not what I expected but good.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2005 15:57:18 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of jarmby1711
jarmby1711

Australia

2.88/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Colour isdark bown /lightblack
Reasoanably pleasant without exciting.
It has little burnt grainn character on the late palate which lessens its appeal because it is replaced by a watery dullness
It is a CUB that stands above their other offerings, which ays little
However I would be happy to buy an drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 08:53:50 | More by jarmby1711
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976

Florida

3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Carlton Black Superior Ale
Celtic Club – Latrobe St, Melbourne

Carlton Black pours an, um...not black, but deep ruby colour, more akin to a porter. The fairly thin, tan head dissipates fairly quickly. The nose is that of roasted barley, an irish-stout-type smell, but virtually no hops.
The first taste that greets you is one of chocolate malt, followed by a bit of sweetness. All in all, a drinkable “stout” but not as good as their Abbotsford attempt.
Appearance: 4.0
Smell: 3.5
Taste: 4.0
Mouthfeel: 4.0
Drinkability: 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2005 22:05:59 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of diablo14
diablo14

Australia

2.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

when i first got myself a pot of this i thought it might be a new beginning for carlton. i was sorely mistaken. its not as bad as their lagers, but geez its still ordinary.

its not a stout thats for sure, and it may even be too light in color for a dark ale or schwarzbier. the head fades faster than the color from chinese t-shirts after their first wash. the only thing you can really smell is a hint of roasted/burnt elements, but at least that hides the horrid aromas that are behind most CUB beers. very watery in the mouth, but there are nice roasted notes, and i was quite shocked that there were some malty traces in there. quite sweet and also has a hint of caramel. once again tho has that disgusting 'make me wanna spew' back bitterness that puts this beer right down the ladder. this is minimised when very cold, so fortunately if im at the pub and theres nothing better, i can have a couple of these without doing too much damage to my stomach or my tastebuds.

really this is just VB or draught with roasted malts, and luckily for CUB, adding this to a beer can sometimes hide a multitude of sins. in this case its got them close to average. i wouldnt be getting too carried away if i was them tho. they might brew something decent sometime this millenium!

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2003 13:18:57 | More by diablo14
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty drinkable little brew, nice subtle roastiness, but a bit sticky or something, didn't do all that much with flavour either, but skullable, not a bad price either.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2002 02:57:22 | More by rastaman
Photo of Anonmatel
Anonmatel

Australia

3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to a tasting session my local club put on for this (cause it was free of course), and surprisingly it wasn't that bad a beer, very subtle sweetness, not too much flavour, a full bodied head, While it's not quite a full bodied stout, it can't be called a Porter, slight chocolate, and very slight Caramel,
Average beer, i'll drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2002 23:22:28 | More by Anonmatel
Carlton Black from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
76 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.