North Peak Darkangel | North Peak Brewing Company

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North Peak DarkangelNorth Peak Darkangel

Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zoso1967 on 11-04-2011

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 67
Photo of SerialTicker
3.14/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had on-tap at Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

This beer gave me what I expected after reading reviews. I originally wanted a Norm's Raggedy Ass to try, but they were out -- I went with this. What's most disappointing about this is that it's labelled as a cherry stout, but the cherry doesn't seem to be there much at all, if at all. There's a roasty/chocolatey flavor that you'd hope for from a porter, but it's not very rich, and the beer is thin. I suppose there's some sort of fruity "ester", but it's subdued quite a lot to the point where it may not even be labeled as a cherry stout. A quite mediocre beer that I wouldn't bother having again. North Peak, you're better than this.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.72/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the Red Stripe-like bottle into a glass, the color was a murky reddish brown. The head on this one was huge like the foam on a rootbeer float. Worse, the head just will not go away. The aroma on this one was mostly dry cherries. In other words, it smelled like cherries with the sweet part removed. Of course, this is not the highlight of a cherry. The initial taste was dry cherries, dirt, alcohol, and dark chocolate. If that description was on the bottle, this would be a tough sell. In a weird sort of way, I kept imagining their was dirt or something gritty in the beer. After the initial taste, I knew why 6 picks of this were on sale for $4.99 a six pack. For a porter, I thought it was very thin. At the same time, the acidity gave an impression of thickness. The aftertaste was mostly bitter chocolate. I do not need this one again.

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stubby bottle is cute and different. Pours a cherry coke brown (ruby-brown) with a huge tan head that settles to a rocky, dense, mountainous sculpture. Parades of bubbles Leaves chunks of foam on the glass on the way down. Aroma much less than expected - very toasty malt and earthy-herbal and a bit phenolic hop. Taste follows aroma but with a mild hit of dark cherries going on mixed with the bitter chocolatey toasty malt. Not bad but nothing special. Might be a decent dessert beer. Have a second bottle may need to try with something chocolate.

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Photo of superspak
2.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 11/28/2011. Pours slightly hazy reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty lacing down the glass as you drink. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, toasted malt, cherry juice, and herbal hops. Some decent and pleasant aromas; with decent strength and low complexity. Taste of chocolate, biscuit, toasted malt, cherry juice, caramel, pine, herbal hops, and light earthiness. Good amount of piney bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of toasted malt, biscuit, pine, cherry, and earth on the finish for a good bit. A good balance of the cherry juice is present with the malts, making it just enough to be noticeable. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel; with some prickly carbonation. The large earthy and piny hoppiness make this a bit challenging on the palate. Alcohol is well hidden with hardly any warming noticed; as expected for 5%. Overall this is an alright porter. Much more spicy hoppiness, and high astringency than I was hoping for. Not really what I would classify as being a porter.

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Photo of gordavidson
2.97/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours an ever so slightly cloudy brownish-red with a thick and creamy light brown head. Most definitely seems to be a bit weak for a porter.

S- The aromas that are there are definitely on the faint side. What I can gather is some light roastiness with a bit of cherry juice trailing behind.

T- A bit of a roasted malt aspect with a splash of cherry juice. Very mild overall.

M- The body is definitely on the thin side but carbonation seems to be alright.

O- For the style, this is definitely a disappointment. It is not bad, just far from interesting. For the alcohol content, this is fairly drinkable when everything is considered.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerhan for the chance to try this one.

Pours opaque black with a small medium tan head that leaves little lacing.

Roasty malts and a bit of stone fruit on the nose, but not noticeably cherry. The flavor is appealing and simply a blend of the roasted character with a sourness contributed from the cherries. Not much of a fruity component, which might have rounded the taste out a bit.

Mouthfeel is a little light for a porter. A pleasant quaff.

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Photo of Bierguy5
2.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz stubby bottle, 5% abv. Date of Nov. 28, 2011 on the back. Hazy, chestnut in color with a bit of a red hue. Off-white, rocky head head fades to a thin layer after a minute, but leaves a decent coating of lace.

Nose seems very muted. A dry, roasty note with a hint of dark fruit and chocolate.

Sharp roasty note, with a hint of dark chocolate. Ripe dark fruit and berries. Slight artificial feel. Earthy bitterness at the finish.

Maybe medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is minimal. This doesn't really seem to have a great cherry feel, or a strong porter feel either. Disappointing.

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Photo of output01x
2.77/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Bottled On NOV 15 11) into an imperial pint glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 1/2 finger cream-colored head that slowly dissipates after a few minutes to a miniscule dusting and very thin foam ring. The body is a dark brown with traces of crimson when held to light. A little lacing can be seen throughout consumption but is never strong enough to stick around.

The nose is not dominated by cherries as one would expect, but instead has a bland, typical dark fruit aroma. A little cherry and plum are recognizable as notes. The nose isn't very strong, which also hinders recognizing the aromas.

Light but very sweet up front, a little tartness comes through but no flavors are fully recognizable. As the beer is swallowed, sweet dark fruit flavors come out in the form of cherry, plum, and raisin. After, an odd cacao bitterness presents itself near the back of the mouth.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer has an interesting body for a porter. The light body gives this beer an almost soda-like quality. It is very easy drinking and has a sugary stickiness to it but does not really coat your mouth, allowing the flavors to evolve and disappear rather quickly. The carbonation on the other had, is just right as it is only barely noticeable, and only if you are looking for it.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.44/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks again to Jason for splurging on a bunch of random Michigan beers. I think this is revenge for some of the previous offerings I've shared.

A - Nice pink-tinged foam settles to a thick cap, leaving intricate lace patterns behind. Transparent dark brown body with a reddish tinge to it. A bit light for a porter, but otherwise pretty attractive stuff.

S - Mild aroma, that eventually yields a sharp char note over top of chocolate malts. There's a touch of cherry skin, but not much fruity character here.

T - Taste definitely has cherry, but unfortunately it's of the cough medicine variety. Some sugary sweetness, and not much of the roast or chocolate flavors one would expect from the style. Lightly sour note in the finish.

M - Smooth, light body, with lower carbonation. Moderate stickiness in the finish that lingers for a while. No alcohol, I guess

D - Either this is an infected batch of porter with cherries added to hide the problem, or it's just really bad. I couldn't bear more than a few ounces.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "old-school stubby" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown with ruby highlights and a nice two-inch head of light tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt, subtle cherry
Taste-Dark roasted malt, faint black cherry and subtle tartness. Coffee and hop notes come to the forefront in the finish. Overall, tasty and not overdone. Decent character and drinkability. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of warnerry
2.09/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled 11/28/11

A - Pours translucent dark brown with a reddish hue. One finger or so of head that fades quickly. Very little lacing.

S - A bit of roasted malt and some cherry, but the aroma is quite weak overall.

T - Yikes. This is not very good. Over roasted malt, some tart cherry that tastes quite thin, and a bit of bitter chocolate. Flavor is thin overall and finishes with an unpleasant ashy character.

M - Very thin mouthfeel. Finishes dry and ashy.

O - North Peak has been very hit and miss, and this is a big miss for me.

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Photo of BeRanger
3.34/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown - a little ligher color than I was expecting from a "porter" as I drank this side by side w/ Shorts Cherry Porter.

S- A wonderful cherry & chocolate aroma

T- Cherry, Chocolate and Malts/Grains. The Cherry wasn't overpowering or extremely tart as in some other Cherry Porters I've tasted.

M- Medium Body

O- It wasn't necessarily everything I was expecting but turned out to be a pretty decent Cherry Porter. While I give the shorts a slight edge, I certainly enjoyed that drinkability of this beer as a few cherry porters that I've had in the past were just too tart to do anything more than sip.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.04/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Deep amber color. Two fingers of beige head. Retention is poor, but lots of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Despite being faint, cherry is the strongest aroma in this. There really isn't anything going on here. At all. Really disappointing.

2.0 T: Taste is pretty much the same. I don't know how they got the beer so dark without imparting any flavor. Really boring.

2.5 M: Lighter body. Good moderate carbonation. Not creamy at all.

1.5 D: Really disappointing beer. Other than a slight cherry flavor, there is nothing at all going on in this. Shame on you North Peak.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a black color with a nice brown head. Head has little retention and leaves very little lacing.

S- Smell is fairly light. Picking up a bit of chocolate, roasted malts, and cherries.

T- The first thing I pick up is a very tart cherry taste. Cherries are up in your face. Picking up light chocolate and roasted malts, but that's all over shadowed by the cherries.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation.

O- No thanks I can't handle the cherries.

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Photo of alexgash
3.55/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. stubby bottle. NOV1511 on label.

Deep garnet to ruby body. Dark copper edges. Small, long-lived, light sandy head. Okay lacing. Pretty light for, and much "redder" than your typical porter. Light notes of roasted barley, mix with caramel, dark chocolate, sweet fruity notes, and definite cherry.

Mild roasted coffee bitterness up front. Mixes with a bit of tannic bitterness and some tartness from the cherries. Cocoa-dusted, sweetish, fruit comes on mid-palate, along with some toasted, slightly nutty malts. Cherry sweetness with a little acidic tartness in an otherwise slightly roasted-bitter finish. Medium-bodied, with a bit of a dry finish. Not bad; the cherry flavor is not too artificial, but the end result is not that great.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.54/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label says "NOV1511"

A - Deep brown pour with surprising lightness. Body rounds out to a dark brown body, some light through it, and a bit of tan head.

S - Light cherry tartness is well balanced with some roasted malt, some vanilla. A great nose.

T - Not really getting any cherry here. some neutral roasted flavors, astringent bitterness on the swallow, and a vegetal note. It's not terrible, but not too good.

M - very smooth, a bit drying.

O - some nice things, some not-so-nice things. Interesting, and worth checking out, but probably not something I'll buy again.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.47/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a dark brown hue with a foamy tan head that quickly disappears leaving little retention and some lacing on the sides.
S. This beer has a rather strong cherry juice aroma with some chocolate in the background. A rather pleasant smell.
T. The first thing I get is some watered down cherry with a coffee taste followed by a strong finish of bitter chocolate that overtakes everything else. The taste is not bad, but seems to be weak at first and than the chocolate comes in strongly. Maybe it is just me, but seems unbalanced.
M. Mouthfeel is creamy and easy to drink since it does get watery.
O. Not a bad beer, but I have tasted better cherry porters.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.03/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

All, we're looking at a modest ABV on this one. I must admit, reading a label that says, "Made with Michigan Cherry Juice" made me smile.

The beer pours a dark brown color with reddish hues around the edges of the glass. Not much of a head to speak of, though--what is there just looks like a soapy residue.

There is definite fruit in the nose...a subtle tartness. Hints of baker's chocolate, coffee beans, and dried oats, too.

Flavors here consist of peanuts (yeah, interesting), chocolate, oatmeal, and maybe some subtle fruit notes, but very, very far in the background. The beer is bitter. Not tart, really, and not sour...but bitter. Kind of like the more astringent side of an IPA, or the bitterness you look for in a good shot of espresso (though, that is usually balanced by a subtle sweetness). The bitter in this beer seems to sit around for a while, and there isn't much in the flavor to balance that bitterness out, unfortunately.

Overall, I like what this brewery has been delivering. They were a recent addition to Ohio (within the last year or so), and their packaging is simplistic and cool. This one, however, misses the mark and falls short of what could be a really good take on a classic style.

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Photo of BradDurbin89
4.72/5  rDev +48.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stubby bottle poured into a pint glass.

Reddish hues within a dark brown body. Standard pour results in 1 finger head. Medium carbonation. Great lacing on the glass.

Subtle cherry in the nose. Chocolate aroma. Some earthy notes.

The Cherry is light to the taste as it is in the nose. It is a tart cherry. This is definitely not a sweet cherry porter. The Cherry taste increases before the finish. Chocolate in the back of this beer. Flavors increase with time. It feels like Traverse City. The hops balance this beer. A very drinkable porter. Not too heavy.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall, this is an exceptional porter. Very, very drinkable. It does not knock you off your bar stool, but I can see myself having more than one of these great beers. Perfect blend of tart cherry and porter. I'm not a fan of over sweet fruit beers, so this is the perfect porter for me.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, bottled on November 15, 2011. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear brownish/red color with a very small light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both average. Aroma is roasted and sweet malt, and some cherries. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a bit of an herbal taste noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is light, it seems pretty thin for a porter. I'll finish the 6 pack I have, but I wouldn't buy this again for $11.99 a sixer. It's disappointing for me because I've liked the other North Peak brews I've had in the past. However, it's worth a try if you can buy a single bottle somewhere.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.69/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of North Peak's Darkangel a couple weeks ago for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. So far I have I liked every beer that I have had from North Peak, it seems that all of the beers I have had from them have all been pretty hoppy so I am interested to see what they can do with a Cherry Porter, so let's see how it goes. It has a bottled on date of October 2011. Poured from a stubby brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer has the classic North Peak logo that gives it that old school look, only difference is that it is a dark red color and has an angel in the middle of it. It poured a pretty dark ruby read color with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end.

S- The first thing I pick up in the aroma is the roasted dark malts that impart a nice milk chocolate aroma mixed with some slightly tart red cherry's to make an aroma similar to a chocolate covered cherry. I also pick up a slight amount of earthy hops at the end that help balance out the chocolate covered cherry aroma.

T- The first thing that I pick up in the flavor is the cherry which is much lighter then I expected and it tastes like some slightly tart cherry juice. Next comes the dark roasted malts that have a typical coffee and chocolate like porter taste but there is also a weird metallic flavor with it that tastes a little off. The hops stick out a good deal in this brew and impart a pretty noticeable earthy flavor. There's a little too much hops in this beer, more then you would find in most porters and the metallic taste shouldn't be there.

M- Somewhat smooth, on the light side of being medium bodied and it had a good medium amount of carbonation. This beer needs to have it's body bumped up to medium.

Overall I thought this was a pretty average American Porter. North Peak knows what to do when it comes to the hoppy beers, but with this Porter it seems like there is still a lot of tweaking to be done. The cherry aspect of this beer didn't stick out as much as I would like and it tasted more like some slightly tart cherry juice. It also had too much hops for the style and an off putting metallic taste. It did go down smooth and have pretty good drinkability. but the flavors are a little off and aren't good enough to hold my attention and make me want to drink more than one. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma, it was pretty nice and smelled pretty similar to a chocolate covered cherry. What I liked least about this beer was the the off flavors and it's thin body, this beer needs a good amount of work to hold it's own against other Cherry Porters. I am glad I tried it but I don't think I will be buying this beer again, it just didn't do it for me. I don't think I would recommend this beer to people, there is just too much wrong with it. This the first brew from North Peak that I have been disappointed with, they can do some great things with hops, but with this beer they didn't prove that they are that versatile, I don't really see how the brewer could drink this and think this is what a cherry porter should taste like cause it's not. So far this is my least favorite brew from North Peak and my least favorite cherry porter, this beer is almost as bad as Atwater's Cherry Stout. This beer is no where near as good as Short's Black Cherry Porter,

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Photo of dorianmarley
3.97/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown with some red highlights. Head is thin; nice lacing.

Nose is a phenomenal blend of hops and cherry. Sweet malt underneath with oak and wood bark.

Taste is tart cherry and toasted malt up front. Hops are mild. Nice oakiness, but has an off-putting metallic element.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but has some awkward astringency in the aftertaste.

Overall, a good use of cherry, but the astringency is distracting.

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Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a reddish-brown in color and , like a cherry wood stained table, both colors are intermingled throughout and yet one. A small tan head develops with fair retention, fading to a foam that leaves light spotty lacing.
The smell is tart cherries under a roasted malt backbone. The Michigan cherries really do impart little sweetness but a lot of tartness, and that's what I get here. The malt bill is a bit simplistic, perhaps, but there's nothing harsh here and the cherry aroma is natural.
It's just as tart in the flavor, and the cherry almost seems to supersede the malts as the backbone. It doesn't, I suppose, but it does as the dominant flavor, with the malt backing off for the cherry to dominate. Hops are also a bit more than would be typical for a porter, imparting an herbal element with just a touch of leafy earthiness.
This beer is a porter, not a stout, so as with others I don't expect a beast and I like to think I haven't been spoiled by the typical American (craft) huge beer culture. Even so, this is a little thin, even for a porter. A crisp bite up front gives way before getting too spritzy, though, and a good smoothness follows through beginning pretty well up front and into the finish.
This is what it is, and pretty well done: a cherry porter. If you want a stout, don't drink this. If you don't like cherries, don't drink this.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I should have known. I have not yet liked any beer that had a cherry anything in it. I like fruit, but cherry is too much .... like a red wine (I know they have nothing to do with each other).

This one has only a little smell, and the taste is nasty from bitter fruit (better than too sweet, though). I do not want to buy this again.

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Photo of Bung
3.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brought home from my last trip to GR. Brown pour with amber accent. Just a whispy layer of white head.

Aroma, dark chocolate covered cherry. Not bad, you just have to be ready for it.

Taste, More cherry here than anything else. There's some light toasted malt and chocolate. The cherry becomes a bit medicinal, like any dark brew with cherry does for me. Finishes pretty dry.

To the right of light bodied, carbonation is fine. Drinks fine but the flavors just don't mesh and there's not enough porter in there. Probably would be better during warmer months.

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North Peak Darkangel from North Peak Brewing Company
3.17 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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