Dark Corner (Black Cap) | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Corner (Black Cap)Dark Corner (Black Cap)

Brewed by:
Dark Horse 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 ypsifly on 06-30-2007

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 67
Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 4/20/11; 2011 release

A - Pours a murky brown with one finger of tan head.

S - Smell is mostly sweet caramel malts. Pleasant but pretty simple.

T - Taste is caramel malt up front, followed by a nice slightly bitter hop presence. Earthy roasted malts on the finish. Overall, the flavor comes together pretty well. Faint tea-like taste on the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation. Finish is a bit sticky.

O - Overall an enjoyable brew, but a bit too sweet.

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Photo of gustogasmic
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice quick copper head, matching the dark and slightly cloudy amber/red of the beer.

Smells like dry fruits, especially dates. A little yeast is detectable.

Oh, the mouthfeel. 'Quaff!' exclaims the Dark Horse mascot on the label. This is it- the beer froths up well in the mouth and remains refreshing.

That London Brown flavor- malty, refreshing, entirely subtle but appropriate hop leave. I prefer it to the ABC 'red cap' version (the 6 pack was split 3 and 3): although the ABC's flavors are more interesting, the start-to-finish balance of the Dark Horse makes it more enjoyable.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish color with a small off white to head. In the aroma, some mellow dark fruit. In the taste, a dry malt a note of dark fruit and alcohol. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry dark fruit aftertaste. Malty and nice notes of dark fruit.

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Photo of Biffster
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful deep copper brown, with ruby and amber highlights and a low but persistent tawny head with Belgian lace and some legs lingering on the sides of the glass.

It has a big and complex nose. Big toffee and caramel with a light chocolate aroma,with strawberry, melon and cherry present and a light touch of cinnamon. There is also bread dough and graham cracker in the back.

It is big and malty at the sip, with a doughy maltiness that quickly gives way to a dark chocolate, coffee and dark rye crust roastiness. There is plenty of fruity toasty and caramelly sweetness, but there is also a moderate hop flavor and a not inconsequential hop bitterness that emerges at the swallow and is accentuated by the smooth alcoholic warming, leaving a spicy, but not prickly, drying counter in the finish that counters the substantial malt at the swallow.

Its a moderately full bodied beer, creamy and filling, almost oily, but with a medium full carbonation that lightens the beer somewhat. It is slightly warming but not at all hot.

As a BJCP judge, I'm a bit flummoxed at how to judge this, but wow! What a full tasty and inviting brew. I'm guessing the one I manage to cellar for a year or two would make a nice Old Ale at some point. In the meantime, enjoy this as a compliment to a creamy dessert like cheesecake or creme brulee, or sip with roasted nuts and aged cheese. It could also hold up to pork loin or ham, or even spicy apple pie alamode. Or, just sit outside and enjoy the fall weather and a fire with it.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Partnership between Dark Horse and Arbor. This should be interesting. Like most of the Dark Horse stuff I've had, the one Ar bor I tried went directly to the sink. Suffice to say I took pains to make sure I got the Dark Horse branded one!

Lovely caramel color with one finger head. Smell is also a clear positive, mix of alcohol, bakery, barley, hop. Very good. Unfortunately the taste is not nearly as pronounced as it could be. A passable taste and certainly easily drinkable, especially for 7.5% ABV, but ultimately a bit on the weak side. Not bad more of a session beer, and well short of a great brew.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Copper brown ale when back lit sun with an off white to brown, thin head. Big biscuit and caramel in the noise with a solid hop--floral and spicy. Mouthfeel is light, almost watery, instead of the chewy I was hoping for when the bartender said it was an Imperial Brown Ale. Tastes like a buffed out Newcastle. Strong caramel on top of biscuit in taste. Smell and taste identical--simple and clean. Good in the heat, but I would be disappointed drinking this at home.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice pourability! Brew is dark purple with lots of brown and black. Head is fluffy nice light tan color.

S - WOW!!! Lots of grape/apple/ and cherry scent. AMAZING SCENT! Is there funk?

T - Slight "homebrew" flavor... Kind of off-putting. Very unique. Lots of big fruit flavor. Mild chocolate with lots of caramel. No sour funk that I was wishing for...

M - Slightly over carbonated... Medium body. Dry and airy.

O - Very unique brew! Super glad I got to try this one! A little bit incomplete, but a nice brew none-the-less. Thanks for the extra beerhan!

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Good russet color, signs of carbonation, minimal head that quickly vanishes into light lacing that doesn't last.

S: Caramel. Hops. Apples and pears. Some nutty scents.

T: Toasted malts. Fruits including apples, pears, and cherries. Caramel.

M: Carbonated pretty well. Good body.

Overall: Definitely a good beer, worth picking up a six pack of (though there will be three from Arbor Brewing). If they do this again next year, I will definitely pick up another six pack.

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Photo of dgugliuzza
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Pours brown with two fingers thick tan head. Frothy even head. Good head retention.

Smells of sweet malts and brown sugar. Hints of cherries and caramel. Very little hop presence. Herbal and nutty.

Tastes of sweet malts and caramel. Some cherry and toffee notes as well. Nice blend of sweet aromas. Finishes with a faint hop presence.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with a good amount of creaminess. It's a bit watery and under carbonated. Smooth and easy to drink. It serves as a refreshing brown ale.

Overall this is a sweet ale that nicely blends caramel, sweet malts and a bit of dark fruits. The malt dominates the body of the beer. There something to be desired here. Perhaps a bit more hops and a fuller mouthfeel. It's smooth easy drinking, but not quite bold or daring enough for a collaboration brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks to be a new batch of this with a new label. Thanks to jale for the bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with a light tan head. Good lacing and quite a bit of retention time. Thin cap throughout. The nose carries some roasted malt along with some dark fruits and cherries. The flavor is semi-sweet with a bit of roasted malt. There is some dark chocolate in the background, as well as a light cherry flavor. Dark fruits and a slight bit of alcohol. Medium body with low carbonation and a bit of booze in the finish. Pretty good. Thanks again, Jim.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of Dark Corner for $15.79 at The Lager Mill. I have been wanting to try this beer since I heard it was being released again but I thought I missed out on it so when I saw that the store just got some six packs in, I just had to grab one, even though it was a little pricey, I still had to have it. I am a bigger fan of Dark Horse so I am going to start off with their version. No visible freshness date but I know its the 2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter.

A- I really like the comic book like packaging of this beer, it is pretty cool and different, it really makes this beer stick out on the shelfs. It poured a dark brownish amber color that looks pretty nice when held up to the light. It also had a finger and a half worth of tan head that died down to a very small lump.

S- The first thing that I notice in the aroma is that is pretty malty and sweet. The malts seems to have a nice toast on them and imparts some brown sugar, molasses, and caramel aromas. There are also some aromas of plums, pears, apples along with a slight hint of alcohol and a light amount of floral hops that barely show up.

T- Just like the aroma, the flavor starts of with loads of toasted malts that have a fair amount of sweetness to them that makes for a brown sugar like taste. I wasn't expecting it to taste acidic, but it reminds me a little of apple cider or juice and it had a slight sour/tartness to it. The fruits from the aroma show up and lean more towards green apples with a little yeasty spices mixed in. The floral hops stuck out more then they did in the aroma and the finish has a real light subtle bitterness that seems to suit this beer. The alcohol is hidden well and barely noticeable.

M- Medium full bodied with medium light carbonation, this beer felt pretty carbonated but the head was lack luster and didn't have good retention.

Overall this was a good beer and much different then most American Strong Ales I have had, it seems like heavy malts is the only thing these beers in this style have in common. This beer isn't that drinkable but it makes for a good sipper yet it still hides its alcohol well but its just a little bit on the sweet side, I would like the sweetness to be toned down a little. For the price I don't think I will get another six pack this year but I won't rule out getting one if it is released again. I would recommend trying this if you can find, I don't think that many were distributed. I like it when 2 brewery's get together and show you the difference that one different ingredient can make, its pretty cool and I think it helps people get into distinguishing subtle flavors and differences. I wonder how arbor's version stacks up. Keep doing your thing Dark Horse, it is great to be different.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | 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 Duvel Tulip.

A- A normal pour created a 1-finger, tan head that drops pretty quickly to a light film. The murky, brown body displays a light carbonation. Spots are pretty sparse at first, though things tended to stick around a little more later on.

S- Sweet. Brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Some grassy hops. It all came off as almost cookie like. Maybe even more inviting during the Christmas/Winter Holiday season.

T- Deep flavors. Sweet malts come off as very a lot of brown sugar. Juicy hopping. More of that baking spice profile (cinnamon/ginger). Hops really come out in the finish after it had a chance to warm up a bit.

M- Rich and viscus. Lightly carbonated with just a hint of alcohol in the finish.

O- It's a good beer and a nice sipper. A little sweeter than the red, though very similar. I'd do this one again as a nightcap sort of beer when my sweet tooth is calling.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster. Note: Bottle has two men (a 'Jay and Silent Bob' type pairing) on the label with comic-book type font. That's what attracted me to the brew, as there was no information about what was inside on the label itself.

Appearance: Pours a very foggy dark-brown apple-cider color. Lots of cloudiness, almost 100% opaque. Head is fizzy as with a cola, and dies down to a very thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Light wisps of residual froth on the surface of the beer. Hmm.

Smell: A nice bouquet of fruits (apple, pear, plum, date) is the main focus here, it seems to me. Hops (if any) are floral, and there's a decently chewy malt character to the nose. Cinnamon/nutmeg-type flavors punctuate the bouquet with a spicy goodness. Slight pungent vibes from the alcohol add to the scent, making it very enticing.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer has a definite apple-cider vibe at first, with a gentle sourness. Then, all of a sudden, with the coming of carbonation, there's a tremendous outpouring of beautiful sweetness from a rich caramel malt and generous fruit contributions. Beer is surprisingly thick for the seemingly lackluster head. Bitterness is well-balanced, and the alcohol brings just the right amount of heat to this brew. Served at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it's just about perfect.

Overall: A surprise near-perfect...never would have thought, given the labeling, that this beer would taste as good as it does. But then again, there's that old saying about a book and its cover...

...on a serious note, I gently agitated the beer several times before opening, to ensure proper distribution of the malt settlement at the bottom of the bottle. I would strongly suggest this if you find yourself in possession of this particular brew, it makes for an AWESOME taster.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a new release, apparently in cooperation with Arbor Brewing.

Cloudy brown color with a thick fizzy tan head. Smell is very sweet with some light floral presence in the background. Taste is mostly sweet with an apple cider-ish flavor. Finish is slightly bitter but this is mostly thick and sweet, with lots of brown sugar and caramel-type flavors. Alcohol is not much of a factor at all, making this extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Dark brown pour, much darker than expected, light head. Some sweet malt, nut, slight red fruit in the nose. Flavor very similar, good amount of fine carbonation, a bit light bodied. Very smooth and drinkable. Reminded me of a schwarzbier more than a brown ale, which this is classified on some sites, or an American Strong. Worth trying if you come across it.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Murky brown glass sports a short lived head that gives up a little lace

S) Malty, dark roasted grain, rich sweet base, little leather

T) Malt driven with a sugary rich base, only enough hops to keep it from being cloy. A mild chocolate finish.

M) Low carbonation, dry finish

O) Very good taste, malty but clean with lots of depth. Worth a try.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Comes out a cloudy, medium-brown color with a thin, light-tan head that dissipated within a minute. I suspect this may be due to mine being an older bottle of the stuff. A fair amount of sediment is also visible.

S: Scents of sticky caramel, brown sugar, molasses and even a faint whiff of alcohol. Some toasty notes manage to poke through as well.

T: Sweet yet pleasant, with notes of dark fruit, toasted barley, brown sugar and some bready yeast. Sort of reminds me of a cross between a dark Belgian ale and a dark wheat beer. Interesting ideas going on here.

M: Good, solid medium body. Carbonation was a bit lacking, and indeed is my biggest gripe about this brew. Again, age may be a factor. Goes down smooth, if just a tad prickly, and the aftertaste is sweet an toasty.

D: Lack of carbonation hurts the drinkability a bit, but I still managed to enjoy it. Opens up nicely as it warms.

As I may have mentioned before, I admire breweries that try to mix things up a bit. This was certainly an intriguing idea from Corner and Dark Horse, but I'm sure this bottle would have been better fresh. As I hinted in my review of Lost Abbey's Judgment Day, the carbonation (or lack thereof) can truly make or break a beer, and I suspect that an old bottle is to blame here. In short, a good idea that I should have tried sooner.

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Photo of BierFan
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No abv or freshness date to be found on the bottle. Poured from a 12 ouncer into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy dark brown. Small light tan head doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Smells a bit like an old ale or Arrogant Bastard. Super dense and sweet caramel maltiness. Little bit of alcohol.

Taste: More big maltiness. A little bit of bitterness and citrus on the finish from the hops. I feel if this had more hop flavor it could really shine.

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Photo of drxandy
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes-
12oz to standard pint, pours a slight reddish brown with a nice tan head

smells of roasty malt, slight fruit, bitterness

taste is of caramel/chocolate malt, sweetness, roasty earth, fairly smooth, interesting to see the difference between the two brewers, slight subtle differences

mouthfeel is roasty, good carbonation, drinks nice

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky caramel with two fingers worth of light brown bubbly head that leave no lacing as it quickly dissipates. The nose is full of big caramel malts and chocolate brownie mix,reminds me of a toned down Doppelbock. This is centered around caramel and brown sugar mostly with hints of Cinnamon toast and oak barrel flavors. A medium body and sugary stickiness gives this a dessert feel. Dark Horse knows how to bring it, very flavorful and drinkable.

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Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep mahogany hue with a one finger frothy off white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a some dark fruit and a touch of red wine grapes. Some herbal hops were evident as well.

The taste was clean and consisted of some mild elements of raisin, grapes and prunes.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style, yet still rather robust.

Overall a complex and very user friendly strong ale.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a russet brown color with ruby highlights and a huge head that takes some time to settle down but leaves copious amounts of lace

Smell: Caramel coated apples with a hint of cherry cola; some earthy hop aromas, too

Taste: Up front, there is a fruity caramel and applesauce flavor with a spicy cinnamon element that builds by mid-palate, with some milk chocolate underneath; after the swallow, the fruity flavors take on an earthy, hoppy tone, but the finish is sweet, with a cherry cola element

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Lots of subtle flavors in this beer, although I wouldn't mind a darker malt element to the profile

Thanks, ipa2xs, for the opportunity

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SaucyA for this extra!! Poured into a goblet. Pours a murky brown with virtually no head. Looks oily. Taste is loaded with sweet, sugary malt. Some dark fruits dominate the aftertaste. Slick and oily mouthfeel. Similar to a dubbel for me. Drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A nice two finger reddish russet brown head forms over a murky dark-rhubarb brew. This beer looks different at different angles...reddish purple, brown, rusty-nail, and almost strawberry-cherry red near the edges where the light penetrates the most. The head doesn't stick around for very long, as it settles to a tiny tan cap within a minute. Only a small amount of wet lace sticks to the sides of the glass. The color, however, is mesmerizing.

S - Tootsie roll pops, cola, grape flavored sugary soda, and a big old oatmeal scone studded with raisins. This smells really sweet, like a doppelbock or something, but with a hint of autumn leaf notes that I usually only smell in old ales, oktoberfests, and altbiers.

T - Slightly hoppy and really earthy. This tastes like it's got a good deal of age on it. Murky well water mineral notes, and some nice malty chewy flavors are there, but this one really isn't' stunning me. The finish is a bitter-in-the-back-of the throat flavor that I don't much care for.

M - Silky smooth and velvety. Full bodied, buxom, and silken...like a curvy girl who takes care of her skin. At times, this can seem nearly flabby, but it's contained by the acerbic alcohol that tightens up the finish.

D - Not as good as any of the other Dark Horse offerings that I've had the privilege of enjoying, it's still a decent brew. I really wouldn't drink another one though, unless it was free....then I'd pretty much drink anything.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz Bottle. Subdued generic hop and malt aroma, bits of the West Coast and barley fields pop in. Pours a bronzed amber, gold on the out and brown on the in. Rim of white. Carbonation low. Flavor has develops way too much Crystal malt. There's a whole boat of burnt caramels, chocolate toffee and sickly sweet candies. Crystal comes much too forward. The hops fight amongst the Maillaird bitterness to wiggle in amongst the annals of fuming alcohols, shallow bitterness and tepid body. Not a well brewed brother to the other. One malt character dominates the beer, the body is too thin, and the hops play as only bitterness. Malt character minimal but some minerals find home in the background amongst the reeds and willows. Thanks Sean!

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Dark Corner (Black Cap) from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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