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Rickard's Dark - Molson Coors Canada

Not Rated.
Rickard's DarkRickard's Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.

58 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 58
Hads: 177
Avg: 2.97
pDev: 37.04%
Wants: 6
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Molson Coors Canada visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-20-2009

Brewed in the style of English porters, Rickard's Dark is creamy with a smooth finish that holds just a hint of pure Quebec maple syrup.
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 177
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear medium brown color ale with a fizzy small head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of light roasted malt with no bitterness and lightly sweet adjunct dominated malt profile. Taste is also a mix between some light caramel with faint roasted malt. Body is way too thin for style with medium carbonation. Pointless.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After wandering around for too long, too late, on a Friday night, looking for a decent place to eat, we had to give up, and settle on Red Robin. Upon crossing the threshold, I did not expect to see a big poster advertising a beer that I had not had before. When I ordered a 20oz pint of this, the waiter gave me a sommelier-esque smug look of approval, which rather amused me.

This beer appears a clear, dark copper brown colour, with one finger of puffy, bubbly beige head, which leaves some minor hanging webbed lace around the glass after its brief existence is up.

It smells of mildly meaty roasted grain, some middling caramel malt, a bit of Zeller's discount chocolate, and faint artificial maple - no hops, really. The taste is fruity, lightly roasted caramel malt, a touch of hard toffee, dried maple candies, weak hot chocolate, and a very tame bitter vegetal, weedy hoppiness.

The carbonation is pretty low-key, barely a flitting frothiness to be had, the body on the far south side of medium weight, but adequately smooth, I suppose. It finishes well off-dry, the dark, sugary malt fighting against the now pesky weedy hops, and generally winning.

Overall, not the worst accompaniment to a 5-napkin resto-burger, when you're not trying too hard to think about it. Another side-step from their Red Ale 'template'? Yup. Average brown ale? Sure. English porter? Hell to the no.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.42/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Smaller sized light brown head quickly dies into a nice lacing above a dark amber brownish colored beer.

A light dark roasted malt aroma.

Dark roasted lightly caramel grain malt taste with a touch of some hops sneaking in. The taste is on the lighter side but still very evident.

A light almost dry aftertaste with just a bit of the dark tastes remaining with this medium bodied dark.

This dark beer is a bit on the lighter side but I would think given that it would pair with food very well, I think it would enhance the food and thus enhance itself some.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost a clear filtered deep mahogany brown hue with a big khaki tan head, big bubbles form thick. Mild hints of coffee they mentioned a touch of maple syrup added in here, mild cocoa very pleasant mass produced porter. Flavors meld nicely a hint of cherry or other dark fruits, mild cocoa, hints of maple syrup without coming off too sweet. A bit watery maybe, I wish there were more substantial flavors but for something from Rickard's aka Molson it's pretty enjoyable and effortless to drink. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied range, with even carbonation nothing cloying on the palate a hint of roasted malt bitterness hangs around between sips. Overall I'm glad my cousin shared his sampler of the Rickard's 12 pack he got coming back from Canada. He happened to drink all of the Rickard's Blonde, happy to try the White and Dark and revisit the Red.

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Photo of liamt07
2.79/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can from the Beer Store, dated C011. 473ml into a pint glass.

Pours mahogany with some chestnut and ruby highlights found in the body. Relatively creamy head that lasts and laces quite well. Is this a Molson product? Nose has some non-descript sweetness, maybe some maple/sugar and a hint of some nuttiness? Muddled and too sweet. Not much else, some grain and a hint of metal. Taste has some dark fruit and some sweetness. Some sugar fro sure, but definitely not the 'maple' advertised on the can. More metallic notes in the finish. Body is light and borders on watery. Medium carbonation. This one was just too sweet for me and not something I'd intentionally revisit. Not horrible and a step up from other macro offerings, but not work seeking out.

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Photo of biegaman
3/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This Rickard's may be darker than the others, but it's far from black; the chestnut-brown coloured ale has, not only a bright and shimmering auburn hue, but also immaculate clarity to boot. Despite a steady presence of bubbles, its head lasted a minute maybe - two, tops - and left not a drop of lacing anywhere on the glass.

The nose has an identifiable sweetness to it, courtesy of the maple syrup (and, likely, corn syrup too). Blended with some loosely-ascribable-as-dark maltiness it takes on faint hints of caramel, nutty-toffee and a trace of plum. It's underwhelming so far as porters go but it's a world better than what others in the Rickard's lineup have to offer.

Speaking of which, to put it in perspective, Rickard's Dark is a bit more grainy and a bit less pallid than Rickard's Red, which, mind you, isn't saying much. Unlike the latter, I'd say it's much less offensive (except to the style purists out there, of course). At least grain succeeds syrup on the palate, although the roastiness is so mild as to maybe go unnoticed.

Rickard's Dark will appeal to some and infuriate others. Indeed it's possible to write two entirely different reviews: the first might shed a general good impression of the product insofar as it exceeds Molson's usual standard of flavor and integrity; the second, judging strictly on stylistic merit, might fairly consider this the worst porter ever conceived.

This is no more a real porter than that person sending you the emails about Viagra is a real doctor. And if you're looking for a substantial, malty dark ale then I'd say it's also every bit a scam. Don't get me wrong, it may be the most flavorful offering in the Molson lineup - and isn't too hard to drink - but let's just not call it a porter and keep expectations reasonable.

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Photo of DrJay
2.5/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, dark brown, still quite transparent. A thin beige cap appeared, but didn't linger for long. It did leave a modest collar and a bit of short lived spotty lace. Light aroma, mostly of caramel and toffee, light roast and burnt sugar, molasses, with a hint of smoke. Sweet, malty flavour, more caramel, light bitterness and roast towards the end. Not much in the way of maple, other than sugary sweetness. Decent texture, between light and medium bodied with average carbonation. Uninspired, but still drinkable, and not much of a porter.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.18/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into pint glass nov6 2009

A clear reddish copper with a big head that falls to a 1/4in film that left some lace. the colors not what I expect from a porter but other then that it looks good

S mild chocolate and some sweetness but not maple perhaps a little cherry

T I get some sweetness but if its maple its pretty mellow

M thin for a porter but good carbonation keep it average

D nothing amazing other then the fact its a macro trying to make a porter

for a big name Canadian brand it`s OK but that`s not saying much

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Photo of Viggo
2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Mm delicious porter. Will it be better than Labatts?

Pours a clear dark red, no real brown, very thin off white head forms and quickly settles down to a fizzy ring, no lace and disappears pretty quickly.

Smell is similar to Labatts porter, vegetables and cola, some garbage, lightly sweet, brown sugar, very clean and lager like, corn, maybe a bit of chocolate, not good.

Taste is similar, sweet, lightly malty, caramel and corn, very light maple, brown sugar, a bit of fruit, sweet in the finish, basically the opposite of a porter.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, too high for me. Wow. I would like to meet the geniuses who thought this one up.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a dark brown clear, low/average carbonation, small thin white head.

Smell - smells of coffee, burnt notes, slight sweetness

Taste & Mouth - seems watery, not a lot of carbonation, burnt/roasted taste, maple/sweetness. As other have said, tastes thin.. should be full bodied..

Drink - just an 'okay' beer. There are much better darks out there to be drunk.

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Photo of Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mild brown with a brown head into my glass. Scratch that. It's more of a chestnut brown.

Sweet with hints of brown sugar and cocoa. Simplified in a way.

Taste is much the same. Sweet. Chewy. I think the maple sugar imparts something unique.

It shows mostly in the mouthfeel, which is slickly sweet.

Very good for the style. A traditional english porter.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.08/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a caramel roast and a mellow lager note. In the taste, a small sweet caramel roast in a lager like beer. A small bite, but mainly smooth and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry note of caramel in a lager. A sweet caramel roast in a lager, if this is supposed to be a porter, it is really thin.

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Photo of andrenaline
2.95/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice dark ruby red, thin finger of head with little retention, and some sporatic lacing throughout.

S - The scent is largely bready caramel malts, some toffee and brown sugar as well. A bit on the light side and has the potential to be more pwoerful.

T - Taste is also a little light, but boasts some caramel and toffee malts, a bit of roasted coffee and burnt sugar.

M - The carbonation seemed right, but it just seemed a little too light and watery for the style. Could be a tad thicker to enhance the feel.

D - By no means a terrible offering, but lacking a bit of everything in all departments. Would easily order a pint of this again, but it's nothing special. A poor example of the style, but still a drinkable dark beer.

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Photo of Flounder57
2.87/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a brownish black color with some clarity when held up to light and slow bubbles seen coming up through the the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and toffee, a little bit of chocolate, but not much else going on here.

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee, some chocolate, and some mild bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, low to medium carbonation, very drinkable, and a little bitterness.

Overall: Definitely not a porter, but a nice brown ale. Partially of what the style should be, but expecting more of the style.

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Photo of rarbring
2.55/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer is dark red, brown and grey in the color, an off-white head with very small bubbles, some lacing.

The smell is mostly in the heavy roasted malt area, but rather subtle.

The taste is sweet, a bit like chocolate on brown bread, but also some tone of wet old wood.

Medium high carbonation, but surprisingly spritzy, giving a weak soda association.

This is not a good example of an English porter - at all!

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Photo of Kendo
2.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is cola brown with a very small khaki-colored head.

S: Not sure what it smells like, though "Porter" does not come to mind. Maybe a bit of husky grain and faint burnt grains. Something just seems off but I can't really describe it.

T: Thin. I may be serving this too cold to get a lot of flavor, or, more likely, I'm serving it cold enough to kill the off flavors. I get some light caramel malt/toffee, cola-like flavors, a touch of maple syrup and maybe some corn syrup. Better yet, think of the "fake" maple syrup that is basically made of high fructose corn syrup. But that suggests that there's more happening here than I'm really getting.

M: Light in heft, carbonation is modest and inoffensive.

O: So-so. Certainly doesn't seem like much of a Porter; more like a watered-down Brown Ale.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.36/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Rickards Dark poured black, like other porters, and had almost no head. There wasnt much of a smell, and the taste was the same. It was very light, and tasted watered down. Even though it was a porter it was very light, and needed much more flavor. Not a bad beer, but not a good beer either.

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Photo of SebD
2.64/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown/amber color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down moderatly and leaves surprisingly nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of roasty malts, light maple syrup and a light nuttiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a roasty character to it, some dark fruit and a slight nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a light overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with bland flavors and aromas.

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Photo of pootz
2.2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On Tap:

Puts a transparent clear dark brown liquid in the glass. Weak head vanishes in a minute, weak lacing on the glass.

Aroma dominated with sweetness: sharp adjunct dextrins, light roastiness, hops undetectable.

Up front taste has some grains but is dominated again by adjunct sweetness, weak body, thin mouth feel, fast tasteless finish...no dryness just a touch of sweet and roast grain. Where are the hops?

Thin, weak, uninspired, poor representation of the style, Basically disappointing and pointless.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.87/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Style interpretation aside, at least Rickard's names their beers appropriately - the Red is red, and this is most certainly dark - but has Molson actually made a decent porter?

A single tallboy can picked up at the LCBO. Served at slightly warmer than fridge-temperature, Rickard's Dark pours (unsurprisingly) a dark brown colour; more or less opaque. The head is nice; light beige in colour, and a little more than a finger thick. Retention is ok, it lasts a few minutes before dissipating into a fine coat of lacing. Say what you will about their flavour, at least Rickard's beers look nice. The smell is of sweet roasted malts; also some vanilla extract, caramel, and the maple syrup boasted about on the can is apparent as well. Appealing, but not exactly anything too special for the style.

First thought - man this is a thin porter. Roasted dark/caramel malts are not just the dominant flavour - they are pretty much the only flavour. Maybe a bit of a bitter coffee grind thing going on in the finish, but it's very diluted and doesn't last. Slightly sweet-tasting overall. The maple syrup that was detectable on the nose is invisible until the beer has warmed a bit, and even then it's barely apparent. Light-bodied for the style, and slightly creamy. The carbonation level is also too high for my liking, but it's not like there are any complex flavours for it to interfere with.

The appearance and smell are the high points of this beer, which is typically not a good thing. The taste is alright, but bland and undeniably one-dimensional; frankly I expect more from a porter. Another underwhelming Molson product, I guess this is their answer to Keith's Dark, which is equally lame. Not going to pick this up again.

[Updated Oct. 20 2013]

OK I lied, I picked this up again. This is about as basic as a dark ale can get, and while the maple syrup is (in theory) supposed to be a draw for consumers, in practice it's barely detectable - in spite of the fact that the flavour profile is decidedly sweet. Drinkability is really the only thing Rickard's Dark has going for it, because it's completely uninteresting - like a sweeter Guinness without the nitro. I'm bumping the score slightly, since I was probably just a tad harsh last time, but this is still one of my least-favourite Rickard's offerings.

Final Grade: 2.87, a C.

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Photo of TerryW
2.53/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Boy there's a lot of Rickards to be had now. I guess Molsons is simply trying to nab some of the cachet belonging to emerging craft brewers in Ontario by whipping up faux versions of styles that are showing themselves to be popular. However, there's more to it than just grabbing the name of a style and printing up a new label. Sigh.

Like the rest of the Rickards this is a pretty bland brew. Doesn't have the presence of a proper porter. Weak kneed across the board in its aroma and flavour. Thin bodied. Just uninteresting, but not unpalatable. Meh.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.43/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fetched a bottle from a Rickards mixed pack along with a Blonde. I used to drink a fair quantity of Rickards and this was probably my favorite of the brood, a brew that satisfied my craving for dark beers long before I really knew anything about dark beers. Returning to it now was prompted by a semi-sober quaff at a Halloween party and my managing to recall that there were some mellow pleasant caramel flavors lurking in there. Pours a dark reddish brown that sorta evokes a porter, but really not much else about this beer does. Its a dark mild or brown ale. Evaluation solely on the basis of style guidelines is therefore unfair, although one can fault Molson for marketing the beer as something its not. Blonde at least lands in the German pilsener ballpark. Dark is pretty foamy, probably around three inches of light tan head, and has a thinnish watery body that clashes with one's expectations. Aroma is mild, I get roasted malt, light toffee, maybe a little fruit like baked apple. I do not smell or taste much in the way of maple, which is probably just as well. Palate is light caramel/toffee, along with dry nuts and a roasted bitterness like weak cold coffee and what I swear is a light fruity note, almost citrus in character. Hmmm. Could be hops. Has the malty tang that one gets from brown ales and yes, porters. I also get a little cardboard or some other papery notes, a signature Rickards off-flavor along with metal. Make no mistake, though, the whole package is downplayed and falls well short of robust. The pleasant lingering caramel that I recalled from the aforementioned party was indeed present again and is a redeeming feature. If you shed your expectations and view this as a mild or brown rather than a porter its not too bad, if a little unsophisticated.

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Photo of kjyost
1.7/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Ran out of homebrew at a BBQ, so someone passed me one of these. Claims to be a maple porter, sounds good. When all else fails I drink their white beer at bars that have no craft. Pours a dark brown with a moderate head that isn't lacing or lasting. Can't say I am surprised by that. The aroma is enjoyable enough a bit of sweetness there.

As for the taste? Unbalanced and cloying as fuck. Wow. Didn't see this coming. I guess maple means Aunt Jemima poured into a dark coloured beer that has no roasted or malt character. I can't tell if there is bitterness. Mrs. Butterworth is kicking the shit out of my mouth. There is nothing porter-like about the flavour. There is little maple, just cloying fake sweetness... This is horrible. I can't drink this after 5 bottles of oatmeal stout? My palate should be shot but instead I want to pour this all over shitty boxed pancake mix so it can meet its equivalent... Damn it. I finished it to be polite but I was contemplating kicking it over more than once.

Mouthfeel? Save the fact there is vomit mixed with the beer? Very strong carbonation. Drinkability? Take a guess.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from The Beer Store for $2.45 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark, murky brown color with 1.5 fingers of off-white head that doesn't linger. reddish hues in the beer with sparse lacing and few bubbles.

Smell - Not much, definitely not like many of the porters I've grown accustomed to. Some faint caramel and molasses aromas, but really there isn't much here. Fortunately no off-smells.

Taste - Decent flavor, nothing on some of the good English porters (looking at you Fuller's) but decent malty flavor with caramel and molasses again coming through. Not a ton of anything else, but maybe a bit of dark chocolate hidden in there as well. Not great for a porter but more acceptable for a mild or brown English Ale.

Mouthfeel - Here's the main reason why I think this is misclassified. While it does retain somewhat of a creamy and rich feel, it's far too watery to be a porter. Medium finish and surprisingly smooth, so while t actually has a good mouthfeel, it's really light for a porter.

Overall - More like a mild English ale, so keeping the style in mind this score is a bit lower than it would be otherwise. Not a bad beer, but not the most impressive from Rickard's and only fair as a porter.

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Photo of NightINgale
3.46/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear brown colour to the body, with an okay beige head. Good lacing and pretty decent head retention.

S - Caramel, a bit of dark chocolate, grain, and some nuttiness.

T - Starts out very grainy, with a fair amount of roasted barley notes, with hints of chocolate. Not very sweet. The finish is not very interesting, with some mild bitterness and lots of graininess.

M - Light-to-medium bodied. Some crispness from carbonation. Not that bad, but not very smooth either.

D - Pretty good. For the ABV, this is a very drinkable ale.

Overall, this is one of the better offerings from Rickard's line.

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Rickard's Dark from Molson Coors Canada
71 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.