Cains Dark Mild | Robert Cain & Company Limited

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Cains Dark MildCains Dark Mild

Brewed by:
Robert Cain & Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 09-27-2003

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 114
Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the more perplexing aspects of The CANQuest (TM) to date is the relative dearth of foreign (from a U. S. P.O.V.) CANs or to our Brit and Aussie pals, TINs coming my way. I know that they exist because I have seen reviews or ads but none seem to arrive at my doorstep. You need not feel badly about sending me "Lager" which is usually pronounced in a very disdainful tone on the telly since if I will drink a Minhas product, I will drink anything.

Many, many thanks to Another6Pack for hunting these down like a truffle-sniffing pig at one of his locals in Michigan. Every day, the siren call of the Upper Midwest gets louder in mine ears and when both my uncle and my mother have passed, I will relocate the following day. I have a Liverpudlian expat local who needs to be made aware that these TINs are available and maybe even get in a cask or two, eh, Raoul?!?

From the CAN/TIN: "Imported British Beer". Yes!

Immediately following the Crack, there was an offgassing of CO2 that looked like steam rising from a witch's cauldron. I am doing "The Tragedy of MacBeth" with my students for my seventh CANsecutive year and Alan Eames' last published article in which he hypothesized that witches were simply misunderstood brewsters CANtinues to resonate. I show a short video on how to homebrew and one of these days, I am going to lead a field trip to a local brewpub, but I digress ... The Glug was magnificent, into a Sam. Adams Perfect Pint glass, resulting in not only a cascading action, but also a dense, thick two fingers of mocha-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep-brown with garnet highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was roasty, chocolaty, even a little smoky. Mouthfeel was thick and full, not quite creamy, but still very big on the tongue. The taste was of chocolate and coffee initially with the smokiness arriving and lingering on and after the finish. OMFG! This was simply marvy, darlings! The dear, departed Ding would have loved this session beer and so do I. And the lacing ... I may need a jackhammer to get it off later. How CAN I get some more? I need a reserve for Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually), plus some for the beach, hiking, the mountains, on the river, blah, blah, blah ...

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Photo of francisweizen
4.8/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask @ Dr. Duncans, Liverpool. Dark nearly opaque black with crimson edges. No real foam to see here as this is a cask conditioned brew. The aromas are so intense and insane for a 3.2 brew. OMG, how do they get so much into a 3.2 brew. Sugar, molasses, some spirt-like flavors, dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, plums, caramel, and mroe. The taste is excellent with a lovely maltiness, and some chocolate, coffee, and fruit flavors all over the place. The moufheel is smooth and lovely and the drinkability is awesome. This is just incredible when it is fresh and on cask. Surely, one of the finest, if not the finest example of this sadly underbrewed style of beer.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.76/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice malty coffee aroma, deep black color, thick foamy head that lingers to the last sip. Extremely mild yet excellent flavor of roasted malt. Pity that U.S. brewers cannot brew a low ABV dark beer with this much flavor.

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Photo of Brad007
4.41/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 3.2% mild? Can't say that I've seen many of those around lately.

Pours a pitch black with a thin, white head into my glass. Nice colors, nice head. Good start.

Rich, slightly roasted malt (similar to a stout) but with more dark fruit than coffee in aroma. Creamy too.

Again, lots of similarities to a dry stout here: Creamy, luscious with just a small hint of roasted malt. It could be called a stout but it's likely not intended as one.

Lingering creaminess is all that I need. Very tasty for a 3.2% beer!

This is what I call EXTREME DRINKABILITY. No need for a lot of alcohol, barrel-aging or any of that crap. Just a good 'ol Mild!

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque thick brown colour with a small, but lovely tan head that leaves beautiful lacing. The smell is musty, sort of like soy sauce. Interesting.
The dry bitterness hits me first. Then the surprise at the thin mouthfeel. Considering that thinness, there's great flavour in this. And since I'm reviewing a British beer, my spelling of flavour is finally appropriate. Har har. There's lots of chocolate flavour and dark malty flavour. And the bitterness adds to it nicely. Not overpowering at all. The thinness makes it both flavourful and refreshing at the same time. It's a very interesting approach to a dark beer. I see why it's called mild. Really good stuff. It's much less boring than I expected. From the looks of the can, I imagine this stuff is pretty cheap in England. Which is a shame. I wish I could buy it more regularly here, but it's a bit pricey for such a mild ale. Still, well worth a try. Don't be put off by it being mild or the thinness. It'll surprise you. I've had other regional 3.2% beers in England and a lot of them are low in carbonation and taste watery or just too lacking in flavour to make up for that low alcohol content. But this one is spot on.

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Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a heavy brown, actually quite dark and while many dark milds are, in fact, as dark as this beer, few are so heavily dark and impossible to see through. The tan head is creamy and lasts, not looking dense but holding together as well as any. Good, creamy lacing is left behind.
The aroma is malty with light roast, nuts, and floral nuances. It's as mild as it ought to be, but by no means bland.
As the gentle floral and earthy flavors of British hops meet my palate, I begin to think this beer is almost like a roasty ESB or perhaps one that's more malt-forward than most, though the balance of hops and malts while maintaining its mildness shows off more brewing skill and care for style than many seem to appreciate. The somehow simultaneously subtle and straightforward flavors of roast, nut, and very gentle pepper make this, in complement to earthy, floral and herbal bitterness, better than many.
The feel is light, certainly to style, and very gently crisp while exceptionally smooth & clean.
To point, people who crave only huge beers or those who don't appreciate nuance (though, to be clear, this beer is not weak or bland) will hate this. I love it.

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Photo of gory4d
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black, with ruddy tints when held to the light; head is high and tan, not much lacing. Smell is marigold, cut wood, something earthy, some wine-like notes. Taste is sweet malt up front, a crisp vegetal note in the middle, with tangy rye bread at the finish; there are faint notes of dried fruit as well. It's a thin beer, moderately carbonated, goes down easy. All in all a fine beer, one I'd buy often if it were available.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black glass with clear brown edges. Impressive finger of tight tan foam that looks like it will go the distance.

Smell: Bit yeasty, a brown bread note with a hint of earthy English hops.

Taste: Roasted grain, slight sour edge (trying hard not to say Guinness) that shows through due to remarkable balance. Doesn't come across as sweet or bitter which lets all the other flavors (grain, yeast, even water) shine. Little butter noted after seeing other reviews.

Mouthfeel: Slightly grainy texture, low-medium carbonation, light body.

Overall: Long thirsty pulls during the review, easy drinking and great flavor. Great beer, outstanding session beer! Lots of flavor and low alcohol. Nice!

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Photo of GreenCard
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, almost opaque, spongey layer of tan foam that slowly compacts to a creamy cap, good head retention, lacey

Aroma: roast, dark chocolate, hint of coffee, butterscotch, cream, soy sauce

Flavor: silky milky sweetness followed by an unsweetened chocolate bitterness; butterscotch, roast; finishes semisweet with a lingering roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, soft carbonation, very smooth and soft texture

Other comments: THIS is a Mild! Text-book definition. OK, well, a Mild doesn't have to be dark anymore, but that's what it was traditionally and that's the way it damn well should be (in my book). Really hits the spot! Roger Protz rates this as one of his "300 Beers To Try Before You Die". Some of his picks are a bit questionable, but this one I can definitely agree with.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To me, this is a unique beer. It is very big on flavor but very light. Yet it is a dark, malty thing. I like it.

It pours with very little head. The aroma is mild but interesting. It's kind of musty seaside smell. Perfect Liverpudlian. Go Red.

The taste is dark, bitter, slightly smokey, and full of character. This is truly amazing for a beer with such a light feel. It never seemed to have any head, and the aftertaste is extremely light, but it works.

I want to get these for a sunny afternoon when it is nice to be outside (it only hit 37 degrees today - still frigid even in the sun). Then they can transport and refresh you with Liverpool's coolness.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

14.9 fl.oz./440ml can, sent by woodychandler a couple months back; as woody would say, 'cracked and glugged' to a curvy Adnams nonic pint.

A: Deep, chocolate-y brown pour, a ruby trim in strong light. A few scurrying bubbles rise and a sheen of them hug the base of the glass. Initial head is thick and cream, almost a finger of pock-marked ivory. Lace is fleeting and the head disappears altogether within 5 minutes... but the initial look is really good.

S: Emptied the can at 'cellar temperature' (about 50F) and it has a lovely fruity aroma: prune/raisin/date and a nutty cola. A curious little puff of smoke. Very good strength, quite inviting

T: Light cocoa, a little toffee, some dry pit fruit (fig/date), and a hint of sweetened coffee. A drying finish - chalky/mineral with even a twist of vinous tang. First sip seems 'bland', but flavors build subtly/wonderfully from then on. A beer that greatly benefits from a warmer serving temperature AND a contemplative session at home (watching 4th quarter of the Knicks/Pacers game) where mulling over these flavors is easier.

M: Thin (per the style) but smooth and vaguely coating. A little metal/brass in the finish and a sugariness, too. What seems 'boring' after a sip improves as it goes.

O: A nice beer, from a can or not. The argument for this being a 'simple' style is well-founded, but the subtleties here are very pleasing and the low ABV is perfectly sessionable. I like it quite a bit - always appreciate a style that isn't as accessible or popular out here in the western US - and would drink it again.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark pour, nearly black, with a deep tan head of between one and two fingers. Small bubbles, fades quickly, Very attractive beer.

Smell is a dry roast with a slight bitterness, but also a hint of sweet. Bitterness is all grains, no hops. Could be a little more mild, perhaps a more bready scent would be good.

Again, a pretty solid almost coffee roast. I admire the use of stronger flavored grains to intensify the beer without upping the alcohol, but I can't help but feel there were better choices to make this less of a coffee beer.

Mouthfeel is great, spot on with perfect carbonation and texture.

Overall this beer does a great job of being a Mild, I really enjoy is and reccomend it often.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: strong malt, touch of chocolate, biscuit. Appearance: dark brown, persistent head. Good head. Dark. Flavor: dark malts, slight banana, grainy dryness, some sour fruit. Mouthfeel: thin, dull, simple, low carbonation.

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Photo of nppeders
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say this at the beginning of the post here. I've never had a mild before. It aint easy finding a mild in Minnesota, but the Four Firkin came through for me! I'm about to brew a few Mild ales and decided I should try a "proper" ale first.

appearance - dark, almost black. red hues appear when held to the light.

smell - roast, grains, straight up grainy goodness that reminds you of grape nuts, when you were a kid, or mashing in your grains.

taste - starts out smooth and creamy, middle is not really there, and then it finish's with a little coffee, toffee, grains, and sweetness that lingers.

mouthfeel - Very thin, creamy mouthfeell.

overall - I could probably drink a whole keg of this stuff. It's so drinkable. Very thin mouthfeel which I wasn't expecting. I like it, I'd buy it again. I'll seek out more milds, and hope to produce something similar myself someday.

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Photo of rangerred
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

14.9oz can into a pint glass. Date of August 23, 2012 on the bottom. Presumably a best by date.

An aggressive pour yields a half finger tan head although with very good retention.

Aroma is definitely metallic but smelling past that, chocolate and coffee dominate with some sweet caramel in the background.

The taste has none of the metal present in the aroma. Bitter coffee and dark chocolate followed by a little bit of burnt caramel. Very drying bitterness much like strong coffee. In fact, this beer is very espresso-like. A little bit of nutty-ness and dried fruit but it is very faint. Mouthfeel is thin as to be expected but not as bad as I was fearing.

Overall, a very, very impressive beer for only being 3.2%. Tons more flavor than any light beer on the market. This is a beer you could literally sip on all day. Oh how I wish we could get more beers like this in the states. I would buy case loads!

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Photo of IronLover
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A half-imperial pint serving from Dandelion in Philly. Totally black in color with a brief beige head. Foam dissipated quickly. No lacings or cap. Burnt malt and caramel aromas with a slight hint of coffee. On the lighter side of medium bodied with very lght carbonation. Smooth and refreshing feel. Dark roasted malt and burnt malt flavors in the beginning with a brief caramel malt middle and finish. Finished dry with no bitter hop character. Very easy to drink. A nice low ABV option with lots of character for a mild ale.

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Photo of claytri
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a rich dark mahogany with a bit of tan lacing. The aroma is of toasted malt with hints of sweetness. The taste has a coffee taste first and foremost, but adds on that with the undertones of toasted malt, and hint of sweetness in the finish. The feel is smooth and wet to start, but then drys in the finish. Overall a nice representation of the style, a beer one could sip on all evening.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this from France 44 online.

It pours a very very dark brown with a 2 finger head of off white foam.

It has a light nose of bitterness and roasted malt. Not a bad aroma especially for a 3.2% abv brew.

The taste, though light(appropriate for the style, at least in canned/bottled examples) is satisfying. Roasted malt goodness with a light hop bitterness, as simple as that and all I need. That makes for an inviting break from all of the big abv, knock you on your ass beers that are out there.

Light bodied, fairly light carbonation, good mouthfeel and so drinkable. I need more beers that resemble this one.

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Photo of rtrasr
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is weak coffee with sugar. Mouthful is like a thinner version of porter, very thin indeed. Makes you wonder if mild is derived from porter even though beer historian disagree. I can see how this can be a very spectacular ale is presented right. Taste is lightly roasted coffee beans with some sweetness. This is malty beer but not too heavy.

I wonder how this beer would be if presented on cask. I think this could be a treat.
American Craft Brewers embrace this style as you have porter. This could be a great gateway into cask ale for Americans Brewers. It also could be a great american craft keg beer. Some experimentation is required. On another note, let's hope the Cain's Brewery of Liverpool survives and grows.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 440mL can into a pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown hue indeed, rather like a rich porter in appearance. Head is a thick finger of creamy dark tan foam with OK retention and not much in the way of lace. Wonderful color, though.

Smell: rich, chocolatey aroma with a light sweetness and a hint of roastiness. This is almost like a sessionable porter; I really like it.

Taste: this beer tastes a lot like Guinness, rather surprisingly. It's drier and less chocolatey than the aroma, with a nice character from roasty malt. Honestly it works better for me as a mild than as a stout. Hops are very light but noticeable at the end.

Mouthfeel: light body but a very well integrated carbonation and a big creamy smoothness. This isn't a nitro-widget can but the texture is quite reminiscent of that.

Overall: I could probably drink gallons of this stuff. Big flavor in a light-ABV brew always wins high marks from me.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.25 A: Clear dark brown color. Two and a half fingers of creamy/frothy tan head. Retention is very good and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Roasty toasty graininess with a hint of ash. Overall quite dry with notes of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Touch of mineral to round things off. Decently powerful for a beer of its size.

3.75 T: Like the nose, there's a lot of toastiness with some roasty component. Dry with a moderate bitterness. Chocolate, nuttiness, mineral and caramel form a subtle complexity. Again, a lot going on given the ABV.

4.25 M: Lighter body. Good moderate carbonation with a surprising amount of creaminess. Super smooth, well done.

4.0 D: Pretty good beer to reach for if you are in the mood for a dark session beer. No real complaints.

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Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This seems like a decent example of an English Mild, considering it's not from a hand pump. Attractive dark brown with a glint of ruby. Plenty of foam and a fine carbonation, quite nice and perhaps an improvement on the cask version.

Dark, malty flavors are very prominent. A pleasant touch of sweetness on the tongue. Just a hint of grainy aroma. Modestly bitter at the end, with an appropriate level of hops to balance the malt. A really tasty big gulp with some nice caramel and dark, roasted flavors.

This is a definite entry in the high-flavor, low-alcohol sweepstakes. From the 16 oz can bought in Abilene, Texas.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker than expected brew with a very small but finely bubbled soft head that is light brown in color. The head almost looks like a nitro can head albeit much smaller. Nice creamy lace, but not a lot of it.

S - Tootsie rolls, milk chocolate chips. Milky way bar.

T - Darker chocolate than the nose. Slightly bitter like baker's chocolate. A little winey on the finish. NIce!

M- LIght bodied and MELOW as heck. Slightly dry and mildly bitter finish with a lingering hint of malt that reminds me of Guinness.

Super drinkable mild brew that has an almost laughably low ABV for us 'Mericans used to at least 5% even in our light pisswater lagers! Could have one or two with lunch on a weekend and not ruin your afternoon. Malty, tasty, and mellow. This is a really nice session brew.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I already flagged this beer as not being retired, hopefully that is cleared up soon. Beer on tap at a local beer bar.

Beer is dark brown with a thin tan head that break, no real lacing and the carbonation is moderate to low. Looks good.

Aroma is weak but I'm picking up some caramel, some coffee, some subtle flavors in there. Smells decent enough for a mild.

Beer is thin and has a nice roastiness to the back of it. Unfortunately for it, I've had better milds recently. Beer is all around good, but I have a hard time picking up the flavors at the front of the beer, there is only a mild sweetness, nothing else really. I'd have it again, the low ABV makes it possible to drink 10 of them in one sitting, but I've definitely had better milds.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

440 ml can into imperial pint glass, best before 8/23/2012. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a small light tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, molasses, toffee, biscuit, toast, milk chocolate, nuttiness, earth, and light herbal hops. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, molasses, toast, chocolate, biscuit, nuttiness, earth, light raisin, and herbal spiciness. Very light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, earth and herbal on the finish for a short bit. Some decent flavor balance with a fair amount of flavor overall. No cloying flavors at all. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is good. No alcohol noticed other than a minimal warming after the finish. Very smooth and easy to drink as expected. Overall this is a nice mild. Nice fairly robust flavors; and very smooth to drink. I hope to find more milds in the future, there really aren’t too many available in the states.

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Cains Dark Mild from Robert Cain & Company Limited
3.63 out of 5 based on 114 ratings.
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