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 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 Naes
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is a dark amber brew with a decent white frothy head.
Its aroma is grainy and a bit malty, though it is not very present.
The flavor has a bit of caramel malt and just the slightest amount of hops.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and is low on the carbonation.

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Photo of maxpower
2.95/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.5 oz thick brown bottle pours a clear amber color with a small creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Bready aroma with a nutty caramel flavor, medium bodied with a somewhat harsh mouthfeel, finishes a bit dry. Not much going on, average at best.

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Photo of ahking
3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty decent amberish lager. Crisp and slightly spicy means a nice balance of hops. Slight toasty caramel flavor from the darker malts, but doesn't overpower like some dark lagers. Nice beer. Nothing spectacular, but a good option when you have limited choices.

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Photo of yen157
3.2/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Foamy cream colored head, good retention, some lacing. An amber brew, through and through. Nondescript yet pleasant hoppy nose, Kraft caramel sweetness. Very lightly sweet, some grainy malt flavor, but no real hop flavor. Bitterness is faint and quick. Aftertaste is minerals and stale malt extract. Pretty light in the mouth considering the evident sweetness, yet the moderately light carbonation makes sure this is not at all inappropriate. Very average beer.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a clear brown color with a thin light beige head. Very thin lacing also. Light malt and nuts in the nose. Light-bodied and a little sweet, with some malt flavor along with a touch of hops. What little flavor that is present gives up the ghose pretty quickly though. The finish is clean and lightly hoppy but that falls off just as fast. Decent for very brief periods.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.5/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light dark beer with no head and minimal carbonation. Aroma is quite weak with some roasted malt being noticeable. Taste is also sub par with a watery feeling ruining the whole thing. Another bad lager from this Canadian macro is the only thing I can say about this one.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
2.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz clear glass bottle with label only on neck.

This lager poured a clear, light copper color with creamy, off-white foam that settled but clung to the glass a bit. The smell was woody with light malt and a slight sour twang. The taste was malty with a light touch of caramel. There was a somewhat sour flavor that I can only describe as "cheap lager taste". There was a touch of a woody flavor with a hint of alcohol and an almost whisky-like flavor, and finally a touch of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was crisp and lightly tangy with medium-light body and modest carbonation. Overall the feel was thin, and the aftertaste was bitter. This was not a lager that I would like to drink more of.

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Photo of SkullFission
1.77/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer sits in the 12 oz. bottle the same color as beef gravy, or maybe vegetable soup. It has decent head retention, but there isn't much head to retain in the first place.

It smells vaguely like the aforementioned vegetable soup, with a little bit of a malt smell. The mouthfeel isn't bad, but stings a bit if you let it sit on your tongue. This is probably one of the worst tasting beers I have ever had. I'm absolutely forcing myself to finish this one, and attempting to repress my urges to throw it out.

This beer seemed a bit promising, until I tasted it. There's nothing comparable to this taste, except for maybe rotten cereal. I will never, ever drink this again.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer after its dispatch from the 330ml clear bottle set in the class a clear deep copper color with a modest size frothy light tan head after its decomposition the lace forms a thin seal upon the glass. Nose is the prototypical crisp and fresh lager that is sweet as is the start; the top is light to moderate in its feel. Finish is middling in acidity and the hops standard for this style, a typical lager, drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The one finger head of tan foam covered a dark copper/light mahoghany body and left a nice lacing ring. The body is medium and has ample carbonation. The aroma is quite light and does, indeed, give an impression of cooked vegetables. Fortunately the flavor is a bit better than average and has good balance between the sweetness and the bittering hops. The drinkability is better than either the Cream Ale or the Honey Brown versions of Sleeman's beers.

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Photo of slitherySOB
1.68/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Sleeman's cream ale is a decent beer. However, it's the only decent beer I seem to remember having from them. Anyways, original dark pours a dark colour. Duh. Almost a Coca-Cola black. Hardly any head whatsoever. Overly carbonated. It really does look like a soda. Smells off. Cooked veggies, cabbage, stale toast and sugar. Dare I taste it? I payed for it, I might as well experience it. Ugh. Though not as bad as the smell would lead me to believe, it is still an awful beer. Sickly sweet taste up front, followed by a stale sour candy. Aftertaste was cooked vegetables. Mouthfeel is overcarbonated, like seltzer water. Won't be drinking this again.

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Photo of masterbruewer
2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber color with decent off-white head.

The smell was more grainy than malty with a hint of malty flavor.

The taste was decent, grainy undertones, but a solid taste, not extravagant.

The mouthfeel was light and almost non-existent.

Very drinkable. Like all Sleeman beers, this is a solid example of the style, but nothing great.

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Photo of Gump
2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Here's a review for all of the Sleeman beers that I have tasted.
Very grainy and proud on the tongue. Perfect light golden color and strong "beer" taste. Smells like beer, tastes like beer. Nothing really stands out to make this a special drink, and unfortunately all styles are very similar. I include the cream ale, honey brown lager, silver creek lager and original dark into this review.
Of all the Sleeman I have tried, the dark is the better.

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Photo of budgood1
1.62/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

pours out a slightly darker amber colour...huge frothy bone white head and lots of lace. looks good in glass. the aroma is lots of syrupy adjuncts...and a bit of grassy hoppiness. the taste is really boring...bordering on unpleasant because of all the slick syrupy crappiness and a prickly artificially carbonated mouthfeel. the body of this beverage is round and empty...reinforcing the notion that some cheap ass ingredients were used to produce this lame "dark lager". i guess i'll use the rest of my bottles of this in my sampler pack for cooking...because this beer isn't made for drinking.

a bad beer.

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Photo of pootz
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can’t improve on a lot of the derogatory (but applicable)comments of the other posters who show distain for this brewer’s knack of taking traditional beer styles and torpedoing them with wussied out versions for mass consumption by generation Duh. Poured a clear brown and that is where any resemblance to a dunkel ended...weak aromas of adjuncts, over carbonated, fizzy watery mouth feel with no distinct finish and no after taste. Suffice to say this is neither a decent lager worth any characteristic at all except a weird over boiled hop presence that I found quite offensive. I was glad I was given one by a friend saved me the trouble of buying 6 to taste and pouring 5 down the sink.

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Photo of shirfan
3.11/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear iced-tea color, with a moderate, soapy head.

A menacing cooked-veggie aroma fairly flies out of the bottle, but quicky disperses and gives way to mild caramel malt.

Taste is passable if you're in the mood for caramel, perhaps Munich malts and "drinking without thinking". Sort of an Oktoberfest Junior. Finishes a bit too watery, with non-descript bittering hops, and not enough of them.

This is nothing special, but better than the average Canadian macro. There's nothing "off" that I detected other than the initial odd whiff, and if there are adjuncts here they hid them pretty well...certainly not deserving of the really rotten scores some BA's have posted. Maybe it goes bad quickly; Guelph isn't that far from here so I suspect my sixer is fairly fresh.

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Photo of Garin
2.85/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hm. Well, they call it "original dark ale" here, but I guess it doesn't matter.

A clear copper bronze beer, with a white, bubbly, fizzy head that shrinks quickly to a thin film, with almost no lacing.

Loads of caramel on the nose, with malty chocolate hints in there as well. There is a slightly odd metallic aroma that comes and goes.

The flavour is *almost* malty throughout, with a slightly sour twinge in the finish. It's strangely empty, the malts and other flavours don't really have any depth. Too bad, as it's quite promising otherwise.

In the mouth it feels clean and light, with an interesting supple sort of feel.

Overall, it's an ok beer, but nothing really noteworthy.

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Photo of IronDjinn
1.99/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Sleemans should put out a brown ale, and it should look just like this dark lager, although would taste nothing like it. Only in a perfect world....

So it's a decent looking beer (listed as a lager, although it's referred to as an ale in the small print along the blue label around the neck), a deep rich amber with a thickish head. The head doesn't last long, but leaves a foamy ring and a bit of lacing as well.

A very tinny, metallic scent on the nose with some mysterious funky presence behind it. Wait....okay, I went and washed my hands. Nope, it's still there, so I know it's not me, it's definitely in the beer.

Flavour has a sourness to it, the malts and hops are very unbalanced, there is an astringency to the toasted malt and hops leave a medicinal impression.

Mouthfeel is full at the very start, but thins out and becomes very oily quite fast, leaving more of a watery impression in the end.

To review and sum up, if Sleemans made a brown ale that looked like this, but tasted nothing like it, then I think they'd have an okay beer on their hands. But this....this... I'm not sure what this is, but it's not very good at all. No more for me though, I'll tell you that much.

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Photo of rabidawg
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Looks decent, with a nice amber-brown color, average carbonation, and a creamy head. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Hmmm . . . some definite potential here. Some roasted malt notes, and a definite dark chocolate backbone. Must explore further.

Taste: Wow. This one really disappoints. The chocolate tastes like artificially-sweetened chocolate syrup. Very odd sweetness. The taste of this beer is truly almost sickening. I could have finished the beer, but I had no desire to do so. Very, very disappointing. Will not purchase again.

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Photo of jackndan
2.5/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sleeman’s Dark: Not a very good dark beer, and not a very good beer overall. It poured a deep copper color, and in fact was not particularly dark at all, and I had no trouble looking through it to see that it was generally clear. The head was slightly off white, but it didn’t stick around long enough for one to take notice of it. The aroma was very malty, tending toward caramel, with some grainy adjunct notes as well. The taste was fairly flat, and if there was a hop in there, you’ll have to forgive me for failing to notice it. The dominant malt taste was caramel/toffee with bare hints of dark chocolate as well. All in all, not worth the bother.

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Photo of AudioGilz
2.81/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear brilliant copper color....large head at first, but quickly becomes a slight coating. There's a slight skunkiness to the aroma, and I bought this beer in a cardboard 12 pack that won't let much light in...but oh well, it was there, but just a little. There's also some graininess in the aroma. This beer is very smooth on the palate, but leaves much to be desired in the flavor department. I get touches of caramel and that's about it. This beer just doesn't do it for me.

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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 Jason
1.59/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

12 oz. clear glass bottle with no freshness date, noticed some particles in the bottle.

Appearance: Hazed sunset amber with a solid froth, there is some clinging action as the lace drops a ring here and there.

Smell: Ghastly skunked cabbage and some toasted husk make me cringe at the first sniff.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp with a slick medium body. Cooked veggies and astringent metallic notes amongst the malt and hops. The malt flavour seems flat with a monotone toasted character. Hops are processed to the point of only leaving a bitterness. More astringent flavours hit the palate when the drying finish rounds the corner.

Notes: A problematic dark lager, off flavours and aromas as well as the haze appearance made me toss the rest being that I did not want to torture myself any longer.

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Photo of ADR
2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clearish light amber appearance with a weak head of small bubbles that lasts about 10 seconds in the glass. Sweet aroma, vague sense of a Twix bar in chocolate and caramel notes. Dead body, watery and sweet with caramel flavors early but little hop sense or moxie in the mouth. Finishes clean (i.e. vacant) with little aftertaste, but nothing upfront is very inviting to sip again. Like the Honey Brown Lager, there's not much to make me want to buy this again, though it would be drinkable to me if offered.

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