Dark Corner (Black Cap) | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Corner (Black Cap)Dark Corner (Black Cap)
67 Ratings
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:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 49
Reviews by drxandy:
Photo of drxandy
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours into my glass a deep, dark cola brown with some haziness as well. A half inch of eggshell colored head appears and falls to a ring around the top of the glass. Aromas begin with somewhat toasted brown malts, brown sugar and caramel. Dark fruits are in there as well for sure. Not really any hops to speak of, this is all malt forward. Not too exciting.

First sip brings a sweet, somewhat bready caramelized toasted malt upfront. It rolls along with a strong brown sugar current along with a wave of dark fruit flavors that rush across the palate. Flows down with a lingering sweetness and no real hop presence whatsoever. Ends up being just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good malty chewiness. Goes down pretty easily. Overall, this just seems like a big, malty brown ale. Not a bad brew, but it doesn't really grab me either. A bit too sweet overall. Glad I checked it out but I won't be going back for more of this one.

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Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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 goast8127
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pmcadamis
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
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 danp14
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
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 tempest
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man, this is the first I've had in a long while that is just downright crazy. The hops in the nose a funny, but not always in a good way, there's a plastic element in with the fruity hops. The flavor is very complex and all over the place. From the malt there's touches of barleywine-like fruit and a hint of cocoa. Then the hops are big and American. Citrus, fruit rind, a little grassy and herbal, maybe even apricot and guava. I'll just same this is a damn fine beer but for an aroma that can't match the big flavor.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
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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Photo of CortexBomb
2.52/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pour is deep reddish brown with a light white head on top. Smell is sweetly malty, definite dark fruit edges...quite appealing.

The flavour is odd...exceptionally low key, it's as though none of the flavours want to come to the front of the class...I get some faint malt and grassy tones, and a touch of bitters to go with a very subdued roasted tone, but it's all largely lost in a chalky nothing swirl, the finish has some lingering alcohol effects...a very strange flavour which is not at all what I was expecting or hoping for.

The mouthfeel on this is decent given the style, a little thick, a few bitters, but nothing remarkable. The drinkability suffers because of the flavour.

The bottom line: Blandly abrasive...a strange pairing of words, but true. Most of this beer's character is subtle, but the overall package ended up grating against my mouth.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +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 emerge077
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label and package looks loosely based on titles from Frank Miller's Sin City. Cool noir comic on the six-pack.

Deep mahogany brown, foam measures one finger plus. Fine network of lace, the foam has staying power too.

Aroma is muted, and I don't get all that much out of it. Barely a hint of husky grain and slight twinge of alcohol. It develops mild sweetness as it warms. Not bad, just "eh".

Flavors of husky grain and malt. Not getting any accentuating hops, or much else to distinguish it. Lightly dry and earthy in the aftertaste. A little toastiness as it warms. Medium-to-full bodied, about the only thing that's good about this brew.

I first had this a week ago when I was getting over a head cold. At the time I was afraid I had temporarily lost my sense of smell and taste, but it turns out this is a pretty dull brown ale.

Edit: 8 months later, fresh approach. Very earthy roast, woody dark malts. Long finish. It's got more perceptible flavor this time around, so i'll bump the points up this time around.

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Photo of BierFan
3.44/5  rDev -8%
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 Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of HungarianCount
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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 StoutHunter
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
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 lurpy1
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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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4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of GbVDave
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a cloudy reddish-brown color with a tiny light tan head that quickly disappears to a faint skim that leaves no lace.

S: Interesting nose. Citrus hops, toasted malt, caramel, raisins, plums, and brown sugar.

T: The taste pretty much follows the smell and as it warms, it takes on a very nice roasty malt flavor.

M: Nice and spicy and roasty. Sweet middle leads into a bitter and roasted finish.

D: Didn't know what to expect from this one but it turned out quite nice the warmer it got. Quite drinkable...

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Photo of soupyman10
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in the mixed six-pack that also included the Corner Brewing Company version of this beer. That one was tasty, but this one knocks it out of the park. Pours a deep brown with some lighter amber highlights and two fingers of off-white head that leave solid lacing as the beer goes down. Nose is nicely balanced; lots of spicy dried fruits as well as a good dose of floral hops. Taste is likewise, only with a touch more kick. Lots of raisins, prunes, but also chocolate and caramel malt. This is one of the most balanced ASAs I've had, far superior to the much more bitter Corner version. Feel is medium to full bodied with solid carbonation. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Definitely will be grabbing another of these sixers if I can find one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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 OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
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 SupaCelt
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This thing pours a ruby sort of colour with a miniscule head that has no retention apart from a frothy ring. A few peninsulas of lace cling in the wake of drunken contents. The thing has a very interesting colour.

The nose is speckled with dark fruits and sugar. Quite nice to whiff. A bit of wine or cider character could be imagined. This smells old and sweet and crunchy. A pinch acrid but in a good way.

The taste is actually surprisingly laid back. I was expecting something much more blunt and punchy, but I guess this is poised at the lower end of the strong ale spectrum from an abv standpoint. Nice. All of the punch from this thing comes from flavour and not from alcohol. Bitterness blossoms as warming occurs. More molasses like tones come out in the warmer climate as well. It almost reminds me of an imperial nut brown or something. At any rate. Nice dark fruitiness. Some chalky tones. Nothing exceptional.

The mouthfeel seems somewhat thin. I guess my expectations have been challenged completely today.

The drinkability is fine. This just seems like a rather boring beer to me. It is well crafted, but as a style I don't generally see a need for strong ales. I like concrete definitions and concrete characteristics. That being said, this is a decent strong ale.

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Dark Corner (Black Cap) from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 67 ratings