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Muskoka Dark Ale - Muskoka Brewery

Muskoka Dark AleMuskoka Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 11.78%


Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2001)
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Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 53 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DenisKolkin
DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

473 ml can from LCBO poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Dark nearly black beer pours out into pint glass. Some garnet hues in direct light other no light escapes. 1 finger creamy tan head is poured but dissipates quickly. Small soapy collar left over and stays a while.

Smell - Rich molasses, toffee and caramel jumbled up. Faints hints of smoke, which are more apparent from the can than the glass. Nice scents however a bit subdues (in the glass that is).

Taste- Quite a bold smokey flavor, the caramel and molasses sit way back on the taste buds whereas the smoke dominates here. Not a whole lot else here. Pleasant smoke flavor that is not overwhelming, but to be honest reminds me more of a really toned down rauchbier than anything else. Seeing as I wasn't a huge fan of rauchbiers means that this has only some appeal. As it warms though I get some more earthy notes coming through in the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly rich and creamy with a nondescript lingering sensation in the mouth means that I can neither rate this terribly high or low. Medium carbonation.

Overall - A good beer with a lot more smoke than I was expecting, but was not unpleasant, just a bit surprising. More than anything out of this exercise, I realize that I may need to revisit rauchbiers to redetermine if I am not a fan of them based on prior experience.

Serving type: can

10-10-2013 21:59:01 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.74/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: can

01-13-2013 00:29:18 | More by peensteen
Photo of decimator
decimator

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

473ml can poured into a pint glass. ABV 5%.

A - Poured a dark brown with a 1 cm light beige head. Head quickly vanished. No lacing.

S - Coffee, toasted bread. Light aroma overall.

T - Light toasted bread, some coffee, burnt notes in the aftertaste. As it warms there's some tartness in the finish.

M - Low carbonation, medium-light body, thin, dry finish.

O - Pretty plain for the style.

Serving type: can

07-27-2012 03:05:47 | More by decimator
Photo of slitherySOB
slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One thing I gotta mention about Muskoka brewery. They don't put their abv on the can. This beer pours a dark brown colour with a thick, two finger head. Smells of coffee, cherry, cocoa and brown toast. Tastes very malty, with a burnt coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, smooth and creamy. Overall, their are better beers for your money, but it's a decent session ale.

Serving type: can

07-12-2012 00:40:40 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The brew is dark brown, very dark, a quickly settling light tan head, leaving good lacing, some curtains.

The taste is ashes, burnt bread, coffee and soy sauce. A bit thin.

Starting with sweet brown bread crust, some soy sauce, a small coffee hint, some dark fruits.

Little carbonation, soft but watery, a small body, a dry finish.

This did not turn me on, a bit too simplistic.

Serving type: can

05-17-2012 16:56:49 | More by rarbring
Photo of heebes
heebes

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473 ml can.

Pours dark brown almost black with large frothy tan head. Nose is brown roasted malts, brown sugar, yeast. Taste is dark roasted malt bill, mild English style brown ale, light roast coffee. Drying mouthfeel, some bitterness medium bodied.
Overall a mild easy drinking brown that doesn't push boundaries. Decent try.

Serving type: can

03-02-2012 00:03:41 | More by heebes
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can to pint glass.

A - Dark brown, almost black with 3 fingers of bubbly, light brown head.

S - Dark roasted malts, a touch of cocoa and a slight bitterness.

T - Light roasted malt flavours, some dark caramel and a touch of coffee. Slight bitterness present throughout that is more present than the sweetness. The aftertaste is somewhat off-putting.

M - Light body, slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: can

02-21-2012 01:03:45 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of BGDrock
BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cracked this one open on a Friday night, finally relaxing...

Appearance: dark brown with a mocha head which fades very fast (poof!)

Aroma: big chocolate, light caramel, some cherries

Taste & Mouthfeel: sweet, lacking body (feels thin) with minimal carbonation; getting more of a fruity malt character than chocolate indicated by scent; there is a bit of chocolate, but it turns bitter and somewhat tart

Overall: expected much better; doesn't really fit the dictated style , and the flavour get tired pretty fast

Serving type: can

02-18-2012 01:21:18 | More by BGDrock
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Serving type: can

12-25-2011 23:07:32 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: can

12-13-2011 00:35:55 | More by tbeckett
Photo of MattyV
MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour a cola colour with ruby highlights, small light khaki head recedes to a thin cap.
Aroma's dominated by dark caramel malt producing aromas of toffee, nuts and coffee. Not overly complex but enjoyable.
Chocolate comes through in the taste, pairing with lightly roasted malt and coffee, leading to a lightly bitter finish.
Moderate body, feels slightly over-carbonated.
Decent English brown, not bad but will probably not revisit.

Serving type: can

11-24-2011 05:17:21 | More by MattyV
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Can from the LCBO, 473ml can with the new branding. Best before Feb 3, 2012 - although I don't believe black ink on a black can is the best idea. Into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, clear with some burgundy and mahogany highlights. Capped by a nice tan head, modest retention and a bit of lacing. Nose has some light caramel, nuts, a hint of chocolate and a bit of roast as well. Simple and effective for a brown. Taste has some roast, chocolate, subtler caramel sweetness. A bit metallic, a bit earthy and a touch harsh in the finish. Roast in the finish. Lighter medium body and easy drinkability, although not the most flavourful - a touch lackluster.

Serving type: can

11-02-2011 23:59:25 | More by liamt07
Photo of KickbacksSteve
KickbacksSteve

Florida

4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: can

09-20-2011 07:04:22 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: can

08-12-2011 01:36:17 | More by SebD
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml Can

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, breads/grains, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and the most noticeable flavours are malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also a fair amount of grain taste mixed with a bit of a smokiness. The beer finishes with a roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste.

Overall – Not sure I’d buy it again but it was pretty drinkable. With a little work this could be a really good beer. It’s a decent effort.

Serving type: can

05-02-2011 19:49:14 | More by spinrsx
Photo of KingHefey
KingHefey

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: can

02-14-2011 22:00:09 | More by KingHefey
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: can

12-26-2010 19:14:49 | More by TheHammer
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby-brown colour with white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Only hints of lacing on the glass. Smells nutty, some mild chocolate and hops with some toasted malt. Flavour is fairly sweet, though subtle. Smooth mouthfeel. Overall just an average brown ale, but nice enough that I'll have this from time to time.

Serving type: can

12-22-2010 04:53:12 | More by kwjd
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

473 ml can.

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, a bit of brown away from the light, darker than I expected, thin fizzy tan head forms and quickly fizzes down to a very thin ring, no lacing.

Smell is interesting, a bit of grainy malts, some biscuit, caramel, a touch of nuttiness, lightly roasty with a bit of chocolate, almost a woody/citrusy thing going on that feels a bit out of place.

Taste is a letdown, lightly malty, some sweetness, a bit of caramel, nutty, some biscuit, raisin, a touch of dark fruit, almost a lemony/orange kind of acidity, bland.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, a bit flat and thin. Watery and bland, not very good.

Serving type: can

09-07-2010 20:44:19 | More by Viggo
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: can

08-25-2010 04:01:41 | More by andrenaline
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The ale first appears dark and turbid but turns out to have piercing flashes of ruby and russet and its complexion is, in reality, perfectly clear (albeit not exactly transparent given the depth of its colour). Its head leaves whole parts of the surface exposed but those areas that are sheltered are safely concealed under a secure, thick-curtained foam.

If pale beers had aromas like this they'd be more highly regarded; astoundingly vivid notes of hazelnuts and pecans as well as smoky, singed malts and a powdering of dark cocoa make for a bouquet that turns one's mind, regardless of appetite, immediately to dessert. It's nutty, sweet, malty presence is hopefully just the trailer for things to come...

Yes and no - the beer's taste doesn't engage me so much as its bouquet although it, too, is respectably flavourful and appealing. The sweetness, toastiness and nuttiness are all played down as a lumbering bitterness rolls in and washes most of the toffee, coffee and pecan-pie flavours away. I would have preferred those flavours stick around longer.

For a brown ale fashioned in the English style, this has an awful lot of body relative to flavour. I'm not sure that it should have any less body, but rather maybe a more diverse malt profile? It is fairly tasteless considering how heavy-set the maltiness is. Some more nutty toffee might work; the sooty, coffee/cocoa-like dryness is a little short lived.

Muskoka Dark is way more appealing now than I remember it being years ago. The brewery has certainly improved on its core brands and even surprised us with a few worthwhile seasonals. While they've made respectable strides, there's still a ways to go before Muskoka becomes known for its beer rather than its vast wilderness and sparkling lakes.

Serving type: can

07-26-2010 02:31:46 | More by biegaman
Photo of cratez
cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

473ml can from the LCBO. Never seen this available before so I decided to grab it.

Pours dark amber brown with one finger of tan head that subsides to a thick cap. Smell is bread dough, roasted malt, brown sugar, and lightly floral hops. Taste is mild chocolate malt, some maple sweetness, caramel, hazelnuts, and a soapy hop bitterness. Kind of watery. Contrary to what the label says, I'm not detecting any coffee. Straightforward mouthfeel, carbonation is fairly high, almost sharp, detracts from the beer IMO. Good bite from the hops, subtle dryness to finish.

Muskoka makes a killer hefeweizen, but this is a run-of-the-mill beer. A mid-range brown in the Ontario market, not as lifeless as Amsterdam NB, not as good as Wellington County or Black Oak NB. Worth a try if you like the style.

Serving type: can

01-09-2010 15:13:13 | More by cratez
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: can

12-03-2009 00:25:34 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and not lacing. Aroma of caramel malt with notes of maple syrup. Taste is dryer then expected with clear notes of caramel malt and a maple finish. Body is a bit thin with good carbonation. Maple notes were surprising but overall a bit of a run of the mill beer.

Serving type: can

09-29-2009 02:09:22 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ludachris
ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: can

09-26-2009 01:33:29 | More by ludachris
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Muskoka Dark Ale from Muskoka Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.