Genuine Dark Beer
Adams Street Brewery

Genuine Dark BeerGenuine Dark Beer
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European Dark Lager
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
Reviews by rings:
Photo of rings
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.

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rings from Michigan, Feb 11, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy rich golden brown with a healthy looking thick creamy foam off-white head. Sticks a bit and stays well.

Smell: Grain and lightly toasted caramel/chocolate aromas with a background floral hop bouquet.

Taste: Hoppy up-front with a refreshingly raw and fresh rind-like/citrus bitterness and bite. Carbonation creates a creaminess on the palate. Malt follows with a medium body and smooth mouthfeel. Sweetness is even with toasted caramel and chocolate flavours, with mild roasted astringency and earth (black malt). Near fruity qualities tend to pull thru as the beer warms. Beer ends with light grain flavours and a bit of grain tannin dryness.

Notes: The roasted quality of this brew is paired nicely with the hop bitterness to kick your palate awake without being overwhelming. A rather tasty dark lager. Rather tasty indeed. 5.4%abv.

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Todd from California, Aug 27, 2001
Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad dark lager. Nice roasted malt that is not overpowering, and slightly sweet. Not the best black beer, but worth a try.

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Brent from Kentucky, Aug 21, 2001
Photo of garymuchow
3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma shows dark malt aspects. Kind of syrupy. Initially starts with caramel and even a light roast. Then sweet. No hops.
NO head. Good brown amber and very clear.
Light overall flavor. Not robust. Dark malt qualities, but really not much there. Finishes with dark malt dryness, but very short. Bitterness shows as warms, but in very small amounts. Slight roast and slight fruit.
Rather fully carbonated, leaving some softness. Appropriately thin.
Just not much there. Nice looking new label, too bad it's not on a better beer.

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garymuchow from Minnesota, Sep 26, 2004
Photo of ZAP
3.28/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An OK, acceptable but not special dark lager...pours a reddish borwn color...nose is sweet and toasty with some herbal hop characteristics...smells pretty good...mouth is more rounded than crisp...lighter side of medium bodied...flavor is pretty light..more of a roasted maltiness..finishes a little dry...

All-in-all better than Mich Dark but not a special beer....I drink these with some brats while tailgating no problem but not a sit down and savor type of brew...

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ZAP from Minnesota, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of budgood1
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out clear dark auburn colour with a tannish head and bits of lace. corny, grainy aroma. some dark roasted notes; choco and toffee. nice malty flavour, more malt than adjunct which is pleasing. notable floral hopping and just the kiss of the bitter hops in the finish. medium body and a light refreshing mouthfeel leads to it being drinkable, or poundable if you like. would be a great pair for some brats and cheesecurds.

12 oz. bottle acquired as x-mas gift.

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budgood1 from Minnesota, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
2.72/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Amber color with tons of sediment floating around. Decent creamy beige head. that fades quickly. A nice faint aroma. A bit toasty on the nose. Very light bodied for a dark beer. Not a lot of taste either. The most pleasing taste is a light toasty one. The good point? No off flavors. Pretty average, but drinkable brew.

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Bighuge from Minnesota, Apr 24, 2002
Photo of proc
3.01/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one pours out to a dark amber in the glass with an average-sized head. The aroma is light with some light malt and cereal smell eminating from the glass. The taste is actually quite good. There is a light toffee and chocolate on the palate making it quite easy to drink. This reminded me of Michelob Amber Bock but without the harshnes. A nice Wisconsin dark lager. A session one at that. I could see the taligaters in Packerland or Badgerville throwing these back.

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proc from Michigan, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of ADR
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color, repectable small-bubbled head of about 1/2 an inch. A little spice to the malt smell. Clove malt flavor and spicy hops. Balance is close to good but overall, the taste is somewhat unflavorful and with a slight sour off-taste. Seemed almost medium bodied, aftertaste is noticeable and not that bad. Pretty un-memorable in my book.

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ADR from Pennsylvania, May 17, 2002
Photo of TastyTaste
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Iced-tea brown color, big fluffy head with fairly good retention. Smells lightly of roasted malt, and a little grass, and maybe some sulphur. A very smooth dark lager. The flavors are pretty subtle, but satisfying, nonethless. I could use a little more flavor in my beers, but I have been drinking mostly ales lately. Still very refreshing, and above average against the style.

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TastyTaste from Minnesota, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of BobLuvBeer
3.15/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Amber/Red in appearance. Medium head, quick to fade. Roasted malt flavor, which is thick and crisp. Medium Carbonation. Not near what I was expecting by this being a “Dark” beer. Much more refreshing. Light on the palate and more balanced in flavor than a typical “dark” beer.

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BobLuvBeer from Illinois, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of chilidog
3.69/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This Berghoff dark poured a dark ruby or brown with a week slight tan head. Carbonation is up without the cascade show of a stout, but rather ate away at the head that did sit atop the light bodied brew. More like a watery bock, the body works against this brew.

The aroma was mild toasted malts. The taste carried over that malt with a slight sweet caramel and toffee hint. Chocolate and coffee is
noted as well.

Mouthfeel is non-offensive but alittle weeker than I expected. A hop dry toast is left.

Drinkability is easy and smooth, nothing to offend.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly clear with darkish brown color and effervescent head that dissipates quickly thought bubbles continue to break on the surface. Smell is an interesting mix of grainy lightness and subtle hints of toastiness. Taste is nice and clean but rather uninspired. Begins with a bitterness that seems as cirtrusy as it does hoppy and finishes smooth and rather dry. Mouthfeel is as clean as the taste, and drinkability is good as well.

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BitteBier from Indiana, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The clear, deep brown body of Berghoff Genuine Dark Beer displays only brown hues. There are no crimson, ruby, orange or golden highlights found within, only chestnut and deepest amber. The creamy off-white head rests lazily, slowly dwindling to a thin lid; and leaves some nice, wide rings of lace at the outset of the glass. The nose is clean, and with the exception of a bit of the house yeast character, offers nothing more than a thin thread of sweetish, caramelish malt. In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled standard carbonation. The flavor, however, offers more. The same maltiness found in the nose also dominates the flavor, but it's much fuller. It's a touch fruity, mildly candyish-sweet, and lightly caramelish with notes of almost burnt sugar. Some spicy and herbal hops reside in the background, but like the bitterness, mainly keep to themselves. Still, it's not sweet - and certainly not cloying - and actually well-balanced. And unlike many "dark" beers that offer color but not flavor, this one has a pretty authentic dunkel character. Well done.

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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of RBorsato
2.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap 06/16/06 at the Berghoff Cafe in O'Hare Airport in Chicago, IL.

Clear light amber brown color, decent carbonation, and a low off-white ringed head. Standard dark Euro malt aroma and flavor; little to no hop character. Some very light roasted character is noticeable. Light bodied (a bit thin), crisp, and clean.

An easy drinking Dark Lager but I'd pass...

Per JH website:
Malts: Brewer’s Two-Row, Carapils, Caramel, Black Malt
Hops: Galena, Tettnang
ABV: 5.4%
OG: 13.4
IBUs: 21

Silver - 1993 - GABF
Bronze - 1989 - GABF

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RBorsato from Virginia, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very nice, somewhat pale chestnut color with a slight tan head. Malty and caramel aroma-a tad sweet. Sort of metallic flavor-malty enough with a trace of bitterness but has an underlying "wang" to it-a cross between copper and soapy. Decent enough body. Rather ho hum. The "off" or peculiar flavors detract from the whole package. I would probably pass a second time.

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lackenhauser from Maryland, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of Mitchster
1.49/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Oh my, what do I behold in front of me? THE Genuine Dark Beer?! Oh golly, how fortunate am I?

Brewed with two-row, Carapils, Caramel, Black Patent malt, and of course....poop. Hopped with Galena and Tettnang.

5.4% ABV, OG=13.4, 21 IBU's.

Pours out to a clear dark mahogany, nearly opaque with a bunch of flittering sediment hovering about. Forms a medium sized light beige head with very poor retention and average lacing. The caramel and fusel alcohols combine to give this beer the exact odor of black magic marker...that or the solvent that janitors use to remove gum stuck in carpet. Revolting. The mouthfeel is sour, metallic and sharp with a medium body. Taste begins with some spicy fermentation off-products, followed by magic marker, toluene, a mouthful of pennies, carboureter cleaner and caramel. Nauseating. Finish is permeated by caramelized sugar with a moderate chemical bitterness.

This is a horrible beer. Perhaps the isopropyl will kill the germs in my sink? Down it goes.

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Mitchster from Michigan, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
2.47/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Again, consistancy. Pours out to a medium brown/amber color. Not much carbonation, and very little head. What was there dissipated really quickly. Not much scent, but hints of smoke, caramel and hops. Flavor is nothing amazing, but is solidly noted with tastes of grains, hops and a touch of bitterness. Not a bad beer, but nothing special either. I'd have to say that this isn't what i'd really think of when I think of a dark beer, but it's not terrible. Worth a try.

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Photo of Redrover
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Brown Longneck no evident freshness date

Beer pours an attractive dark coco brown with a nice 2 inch tan head. Head fades fairly quickly. Decent lacing throughout.

The smell is of toasted/roasted malt, some estery bubble gum aroma and a bit of hops.

The beer tastes decent with good sweetness from the roasted malt. A little smokiness emerges. Unfortunately, there is also a hint of fruitiness/bubble gum that seems out of place. The taste stays solid as it warms, hops are a subdued presence. Nice carbonation.

Beer could use a little more substance for the mouthfeel. Drinkability, while not off the charts, is fairly high.

This is not a bad beer, if they could eliminate the ester that intrudes in the taste, it would be very good. Another solid offering from a nice brewery.

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Redrover from Wisconsin, Apr 20, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When poured into my glass, the head was very small, tan and it fully and quickly diminished. The body was clear with carbonation and the hue was reddish-brown. The nose was malty and caramel. The flavor consisted of malt, caramel and alcohol. It had a fairly smooth, thin, watery mouthfeel and was light-medium bodied. The lacing was very sparse.

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hotstuff from Indiana, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of clvand0
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

What exactly is a 'dark beer'? Oh well. Pours an amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is very mild with some dark malts coming through. Not much else. The flavor is a basic caramel flavor but there's not much here, as expected. The body is very light for the style and the drinkability is ok. Just not exciting.

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clvand0 from Kentucky, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of whynot44
3.01/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light/medium bodied, clear reddish brown color with a moderate light tan head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is primarily sweet roasted malts with vague hints of bubble gum and cloves.

The taste is also primarily sweet roasted malts, no real hops bitterness, and a little light for a dark lager.

Very drinkable and refreshing.

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whynot44 from Missouri, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of IronDjinn
1.46/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The next of the Berghoff line I dare to sample is this Genuine Dark Beer. Black and silver label on the bottle. Pours out a clear mahogany colour, small fizzle of head. The aroma seemed alright at first, big blast of caramel and that worty smell that comes from homebrew kits. Soon the aroma evolves into a cloying sweetness that gets overtaken by a vegetable, cabbage-like smell. Quite the turn off. The flavour is no better, in fact it is awful. Hmmmm, no best before date on the bottles, so I have to take this at face value. Cooked veggie flavour. Acrid. Been a while since I had to pour out a beer. Mouthfeel is the same weak and watery trademark texture of Berghoff beers in general. What I've tried so far has been rated pretty low, but the Genuine Dark Beer has got to be the worst I've sampled from Berghoff so far. I'm heading to the sink this moment.

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IronDjinn from Alberta (Canada), Jan 21, 2005
Photo of soper2000
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My second Berghoff offering. Boy did this bring back some memories of chopp escura in Brazil. Pours a dark brown with a small off white head thanks to my super aggressive pour. Smell is sweet and malty. No evidence of any bitterness is present in the nose. Taste is very much like the aroma sweet and malty but there is a slightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a tad thin. A decent reminder of nights out in Brazil, but i still much prefer Antarctica's Chopp escura which I'll enter into the database as soon as I find my damn notes.

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Photo of granger10
3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was all over the place for me. It looked like a dr. pepper the head faded really quickly. The smell was quite unusual. Lots of caramel and cider with some grainy bitterness. I'll give it points for uniqueness. Taste showed no hopiness whatsoever. Very sweet with chocolate, caramel, toffee, maybe even biscuit. Slightly burnt around the edges. This beer was definitely cloying though, really sticky. No balance. A bit on the thin side as well. But at a macro price this is definitely worth buying if strapped for cash.

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granger10 from Wisconsin, Aug 20, 2004
Genuine Dark Beer from Adams Street Brewery
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 93 ratings