Alexander Keith's Dark Ale - Alexander Keith's

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

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BA SCORE
69
poor

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 36
Hads: 69
rAvg: 2.74
pDev: 15.69%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: matt7215 on 11-17-2008

Previously known as 'Alexander Keith's Stag's Head Stout'.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 69
Photo of biboergosum
3.09/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
3.21/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Big tall boy can, why waste time on a grenade? Smells of roasted malts but not much hopping. Pours to a river in the iron range, translucent dark root beer color with a big foamy head. Upon tasting the first thing that stands out is that the mouthfeel is watery and thin. The taste starts with some well roasted malts then gets into a chaullky chocolate taste with a mild hoppiness and metallic finish. Tasty beer but indeed quite thin. The head however is durable and gains bonus points for appearance. Drinkable but not a standout. (533 characters)

Photo of ericj551
3.25/5  rDev +18.6%
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. (472 characters)

Photo of marty21
3.26/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a 1 finger tan head that settles to a thin cap for a bit but eventually stays as a ring around the glass. It left decent lacing on the glass.

S: Not a very strong smell but it's roasted malt and a little sweetness.

T: Pretty thin taste but I get roasted malt taste.

M: Medium carbonation with a light body.

D: If you're looking for a beer full of flavor look elsewhere. But when you're somewhere that basically only has macro choices it's a good way to go. (497 characters)

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sudsy mocha head impressive with three finger height and diminished only slightly leaving spotty, sticky lace. Opaque to my surprize, black, and smells like nutty milk chocolate with a bit of butter pecan. The look and smell of a porter is reinforced by the taste that features sharp roasted chocolate malts and toast. Moderately carbonated, there is a smooth, creamy texture. The finish gets a bit earthy and the aftertaste seemed to be not up to scratch, taking a bit away from an otherwise alright taste experience. The 4.1 ABV makes it good session material but as much as I thought it was tasty, I doubt I'd want to drink it all night.

Overall, I found the appearance and smell surprizingly positive but the taste a bit too sharp and the finish too abrupt with an earthy aftertaste that detracted from a better overall score, the finish was lacking with a burnt coffee kind of thud that did not blend well with the rest of the experience. Still, for a mass marketed beer, it's well worth a try and I liked it better than their more popular brand that they call an IPA. (1,075 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev +23.4%
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.) (2,444 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
3.4/5  rDev +24.1%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of prosper
3.58/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a dark reddish brown.

Smells faintly of malts and a whiff of fruity esters. No hops.

Taste is decent. It's definitely an ale, with some medium caramel flavours, fruity esters and perhaps a trace of something toasty/roasty. No hop presence to speak of - in aroma, flavour or bitterness.

Small-bodied and unremarkeable.

Overall, it's definitely a session beer, not a sipper. More interesting than your average on-tap offerings. (435 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.6/5  rDev +31.4%
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 (362 characters)

Photo of Aguirre
3.83/5  rDev +39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on draft while in Ontario for business this weekend. Looked inviting, with a nice creamy head. Smell was mostly roasted malts. Taste was very good, a nice thick flavorful ale, similar in some ways to draft Guinness, but without the ashy characteristic. This is a great beer to kick back during a sporting event or while chatting with some friends at the pub. Much better than other Alexander Keith's brews I tried this week. I'd drink this with regularity if it was in my area. (492 characters)

Photo of manutd5
3.97/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on-tap at the Lower Deck Pub. I may be bias in my opinion because I'm a HUGE Keith's fan... I liked it. Not my favorite Keith's mind you, but I did enjoy it. Had a Guinness look to it, but a hint of Keith's taste and it was not overly strong or thick. Nice beer. (273 characters)

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Alexander Keith's Dark Ale from Alexander Keith's
69 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.