1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alexander Keith's Dark Ale - Alexander Keith's

Not Rated.
Alexander Keith's Dark AleAlexander Keith's Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 2.66
pDev: 23.68%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alexander Keith's visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Previously known as 'Alexander Keith's Stag's Head Stout'.

(Beer added by: matt7215 on 11-17-2008)
View: Beers (17) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One of the more drinkable of their beers, though mediocre for a dark ale. Pours deep brown without any lasting head. Neutral to slightly malty aromas. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, it is sweetish to begin with, but carries a small yet harsh metallic finish. I would not seek this out again.

Serving type: can

02-13-2011 02:48:28 | More by Sammy
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

1.55/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Can: Poured a light black color with a small bubbly head with limited retention. Aroma of adjunct sweetness with limited character. Taste is also dominated by light sweetness originating from adjunct. Body is way too light with average carbonation. Bland, no character and too much adjunct makes this a bad beer.

Serving type: can

12-12-2010 03:01:23 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

2/5  rDev -24.8%

01-22-2012 01:13:32 | More by acurtis
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at one of the many proliferating local Canadiana-themed watering holes.

This beer appears a clear, very dark cola colour, with one finger of tight, thin creamy pale beige head, which leaves some decent webbed lace around the glass as it ebbs away. It smells faintly of roasted malt, and not much else. The taste is lightly toasted nutty malt, a bit of powdered chocolate, and faint weedy hops. The carbonation is moderate, though a bit prickly, which renders the body just short of smooth. It finishes off-dry, with some astringent nuttiness.

Definitely the best of the lot as far as this brewer is concerned. More of an English Brown Ale, and pretty plain all the same; still, I found this adequately drinkable. Huh.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 01:49:34 | More by biboergosum
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer looks as though it still belongs in the carboy; its caked surface is buzzing (literally, the sound is loud) with activity while it bubbles in a turbulent state of unrest (eventually, it exhausts itself nearly out of existence, leaving the perimeter and its frothy lace as vestiges). Both colour and complexion, true to name, are indeed dark.

Boy, is my face red - I really didn't expect this to have any roastiness or any perceivable authentic maltiness at all but, at least on first inspection, it sure does. And although the cloying, corny adjuncts (and that awfully reeking sweetness) come with warming, so too does a welcomed array of bruised dark fruits and just a trickle of flat coffee.

There are a number of flavours and, astonishingly, neither corn nor rice are among them (at least in no significant capacity). Coffee beans, really nutty milk chocolate, a touch molasses and crumbs of pumpernickel toast make for - far and away - the most palatable and, dare I say it for the first ever time, tastiest beer I've ever tried from Labatt's.

The beer has a good breath of that sooty roast normally found in coffee or Irish-style stouts and it lingers triumphantly on the aftertaste (a dryness that is infinitely more pleasing than synthetically sweet corn syrup). Drinkability is favourable; as its lower alcohol indicates, the beer is light bodied (in an appropriate, rather than watered down sense).

Am I really suppose to believe that brewing giant Alexander Keith's was really going for an English-style Dark Mild Ale when they set out to brew this? Is that really the demographic they set out to tap into? Or, more likely, was this a pathetic, emasculated attempt at a stout? If this is supposed to be a stout, then shame on them...

But if it was truly intended to be a mild-tasting, lighter-bodied dark ale then, where's my bib?, I will gladly eat my hat (and gladly wash it down with what's left in the can). I don't automatically dislike big breweries - I dislike that they pollute their beers with adjuncts, emasculate styles and value insipidness and mainstream appeal over integrity and quality. Those descriptions, however, would not describe this offering.

(*Note: The brewery did originally release this as their "Stag Head Stout" which, honestly, probably made for the most pitiful, unsatisfying stout ever. I, however, have opted to grade it as an ambiguous dark ale given that's how it's being sold now.)

Serving type: can

07-13-2010 20:39:40 | More by biegaman
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

2.3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whoa! Overcarbonation abounds as I poured this into my glass. The beer was very dark brown with clear chestnut edges. A dense beige cap formed, quickly falling and leaving a lot of clumpy lace on the glass. A thin layer of bubbles stuck around for quite a while. Malty aroma, a bit nutty, cola, sugary sweet, faint roast. The flavour and body were unfortunately thin, not light. The watery texture may have been partly due to copious off-gassing during the pour, leaving moderate to low carbonation behind. It was also a bit coarse, grainy, and dry, kind of astringent. The taste was comparable -- brown sugar sweetness and very low bitterness, not very appealing. After starting out relatively strong, this one ultimately disappointed.

Serving type: can

09-04-2010 01:45:14 | More by DrJay
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap.

Before I start this review I have to say that this is not an English Stout. Not even close. It looks like Alexander Keith's mislabelling is comtinuting with this offering. At least they changed the offical name of the beer from "Keith's Stout" to "Keith's Dark."

A - Poured a light to medium brown with a nice finger of cream-coloured head. Some visible carbonation. Not stout-like at all, but definitely somewhat dark, as advertised.

S - The nose is surprisingly interesting. Roasted malts with some sweet caramel. Enough to get me intrigued.

T - The taste is not as bold as the nose indicated. There is a solid roasted malt profile and some sweetness (caramel) in the background. A decent flavour profile.

M - Light body with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely not a stout-like mouth feel, but similar to many porters.

D - This is a half decent beer in comparison to most of the macro beer that is available on tap at regualr bars and restaurants in the Toronto area. I would order this again but only because the alternatives are so bad. Overall this is a decent beer but not a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 17:38:14 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

473ml Can

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with a large frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - light chocolate, malts, smoke

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste light amounts of malt, chocolate and coffee. There is also a lot of adjunct flavour going on.. corn, grains etc. The beer comes across as thin and sort of watery. It finishes with a grainy aftertaste with a touch of coffee/chocolate.

Overall – Well, the beer looked nice in the glass.. but the taste really ruins it. Perhaps with some modifications this could be a pretty decent brew. I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: can

08-25-2011 18:29:52 | More by spinrsx
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one in a bar that has a pretty lousy beer selection and I have to say that it wasn't bad. It is certainly an ale and a very dark one at that. Kinda tastes like a Schwarzbier in its roastyness. The beer has a decent mouthfeel and more flavour than I expected. A little too carbonated and not totally balanced but pretty drinakble and low in ABV to boot

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2010 01:27:50 | More by canucklehead
Photo of oldp0rt
oldp0rt

Quebec (Canada)

2/5  rDev -24.8%

11-24-2011 01:58:10 | More by oldp0rt
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

1.5/5  rDev -43.6%

09-09-2012 23:01:56 | More by Molson2000
Photo of DaPan
DaPan

Ontario (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -15.4%

02-14-2013 21:41:58 | More by DaPan
Photo of Howlader
Howlader

Alberta (Canada)

1/5  rDev -62.4%

07-20-2014 07:27:45 | More by Howlader
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap:

Tapped a dark brown small cap, weak lacing.

Aroma of roasted grains and sweetness.

Weak mouth feel...thin...sweet, far too sweet in an adjunct sweetness bad way...roastyness and coffee tastes are there but the weak body and mouth feel combined with the saccharine sweetness fouled this drink for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2010 19:41:08 | More by pootz
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark indeed. Rich, ruby red with a solid head of foam.

S - Dark sugars and roasted grain, dark fruit, and caramel with a hint of nuttiness.

T - Flavour is weak for the aroma. Some roast and toast, light fruit, and mild bitterness. Some sweetness as well.

M - Some astringency combined in with a light body.

D - OK drinker, but lacks serious punch.

Serving type: can

03-26-2010 01:19:24 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

2.7/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has an almost fully black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of roasty malts with faint hints of coffee and chocolate and a metallic note.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a roasty malt character to it with faint hints of coffee, not a whole lot going on.

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

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

Serving type: can

01-06-2012 20:45:39 | More by SebD
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Kudos to these guys for making such a fine looking beer. Great head, elegant lace, interesting to look at. After that just a regular macro style-rip ground out by the big boys trying to get a piece of the micro-styled market.

Some chalkiness and chocolate like you'd expect from the style, but understated. Thin mouthfeel. Slightly boozy nose without any of the other stuff you'd expect from a brew of this type.

Drinkable but uninspired. Too subdued.

Serving type: can

02-03-2010 00:34:10 | More by TerryW
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

2.5/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Whale and Ale in Kitchener. It was cheap Keith's night, thought I'd give it a go.

Started off well. Poured into a typical Keiths glass, nice and dark, almost like a porter. Tan head, good lacing.

The smell was okay, but not very noticable. A bit of chocolate and coffee, a slight cola effect in the back. Not bad though.

The taste is where it completely fell off the rails. Bland, bland, bland! One of the poorest dark ales I've had in a long time. Only a bit of chocolate and coffee at the very beginning, bitterness at the finish; the middle was watery and boring. It literally tastes like a dark regular Keiths, like they added some dark malts to a Keiths vat and hoped for the best. I could finish it, however, and it wasn't repugnant. High praise...

Mouthfeel was thin and watery. No real redeeming factors here.

Very poor effort; not worth bringing to Ontario. Dark ale for the masses, really. It's a shame too, because there are so many better dark ales brewed in Ontario, but this one will get all the attention in pubs.

Avoid.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2009 02:15:49 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev +3.4%

01-22-2013 21:17:13 | More by mick303
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -24.8%

01-16-2012 18:52:25 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Regular tall-boy can received as a gift along with a bunch of other brews. I guess I'm the first to review a can of this stuff.

Pours an opaque black cola colour with a rather impressive tan head, but that may just be because I screwed up and poured too quickly. Retention is decent. It seems pretty good, at least visually - unfortunately this is basically the high point.

The smell is non-descript; to be honest I can't really make out any specific odours. 'Malty' is the only adjective I can confidently use here. This is a very fitting prelude to the taste, because that's about the only flavour I could make out; roasted malts. Maybe a bit of a coffee after-taste, with a faintly bitter finish. Not repelling, but not very creative for a dark ale. The carbonation is surprisingly low - at least they did not try to use it to mask the lack of interesting flavours. It definitely has a watery mouthfeel for a stout.

It's quite drinkable, and I can see how this would seem interesting to someone who has never had anything more exotic than Keith's IPA. But in the end it's just a bland offering for the style. Dark ale for the masses? Yep - I hear you, JohnnyBarman. I won't go out of my way to buy this again.

Serving type: can

12-31-2009 01:50:11 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of ZachT
ZachT

British Columbia (Canada)

1.5/5  rDev -43.6%

10-10-2013 22:32:36 | More by ZachT
Photo of RedAleMan
RedAleMan

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev +12.8%

11-20-2011 21:12:27 | More by RedAleMan
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

2.48/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Pint can poured into a tulip glass in two parts.

Appearance is dark ruby red to dark brown with a huge three finger pillowy mocha head. Aroma is deep caramel sweetness with a little pale maltiness. Not much coffee or chocolate here. Flavor profile also starts with caramel sweetness. Slight bitter coffee, but the nuttiness of the caramel dominstes. No hop presence. Some light breadiness in there as well. A much lighter flavor profile than an average stout. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little cheey. Almost heavy compared with how the rest of the beer feels. Drinkability is pretty good. The flavors are light for a stout and the ABV is more than manageable.

Overall, this beer just doesn't come close to fulfilling my expectations of a stout. The flavors are too light and uninteresting. i don't hate this beer, but it is just not great in any respect.

Serving type: can

01-26-2010 01:22:20 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of ericj551
ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Keith's Dark pours a dark brown/black with a slightly off white head that fades quickly. The aroma is dry roasted and chocolate malt and some herbal bitterness. The flavor is dry with some nice roasted character with some burnt coffee and a mild astringency. There is a bit of mild graininess. I would guess that they are going for a Guinness type stout more than a mild, but it's decent beer overall. It's nothing special, but way better (and more bitter) than their IPA.

Serving type: can

05-23-2010 20:23:04 | More by ericj551
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Alexander Keith's Dark Ale from Alexander Keith's
66 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.