Morocco Ale
Daleside Brewery

Morocco AleMorocco Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - English
Ranked #55
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #37,862
Avg:
3.69 | pDev: 14.91%
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
69
From:
Daleside Brewery
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  5
Gots
  0
SCORE
83
Good
Morocco AleMorocco Ale
Notes: Brewed & Bottled for Levens Hall, Cumbria.
www.levenshall.co.uk

Brewers Notes: A rich, dark and mysterious ale brewed to the ancient recipe held secret at Levens Hall for over 200 years.
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml brown wide bottomed glass bottle sealed with a simple brass crown cap which has the Daleside logo in dark green. Main label looks just like the one on BA. This beer is brewed and bottled for Levens Hall in Cumbria. Labelled as ‘Morocco Ale’ and described as “A rich, dark and mysterious ale brewed to the ancient recipe held secret at Levens Hall for over 200 years”. Recommended to be served at 54 °F (12 °C) or cooler if preferred. Listed at Alc. 5.5% Vol. No freshness stated.

The side of the label goes on to say:
“The recipe for Morocco Ale is believed to date from Elizabethan times. Colonel John Grahme of Levens was a courtier to James II and the name 'Morocco Ale' may have been associated with the dark Moors who came to the court when Catherine of Breganza married Charles II and brought Tangiers as part of her dowry. Legend has it that the Secret Recipe was buried under the ever-greens in the garden during the English Civil War”


Appearance: Dark mahogany with deep rich ruby look to it. Perfectly clear it sit underneath a lovely smooth looking tanned head which forms a thick ring lacing around the edges of the glass, with a thin broken head over the beer. Light lacing and a firm well dissolved conditioning.

Nose: Lots of spices, some herbs. Xmas feel to it with a healthy dollop of Ginger, and erm, some Grains of Paradise, or Cardamom maybe? Background has roasted malts and rising dark cooking chocolate bitterness. Lots of Ginger nonetheless and a Brandy Snap finish.

Taste: Pretty much as the nose projects, and with the same nice balance, never over the top or understated, the roasted malts seem to break through more though and lend a good part of the middle. The Ginger is prickly on the tongue to start with whilst the Cardamom is there at the end. Lingering ending has a spicy tangy gingery brandy snap lovable swathe which dies slowly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dare I even say silky at times. Despite the spices and roasted malts, the body never manages anything hefty; it is above average but light enough to give this tasty spiced ale a great Drinkability.

Drinkability: The balance in this brew is expertly set; the spices and roast malts are in tune with each, and the underlying bitterness and sweetness guide you safely this brew without going of at a tangent. Aged Irish Cheddar is stunningly good with this brew!!

Overall: Very enjoyable, this spiced brew is nicely balanced and a tasty rewarding brew with a pleasing old-school feel, dare I say almost Victorian Christmas angle though it predates that period by many years. I was never a big fan of Daleside’s (then) average beers when back in the UK; but with the recent sampling of the excellent bottled Monkey Wrench and now this treat, I’m suitably impressed to be brave enough to try their brews on Cask when I am back in England if I see them.

Recommended, and get some Aged Cheddar to partner this one!

Nov 27, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, from Voldby Købmandsgaard. ABV is 5.5%. Deep brown colour, large to moderate beige head. Unusual and interesting spicy and malty aroma, also notes of brown bread and caramel. The flavour is is also distinctly malty, medium sweet with some caramel, and a combination of exotic and "dusty" spices and hops that I’ve had in no other beer. More of a beer I’d like to have on a dark autumn night than on this hot summer’s day.

Jan 10, 2021
Photo of Brent
Brent from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The predominant flavor is an assertive caramel-candy malt, and on first pass the beer seems a bit one-dimensional. After a few more sips, however, the judicious spice flavors emerge, slightly herbal and the overall impression is a winter warmer. As the beer temperature came up, a bit more complexity developed in the malt, and bitter chocolate and coffee came through, evolving into almost porter-like beer. Quite the chameleon.

Apr 14, 2006
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Deep maroon color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Malty, bready nose. Starts sweet, malty bready, clean finish. Nice dark ale. $4.35 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

May 16, 2006
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oberon from North Carolina

3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby with a thin wispy head leaving no lace behind,big orange aroma with a little ginger in there that was really appetizing.Ginger to the hilt flavor wise it gets overpowering after awhile to go along with a menthol quality to make this brew pretty odd in the flavor department and a little much to handle.If you wanna try something different this is it I wont revisit it but glad to give it a try.

Feb 18, 2005
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ADR from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery red and clear appearance with a big foamy orangish head. Sticky and complex lace patterns. Nice aroma, interesting if slightly phenolic, has some qualities like horehound cough drops, ginger, and peppermint. Light mouthfeel, low but persistent carbonation. I have to say I dig the taste of this beer just because it has distinctive qualities. Prickly pine cone, star anise, and spicy molasses flavors mix in to give a restrained perfume-like impression, yeah, even like a disinfected shower room (on warming it even reminds me of "Stove Top" stuffing mix). Works well for me, combining with the easy-going mouthfeel to give a nice drinkability when you're in the mood.

Feb 25, 2006
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rastaman from England

1.9/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Kind of tasted too much like ginger ale, i couldn't pick up much else, just ginger, a bit of malt and i really couldn't detect much hops. This didn't do much for me. There wasn't much happening aside from the ginger flavour, quite unpleasant and quite hard to drink in the end. NOt impressed!!!!!!

Apr 01, 2003
Photo of cokes
cokes from Wisconsin

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label speaks of so much history and secrets that Dan Brown might base his next book upon it.
Pours a coppery umber with a modest buttery cap.
Nose of crystalized ginger and little else aside from, maybe, some sassafras and pumpernickel.
Begins with phantoms of malt, in the forms of dark breads and brown sugar, followed by a vapor trail of roastedness. This burnt sugary sensation lingers and joins the ginger as it loudly parades through. Vague vanilla essence at the edges. The caramelized ginger lingers and obscures the entirety of the hops, though dryness is noted on the close.
Medium- light in body with steady carbonation. If there is historical accuracy to the bottle's claim, this can readily be seen as precusor to many a modern day spiced winter warmers (a la Anchor Our Special Ale).

Mar 30, 2005
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Shiloh from Canada (ON)

2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a taste expierience that I would recomend...I am glad that I tried this particular brew, I don't like it much but it is an expierience.....colour is very dark with limited head...
Aroma of ginger and the taste of licorice makes for an interesting combination....

Jan 12, 2003
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque, mahogany hued, topped with bubbling, creamy tanned head. Looks lovely.

Nose smacks of ginger from the start. Other spices may be in the blend, as well, but ginger is dominant. Spicy and sweet. Soft and sublime. Me likey.

Taste it!
Ginger blazes the buds right off, resting atop a tasty malty base. No hops to be tasted. Nothing else, really, besides the ginger. And the body is a bit light for my taste. Could be beefier, to suit me. But probably just right for others. Hurray for them!

Supple on the tongue and easily sent down the gullet...for those who enjoy the flavor of ginger. If you're not one of those, stay clear away and shut your wallet.

Apr 18, 2006
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taez555 from Vermont

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA.

Poured a opaque dark coca-cola colored body with a small tan head.

Nose was dominated by an anise, natural spice sort of smell with loads of natrually brewed soy sauce.

Taste was medium bodied with touches of dark mild burnt caramel, but has an overly dominate flavor of natural roots, spices and little hops. At first I thought this beer was a dark ale/gruit. Anise, ginger, soy, raisins, malt. A mild bitterness and absolutely no hop presence.

At 5.5% this is a strong ale? Regardless it's an interesting beer. Basically it tastes like a very mild english dark ale, or almost porter with an overwhelming Gruit flavor. Cool and interesting beer.

Apr 08, 2007
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oelergud from Virginia

4.77/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large brown stubby 500ml glass bottle. Dark green label with a yellow goat in profile.
Very deep almost opaque maply brown body with a red tint. Large tan airy bubble with a creamy ring. Clumpy lace and great retention.
This is an unusual beer when it comes to smell. Very strong dark earth and licorice root scent. Sweet, very spicy and tangy.
The taste is very similar to the smell. Equally strong, sweet, spicy and tangy. Very interesting brew. The aftertaste is enduring, sweet and full of dark earth, molasses and mulch.
Full body, slight coating and thirst quenching.
Excellent drinkability. This is proof that not all english ales are subtle. This one packs a flavor punch to be reckoned with.

-Oelergud

Feb 13, 2008
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canucklehead from Canada (BC)

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A reddish brown beer with a big malty nose, this is a spicy brew with a real ginger note to the finish. The drinkability is high in part to the smoothness and the nice blend of all the parts. Not an every day beer but rather a treat that stands apart from the usual English ales.

Jul 11, 2007
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IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes in a 500 ml brown bottle, green label, curious little blurbs on it relating the history of the beer, or at least it's original recipe. Best before date on neck states Jan 07.

Pours out a deep wooden mahogany, very dark but the deep sienna tones are brought out when held to the light. A creamy beige head forms and settles to a frothy cap, perforated by large bubbles. Foamy ridges of lacing are left in its wake

The aroma is immediately curious for such a dark ale, as I get a shock of sweet ginger and some citrus at first and most predominently. Brandy-soaked raisins, some fig, brown sugar, spruce. A nuttinessm to the malt.

The flavour is just as curious. Rich malt blends with intense spice right from the start, spruce, ginger and cardoman. More malt comes out in the finish, surprisingly enough, brown sugar and anise. The aftertaste lingers on with ginger and fig.

The mouthfeel is deceptively light yet full, and silky smooth. An easy quaffer.

If nothing else this is one very unique ale, a real spice-fest. Many thanks to rudge75 and fisherman34 for sending this out via CanBIF #2.

Dec 03, 2006
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WesWes from New York

3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a strong herbal aroma. It's quite refreshing, but I can't quite put my finger on the aroma. I guess it's ginger and cinnamon. The taste is decent. It has a dry herbal flavor that is slow going down and spicey on the finish. It has a ginger beer feel. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a unique beer with good aroma. I'm just not sold on the taste.

Apr 07, 2006
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ALEBOY from Australia

2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First of all as a lover of Belgian ales I would have to say that this is definitly NOT a Belgian pale ale. What it is perhaps best described as is simply a Spiced Ale. It is not an outstanding beer, but, it is one well worth trying. The beer pours nicely but is let down by the fact that the ginger aroma is almost all empowering leaving no room for hop or other spice aromas to shine through. The taste is fine, although once again the ginger is perhaps a little dominant. I found the mouthfeel to be a little watery for a beer of such strong flavour. I would recomend drinking this beer alongside some heavily spiced red meats ,perhaps mediteranian style.

Jul 19, 2003
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of piscator34: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma of strange spices with some roasted malt. Taste is best described as a spiced English porter/winter warmer with a medium bitter finish. I honestly have a hard time identifying the mix of spices included here but would say that it was quite enjoyable. Body is about average with medium to low carbonation. Interesting beer is doesn’t even start to describe this.

Nov 10, 2006
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TerryW from Canada (ON)

2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours red-brown with hardly any head. Smells sweet with the odours of ginger, molasses and raisins.

You need to drink this one room temperature warm (even says so on the label) otherwise it's too much like drinking a flat bottle of pop. Let it warm up and you'll catch a variety of flavours and get past a straight up ginger ale taste.

Good enough as a spiced ale, sure as hell not a Belgian pale ale.

Sep 28, 2003
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

2.23/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I am drinking a 500 mL bottle poured into a Kwak glass. The ale is cold but warming.

Appearance: The ale pours a deep brown color that resembles a cola. There is light carbonation on first pour, but it does not last. The head left a residual amount of lace around to mouth.

Smell: Cinnamon, gingerbread, pine, just a few of the aromas that I pick out. The ale smells like Alba pine ale. As it is intended to be a throwback, I suppose that makes sense...

Taste: The taste does not disappoint, at least when compared to the aroma. That being said, the taste is not all that hot. The amalgum of spices is overpowering and does not allow any one to stand out. As a throwback ale, it is quaint. As a current beer, it is lacking.

Mouthfeel: The spices take over and don't let go...

Drinkability: The spices overpower the ale, try it as a novelty and nothing else.

Feb 12, 2006
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GCBrewingCo from North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber (almost brown) with an off-white head which rose slightly, but stayed patiently to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a gingerbread aroma and a nice caramel maltiness. The aroma also contained a notable cinnamon character.

The flavor was malty with a notable biscuit flavor and gingerbread spice with a cinnamon note. The maltiness was not at a high level, but worked well with it's dark caramel presence with the spicing. The flavor was not overly fruity, but just enough to balance. Bittering was at a lower level and again, just enough to balance.

The finish was dry with a lasting biscuit and light spice into the aftertaste with a dark caramel impression. The body was medium and the carbonation was low. A ginger ale with perhaps some cinnamon thrown in for good measure. Not bad.

500 ml bottle.

Aug 02, 2005
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merlin48 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, as pictured, pours a clear chestnut brown body with a small beige head. Attractive patch lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma opens with chocolate and caramel notes, joined quickly with a metallic mineral hint. Spices are in the background,suggestive of grains of paradise and cardomam. Floral and minty hops add to the exotic nose.

Light medium in body with a subtle medium carbonation.

Taste opens with a hint of milk chocolate and some brown ale style nuttiness. Cardomom and grains of paradise are the only spices I can identify but the spice bill reminds me of what I've encountered in some saisons. Some truly strange notes are picked up, but not at all unpleasant. This comes off to me as having lots of cola and Lipton's tea character, with some mint thrown in. Floral hops keep things from going insane.

Quite drinkable, though unusual.

Dec 12, 2008
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasted hazelnut that is actually bloody crimson when the glass is held up to my sunlight front window. The beer is crowned with a busily bubbly cap of sandlewood beige that, although it has a wonderful texture, doesn't look as if it'll be very generous in terms of glass coverage. Small patches of honeycomb-like lace manage to stick longer than expected.

I had no luck in trying to find out the secret recipe of herbs and spices that the brewers of Morocco Ale employ, except that ginger is the most prominent. I'll go along with that. If the nose is any indication, there's a fair amount of anise in the mix as well... and probably cardamon... and possibly spruce tips. Good show old boys!

One had better like spiced beer before cracking open a bottle of Morocco. I do as long as the conglomeration of ingredients is to my liking and as long as they aren't added with too light or too heavy a hand. All apply in the affirmative in this case. The base beer is akin to a porter with a gently roasted maltiness that contribues some amount of bittersweet chocolatiness.

Essentially though, this beer exists as a showcase for the spice bill. My opinion of the spices in question hasn't changed one iota since the nose. Ginger, anise and cardamom are still the most prominent. They provide such strong, distinctive flavor that it's nearly impossible to appreciate anything of a more subtle nature.

The beer is reasonably well-balanced in terms of sweetness vs. bitterness, with bitterness easily achieving the upper hand on the finish. The various flavors were pretty well-integrated right off the bat, but have become even more so with warming. This would be a great beer to drink on a cold winter night if one wasn't in the mood for something heavy and alcoholic.

The body/mouthfeel, in addition to the underlying flavor, is similar to a mid-range porter. It's no more than medium in heft, but has legs enough to hold up well throughout the entirety of the mouthful. A soft, gentle amount of carbonation is near perfect and makes me think that this would be wonderful on cask.

Morocco Ale is an impressively distinctive beer and is unlike anything that I've ever had. It's easily my favorite of the Daleside offerings and is a beer that I'd love to drink again, if I could only remember where I bought it. If you enjoy spiced ales, this one definitely deserves a purchase. "Luck to Levins whilst t'Kent flows."

Oct 11, 2006
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Dukeofearl from California

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle as shown on the avatar, $3.69 at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA. in March 2007.

Pours a pretty clear brown with nice ruby highlights in a tall Bath Ales Pint glass. A frothy tan head sits atop and hangs around nicely.

Aroma is a mix of cooked grains, dark bread (German brown bread) and a bit of chocolate-covered raisins. A few spices I can't identify round out the bill. The flavor agrees with the aroma profile, although the raisin bit is very muted, and the chocolate part is more on the dark bitter side. Still the spices. I see others suggest ginger and cardamon, very well could be, but I can't tell. But I do like it.

Mouthfeel is a little down because it's got a bit of sharp edges that would be more enjoyable, but also probably more boring, if they were smoothed out.

Overall a nice, tasty beer.

Mar 29, 2007
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tgbljb from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep reddish-brown color with moderate off-white head. Good retention and lacing.
Smell is fruity, nutty, medicinal (in a good way) Reminds me a lot of Spruce Ale from Yards.
Taste also has an evergreen character to it. Also reminds me of Yards Spruce in the flavor.
A nice refreshing easy to drink beer.
Another enjoyable offering from Daleside.

Dec 08, 2007
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beerking1 from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown, with a light tan head that leaves a slight lace down the glass. Aroma is mild dark malt with some notes of molasses and dark fruit. Flavor has some alcohol notes, although mild, along with more molasses and faint dark malt and raisins. Mouthfeel is low, finish is very slightly cloying.

Jan 20, 2008
Morocco Ale from Daleside Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 69 ratings