Picaroons Traditional Ales

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Wheat Beer - Dunkelweizen
Ranked #127
Ranked #47,313
3.32 | pDev: 19.58%
Picaroons Traditional Ales
New Brunswick, Canada
Notes: Formerly Dark And Stormy Night
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 58 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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souvenirs from Canada (BC)

3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I was happy to see that the liquor store in Chipman, NB, now has a selection of beers from Picaroons.

A Red-brown, fairly dark.
S Burnt molasses brown bread.
T Fairly mild. Not a lot going on.
F Kind of watery.

Aug 01, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle. Two things - one, I can't help but say the name of this offering with an Aussie inflection - and two, they collaborated with malt producers from Bamberg for this? Should I be expecting something over the top smoky?

This beer pours a clear, red-brick amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and certainly bubbly beige head, which leaves a decent array of 'climate change' iceberg shelf lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of semi-sweet, kind of doughy, and slightly roasted caramel malt, a hint of oily bar-top nuts (the usual sort, eh, Beer Rev YEG?), some ethereal mocha notes, and weak leafy, weedy noble hops - not getting any of the purported dunkel essences, no matter where in Germany their influence originates. The taste is a bit more evocative - the malt divided equally between the roasted pale/caramel malt and the wanly spicy wheat contingents, the nuttiness retaining its neutral state, a bit of stale cocoa and day-old coffee seeping through, with a still barely noteworthy leafy, earthy hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly understated, just a wee unsubstantiated burble for the most part, the body a not-quite medium weight, and smooth, sure, but it ain't the alcohol that pushes in with that weird metallic scourge. It finishes well off-dry, the caramel, barley, and mixed coffee shop sweetness winning the day.

I should have known from the label description that this could turn out to be a bit of a hot (but not in that way) mess. Really, a 'dunkel', from Bamberg tutoring, no less, welded onto a traditional English ale (so here in Canada, Trad from Big Rock, then?). Fails abound, no lie, the German association is not even particularly wheaty, let alone a smoke-filled miasma, as I might have been coerced into being led into believing. Not a bad brew overall, just nothing like what the marketing arm sai- oh, right.

Sep 30, 2014
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

2.31/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the liquor store on PEI
Pours a crystal clear dark brown with ruby at the edges and a wispy off white head that dissipates quickly. Butter caramel and toffee dominate the aroma, with traces of dish soap. I find no weizen or hops in the aroma of this brew. The flavor isn't much better than the aroma. Buttery burnt caramel with a soapy edge. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. I'm not sure what they were shooting for here, but its safe to say they missed.

Jul 25, 2014
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BeerLaw from Canada (PE)

2.09/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours nicely with a nice dark color - like a stout. Smells very sour - reminds me of a bad batch of homebrew (I am an avid homebrewer who has had a few infected batches before, and this remind me of those batches).

Tastes sour. Lactic acid like. I am assuming that is intended, since this is the third time I have tried this beer. Terrible sour lactic acid taste.

I'd rather drink a coors light, and that is saying something. I wasted my money on this one three times... I love Picaroons (ie, best bitter and winter warmer), but this is terrible.

I must admit I've never had a dunkel (not available near me). I have had many english ales, and brew mostly english style ales. To me, this is just too damn sour.

May 24, 2014
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You'd imagine a beer called 'Dark and Stormy Night' to be cloudy and turbid, black and opaque, but this ale is actually a fair mahogany brown colour and reveals splendid clarity in select places. It's a lighter tone than expected. It also has no signs precipitation; its surface is flat and barren.

The brewery describes this as a "stylistic hybrid of an English brown ale and a German dunkel weizen". I totally get the 'dunkel' part but not the 'weizen'; the aroma has a considerably strong malty sweetness and toasted notes of bread crusts and nuts, but absolutely no trace of yeast (and hence no esters or phenols, nothing remotely clove- or banana-like).

The taste further emphasizes what is smelled in the aroma; it features primarily hearty Munich malt (with melanoidins reminiscent of bread crusts) and a moderate cola flavour. It's entirely barley-driven (no wheat). The aftertaste has vague, fleeting notes of dark purple fruits (currants, plums, raisins) that are mixed in amongst equally subtle hints of cocoa and toffee.

Unfortunately there's little in the texture to denote chocolate or caramel. There's only enough roastiness to replicate toasted dark bread, nothing remotely strong enough to evoke coffee. I still don't get any wheat malt at all; it's not terribly engaging on the palate and can, on some sips, have the kind of one dimensional and borderline syrupy qualities of an extract-based brew.

Nonetheless, it is a refreshing, agreeable, and adequately malty beer that I am rather enjoying. I'd still advise the brewery, however, to revisit how it's promoted or else how it's made; there's no overtly stout- or dunkelweizen-like characteristics detected at all. Mind you, I don't really care - I rather appreciate its originality - but it strikes me as not exactly what the brewery intended.

Contrary to Picaroons' intentions, Dark and Stormy Night does not "provide all the rich flavours of a stout or porter with the easy drinkability of a wheat beer"; it lacks the quantity of the former and the quality of the latter. It has only a mild, trifling amount of roast and nowhere near the spice, fruit, or effervescence of a dunkelweizen. Nice beer, but not what's advertised.

Feb 01, 2014
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lumpy, light beige head which plentiful webby lace. The broth is deep brown, but light passes easily. Hard to be positive, but I think it is clear.

Smells of caramelized brown sugar and a bit of molasses. Some yeast in the back of the nose, too. No wheat nor hop aroma.

The taste is drier than the smell indicates, although the swallow brings out some of the sweetness. Again, there is little wheat flavor. The body is somewhat chewy but the carbonation is appropriately high. There is a good dose of toasted malt (crystal?) that provides a biscuity flavor. This is smooth and easily drinkable, but don't expect a typical dunkelweizen.

Aug 31, 2012
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JohnnyBarman from Canada (ON)

3.11/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single stout bottle from the brewery, brought back to me by friends from the area who know of my love of beer and my love of not driving places. I really love the label and the name for this brew: it conjures both images of a foreboding Victorian manor in a Christie mystery novel as well as of Snoopy typing on top of his doghouse, at a loss for ideas and resorting to the clichéd and much-ridiculed phrase popularized by 19th century dime-novel author Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and then Woodstock chirps something funny and Charlie Brown says 'Good Grief.'

Poured into a fluted pilsner glass because I really didn't know whether this beer would fit more into the English Pale or Dunkel variety, so I made a compromise. Dark brown-grape in colour, hazy, with a good inch of foam that recedes into a thick layer. Some lacing icicles.

Malty to the nose, a bit of wheat, some clove, dry white wine. Like five different styles of beer in one - not sure if it works or not.

Dark malt, chocolate, a bit of wheat, and a strange sour vinous flavour that seems really out of place. I'm glad I reviewed this on paper before going on BA, because my first thought was that this tasted like a mild sour ale far more so than a dunkel or pale ale, and I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who thought so.

I like sour ales, so I didn't mind drinking this, but I really don't think the end result matched either my expectations or my desires. Still, I appreciate Picaroon's for trying something new - experimentation is always welcome in the craft beer world, and I welcome it.

Mar 13, 2012
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bylerteck from Canada (ON)

3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle my friend brought home from Fredricton. From notes.

A - Poured a dark copper. Good carbonation. Head ran away fast but my friend's glass had retention. Bright. My glass left no head or retention while my friend's had both. Would've rated this lower had my friend's glass had neither.

S - Wheat, clove, lot's of banana, dark malt.

T - You can really see the combo of English and German like the label says. Peppery, banana, dark malt. Lot's of difficult to pin down flavours. Works well. Nothing spectacular, but it works.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body, sweet, dry, smooth.

O/D - Cool. Different. Nice and a good mix of flavours.

Oct 17, 2011
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass at St. John Alehouse

Appearance: caramel in color with a 1/2 inch head, clear

Smell: chocolate, cream, and caramel

Taste: This one is a malt bomb. It is an excellent mix of milk chocolate, caramel, and slight earthy hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and carbonation, sweet with small bitterness at the end

Overall: This one is a delicious malt bomb and one of the better beers I had on my trip to Canada. I love the chocolate and caramel combo—yet this one is not cloying somehow. Could drink this all night. It falls in line with other sweeter beers like those from Southern Tier. I graded this though to the style of dunkleweizen, though....and this I believe does behave like a dunkleweizen at all. There is no murkiness or wheat balance--maybe this is just a strange hybrid brew. Call this a porter and I give it 4s.

Sep 20, 2011
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Jeffo from Netherlands

1.77/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle courtesy of cjbmcdon. I love a challenge, so cheers!

Brewery describes this as a dark wheat beer, saying it is a cross between a dunkelweiss and a English brown ale. Considering they packaged it in a 500ml English style bottle, I poured it into a nonic pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a large, 2+ finger, medium-thinner looking, noisy as hell, off-white head with good retention. Bistre brown in color with piles of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full film cap and leaves some chunky lacing down the glass. A film remains until the end leaving a few dots of lacing down the glass. Carbonation continues to erupt from the depths. Lousy head and the carbonation is out of control for a brown ale.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of dark malts and lots of wheat. Some lemon citrus and flowery hops make their way through as well. Decent, but a little too wheat-heavy perhaps.

TASTE: Dark malts and wheat flavors with an undeniable sour tinge at the swallow. Far too tart for either the dunkelweiss or English brown ale style. The relatively bold and lingering aftertaste is not all that pleasant. Mild floral bitterness and wheat malt clash while trying to compete with the slightly sour, tart cherries. Luckily I won’t be forced to finish this.

PALATE: This doesn’t help either. Thin body with an upsetting amount of prickly carbonation. Just loads of it. Light on the palate and not creamy or smooth enough. Goes down airy and finishes rather dry.

OVERALL: Well, you win some and lose some I guess. That’s the fun of trying new things. The brewery called this a cross between dunkelweiss and an Engligh brown ale, but it’s basically just an identity crisis in a bottle. It’s dark with lots of wheat, a bit of bitterness from the hops, and then some tartness from the land of ooops. Combine that with an annoyingly noisy head and an over-carbonated body, and you’ve got a recipe that will make drain a happy camper. Not my thing. Thanks again for the trade cjbmcdon.

Aug 15, 2011
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spree92 from Canada (NB)

3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep deep, golden-amber. Big egg shell colored was fluffy but leveled out rather quickly. Big malty nose, sweet like candy, is strong. Hard for other scents to find their way through. The taste is a little funky. Bland to start and then the roasted malts, coffee beans, hit. An overload of carbonation is also noted. Other than excess carb. there is a creaminess to the beer. Somewhat acidic. A pretty good beer here and the low alcohol and decent pricing make a good buy. Nice to mix it up every once in a while.

Mar 15, 2011
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berley31 from Canada (NB)

3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, off-white head that diminished quickly to a thin film. Body is a dark, ruby-red/brown color, and slightly hazy.

S: Malty sweet aroma... some caramel, toffee, and chocolate involved. Where are the cloves and bananas?

T: Caramel-sweet flavor, with a touch of chocolate and wheat coming through. Again... cloves, bananas? Nope.

M: Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation.

D: I don't think this beer knows what it wants to be. Listed here as a Dunkel, but the brewery lists it as a hybrid of a Dunkel and English Brown. I commend trying new things, but this combo doesn't particularly work.

Jan 11, 2011
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socon67 from New York

2.85/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this while at St. John Ale House.

Poured dark with some lacing. Not much of a foamy head. Had a smell of sweetness, like a dried fruit. However, the taste was odd. It was bitter which I didn't like, yet the finish was like a smoked porter. The experience just wasn't good.

It is somewhat drinkable and the finish is decent. Just not a beer I'd make an effort for.

Sep 11, 2010
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Seanstoppable from Canada (NS)

2.3/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I almost passed this over, as the name suggests (to me) a stout or a porter. But then I did notice the style on the label, and decided to give it a go. The label suggests this is an attempt at a cross between a dunkel and an english ale, so we will see what the final result is.

Pours a dark brown color with several fingers worth of sticky white head. Head retention is pretty good, but lacing is sporadic.

Scent consists of raisins and some light malt.

Taste is surprisingly tart. Some sweetness and also a buttery quality is present. I've heard various individuals complain about too much diacetyl in bottled Picaroons products in Halifax, but this is the first time I have come across it myself. As a sour ale it might not be bad, as a dunkelweizen (or 'Dark Wheat Beer' as on the label) it is pretty bad.

In short, the bottle I had contained something out of style and with some problems. If Picaroons can figure out the diacetyl issue, this could get better. Right now, however, it is a mess.

Jun 13, 2010
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PEIBeerGuy from Canada (PE)

4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark reddish brown, head forms really tall and is very creamy and thick... sticks around for a while, and sticks to the inside of the glass on the way down

in the glass, when the head is high, it's more of a light/sweet alcohol smell... when the head lessens, or right from the bottle, it's got a nice mellow, rich, sweetness... kind of in the family of a raisin tart or dates... and some burnt sugar / sponge toffee

nice and mellow taste, caramel comes through, almost a bit of a smokiness on the exhale... raisin/date taste is slightly there

feels fine in the mouth - no complaints

very drinkable, I thought

Feb 08, 2010
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Long813 from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

G: Pint Glass

A: Dark brown body, which allows light through only on the walls. 1.5 inches of off white head, leaving thick foamy lacing.

S Raisins, dates, light hops and roasted malts.

T: Raisins and dates are strong, with a follwing of hops and malts.

M: Medium bodied, medium-low carbonation with a dry date/raisin finish.

D: Not hard to drink, but the dark fruits and hops seem to be unbalanced. Also this is not a great representation of a dunkel.

Oct 19, 2009
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MeisterBurger from Canada (ON)

2.17/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

According to the label it's a German dunkel/traditional English ale hybrid. I'm not sure why you would want to combine these two styles, but I'll keep an open mind.

Pours very dark with a white head. Good head retention.

It smells like Maltesers taste. Malty and chocolaty but also buttery. A little grainy and strong butterscotch as well.

And there's a little of that aroma in the taste, but it's surrounded by a slight tartness. A little grainy and nutty. Buttery. Kind of an odd twang of sourness backed by moderate sweetness.

They all seem to have a little of this, but more so than many of the other beers I have tried from Picaroon's, there's too much diacetyl present, which leaves a buttery taste and is accompanied by a slowly building sour, slightly vinegary quality. It's not a good thing. At all. If my limited knowledge of these things is correct I believe it has something to do with the impaired respiratory ability of the yeast, and it's something they might want to have a look at.

I'm not really getting a dunkel or an English ale from this very odd beer. It's closer to an English brown ale/Flemish red ale/movie popcorn topping hybrid.

In a word, I would say: Avoid.

Aug 14, 2009
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

2.77/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color beer with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with great notes of candi sugar with some medicinal notes. Taste is surprisingly bland with some very light sweet notes and a light cough syrup finish. Body is kind of thin with good carbonation. This was a very weird experience and doesn't really resemble a dunkleweizen.

Jul 24, 2009
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CHADMC3 from Connecticut

3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big, foamy tan head of large carbonation bubbles erupts from the walnut colored body.

Aroma is of slight wheat, raisins or dates, perhaps vanilla, and roasted malt.

Again dark fruit, spice, perhpas banana, sweet, and even something resembling butter.

Medium to thin in body with moderate carbonation.

OK brew, easy to drink, but could use some more distinction in flavor and aroma.

Jul 02, 2009
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elricorico from Canada (AB)

2.11/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep brown, see-thru at the edges of the weizen glass. Too thin of a head for a wheat beer, beige in colour, little lacing.

Smells of butterscotch. Not what I was expecting or hoping for from this style.

Tastes like butterscotch too. A bit of bready malt and a bunch of butterscotch. Even a bit of cola. Disappointing, I was hoping for at least some impression of a dunkelweizen.

Light to medium body with lowish carbonation. Feels a bit slick.

I wouldn't suggest this to anyone that is interested German style brews. Dunkels are one of my favorite styles, this one misses the mark by a mile.

Jul 16, 2008
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RunawayJim from Rhode Island

3.56/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a ruby brown color with a small off-white head. There's some small bubbles rising to the top.

Smells of bready roasted malts, though the aroma is not strong at all.

Tastes of slightly roasted malts, some breadiness is present. There's a hint of caramel in there as well. It's pretty sweet, though fairly mild in flavor.

The carbonation is almost non-existent in the mouth. It's got a nice smooth texture and goes down nice and easy. This is a very drinkable beer.

Note: I was going to add this one tonight, though it seems as though someone beat me to the punch. I was going to add it as an English Brown Ale as it tastes more like that than a Dunkelweizen (not much yeastiness and breadiness present). The label calls it a mix between a German dunkel and an English Ale (brown ale is the closest I could come up with).

Jul 08, 2008
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mrmanning from Canada (ON)

2.27/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle- Deep chestnut brown pour is topped with a frothy, mocha cap, leaving nice lace. The aromas are grainy and sour, and filled with diacetyl. There is a dark fruit component trying to come through, but it only makes a brief appearance, as the off aromas constantly take over. Tastes sweet upfront, of figs and grains, some bready yeast as well. Then comes the unfortunate sour and buttery disaster. It completely takes over everything else. The finish is grainy and sour, with a boatload of buttered popcorn in the aftertaste. I've never had a butterbomb dunkelweizen before. I really wanted to like this beer, but unfortunately, I just couldn't.

Jul 03, 2008
DSN from Picaroons Traditional Ales
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 58 ratings