Dark Cloud | Mother Earth Brewing

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 421

#8 ranked Munich Dunkel Lager | 5.10% ABV

Mother Earth Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Notes: Year-round availibility. 
Dark CloudDark Cloud
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 421
Photo of WYeates
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours to reveal a beautiful brown color. Aroma is a mixture of earthy notes and chocolate. It has a strong roasted malt and chocolate taste with a wet finish.

Mother Earth is one of my favorite brewers and every fan of dark beer should try this offering.

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a sudsy 2" off white head but drops slowly with moderate lacing. Opaque brown color. Aroma of roasted malt, mild chocolate, toffee, earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium and a damp finish. Flavors of molasses, a bit of vanilla, toffee, chocolate, hop bite on the back end. Overall: pleasant and enjoyable.

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Photo of Old_Beard_Belly
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good dark amber beer. Smells of light hops and a solid earthy smell. Tastes very earthy as well (a strange taste yet not bad imo)slight chocolate taste. I'd say this beer could be Geb's favorite beer (Egyptian god of earth) has almost a dirtesque vibe(not in a bad way) no filling sensation a solid camping beer 6pack or less. Overall would buy again.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, straight from the source. Poured in my Allagash chalice. Dark brown color, with off white head. Smooth, very well balanced, low hop profile. I was pleasantly surprised how good this beer was, typically not a fan of the style.

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Photo of GrumpyGeezer
1.14/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Purchased a bottle from the local store today. Chilled to 38-40° and poured into a SA perfect pint, not what I would consider dark at all. Held up glass to light and could see from the bottom up. No head, some carbonation. I could not detect any aroma, and the taste was also nil. It had a bottled date of 11/30/16. In my 40+ years of beer drinking, this was one of the most tasteless, thin, watery dunkel lagers that I have ever tasted.

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Photo of ordybill
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is all malt. The taste is all malt with a hint of hops in the background.

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Photo of delta490
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown with a light tan head. The bottle was significantly over-carbonated, had significant particulate, and took a while to pour as a result. The smell was OK, nothing really noteworthy with just light malt sweetness. The taste was decent but again there wasn't really much to it in terms anything distinct. The body had a nice weight to it but there was too much carbonation. The quality control needs to improve

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Dark clear brown body, off white head
S - coco, malt, sweet
T - Sweet, caramel, roasted malt coming through towards the end, oatmeal with vanilla, clean flavors but strong
F - medium body, smooth finish
O - I have always loved this beer and it doesn't disappoint tonight

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.89/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Was on tap at Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe in Chapel Hill, NC.

With a straight brown color, it is light, yet fully malty with toffee and a milk chocolate roasty taste. Balanced and slightly sweet with a great mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. Fantastic for the style!

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Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

June 2014 bottling I picked up last year at the brewery and forgot about in my fridge. 12oz into a tulip, the brew appears a deep mahogany color with ruby clarity when held to the light. A khaki cap fades to a thin film leaving spotty lace.

Nose is pleasantly chocolate-like mingled with fruity raison and suggestions of caramel, toffee and molasses before a bit of herbal and mineral/metallic edge comes into play.

The taste is sweet and fruity like raisons and plum mixed with dates, light chocolate malt, earth, minerals and roast. There is a very subtle buttery diacetyl touch to this that brings the focus back to caramel malt and slight fruity alcohol inclusion.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. A decent brew that I probably did a slight disservice by forgetting about for a year but it still held up fairly well.

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Photo of TheRock7755
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I can't find too many Dunkel's out there. I came across this at a 1st annual craft brew tasting fest in the Cumming, GA area. I was happy to find this in the store. It is regional, and has a distinct smoky flavor.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a footed pilsner glass.

Look: Pours an almond brown color with a lot of light penetration, the head is bone white and deflates quickly to very thin layer of tiny bubbles covering the surface of the beer. Not insanely impressive but the color of the beer is very nice.

Smell: dough and bread with hints of toffee and a little caramel are the strong points here, a little nuttiness and dark fruit upon further inspection. Not a wildly complex aroma but nothing offensive for sure.

Taste: Malty and sweet , bread and biscuit with some toffee notes again. Sweetness is washed from the pallet by the carbonation and the beer slips into a clean dry finish with a slightly nutty aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Feel: carbonation level is perfect for this beer. Keeps it light and refreshing with out being fizzy. Very well done.

Overall: A tasty beer, I'm a big fan of this style and enjoy the german varieties very much. This doesn't exactly stand up to its german counterparts but If I was in the mood for a dunkel and this was on tap I would not pass it up. Drinkability begs for a liter mug.

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Photo of Chessmaster
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into German beer glass.

A: Pours a rich dark brown with ruby highlights and streams of gentle carbonation slowly making their way to the surface. There is pretty much no head, just a bit of wispy foam on the top and around the glass. From what I could read online this appears to be appropriate for the style. Some lacing on the glass as I continue drinking...

S: Mild smells of sweet caramel/malt. No hops. Again, seems according to guidelines

T: Pleasant notes of malty sweetness, light and crisp, with a finish balanced between caramel/biscuit and just enough hop bitterness to balance. No discernible hop aromas nor flavors - except the bittering hops -- (which is as should be)

M: Light, refreshing, crisp, with just enough carbonation. Very sessionable

O: I am enjoying this beer a lot. Not an expert on the style, but from what I read online, this beer appears to be within the guidelines for a dunkel lager.
Would buy it again for sure.

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Photo of dogchasecats
4.25/5  rDev +9%

I'm drinking this a local bar in a standard glass from the tap. The taste is excellent. It has a smooth malty flavor and a fine finish. I'm enjoying the aftertaste very much. Not a lot of bitter, as it isn't that kind of brew. This pour doesn't have hardly any head, nor lacing down the side. I think my bartender is better at serving mixed drinks than pulling a beer. I like a bit of a head on my drafts when I get them.

I would absolutely drink this again, but I had to knock it down for the slight flatness of this pour. Again, that may be because of the local tap. I will amend this review if I that turns out to be the case.

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Photo of Roser
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- medium to dark (root beer) brown. Nice tan head. Light to moderate dissipation with some lacing, but nothing noteworthy.

S- clean. Roasted coffee. Caramel and malt. Mineral quality (similar to an oyster stout).

T- burnt coffee, cocoa,

M- light body. Not too much carbonation. Bitter up front. Very crisp.

O- good. Would recommend and have again. A solid American version of a classic German style.


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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and mocha in shade. Retention isn't fantastic, but the creamy texture leaves behind a nice ring of sheet lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is bringing a lot of chocolate, along with some roasted notes. As it warms up, it becomes more and more nuttier - perhaps even resembling hazelnut coffee at times. It's a simplistic aroma, but a perfectly reasonable one.

T: It starts with a nutty, chocolaty tone. The finish is *very* well attenuated - dry and mineral-esque, yet with a subtle fruitiness. Just like the nose indicated, this is about it as far as the flavor profile goes. Still, it's pleasant and sessionable.

M: Even for the style, it's insanely dry, to the point of evaporating off the tongue. It does this without relying on intense carbonation to get the job done. There's just enough lingering sweetness to keep this out of "pure chugger" territory - still, it's a very drinkable brew.

O: Not an amazing beer, but a good one to pair with food thanks to its easygoing nature. I'll probably return to this one again, just not on a frequent basis.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It is a deep amber, almost rust, in color. It has some amber highlights. On top sits three inches of thick, tan head.

S - They managed to capture that skunked smell of a Euro-lager. I manage to get some cocoa aroma as well.

T - The taste starts out with some sweet cocoa. Then some metallic and skunk flavors creep in.

M - Moderate

O - It is a good representation of the style. I enjoyed the cocoa aspect of this beer. The skunked metallic flavor was not my favorite.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle and into the Bruery snifter.

Coca cola lite here, my peeps. It has all those Dunkel flavors like a Starbucks in Munich...and that's pretty much it. Looks aite like Heidi Klum in the early 2000's and I'll pretty much end things there.

Ok, and just... ok.


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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, chestnut coloring with a filmy, clingy, white head. Nose of roast notes, coffee, and dark caramel, and some fig and date notes. Flavors are roast and nutty forward, with some old world fruit sweet highlights, and a bitter undertone. Smooth and crisp bodied, with a tangy caramel sweetness and roasted notes. Crisp, clean finish, with a sweet linger. Very solid brew!

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Photo of Smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner tall style glass.

A deep red mahogany brown, with red chestnut edges towards the bottom. Just a big dark red, with light cream tan bubbles at about three fingers in height and soapy retention.

Lots of clean and flavorful aromas. Nutty and husky grain. Hazelunt almost into caramel. Clean, crisp and mineraly. Very nice.

Kind of interesting. Palate is rocked litteraly, but an almost mineral and earthy body. Big crystaline mineral rock finish, which just cuts through the malt base like a sharp sword. Finishes popping mineral fresh also with real dry carbonation. Hints of caramel and some backbone but a bit jarring palate feel.

It's not bad but the super spritzy mouthfeel just slices through the palate and destroys much of the flavor that seemed to be hinted on the nose.

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Photo of jakehesting
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance was dark reddish brown

Smell wasn't over the top which is typical for a good lager. Not much on the nose.

Taste...rich malty biscuity heaven, perfect amount of roast.

Mouthfeel very clean lager refreshingly light on the palate.

One of my favorite beers to date. Outstanding lager. I don't know a whole lot about Mother Earth Brewing but I know that this beer alone has made me interested in their other stuff.

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Photo of walkinginplace
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Cloud pours into a ruby color with significant lacing. It's smell is a complex blend of coffee, toffee, and malts, amongst others. The taste is bready, chocolatey, and a little malty with a late rush of toffee sweetness. Honestly, it's difficult to even detect any hoppy bitterness. It feels very well-balanced and medium-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A very drinkable and sessionable lager but far more complex than that designation might suggest. An awesome achievement for a Carolina brewery.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “BOTTLED ON” date printed on the label is “012913.” This bottle is getting a little old.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is clear, medium mahogany. Two fingers of buttery, light tan head dissipated slowly, leaving a spotted and uneven lacing and trails along the side of the glass.

Smell: Rich, dark maltiness. Caramel, toffee, toasted malts, chocolate, cherry, plum, and some nutmeg.

Taste: It is definitely more dunkel than lager. Caramel, toffee, toasted malts, a lot more chocolate than the smell, some smoked malts, cherry, plum, perhaps a little raspberry, and a nice beery bite.

Drinkability: This is solid stuff. It likely sets the bar for the boldest versions of the style, at least as far as I have experienced.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of Munich malts and spicy hops are present in the smell.
T: The taste is similar to the smell with the Munich malts offering flavors of toasted malts. A slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink but offers some complex flavors from the Munich malts and noble hops.

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Photo of TWM
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not terribly familiar with the "Dunkel Lager" style of beer, so am just writing how I found the beer as opposed to a comparison to expectations.

I didn't know what to expect when I got this; I bought it because it's a local brewery but the beer isn't my favorite porter/stout/dark ale type. In fact, I tend to avoid lagers. This one surprised me very pleasantly.

Overall, what made me happy is that it has the rich tones of a dark ale while maintaining the lighter, "crisper" notes of a lager. The appearance was a nice color and a small head, minor lacing.

Smell was not much. For some reason I smelled a lot more sweetness than I tasted.

Taste was excellent- and I'm not even qualifying it as "for a type of beer I don't generally like." It's good, full stop. The malt was delicately roasted, and blended with the hops. None of the flavors were powerful; this is not a strongly flavored beer, but rather a well balanced, more moderate blend of flavors. Definite caramel tones, lightly bitter that was just perfect to balance out the malt. A nice mouthfeel, not syrupy or watery.

Really like this one, and will keep it in mind next time I am in the mood for something other than the usual.

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Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 421 ratings