Dino's Dark | Lake Louie Brewery Company

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Dino's DarkDino's Dark

Brewed by:
Lake Louie Brewery Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 05-04-2004

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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of cokes
4.55/5  rDev +21%
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 robbyc1
4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, no see through, with a slight head.

Can't tell much from the nose, a tight smell, just some roasty malt, no hops noticeable.

This is a great deep porter, very malty, lovely notes of chocolate, creamy and smooth. Web says this has more hops than their Tommy's Porter, but if there are hard to tell, they don't get involved with the deep flavor, wishing I held more than one of these. Can't think of a better tasting straight forward Porter.

Perfect heavyness, with a great feel in the mouth. No alcohol noticable, can't be very high. Very drinkable, goes down easy. Refreshing for a porter, find it!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
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 storksonm
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


This is a great dark beer. after I cracked it open I smelled a sweet hoppy smell. When I poured it the head formed nicely but it didn't retain its head for too long. The taste was much like the smell of the beer but it was very rich with a robust hoppy smell with a bit of citrus to it that hung in the back of your throat and was very nice. Very smooth like many of the other lake louies I've had before. Its a very nice dark brew with a pleasant hop character that is an easy drink for anytime and anywhere.

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Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
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 zjt
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a deep, dark garnet with a short skim of khaki foam. Nose is bready, roasted malt and minty hops. Taste starts off doughy, transitioning into notes of cool vanilla, sweet milk caramel, charred coffee, and minty hops. Mouthfeel is chewy yet smooth and quite drinkable. I liked this quite a bit more than their Tommy's Porter, of which this is supposed to be a hoppier, summer version. Another tasty Lake Louie brew.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
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 botham
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a new Sam Adams Glass. pours a rich chocolate brown with amber highlights and a half finger of tan head that takes a couple minutes to dissipate. moderate lacings.

aroma is of roasted malts and a bit of coffee, along with an earhty base and a subtle grassy hop quality that mixes well with the malt.

taste is mildly roasted up front, with notes of oak and a touch of molasses, all over a mildly earthy base that provides a warming quality to the brew. a subtle note of chocolate shows itself throughout comsumption as well.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy smoothness that works perfectly with the flavors present. finishes smooth with some soft CO2 and residual bready and roasted malt as well as some oak.

drinkability is great. this is a solid porter, with enough aspects of its own to create a great beer. the profile resembles an oak aged brew, complete with the earthy notes and a wonderful smoothness, lending to a warming quality and rich complexity. this has to be one of, if not the, best brew from Lake Louie. cheers!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
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 rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
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 beveragecaptain
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
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 Skidz
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
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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4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
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 tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +9%
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 roadhouse
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown color with some red highlights. A one inch cream colored head forms on top and subsequently falls down to a cap, but it retains well and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Aroma has some chocolate notes to it, a slight coffee tinge, and some light hops. Quite mild overall but no off-aromas.

Taste has quite a bit of chocolate flavor up front, but there's some caramel sweetness as well. A nutty quality in the middle, almondy. Some floral hops towards the finish with lingering sweetness and light chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very creamy and easy to drink.

This was definitely not what many Porters out there are. It's mild on the roasty flavors though it works well. I kept enjoying it more every sip and wish I had more. Oh Wisconsin, so close, yet so far away.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Erdinger2003
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it strong and got a good 1/4 inch head and a good lacing came with that. The color is dark, let's some light in through the edges, but not much. Lake Louie seems to have it's own smell, I talked to Tommy during my tour of the place and he said himself he didn't go by styles, he just brewed what he thought was good. The smell is slightly roasty and has no off smells. The taste is chocolatey with some good roastiness in the backbone. I'm surprised at the chocolate flavors, when this was colder the flavor of chocolate barely came out and the beer seemed too roasty, but now the chocolate is what's really making it a very enjoyable beer. The mouthfeel is good, low carbonation bite and easy to drink like all Lake Louie products. Overall, the more I have this beer the better it gets, so I will have as much of this as will be allowed!!

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Photo of wallrock
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma holds cocoa some sharp grassy hops and coffee grounds all at a pretty strong intensity.

Dark brown to black in color with a thumb thick tan head that diminishes slowly.

Fore is fairly bitter, but from hops or just burnt malts it is hard for me to tell for sure. A mix of both perhaps. It definitely tastes well hopped to me...not Alpha Klaus hopped, but pretty hoppy and the acidic coffee flavors and burnt malts accentuate that. Has the right mouthfeel for a porter though I’m sure some will find it thinnish.

As it warms the cocoa becomes full on chocolate and starts to muscle out the bitterness. This is a pretty well done porter and would have probably been considered "extreme" 5 years ago.

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Photo of Ragingbull
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good beer. Black in color with light mocha head and mostly still. Smoke and coffee on the nose. Heavy smoked and roasted malt flavors that get more gentle as you approach the finish. The finish is clean and then the smokiness from the roasted malts kicks back in during the aftertaste. I actually picked up a pint of this at a coffee shop on the road in front of the capital in Madison. I researched the three porters from Lake Louie to be sure I am reviewing the correct beer and from reading the reviews I wonder if all of the reviews are on the correct beer as there appears to be overlap. This seems to be the Dino's from the majority of the reviews and I should just trust my server even though it was a barrista and not a bartender. Good beer though. It was a beautiful day and I sat on the patio, the whole experience was memorable and good. I am actually anxious to find some more offerings from this brewer.

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Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of martyl1000
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +6.4%

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Dino's Dark from Lake Louie Brewery Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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