Brewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley Ale | Blue Diamond Brewing Co.

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Brewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley AleBrewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley Ale
22 Ratings
Brewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley AleBrewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley Ale

Brewed by:
Blue Diamond Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Chaz on 10-02-2010

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tone77 gives me far too much credit on this one! It came from Chaz and I passed one along to a fellow CANQuester whilst I figured out how to resize a photo for this site's approval. The CANQuest (TM) is anxious to add this tallboy to the repertoire. CAN you believe what this madness has become?

From the CAN: "Roasted black barley ale begins with a hand-crafted mixture of Barley, Caramel, Carapils, Roasted Barley and Black Barley Malt - then our master brewers blend in Cascade and Brewers Gold hops. Beer enthusiasts will enjoy the deep nutty flavor and chestnut roasted hue. Brewed the same as in the 1800's with hand-selected fresh ingredients and time honored tradition from the legendary Cave Brewery." Sounds good to me!

The Crack & Glug left me eager to get started. I have had so many AALs out of CANs that anything out of the ordinary is totally welcomed. I had a cascade as the beer foamed up, forming two thick fingers of deep-tan head with good retention that began to create some nice lacing as it fell. Color was a deep orangish-brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. I was champing at the bit awaiting my first sip. Nose was bittersweet with an initial rush of grassy hops underlain by cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium with a big milk chocolaty flavor initially and then with a bit of hops on the back end. The finish was hoppy initially but I was left with an impression of chocolate at the extreme finish. It might be that I am just desperate for something other than the same-old, same-old, but I really enjoyed this! The ABV CANnot be terribly high, making it a great cooler CANdidate. Great lacing throughout. I would definitely drink some more of this and I usually do not like Brown Ales! What does that tell you?

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for this beer.Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a pretty bronze color with some amber hues and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, a bit nutty. Taste is a good balance of malts and hops, not an overpowering flavor, rather mild but tasty. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of avalon07
3.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a brown color with ruby tints and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: Not a particularly powerful smell, but some traces of caramel, malt, and a nutty quality.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, a fair amount of caramel, the nutty quality, and a tinge of hops. Tastes more like a Scotch Ale than a brown, but that's not an issue. A decent flavor up front, but the finish is rather thin and uninteresting. Very uneven.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a thin finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A very uneven and somewhat unfocused beer. Not undrinkable, but there are better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of ZAP
3.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Auburn Brown color...fizzy off white head...poured very fizzy like..

S-Light caramel...

T-Caramel and toffee....a bit nutty....not at all what I expected from the name but I like it.

M-My worries on the fizzy pour were quickly laid to rest...smooth, lmalty feel....medium bodied worries here...

O-I had no idea what I was getting into with this...never saw it before...heard nothing...noted it was contract brewed at Cold Spring which a few years back would have been a kiss of death and definitely still gave me pause to consider purchasing even the one single can...but things have changed for the better there and they produce some decent stuff these days. This beer is solid and enjoyable....unique...the name is off...Black Barley Ale and I'm picturing perhaps along the lines of New Belgium 1554 Black Ale but this really is more along the lines of an Irish Red Ale...I doubt I'll buy much of this but it is decent and drinkable..

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Photo of morimech
3.62/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Cola colored with two inches of quick rising head. The head also settled to a thin cap very fast. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Smells like this could be a really good beer. Good malty aromas with hints of chocolate, roasted nuts, and some grassy hops. The flavor however, fails to live up to the promising aroma. Has a nice brown ale flavor, it is just too muted and suffers from a lack of depth. Hints of chocolate and a faint nuttiness. Hops do not make an appearance and has very low bitterness. The lightish and watery body is not surprising and it becomes apparant why the flavor was weak. Not a bad drinker and probably waying in ~4% ABV, one that could be enjoyed in large quantities. Enough going on that I would not become bored, and priced for the budget conscious.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.39/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beer began promising. Toasty, slightly roasty, biscuity aroma reminiscent of some New Belgium beers. But it ended there.
Darker amber, rather clear, smallish head and not black as advertised.
Starts with a biscuit flavor, but then gets watery real fast. Finishes with an off-putting sour tastes. No real hops to speak of. Finish is weird. Too lager like. No particular body to speak of.
I'm not inclined for another.
Thanks T.
Oh! We did like the can holder. A 4 pack plastic holder that was solid and sturdy and re-usable. Good job on that part.

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Photo of Hopstout
4/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of BigBry
3.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

4 pack of 16 oz. cans. Roasted Black Barley Ale - name and style sounded interesting, so had to give it a try.
Color is dark brown, orange highlights (not really black), short tan head. Decent retention, nice looking lace.
Smell has some grassy hops, a bit nutty, background aroma of some roasted cocoa/chocolate.
Taste is a good balance of malts and hops, not one overpowering flavor, rather mild. Chocolate, roasted malts, and the nuttiness in the smell.
Mouth feel and body is medium, smooth, good drinkability.
Overall this is a pretty good beer, a nice suprise.

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Photo of HoistinBrews
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of DaveMiller
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
2.5/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of jjanega08
2.06/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No freshness date

A= Pours a deep amber color almost a brown color with a nice creamy finger high head on it that holds great lacing and retention. It says black barley on the can so I suspected a black beer.... not even close to black though.

S= Oddly it smells like an AAL without much else going on. Maybe a little extra sweetness but no roast coming from the nose at all. I would say an AAL with a touch of extra caramel sweetness to it.

T= The taste does have the slightest amount of roasted barley coming through. There is a lot of the classis AAL taste to it besides that. There may also be the slightest most minimal hop character to it. There is again the slightest amount of extra sweetness to it.

M= Medium mouth on it and the finish can't decide weather it wants to be sweet or dry.

D= I don't think this beer knows what it is... It pretty much screams stout on the can but tastes like an AAL with a touch of roast malt. Really not much going on.

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Photo of jewellrunner
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Chaz
3.33/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly-hazy Cola-brown in color, and very, very clear to brilliant. A rocky, darker tan head tops this one, along with some fairly sticky lacing which coats the side of the glass as the head subsides.

Nose is slightly sweet, with toasted and lighter notes of roasted malt, but nothing too far out for the style. Hops are also on-par for the style -- nothing surprising here.

Sweetish and lightly phenolic (?) on the fist sip, roast malt and bitter malt notes pick up towards the end along with a nice nutty, tangy quality. Nice and dry towards the end, but more due to the malt bitterness/dryness and less due to the hop use, which is minimal here. Roast barley malt is the focus here, and really works.

Very light and almost brisk on the palate, and slightly creamy.

Better than average drinkability.

Not bad for a beer that hasn't been brewed since at least a couple of years before MNBrew closed their doors!

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.97/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black? Ha. Not quite. A very nice rich amber red, but not black. The head is a tight, voluminous head of almost four fingers, a nice rich tan or medium brown. Is very clear, no haze, but also no real active carbonation at all. The head sticks around for a good while and has a nice texture on the top is very nice. But no, it's not black. I'd give this a nice appearance score for a red, but not for a "black". 3.5

S: Very nice roasted malt aroma, but again, much more like a red ale. A little bit of caramel, a little bit of hops. It's a very nice smell. I could take a little bit more roasted character, especially for a black ale, but overall, this is a pretty good smelling beer. 4

T: Hmm, actually a very nice taste. Again, not a black ale, but this would make a very nice Irish red or something. There's a little bit of a creamy taste, that mysterious Cold Spring taste, but it's not off putting at all. Here I find some mild caramel, no hops, but also no real roasted character. There's nothing sharp or intense about the flavor, nothing offensive and actually a soft attractiveness. I'm going to give it a 4, taking into consideration the brewers and the marketers might not have been working together. 4

M: Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth and relatively light. This is what I am looking for in a black ale, but I don't think they've achieved it in the right way. 4

D: Very drinkable, but if I were the marketing department, I would rebrand this as a Red Ale. 4

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Photo of dmadsen
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of p-wagz
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brown with a light tan head. The head lasts for quite a while and it has decent lacing.

Not much of a nose, some roasted malts. A bit of sweetness, a bit of hops, nothing too special.

After pouring and smelling this beast I was expecting a nice thick body... This was not the case. Where are the malts? You take a sip, its like nothing happened at all. Where is the flavour, where is the body.... it just leaves a roasted, slightly bitter aftertaste in your mouth.

Mostly flat, uninteresting body... Drinkability is average, nothing is really bad about this beer... I was just expecting more. lame...

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Photo of woogie359
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of keethrax
2.05/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly light and shockingly dull.

Opened this up, and my first reaction was "wow, this is way lighter than I imagined". Still different than expected isn't the same as bad.

Nice initial head, and a pleasant but faint biscuit aroma were somewhat encouraging. It smelled tasty, if not what I was expecting.

But then it comes down to taste. To which my basic response is "what taste?". Fizzy brown water with a bit of grapefruit (Cascade hops?). No mouthfeel to speak of either. The website says:
"Since water makes up over 90% of any beer product, the key to quality beer is using quality water. Blue Diamond Brewing Company has the finest water well in the country for brewing craft beer. "

Good thing they use such good water since they're basically selling canned water in this beer. If you ignore any sort of style that it's supposed to be, it probably goes up to a C or so.

I went from optimistic, to puzzled but still optimistic, to downright bored and disappointed. I do have to admit it would be quite drinkable, but after I finish off this four-pack I won't need to put that to the test.

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Photo of auro0006
2.75/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer comes in 16 oz. cans.
It pours a dark amber to light brown color. The head rises fairly quickly and is frothy, but dissipates just as quickly.

The aroma is pleasant with hints of caramel, roasted and toasted malts and darker fruits. There is little hop detection in the nose.

The body is smooth and quite light. The palate doesn't support what is sensed in the nose. Caramel flavors and hints of dark fruits are found in the center. Sweet malts are most dominant in the palate, but roasted barley flavors are hard to find. There is also very little hop bitterness.

This beer is smooth and light; not filling at all, but it lacks the body and flavors that the nose promises.

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Photo of constablerc
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can to an American pint glass. Beer came to a two-finger heavy light-tan colored head. Head remained one-finger width after a minute and clinged to side of glass nicely while drinking. The beer is a very deep red color, clear with very few bubbles.

I can pick up the roasted aroma, but I can't put a finger on the real aroma of this beer.  It's not a bad aroma, not unpleasant, not funky; I just can't identify a prominent aroma. 

Taste is a very pleasant combination of "slights." I find very little in the way of hop flavor. The overall is slightly sweet.  A slightly nutty, slight caramel, slightly malt taste.  I really enjoyed the overall taste. 

It has a rather light feel in the mouth. Lighter than I expected from the appearance and description.  But a nice flavorful beer without being heavy. This strikes me as a summer-weight dark beer. 

Very drinkable beer.  The lighter alcohol and mouth create a brew that goes down easy.  You can drink quite a few of these without problem. 

Overall this is a solid beer, very enojoyable and a beer I'll have in regular stock in my fridge. 

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Brewer's Cave Roasted Black Barley Ale from Blue Diamond Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.25 out of 5 with 22 ratings
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