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 BeerBelcher
2.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first reaction upon pouring this beer is that it doesn't seem all that dark; like it was given this name before craft beer took off (late 1980's) and redefined what most of us think of as being "dark beer."

Aroma is slightly sweet yet neither hoppy nor malty, which is a bit odd.

Taste is very sweet and malty, like an Oktoberfest beer which is slightly fruity. Not bad, but this style of beer is not really my taste.

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Photo of Vancer
2.85/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I donno, not good to have the label note a color, instead of a style – methinks this is for a mass market of beer newbies.

Just lite notes of malt in the aroma, the quaff was a beer made for the mass market of people “really drinking beer, since it’s dark”.

Just a dark macro lager, not offensive, but no real notes of any aspect stand out. Drinkable, but not preferable. Finishes with a gritty and harsh pop.

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Photo of budgood1
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of RustythePelican
2.85/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Berghoff is an out-of-the-bottle beer in my opinion, so I can't accurately grade the appearance. I was eager to try this beer after being pleasantly surprised by the Berghoff Pale Ale. I was hoping for something similar to a Sam Adams Black Lager, but was disappointed. I think they skimped on the malts on this one - there was some bark (toasted aroma) but no bite (thin taste, watery mouthfeel). Not a bad beer as part of a session, but nothing to write home about.

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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 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 pweis909
3.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A-This bottle poured a darkish amber, translucent, with a huge head.

S-I detected a toasty/nutty smell, but it is not a strong toasty/nutty smell. No hop aroma.

T-Lightly roasted, lightly sweet, lightly hopped tp balance the sweetness. I guess this is a light dark beer?

M-Mouthfeel is thinner then I expected.

D-This can pass as a thirst quencher.

Overall, not a great beer, but passable. This might work for someone who was a bit afraid of dark beer, or would work for thirst on a hot day. It's preferable to many macros, but doesn't compare favorably to other craft brew offerings.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.18/5  rDev +2.3%
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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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 lakeviewmike
3.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a fairly light, dark brown. Kind of a root beer color. Not a particularly huge head or long lasting.

It has a sweet, malty odor.

The taste is pretty balanced. Nice coffee flavors followed by a decent hoppy bitterness. The coffee flavors are not overwhelming. It has a nice clean finish without any foul aftertastes.

Feels full, sharp and rich.

Berghoff beers are inexpensive premium beers. I think that this one is one of their best (along with their Hefe-weisen and Pale Ale). It is not as malty/sweet or full of coffee/chocolate flavors as some would like in a dark beer but that is what I like about it.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.64/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I had the bock from this brewery just a bit ago and there are some similarities in this one. This really just tastes like a watered down version of the bock and I mean VERY watered down. I couldn't get much of anything out of the smell. Tasted like some grain, some breadiness, and the hop or bitter profile was non existent. I've had many beers that don't require much of a balancer but this one needs it desperately. Oh and the metallic taste I got in their other offering I also got in this.

Notes: Ehhh I think i'm done with this brewery for now. I think I have a couple more offerings in the fridge that I'll take for the "team".

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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 nicksta
2.97/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a cola brown witha short lived tan head and a very little amount of lacing.

The smell has hints of roasted malt and chocolate. It also has a weird rubbing alcohol aromas. They are slight but definately present.

The taste is just like the smell. It is a little bit sweet with hints of chocolate. Roasted malts are a big part of the small flavor. And that alcoholic smell wasn't just a fluke. It is in the taste as well complete with a small hard liquor burn. Not cool.

The mouthfeel is watery and the drinkablity is better than expected because it is fairly smooth.

It is good with spicy foods but in the end it tries to hard to be something it is not. *cough*Guinness*cough*maybe*cough

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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 clvand0
3.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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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Photo of whynot44
3.01/5  rDev -3.2%
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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Photo of proc
3.01/5  rDev -3.2%
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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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 lokicat444
2.45/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Though a nice dark brown color, this beer had virtually no head. Not much of a smell. Tastes of caramel, sweetness, not much depth or complexity to describe. Mouthfeel was slightly thin. I've noticed that Berghoff beers in bottles are often very poorly carbonated, and taste almost flat. I had this on tap, and experienced the same thing. Drinkable, but not recommended.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.47/5  rDev -20.6%
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 Mitchster
1.49/5  rDev -52.1%
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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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 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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2.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hadn't drank this beer in quite some time. The bottle has a new look, and for some reason, I decided to have it
For a beer whose only classification/description on the bottle is "dark", this isn't tremendously so. It has the appearance of a brown or an alt. Head does not retain very well at all.
Doesn't really smell like much, either.
This has a slightly bready, slightly dirty taste/mouthfeel. Emphasis on the word slightly. Overall, it has about as much character as a macro lager. This beer just never asserts itself in any way. One redeeming value is noted. You know that person who says to you: "you drink that dark stuff" well, you could serve them this, and they might think they can enjoy "that dark stuff" too.
If you want to have the most boring time imagineable, watch the golf channel and have a bottle of Berghoff Dark. Bring a pillow.

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