Genuine Dark Beer | Adams Street Brewery

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Genuine Dark BeerGenuine Dark Beer
93 Ratings
Genuine Dark BeerGenuine Dark Beer

Brewed by:
Adams Street Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: European Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 76
Reviews by zeff80:
Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +10%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.28/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep brown color with ruby highlights. Really no head to speak of here...kind of odd. The overall color is nice, but no head or lacing brings it down a notch. The first smell is of roasted and caramel malts along with some grain tones. Some alcohol tones seem to float in and out as well.

The first taste is a mix of caramel and chocolate flavors along with some grain tones in the background. Hops are riding way in the back on this one and are barely noticeable. The flavor is nice but it lacks depth. I am always looking for something more in a dark beer and this just seemed a little too subdued.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, but this is a lager so I can't really complain. Guess I'm just used to drinkin ales all the time. Carbonation is nice and it goes down smooth. Drinkability on this one is good. The price was good at $5 a sixer and I could easily drink a few of these. Good for parties and bbq's when you want something that won't break the bank.

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Photo of Todd
3.45/5  rDev +10.9%
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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Photo of tyleeis
4.5/5  rDev +44.7%

Photo of ADR
3.18/5  rDev +2.3%
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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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.58/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

(Served in a small Pokal)

A- This beer has a warm dark brown crystal clear body with a thick creamy head that is a slight reddish off-white. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- A faint smell of pot caramelized wort and a noble hops comes through but it is a pretty clean flavor.

T- The is very soft notes of corn and carbonic acid followed by a bitter noble hop finish. There isn't much complexity or dark flavors.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a strong fizz in the texture.

D- This has all the taste of an American Marco lager with some dye added for color.

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Photo of soper2000
3.45/5  rDev +10.9%
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 SMark
3.13/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.02/5  rDev -35%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +23.2%
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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Photo of Fatehunter
2.36/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.43/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Berghoff Cafe at O’Hare Airport, May 04. I may be overly generous in my review, but after schlepping heavy carry-ons though Terminal 1, this is tasting pretty good. Thin head does not stay around long. Beer is a nice deep browm, red in the light. Has a good, deep malty taste with a light German hop balance. A bit gassy going down, but then again, I’m a little stressed, waiting to board three different planes to fly to freakin’ Russia. But the cafe is an excellent stopover in the distant Concourse C.

Sampled again at the Billy Goat on Michigan Ave., Chicago, Dec. 20, 04. The Billy Goat has replaced Schlitz as the "Billy Goat Draft: on tap. Here it tastes pretty nice and goes well with the decor. Slightlly peaty here and darker than I remember. Nice hop finish compounded by the usual odd Berghoff yeast bite. Still a fine session beer.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.72/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahhh. I remember that it was always a battle between the (H)über bier and Leinie's Original. For my friends and I, Leinie's Original won by a small margin so when I went to explore American craft beers, I started with their products and ended up neglecting the Berghoff line.

But that doesn't mean that Berhoff doesn't make some damn fine beers!

And this is a classic example. A great dark lager, nice sweet malt presence, backed by a slight chocolate bite and a little bit of butter to help smooth out the mouthfeel and get the beer down your gullet nice and easy.

A delightfully easy beer to drink, and sixpacks priced so cheaply that it is really easy to kick 'em back and not worry about it at all. I'm drinking a world class beer for around a buck a bottle right now, are you?

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.14/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.37/5  rDev +8.4%
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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Photo of emerge077
3.56/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, one of two taps availlable, the "Haus Dark" and "Haus Lager".
I was told these are both Berghoff beers, most likely not contract-brewed for Billy Goat.

Draft arrives in a 12oz mug. Light tan head is present, creamy foam. Head remains for the duration of the glass. Body is a dark brown.

Smell is average, slight toasted grain and yeast esters.

Some apple tartness comes out due to the yeast, which is nice. There is a puffed wheat/rice taste in the finish, preceded by a brief light nuttiness.

Smooth and easy drinking. Probably the best available if you find yourself at the Billy Goat. Also, please note that this establishment is not a "beer bar" by any means. Worth a visit solely for a dusty whiff of Old Chicago nostalgia.

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Photo of Highstplz
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of scaliasux
1.71/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed as : Dark American Lager

Appearance: Brown-gold with a tall off-white head. Quickly dissipating, only a little lacing. Clean and clear. Average.

Smell : Mostly falnt sweet malt. Just a little roasted caramel odor. Unexceptional.

Taste : Sharp and lingering burnt sweet malt flavor. Hops are barely present, but would probaly provide decent balance were the "roasted" malt taste not so prominent. Not good.

Mouthfeel : Quite thin. A bit too watery for style.

Drinkability : The beer goes on the "no thanks" list. It's always bad news when a beer can be described as having a prominent unpleasant flavor. This one does.

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Photo of matjack85
1.75/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -1.6%
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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Photo of IronDjinn
1.46/5  rDev -53.1%
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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Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of Zorro
2.49/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at the Berghoff restaurant in Chicago O'Hare airport.

A clear brown ale with a resilient off white head.

Very little smell here, bit of malt and faint fruitiness.

Taste is fairly dry and a bit bitter.

Faint fruitiness in here but not much of it. Fairly boring in taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

A drinkable but boring beer, lacks in flavor. If you find yourself at O'Hare airport and find this place pick the Lager or Red beer instead.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled in a pint glass for $4.75 at ORD of all places while stuck there for half the day yesterday. Poured a chestnut brown with no head nor lacing. Very faint aroma of sweet malts.
Flavor was okay, there was some light caramel malts and a hint of hops. Weird late metallic flavors. Mouthfeel was light, but cloying sweetness took a considerable amount of drinkability from it.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3/5  rDev -3.5%

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Genuine Dark Beer from Adams Street Brewery
Beer rating: 3.11 out of 5 with 93 ratings