Dino's Dark
Lake Louie Brewery Company

Dino's DarkDino's Dark
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Style:
American Porter
Ranked #764
ABV:
7%
Score:
85
Ranked #28,438
Avg:
3.77 | pDev: 12.73%
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
61
From:
Lake Louie Brewery Company
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Spring
Wants
  1
Gots
  3
SCORE
85
Very Good
Dino's DarkDino's Dark
Notes:
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 61
Reviews by scaliasux:
Photo of scaliasux
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown with a touch of red. Appears at least a little hazy. Short but persistent tannish head.

Smell - Rich medium roasted malts. Light chocolate, coffee, toffee, and raisin.

Taste - Dark malt flavors dominate. Sweet burnt coffee and toffee. Lemony hops in the finish. A little thinner than I expected.

Mouthfeel - Medium.

Overall - Nothing terrible, but a little more bitter and thinner than I'd prefer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cokes
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2005. Same specs as below.
I won't add much, though it does appear as slightly different than before. More malt focused full of caramel, chocolate, and cherry. Still generally the same profile as before, but the feature flavors seem to strangle out some of the nuances that I've noticed last year. Keeping in mind that this is billed as a "lighter, spring time porter", it's still just a killer sessioner. Scores altered, just a little.
---

2004 release:
1/2 G. prefilled growler.

New one here from Lake Louie. I had not even heard whisper of its existence until stumbling upon it at the store today. It's described as a "lighter, summer porter". I guess if your name is "Porter", you may as well run with it.

And he continues to prove worthy of his surname.

Gloomy dark amber, inflected with rust and brown. Totally clear. The head is several inches of milky pale tan and ridiculously sticky.
A bit hollow, nose-wise, up-front and while chilled. But once this warms, it fills and rounds and becomes transcendent. First, a roasty hazelnut blend appears, bathed in milk chocolate. Burnt caramel too, with traces of vanilla and cinnamon. Some leafy and spicy English hops add completion.
Begins modestly and perfectly roasted. Mocha java, but with cream and just a bit of sugar. Light raspberry and cherry sweetness, all covered in caramel and vanilla nougat. Then the hazelnuts hit. Chocolate-coated, Nutella-style. If this was thicker, you'd want to spread it on toast. Peanuts too. Fat ones, with their skins intact. Have I mentioned Nutella and hazelnuts? There is a bit of doughy yeastiness and hard water minerals and traces of smoke. The end is moderately hopped, all herbal and drying.
Bits of chocolate-covered mixed nuts- almonds and macadamias primarily, drowned in caramel, and sprinkled with touches of hot cinnamon- in and around the swallow.
Begins a bit thin and sparse in the mouth, but it settles to a creamed medium hewn stature.
"Addictive" is trite and tired, but that is exactly what this is. Growlers are conquered, and still you need more. Nothing should be this drinkable. Not when its psychoactive. It's simply not fair. If I had an endless supply, I'd be like one of those rats, stuck in the maze, faced with the choice between cocaine and food levers. I'd be all over the lever to get more coke (or in this case Dino's Dark), until I eventually expired from starvation.
The truly excellent "small" beer is all too rare. For those that agree, consider this Paradise found.
Positively the best Brown Ale I've ever had.
And nothing, NOTHING, even approaches it.
Ok, shut up. I know it's technically a porter. Fine then. It's one of the best of those too. Session is defined by the terms found within this growler.
Now leave me alone, and let me hit this lever again. (rating: 4.7)

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Photo of Brian700
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours dark plack with a brown head that fizzled away pretty fast. It had big bubbles in the head the looked like the head on a coke.

The aroma was nice and roasty with some mild pungeancy going on.

The flavor was quite nice and it had what I percieved to be almost a lactic edge to it. It was pretty interesting. I don't know if it was just this particular bottle because I only have one of them but the touch of sourness made the beer I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium/full bodied with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. I'd like to try it again and see if my bottle was a tad off of if that is the norm.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkly murked burgandy brown thats seemingly clear when up to the light and gets ambery edges. Ivory colored cap of medium stature, melts down to a whispy skim and the lacing sticks in thick strings.

Aroma of roasty cocoa and a darker nuttyness with light touches of vanilla and burnt leaves.

Good taster with mild roasted cocoa/chocolate and a black malt dryness and slight burnt grains. Tiny bits of tangy sweetness intersede adding a bit of dark cherry. Caramel coated nuts keep it smoother as the dryness tries to take over keeping an interesting balance. Finishes lightly drying but firm with a milky coffee and bits of burnt malt.

Feel is light and fluffy with its carbonation but substantially solid with a malty stronghold of caramel-chocolate candybar-like weight. Dryness within itself is pleasantly delicate as it balances out the sweeter stuff with just the right amount of give.

Drinks down fine and full as whole milk. Pretty solid porter.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.82/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A vigorous pour has me noticing a distinct butterscotch note as well as producing a three-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a blackened, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, dark ruby color when held up to the light. The aroma is definitely heavily influenced by diacetyl, though at first it pairs decently with a toasted, lightly roast malt note. The diacetyl soon becomes annoying, though it at least doesn't become rancid.

Sweet malt flavors are noticeable up front as the beer first hits my tongue. An oral / nasal diacetyl component then comes in towards the middle and then an almost lactic like tartness kicks in. The finish has a toasted whole grain flavor as well as a touch of roasted malt bite. The diacetyl is not nearly as noticeable in the flavor as it was in the nose, but it is still here. This does have solid dark malt flavors, I just wish they were able to come out more (the flaws really mute my experience of them here).

This was certainly an experience. The bottle is likely infected, but it could just be poor yeast / fermentation management at this point too. I do get the sense that there is a tasty beer in here somewhere. In fact the flavor, despite the easily noticed flaws, isn't all that bad even.

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Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyncognito for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The porter is a dark syrupy brown color, light enough that copper hues are evident but dark enough to be opaque. A two and a half finger head cascaded as it receded. Mild lacing was left.

S: A touch of chocolate, a hint of coffee, the nose is light with barely enough oomph to register as a porter. Dark roasted grains take a while to emerge and even when they do, they aren't that strong.

T: Cocoa powder and coffee stand out, a quick turnabout from the nose. The mildly bitter coffee flavor leaves a lasting impression. A burnt toast flavor, heavily roasted, lingers after the coffee and cocoa pass. Mid-sip hops derail the flavor for a few seconds before the coffee and chocolate return. I'd rather not see that bitterness detract from the dark flavors.

M: The mouthfeel is clearly a porter, dark and roasted with a strong coffee presence. The hops stand out a little too much, detracting from the vibrant flavors.

D: The ale tastes much better than it smells, a nice porter that pushes a robust coffee and chocolate agenda.

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Photo of Skidz
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour out ultra-dark amber and sits crimson-tinted brown in the glass with a decent sized tan head, fading to a glassy surface with a ring of foam, no real lacings.

Smells well roasted with charred oak, dark chocolate and toasted sugar. Hints of fig and prune beneath with a glittering layer of flowery hops.

Tastes mildly sweet up front, roasty flavors coming out strong. Baker's chocolate shaved onto raisins, dusted with coffee. Burnt wood and almonds beneath. Mild hop flavor, ranging from grassy to tulip and rose petals, finishing moderately bitter.

Crisp in the mouth with fine, moderate level carbonation. Medium bodied, deceivingly light and manageable. Session worthy.

This is butting heads with their standard porter, hops are much more available, very perky. Can't say much else, it's just solid.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-infused chestnut on the coaster, dark cherry when backlit with weak morning sunlight. The exceptionally creamy cap is the color of cinnamon ice cream and is sticky enough to deposit thick sheets of abstract-patterned lace. Some heads just look better than others and this one looks fabulous! I know that I'm about to experience a quality beer just by looking at it.

The nose is good, though not outstanding. It's sufficiently roasted malty with notes of bittersweet chocolate and hops with a hint of molasses; almost no coffee that I can detect. With more nostril-filling power it would achieve the next highest score easily.

Although it hasn't been that long since I drank it, I don't recall what Tommy's Porter tasted like (other than the fact that I loved it, of course). I only mention it because Dino's Dark is a less malty, more hoppy version of Tommy's. My immediate reaction upon learning that was that I'd like this beer better, but now that I've had a few ounces, I'm not so sure.

Yeah, I love hops with a passion, but porters should first and foremost be nice and malty. Hoppy accents are then more than welcome. While Dino's is very good beer, I don't believe that the malt backbone is quite sturdy enough. I appreciate the whole 'spring porter' thing that Lake Louie was going for, but lighter isn't an improvement in this case (or in very many cases that I can think of).

Having said all that, this is tasty stuff and is becoming more so as I get into the heart of the bottle. Coffee is now at least at prominent as chocolate and I can appreciate the amped-up hop load. Mildly sweet is favored early in the flavor arc and mildly bitter is favored late. The (slight) lack of malt and the zing from the hops gives the beer a crisp, clean finish that sets it well apart from Tommy's Porter.

No surprise, I suppose, that the body is less than huge given the fact that the brewers set out to create a lighter, snappier beer. The mouthfeel is still of high quality from top to bottom and I'm happy to report that it isn't ruined by a too-boisterous amount of carbonation.

Dino's Dark isn't quite the beer that I'd hoped it would be, but I'm still enjoying the hell out of the bottle. The bottom line is that it's a lighter, more hoppy, incredibly drinkable version of the outstanding Tommy's Porter. Lake Louie continues to impress and I'm beginning to think that they're the single best craft brewery in Wisconsin. And I haven't even had Warped Speed Scotch Ale yet.

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Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep mahogany/amber color with billowed, fluffy and resilient head.

Earthy smell featuring chocolate/cocoa, light floral perfume, and tart cherries.

Somewhat light flavor of earth, tobacco, and grass. Mildly bitter hop with a finish of dandelions, sod, and watered doen java. A little bit of burnt toast as well. The lemon hint midway seems a bit odd, but I don't let it distract me.

Quite the light mouthfeel, a bit dirty and very creamy.

Despite billing as an American porter, this comes off as the most drinkable English brown ale ever. As a porter, it's light, but not boring, not watered down, not dead, not gutted. Call it what you will, but treat yourself to it and be happy you did. This is ridiculously drinkable, warm day or not.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3" brown head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head lasts and lasts, due to huge amounts of bubbles flying up from the bottom of the glass, with plentiful sticky lacing. Aroma is tart fruitiness and rich dark grains. Flavor is moderate malty sweetness, with only a tinge of fruitiness, and a balanced close and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good, with slightly limited drinkability due to the tartness I wish wasn't there. Probably the least impressive Lake Louie product I've had, yet still pretty good.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

64 ounce growler. Reddish brown with a creamy head. Malty caramel aroma with some fruitiness and smokiness. The flavor is a balance between bitter coffee flavors and the fruity maltiness. Chocolate covered cherries is a good description. Mouthfeel is just a little thin. Like all the Lake Louie beers I've had, the drinkability is very high. It's a good thing this beer comes in 64 ounce bottles, although I've heard that may be coming to an end in the near future.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drinkability is a five, no doubt about that. This is a porter light. I don’t love it but I respect it for what it’s trying to do, and that I think is to be a porter for swigging on your front stoop on a warm spring afternoon. That it does perfectly.

Mouthfeel is light, thin, slightly doughy in the middle, hopped in the finish and well drying, particularly for a porter. This puppy leaves you thirsty for more.

Taste is complicated but balanced blend of vanilla, hazelnut, mocha, bountiful cherries, cinnamon, and spicy English hops.

The first bit of the Aroma contains sweet, light, leafy ESB like hops. Then all the rich malty goodness enters into play finishing with Mexican coffee acidity. Overall the aromas are light. They’re all in there but to get at them you really need to stick your nose right into the glass and breathe.

Appearance is a dark mahogany, amber-red hues. Thin white head. Thinnish body. Not too thrilling.

If I was judging this side-by-side my other favorite porters (Tommy, Black Earth, and Fitzie) this one wouldn’t even come close. When I step back, however, and judge this as what it is, a summertime porter, I’ve got to admit that they’ve done a damn fine job. This might just be the most refreshing and easily drinkable porter I’ve ever tasted. I can clearly envision my buddies and I lighting up the grill and polishing off a case of Dino’s one fine afternoon in June just as we might a pilsner, wit, or helles lager. This is damn fine summer session material.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a solid deep brown color with a half finger of tan head. Clarity is good, and no carbonation appears to be bubbling in there. Nose is a nice mix of light chocolate, coffee, and roast character from the malt. Very nice and blended. Flavor is nice. It definately has good roasted notes and chocolate, finishing with a very tasty fresh hop flavor. A light bitterness comes through on the finish, along with a slightly earthyness from the hops. Its tasty. Feel is moderate, with a moderate carbonation. I like the hop character that comes through in this one. It really rounds the flavor profile out nicely. I'd definately have this one again. Could be a solid session porter.

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Photo of drpimento
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Decent enough. Poured at a good temperature with a smallish tan head that soon settled to little more than a ring and no lace. Color is a nice clear mahogany with a few bubble trails. Aroma I a malt, hop, a little roast, and some dark, ripe fruit. Flavor's much like nose with tang and bitter in front, slight sweet behind, medicine in background. Body/carbonation ok. Finish is like flavor, on the long side, generally speaking hoppy porters aren't my thing.

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I believe in trade from EliteDigger. Thanks Scott!

Pours an opaque and cloudy brownish red, thin off white head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, a few lace spots. Smell is caramel, some light roast and chocolate, nice coffee roast, theres some light fruits and a bit of orange, some bready malt, quite nice. Mouthfeel is very grainy, and very dry and roasty, chocolate, sweet orangey fruit character through the middle, milk chocolate and vanilla in the finish, dry bread, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, neat and drinkable.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a black opaque body with a creamy light tan head that last and last. It has a good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer smells of brown malt with a faint molasses sweetness.

T- The taste of brown malt has a nice faint black roasted malt note in the background with a tart note in the finish. There is also a faint green hop flavor after the tartness. The malt has good complexity with a faint note of chocolate and earthiness with some flavors of cola in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a faint watery texture in the finish.

D- This beer has nice malt complexity with unique flavors of cola and a tartness that is interesting.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep dark brown bordering on black with a half inch of light bubbly tan head. Aroma is dark roasty, slightly smoky malts with a nice dose of chocolate, caramel and a subtle hoppiness. Mild coffee dusting. Good, clean aroma.

First sip brings a smooth roasty maltiness, almost a touch burnt with cocoa and caramel accents. A smidge of coffee works its way in alongside a dose of piney hoppiness on the way down. Smooth and tasty, this is a good brew. Unexpected hop burps show up halfway through the glass!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and goes down easy and refreshing. Good carbonation. This is a good dark brew/porter that would make a good session beer if it was more readily available to me. Cheers once again to Lake Louie for producing a fine product. I gotta get up to Arena one of these days!

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of bjohnson
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in a trade from nflmvp. Thanks for the opportunity.

A: Whooaa momma...pours a four finger head! Calms down after awhile. Cream colored and pillow like looking. Dark brown colored. Puffy sticky lacing.
S: An odd roasted metallic like aroma emanates from this brew.
T/M: Roasted malts with slight sweet chocolate notes. Woody and charcoal like notes. Slight hop presence also. A bit too carbonated for this guy. An odd fruity taste also is detected. Medium to light body as it's a bit thin. Bitter aftertaste that's dry.
D: I imagine this could be a good porter, although this one was a bit too carbonated and metallic for my tastes.

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Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted again, and was more impressed this time around.

Pours with a reddish glint at the bottom of the glass, otherwise dark brown. Small amount of foam with spotty lace.

Great aroma, distinct caramel toffee with some milkiness, and multigrain bread. Something earthy and herbal, maybe an inkling of hops when swirled.

Rich caramel maltiness, almost a smoky finish. Residual dry bitterness. Not too sweet, just about perfect. Adequate carbonation. Really exceeded my expectations. Tasty stuff, worth looking for in Wisconsin.

Original review 04/2007:
A seemingly average brew. Wouldn't have pegged it for a Porter.

Big and foamy tan head. Rings of lacing, it looks appealing. A good amount of sediment in the bottle.

Aroma of mild plum, and malt. Pleasant, not really big in this department though.

Taste is plum, nutty malt, slight bitterness. Fruitiness is a nice twist. Very thin mouthfeel. A unique ale to be sure. Easy to drink, but better Porters are out there. Seems more like a twist on a Brown Ale.

Thanks to thefatkid13 for this one...

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Steve's - University, $1.59

appearance: poured into a mash house pint glass...light mahogany that is strongly tinted amber, 1/2" foam head that doesn't seem in a hurry to subside...interesting porter, leaning towards the spring-porter classification in appearance

smell: sweet roasted malt, molasses, milky, smooth caramel, mild latte aroma...faint but pleasant

taste: lake louie doesnt miss often (ever?) and this is no exception....a very pleasant spring porter. creamy and milky, sweet roasted malt, mild hop undertone, slightly woody, touch of caramel, toffee. a nice mild porter

mouthfeel: milky, creamy, and smooth as one would come to expect from Lake Louie

drinkability: high

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Photo of UncleFlip
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The head leaps up in the glass- nealry filling the pint beofre any liquid appears underneath. It's a light tan colour, with a cola colour liquid slowly appearing under. The light coming through the liquid is a nice dark amber to ruby.

Smell is nice and bready, with a bit of hops folded in. There's an element just slightly like wet dishrag, and a bit of smoke.

The flavour is thin and woody, with some hop bitterness ad sweeter smoke. Very consistent throughout.

Body is almost a bit watery, with a higher than expected carbonation.

Desite some shortcomings, this one is drinkable- but not overly so.

Be well
-UF

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Photo of grub
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled june 20/08.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with a small dense dark tan head. the head drops quickly and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is nice. quite fruity. bit of dark chocolate. molasses. maybe some maple too. bit of almond. there's a bit of artificial chocolate or something in there too.

taste is ok. fruity and kind of sweet. toasted raisin bread maybe? bit of maple/molasses character too. slightly artificial chocolate. hint of roast, less than i'd expect. bit of alcohol. low bitterness level. hint of citrus.

mouthfeel is nice. medium bubbly soda-like carbonation. just under medium body.

drinkability is ok. this one misses the mark in my eyes. too fruity and sweet, not enough roast/bitterness, almost no trace of hops, and the alcohol is a bit too present.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with ruby highlights and a thin creamy tan head that

S - Plum with grassy hops and a touch of malt and chocolate. maybe slightly metallic as it warms.

T - Slightly sweet malt with plums, nuts and some earthy, grassy hops.

M - Very thin and watery.

D - A very unique beer that reminds me of a cross between a brown ale and london porter. This could be a regular sessionable beer easily.

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Photo of mcallister
2.89/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Good looking porter. Nice deep brown with a off white head that fades at a gradual pace. Leaving a thin sticky lace.

Sour fruity esters with a weak chocolate background. Not too appeasing to the senses.

A thin watery mouth leads too bitter chocolate, anise, and other dark fruits but lacks any depth. Not what I was anticipating from this beer from this brewery but I would like to sample a fresher bottle.

Thanks to NFLMVP for the opportunity.

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Dino's Dark from Lake Louie Brewery Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 61 ratings