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 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 Ryan011235
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Hannen Alt glass on 10/13/12

Deep tobacco brown in color. Rust and copper highlights. One finger head thins quickly to a smooth layer of foam. Pretty good rings and drippy lace.

The aroma is simple but smells pretty good: roasted dark grains with a touch of coffee roast and hints of bread dough. The taste is in the same vein, but ramped up a tad in robustness and, in turn, the enjoyment factor. A good amount of dry roast, but not at all bitter. Cereal grains. Very low hops. Maybe a dusting of cocoa. The body is a medium-light with moderately low carbonation. The feel is thoughtful and is a great vehicle for the flavors.

Overall, this is pretty good. I would certainly drink it from time to time if I could.

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Photo of ExMachina1
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE (6/18/2012): Back on my annual pilgrimage to NC, I picked up a six pack of this beer after having fallen in love with it two years ago. Unfortunately my experience with this beer last summer was not positive (see below). Fortunately, whatever was plaguing the batch that I sampled last year is no longer a concern, and this beer is back to its old, delicious self.

The beer I'm drinking now has a bottling date: 03/20/12.

Previous Review from 6/27/2011

Bottling Date: 03/01/11

This is the second six pack from this batch (bought in two different stores on opposite side of the state) and there is definitely something wrong here.

I first sampled this beer last year and it was superlative. One of the best dunkel I have ever tried. However, this batch is a different story...both samples of this batch smell vaguely phenolic (rubber and clove) and are in this way reminiscent of a hefeweizen. This is definitely not the clean lager that I had last year!

It is also sweeter and more full bodied that a dunkel should be. I could even call it "filling"--this too is all wrong for what should be an easy-drinking style of beer.

I can only speculate that Mother Earth Brewing has some yeast contamination problems to work out. And I hope that they take this problem seriously--the "real" Dark Cloud Dunkel is outstanding.

EDIT: High marks to Mother Earth for contacting me personally expressing their concern. This brewery is not only making good beer but seems committed to making their good beer, BETTER. I'm looking forward to writing another review of another batch of this beer

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

Poured a brown/ dark copper color with a 2 finger head that dissipatned quickly. A small amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, a little spice and yeast.

Tastes of roasted malt, a little sweetness and spice. Just enough bitterness to balance things out on the finish.

Mouthfeel is light, carbonation is good.

First time drinking a dunkel lager, this is a smooth and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of krausenman
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap served in a pint glass at the Mellow Mushroom in Fayetteville NC.

A-The beer was dark brown to garnet with no visible haze.

S-Chocolate and nutty-like graham craker aromas were predominant with little to no hop aroma.

T-Initially, the beer taste of roast and chocolate malt. Moderate to lower hopping levels balance a mild malt sweetness that is accented with a slight graininess in the background.

M-The moderate carbonation and lighter body made for a lighter to moderate mouthfeel.

O-Overall, this was an enjoyable session beer that can be enjoyed in quanity. The beer was fresh and free of defects.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A foamy, one-inch, almond head slowly drops concentric rings of creamy lace over an old copper-penny beer with maroon highlights.

Sweet brown sugar and roasted cashews feature well with lots of malt and rich, fresh, wheat bread.

Just like the aroma, this one has caramel malt up front and the sweetness is well under control. There is a light bitterness in the short finish. Wheat bread comes out with warming as does toffee.

A light, crisp body that is clean with soft carbonation and no alcohol.

This is a highly sessionable beer, even if the alcohol is a bit high. There is lots of flavor though none are overpowering. This one is worth taking time to enjoy as it progresses nicely with warmth, especially if consumed from a pilsner glass.

These folks seem to take real pride in their beer, all the way from the label art through to the clean flavors and tight adherence to style.

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

Nice chestnut color. Off white somewhat tan head on top. Caramel sweet and nutty aroma. Very solid maly flavor upfront with a nice hop presence. Hop bite is even right thru the finish. Nice balance of malt to really even the whole thing out. Solid mouthfeel. Very strong example of a dunkel in my book. I look forward to trying other beers from these folks.

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Photo of JayQue
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of bottles with dinner at the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill at Banner Elk NC. Nice take on the style from Mother Earth brewing. Pours a clear brown color with a fairly nice size off white head. Good retention and lacing. Would have ben even better without the frosted beer glass.

Aroma is fairly good, mostly roasted malt.

Good solid flavor. Roasted malt slight grassy hops bitterness and a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fairly light as befits a lager. Nice and crisp...refreshing, an excellent complement for food. Stood up nicely to the humungoid brisket nachos and barbeque platter I ordered.

An excellent accompanyment for food or slightly higher than average abv as a session beer.

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Photo of KajII
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a clear medium brown with a enormous (4+ finger) light tan frothy head that lasted throughout and had some excellent spotty sheets of lace.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt, a pine hop and a musty yeast with notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee and dark fruit (raisins and prunes).

The taste was nice and malty with a touch of toffee sweetness and a hint of chocolate from the beginning then proceeded to become mildly bitter and hoppy with a note of coffee and just a light presence of dark fruit towards the end. The flavor lasted a decent while after the swallow with a nice roasty hoppiness left lingering on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a shade or two under medium in body with a nice dry texture and an almost fizzy carbonation.

Overall an impressive roasty brew. Sweet, bitter and quite malty, it had it all going on...

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Photo of tastybeer
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is oaky brown with 3/4" orange tinted white head, hazy with a slight ruby glow. A pretty beer. Aroma is lightly sweet...kind of straight up dunkel smell. Malty chocolate, earthy hops, some lemon perhaps. Taste matches with a bit of tartness. Bitterness has a solid presence but is not overwhelming. This beer does get better as it warms up which frequently is the case with most beers I like, though not always with layers. Body is medium-light and this goes down very easy.

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Photo of snatch210
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent garnet -- lovely.

More malty sweetness to the smell than I expected, but in a pleasant way. Otherwise, the slightly roasted tones of the style.

Taste is rich and well-balanced. Roasted malt up front, with, again, a bit more sweetness than expected (maple? raisins?) and just a tinge of ester. Tiniest bit of spice at the end.

Feel is smooth -- just heavy enough to be satisfying, but light enough to make it very sessionable.

Overall, nothing Earth-shattering, but very well executed. Like a great 12-bar blues.

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Photo of VaterRoss
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Ommegang BPA glass, Bottled 111(?)

Pours a not clear dark brown, definitely unfiltered, with a tan head. Smell is decidedly chocolatey with some lightly roasted malt and dryness. Taste is malty with chocolate tones and a hint of coffee finishing with a light spicy bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, med body and carb and quite dry for a lager.

Not bad at all, a bit boring and a bit dry for me. Pleasant and smooth with light chocolate notes and perfectly hopped. No lager yeast smell or taste.

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Photo of socon67
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours brown, with a bit of foam on top. Some lacing, and visibole carbonation.

S - Scents of caramel, fresh malt, and a spicy, earthy vibe.

T - Flavors are very well balanced. Pure sweet caramel, a malty taste that has a bit of spice at the end. Actually a very flavorful dunkel that is not sweet as much as it is hearty with fresh flavor.

M - Makes an awesome drinker. Smooth, full bodied, and very refeshing.

O - Glad to have tried something from Mother Earth. Solid showing of a less common style.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown. Translucent in the light, but sits there ominously in the glass, begging you to just drink it.

Hm the smell. Not really sure what to make of it. The first thing that comes to mind is heavily roasted corn.

Now the taste is something of beauty. Its a different monster than German Munich Dunkels. It tastes earthy. Very earthy. Slight caramel notes. I can almost feel a woody bitterness that might be more from the hops than any wood.

A woody bitterness flashes across the tongue then disappears just as fast. Not as slick and sweet as the German incarnations, but still very good in its own right.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong, malty aroma is slightly musky and has earthy, molasses and nutty notes. It pours a somewhat translucent sepia with a fairly thick, if not persistent, wheat-brown head that leaves considerable lacing. Rich flavor has a malty core and caramel, earthy, nutty and molasses notes. Firm-bodied texture is smooth yet rather tingly, leaving an earthy, woody finish. Eminently drinkable and enjoyable.

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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 zeledonia
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 24 May 2011. Thanks to n2185 for the bottle.

Pours a deep coffee brown; light behind it brings out some reddish shades. About a half-finger of light tan head that fades pretty quickly, leaving decent lacing.

Smell hits heavy with slightly sweet biscuity malts. I don't get much beyond that, though. A bit of fruit around the edges (figs), with some noble hops hiding in the background.

Taste is better - fuller, richer, and more complex. It brings those malts, but they're more bready and fruity, without that strong toasted character that's in the nose. A bit of chocolate and toffee - nice sweetness and depth. There's a slight hop tingle that comes through late and balances things out quite well.

Mouthfeel: medium body, but feels full and chewy in the mouth. Carbonation is right where it should be - medium-high, enough to keep the flavors on the move but not so much that I can't taste them.

Quite a tasty beer. The toasted malts in the smell are a little funny, but everything else about it is solid. I like it.

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Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Rogue pint produces a clear dark tea brown brew with a 1/2" off white sandy colored head with nice weepy lacing sliding down the glass.

Very nice aromatic dark malts with a hint of hops in the background.

Very nice flavor on the tongue, malty and well balance, perhaps just a smidge on the lighter bodied side for this style, but still very drinkable brew in light of the medium carbination.

This is definately not a Warsteiner Premium Dunkle, but it is a great American representation of this style.

For me, this is a solid B+ Munich Dunkel. Keep on representing Tar Heel Brewers !!

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Photo of soccerman7
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Very nice garnet color. A solid finger of head that gave way to a ring on the edge. Wonderful carbonation. Only drawback was a cloudy appearance.

S - Baked bread, sweet graham cookie. Herbal hop aroma on the tail end. Very nice and a touch different than I have had on the style.

T - First thing I noticed was the hops actually. A prickly herbal spice that gives way to graham cracker, honey, toasted bread. Slight earthiness.

M - Very good mouth feel and easy drinking. Slightly sharpness.

O - A very good beer that is worth grabbing. Wish it were available up here. Well done.

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

A - Pours a dark amber with a massive 4 finger tan head

S - Smells of malt & bread, slight spice & a hint of chocolate.

T - Tastes of roasted malts, toasted bread & subtle sweetness.
Slight bitter hoppy finish.

M - Medium body & carbination

O - Overall good beer. Great job Mother Earth Brewing on
recreating a Munich Dunkel Lager!

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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 BuxMontBeerLover
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given a bottle by Rich Wagner, a Pennsylvania Brewery Historian. Thanks for the beers, as always, Rich!

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Beer pours a slightly translucent, reddish/ brown color. A one finger head on the initial pour. After a few minutes just a faint beige film on top of the beer. Very little lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - A sweet, bready aroma. Very inviting.

T - A decent beer. A malty beer with hints of chocolate. Very tasty. Not overy sweet. Well balanced between the malts and hops. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M - A well carbonated brew. Medium consistancy.

O - I thought this was a well-crafted brew. It's not a style that I normally gravitate towards but it is a very tasty beer. Easily sessionable due to the low alcohol. Not a beer I would necessarily go out and buy but I enjoyed it just the same. Thanks again Rich for your generousity.


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

This beer is hard to characterize for me. I have been on a dark beer kick lately and I thought maybe this might be fun to try, since it's a local company. Overall, this beer looked and tasted just fine. I probably wouldn't go far beyond that. I think it rates in the "B" area for me. I think it's a pretty decent beer for the style, and I wouldn't tell people not to try it.

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

Bottle poured into a stemmed Allagash glass.

A: A very dark brown with reddish hints and hues. A nice head that is a foamy white. There is also some pretty nice lacing as the beer is being drank.

S: Bready, malty, and slightly spiced smelling. There is also a mild grape Kool-Aid like flavor.

T: The taste is also very bread-like and sweet with the grape Kool-Aid making a mild entrance and then giving way to a slightly roasted profile.

M: The mouthfeel feels a bit thin and watery to me. I am not extremely familiar with this style but it seems appropriate. It matches the flavors well and feels consistent.

O: A pretty good beer. There are solid flavors here and much to be appreciated but it remains delicate and extremely easy to drink and enjoy. A great and very refreshing lager.

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