Brains Dark | Brains

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Brains DarkBrains Dark
Very Good
41 Ratings
Brains DarkBrains Dark

Brewed by:
Wales, United Kingdom

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Once called Red Dragon the famous pint of Dark has always been synonymous with Brains particularly in Cardiff with the dock-workers of old, the male voice choirs and with rugby fans down in the Arms Park. Nowadays its popularity has expanded and is the biggest selling dark mild in Wales, continually winning awards both nationally and internationally.

'Dark' is treacle-coloured with a creamy contrasting head. A velvety smooth pint, Dark has a combination of chocolate, crystal and brown malts providing a clean palate with hints of liquorice and freshly ground coffee.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 12-10-2004

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of georgeanthorpe
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BarleyAndBrett
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cryptichead
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Spent only one night in Cardiff, so I was glad to find this.
The hops/malt balance reminded of the English and the dryness of the Irish.
Since Wales is westernmost and is across the straits from Ireland, I guess all this makes sense.
I'd buy this again if ever I find it.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
MJ's "Guide" gave it 2.5 of 4 stars, characterized in the Dark Mild style and called it "distinctively toasty." He also noted the brewery's slogan "It's Brain's you want." Something to think about.

 531 characters

Photo of MMansfield
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of elasticfoot
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with high long lasting brown head. Aroma of chocolate and caramel. Sweet malty taste with notes of caramel. Very thick and creamy body. Slightly bitter aftertaste

 179 characters

Photo of stampfler07
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Sam-B
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of SintAroldus
4.56/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of endless1408
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of PEvans
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled and thankfully contained in dark glass
Pours a cola dark brown body with decent enough foaming tobacco stained head
Aroma of muted coffee with some treacle
Some dark malty flavour

 189 characters

Photo of SoPeL
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of sommersb
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-27-2012
Freshness: Best by 06-30-2013
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received as a gift

First Welsh brew for me; a gift brought back from the UK by my brother...

A: Big and frothy tan head sits on the beer that is very dark brown, if not black, with some highlights of ruby. Features excellent head retention and a very pronounced lace.

S: Chocolate malts, dark breads and some molasses make up the aroma profile. Gives the impression of a sweetness to follow.

T: The taste starts with dark, roasted malts, with flavors of coffee and also bittersweet chocolate. Not sweet like the aroma hinted at, but is instead balanced between the malt sweetness and the bitterness of dark toasted malts and earthy hops.

M: Body is creamy, with a moderate level of carbonation. The finish has a coffee-like roasted grain bitterness and hints of sweet licorice. Mostly dry in the aftertaste.

O: Overall a clean and light-bodied brew; my bottle says 4.1% ABV, which is slightly higher than the draught version. Even so this has high drinkability and would make a good session or dinner beer.

Thanks to Billy for this one!

 1,167 characters

Photo of Viceroy
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of fionn13
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of pin
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a pint glass in a pub in Cardiff.

Pours a black colour with a creamy off white head.

Smells dark and rich.

Tastes weak due to being cold, but is mostly malty and balanced, with a burnt aftertaste.

Overall a decent quaffable ale.

 252 characters

Photo of jrfehon33
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2012. ABV stated as 4.1%. The label makes no mention of mild, so I guess they've gone for a spot of rebranding.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark reddish-brown colour. Produces a massive head of creamy light-brown foam with great retention; it eventually reduces to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet, dark malt with notes of caramel, chocolate, vanilla and mild diacetyl.

Tastes of sweetish dark malt with a mild, dry finish. Notes of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and stewed hops. A subtle, leafy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, but feels a little thin. Somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of bitter, roasted malt.

Hmmmm, not bad. A pleasing blend of flavours makes this quite drinkable, although it doesn't stand out. Body could be a bit thicker/creamier. A decent dark ale for winter drinking.

 870 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.10% ABV bottle (500ml), not the 3.50% advertised on BA. This bottle had a whole month of its best before date remaining when I poured in into my Abbot Ale glass tankard, my current favourite tasting vessel.

This beer is called dark for a reason: it's dark! It's very dark actually and with a deep, full head of khaki/dark biege.

The smell was of dark chocolate and bits of coffee, earthy too.

The taste was also chocolate and coffee, no earth though. I also found some liquorice/fennel type flavours as the beer warmed in the mouth.

Easy to drink and on the sweetish side of British beer scene, this isn't a dry, bitter beer at all, just a very pleasant ale.

 664 characters

Photo of samEBC
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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Brains Dark from Brains
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 41 ratings