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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: 99
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 12.75%
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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 99
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 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 DenisKolkin
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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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 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 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 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 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 decimator
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of Yeoman9459
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - dark brown, tan bubbly head that went away very quickly.

Smell - bit of coffee, bit of cherry, not too much going on.

Taste - isn't very much to speak of, tastes kind of ashy. Bit of coffee. Leaves a little coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel - light bodied, fairly carbonated.

Overall - not my favorite from the brewery, but not a terrible beer.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Regular-sized bottle from the LCBO; no production code given. Last reviewed December 2009 from a can - I have decided to go back and re-review a number of my very early submissions to this site, mostly to see if my original assessments are still relevant.

Pours an opaque, deep brown colour with copper highlights, topped with a little less than two fingers of puffy tan head. Decent retention, with a few rings of lacing around the edge of the glass as the volume drops with each sip. The aroma is enticing enough I guess but not particularly imaginative for the style - roasted malt sweetness, caramel with hints of baker's chocolate.

Approachable taste, but once again there is little nuance and nothing particularly creative about this brew's flavour. It is, however, nicely balanced between sweet and dry. Roasted malts and caramel/toffee sweetness are dominant early on in the sip, with a hint of dark chocolate and bitter coffee grounds toward the finish. Dryness and malty cocoa notes linger in the aftertaste. Light-bodied and rather watery for the style, but it is quite smooth and drinkable. Soft carbonation provides some slight prickliness on the tongue.

Final (adjusted) Grade: 3.08, a C+. This didn't blow me away when I was new to craft beer, so I'm not exactly surprised that I'm even less impressed with it now. Not a bad brew by any means, but a polite, underwhelming one that possesses no superlative traits with which to impress the average BA.

I sincerely doubt I'll get this again; twice is enough for me. There are many Ontario-made brown ales and dark beers I would recommend long before this one. Muskoka can (and has) done much better than this.

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Photo of rarbring
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of heebes
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of BGDrock
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
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

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Photo of karait95
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: the best characteristic of this beer, it is a dark brown beer with reddish hues, almost not translucent and with medium carbonation, head is big and dissipates not fast leaving some traces behind on the glass.

S: very faint toasted malts aroma nothing to remember .

T: almost the same as the smell, faint toasted malts flavor not much else.

M: sensations are little more intense, last ending with some bitterness.

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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 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 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 MattyV
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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