Dark Corner (Red Cap) | Arbor Brewing Company

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Dark Corner (Red Cap)Dark Corner (Red Cap)
23 Ratings
Dark Corner (Red Cap)Dark Corner (Red Cap)

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by soupyman10 on 07-15-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of goast8127
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of joe1510
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle
$1.69 Single
Siciliano’s, Grand Rapids

Damn! Dark Corner is about as close to being a gusher as you can get without actually being one. As I cracked the cap the foam rose to the top of the bottle but without overflowing. On the pour 3/4 of the glass ended up being thick craggy beige foam. That eventually died down enough to complete the pour. The body was a semi-hazy copper.

The aroma isn’t all that inviting. There seems to be way to much earthiness, by erthiness I mean the aroma of dirt, in this beer. Once you get past the earthiness, which is hard to do, there’s a solid dose of caramel and a dash of citric hoppiness on the backend.

Unfortunately, the taste isn’t much of an improvement on the smell. Caramel and a citrusy (orange and lemon) hop sweetness come through but the dirtyness is still there. If that dirtyness wasn’t there this would be a decent brew but as is it’s pretty disappointing.

Not only is this brew a dissapointment in the body and flavor but there’s way too much carbonation present. Too prickly and thin. This is just not an enjoyable beer. I would call this an IPA, although there is a big helping of caramel, if that dirtyness wasn’t involved. Not something I want to drink anymore. This is a complete let down.

I’ve never sampled anything from Corner Brewery before but when I saw Dark Horse and Corner brewery each brewed the same recipe at each brewery I couldn’t wait to try it. Hopefully Dark Horse’s version is better but we’ll see.

Reviewed: 1/12/08

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Photo of jduprey007
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of adamant1912
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of amphion1065
2.71/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, an extra in a trade from Shumista. Reviewed from notes.

Pours pitch black, with almost not visible carbonation. Not even a wisp of a head on this beer, and consequently no lacing.

The smell is very malty. I'm mostly picking up chocolate, though there's another source of sweetness I can't quite put my finger on.

The taste follows closely on the smell. Big notes of milk chocolate. I'm really not getting too much else off of this beer.

Carbonation is quite low, and the mouthfeel is very, very still. The stagnancy isn't helping this beer.

I know that "American Strong Ale" is a sort of catchall style, but even still I'm not sure this quite fits. In any event, not a very memorable beer for me.

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Photo of lnashsig
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Many thanks to GordianKnot for the chance to taste this. Always down to taste a collaboration brew- this one from Dark Horse Brewery and Arbor Brewing. Some Michigan love is in this bottle! Poured from bottle into my Brooklyn tulip. Uh oh. This looks like dark, dirty rainwater. No head, no retention. Cloud, murky brownish color. Not appealing. Smell- caramel malt, some astringent aroma, alcohol. Other than that, not much. Taste- liquorice, caramel, some off putting astringent flavors. There aren't many redeeming qualities here, I'm not impressed. Pretty unpleasant. Oh well, glad to try it anyway.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from my Bro-in-Law over the 4th of July...LUV U BRO!!!!

The appearance of the Arbor Brewery Dark Corner was a cloudy darker amber. Not alot of carbonation and thin white heat. The smell is dominated by Malt....so was the taste....deinite sweetness and malt....and hints of coffee/espresso. The hig ABV causes apprehension on sessioning.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Visible carbonation, and head, though it declines rapidly into lacing.

S: Pears/apples. Faint caramel.

T: Toasted malts. Pears/cherries/apples, some caramel flavor.

M: Carbonated. Malty.

Overall: I am usually biased towards Arbor Brewing since I volunteer at Corner Brewery whenever possible. However, I find myself preferring Dark Horse's version of this beer more, though this one is still decent. AB's just doesn't seem to have as much flavor or smell, which is a disappointment.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks as always to semibaked for this one. poured into a crate & barrel tulip, this one has an interestingly murky hazelnut brown with turgid yellow highlights. looks like the mississippi in st. louis. A thin bubbly head is coaxed out with a generous pour which fades quickly and deposits minimal lacing.

aroma is pungently malty with toffee, caramel, and nuts. there's a definite toasted english malt presence that I personally don't find appealing... and it's pungent here. crackers, a hint of must. interesting.

whoah. the taste is surprisingly different... which is a good thing. burnt caramel, toasted almonds, dark cherries, hints of red apple. subtle hops lend an herbal undertone in the finish which is surprisingly clean. Lighter in flavor than I'd anticipated, but undeniably quaffable.

mouth is moderate body lightened with some subtle but present carbonation. I'm not sure it's close to flat - just more delicate than most carbonation, which is interesting. feels light, with a lingering dryness in the finish.

All in all, an interesting offering that I'm liking on the whole. It's lighter in both body and intensity than I was expecting, but that just makes me wish I had more than a bottle of it. If this score was still drinkability, I'd give it pretty dang high score. The flavor, the lightness, and the low alcohol presence makes it a winner in my book.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.01/5  rDev +13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of Dark Corner for $15.79 at The Lager Mill. I just tried Dark Horse's version and I thought it was good and I decided to try arbors version next so I can get a good idea on how the two compare. 2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter.

A- I already noted that the label was cool but I also thought the comic on the six pack holder was pretty cool and well done, I am a fan of the comic book theme. It poured a slightly hazy brownish color, that is slightly browner then the black cap. It also poured a weak finger and half worth of tan off white head that died down to a very thin ring.

S- The toasted caramel malts show up first that smells more toasted then the black cap. The roasted aroma this beer has sets it apart from the black cap and impart some nice toffee, caramel, coffee, and chocolate aromas. It has some sweetness in the aroma but not as sweet as the black cap and has the same fruit aroma but this one is heavier on the darker fruits. There is also no presence of alcohol like there was on the black cap. Some of the aroma of this beer are kinda of Saison like which is pretty unique for a brew like this.

T- Lots of roasted caramel malts come through that have some great toasted flavors to them, all the roasted aromas I detected made its way to flavor but they don't stick out as much and are much more subtle. In the middle I pick up the fruits, just like the black cap the fruits take on a more tart green apple like taste, I kind of like the slightly tart and sour flavor both dark corners have and in this beer it came together like a Saison mixed with a black ale, I haven't had a beer with this flavor profile before, I like it. The finish was slightly hoppy with a light tobacco like flavor on the finish that was more acidic then bitter. There was a very slight amount of alcohol that was hidden better then the black cap.

M- Medium full bodied with weak carbonation, it was dangerously close to being flat, which is not cool. It had the same body as black cap but black cap had better carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good, unique tasting beer. All in all I have to say I enjoyed Arbors version more then Dark Horse's. As a brewery I like Dark Horse much more then Arbor, so I figured that I would like the black cap more, but that wasn't the case at all and Arbor the underdog came out as the best of the two. I like the the deep roasted flavors of the red cap, mixed with the fruity acidic sourness that made for a truly unique and good tasting brew. My only beef with this beer was the carbonation, both versions were lacking but the red cap had the least amount, more carbonation for both of these brews would be a nice improvement. I think I will save the other ones I have and see what a little bit of age does to them, I am thinking they will get more sour. After trying the red cap, I am pretty sure I will get a six pack if this is released again, but it is pretty pricey. If you see a six pack grab it, it is cool to see what the differences of yeast can do to a brew, it's a great learning experience. This is the first time I have seen two Michigan brewery's collaborate together on the beer and I hope to see much more of this as I see it as a very good thing when two different brewery's can come together and share and combine ideas, maybe on day we can get a Michigan mixed 12 pack, similar to what they did in Ohio. Good job Arbor, I may have to make some room for you guys in my fridge, the best beer I have had from them.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a muddy brown color without much head. The smell is mostly sweet with strong hints of caramel and toffee. Taste is sweet with hints of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, and peanut butter. Very easy to drink without much alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is light and foamy.

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Photo of LuthersLager
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

interesting, almost a blend between a Saison/Farmhouse ale and an American Brown ale. The standout feature is the tartness you expect in a Saison/Farmhouse ale in the finish. But the color is that of a Brown Ale. And as other have mentioned there is a brown sugar flavor and dry finish.

Comparison - maybe a blend of Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere with New Castle.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Corner is back. Shout out to the Copper Vine for stocking this one. Did a side-by-side of both versions for another Michigan NBS.

Bottle poured into a Lion tulip.

A- A normal pour left a 1-finger, tan head (a little lighter than the black cap) that dropped to a film. The murky, brown body had very light carbonation peeking through. The sticky spots were really good and more ring-like.

S- Rich and fruity at first. Fresh berries kind of melded into more of dark, stewed stone fruits with some warmth. Warmth also brought more of a brown sugar aroma. Tobacco-like hopping. Hops along with a smooth, leathery quality make me want to retire to the study and crack open a first edition.

T- Malty goodness. At first, brown sugar and more fruitiness as the aroma suggests. Hops came through in the finish with a tobacco-like burst. Rich and flavorful with little trace of any ABV. The finish became maltier with warmth. Really rustic and inviting.

M- Light carbonation verging on a little flat at first. A little warmth seems to improve the feel. Very well hidden ABV.

O- A good drinker. It's a little more nuanced than the Black Cap. Seems more sophisticate in a way, while still very similar. A really good sipper. Seems to fit this gloomy, spring day.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy brown into my Darkness snifter. A little less than a fingers worth of off white head. A scant amount of lacing remains. Straight out. This beer is far from anything fancy. The overall feel I get from everything, taste/smell is ice tea with a hint of nut. The color even resembles it. The carbonation is dialed right in. I think it's a descent beer but nothing ground breaking. I would certainly drink another.

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Photo of silentjay
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

un-retired. I think its a new recipe as well.

pours a very murky, muddy brown with a spattering of khaki head that leaves a tad of lacing.

roasty aroma with toffee, chocolate, and lots of nuts. like a roastier english nut-brown ale.

flavor starts out with milk-chocolate covered hazelnuts, a touch of roast, coffee, some sticky sweetness, a bit of butterscotch, toffee... meh.

very sticky sweet with little carbonation and a syrupy feel left after the swallow.

meh. alcohol is well integrated, but overall, this one lacks anything that would entice me to revisit it.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Fall 2007.

Poured a clear brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted sweet malt and hoppy aroma. Medium body. Solid balanced toasted flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good complex brew.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz Bottle. Fantastic aroma of rich hop cones, candied strawberries and old balsamic. A wonderful amalgam of hops, creamy malt and fruit character. A real Barleywine beckoning. Bright, fresh and alive. A little of the ABC signature hay and animal note creeps in. Pours a pale mahogany edged in tawny gold and crowned with a tremendous half rocky, half cream soaped, tinted with a faint bit of henna. Flavor finds a noticeable coffee character amongst a less distinguished profile, there's rustic, woody earth and grain, with some faint old world spice and a hint of floral qualities. There's alcohol and yeast that fermented too warm. Seems well attenuated, yet somehow thin, with not enough chewiness and full texture. The smack is a little greasy and ridden with some cloying sugars, puckering yeast byproducts and lots of nutty residuals. Some peanut character. A bitter smack and bits of mineral. Thanks Sean!

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Photo of letsgopens
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed a pint of this ASA on-tap at Arbor Brewing over the summer and just found the lost notebook that contained the review. It pours a medium brown/ruby with some amber highlights. The creamy pearl head fades a bit but holds well at a nice frothy cap. Nice walls of lace.

The aroma is light and fruity with some sizable malt tones. A hint of toastiness with toffee and a slightly bready character. Some more good honey and citrus rounds out some sweetness.

Sweet and malty with lots of fruit initially: cider and citrus. Lots of hops come out in the finish; bitter and citrusy. Semidry with a yeasty/starchy quality in the finish.

Smooth and tangy with some refreshing character that finishes dry and leaves a bit of a lingering, filmy texture on the tongue. Still pleasurable though.

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Photo of Higravity
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a take on your standard brown ale that Xhibt has gone and pimped. The look is a nice semi-cloudy brown that wears a good white cap. The smell can be caught from a distance off, it shines with load citrus hop and sweet caramelized and toffee malt and touch of sugar trimmed out with alcohol. The taste is a deft and complex mix of sweet toffee and subtle chocolate that is followed with a quick sweet bittering of the hops before the after taste blooms making you want another sip. The only thing this beer suffers from is a little overcarbonation.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown color. Head is about a finger of white foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Nose is strong on sweet, chocolate, caramel malt. Appealing, although not that complex. Taste is unique. First there's a fair amount of stout-like roasted malt. Some light coffee, chocolate. The malt passes smoothly into some fairly strong hops at the end, that linger in the after-taste. A fairly bitter beer. This one's a very odd beer; almost like a cross between a stout and an IPA. This one seems to only come in the sixer with the other Dark Corner, made by Dark Horse (also, gotta say it's an interesting idea for breweries to collaborate). This one's more bitter than the Dark Horse brew, although I think I like the complexity of the DH more, which is also more balanced. I'd still throw a few of these back though.

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Dark Corner (Red Cap) from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 23 ratings