The Dark Side | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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7 Ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Full-bodied, dark, German-style lager with toasted malt sweetness balanced with a slight hop bitterness.

Added by akorsak on 12-04-2010

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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by buzzy:
Photo of buzzy
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Iron Hill Lancaster (but brewed @ the Wilmington location) on 12/10/10. 10 oz pour served in a stemmed globe glass.

Pours black in the glass, although some ruby does come out along the top and bottom, with a thin head of mocha foam. This stays rich on the edges, with about ¼ finger of flare-up that dissipates pretty quickly but this still throws up a foamy cascade of lacing which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma has a nice roasty tang to it, with coffee and burnt toast mixing with sticky notes of cocoa, toffee, and earthy hops, which add even more of a light green smelling twang to the nose. This isn't overly complex but still has a solid robustness to it.

The taste starts with a thick sweet base of chocolate and caramel malts before a wall of hops and burnt malts spread bitterness and roast out across the back of the palate. The earthiness of the hops not only brings some added sharpness to this but also seems to lend the profile an extra layer of fruity citric flavors as well. This finishes mostly bitter and roasted but there is still some leftover sticky tang from the malts that rolls around on the tongue as well. The mouthfeel is full bodied, sharp, and prickly on top, which dots the tongue with those notes of roast and hops. Underneath lays a chewier thickness where that robust sweetness and heavy ABV sit. Speaking of which, that almost 10% is just very nicely hid here and it's not so much the alcohol but more along the overall big feel that holds the drinkable nature of this back some.

This was pretty darn solid stuff and I was glad to see this was still leftover from the Winter Warmers event that I was sadly unable to attend the previous weekend. The Schwarzbier flavors are just spot on here, with sweetness, hops, and roast (not to mention a robust coffee character that really came to life as this warms) all in harmony with each other despite them being ratcheted up to Imperial sized levels and the high-octane ABV that comes along with the territory. I'm glad that I decided to go with a half mug of this, as 10 oz was perfect.

 2,105 characters

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Wilmington location, served on tap in Lancaster during the Winter Warmer sampling.

A: The schwarzbier is a dark coffee/cola color that straddles the brown-black divide nicely. A tan head rests patiently above the ale.

S: The nose is roasted, malty with chocolate and cocoa aromas. The ale is very bocky in its strength, although the roasted flavors don't are still lingering around.

T: A warming lager, this beer struggles to do wrong. Roasted grains, toast, and chocolate lead off with cocoa powder following in short order. The lagerbier wants to be a stout with the darker flavors but doesn't quite manage it. As a black bier, the warming tastes hit all the right notes.

M: The lager is chewy and full, a rich darker bier that doesn't shy away from flavor. Chocolate and cocoa, along with coffee and toast, drive the flavor aspect.

D: Another beer that doesn't taste as strong as it is. The full flavors are nice for a day that saw a few random snow flurries.

 986 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 04 Dec 2010. An IHWilmington beer offered that day at IHLNC.

Again, only wisps remained in terms of head. {Shrug.} Color was a deep-brown with cola highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had a light chocolate sweetness, like milk chocolate. Mouthfeel was full for a lager, but still on the thin side. The taste reminded me of cocoa powder in terms of its dry, lightly chocolaty flavor. The chocolate taste lingered past the swallow and I was being lulled into an insensate state by it smoothness. 9.5%?!? Ho, ho, Holy I'm dyin', Batman!

 569 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of TheDarkKnight
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of brheuer
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

The Dark Side from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 7 ratings