Genuine Dark Beer
Adams Street Brewery

Genuine Dark BeerGenuine Dark Beer
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Lager - European Dark
3.16 | pDev: 18.67%
Adams Street Brewery
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Genuine Dark BeerGenuine Dark Beer
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 93 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

2.36/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. No head, dark brown almost black color.

I desperately tried to smell it... at best it had a faint grain/wet malt smell.

It is sweet tasting throughout, like watered down liquid malt extract.

Syrupy and sticky texture. Heavier body and moderate carbonation.

It's tough to like. Just a too sweet, dark looking beer.

Jul 08, 2012
Photo of rings
rings from Michigan

2.57/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This is one of my favorite beer styles and I was eager to sample theirs as each of their beers has improved immensely since my last sampling in 2006. This one is a Munich dark lager and was, unfortunately, the least impressive of their lineup on this date.

The Dark is deep brown in color and has a caramel/chocolate sweetness on the nose. Lightly hopped, it balances nicely, but it was slightly lacking in body. As in their Red, I picked up a bit of DMS. Even worse, there was a lingering and prevalent tinny or metal taste, which could have been anything from bad glassware to poorly stored grains at the brewhouse. Either way, it robbed what otherwise was a fair effort of any potential.

This one is a disappointing.

Feb 11, 2011
Photo of drpimento
drpimento from Wisconsin

3.84/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not bad; pleasant surprise from this older bottle that's been sitting on the shelf for a couple, three years. Poured with a fine bubble, tan head that quickly subsides and no lace. Color is a clear brown with amber highlights. Aroma is malt, a bit roasty, hint of molasses and dark ripe fruit. Flavor is like aroma. Body is ok and carbonation is a tad fizzy. Very easy drinking beer. Be great to cook with too.

Jul 22, 2010
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EddieTheTrooper from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Looks like a dark beer, drinks like a light beer, tastes like a wheat beer; its the amazing berghoff dark lager! It has a very smooth feel to it and a sweet but subtle taste-- this beer has what shock top does not: moderation. Its just a good, well-balanced beer with great flavor and terrific drinkability. I could probably put down a sixer of this no problem. I do have to say that the beer has next to no aroma, which disappointed me, but hell, it don't smell good and it don't smell bad, it plain don't smell... I like this beer.

Dec 30, 2009
Photo of 1844original
1844original from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a mug of this beer at a local tavern with a burger.

Nice looking head on the mug. Dark beer with a great chocolate, roasted malt smell. It also tastes of roasted malt and chocolate. Not much hops. Very smooth and very drinkable.

I would order this again. Great beer!

Jan 22, 2009
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 pack of the newly-labeled beers that Minhoff is brewing (the dark is now the Sundown Dark).

I have to say that I think Minhoff has done some good tweaking with the yeast and/or hops, if not the recipe, and this beer is tasting pretty good. Is it the first Dunkel I'd want to reach for? No, but it ain't half bad.

A -- Very nice, clear walnut color with an off-white head.

S -- Pretty mundane, not much there.

T -- Very good malty character with some good sweetness to dry toasted breadiness. Some hop bitterness in the finish.

M -- Light-medium body with a soft to syrupy mouth-feel.

D -- Great, not overpoweringly sweet or heavy, goes down as well as any good Munich Dunkel.

Dec 22, 2008
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in a trade.

Poured a deep orange, almost copper, color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roasted malts, light caramel and somewhat nutty. Tastes of roast, light chocolate, nuts, and caramel.

Notes from 05/15/06.

Nov 24, 2008
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, brown color with a small, tan head that quickly faded away. No lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and toffee. Mild floral aroma.

T - It tasted of roasted caramel malt and bittersweet chocolate. Nice rich flavors.

M - It was fairly soft and somewhat smooth. A light bodied beer.

D - This is pretty easy drinking. A very affordable dark lager that is tasty but not overwhelming fabulous.

Oct 20, 2008
Photo of brdc
brdc from Wisconsin

3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

Dark brown with amber highlights, it produces a light tan head that is very small, shows little to no retention and leaves no lacing on its quick way down.
Aroma is somewhat pleasant, but rather faint. Sweet malts, mostly caramel predominate, with some fruits, and that's all.
Easy to drink, but lacks enough flavor, complexity and depth to make it really interesting.

Oct 08, 2008
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

2.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is toffee and caramel, but is quite faint. The taste is like the aroma. It isn't bad, but it is to weak to easily enjoy. The mouthfeel is a little fuller than light bodied, with a watery texture. Overall, this beer isn't all that bad, but it's not all that good either.

Oct 01, 2008
Photo of gford217
gford217 from Georgia

3.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amberish brown with a small off-white head that dissipates almost immediately leaving no lacing. The smell is fairly subtle with a toasted, slightly malt backbone with a hint of yeast. The taste is a little more complex than the aroma with the toasted malts still forming the backbone but with a little bit of caramel and dark fruits. The finish is slightly toasted. The mouthfeel is extremely crisp and clean with strong carbonation. This is a pretty tasty lager and quite drinkable.

Aug 19, 2008
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Greggy from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a soapy 1 finger head that recedes rather quickly leaving no lace. The body is brown with no sediment.

S- Nice toasty chocolate malts with a big caramel and roastiness. Not bad.

T- Starts out with a rather floral sweetness then moves into a creamy toastiness with dark chocolate dry finish. Not complex and not even great, but ok.

M- Medium carbonation can be a touch cloying but it's ok. Finish is pretty decent as well.

D- It's decently easy to drink, but overall, this was an ok beer, and nothing I would seek out.

Aug 09, 2008
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear deep reddish brown color with moderate off-white creamy head. Great retention and nice sticky lacing.

Smell shows a modest amount of caramel.

Taste is truly enjoyable. Strong caramel flavors blend perfectly with a smooth sweet malt finish. Distinct lack of a hop presence, but still very tasty.

Good taste retentiom with a pleasant sweet finish.

This is really a tasy beer. Would be good to session.

Jun 14, 2008
Photo of botham
botham from New York

3.43/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap poured into a mug at The Berghoff Cafe in downtown Chicago. pours a brownish amber color with a half finger of off white head, reduced to a soapy rim within seconds.

aroma is of faint caramel malts and a nutty base. not much else.

taste is of caramel, with a bit of chocolate malt and a touch of roasted malt. the nutty base is still present, but lacking in character.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy texture. smooth and somewhat clean finish with residual caramel.

drinkability is alright. this brew is lacking in character, both in the nose and on the palate. however, what flavors are present produce a nice composition.

Apr 24, 2008
Photo of shadow1961
shadow1961 from Minnesota

3.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Berghoff genuine Dark Beer has a big stiff head of
beige foam over a coffee-colored brew. Carbonation
is steady, and the nose is barley grain. The flavor is a
bit of toasty malt with a hint of herbal hop. After trying
some of their more disappointing brews, this comes as
a pleasant surprise. Mouthfeel is thin and crisp. It seems
they're going for something like a Vienna Lager. They
don't really make it, but this is pleasant and sessionable.

Apr 18, 2008
Photo of bort11
bort11 from Missouri

2.66/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tall Hobgoblin shaker pint. Good sized off white head that recedes slowly. Nice lacing on the glass. Color is a clear dark brown, sort of like a cola. Lots of carbonation.

Smell is very thin. Mostly a toasty malt. No hops noted. Taste is a mild caramel and a hint of chocolate malts. Still no real hops. Actually, it does kind of remind me of a soda.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. This is drinkable, I guess. Just not very memorable

Apr 16, 2008
Photo of ajmoody76
ajmoody76 from Illinois

3.82/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into imperial pint. pours clear dark brown. redish tinge. thin white head.

roasty malt nose. small floral boquet. no off odors.

caramel malty sweetness with a nice hoppy crispness. toasty aftertaste. balanced.

light body. low carbonation. good beer. would be a good warm weather beer for me. would drink again.

Mar 22, 2008
Photo of SMark
SMark from Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured into a pint glass at 45° from a 12 ounce bottle with no date information or code on the bottle or label. Over two fingers of surprisingly white frothy head were produced from the pour with light lacing as the head disappeared. The beer was clear medium brown with a tinge of red which led to my surprise with the coloring of the head.

There was a hint of bitter chocolate and spice on the bouquet. I thought there was a hint of sulphur at one time but it disappeared.

The taste was clean and dry with traces of cocoa and citrus fruit.

The chocolate taste lasted the longest and gave this beer some needed body.

This is yet another beer you could drink a few of and still enjoy. It is not full bodied enough to beat you to death if you have more than one and tastes good enough that you would probably drink a couple.

Mar 21, 2008
Photo of wheatyweiss
wheatyweiss from Wisconsin

2.73/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a hybrid pils/chalice glass.

Appearance is a thin soapy head with no retention. Head settles to nothing leaving a tiny amount of soapy lace. Color is amber with an iced tea hue.

Smell is unimpressive, I get hardly any nose. I shouldn't have to pull this deeply for a whiff of roasted malt. It's barely there.

Taste is average. Nothing offensive, but nothing great either. Dark roasted malt, though light is there. Corn husk is heavy, like real tamales. I get hominy smells, almost soap like.

Mouthfeel is average, nothing spectacular, in fact dissapointing given the color of the brew.

Plenty drinkable, but the corn flavors get me.

Feb 29, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon from Illinois

3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: It looks pretty damn good looking, a healthy dark brown almost clear black if that makes any sense, but you know what I mean, clear and dark. There is an initially creamy two inch tiny bubbled light sandy head that fades into a thin cap in five minutes or so. Lacing is very thick and defined all the way around the glass. Looks good.

S: Sweet and sugary malt aroma but some off aromas are in there as well corn for one which would explain some of the sweeter aspects of the nose.

T/MF: Clean and light mouthfeel, medium bodied with a mild but well balanced amount of hop and malt bitterness. Sort of a licorice taste tied with the caramel aspect of the malts, the finish is not very heavy but leaves a distinct aftertaste in the mouth, the corny sweetness is noticeable again here.

D: Not as bad as people make it out to be but certainly not that great either. Middle of the road good deal for the price euro dark lager.

Feb 21, 2008
Photo of sweetkness
sweetkness from Minnesota

2.72/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Scores great in this catergory. Nice brown color, you could argue this is more of an amber than a "dark" beer. Very clear. Nice creamy off-white head with some lacing on the glass.

S-Sweet caramel malt aroma. Has that lager character to it. Lacking much complexity in the aroma.

T-Dark/sweet caramel malt flavor noticed mainly. Clean flavor, but the aftertaste is an unpleasant, slightly metallic taste. Again, leaves more to be desired.

M-Carbonation and body might be slightly lacking, but still within style.

D-Drinkable, but not something I would have 2 or 3 of. But that may just be because of personal taste.

Feb 16, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis from Illinois

2.02/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I picked up a sixer of this for five and a half bucks. That's the same price as Michelob at the grocery store. I hope it doesn't taste as cheap as it is.

A - This formed a really nice fluffy head that is light brown and shows a lot of pitting as it slowly recedes to a nice thick cap. The head is very rocky, and leaves abundant lace on the glass. The brew is clear, and mahogany brown with some wood varnish highlights.

S - Husky and grainy up front. Smells like cooked cereal grains and corn. Some tootsie roll chocolate notes are there too, but not in full force. Smells kind of like a macro lager in that it has some corny funk.

T- This is an odd one. It tastes like a combination of an average brown ale mixed with malt liquor. This is seriously husky and grainy, with a little bit of mild chocolate and a dusty metallic flavor.

M - Light in body with extremely aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry finish that feels a bit like dust. Swishing produces a very thick and fluffy texture that is a result of the carbonation....this can make the beer seem fuller on the finish, but it's actually quite watery.

D - Not terrible, but close. I bought a six pack of this, and I'm not really looking forward to drinking the other five. Maybe I'll keep them around to serve to non-BA guests.

Jan 18, 2008
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beerN3RD from Colorado

2.42/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer had a nice head that seem to last a minute or two. The color of this brew was like rootbeer. The smell was a little weird to me because it smelled like fingernail polish. The theme seemed to continue with a fingernail polish kind of taste. Mouthfeel was that of semi-carbonation, but smooth. I think the drinkability is alright. Nothing special, but alright.

Jan 02, 2008
Photo of kguyty
kguyty from Missouri

3.68/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nicely... a dark brown... so dark that my fiance thought I was drinking soda. The head is nice and sticks around through the first half of the beer and disappears into thin lacing. The color is dark, but not so dark that light shines through. The smell is average, some grains, sweetness, a little malt. The taste is surpising, a decent sweetness, almost like a brown ale minus nuttiness. The mouthfeel is okay, a little over-carbonated, but a good beer to drink that won't make you feel like you just drank an entire case.

Dec 29, 2007
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WJVII from Wisconsin

2.2/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My final attempt at the Berghoff sampler. This brew poured a deep amber color with a 1in head that faded quickly. This beer had a malty aroma with hints of roasted nuts. There was almost an earthiness to the first taste. There are subtle hints of caramel in the aftertaste. This beer was lighter bodied than I expected and had too much carbonation. The balance of this beer is off and it doesn't sit well in my mouth. Despite my attempt to save the most likely candidate for a good review (I enjoy dark brews) I was not satisfied.

After trying the 5 beers in the Berghoff sampler I have to say that I am not impressed by any of them and I will not be purchasing any of them in the near future.

Nov 29, 2007
Genuine Dark Beer from Adams Street Brewery
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 93 ratings