Dino's Dark | Lake Louie Brewery Company

Dino's DarkDino's Dark
BA SCORE
59%
Liked This Beer
3.74 w/ 61 ratings
Dino's DarkDino's Dark
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lake Louie Brewery Company
Wisconsin, United States
lakelouie.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#23,722
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
61
Liked:
36
Avg:
3.74/5
pDev:
12.83%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
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 Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to mug, the appearance was a sturdy dark brown close to black color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Some speckled clingy lace.
The aroma had a nice blend of sweet to bitter coffee beans, some milk chocolate, some dark fruits and a little bit of dried sweet wood.
The flavor was a nice blend between sweet and bitter as the coffee beans seemed to take the foreground and end up leading into the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt appropriate. Semi-dry yet crisp and mobile sort of roasty finish.
Overall, pretty good American Porter I could have again.

 698 characters

Photo of brandoman63
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.82/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

 1,299 characters

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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 akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 1,079 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of Dactrius
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 584 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 459 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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

 711 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 965 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is good and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Grainy roastiness, chocolate, and tangy caramel. Good, but the tanginess puts this at a bit "off." Moderately malty.

3.0 T: Like the nose, but the tangy tartness is increased. It's not an infection type tang, but it's a sign of something not being done right along the brewing process. Still, it's not bad.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. A touch crisp with a bit more creaminess.

3.0 D: Not bad, but not without problems. Good, strong flavors, but a couple bad ones as well.

 642 characters

Photo of cokes
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
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)

 2,838 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of msubulldog25
2.63/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle, emptied to the 'Widmer' pint glass. Thanks go out to badbeer (who I hope sent 'good beer') for the hook-up.

A: Surprisingly light-colored for a porter, glowing auburn shows through a milk chocolate brown. Good head of fine bubbles, cresting around a finger, creamy khaki. Certainly bottle-conditioned, a fine sediment hangs and fogs the pour.

S: Ridiculous butterscotch aroma, detectable from 2 feet away. Up close, it smells much less of creme brulee, more of cocoa powder with a light acidic twang. Traces of smoke, a metallic grain husk, too. Not really oxidized-smelling in any way I've experienced previously, just not an appealing aroma for me.

T: Somewhat better taste than smell, that's good I suppose... Rich cocoa, light spice, caramel reduction, toasted nuts. Likable roasted grain flavor in the finish, a bit like a malted milkshake. Notable hints of buttery diacetyl: deduct.

M: A ho-hum thinness meets the tongue, smooth but without much body or character. Some carbonated tingle and a lasting spice develop a little, but nothing happens to pull this out of 'mediocrity' for me.

D: Too bad, I really hoped for good things here. Have tried a couple Lake Louie brews before with mixed results (Warped Speed was excellent, Mr Mephisto's disappointed); this goes down as my least favorite. Has an 'off' feel about it that I doubt is intentional. Thank you, Mike, for giving me a try, but I'd pass in the future if this is typical.

EDIT: After I posted, I read guezedude's review below mine; sounds like the same batch, same issues. Given that, I might have a second try at some point...

 1,617 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.89/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

 454 characters

Photo of grub
3.03/5  rDev -19%
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.

 857 characters

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of DonFrap
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

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Dino's Dark from Lake Louie Brewery Company
Beer rating: 59% out of 100 with 61 ratings
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