Dark Element | Element Brewing Company

83 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 209
Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Speakorspasm sending this bottle my way. It poured like a baltic porter with a reddish brown body and a fluffy white tan head. This beer is sort of like an imperial brown or brown porter. There are big juicy citrus hops like a good DIPA, but then there's also mellow coffee, dry cocoa, and sweet maple syrup. At the same time, the body isn't too thick and is actually quite drinkable. The hops start with a candied grapefruit and roll into more traditional sharp citrus rind and floral spice while staying fruity all the way. Find this beer, there are few others like it.

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Photo of LtCracker20
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A- Pours a very dark brown with a slight red hue along the edges. 2-fingers worth of soft Khaki colored head that looks like it's sticking around for a while.

S- Dark fruits, bready, and a slight hint of the alchohol. Slight whiff of caramel as well.

T- Spicy hops flavors come out with the carbonation right up front with some caramel-like sweetness following. None of the raisen or fig flavors that I would've guessed from the smell.

MF/D- Would've liked a little bit more body on this one, but the carbonation levels are perfect for what's here. The bottle won't be a problem to sip on, but the assault of flavors really kills the palate and couldn't see having more than that. Great one to sip on.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nearly stout dark, but not transparent, crimson highlight around the edges where light penetrates, creates a finger of caramel head with decent retention, plenty of visible carbonation

S - sweet bourbonesque aromas accented nicely with some darker fruits, raisins, currants and plums

T - light vanilla flavors at first accented with the same dark fruits as the aroma, light cocoa and topped off with some anise/licorice notes

M&D - lighter bodied than I expected, and more active than I wouldve expected, easy to drink and some nice flavors, not overly complex without being simplistic, a nice beer, had to make sure to get a bottle of this before they had to change the label

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Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Cool informative paper wrap, corked and caged.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear deep red brew. Head lasts well, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is fruity and sweet. Taste begins moderately sweet, with the building fruitiness hitting a crescendo in the middle, and giving way to the hops as you near the swallow. Dry bitterness clings to the tongue. Mouthfeel is wow smooth, and drinkability is also quite amazing. Interesting and exciting brew.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jwale73 for this bottle. Poured from a 750ml paper-wrapped, corked & caged bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Dark brown with a nice head that dissipates into nothing especially as this beer warms up. Not as nice when I first poured it straight outta the fridge.

S: Really complex - oaky, burnt rubber, hops. Just a bold aroma that's pleasing to whiff.

T: When this is cold it has a nice smokey aspect - similar to a Schwarzbier. As it warms it mellows out and delivers more of a malty and hoppy character. I also pick up toasted marshmallow, subdued cognac, and butter pecan.

M: A little carbonated when you first crack this thing, but becomes quite elegant after a little time.

D: I didn't have any problems taking down the 750 over dinner and the span of 2 and a half hours.

Overall, a very nice beer and one to certainly make me eager to try other offerings from Element. Try the "bigger" brother to this beer (IMO): Harpoon Triticus (you're in luck because it was just re-released for this Fall).

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Photo of jmerloni
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown to black. Head is billowing and pillowy but recedes quickly.

S - Roasted malt, coffee, not much fruitiness.

T - More complex than I figured based on the aroma. There is some fruitiness to this and the flavors are a bit of a labyrinth. There's an anisey flavor as well. Tastes a little bit confused. Got this at a bar and didn't know what style it was and thought it was a porter, but the fact that it's actually a strong ale does make more sense.

M - I have to use the word the reviewer before me used: silky. Smooth. It is thin but it's also almost oily in the mouth. Interesting mouthfeel. Very low carbonation - almost none. I think this brew might be good real thick-bodied.

D - Moderately drinkable but not really so. Might get it again.

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Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice mahogany with a massive fluffy head that quickly shrunk down to a heavy lacing.

S - Sugar and malt with faint coffe and chocolate notes

T - Reminiscent of a stout! Excellent balance of sweet malts and the bitter hops.

M - Has the silky smooth mouthfeel of a stout or milk porter but with just more carbonation.

D - Nice and smooth which makes this one a very easy drinker. Just goes down so good.

I've tried all three of Element's offerings and each one is good in its own right. Another excellent ale from this brewery.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Heard about this one and glad to find it at the local beer store. 750ml...

A: Thin dark color with no light shining through with a huge 2 inch off-white head that fades at a decent rate. Very good.

S: First thing I get is citrus blended with sugary malt upfront light pear / pineapple in the middle with hints of caramel on the backend. Good.

T: Caramel / toffee hops upfront blended awesome with sugary malt. A very nice balance of bitterness, sugary malts, and water. It has some unique flavors, but nothing too crazy. However, the flavors blend so well that this is really good. Very good.

M: Thin on the palate and does not leave a whole lot of residual flavor on your palate. Decent.

D: Goes down amazingly easy. Very easy drinker. Awesome!

All in all, this brew definitely surprised me. This one is very, very good. I am surprised by this up and coming brewery. They definitely need to keep up the great work. My advice to the brewer is keep experimenting with different flavors in your brews to add more elements. Definitely try this one at least once. It's a very good conversion brew.

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Photo of Durge
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happily encountered at the ever reliable Dive Bar in Worcester, MA this is a thick dark black brown color served in a tulip glass with a fair light chocolate brown colored head and similar, spotty signs of lacing. The aroma offers deep malt and raisin and orange citrus, fairly mild but pleasant. The flavor comes on with licorice malt and fruit medley. I get a coffee hint and some of that raisin detected earlier twisted in with the licorice. Maybe a touch of root beer rye and toffee if you think about it way too much, but bottom line is, it's tasty. This is near full bodied with minor carbonation but has a smooth aqueous feel to make consumption options pretty decent for a strong ale. Silky with just a little bit of a resinous idea. Alcohol is not dominant but it has a subtle presence with a touch of warmth. Very satisfying for sure if you like malt warmth with a quiet hop nuance. Elementary my dear BA.

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Photo of edchicma
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of ComputerBeer
4.9/5  rDev +21%
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

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Photo of cbutova
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A- Black with a light tan two finger head that has decent retention. The cloud and ring leaves spotty, fine lacing.

S- Dark roast malt, cocoa and caramel. Slight dark fruit. Strength is decent. Some grainy notes. Almost milk-stout like. Slight floral and grassy hop aroma.

T- Dark malt with nice roast cocoa. Dark fruit, toffee and caramel hints. The hops are amazingly floral and somewhat herbal and grassy, also citrus. Definitely the spent grain flavor of used homebrew malts. Nice high hops balanced with that roast malt toffee flavor.

MF- Thin but crisp and very refreshing for such a dark beer. Good creaminess and low-ish carbonation. Works well with the flavor.

DB- Good price for a 750ml. A very unique beer for sure. Love the bottle paper. A laid back and well balanced dark ale with very nice hop presence.

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Dark Element from Element Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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