Dark 266 | Cameron's Brewing Co.

33 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Dark 266Dark 266

Brewed by:
Cameron's Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Cameron’s Dark 266 is a rare breed of beer that was originally brewed as a one-off draught for one of our specialty beer bars. The demand for an encore was so persistent that that we had to bottle it and share it with everyone. Specialty imported hops and dark malts result in a chestnut coloured lager with a wonderful lacy head. Taste the deliciousness of a North American Lager with the complexity of a German Schwarzbier.

Added by Phyl21ca on 01-05-2006

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 60
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle served cool into a pint glass. Revisiting this beer after a two year absence. Didn't rank it highly before but thought it was time to try it again.

Appearance - dary brown with ruby hues, only transparent when you hold it directly to the light. Nice sized one finger of tan head that lingers awhile. Some visible carbonation only at the edge of the glass.

Smell - dark and roasty, with a strong grainy aroma with just a bit of toasted malt. Pretty standard but enjoyable nose.

Taste - thin tasting with a bit of the grainy flavor and some toasty flavours. Just a hint of dark fruit in there. Maybe even a touch of vanilla. This is much better than I remember and pretty solid overall.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and quite refined despite being a little thin across the board. Decent carbonation.

Overall - a resounding success and quite an enjoyable beer and far superior to many a lager on the market.

 919 characters

Photo of FRANKIE65
4.35/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not sure why this one only rates a 3.2. I LOVED it.
The only knock I have is the lack of head retention.
Smell is nutty, porter/stout like.
As for taste/mouthfeel...that nuttiness, comes through, and is brilliant.
At 4.5 ABV this would be my session beer of choice, IF ONLY, it was available at local liquor stores in something other than a "mixed pack".

 355 characters

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.77/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 341 mL bottle into a conical pint glass.

Generous, 3-finger tan head over an extremely dark, nearly opaque black-brown body. Had to hold it up to a window to see any sense of colour. Head settled in a minute or two to just a thin layer.

Scent is nice. Semi-sweet, slightly nutty aroma. Smells a bit like a porter, with the cocoa or coffee smells. As I progressed through the glass, the scent matured to something that made me imagine honey drizzled on nuts (good ones, like walnuts and pecans), and baking them.

Nice initial taste: semi-nutty flavour, with a slightly sweet bitterness. Unfortunately, some metallic aftertaste present in the first few sips, but this soon went away as I drank more.

Mouthfeel-wise, the carbonation seemed to remain present for at least a few minutes (which I like).

Overall, I like it. A good dark beer. I'd probably buy this again, to have as an option among other beers at a party.

 934 characters

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.66/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 341ml bottle poured into a small pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a dark, almost black colour. When held up to the light, the beer appears to be a very, very dark blood red colour. Poured with two fingers of off-white/light brown head which dissipated extremely quickly, with very little lacing left behind.

Smell - Toasted malts dominate. There's also notes of coffee, with some faint hints of caramel/toffee.

Taste - Toasty malts up front, just like the nose. Again, following the nose is come light coffee flavour which lingers towards the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, and quite creamy. Carbonation is high - maybe not for a lager though. I'm just not use to beers this dark being that carbonated probably. Regardless, it makes for a crisp and fairly satisfying finish.

Overall - 3.75/5

 815 characters

Photo of mick303
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a good head of tan off-whit foam that goes down pretty quickly, leaves some decent lacing and film. Colour is very dark brown, only slightly translucent.

Aroma is rich. Lots of caramel malts, coffee, molasses, dry hay. An interesting combination of stout and lager aromas.

Taste is quite smooth, slight bit of coffee and oakiness. Hops are underplayed, a lot of malt is present. Very drinkable, but flavours are blended and nothing really stands out as very interesting.

Mouthfeel is a balanced creaminess, makes for a very easy-drinking beer. Carbonation is there in the back to provide a bit of sharpness along with a bit of bitter flavour.

This is alright, see it more of as a 'staple dark' in that its very drinkable without a very aggressive flavour character. Tasty for sure, and very drinkable.

 812 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark ruby red, thin layer of head, little retention and no lacing

S - mild on the nose, slight chocolate and musty oats

T - again, rather mild with the chocolate and toasted bread. Oats and caramel notes longer alongside a hint of leafy greens

M - lighter bodied ale, tad prickly and finishes wet

O - tasty ale, glad to have tried it. Wish the LCBO was more consistent in town with getting the ocb mixers. An easy drinking dark ale.

 449 characters

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

Deep chestnut brown colour; ruby highlights show when held to light. Topped by two fingers of tan head. Fair retention and good lace. Mute aroma - toasted bread and light coffee notes, a hint of burnt sugar. Pleasant but quite weak. Malt forward, burnt toast and black coffee flavour, lightly sweet; finishes clean aside from some light char that lingers in the back of the mouth. Light-bodied with low carbonation. Thin, but not quite watery. A little slight on character, but what's there tastes decent.

 505 characters

Photo of SebD
3.08/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice almost black color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of roasted malts, grains, dark fruit and light chocolate.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has roasted malts, grains, dark fruit and chocolate but it's very mild.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a somewhat watery and thin overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

 569 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from a sampler pack of four (packaged on Nov. 8th, 2011). I've had trouble generating heads when I pour this style of beer, so I basically dumped it into the pint glass this time, revealing a deep chestnut brown-coloured brew that is not quite dark enough to be opaque. There are ruby-red highlights under the light.

At first the beige-coloured, two-finger head is creamy and luxurious, but its retention is still rather poor, and after a few minutes only a film on the surface remains. There is a thin creamy collar around the edge of the glass as well, which leaves streaks of lacing in its wake. The aroma is alright I guess, but kind of bland. Sweet caramel malts are pretty dominant, with some roasted coffee notes.

Decent taste with bready, lightly roasted malts, caramel and molasses being prominent. Hints of roasted coffee, or perhaps baker's chocolate. Roasted malts and bitter coffee meet in the finish, which is brief... this is a fairly clean brew without much aftertaste. Thin-bodied with mild carbonation, but as far as drinkability goes, it is as high as any pale lager's.

Smooth, mild and easy to throw back, this is a serviceable, fairly enjoyable example of a beer style that I often find either bland or cloying. Potentially very sessionable if you are in the mood for something dark, but not complex enough to satisfy serious beer geeks... I could definitely see myself getting this again if I found it on-tap somewhere.

 1,460 characters

Photo of Stocean1
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a one finger head that immediately subsided to a thin tan line - colour of dark coffee with a hint of chestnut - thin patchy lacing

S - dark malt and fruit - some coffee - perhaps some dark rye bread

T - malt, coffee, a cloying sweetness, bitterness on the sides of the tongue which lingered for 5 minutes after I finished the glass, something beneath the surface (perhaps the water) that I can not quite put my finger on = some good and bad aspects to this one

M - thin, decent carbonation, a little off in the bitterness, light to medium body

O - a drinkable brew that is not quite balanced - could be I do not like the style which I have only tried once before with a similar result

 700 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Last of the 4 pack sampler.

A - Pours a dark amber. Bright. Can't see any carbonation. Soapy, fluffy khaki head is 2 fingers. Creamy half finger head remains throughout with good rings of lacing.

S - Toffee, cola, burnt coffee, dark malts.

T - Cola, toffee, partially roasted malt. It tastes 'dark' but just like a weak coffee or something. It's not fruity or roasty. Flavourful though not all that great. Dark breads.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, cola type finish.

O/D - Not bad, but it could be improved upon. It's got too much cola and burnt coffee. Needs improvement, but it's alright.

 604 characters

Photo of karait95
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown - amber color with low carbonation, the head is not to prominent and disappears somehow fast. Light body and no layer of bubbles remains on top.

S: Very nice coffee like aroma, result of the toasted malts and maybe there is some real coffee inside,

T: It is not bad but nothing to remember, some toasted malts can be sensed with little hops at the end the coffee is sensed.

M: Very light body and taste, the mouth feel is too simple all the goodness of the coffee like aroma and tasting is lost with the missing malts or other flavors.

 553 characters

Photo of bryehn
3.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby-brown, cola-like colour with a half inch or so of foamy tan head. Leaves some moderate lace and settles as a frothy collar.

The smell is fairly mild. Roasted malts with a chocolate or coffee tone and a light grainy tone. I also get a subtle dark fruit note like plum and a woody, maple syrup note comes through after warming a bit.

The taste is also fairly mild and quite similar to the aroma. Roasted malts and a dark chocolate or coffee tone. Bitter overall, with a syrupy sweetness for balance.

Crisp and tart on the tongue, low carbonation and comes off as watery. The finish has a strong oak tone, especially after warming.

Not bad but seems to be missing something, either punch or body I'm not sure. Saved it for last but probably my least favourite of the 4-pack sampler.

 796 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.74/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The last of my Cameron's Mixed Four Pack.

It looks like a poured a Coke, dark with walnut hues, into my Sam Adam's perfect pint glass. Little retention or lacing to speak of.

The aroma is light roast and sweetness but really there's not much going on here for me except--and I'm just going to go on a right-out-of-left-field tangent here and say mild curry. Some Coca-Cola notes come out as it warms.

The taste is caramel and roast with an overall rounded dark fruitiness and breadiness about it with notes of coffee.

Mouthfeel is watery and light.

Of the four that come in the mixed pack I would have to say this is the weakest. There's just not a lot that interests me in the taste.

 690 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from a mixed four pack. I vaguely remember having this on tap a few years back, so it's certainly been a while.

Poured into a conical pint glass. Dark indeed, but held to the light and a soft chestnut hue overtakes the brew. The pour leaves an off-white head that displays good retention and some sticky lacing. Not bad at all.

Nose is grain (a distinct scent that I always associate with Camerons), caramel, fruit, dark chocolate and a bit of roasted coffee.

Not bad to the taste. This is a decent dark lager that's easy to drink. That same grainy flavor, coupled with a mild roasted character and breadiness. The whole thing feels thin, though, not a robust brew by any stretch. Pushing English mild brown territory. Same with the mouthfeel - thin carbonation, thin bodied.

Certainly worth a try, as this is by no means a bad effort (indeed, as I can see from my review, "not bad" as a descriptor keeps coming up) - it just needs some work to stand out among the other efforts featured in this dark ale heavy province.

 1,032 characters

Photo of TheHammer
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Well, it only produced a finger of head that didn't lace or sustain whatsoever. The body is as dark as night but show cases decent carbonation and a deep and dark ruby.

Smell: A mild toffee smell with some smoky coffee notes, but sadly it just isn't making enough of a presence. Warming didn't seem to help it's case either. Nice, just not forceful enough.

Taste: A very simple offers, starts with a modest sweet Toffee malt that permiates through the entire experience. The toffee builds as dark chocolate and coffee flavours peak just as a sweep of smoky slightly burnt taste mixed with hops that doesn't quite sit right. I've never encountered something like that.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a bit too flat for my liking and that odd ending to the beer is odd, but apart from that it's quite good. It leaves you with a very mild malt and toffee aftertaste and the shifting of tastes in the beer is quite good until the end.

Drinkability: Far higher then I would expect from a dark beer, but it is a dark lager. It's smooth going down, and the odd end doesn't linger long enough to hurt the cause. Strikes me as a late spring drinker.

Final Thoughts: Cameron's has always struck me as a gateway brewery. They don't quite brew stuff that appeals to the beer connoisseur but they are certainly not the kind of brewery who brews macro swill to get by. This beer is no exception, and is really the kind of beverage to ween someone off adjunct lager syndrome and into more flavourful beer drinking.

 1,515 characters

Photo of Swedes21
2.8/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - nice dark amber colour pouring beer. there is about 2 fingers of head that quickly disappear. The beer has a slight amount of carbonation.

Smell - I can smell chocolate and coffee undertones to this beer.

Taste - I found the first taste was coffee then not much after that, i was expecting more of a chocolate presents. The after taste isn't too bitter, actually i did not find much of one.

Mouthfeel - Slight amount of carbonation adds to the taste. I found the chocolate actually came through a bit. There was a bit more of an aftertaste, but nothing that has a wow factor.

Drinkability - I found this to be a very blah beer in the end, there was a bit of a higher expectations. In the end, i would not go after this beer.

 778 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear dark brown colour with a large frothy/fizzy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing, and there is some nice spider web lacing. The head stuck around for several minutes before it was gone.

Smell - toasted nuts, malts, breads/grains, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is actually quite a bit of carbonation, lots of bubbles on the tongue, at first the beer tastes slightly metallic. It might benefit from a decrease of carbonation, but it is still decent. I can taste lots of malts, and also a lot of bread/grain flavour. It also has some molasses notes and a toasted/roasted flavour. It finishes with a slightly bitter chocolate/malt after taste.

Drink - A nice drinkable beer. Would be pretty decent as a session beer for the dark beer fans. I'm interested in trying the other variety's in Cameron's lineup.

 905 characters

Photo of kwjd
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown, but not quite opaque, colour with light tan head. Some spotty lacing down the glass. I can smell some hops with the dark chocolate malt. Flavour has a mild bitterness, but it wasn't too much to overpower the sweetness of the beer. Quite sweet overall, maybe a bit too much. Body is a little bit thin, but carbonation was nice. Easy to drink and have pitchers of, but not something to seek out.

 421 characters

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The first of the Cameron's 4 pack sampler graciously given to me by the brewery.

A deep mahogany body with caramel ruby glances in the light rests below the mocha head. Some good retention here, as one would expect of the style.

The nose is of chocolate, slightly fruity grape esters. Sour tones of apple mix with mild coffee bean scents.

Flavours of cocoa and caramel are balanced by some minimal hopping. Everything is very clean and crisp while still having a good malt base of flavor.

The body is smooth on the tongue if somewhat watery.
A decent dark lager that would make a good summer quencher.

 605 characters

Photo of cratez
3.22/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle from the Cameron's Mixer Pack, purchased at the Lawrence & Avenue LCBO. Deep chestnut brown with copper edges and a sliver of cream white head. Some lacing lingers after each sip. Smell is cream, dark bread dough, brown sugar, pecan, fruity and floral aromas. Taste is basic roasted/black malts, some sweetness, water, vague spice from the hops, barely traceable nuttiness to finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied, thin, watery, only a touch of creaminess midway, small bite toward the end, drying chalky finish, no aftertaste. Easy to drink, but ultimately a bland and characterless beer.

 598 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.44/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to Unibroue tulip

A - Poured a dark brown colour with a very slight amount of translucency. A slight amber glow when held up to the light. A small amount of white head formed on top that quickly dissipated.

S - Some light roasted malt notes and a very slight bitter hop nose. Not a strong nose at all - nothing really pops out.

T - Very mild/subdued palate, just like the nose indicated. A very light malt taste with no discernible roasted malt or hop flavour. Somewhat bland and flat.

D - Very disappointing beer. It was bland and almost completely lacked flavour for me. After seeing the dark brown pour in to my glass I had higher expectations and this missed those expectations without a doubt. Won't be buying this again.

 741 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since Cameron's doesn't specify how dark this dark ale is meant to be, we won't deduct them points for it being relatively see-through nor for the well kindled, light chestnut tone. In all honestly, actually, this is a fine looking ale, especially when you come to appreciate just how spongy and throttling its sepia toned head and lace really are.

The aroma requires a lot of smelling to come up with only a little to say about it. The bouquet has only piddling elements of sweetness and roast, with a light coffee-cake kind of flavour in its breath. Roasted malts can be noted but they seem in alarmingly low numbers, same can be said of its nearly inconsequential portion of dark fruity esters.

Although it negligibly resembles a German schwarzbier (or even Munich Dunkel) this simply doesn't have enough malty character to really qualify for either style. Indeed, when the brewery boast that this "offers the drinkability of a North American lager" what they really mean to say is that this has about as much flavour as the typical North American lager.

Which is to say: very little. And what little - what very, very little - flavour is there isn't exactly the most savory or sumptuous neither. A light but acrid roast, it resembles water that's been infused with spent coffee grinds. Hints of stale caramel or rotten dark fruit might be noted as well but, by and large, this is weak and painfully plain.

People who like this little flavour and character in their beers are not the ones likely drink a beer with 'dark' in its name. Colour aside, this has no difference from most conventional pale ales or lagers; it has no more sweetness, roast, bitterness or body. The brewery claims that it took 266 batches to get the recipe right - I suggest they try a few more.

 1,778 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So-so dark lager from Cameron's. Looks good - dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy two finger head.

Really light smell to it; mild malts and not much else. Very "watery" nose.

The taste is better: toffee, slight hop bitterness. Very faint metallic tinge. Malty without being to rich and there is no skunkiness one tends to find in lighter lagers.

Light, but not too thin. The wateriness in the nose does not come through in the body. A good alternative to macro lagers.

 480 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 20oz pint at my hotel bar in downtown Toronto, before a nice anniversary dinner with my better half.

This beer appears a clear, very dark brown colour, with prominent mahogany tints, and one finger of tightly foamy, bubbly, and soapy beige head, which leaves some decent melting iceberg lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of mild roasted biscuity caramel malt, an oily nuttiness, some plain mid-day, lightly milked coffee, an apple and orange orchard fruitiness, and rather understated earthy, leafy hops. The taste is lightly roasted bready malt, a muted caramel sweetness, breakfast toast, southern biscuits, and softly acrid fruity, herbal hops.

The carbonation is moderate, the body medium in weight and plainly smooth, with a pithy, almost, but not quite, milky sourness. It finishes somewhat sweet and malty, with an increasing musty dryness.

A standard Canadian micro-brewed dark ale, with maybe a bit more complexity than is the norm, but still nothing to get all that excited about - now, on to the more vaunted wine pairing(s) for the evening - bring it on, Reds.

 1,099 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Dark 266 from Cameron's Brewing Co.
3.23 out of 5 based on 60 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.