Dark Cloud | Mother Earth Brewing

very good
129 Reviews
Dark CloudDark Cloud

Brewed by:
Mother Earth Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by evantwomey on 11-04-2009

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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 402
Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt caramel color; the tan head retains well and leaves a nice curtain of lacing on halfway across the pint glass

Smell: Toasted brown bread and powdered chocolate, with a hint of nuts

Taste: Toasted brown bread, up front, with a building sense of powdered chocolate and earthy hops developing by mid-palate; the malts dominate the finish with no off-flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very nice example of a rarely brewed style; not in the top echelon but close

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Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy gold with a two-finger, tan head of foam that receded fairly quickly. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled malt and of sweet breads. A very subtle chocolate aroma.

T - Caramel and chocolate flavors lead off with roasted malts not too far behind. There is a mild bitterness.

M - It was relatively crisp and sharp. A light bodied lager with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty solid dunkel lager. It delivers a nice taste with the mix of caramel and chocolate notes.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep garnet with a thin but well retained off white head,a nice mix of cocoa and roasted nut in the nose,rich aromas.Flavors are well rounded with a mix of sweet caramel malt and bitter unsweetened chocolate,a nice earthy/roasty finish makes it highly drinkable.A very nice dunkel lager,not overly sweet but just the right amount,well done.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle bottled on 7/3/11.

Pours a near clear dark brown, with a moderate size, creamy tan head.

This is an exceptional brown lager. It has a lovely sweet malt aroma and corresponding flavor. Hints of caramel; no burnt or off-notes.

Medium-thin body with perfect carbonation.

O - one of the best of style, in my experience.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with a finger of off-white head. This sticks around with a ¼ finger of foamy richness, which dots the sides of the glass with lacing. The aroma smells of dark roast, herbal hops, and a deep tangy fruitiness. Sweet malty notes of cocoa and caramel sweeten things up some on the edges. Solid little nose here.

The taste has a toasty and roasty sweetness to it, with a herbal and fruity tang that works its way in as well, before spreading a gritty and earthy bitterness out onto the tongue. That sweet tang hangs pretty tough in the back of the throat after each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp throughout and is generally pretty easy feeling overall. No complaints with the feel.

While I appreciate this being a bit more complex feeling than your average Dunkel, all of that sweetness, hops, fruit, and roast helped create a deep tang to the taste that got to be a little much at times. Nose and body was spot on though and really helped keep things on the right track. I would give this another try at some point.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and very light gentle carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted bready malts, some light amounts of chocolate, and some notes of nuts.

T: Moderate flavors of toasted bready malts with a hint of brown bread plus some much lighter notes of chocolate and nuttiness. There are light amounts of earthy hops that contribute a light amount of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised to find this excellent example of a Munich Dunkel Lager being produced by a small brewery in Eastern NC - not one of the more common styles for American craft breweries. This was a delicious beer and one I was very happy to drink - it is sessionable and I would be happy to have another of these.

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Photo of mactrail
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich hoppy lager.

Quite attractive in the glass with a fine roiling head and excellent carbonation in the mouth. Hint of grainy flavor along with some roasted malt. Hops come on strong after a few gulps. More like an Amber Ale than a dunkel with all the hops. Fairly thin body. Nice nose as you exhale but not much fragrance in the glass. A little burnt almond.

Very creamy and pleasant to drink.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, chocolaty-hued body with a moderate-sized, faint khaki-colored head. Slim lacing on the drop.

Smell: Solidly malty nose, though not overly effusive, with notes of darkened bread crusts, dark brown sugar, mild chocolate, milk chocolate, and nuts. Near nil fruitiness, very low hop accents.

Taste: Bread crusts, brown sugar, little hints of coffee, chocolate with a decent degree of sweetness. Very faint dark fruitiness. Light hop character, bitterness. Drying, malty finish with a carbonic pinch to it and a lingering nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly dextrinous in the mouthfeel beyond the crisp suds.

Overall: Easy drinking and highly approachable, it's a solid dunkel.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep ruby/copper color. A 1.5 finger head formed from a slightly aggressive pour and reduced to some splotches of foam on top. Nice lacing down the sides.

S: A deep aroma, roasted malts, some caramel, nuts, and a little bit of dark fruit. As it warms there is a slight vanilla and coffee aroma as well.

T: Very bready up front with a light spicy/roasty flavor in the middle. Caramel malts, some nuts, and a little bit of brown sugar round out the flavor.

M: Medium bodied, but somewhat filling despite the low abv. It seems like it should be a bit higher, but I am quite happy it is so low.

O: A really good low abv beer. Again, a beer you'd expect to be higher in alcohol based on the flavor profile and mouthfeel. Mother Earth did a really nice job with this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another gem from Mother Earth. This one really showed it had some legs though. Whenever I see something like this I have to dive in, and upon a recommendation from a friend I needed no further encouragement. A nice dark brown, rusty brown in color with a good bit of cloudiness that seemed to settle itself out after a few minutes. A small but persistent head of off white formed on the top and managed to hang around for a good bit before settling out.

Aroma is deep and dark from the start. Rich dark caramel notes are all over this one. Roasted nuts, some brown sugar, dark frits, figs maybe? Really just complex as I even pull a touch of vanilla through after a few minutes. Really nice, and quite full feel for the style, due in most part to near perfect carbonation. This allows the flavor to roll across the palate and really just cling to every ounce of taste buds you have. Caramel, bready notes, hints of light spice are all leading the charge here as each sip seems to become better and better. Warming brings the roasted nut flavor out again and the deep, resonant hop notes seal the deal and leave a light drying flavor on the palate.

Overall this was as solid as the day is long. Something I would not hesitate to try again in a heart beat. Really just a wonderful creation and remarkably well done.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: the pour is dark brown in color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Starts off with a mild aroma of roasted malts. This is followed by hints of chocolate and a light coffee note. There are some hints of dark fruits, specifically raisins, along with a mild toffee sweetness and some toasted bread.

T: Coffee grounds and roasted malts are the first flavors I pick up. Those are followed by toffee and toasted bread, which provide a nice, subtle sweetness. There is jus a light bitterness and earthy hop flavor.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: You don't often see a Dunkel as part of a US brewery's regular line-up, let alone a well done one. Solid beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 09/02/11 notes. Received this one as an extra from cwguy5, thanks man. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a flute.

a - Pours a deep murky mahogany brown color with less than an inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. No head retention or lacing.

s - Smells of bready malts, grain, wheat, roasted malts, nuts, and light spice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, toasted malts, bready malts, grain, wheat, and light cloves.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty decent beer, a slightly above average dunkel. Lots of roasted and bready qualities, would give it another shot.

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Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
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 AlexFields
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I made the mistake of pouring this one somewhat aggressively and the head went crazy after only a few ounces poured and overflowed from a pint glass. Took a few minutes to die down to where I could slowly pour the rest of the beer. Pours a deep, dark mahogany brown color with a sizable creamy tan head. The head becomes splotchy as it dies down but it sticks around forever once it rests at an inch or so, and eventually smooths out into something much more attractive. The splotchiness was probably my fault and not the beer's.

First smell reveals dark fruits, maybe prunes or plums or raisins or something. Some nuts, some red wine. Definitely some wood too, like freshly fallen wood in a forest, maybe burned wood too. Smells a bit tart. Based on the nose I'm not expecting this to be my kind of beer, though it definitely smells like a complex one.

Flavor is very nutty. Some wood and some smoke, some roast as well. Dark fruits again as in the nose but way more subtle in the flavor--in the nose the fruits dominated the nuts but in the mouth it's the other way around. As complex as the nose but much more appealing. Tastes more and more roasty the more I drink. The odd red wine tartness I got from the nose is present in the flavor as well, but it's subtle and only slightly detracts from the quality of the beer.

Mouthfeel is meh at first. Even after letting it die down for a while and trying to drink under the head, my mouth feels like it's full of bubbles at every sip. There's just too much carbonation, and not the nice fizzy kind. Perhaps this is true to style, perhaps it's exactly what the brewer was aiming for, perhaps other folks would love this. It's a bit off putting for me. Fortunately, as the beer sits for a while the mouthfeel improves and becomes less bubbly and more creamy. Hard to know how to rate the mouthfeel on this one as it starts out annoying and grows into something quite nice, so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that the initially weak mouthfeel was due to my shitty pour and not the quality of the beer.

This is a very interesting beer. Extremely complex, one of the most complex lagers I've ever had. I thought it was "meh" at first but as I drank more of it I started to really like it. A good alternative to a brown ale, would be a great beer for fall weather.


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Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber bordering on dark brown. There's a quarter inch of off white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of sweet caramel and dark fruit. The taste is bitter and sweet. There are notes of caramel, dark fruit, toasted malt, toffee and a decent hop bitterness in the finish. This is a medium bodied, well carbonated, smooth beer.

This is a pretty solid, well rounded beer. For the style this is all around right.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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 GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
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 tempest
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Chip's Wine and Beer. Poured a dark amber with a short tan head. The aroma (very strong aroma) and flavor are ruled by a rich, dark bready crust, caramel, and coca character. It begins dry and then a sweet candy note rolls in before a mildy bitter and fruity finish. This is a great take on the dunkel lager style and the best beer from Mother Earth I've had. Find this beer if you dig the style.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown body with an offwhite head that stays around and leaves minor lace patches along w/ a light airy malt smell of both sweet and bready malts along w/ a touch of herbal hops. A light, sticky body that has a good dry edge as the herbal hops are light and balanced with some sweet caramel malt as well as cocoa and roasted and bread malt. Finishes real dry and is a nice dunkely that isn't overly sweet or complex but well-balanced and is an easy to drink session beer.

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Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from Chips. I've been impressed with Mother Earth thus far, including this ale on-tap.

A: The dunkel lager has a rich brown fullness that could pass for cola or coffee. The more concentrated the glass makes the ale, the darker, blacker, it gets. A finger of head on pour was quick to dissapate.

S: The nose is bready, predominantly roasted malts, that isn't overwhelmingly strong. Chocolate aromas follow the breadiness, adding depth.

T: My first sip is luxurious, velvety smooth with a heavy dose of dark malts. Chocolate flavors mix with the roasted grains, a dark flavor that isn't as strong as the lager makes it look. The dunkel is remarkably smooth, going down very, VERY easily.

M: The beer is moderately carbonated, allowing the chocolate flavors to linger after each sip is gone. Velvety and smooth, a nice dunkel lager.

D: I prefered the beer out of a bottle, as I was better able to control the temperature. I really dig the full flavors and sweet smoothness. A hit from Mother Earth.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you, Mike. Here's to you and Sarah.

Pouring a clear reddish brown with copper highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head that recedes to a disk leaving some lace. The nose is very good, opening up as it warms up, with a definite chocolate bread character with some caramel. Very, very clean, this smells like a very well brewed lager. Along with the chocolate, this smells like dark wheat bread. No real hop character is discernible.

The palate opens with a blend of cocoa, wheat and caramel sweetness. This is moderately sweeter than the Weltenburger I had a few days back. Bready and moderately sweet, there's a little roast as well. Drying on the finish with a mild sweetness (mostly dark caramel), this beer has a medium-light body and a soft, creamy carbonation. Not as dry and crisp as I'd like, but then again, I haven't had too many beers of this style. Very drinkable, I'd like to revisit this.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BucketBoy for the opportunity to try this one. 12oz. bottle served in my Weihenstephan weizen glass. Bottled on 05 10 indicated on the label. Pours a mahogany brown with a semi-hazy clarity and a 1.5 inch, frothy, tan-colored head embedded with ringlets. Head eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch skim with a couple semi-concentric bands of lacing present during the tasting. Nose expresses malt, dark fruit and perhaps cocoa. Taste follows nose - more cocoa and less fruit is expressed in the flavor profile; very tasty without being overly sweet. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation. I'm not overly familiar with the style, but I found Dark Cloud to be quite tasty and easy drinking. All and all very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ROBORB who dropped this brew into a northwards floating box. Love to see more Munich Dunkels around the old tap handles & bottle shops, but alas, I fear I'm peeing the wrong way into the wind.

Pours very dunkel into my pretty chalice, with only a slight beet color about the edges. Smell is rich roast & a big roll of malt sweetness.

Mother Cloud isn't selling a bill of goods. The malts in this thing are rich, heady, sweet, with an edge of roast, maybe a fig or raisin, maybe not. The lagering leaves this feeling like a porter, but lighter, sharper in the tastes, less cloying. Once this passes the palate there's a cleanliness that one doesn't often find in a beer - it passes & it's gone, like an afternoon rain shower washing everything clean. A beer like this can be experienced on tap, & still drive home, while not sacrificing anything in beer geekery.

Good beer. I've been saying this a lot lately, but we could use more of these low-ABV beers that pack in a lot of flavor. Is this really so difficult? This dunkel makes is seem easy.

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Photo of Bung
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. A rather brown, but dark brown, pour, only a minimal amount of cream head. Recedes to a small ring.

Nice malty aroma, plenty of cocoa and chocolate. Light lager yeast, earthy peat, leather.

Flavorful, yet not overbearing in any way. Nice malt, cocoa, peat earthy grass and minimal hops. Finishes pretty dry almost like an Irish stout. Probably the best for this style I've had, but not sure what to expect. Liked much better than the Penn Brewing version listed at right.

Really shines here. A much better than average mouthfeel, pretty creamy and mid bodied. The carbonation keeps it lighter on the pallete though and extreamly easy drinking. Possibly found my new session semi-local craft brew.

First from Mother Earth and an excellent effor. Wish more brewers would put out a dark lager or Schwarz.

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Dark Cloud from Mother Earth Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 402 ratings.
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