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Brains Dark - Brains

Not Rated.
Brains DarkBrains Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

34 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brains visit their website
United Kingdom (Wales)

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 12-10-2004

Once called Red Dragon the famous pint of Dark has always been synonymous with Brains particularly in Cardiff with the dock-workers of old, the male voice choirs and with rugby fans down in the Arms Park. Nowadays its popularity has expanded and is the biggest selling dark mild in Wales, continually winning awards both nationally and internationally.

'Dark' is treacle-coloured with a creamy contrasting head. A velvety smooth pint, Dark has a combination of chocolate, crystal and brown malts providing a clean palate with hints of liquorice and freshly ground coffee.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 18
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

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4/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.56/5  rDev +21%

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4/5  rDev +6.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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3/5  rDev -20.4%

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4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sommersb
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-27-2012
Freshness: Best by 06-30-2013
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received as a gift

First Welsh brew for me; a gift brought back from the UK by my brother...

A: Big and frothy tan head sits on the beer that is very dark brown, if not black, with some highlights of ruby. Features excellent head retention and a very pronounced lace.

S: Chocolate malts, dark breads and some molasses make up the aroma profile. Gives the impression of a sweetness to follow.

T: The taste starts with dark, roasted malts, with flavors of coffee and also bittersweet chocolate. Not sweet like the aroma hinted at, but is instead balanced between the malt sweetness and the bitterness of dark toasted malts and earthy hops.

M: Body is creamy, with a moderate level of carbonation. The finish has a coffee-like roasted grain bitterness and hints of sweet licorice. Mostly dry in the aftertaste.

O: Overall a clean and light-bodied brew; my bottle says 4.1% ABV, which is slightly higher than the draught version. Even so this has high drinkability and would make a good session or dinner beer.

Thanks to Billy for this one!

Photo of Viceroy
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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4/5  rDev +6.1%

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2/5  rDev -46.9%

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a pint glass in a pub in Cardiff.

Pours a black colour with a creamy off white head.

Smells dark and rich.

Tastes weak due to being cold, but is mostly malty and balanced, with a burnt aftertaste.

Overall a decent quaffable ale.

Photo of jrfehon33
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2012. ABV stated as 4.1%. The label makes no mention of mild, so I guess they've gone for a spot of rebranding.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark reddish-brown colour. Produces a massive head of creamy light-brown foam with great retention; it eventually reduces to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet, dark malt with notes of caramel, chocolate, vanilla and mild diacetyl.

Tastes of sweetish dark malt with a mild, dry finish. Notes of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and stewed hops. A subtle, leafy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, but feels a little thin. Somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of bitter, roasted malt.

Hmmmm, not bad. A pleasing blend of flavours makes this quite drinkable, although it doesn't stand out. Body could be a bit thicker/creamier. A decent dark ale for winter drinking.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.10% ABV bottle (500ml), not the 3.50% advertised on BA. This bottle had a whole month of its best before date remaining when I poured in into my Abbot Ale glass tankard, my current favourite tasting vessel.

This beer is called dark for a reason: it's dark! It's very dark actually and with a deep, full head of khaki/dark biege.

The smell was of dark chocolate and bits of coffee, earthy too.

The taste was also chocolate and coffee, no earth though. I also found some liquorice/fennel type flavours as the beer warmed in the mouth.

Easy to drink and on the sweetish side of British beer scene, this isn't a dry, bitter beer at all, just a very pleasant ale.

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4/5  rDev +6.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of atis
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, had it more than year ago and now entering notes from paper

Pours dark brown with large creamy off-white head that leaves patchy lacing. Aroma is rather moderate toasty dark malt.

Taste is rich toasted malt, presence of roasted, slowly drying finish and light hoppy aftertaste, seems to have a small presence of citrus as well. Medium with moderate carbonation, prickly sensation in the beginning of the glass.

It was a prefect brew after a long winter day trip in the Welsh countryside.

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served from a cask into a half pint glass in Cardiff, Wales. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a head of slight cream, decent thickness, and bad retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Very light caramel is all I detect.

T: Caramel, chocolate, coffee, and very light roast. A bit simple for the style, decently built, and badly balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Not too complementary of the flavour, unfortunately.

Dr: Drinkable enough, average ABV, great price, and decent quality. Try it, but don't expect much. It would be better if it were on-draught.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 3/4" mocha coloured head that left some lacing over black liquid.

S: Chocolate malt and yeast.

T: Bitter dark chocolate and coffee up front which transitions to toasted malt, licorice and some caramel. The aftertaste is very pleasant.

M: Thin viscosity and a low level of carbonation.

O: Very drinkable session ale that my father brought back for me on his trip to the UK. Reminds me of a schwarzbier.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chocolate-ruby with loose root beer type froth that's slow to fade. Big chocolate malt nose with some soil underneath. Chocolate truffle with some toffee and bark then kola and branch hops. Sour coffee grounds hit on the end and surprisingly bitter pine needle linger. Light to medium, fizzy, some stick.

Not many dark milds in bottle, so glad to find a tasty one. A little too lively and could be creamier. I hear Brains has a fiercely loyal following, and this is enough to make me curious about the rest of their range.

Note: Label shows 4.1% ABV

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a small tan head.
Nose shows cola, soft roasted malt, oats and toffee. Pretty nice, quite complex for the style!
Flavours show more roasted malt and oats. Again, nice and tasty. Gets a bit light on later, almost watery.
Body is too thin.

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Brains Dark from Brains
85 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.