Vale Dark
McLaren Vale Beer Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
European Dark Lager
Ranked #70
Ranked #37,983
3.47 | pDev: 19.6%
McLaren Vale Beer Company
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 13 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Decko:
Photo of Decko
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddy brown in the glass. Malty aroma with coffee and then hops coming through. Pleasant sweetness with coffee and chocolatey sweetness with the hop slight bitterness coming after. Good level of carbonation. Overall a decent lager with the taste balancing out a bit better between the sweet maltiness and hops when it warmed a little in the glass. Enjoyed it but prefer a bit more body and flavour as in an ale.

 416 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased for me by @epiclurk from Beer Cartel in Artarmon.

Pours a pleasant deep bed colour, perfectly clear, and certainly dark when not held to the light. Head is large-bubbled and rather insubstantial. Decent lacing around the edge of the glass. Some heft to the body, and very moderated carbonation. Looks decent.

Nose is pleasantly balanced, with a surprisingly fresh hop character I wasn't expecting. This mingles with some fragrant European style malts to give a surprisingly uplifting aroma. Really quite nice.

Taste is also pleasantly balanced. Dark malts give some gravity and sweetness, which pings off a slightly fruity basis with some estery hops coming in late. Smooth toffee flavours come through mid-palate, but never add too much weight or sweetness. Slight metallic character is a bit of a distraction, but otherwise very pleasant.

It's mild, but it has some hidden interest and complexity I wasn't expecting. Certainly the best of the stable I've had so far.

 989 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burgundy colour, vivid scarlet up to the light. Head is creamy beige, not retaining well, just a mist on the top now, with decent lacing around the edges. Nice colour; would like a bit more head.

Smells quite malty. Dark, though, and sweet, with hints of chocolate, molasses, peanut butter and red grape skins. Hint of diacetyl at the back; I think if the aroma had more toastiness it might cover it. It's overall still quite toasty, but there's this stale sweetness that creeps in and makes itself uncomfortably at home.

Taste starts well, with a light toastiness that begins us in friendly territory. Develops nice earthy malt notes midway, with a touch of wood as well. Some spice and berries on the back, maybe blackberry, cinnamon and a hint of peanut to finish off. Yeah, nice light roastiness, bit of spice to keep the complexity up. Overall there's not quite enough to cover the slight over-sweetness, but it's decent enough, with a nice earthy finish that's cleansed by the lager yeast.

Fluid, but a bit of presence on the tongue. Mostly smooth. Very nice feel actually.

Thinking about similar styles on the Aussie market, I think the closest comparison to this beer would be Burleigh's Black Giraffe, and this holds its own compared with it. This is sweeter, and a little less 'exciting' in flavour, but nevertheless a smooth and palatable dark lager, and a pretty good gateway to dark beers.

 1,419 characters

Photo of pin
1.5/5  rDev -56.8%

Photo of Macca
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark ruby colour with a thin bright white head.

Dark malts on the nose and some hoppiness. A little bit of milk chocolate.

More hops on the palate than I was expecting. Some coffee and chocolate. Lighter than I expected but that's not a bad thing.

Medium bodied.

Not a bad dark lager.

 301 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Taphouse - listed on menu as American Dark Lager - could not find that style on BA

Pours mahogany with a one finger head, which subsides, leaving some lacing throughout.

Aromas of caramel and malts. Restrained.

Taste is as smell, plus a little sweet chocolate and more malts.

All of the above says not a lot, however, the Taphouse says 'easy drinking' and I concur - went down real quick as first beer of night.

 425 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A soapy, pale tan head rests on the dark amber body. Good lacing throughout.

S - Nice balance of aromas, barley, bread, grapes.

T - Quite malty with flavours of bread, coffee and caramel joined by sweet red grapes.

M - Moderate to full body for a lager, medium carbonation with a nice little bitter finish.

O - This is not a bad lager at all. A pleasant surprise.

 371 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SmashPants
4.24/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Format: standard brown 330mL bottle, semi-macro label with a touch of classic minimalism. Stylish.

Appearance: poured into a tulip glass - a lovely dark brown in colour with light ruby highlights. A creamy finger of off-white head hangs about for quite a time before dropping with good lace.

Aroma: plenty of caramel malts here, with some chocolate and a touch of raisins. Some hop aromas also in the background. Really rather fetching.

Taste: follows the nose, but with a bit more punch. Those lovely caramel malts up front again with the others backing up. Some bread malts come through here too. Fantastic.

Aftertaste: all flavours linger for a time before dropping away. Nice.

Mouth feel: moderate in feel with a moderate fine carbonation. The flavours are brought forward quite well. Quite smooth.

Overall: definitely a worthwhile Australian craft beer (something I don't get to say often enough). A great sessional dark lager that carries a myriad of good flavours, with a great feel and a decent price at AU$66 a case of 24 x 330mL. I'll definitely be enjoying this one again.

 1,089 characters

Photo of XsoldoutX
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of admiral
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Kroehny_Loves_Hops
2.5/5  rDev -28%

Photo of Stuckey_Stuckey
3.32/5  rDev -4.3%

Vale Dark from McLaren Vale Beer Company
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 13 ratings