Dark & Handsome | Box Steam Brewery

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83
good
73 Ratings
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Dark & HandsomeDark & Handsome
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Box Steam Brewery
England, United Kingdom
boxsteambrewery.com

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 12-19-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
73
Reviews:
36
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
12.05%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle served cold into glassware. Purchased from LCBO for $3.95 CDN. Best before February 2015.

Appearance - dark molasses in color, this beer yielded about a finger of off-white head this dissolved into a thin wispy layer of froth. Some lacing stays on the sides of the glass. The beer is quite dark but no quite so dark that you can't see into it, even giving a ruby hue in certain light.

Smell - aromatics are not particularly bold when cold. Sort of a coffee and licorise medley and dark fruit. Improves with warming.

Taste - there's some coffee which transitions into a lite black licorise flavor. Maybe so,e dark fruits in there but they're rather subdued. Licorise on the aftertaste and a bit of chocolate throughout.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated but the body feels too thin to be an old ale and doesn't coat the palate enough to do the black licorise flavor justice.

Overall - an lighter and interesting take on an old ale. It's certainly pretty drinkable and fairly innovative however the execution just doesn't quite live up to the ambitious pretence. Still worth trying especially for those enjoying licorise.

 1,132 characters

Photo of DaveBar
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for just around $3.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 5deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well pours with no head. Dark.

S- Saving grace here. Chocolate and malt

T- Malt and chocolate.

M- Dry and tart

O- Pretty good but I still will not buy again

Food Pairing

This ok beer paired well with... Pizza

Enjoy

 324 characters

Photo of Bf_89
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mremoquillo
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mick303
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - dark brown colour, decent film and lacing.
S - cocoa, licorice, leafy and spicy hops, dark malts, fair bit of roastiness. A bit woody and spirituous.
T - mild, with plenty of dark and roasty chocolate malt, smooth dark licorice blackcurrent caramel notes, dry finish, grainy with an oily and bready mix.
M - lot of balanced malt but a smooth and moderate feel, slight carbonation, and a clinging aftertaste, a bit cloying and not overall as great as it could be.
Good beer, nice flavour but not something that blows me away, I like the mix of cocoa and licorice and roasty malts. Bitterness is at a good level.

 615 characters

Photo of DamageCase76
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of dansmcd
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Ale?
Surely this is a mild.
Not only a mild but one of the best milds I have out of a bottle.

It pours a gorgeous looking drink, brown hues stop a pitch black body below a 4mm thick tight microscopic bubbled tan head.

Aroma is pretty good too, cocoa powder sawdust and treacle.

Big blackcurrant kiss on the mouth hints of chocolate
a little smokiness before a MILD hoppy bitter finish.

Just a nice drinkable mouthfeel easy drinking and very much like a mild
perfect just perfect carbonation.

This is an amazing beer
see it
buy it
enjoy it

P.S. Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild Dark Mild

 738 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle poured into a UK pint sleeve on 17 Aug 2013 during a 'random tasting evening' with myself (the wife is out and I've no friends).

First impressions count: lovely dark body, almost black, deep ruby hue when held up to a strong light source. On top a creamy, full head that stayed the distance.

Mild malty molasses in the nose, some wood and nut notes as the beer warmed in the glass.

Nice balance to the flavours: semi-burnt malts at first, then a sweeter malt feel, followed by a drying hop bitterness before the malts reappear to give a dark chocolate finish. Not as complex as I've said, but an interesting and flavoursome beer.

Good depth of body, almost creamy and rich, the hops just about preventing the beer becoming smooth: which suited my taste buds.

 775 characters

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sjtmbg
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewery is a new one to me, in Wiltshire in the south of England.
Very dark in color but almost an pale ale in taste. Bitter at the start, buttery mouthfeel near finish with delightful aftertaste. Always interesting when the mouth is fooled by the eyes.
Look forward to trying more from this outfit.

 304 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of NightINgale
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared with a friend - not sure why it's taken me this long to try it, just never got round. Poured into a nonic glass.

Dark chestnut, but there is a certain lightness to it as well, which was my first cue that this was not a porter (I had no idea the style when I opened this up). Good head of foam, nice retention.

Nose is a mix of dry roasted malt, coffee, and fruit - apple and grape are what I detect, along side a puckery lemon and hop component.

Light bodied, good dryness to this, with a touch of fruit, light coffee. Somewhere in between a porter and an old ale, or perhaps a roasty brown ale. Enjoyable, easy to quaff.

 639 characters

Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Handsomely dark, deep ruby red with a moderate tan head of fine foam.

S - Nose is roasty, slightly medicinal.

T - A little light on the flavour side. Burnt grain, green apple more than lemon (as advertised), mild dry bitterness. Lingering aftertaste.

M - Moderate body and a bit of zippy carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Fairly drinkable. I would have preferred a bit less apple.

 383 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before August 2013.

Pours a dark reddish-chestnut hue; it almost looks opaque at first glance, but holding it up to the light reveals its clear nature, as well as some lovely ruby highlights. At first it's topped with one finger of foamy, light tan-coloured head, but this recedes fairly rapidly, leaving behind a thin, soapy cap, narrow collar, and a modest ring of lacing. The aroma is enjoyable, with roasted malts, molasses, toffee and bittersweet chocolate comprising the bulk of the bouquet, alongside hints of prunes, coffee, anise, and herbal hops.

Really tasty stuff; one of the more interesting 5.0% beers I've had in recent memory. Starts off with some toasted malts, molasses and bitter, roasted coffee grind notes, which then lead into flavours of cocoa and figs. Finishes with some herbal, leafy hop notes, with perhaps a twinge of anise (though this may just be the power of suggestion, as it is mentioned on the label). The aftertaste is roasty/charry with a hint of lemon - surprisingly long-lasted, but subtle in terms of prominence - a perfect way to encourage quick sipping. Medium-bodied, with borderline flat carbonation that gives it a very smooth, creamy mouthfeel and serious sessionability. Easy to drink quickly, but it's interesting enough to be worth taking your time with.

Kind of a cross between a porter/stout and an old ale, with a good mix of roasted character, hop dryness and fruity notes. Not sure how well this fits into the 'old ale' category, but the fact is this is still a fabulous session ale with great balance and more complexity than most lighter UK-style ales.

[Updated June 2 2016]

Another bottle, my first since 2012. Best before Apr 2017. Dark & Handsome isn't a bad beer, but it is a relatively underwhelming one in its category. When I think of must-try old ales, I think of beers like Fuller's Vintage or the Ola Dubh variants. This one's cheaper than those, sure, and it tastes alright if you're a fan of English milds, porters or brown ales - but it also has a flat appearance and a watery mouthfeel that don't really do it any favours. I do like the lemon and herbal liquorice notes, though. It's a mixed bag that I may return to in the future.

Final Grade: 3.69, a B grade.

 2,273 characters

Photo of Digimaika2
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Dark ruby red coloured with a dirty beige creamy and bubbly foam head. Very good retention and equal lacing.

(4.0) S: Mellow dark fruits, toffee, rich dark chocolate, caramel, floral qualities, and background hints of tropical fruits (pineapple and banana). Very well balanced. Enough boldness provided with aromas without going over the top. Well done.

(3.5) T: Velvety dark chocolate, hint of smoke, floral hop-like qualities, light caramel, and a bit of zesty citrus. Quite a hefty bitterness throughout with a touch of dryness in the finish. Well executed and very flavourful with each taste clearly represented.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Syrup-like texture with a rather clean and crisp mouthfeel.

(4.0) D: This is good and something I will likely pick up again this season. Nice and easy drinking and flavourful.

 860 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BGDrock
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep brown with a hint of red; looks notably clean; thick head with good retention

Aroma: dark cherry, dates; lightly of dark cacao; not terribly strong

Taste & Mouthfeel: a light smokiness and dry - has an effect almost like it is sucking the moisture from the mouth (that might sound more dramatic than the reality); some bitterness of heavily roasted coffee, not much sweetness at all; little of the aroma follows through, except the cacao; medium-light body, and clean feeling

Overall: the name seems a perfect analogy with the beer coming off as dark, clean, and cutting; not complex, but interesting mouthfeel

 630 characters

Photo of KevinSP
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some dry bitter notes. Taste is a mix between some medium dry roasted malt notes with light fruity ester. Body is about average with good carbonation. Interesting though lacking complexity or some subtlety are maybe just too subtle for me.

 390 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...

A - Pours a dark ruby red, finger of head with solid retention and some spotty sporadic lacing.

S - Rather mild, leafy citrus hops, hints of cocoa and espresso, burnt sugar and molasses.

T - Dark cocoa dominates, espresso follows, hint of citrus, some black licorice and molasses. The cocoa lingers alongside a leafy bitterness. Could be a bit sweeter, but nothing offensive.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty dark ale, nicely balanced and very drinkable. The flavours are present but not overwhelming, making it surprisingly sessionable.

 585 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best Before September 2012.

Beer is very dark brown, little red hints. Moderately sized head that is somewhere between tan and off-white in colour. Some lacing is present. Pretty good retention.

Nose has lots of sweet caramel malt, coffee, cocoa, a bit of spice and dark fruit. Has some similarities to a stout but the sweet malty scents differentiate is pretty clearly.

Flavour is similar to the nose, but not quite as enveloping. Cocoa, coffee, caramel malt, slightly bitter. Not bad. Nice flavours but not exciting.

Pretty highly carbonated, medium bodied. A bit chewy.

Overall, pretty good but not anything to get too crazy about. I like it but I wouldn't be seeking it out again.

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Dark & Handsome from Box Steam Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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