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Muskoka Dark Ale - Muskoka Brewery

Not Rated.
Muskoka Dark AleMuskoka Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 100
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 17.1%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2001

You won't find an English-style brown ale quite like Muskoka Dark. Its bold colour, yet remarkably easy-going taste gives it a personality as unique as the region it's from. Subtle undertones characteristic of its Dark Munich malt ease into hints of chocolate and caramel, making this gold-medal winning ale as inviting as it is distinct. Thirsty yet?

15 IBU
View: Beers (22) | Events
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 100
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a mixed pack poured into a mug. I am immediately struck by how dark this brew is, a stout-level black with a gentle orange near the bottom of the glass and a light dusting of light brown bubbles. Aroma is rich and sweet, complex and smooth, with chocolate milk, raisins, lightly toasted nuts, and a faint tinge of smoke all apparent. Fortunately the flavor is almost as good, more chocolate milk and raisins along with some chocolate malt roast, light caramel ... Initial flavors are decidedly sweet but the finish is drier and earthy, with a faint metallic tingle and a ghost of red berry and coconut. Wonderful malt flavors that go for miles. Minimal hop flavor lets the malts shine. Moderate degree of carbonation and full-bodied. Starts a bit like a milk stout but goes to other nutty and toasted places. Another example of this brewery doing some nice work at the malt level, dessert or candy bar-like yet not overdone, more to my liking than some draft English browns in this country.

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Photo of KingHefey
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can at a local restaurant. A pleasant surprise opposed to the usual in house beers.

A: dark walnut appearance with one finger of head from the can. Great lace on the Muskoka pint glass as it went down the hatch.

S: chocolate and hazelnut with hint of vanilla at first and then the coffee fills your nose.

T: Malty dark chocolate with a nice hazelnut presence. Very biscuity. Then the subtle fruitiness kicked in with mostly raisins. Meanwhile, the coffee has never subdued.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with the slight carbonation and presence of hops that can be felt on the back of your tongue.

D: Bring it on! A very satisfying glass of beer. I always seem to walk right by the Muskoka line of beers, but not any more.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 ml can, no freshness date. Aroma is slightly nutty with a touch of caramel and mild malt sweetness, slight roast. Taste has a bit of a yoo-hoo quality to it (in a really good way, I love yoo-hoo). Slight chocolate, light roasted character, mild sweetness from malt. Actually a very easy to drink and flavorful brown. Nicely done.

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Photo of TheHammer
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark is right, I've seen stouts that aren't this dark as I can't see signs of carbonation in the body. Slight notes of ruby brown can be seen when the beer is held up against the light. Poured with a solid two fingers of head that produces decent lacing although seems to have a some slight issues with retention.

Smell: It has a bit of a woodsy smell in the background, which I can't say I mind. Roasted coffee dominates the nose with nice nuances of Hazelnuts and smoky malt. It does need a bit of warming to come out, but it's very nice regardless.

Taste: Ample smoky malt begins our journey through the woods as we find robust hazel and walnuts upon the path. As we continue towards the heart of the forest we strangely find coffee bushes which lead into a slightly peaty hop vines the bid us adieu.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth transitioning on this one a well served by the carbonation which sadly goes a bit flat around the 2/3 complete mark. The aftertaste is a pleasant and nicely muted nutty malt.

Drinkability: All in all pretty good. Being so dark you'd think it would be a bit heavier but it's a nice medium body. It's decently refreshing although I wouldn't have it for summer guzzling. Certainly a great early spring or late fall beer.

Final Thoughts: I found this offering to be quite good and nice all around. I don't normally find nutty beers as appealing as sweeter malt options in this style but this one pulled it off quite well. If you get stuck up in cottage country on a cold May 24, this will certainly warm you up.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very pleasant sweet, dark, British-styled ale.

Almost black in colour, it pours a very dark brown with beautiful red highlights. Pleasant level of carbonation results in a decent mouthfeel.

Aroma of both roasted and toasted dark malts is followed by a suitably complex but well-balanced malt-forward taste. Defined nut presence is understated, but there.

An excellent example of the style!

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Photo of leaddog
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark cola brown with a finger width of bubbly mocha white head.

Smell- Roasted malts, coffee bean, dark chocolate syrup, vanilla.

Taste- The roasted malts, and coffee upfront followed by cocoa and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall- A tasty English Brown by Muskoka. There are lots of robust roasted flavours from different sources that would make for an excellent autumn warmer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a thin creamy head. Lacing is pretty good, if a little sparse. The aroma is of chocolate malts, grains, and a moderate amount of spicey hops. The taste is equal parts barley husk, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Theres a little astringency that competes with the modest hopping. The finish is nutty and slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is light with smooth carbonation, maybe a little watery.

This is a good brown ale. Complex and very sessionable. Its worth a try.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

More BlackBerry tasting notes...

A - Pours a nice dark ruby red conlour, finger of off-white head, some retention and some slight lacing.

S - Scent is dominated by chocolate and espresso. Quite nice.

T - Much like the scent with chocolate and espresso with a bit of a black licorice finish. Rather unique and a pleasant surprise.

M - A little on the dry side but still pretty appetizing. Could drink this regulary, no problem.

D - I really enjoyed this offering. Had some tasty and unique flavours. The dryness was a bit of a turn-off, but the other aspects of it helped to enhance the experience.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber with thick off-white head and decent lacing.

The smell is malty chocolate and coffee.

The taste is malty caramel with strands of coffee and cocoa flavor running through it.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, but not too much, with an appealling slightly thick, but not overly so, blend of consistency, hard to pin down the consistancy exactly.

I found this a very drinkable brown ale and a good example of the style.

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Photo of peensteen
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown, some ruby lights here, one finger of tan head, good retention and lace. Smell is full of chocolate and roast, caramel, coffee with a bit of spicy earthy hops. Taste is also quite roasted, chcoolate, fairly upfront bitterness, earthy hop flavours and finishes with more coffee and roasted malt. Med-high carbonation, med body and a bit prickly. Really quite a nice brown ale that I could have multiples of in one sitting, a bit of an underated and quite drinkable brew.

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Photo of bobsy
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I liked this one. Very dark mahogany liquid and a bubbly tan head. I would have guessed it was a porter if I hadn't have know better, especially because it had a classic porter smell and the initial light fruity sharpness that I've come across in some porters. Full roasty flavours, with coffee and bitter cocoa. Fairly light bodied, and it could have done with a bit more of a heavier feel, but overall a winner. I definitely preferred this warm just below room temperature, as it coaxed out more of the roastiness.

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Photo of fostachild
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a fairly pitch dark colour. probably just the way the server poured it but there wasn't much head.

smell was nice, mostly a coffee aroma with a bit of chocolate.

taste was similar - chocolate, and coffee/roasted beans. malt was also noticeable which was nice. .

overall pretty enjoyable brown ale, good carbonation and drinkability - really liked it.

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 355 mL bottle into a pint glass.

1-finger head over an extremely dark, opaque black-brown. Lamplight couldn't be seen through it.

The head smelled nice, with nutty aromas and other sweet smells characteristic of this style. After it settled, these faded away to just some metallic scent. Given some more time, though, the nice aromas returned. Cocoa, chocolate, coffee-like.

Taste: a rich, coffee taste with the right amount of moderate bitterness. Roasty. Pretty good overall taste.

Only mild to moderate carbonation.

Overall, a good beer that I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of SebD
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark colour to it. It has a nice beige head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and coffee.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a roasty/chocolaty feel to it with some coffee notes and a bit of caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice sweetness to it.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

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Photo of pootz
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Deep Chestnut brown with read highlights...ample frothy mocha cap.

Very pungent aromas of malt cocoa and grassy hops.

Malty up front, good balance in the middle with some Golding "bite" some complexity with a deep cocoa tone to it.

A very decent dark ale. Mellow tastey and drinkable

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a ruby hue. Creamy and bubbly foam head that quickly recedes to a ring around the glass.

S: Roasted malt (primarily dark chocolate with some dark coffee), caramel, licorice, and almonds.

T: Similar to aroma with roasted flavours coming through in the form of dark roasted coffee and a bit of dark chocolate. Nuts, caramel, and a healthy amount of tangy bitter floral-like hops.

M: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Pleasingly creamy and dry.

D: Quite a tasty brown ale that I would gladly drink again. Hats off to Muskoka Brewery for continuing to produce some quality products.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - nearly pitch black, thumb of head dissipated to a thin covering with decent lacing
S - big roasty notes, mild chocolate, nutty and light grain
T - roasty malt and cola flavours up front, light nutty, a touch of grassy hops, and some light chocolate
M - too much on the light side for the style, fairly big carbonation, thin through the finish
O - a decent brown ale, good flavour mix but just lacking just a little something, but as part of a Muskoka 12 mixer not a bad option

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a few cans of this at a brewery tasting. Pours a dark, porter-like hue, tan head, lots of lacing and the head maintains its integrity throughout.

The smell isn't bad, coffee (almost like a latte), a bit of chocolate, but not much else. Not unpleasant, just a bit weak.

The beer is quite drinkable, with all the usual brown ale suspects involved, but is a bit weak. Still, very tasty, and certainly preferable to other dark ales out there.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but watery near the finish.

All in all a solid brown, but there are better local darks out there (Hockley, F&M, etc.). Not bad though, and certainly drinkable.

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Photo of ludachris
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep honey brown with ruby red highlights. Two fingers of slightly off white head emerge after an aggressive pour. Good retention and decent lacing.

Dark fruits, roasted malts, cocoa and toffee dominate the nose.

Fruity esters/dark fruits, clean roasted malt, and cocoa up front with a wet, metallic like finish. If they got rid of the metallic aspect of this beer, it would have been much tastier.

Smooth, but thin and watery with a wet finish. Nothing special.

Overall, a decent English Brown Ale. The dark fruits and roasted malts were delicious but the metallic aftertaste really didn't balance out well. Don't think I'd buy another one of these, although it does sit on the better side of English Brown Ales I've had.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a Beer Store in Kanata, Ontario, and brought it back to San Jose, CA.

It's a good ale, nothing more, nothing less. Poured a dark brown with a frothy white foam in my shaker glass, with some decent lacing on the glass. Slight aroma of bitter chocolate. Flavor is a rich, bitter chocolate with a slight sour note underneath and little hops to speak of. Slightly tingly, yey creamy in the mouthfeel department. The slightly sour note, that seems a bit off doesn't help in the drinkability, but was nice to quench my thirst on a warm afternoon.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Time to round out the last of the taps at my hotel for the end of my fortnight stay in T.O.

This beer pours a very, very dark reddish brown colour, with slight mahogany edges, and two fingers of foamy, soapy beige head, which leaves a small drooping ring of lace as it genially recedes.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, some bittersweet chocolate, a soft indistinct nuttiness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is sweet roasted malt, a touch of rye breadiness, some restrained sour lactic notes, ethereal milk chocolate, and faint earthy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and unobtrusive, the body on the lee side of medium weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the roasted character taking charge.

Not a bad dark Canuck ale, but still fairly plain and unassuming, after the promising initial outlook. Something to mindlessly sip away on while otherwise occupied.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 20/9/12

A dark cola with a reddish glow in the light with enough clarity to see that the liquids full of bubbles, light mocha heads a solid thumbs width and has decent retention and leaves some random lace

S chocolate milk and a little nutty toffee and some smoked meat, smells OK but a little faint

T some fruity notes on top of what I smell, I can't quite pick it out though, much like the nose the flavors decent but a little faint

M a little thin but the bubbles give it some life, I think there might be more flavor on the finish then while drinking it

O nothing wrong with this one but no reason to remember it either, just a little faint but what it has is decent

I wouldn't go looking for this but I'm not upset there's two more in my mixed pack

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Photo of tbeckett
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with ruby edges. Two fingers of deliciously creamy beige head. Good rings of lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Quite roasty with semi-sweet chocolate and a tad bit of coffee.

T - Roasty, dark malts, some cola.

M - Well carbonated, medium body with some creaminess and a sweet finish.

O/D - Pretty solid. Something I'd bring to a party and slug down, but nothing I'd admire for it's quality. Good.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark reddish-brown. Tan head has great staying power. Lacings are good and sticky. Lively carbonation is a bit of a turn-off.

Mostly just nondescript chocolate on the nose, not particularly complex, but by no means off-putting.

Chocolate comes through first. Carbonation kicks up some light fruit flavours. Roasty earthiness picks up in the finish and leaves a lasting bitterness.

Just a touch less carbonation would be nice.

Not a bad beer. Good flavour packed in there and it all slots together pretty well.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a half finger head - big bubbles - impenetrable black coffee colour

S - chocolatey, malt, hint of vanilla

T - some light chocolate and molasses notes - a little biscuity, coffee in the end, wisp of vanilla

M - light body with high carbonation - a little creamy and slightly bitter on the middle of the tongue

O - very drinkable - not the head of the class but not half bad either - it has the makings of a top notch beer with some tweaking (i.e. bolder smell and taste - it is a little subdued)

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Muskoka Dark Ale from Muskoka Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.