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
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Similar to good German Schwarzbiers. A moderate and solid sweetness that shows in the nose and flavor, though the sweetness is vague and undecernable...almost confectionate sugar or cotton candy. Very light roasty character that finishes greatly clean. Lightly bready, yeasty, and husk-ey. Not many characters or complex, yet solid and enjoyable.

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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 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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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 Hopheadjeffery
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.16/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tarnished bronze that becomes burnt orange when backlit. A bright slice of orange rind along the bottom edge of the glass is a nice touch. The ecru colored head is surprisingly creamy and leaves quite a bit of thick, smeary lace as it begins to deflate. This is one of the better looking Berghoff (Joseph Huber) beers if my memory is any good at all.

The nose isn't so wonderful. On the good side of the ledger, it smells a little like dark brown sugar. On the bad side, it's earthy and dank and slightly metallic. I wish the good outweighed the bad rather than the other way around.

It tastes pretty much like it smells. I'll give Genuine Dark Beer this much, it isn't short on flavor and it isn't short on 'darkness', as most beer of this style tends to be. Whether or not it's good is another matter entirely. I can't be persuaded to go that far, but it ain't bad either.

The flavor profile consists of semi-sweet dark caramel along with cocoa powder and a hint of coffee bean. It isn't sweet enough for the brown sugar comparison from the nose to apply to the palate however. There's also a lactic sourness that is kept in check by a fair amount of hoppy bitterness (Galena, Tettnang). Things change quite a bit from start to finish, but none of the various combinations overly impress.

The body/mouthfeel is about what I would expect for the style. It's light without being watery and is as lagery smooth as it needs to be. Not a standout characteristic, but at least it doesn't impair drinkability one iota.

The Berghoff line of beers from Joseph Huber range from slightly below average to slightly above average. Genuine Dark Beer fits somewhere within the vast middle. While it isn't a standout, it does provide more flavor than most and is sure to be much fresher than its European counterparts if one has a hankering for a Euro Dark Lager. I rarely do.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.88/5  rDev -7.4%
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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Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of Derek
2.95/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Chicago airport (section C).

A: Deep amber-brown, off-white head, very little retention or lace.

S: Sweet caramel, bread, bit of spice, dark fruit.

T: Dark caramel, dark fruit, slight spice, mild bitterness.

M: Moderate body (residual sugar is readily apparant), moderate carbonation.

D: Approachable, but not very engaging.

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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 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 Hellpop65
2.25/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of ZAP
3.28/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Photo of Bighuge
2.72/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 327 characters

3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of drpimento
3.84/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.8/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of garymuchow
3.42/5  rDev +10%
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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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 gford217
3.33/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of hopdog
3.26/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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