After Dark | Nelson Brewing Company

33 Ratings
no score
Send samples
After DarkAfter Dark

Brewed by:
Nelson Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nelson After Dark is a dark, British-style Dark Mild Ale, lightly hopped and brewed with the finest imported dark roasted malted barley that gives the beer lovely chocolate overtones and smooth easy drinking character.

Added by BKotch on 08-08-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 33
Photo of Bunman3
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a tasty brew from a solid brewery. NBC was making organic beer long before it was fashionable to do so, and they generally do it well. This is a rich ale, full of roasted malts, chocolate, and faint coffee notes. It looks good, smells of malt and dark fruit, and fills your mouth. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it provides a dry, somewhat warming finish. This is in my regular rotation when I'm the mood for something rich.

 440 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into a standard pint glass at the Bottlehouse in Calgary. A murky flat chocolate brown brew with three fingers of frothy beige head.

Aroma is at once sweet, floral, earthy, and fruity. Prominent raisin-like sweet note, sour apple, rum, spicy perfume that recalls incense.

Palate is chocolate cake, light molasses, toasted dry nuts, biscuit, a slight cherry juice fruitiness, cola-like brown spice. Improves as it warms. A minor oxidized off-note that recalls cardboard. On the dry side.

Drinkable light body although the dark flavors create an impression of more heft. Carbonation on the high side for the style. Finishes dry and nutty with more sour apple esters and subdued earthy hops.

This one grew on me as I made my way through a can. Pleasant chocolate maltiness and dark fruit coupled with some earthy spice flavors to provide added interest. However, things might get dull if one actually tried a full session and the sweetness would probably get overbearing. Seems bulkier than your average mild.

 1,022 characters

Photo of souvenirs
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really liked this beer when I first tried it over a year ago, back when it came in bottles instead of cans. Will my experience be the same now?

$10.95 plus deposit for six cans.

A: Deep reddish brown, a couple fingers of slow-dissipating tan head, clear but dark.

S: Dark fruits, caramel, nuts.

T: Fairly mild, as expected. Cocoa, maybe coffee, raisins. Bitter, metallic aftertaste.

F: Smooth and drinkable.

 414 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark brown with 1/4 finger width of bubbly head.

Smell- Plum, cherry, toffee, caramel, roasted nuttiness.

Taste- The plum, cherry, toffee, caramel are there nicely followed by the supporting roasted nuttiness. Malt forward with light hop presence.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with moderate carabonation.

Overall- An easy drinking English Dark Mild by Nelson. The roasted characteristic to the nuttiness makes this stand out. I would of liked to see a little more to the appearance (in particular the head) otherwise, this brew is session worthy.

 576 characters

Photo of wordemupg
2.23/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 25/5/12

A murky cola with just enough clarity too see some bubbles but they don't do much for head or lace

S sour cherry, mild milk chocolate and just a little vinegar? smells a little off

T a little nutty on top of what I smell but has a off sour flavor that's pretty hard too miss and quite undesired

M thin and has a pop like fizz thing going for it, aftertaste is of cola and chocolate perhaps the aftertaste is the best part of this one

O I'm hoping for Nelsons sake this was an off bottle because its pretty lousy beer

pretty disappointing stuff that I doubt I'll ever drink again, I haven't had the best luck with this brewery so far

 686 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured with minimal head which dissipated into a very fine layer. Dark root beer appearance.

S: Dark fruits, cherries, prunes and plums, together with dark chocolate and molasses.

T: Initial taste of sweet malts with cocoa. Fruits are less noticeable in taste then in scent. Slight acrid coffee flavour which is followed with a mild bitter hops finish.

M: Way to thin for this style. A heavier feel would definitely improve the overall enjoyability.

O: While not overly complex, the smell and taste of this beer are enjoyable but unfortunately are undone by a weak mouthfeel.

 583 characters

Photo of maclean25
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chilled mug. Some creamy light-brown head which quickly dissipates. The body has a clear dark red or brown colour.

I smell pear and sugary fruit cocktail malt. The flavour has a nutty quality (brazil nuts?) with slightly toasted grain. There is a sensation of what I would describe as a high (but not sharp) sweetness.

There is low carbonation. Some bitterness at first but balanced out later and little aftertaste. I consider it to have a light-medium body. Probably be a good session beer.

It was recommended to me by a co-worker whose daughter works at the brewery. I've tried several 6-packs of bottles over the last year but, overall, I don't particularly care for it. It seems to leave me with an oily feeling after I finish a bottle. It isn't a bad beer, but there is better out there.

 810 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle at the Sugarbowl, into an Alley Kat pint glass - close enough, I guess.

This beer pours a clear dark reddish brown hue, with one finger of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy beige head, which slowly melts away, leaving some nice twisted branch lace around the glass.

It smells of roasted malt, and a bit of savoury meatiness - more umami, than dead flesh, I suppose, a bit of dark fruit, a hint of nutty chocolate, and very plain earthy hops. The taste is toasted biscuit and bready malt, mild dark chocolate, fading and indistinct black fruit, and softly bitter earthy, floral hops.

The carbonation is below average, though capable enough here, the body a slightly underfed medium weight, and generally smooth, with a tiny twinge of creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the lingering toasty malt and cocoa notes countered by some equally persistent earthy hops.

An enjoyable English-style dark ale. Goes down with no problem whatsoever, but I do wonder about the 'mild' designation here - this just seems to fit right into the realm of normal, regular, plain, and what have you.

 1,099 characters

Photo of scott451
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear dark ruby brown. A one finger bubbly light tan head soon diminishes to a thin layer.

Smells of yeast and fruity malts. Tastes of chocolaty malts. Some prune. Very smooth. Sweet with a very mild hop finish. Overall mild but well balanced in flavour.

Medium body and carbonation. Creamy. A very pleasant mild dark ale. Very drinkable.

 342 characters

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

Pours a very dark brown that is medium brown around the edges. The head was only one finger thick after an aggressive pour. Beige in colour, if fades to a thin cap after about a minute.

The smell is a mix of coffee, faint vanilla and tobacco smoke. I don't find it very sweet, more of an earthy dark malt aroma. Lots there, and not bad, but not the most appealing mix for my tastes.

Taste up front has a thin milky coffee flavour. This is followed by a bit of a porter sourness. Hints of dark grape juice. Finish goes through a dry baker's chocolate to tobacco smoke and ashes. Hops are there, but not strong, and the ash seems to top any bitterness in the lingering flavour. Certainly complex, I could probably keep adding to this section with every second sip.

Not a lot of carbonation to this one and the body is fairly thin, but together it seems to work for this beer. Not exceptional, but better than average. At least it avoids being fizzy.

I had myself fairly hyped for this beer, as I think Nelson Brewing has a lot of potential, and the reviews were favourable. I don't think it quite lived up to my hopes, but it is a solid, complex beer that I don't regret picking up.

 1,192 characters

Photo of Cwrw
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My ever-roving-beer-searching father brought a six-pack of these back from Revelstoke BC for me. Thanks dad. 341ml bottles, with a purple/blue label showing the brewery and the Nelson Brewing logo. The cap reads "The Natural Choice of the Kootenays." The beer is a lovely dark ruby colour, the borders showing some butterscotch brown. An extremely rich and appetising hue of purple mollasses, or deep chestnut ebony. The head was good at first, but then goes down to a thin bubbly layer. The sheets of lacing are still quite healthy though. The aroma is big on the sweet chocolate and even tobbaco. I love the sugary smell: unlike the salty roasted notes of a porter, this gives more raisins and french vanilla coffee. Very little detectable hopping, just as the style should be. The aroma is quite sweet but still nicely balanced with the dark malts to create a very mouth-watering nose. A lot of raisins, cream, licorice, candy sugar and even suble blueberry. There is also a little dustiness from the dark malts. Nothing overly extraordinary, just extremely well-balanced. The taste at first is the grainy malts and raisins and chocolate, along with some black coffee. The middle is a lot of near-sour chocolate malts and some charcoal dryness. By the end the malts really dominate and leave quite a bitter feeling in the mouth. The hops add a little herbaceous kick in the finish, but the malts leave most of the dryness. A sweet candy flavour, but put together very well to give a balanced and delicious flavour that makes you want to take another sip. As the website says, this is a great session beer. The carbonation is medium, and the body medium-full. I could drink these all day or night--plenty of flavour at 5% and they go down like a cold lager. This is everything it should be. Wonderful lesser-brewed style here in Canada, and a real delight to try. Wish Alberta would import it.

 1,895 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a real nice mild edging towards a brown ale in attack. The beer pours all brown and rich with a slightly tan head. The nose is caramel and malt . The taste is all smoothness with malt to the front and a good finish. This tastes a little like a softer version of their Faceplant Winter Ale. A Great Fall beer with meats and soup.

 336 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with the dark milds.

Looks good, like a not so thick porter. Smells like a porter, but a bit on the sour side, and not so chocolatey. Malt dominance is not as strong.

This tastes like a powerful nut brown ale, heavier on the malts with less hops. Hints of malted chocolate, nuts and a slight sourness to it. It seems a little bit thick in the mouth, and this reminds me more of a porter our stout than something lighter. However, the excellent taste and mild ABV make this a session ale.

 513 characters

Photo of pootz
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tried this one last night in the Kaslo Bar. One word: disappointed.
The look and promise of this beer being a light drinkable English brown ale ...but this notion vanished after the first whiff of sour yeasts I got from the glass I poured. The taste was OK with lots of grains and malt tastes...possibly a tad unbalanced with too much hops fro my taste in a brown ale but the sour yeast taste lingered.

The brew poured a dark mahogany with a small brownish head that laced out quite early, smell of CO2 and sour yeast. Started crisp with lots of hop tartness, then sits lightly on the palate with an adequate malt body....then that sour yeasts taste comes in and destroys the drink. Overall a tad watery and yeasty to be an English brown.

 742 characters

Photo of MAB
4.69/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique beer, and one you will enjoy if you like something a way off the mainstream.
It is deep brown and has a rich chocolate malt flavor- you can really taste the grains in this one. It also uses roasted barley. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light considering the flavors that come through. The hops merely balance everything nicely, they don't add much bitterness or aroma. Enjoy one at their home in Nelson B.C.; one of the prettiest towns I've ever visited, or anywhere else in British Columbia, since the government run liquor stores all have it.

 562 characters

Photo of BKotch
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had to enjoy this one on a vacation to British Columbia, and enjoy it I did. English-style mild ales are completely unavailable in my hometown, and I don't think I've ever had one on any of my other travels. Attractive dark brown color, light carbonation, light head and little lace. Well-balanced flavor that strongly reminded me of Theakston's Old Peculier. Very, very drinkable. A real find in one of those goofy government-run liquor stores.

 452 characters

After Dark from Nelson Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 33 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.