Dark Ale
Coopers Brewery Limited

Dark AleDark Ale
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Mild Ale - English Dark
Ranked #117
Ranked #48,561
3.33 | pDev: 14.71%
Coopers Brewery Limited
Dark AleDark Ale
Notes: Like its more famous cousins, Coopers Dark Ale is made with all malt, and naturally conditioned in the bottle or keg. Roasted and chocolate malts produce a deep amber brew, with a rich, full-bodied flavour. As with all of our ales, rolling the bottle before pouring makes it even better. No additives. No preservatives.
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 129 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Kulrak:
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Kulrak from Australia

3.16/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolatey red with almost no head at all, actually looks sort of like root beer.
Smell: Slight roast malt & chocolate scent.
Taste: Sweet, malty, little bit of roast malt, just enough bitterness to balance it out. Dry finish.
Mouthfeel: A little thick, a little creamy.
Drinkability: Yeah, I could drink a few of these. Not too strong, not weak, just about right.

May 29, 2005
More User Reviews:
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12.7 oz stubby brown bottle with a best before freshness date. Some sediment is noticeable on the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Thin tan lace, dark stained wood hue with a good clarity because I left the sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Chocolate syrup, toasted biscuit and mild plum-like fruitiness.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Lots of sweet toasted malt, bakers chocolate and a toasted grain husk in the back. Mild hop bitterness lends a hand to help balance out the sweetness. Moderate body with a nice crispness. Faint mix of buttery / nutty yeast and a plumy fruitiness. Slow drying finish with remnants of the toasted husk.

Drinkability & Notes: A tasty brew, nothing earth shattering. I’ll chalk this one as a great lunch time brew … I paired it with a press Boursin cheese and roasted beef on pumpernickel sandwich.

Mar 04, 2005
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rastaman from England

2.5/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

OK, some guy beer-mailed me and abused me about my rating, look i don't really like the stuff that much and you can't force me too. This was deep brown in colour, quite oily, dry, but lacks a lot of character, also perhaps a bit sticky, i'm sorry, but i really can't see anyhting in this brew which appeals to me, but its not horrific at all, its quite drinkable.

Mar 27, 2002
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TastyTaste from Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Chunky tan yeast at the bottom of a really dark beer, small off-white head.

Smell: Roasted malts, a touch of brown sugar, not half bad.

Taste: Roasted malts run the flavor, a little sweetness transfers into some bitterness on the backside. Ok, nothing special, I just don't know if you would need to go australian to get a beer like this, may be better fresher.

Drinkability: Won't buy it again, but I wouldn't turn down a pint, either.

Aug 08, 2006
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: Cool looking hour glass figured 12.7 fl.oz. brown glass bottle. Brown, white and black label like the BA Avatar. No preservatives, No Additives and Bottle Conditioned. No strength but a Best Before Date of 27.09.05.

Appearance: Deep, deep dark brown body, black looking at times late on a night when sat on my desk. The head was a thick creamy light tan affair that looked great in the straight sided pint glass. Nice carbonation and a decent appearance all round.

Nose: Malty nose that has some dark fruits I it and a light yeast character with some caramel toffee traits.

Taste: Dark fruity malts with some figs and a little acidity in the back end from the hops maybe? Has a nutty brown ale feel with the vivacity of a well made Cola. Cocoa licks at it warms. Good conditioning helps to distribute the tastes evenly.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light, average at times but the finely tuned and well dissolved carbonation really picks up the feel, just like a good UK Cask Mild does. It’s “thin” but never disappointing for me.

Drinkability: Easily downed, like a good Mild it sinks with little resistance. Toasty nutty brew that drinks well.

Overall: It seems that English style Milds are so misunderstood, or is that under appreciated? I don’t know, but they are easy to sleight it seems. What I do know is that I found this very fresh sample to be extremely quaffable and quite tasty given its 4.5% ABV. I make no bones about the fact that I am a big fan of English Dark Milds, and I will admit that I actually quite enjoyed this Aussie example from Down Under. Not the best, but nowhere near as bad as others make out, though it needs to be fresh though me thinks.

Sep 18, 2004
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putnam from Michigan

3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark root beer colored. Paltry, even foam. Scented of coffee and chocolate, but only mildly. The bouquet is almost imperceptable, and this is at about 55 deg. F from a Riedel Chianti glass. Bone dry. Gassy. Savory cocoa flavors provide some bitterness. Low acid. Exceedingly neutral flavored. Actually this is kind of impressive. It would seem there was plenty of room for alcohol or off flavors to dominate, yet they can't be detected. Still, not a beer I will ever crave. Easy to finish; hard to remember. Hard to believe the same brewery makes Coopers Sparkling Ale, a beer so miraculaously alive with flavor.

Aug 18, 2005
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Gusler from Arizona

3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer escapes the bottle a beclouded deep mahogany to almost brown color, the head substantial, and the texture frothy, the color a toothsome light tan with the lace a solid sheet to encircle the glass. Nose is dominated by the sweet malt, hints of caramel, crisp and fresh with the start lightly sweet, the top light in its feel upon the palate. Finish is meek in acidity, the hops mild and pleasant, with the aftertaste dry, a drinkable but barely average beer.

Jan 30, 2004
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Frozensoul327 from Michigan

2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark Mild Ale? Too mild... Pours out to a dark brown color with no head or lace. Appears to have low carbonation. Aromas of, well, near nothing. Is that malt I smell? I can't tell. Flavors were flat and mild; roasted malt, some grains and cocoa. Bland. Mouthfeel was good, as the carbonation made it's way to the tongue and was well received. Drinkability isn't great. I'm suprised that Coopers can't do better than this. Look to the Sparkling Ale instead.

May 13, 2006
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nomad from Kansas

2.33/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So I went to my corner store looking for a Dunkel Lager for a dunkel reduction sauce with lamb I was making for dinner. 500 beers in the store but no dunkel lager, but dark ales are pretty close in flavor profile and Cooper's was the only one in the store. Take two home, one for cooking and the other for cooking and sipping while standing over the stove.

Pours with an over-abundance of carbonation shooting through a hazy light-brown beer. Micro-beads of lace are thick and constant. I let it sit for a bit while I'm busy cooking...

Smelling it I catch notes of mocha chocolate, an indistinct fruity sense, a dirty, earthy tone of roasted malts, and a strange yeast profile wafting about.

Tastes like a light mocha that grows in strength but, alas, is destroyed by the carbonic twang of the nastiest sharp attack of carbonation and yeast I've ever experienced. Light minty hops and soft, cushy roast malts try to show off their ware before that annoying mouthfeel and tonic water acidity washes them out.

Well, it was a decent substitute for a Dunkel lager in my reduction sauce, but didn't quite have the same amount of sweet, caramelly flavors and you could taste the yeast even after some rough, extended boiling. On the drinking side, this was terrible. I guess Cooper's is proud of their yeast, but like the bottles of Sparkling and Vintage ales they make this Dark ale was dominated by its face-twisting carbonation and sharp cutting yeast.

Apr 24, 2004
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WesWes from New York

3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a mild malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It's dry and toastey. The taste is decent also. It has a thin crystal and roasted malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy with some yeast aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a pretty good brew, but nothing I'd buy again. Coopers beers are run of the mill and nothing special, but they drink well.

Nov 06, 2005
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ybnorml from Rhode Island

4.09/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown beer with deep mahogony highlights. A samll light brown head dissapears quickly. There is a rich malty aroma with a strong coffee character. There is a sparkling sweetness the tha start of the taste. Followed by a robust coffee character witha hint of bittersweet chocolate on the finish. A very tasty treat. Remindes me of a light Batic Porter

Jul 09, 2005
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joecast from Australia

3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hmm. a best after date on a 4.5%abv beer? ok, it needs time for bottle conditioning. maybe they go through a lot of these and dont need to worry about them going off.
dark brown/mahogany in color with a 1cm thick, foamy, very stable, tan head. lots of sediment floating around thanks to falling out of the fridge about 30 minutes ago. oops.
light, sweet malt aroma. nothing too overwhelming.
rather light in flavor (which i guess would fit in well for the style). not as assertive as a stout, with the contribution from the dark grains being minimal, but satisfactory. not much bitterness to speak of, but not unbalanced either.
i guess its tough to stand out when your objective is to make a standard dark ale, though i think that has been well accomplished. easily drinkable, and wouldnt be a bad choice for a session on a cool night.

Nov 19, 2004
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, thin, quickly disappearing pale amber-brown colored head. The beer is a deep brown, almost black color and shows a brilliantly clear brown hue when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of lightly roasted notes, almost a candy sweet note of caramel & toffee, which tends to meld into and accentuate a light chocolate note. The aroma is much more characterful and interesting than I was expecting.

The taste is pretty dry up front, and in fact throughout. There is a touch of caramel-like sweetness, but this beer remains light on the palate throughout. The finish is sharp with a bit of hop-bitterness and a lingering note of roasted coffee beans. The roasted coffee notes lightly dust the entire flavor of this brew. All in all each of the flavors in this brew are fairly light. This is not a brew that demands your attention, instead it is an easily quaffed brew. Nice and easy drinking, with just enough flavor to keep it interesting.

Jan 14, 2006
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indiapaleale from Maine

3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown to black with a relatively thin off-white head.

Smell is plum, black licorice, sour apple, tobacco and sweet/sour sauce.

Taste is pretty tangy and yet light in body. Plum, soy sauce, dark sweet malt, light coffee and chocolate notes.

Fairly light mouthfeel and a lack of body make this one not a personal favorite. It is one however that is light in ABV and fairly drinkable for that reason alone.

Feb 11, 2009
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diablo14 from Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

more of a brown ale than a dark ale as coopers suggest, this ones not a bad little quaffer, and far better on tap than the bottle. i dont think they have quite got it right tho.

looks like a slightly darker newcastle brown ale. tan to amber color with a thin head, and the similarities dont end there. while this beer is top fermented and contains some floaties, it still is no more complex than others in its style. nose has a nutty aroma, and is a little smokey (just a minute hint) with a noticable sweet smell to it. taste of the beer very sweet, with traces of hazelnuts and pecans in the mix, and is just slightly more full bodied than newky brown. interesting hop finish which is a bit oakey, but not robust enuff. doesnt really linger on the palate.

they could do this beer a whole lot better. still goes down quite nicely and certainly isnt offensive in any way. i just expect a lot more from these guys with a beer like this.

Nov 04, 2003
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asabreed from New York

3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark but not opaque, with faint hints of dark brown and amber through the light. The head stays at about 1/2" and the lacing's fairly accompanying as it stays floating above and spiders well enough down the glass.

Smell: Mild dark fruit, heavy bread, a bit of yeast, some sweet malt, a bit of maple and vanilla, and some hops in there to as a tinge of bitterness in the nose.

Taste: Like a brown in a way, with some dark fruit, some sweet malt, and some hops at the finish for bittering. Nothing spectacular, but pretty balanced I'd say.

Mouthfeel: Full enough without being too carbonated or too sweet, and light enough to make me take the next sip, but once again more like a brown ale if I would compare this style to that one.

Drinkability: I admit I don't know as much about the style as I probably should, but I like this beer and I'd drink it again.

May 11, 2006
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koolk from Australia

3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown haziness with a nice small creamy head that persists throughout.

Slightly refined nose, with mainly roasted coffee and caramel with just a hint of dark fruit.

Decent taste, a little short, but some bitterness and flavour. Major flavour is reminiscent of instant coffee, nuts and cocoa with not much else going on.

A fairly simple brew, but very drinkable.

Nov 02, 2003
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donnebaby from North Carolina

3.39/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Silly, fizzy carbonation, bottle-conditioned looks resemble a Coke. Nose holds a distinct scent of toasted hazelnuts, with some creamy milk chocolate melted in. Getting towards Nutella (no more comparisons to name-brands after this..). Some dryness.

Taste is very light and fleeting. Dry, toasted malts, with some more malts, a little fruity--but not really. Almost no taste, really. Fizzy, sharpish carbonation is strangely refreshing and a little shocking.

Nov 02, 2004
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Skidz from Wisconsin

3.42/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out crisp orange-brown and sits a deep chocolatey brown in the glass with a smallish off-white/light tan head, fading quickly to the sides, leaving minimal skim on the surface.

Smells intensly rich, strong hints of chocolate, brown sugar and caramel. Mild coffee-like aroma and crisp, tangy burnt hues.

Tastes of cocoa up front and an impending toasty, brown-sugar laced, biscuit flavors. Mild charred character with hints of licorice. Well-balanced hop bitterness with minimal flavor presence.

Light-medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Overall refreshing and easy handling body.

Decent beer, but nothing very good either. Still, makes for good, easy sipping.

May 04, 2005
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark hazelnut with highlights of red, bronze and gold. Up top is a thick disk that is somewhere between pale khaki and dirty oyster shell. The foam falls relatively slowly, leaving a few sudsy strands of lace in its wake. Not a bad look for a dark mild.

The nose is barely recognizable as belonging to a beer of this style. Partly because it's low on power and partly because there's very little 'darkness' to the aroma that I can appreciate. It's lightly roasted rather than heavily toasted, if I can make that somewhat fine distinction. There just isn't enough to go on; a failing that I hope isn't true on the palate as well.

Mild is right. In fact, I think we may need to come up with a new style. I suggest English Dark Meek Ale. I know that beer of this ilk is supposed to be subtle, but c'mon Coppers, a bit more flavor would be nice. About the only flavors that register are watered down cocoa coupled with a mild (make that meek) dark fruitiness.

I keep hoping the beer will become more flavorful as it warms, but no such luck. There's very little sweetness, very little bitterness, very little of anything at all. The body/mouthfeel is anorectically thin and the finish is so short that I hesitate to call it a finish. There's nothing offensive about this beer other than its lack of... well, just about everything.

I'm unable to compare Coppers Dark Ale to other English Dark Meeks because it's the first one that I've had. If you're looking for an easy drinking, sessionable dark ale that looks the part, give this one a go. If you're looking for even a modest amount of flavor, keep looking.

May 13, 2006
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Dukeofearl from California

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat murky brown (I poured the bottle-conditioning yeast in before I realized it was there), and nothing every more than a thin film over the beer represents the head. No carbonation to speak of. They flecks of off-white yeast hang in middle of the glass, giving it an odd stratified look.

Aroma is light, a slight roasty malt that has chocolate and raisins. Reminds me of Sam Adams Black Lager.

Roasted malt is dominant here, with just a slight bitterness/astringency at the end that tells of hops. Decent mouthfeel makes this for an enjoyable experience. Overall, a good beer that doesn't wow me.

Nov 12, 2005
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Zorro from California

2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown colored ale with a thin brown head.

The smell is a little bit sweet with toasted grain and chocolate scents. Little bit of fig and leather aroma. Mild fuggles aroma but it is more of a tobacco scent than an herbal scent.

The taste starts out a little chocolate and fig at the start with a bit of mineral flavor. Bitterness shows up after a bit but this is most very mild in flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Pretty drinkable but I keep wanting more flavor from this. I really don't think I would buy this again.

Dec 02, 2007
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tgbljb from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep mahogony color with initail large puffy off-white head. Head quickly fell to a thin coating with no lacing present. Smell is a rich combination of roasted malt caramel. Taste is even better than the smell with a nice coffee taste present in addition to the roasted malt and caramel. Fiinished with a slight dryness which is the perfect ending to this beer. Very drinkable. Perfect session beer.

Jun 14, 2006
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, cloudy, almost opaque brown, with a coarse bubbled foam of beige bubbles. Very viscous - the floating sediment just stay where they are in suspension. Looks good.

Chocolatey sweetness on the nose. Light vinous characters, quite sweet, very rich and flavoursome. Nice.

Quite pleasant dark malt characters on the palate too. It's quite short though, riding through the smooth roasted character to a drop, leaving little on the aftertaste. It's rather disappointing really, there was a sweetness promised on the nose, which the palate didn't deliver. Mouthfeel nice and round.

It's a very drinkable beer, but ultimately a little disappointing. It's frustrating just how short this falls of something great.

Apr 19, 2008
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.22/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy root beer brown color with a modest head that quickly fades and fails to leave much of a remembrance behind

Smell: Vague hint of tootsie rolls and weak coffee

Taste: Starts with a vague chocolately aspect that has an artificial rubber element to it; after the swallow, it all fades away, although there are some vague hints of cream, chocolate and banana, but nothing to get very excited about

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink but easy to forget

Oct 10, 2006
Dark Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 129 ratings