Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Dark Element | Element Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Dark ElementDark Element
210 Ratings
Dark ElementDark Element

Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Previously named "Dark Matter."

This New American Black Ale, our strongest signature beer, has the malt profile of an Imperial Schwartz Beer and the floral characteristics of an American IPA. Saturated in hops, this intrepid style offers smooth dark toffee and chocolate flavors without the roasted bitterness found in many "dark" beers.

65.5 IBU

Added by cbutova on 06-04-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of Beernuts123
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby color when held to the light. Light lacy head that is slightly effervescent on the tongue, indicative of the bottle conditioning process.
Licorice, dark malts and lots of clean hop aroma on the nose.
Body is light and refreshing and taste is well-rounded with nicely balanced bitterness and dark/caramel malt flavors. Does not have an overly roasty back end which allows the hop aroma to clean up the finish.
Not a session beer, but wonderful with a fully flavored meat dish or a rich chocolate dessert.

 515 characters

Photo of Aberration
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of gthompsonri
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Trailmix242
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of JmBrkr
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of FrankLloydMike
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of ComputerBeer
4.9/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer is surprising! It looks like a porter, taste like an IPA but has some mouthfeel that is indescribable??? Creamer than a stout not thick like a barley wine??? Well done guys. I had this in a snifter and it laced all the way to the last drop. The head was not bright white nor dark. The aromas were classic Nouveau-American. Perhaps Centennial? Not overly bitter some alcohol warming in the finish

 410 characters

Photo of HP1975
4.81/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow this is full of hop aromas, citrus, cascades, or something american!
On tap and served in a pint glass at BBQ place in Boston, humm where could that be?

Appearance is dark, dark brown to black. Not quite fully dark black as you can get some light through it. It has good clarity and tall foam that lingers and coats the glass.

The hop aromas are orange peel citrus.

The flavor backs up the nose well and reminds of a hoppy brown ale or black IPA

You would expect it to be fairly bitter but the mouthfeel is rather full and smooth. The higher abv is also well hidden in the mix.

Definitely a solid black ale. But it's Element so why would anyone expect anything other than excellence?

Serving type: on-tap

 714 characters

Photo of TankSmoke
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Altrurian
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The indulgence begins with the pour, which raises a picture-perfect tan head above a reddish mahogany elixir. The head, at least within the confines of my Ithaca-labeled weizen glass, is dense and long-lived, seeming as though, given the chance, it could be a permanent fixture. There is cascading in its lower quarters as it gradually succumbs to the rising liquid. The beer's aroma is pronounced and sweet, combining chocolate and vanilla with a subtle earthiness and a slight waft of volatility. The flavor varies as it traverses the palate, starting with a surprising near-bitter freshness. It culminates in a rich, cocoa-like semi-sweetness, with a finish that is clean, with the merest benevolent suggestion of alcohol. The mouthfeel is slightly more aggressive than expected, contributing to the beer's appropriateness as an accompaniment for a meal. Overall, an excellent entry from a thoughtful brewer.

 911 characters

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mu buddy Steve brought this to Holland on his vsit from MA. Thanks a bunch.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Fantastic dark brown appearance with a nice two finger head.

Smells of candy, malts and hops.

A rollercoaster of flavors. Sweetness and roasted malts bits of coffee and dark fruits all completed by some nice bitterness.

Full creamy body, good amount of carbonation and the flavors and the bitterness linger for a while.

What a pick by my buddy Steve, who doesn't know anything about beer. I never heard of this brewery either and for a bottle to make it into Holland is quite special. This beers qualifies as special as well. it's aunlike anything I ever had., It's somewhere in between a dark, strong ale, a quad and a IPA. I''ll have this again for sure. Highly recomended!

 800 characters

Photo of AlexPV
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed: 11/23/2010 Bottle in paper bag w/info and no lable on bottle.

Darkest brown shade, rootbeer look, thick and tan colored head, healthy and dense. slow dissipate with plenty of foam left over.

A strong and sweet scented, chunky chocolate, very roastie, vanilla extract, sweet blueberry pie, and a very complex hop aroma too..pine and fruity. Smells very much like some of the best Double stouts or RIS!

A thick, heady malty complexty, long and dense feel with chocolate brownies with a jazzy and very complex, earthy hop flavor that adds perfect balace. the hos add a pleasant bitter, earthy flavor that melds togather just perfect. The feel is full and hefty, thick with a dry, earthy kick that gives any huge stout a run for it's money!

Groovy brew right here folks!

 782 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was one heck of a beer. I have to admit I had not looked it up since receiving it and it had been sitting in my fridge for the better part of a month or more. So I decided when I got home last night since I could not make it up to Charlotte for the stone takeover to finally open this behemoth from the fridge and I really did not see this one coming. Served cold, but allowed to warm to room temp during the session and served in my White Birch go to glass, this one was consumed on 10/06/2010.

One of the best pours I have ever seen, No question in my mind. A deep, dark color, black as night with a head four fingers high of chocolate colored foam. Immense looking and left so much lacing down the sides of the glass. I really was not expecting it to be as big as it looked and then once I really starting getting involved in the glass, all heck broke loose.

So I lean in to take a sip and I find a dense, and totally unexpected hoppiness that seams to come out of nowhere. Citrus hops is a darker then abyss glass, I was falling over at this point. Warming complicates it even further as dense roasted campfire like notes start to blend into the equation and really make this one worth its weight very, very quickly. Taking the first sips only served to confirm my initial impressions, this was unlike anything I have had in the past. Deep and resonant roasted malts provide a huge stepping stone to a crisp floral hop bouquet. Getting the two together in such a seamlessly smooth and clean flavor is remarkable. Rich and sweet and at times lightly bitter, this is a remarkable undertaking. Warming really let the malts shine with light chocolate notes and roasted flavors coming really to the forefront while reserving the light twang of fresh hops for a slightly dry, yet smooth finish.

Overall I have no clue as to what the ABV was on this but I could have drank it all night long. One of the most interesting, and completely complex things I have ever had. Truly remarkable and very well done indeed.

 2,016 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - It pours a deep and oily brown-black hue with a healthy cap of mocha head. The head retention is moderate, but the lacing is substantial.

S - The aroma is absolutely fantastic. There is an assertive citric-herbal hoppiness that springs forth from the glass which is tempered by an underpinning of robust and slightly smoky black malt; the nose is exceptionally integrated and complementary.

T - Wow. I'd say this is the nicest CDA I've had; admittedly, it is somewhat of a fledgling style. The label references a stylistic intent encompassing a fusion of IPA and Schwarzbier, and it seems to be precisely what we have here. The hop contribution is fairly rangy and dynamic, suggesting white grapefruit, overripe citrus, herbal leafiness, grassiness and tea-like bitterness. The malt is very interesting; it is fairly light in body - say, lighter than an average IPA but bigger than a Pilsener - and it has a subtle smoky character that is complemented by a refreshing mineral-water note. It is not a rich malt, despite its depth of hue. There is a bit of booziness here that seemingly fuses malt and hop, it works as a flavor enhancer in this instance.

M - CDA. Great. Seriously. A bit of tooth, but not too much. A hint of creaminess. A smooth, velvety nature.

D - As mentioned above, I think this is the best example of this fledgling style I've yet encountered.

 1,372 characters

Photo of jbertsch
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears black with a light tan head. Frothy and just sticky enough.

Aroma is layered yet simple as everything was subdued a bit. But I did smell roasted malts and faint dark fruits similar to what you'd smell in a belgian quad/trappist.

Taste is a great balance of roasted malts and soft fruit with notes of apple, cherry, dates, grapes... Hops are noticeable,providing complexity. There's something in the flavor profile for everyone!

Mouthfeel feels nicely carbonated and slightly crisp at first, but quickly changes to a creamy smoothness on the finish.

I couldn't put this one down...making great drinkability.
This really is a nice cross between a black ipa (or hoppy schwarzbier), and a chimay. There are layers of flavor that don't at all compete with one another.

I look forward ot buying this again!

 816 characters

Photo of Uzarnayme
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of edchicma
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an exceptional dark, dark brown..excellent head and outstanding lacing..impressive. Smell is a feast on the nostrils, malt, hops, yeast..coffee. Taste follows smell...rich, creamy malt with a distinct hop presence at mid palate. No harshness..some elements of a good barleywine, but much smoother. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy followed by a distinct hop presence that ends slightly dry. Excellent drinkability for the style.

 430 characters

Photo of OBIrish24
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of ColdOneKev
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of zenarkist
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of WreckingBrew
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of SheLaLa
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at Redbones in Somerville, cask-conditioned. They catagorized it as a schwarzbier ale. I believe traditional schwarzbier is lagered, but what the hey. These Element folks seem to be mad scientists. Who brew fine beer. The cask has got to be a different animal from the bottled brew reviewed. Not sure but I think much lighter alcohol.

Twas excellent, a malty brew with more hop presence than schwarzbiers I've had. I met a German brewer last month who said, "Americans are crazy with the hops." And we are.

Appearance was a dark brown, lacing beautifully as it slowly disappeared. Malty fer sure, maybe a tad roasty, and full-bodied. I DO like my schwarzbiers! (And cask ales as well.) Though, as I said, not really a trad schwarzbier. Mighty fine ale - get to Redbones before it kicks.

PS - Just found this on their webpage:

This New American Black Ale, our strongest signature beer, has the malt profile of a Schwartz Beer (German Black Lager) and the floral characteristics of an IPA. Saturated in hops, this intrepid style offers smooth dark toffee flavor without the roasted bitterness.

 1,119 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Element from Element Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 210 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.