North Peak Darkangel | North Peak Brewing Company

North Peak DarkangelNorth Peak Darkangel
67 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by movingtrain:
Photo of movingtrain
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 1,230 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
2.09/5  rDev -36.1%
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.

 538 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

 1,366 characters

Photo of cynical1027
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of output01x
2.77/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 1,332 characters

Photo of redleg64
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Bung
3.17/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 560 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 638 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
2.99/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

 614 characters

Photo of tommy5
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of joshrosborne
4/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of minterro
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of radiofish
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Tyrawlings
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of StoutHunter
2.69/5  rDev -17.7%
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,

 3,346 characters

Photo of zoso1967
2.49/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark Angel pours a dark, cherry hued brown color. The beer is nice and clear and has a light tan head that recedes quickly and leaves pretty poor lacing.

The aroma is pretty disappointing. It is more grainy than roasty with a bit of an oxidized aroma. It does have some decent bitter chocolate notes, but they are mixed with an unfortunate cough syrup like cherry aroma.

Unfortunately, the flavor is very similar to the aroma, though not quite as disappointing. It is lacking in most of the flavor areas that make porters so great. Not really that roasty at all with just some bittersweet cocoa flavors showing through as the result of the dark malts presence. It is very grainy and a fake, cough syrupy cherry flavor is way too prevalent.

The body of this beer is medium in size with an amount of carbonation that seems to be a bit high for style. The finish hits a nice sweet spot between dry, roasty and sweet, but the aftertaste has way too much of that same offensive cherry flavor.

Wow, what a disappointing beer. I am assuming that this beer was positioned to take on Short’s Black Cherry Porter since they are both coming out about the same time, but this brew is not at all in the same class. After looking at the bottle I am even more confused about that weird cough syrup taste. It claims that it is made with Michigan Cherry juice, but on the side says “ale with natural flavor.” That statement usually means that extra flavoring has been added. Whatever they used to flavor this beer, the result was poor.

 1,536 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.04/5  rDev -37.6%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of BradDurbin89
4.72/5  rDev +44.3%
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.

 888 characters

Photo of atomicbeer
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of BrewtalHonesty
2/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of TCgoalie
1.65/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I have to give a partial nod to the Red Stripe like bottle. It is fun to pour the beer out of it, but that is about it with the appearance. It is hard to believe it is a porter as it looks very thin, no head, and features a translucent burgandy color.

The smell doesn't do much for me either. Smells like wheat, fake cherry extract, black pepper, and doctors office.

I can't tell what this beer is supposed to taste like...maybe some coffee grinds, roasted tar, and ocean spray cherry?

If tap water is a mouthfeel of 1, this has maybe a feel of 2 at the very most...but I think even that would be a stretch.

Overall, this is a bad beer. Shame on you North Peak for bottling this and wrapping it up in a package that says "buy me". It is not worthy to be called a porter. The coffee I had this morning was closer to a porter than this beer.

 843 characters

Photo of speedvagen
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of dorianmarley
3.97/5  rDev +21.4%
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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North Peak Darkangel from North Peak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 67 ratings
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