Sleeman Original Dark (50*) | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

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Sleeman Original Dark (50*)Sleeman Original Dark (50*)
101 Ratings
Sleeman Original Dark (50*)Sleeman Original Dark (50*)

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An all malt ale, Sleeman Original Dark is brewed from a combination of roasted barley malts, English Aroma hops, and deep well water. Its unique flavour has become a trademark in the Sleeman lineup.

Added by John on 10-26-2001

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Ratings: 101 |  Reviews: 76
Photo of baxterbrew
4.2/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nice, frothy foamy head that holds well after the pour
S: Very malty, rich smell, smells like homebrew in the pot
T: Balanced, nice fruity malty taste with a slight hint of hops
M: Medium thickness
D: I liked this beer and could drink it a lot. This would make a nice session beer.

Overall, nothing spectacular about this beer, very balanced but also very good.

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Photo of bort11
4.07/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured into an Imperial Pint glass. Good head, about a finger. It dropped pretty quick but left some lacing. Enough carbonation to replenish the lace all the way through. The color is a darker coppery red. Good clarity.

S- I could smell the maltiness once the cap was off. A roasted malt with caramel notes. very plesant. Not an extremely high ABV, but there is some alcohol smell that mixes with the malt. I like that a lot.

T- Warm maltiness with hops and caramel undertones. It's sweet, but the roasty warmth of it counter balances. It's not complex in the least, but I think it's doing what it supposed to be doing.

M- It feels warm on the tongue. The carbonation reactivate the taste and smell in the mouth just enough. It's a slow fizz, not a burn. It is slightly on the watery side. Not bad, I just want it to have a little bit more to it.

D- I think this is a pretty fun beer. It's a good session. I'll be going back to it.

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Photo of pastadutchie
4/5  rDev +36.5%

Photo of beckscrusader420
3.85/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

not a bad beer indeed. If you like amber ales then this one will definately pass the test. This beer put me to sleep for the rest of the night after downing a six pack quite swiftly. That happens only rarely with beer. Head sticks around for the duration. I bought to try something new and my mom's birthday is november 17th. Not the all to end all but a decent brew.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Sleeman Original Dark 50 pours a slightly hazy deep-amber color that borders on becoming chestnut brown. Amber-orange and golden highlights peek out at you from the base of the glass. The creamy off-white head holds fairly well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass. The nose is gently fruity and mildly caramelish; and in the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Yeasty fruit and caramelish malts return in the flavor, and it's pleasant, smooth, and well-rounded, presenting a smear of leafy and grassy hops at the swallow. A low-key but very-firm bitterness keeps it in check, and it finishes quite dry despite a swirl of delicate fruitiness and a touch of lingering caramelized maltiness. More interesting than your average macro-lager, but not quite as full in flavor as say a Killian's or Newcastle Brown.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.78/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a standard pint. Second from the sampler 12 pack.

Light to medium copper in color. One finger semi-dense head that settled to a cap and left lots of sticky lace.

Nose is of iced tea with a little alcohol. Caramel malts and toffee. Nutty, maybe light roasted hazlenuts?

Taste is bready, small hop flavor with caramel, toffee and sourdough with hints of roasty malts with a nice backbone.

Mouthfeel is good, full bodied and smoth. Light carbonation almost feels bottle conditioned.

Drinkability would be just fine and at 5.5 might be just a little much for sessioning.

Overall not bad, much better than the "cream ale" I just had from Sleeman. Won't seek it out but it wasn't bad.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.77/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown appearance with decent thick head. Has a smell of caramel and nuts.

Taste is very sweet and fruity, definite taste of caramel and toffee. Medium bodied and creamy. The only real downfall of this beer is the sharply bitter aftertaste.

Overall this is an almost well round beer, descent mixture of tastes for it's style.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.76/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep -- but clear -- red with visible carbonation. Leaves a full finger of pillowy head. NIce too look at, as well as a surprisingly good drizzle of lace.

Contains a German malt smell, bitter and sharp, but also slightly roasted. It's a bit dark, contains that bitter amber smell we love/hate so much. It's a bit weak; not too heavy.

Nice and pleasant roasted malt flavor. A little bitter, a little sweet. (Are those berries?) Not a sharp bitterness, but a dull one (a good thing). Sweeter as it warms. Really nice flavor. Some smoky flavor adds to the depth.

Feel is medium bodied. A bit creamy too. It's not too thick but not at all watery. All told, it's a nice, cherry-sweet amber. Roated malt, smoky. Quite well done, actually.

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Photo of Gear54
3.75/5  rDev +28%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine June 2007.

Old-school Amber Ale here. In Canada, it's just labeled "Original Dark"; but us Yanks get the long, fancy name with the number in it. Go figure.

The carbonation isn't shy here, giving four fingers of off-white head that leaves a soap-like sticky lace down the glass. It's amber, and it's dark, so the name doesn't lie; clarity is perfect as well. Clean aroma of sweet malt and subtle leafy hops. It's as smooth as it is crisp, with a nice moderate body. Dry malt flavor starts things off, bready with a hint of toasted husk and sweet caramel in the back. Woody and leafy hops grace the beer with a mild bitterness and a long-lingering flavor. Kiss of fruitiness in the middle, with a quick showing of alcohol in the semi-dry finish.

Beer geeks may deem this beer as pedestrian, but regardless of what they think, this is a simple yet very drinkable ale with no evident flaws. A meat pie with a flaky, buttery crust will do just fine with this.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appaerance: Dark mahogany colored body, white head is pretty large, yet fast fading.

Smell: Smells light malt and very light carmel.

Taste: For sleemand being a macro brewer, this is none too bad. Almost a euro dunkel with the grainy flavor and subtle roasted malts, pretty good.

I could easily session this beer; I can't say it is a great or even very good beer, but it is good for what it is.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
3.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronze orangey reddish color with a good size foamy tan head which turns to a thin collar throughout and leaves some nice sticky lacing around the glass.
Nose is of caramel,some mild fruityness to it and malts round it off.
Taste is sweet fruits and toffee,mild bitterness bites at you and the malts and some buttery creaminess,goes down quite nicely.
Medium to full body that goes down leaving you with a satisfied feeling of something enjoyable,not thin and watery.Good brew and has that feeling that would be a good thirst quencher on a scorching hot day.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%

Photo of tavernjef
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This surprised me, after having the Cream and Honey Brown, I thought it would be much better. This dark wasn't very dark at all. Color is solid brown like that of varnished wood with deep yellow tones. Solid, frothy head that settled down well. Smell was a musty grain, kind of light, with a caramel tone. Taste was slightly watery for a dark, some caramel and a bit of oat bread and grassy notes. Felt to light to be a dark, could've had more body. Not bad, but definately had better darks. I was disappointed to say the least after liking the Cream Ale so much.

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Photo of fortyfield
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BierFan
3.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Poured a rocky tan head. The beer was ruby brown in appearance. Much darker than I expected an amber ale to pour. It left a light lacing.

Smell: Smelled like a sweet brown ale when first poured.

Taste: Well balanced flavor of malt and hops. Neither the malt nor hops takes center-stage in this beer. The taste of caramel and darker malts.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear deep copper color with very nice tannish head. Great retention and perfect sticky lacing.

Smell slows some light caramel notes, but otherwise very light.

Taste demonstrates a firm caramle maltiness combined with a bit too dry hop character.

Finishes a bit too dry for the style. I would like to see a bit more malt.

Not a bad beer, but not a great beer.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow brown color. There is a foamy head that seems to disappear quicklyk.

Smell: There is only a faint aroma - mostly hops and sugar.

Taste: The flavor is really faint as well. Mainly, there are notes of hops and yeast, with a bit of sugary residue left on the tongue after.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly smooth for this much carbonation. I think too much carbonation though.

Drinkability: You could probably session this one with no problems, but for some the carbonation might make it too gassy for several in a row.

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Photo of CJStout
3.42/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in a variety 12 pack (bottles). Never had any of Sleeman beers as of yet. First impression - nice heavy bottle, I will definately save these for my homebrew.

Appearance - Pours a brownish amber, not crystal clear, not cloudy. Vanilla colored head dissapates quickly but does not disappear. Lacing is suble, but present.

Smell - Crystal malt greets your nose pleasantly (40-60 L?) Hops are not apparent. Straight forward, yet inviting.

Taste - Good, malty, simple taste. Slight alcoholly (new word) taste. No complexity. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium, smooth body. Fine carbonation.

Drinkability - The whole impresses me more than the sum of the parts ... marginally. Certainly not one of my favorites, however, I can see myself ordering more than one of these in a bar (with few alternatives). I think this beer will hold up to/compliment pub food, especially hot wings.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown or dark amber in color when poured into a pint glass. Light head and no nose that I am able to detect. Somewhat heavy attack with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor seems to match the mouthfeel as it is thick and creamy as well. There is a tiny bite of hops late in the flavor and an interesting bite at the finish. The flavor lingers in the mouth but in a pleasant and inconspicuous way. This beer is okay, but I would have to say that I won't really remember it in the long run.

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Photo of plaid75
3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich ruby/amber hue with a one finger creamy head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle. There was a definite malty sweetness.

The taste was very well balanced. A nice upfront malt sweetness capped off by a good hop bite. A bit of green apple tartness is detected.

The mouthfeel was full, with a relatively dry finish.

Overall an average amber. Hits the spot.

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Photo of ajmoody76
3.33/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a free night without the wife and kids. this is the best i have to do- review beers. 12 ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint. clear amber color. thin tan head which fades out. no lace to speak of.

malty aroma. light fruit boquet. no off odors. not a ton of depth.

dry fruity taste. malt presence. decent crispness. balance is okay.

thin body. low carbonation. decent beer. would not go out of my way for this.

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Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a dark amber color with a foamy, tan, one-finger head.

S - Smelled of malt and grasses.

T - It was very malty and had a hoppy spice. It also had a bitter bite.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good amber ale. A nice mixture of hops and malt.

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Photo of kinger
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mellow amber, light amber in color with a thin white head no lacing and decent carbonation. Aroma is a standard scent of sweet malt with a hint of caramel. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and thin but still enjoyable. The flavor is slightly above par. Good malt presence, again slightly thin to the palate but overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of dstc
3.26/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear to slightly cloudy light rosy brown color with small white head that quickly disappears leaving no lace behind.

Smells a little sweet and very malty, not too bad.

Taste is about average. Nothing jumps out but hints of fruitiness and hops. Slight bitter aftertaste.

Average mouthfeel. Nothing outstanding or noticeable there.

Very average to above average beer. Not outstanding but it certainly doesn't suck either. Worth a try.

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Sleeman Original Dark (50*) from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 101 ratings