Morocco Ale | Daleside Brewery

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Morocco AleMorocco Ale

Brewed by:
Daleside Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed & Bottled for Levens Hall, Cumbria.

Brewers Notes: A rich, dark and mysterious ale brewed to the ancient recipe held secret at Levens Hall for over 200 years.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-21-2002

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 68
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 858 characters

Photo of ADR
4.15/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with a ruby hue. Nice head present that leaves moderate lacing.

Nose: The ginger overpowers almost everything but there are hits of caramel and nuts.

Taste: Starts off nice and sweet and finishes bitter. Plenty of spice here with the ginger. Some roasted malts also make themselves known.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with almost no carbonation.

Drinkability: I could easily drink more of these with the low ABV, but I think I would normally choose something else.

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Photo of rastaman
1.9/5  rDev -47.8%
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!!!!!!

 297 characters

Photo of cokes
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
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).

 806 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Bruisin Ales & enjoyed, late July

Poured chestnut with 3+ fingers of rocky tan colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Licorice, sasparilla & medicinal notes

T: Roasted malt,licorice, hints of honey up front. Herbal & spruce notes show as this warms. Finishes juniper & licorice. I think this would go down better in cold weather

MF: Creamy, medium-bodied & low carbonation

Drinks alright, but unless I was eating Christmas cookies all day, I doubt I could drink more than 2 at a session!

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Photo of rymartin
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have this often on visits to Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Finally found it on shelf at Marty's in Allston, MA as well.

Pours a reddish/chestnut brown with laced, beige head. To me, the aroma is divine; taste also resonates of raisins, cardamom and/or ginger. Smooth taste and very drinkable, especially when paired with fruits - could be delicious with manchego and quince!

Drank it a couple times too chilled, and the medicinal notes seemed to overpower the other spices. When drank at a nicer temp, very smooth and lightly carbonated.

 536 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour a chocolate brown color with a nice fluffy light brown head that settled into a thick cap. The aroma is of buttery malt, minerals, raisins, and spice. The taste is of rusty water, very slight chocolate, raisins, pine and allspice. The look and aroma scream malty but the tastes fails to deliver, though there is a nice spice kick. The feel is light and watery, well carbonated and finishes with a slight malt bitterness. An average English ale that looks and smells great but disappoints some in the flavor. I was expecting a more robust malt flavor.

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Photo of morimech
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer I saw on a local store shelf. Poured from 500ml bottle into a standard pint glass. Once poured the color is dark brown with a reddish tint. Only a half inch of head formed but it had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass.

Pleasant English hop aroma upfront. Slightly herbal and grassy. Mild soapiness as well. The malt gives off hints of caramel.

When I think of what a dark English ale would taste like, this beer fits the thought soundly. Sweet caramel malt lays a foundation for the English hops. I love these hops with their herbal/grassy notes. Just a little more rich and sweet than an EPA. Bitterness is low to moderate. No alcohol presence.

I would of liked a little more body for the sweetness brought on by the malt. Nicely carbonated but a little rough.

Pleasantly surpised by this beer. Maybe not as good as Stingo or Geary's, but definately worth a try.

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Photo of smurfyou
3.22/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firstly, I'd like to mention I didn't notice any instance of the word "spiced" on the label for this beer. But it is flavored fairly heavily with spices.

Pours very dark, with a twinge of ruby red, with not much head on it. Smells like fig, with some cakey bread aromas. Tastes heavily of ginger and probably cardamom or allspice or some other exotic flavor. Really wasn't expecting that. Tastes more like a gruit to me. Also fig/date/raisin flavors. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but low carbonation helps here I think, and aftertaste seemed thicker and lingering.

Didn't care for it at first, because I really wasn't expecting something flavored like this. And I didn't think it was too great until it warmed up a bit. I highly recommend letting this one sit out of the fridge for ~30 minutes. It gets much much better, more so than most beers, and becomes easily drinkable and enjoyable. Kind of a Jekyll and Hyde brew. Give it a chance.

 946 characters

Photo of akorsak
2.23/5  rDev -38.7%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of goldbot
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with som ruby highlights near the bottom of the pint glass. Thin, off-white head that dissipates quickly. Lots of sediment which was hard to avoid pouring. Dark, roasted malt aroma with some caramel notes as well as raisin and licorice undertones, and a whiff of ethanol. The flavor is malty, featuring more roasted malts adding a hint of chocolate and caramel. Little to no hop presence. Medium body, bordering on being slightly thin or watery.

 456 characters

Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 839 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear light coffee color with a thin veneer of white head.

S: Saccharine, caramel character with a strong semblance to corn syrup.

T: Creamy sweet, toffee-like roasted malt character with a slight vinegary sheen followed by marginally bitter medicinal hops and a slightly bitter caramel aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied bordering on thin with lots of tiny, effervescent carbonation that consistently tingle the tongue.

D: Certainly a drinkable brew, but definitely unique in that I didn't think a lighter alcohol version of an ale existed which had the same characteristics as usually much darker stouts/porters.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass, served at cellar temp.

dark, dark ruby which betrays it's red hues only under bright light. Thick off white head.

aroma is cake batter malt with a faint dark fruitiness.

mouthfeel is soft and gentle.

flavor: unique, nuts, dark fruits, toffee. lots of pale malts, a touch of vanilla, an explosion of flavors.

notes; super yummy, tasty, hope to buy again.

 404 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500mL bottle (no date) poured into a Tulip Stout glass.

Appearance: Mostly clear dark ruby red ale with the remnants of a off-white head. The pour didn't yield much of a head and all that was formed was a ring at the edge, the faintest wisps of foam across the top, and one or two isolated islands of lacing. Nice color, bummer for the lack of lacing and foam. Noted looking in the bottle at the end of the pour that the sediment stayed behind and didn't come along with the pour.

Smell: With a swirl, toffee + toasted/roasted malt and some molasses. Otherwise a bit malty with some metallic notes as well as something herbal/spicy in there towards the back. Interesting.

Taste: Toffee malt, mild coffee bitterness, hints of bittersweet chocolate, and molasses. Tasty. English hop character absent - there are bitter flavors to counter the malt, but it comes out more as roasted/toasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: Typical English ale carbonation (maybe a little bit more carbonated than normal) but otherwise a bit watery.

Overall / Drinkability: I wonder if this would best on cask rather than in a bottle. It's tasty, smells interesting, and overall, I could see myself having another one - a full pint no less.

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Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Photo of HumanParaquat
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Shiloh
2.79/5  rDev -23.4%
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....

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Morocco Ale from Daleside Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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