Brewer's Art Proletary Ale | The Brewer's Art

very good
24 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
The Brewer's Art
Maryland, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
After much demand for a seriously dark beer, we
came up with this delicacy. Black, smooth and
easy to drink, this is our beer for the people!

Added by Scoats on 03-10-2003

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 48
Photo of Flagil_Reinhumps
1.86/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was initially pretty excited for this beer. Dark and malty on a cool autumn night. but then came the OVERWHELMING AFTERTASTE of stale cigarettes. We have a neighbor next door with a bucket on her deck with all her cigarette butts. Our dog knocked that thing over and my wife and I had to clean it up. That's what this beer ended up tasting like.

I love beer, especially great beer but even with all that, I can pretty much drink anything. I left 3/4 of this pint on the table. Just a shear chore trying to get to the bottom of this glass. I threw in the towel.

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Photo of ao125
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: On tap @ The Brewer's Art bar

Appearance: Dark, almost porter-like in color and appearance. I would never have guessed at the complexity from first glance.

Smell: Chocolate, Belgian "funk", raisins & plums, some roast.

Taste: Sweet, malty, a tiny bit of roast - though definitely balanced. and playful with the style - whatever the style actually is. There is a bit of alcohol taste in there, which I'm sure comes from the Belgian ingredients. Tastes like a much bigger beer than it actually is. I would have guessed 8% - not the 5% listed above. Easily drinkable over long periods of time.

Mouthfeel: porter-like

Overall: Great beer when paired with steaks & frites. Definitely not what I would have expected from a dark beer.

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Photo of ckollias
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this brew at Brewer’s art in Baltimore, Maryland.

A: Pours a dark black with a thick tan 2-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves and a solid persistent lace.

S: Strong roasted malt aroma that is slightly sweet with hints of coffee and chocolate in the background.

T: Dark rich ale with a slight sweetness and roasted malt bitterness. Strong chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice malt background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Awesome brew. Easily drinkable and very enjoyable

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Photo of vandemonian
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewers Art Proletary is a dry nice dark ale. If you like dry, dark beers then you'll love this. I prefer mine to be sweeter.

A: Black colour and good light brown 1 cm head. 4.5

S: Roasty coffee aroma with some grains. 3.5

T: Dry up front into charcoal and some coffee. I prefer darker beers that aren't so dry. 3.5

M: Creamy texture but not overly thick. 3.5

O: The taste gets better the more you drink. 4

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Photo of Lunch
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Brewer's Art in Baltimore, MD into a Willy Becker glass at the appropriate temperature (01/15/10).

A: Pours a dark brown with some slight ruby hues capped by a small one finger tan head.

S: Bouquet of roasted dark malts with some sweetness as well as a slight hop bitterness.

T: Roasted dark sweet malts hit the palate first with great freshness and flavor. Layers of bread, chocolate, coffee, caramel and toffee are found as well.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation that is slightly creamy.

D: Very drinkable as the abv is quite low (5%) and the flavors are extremely well balanced.

Overall I'm not quite sure I would put this beer in the Belgian Dark Ale style as it seems more like a porter to me with some slight Belgian Influences. Certainly Brewer's Art most drinkable beer and one that is easily sessionable. Recommended.

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Photo of asabreed
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Brewer's Art in a long conical shaped glass.

Appearance: Kind of looks like Guinness minus the nitro-tap super dense foam on the top, though it does stick pretty well. Seems opaque in the dark, but there's definitely light coming through that adds some good dark amber color to it.

Smell: Mild dark roasted malts, sweet coffee and chocolate, though you really have to work to find anything else. Seems pretty light.

Taste: Not much up front, but there's a good lighter burst of roasted dark malts, mild coffee and chocolate, though the finish doesn't longer as long as I'd have liked.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery, which makes it even more weird since it's a dark beer and there's an absence of creaminess.

Drinkability: Belgian Porter? Porter? Belgian Dark? An odd hybrid that doesn't seem extremely discernible in some ways. But it's lighter, which would probably fit the bill for some people as sessionable, since it's also pretty dark. I could drink more than one, but I'd prefer more flavor overall.

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Photo of jkbusman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with a scant light brown cap

S - dark roasted malt with notes of hop and spice

T - a malty roasted pumpernickel flavor; not too sweet with a hint of hoppy bitterness

M - full bodied and robust but very smooth and with a relatively dry finish

D - One of the most sessionable beers at Brewer's. A delicious beer whether one decides to classify it as a porter or a Belgian dark (although, I think it is the latter)

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a stange at the brewpub.

A: The ale is dark, a dark chocolate brown that is amplified in the dimly-light environs of Brewer's Art. Not much head on top of this one.

S: The nose is full of dark malts. The result is a caramel, chocolate and coffee depth that is almost, but not quite, syrupy. That syrupy/non-syrupy distinction is important, as it keeps the ale on the good taste side.

T: The ale is chewy, a nice twist on the Belgian sensibilities. Dark malts, coffee and chocolate and caramel, drive the flavor along with a bready nut flavor. Spicy hops add a nice break to the malty sweetness.

M: I was pleased. It's been several years since I've had this beer and forgot how smooth it was. Brewer's Art really can do no wrong.

D: I had one glass before bolting away for dinner (the place was crowded) but I would have enjoyed another glass or two.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
1.83/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into an English pint glass. Really looking forward to this. I've been in Baltimore for almost four years now and haven't been to Brewer's Art until tonight.

3.5 A: Dark as night but really clear. Not a whole lot of head, but maybe that was the bartender's fault. Not too much lacing either. Still, not bad.

3.0 S: Strong coffee aroma. Dark crystal malts. Bready.

1.0 T: This was the worst tasting beer I've ever had in my life. I was hoping that it would magically turn into a Natty Boh or a Schafer. Some aspects were really good. Strong coffee and dark chocolate backbone, but then came the horrible, awful taste of spoiled wine. I had trouble driving it into me.

3.0 M: Medium body. Smooth, but not creamy.

1.0 D: The taste destroys any hope of drinkability.

There is no way in hell this is a Belgian beer. It's a standard (though awful) American stout.

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Photo of hopdog
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brewers Art Brew Pub.

Poured a dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas were on the lighter side and consided of light chocolate with some nuttiness. Tasets of the same light chocolate, nuts, and some breadiness. Light bitter finish.

Notes from: 9/25/04

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Photo of blackie
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

basically a stout, consumed in the dungeon, reviewed from notes taken early August

a: in a modified pint, dark brown in color with good retention of the khaki head

s: solid roast with a backing light sweetness and perhaps some black malts

m: smooth carbonation on the high side of the light range, body is a lighter medium

t: solid medium roasted barley throughout, earthy hops well matched to the light sweetness of the roasts, again maybe some black malt, finishes with a gentle bitterness and roasty astringency

d: easy

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a crème head. Flavor is robustly sweet. Smooth bitter tone. Feel has a full carbonation and a good liquid body. Thick, but still easy to drink and refreshing even though it's heavier. Out of all the beers I had, this was my favorite I have to say. Good enough to go back for seconds.

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Photo of brentk56
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with an espresso color and a nice cap that persists and sheets the pint glass

Smell: Modest brown bread aroma with a hint of coffee

Taste: Brown bread and coffee up front, but very subtle, with dry, woody elements as well; after the swallow, there is a hint of coffee with cream, followed by a return of woody, dry flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very unusual, but nicely flavored; I don't know why everybody here is getting hung up with whether this is a Belgian Dark or a porter and allowing it to impact their ratings; the brewpub is not claiming that it is a particular style as far as I can see, and many of Brewer's Art beers transcend style guidelines and that's OK with me

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Photo of John_M
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For the most part, I think the Belgium style ales made by BA to be better on the gas then on cask. However, this was the first time I'd ever seen the Proletary ale on cask (at 72 hours of Belgium), so of course I had to try it.

The beer pours a hazy dark brown color with decent head retention and very good lacing. I have to say I get almost nothing on the nose just some light sweet malt. On the palate one gets moderate sweetness, with a noticeable cola/rootbeer flavor. The beer in this format is very soft and plush on the palate, with the relatively low abv. very well disguised. Ultimately, this beer is quite drinkable and delicious. Nice effort from BA.

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Photo of
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Brewer's Art. Never would have guessed Belgian Dark Ale. As others have mentioned, think porter or brown.

Clear, dark brown liquid. Medium sized, light tan head. Decent lacing as I drank.

Aroma was fairly mild, or my rosemary & garlic fries had ruined my sense of smell....probably the latter. Mild roast notes and some herbal hoppiness. Maybe a touch of chocolate.

Taste gave me some roast notes and a touch of dark wheat bread. Got a bit of yeast, but it wasn't very Belgianesque. Finish was herbal/spicy hops.

Body was light to medium, and could have been heavier. Medium carbonation. Quite refreshing.

Easy to drink and quite tasty. Good session ale.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep black with cola colored highlights and sand colored head

S - Toasted and slightly bready with piney hop scents.

M - Dry, grainy, mildly spicy and malty with a light finish. Smooth feel lends itself to this style.

T - Dark malts and peppery spice from yeast aroma with a pumpernickle accent.Dry highly roasted, but not burned qualities similar to schwarzbier. Nice and dark/dry, but lacking a little in depth. An easy drinking tasty black belgian style.

D - Quaffable with the flavor of a black ale. Not too sweet, light in body and sessionable at 5%. Good Flavor, but just not great as black ales go.

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Photo of bruachan
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tasted this offfering at pizza paradiso in gtown

um...belgian? i drank it under the assumption that it was a porter. perhaps the cask enhanced the roasty malts in a way that blinded me to the belgian-inity, but it's a rare belgian brew that isn't obviously belgian

it's very dark. my 10 oz flared glass had a very narrow neck yet it was still opaque. the aroma is clean but grainy and roasty with caramel and a distinctly oaky element. the roast aroma offers no bitterness but a slight astringency shows up in the flavor, linked to the hop bitterness. not a thick brew

i can't decide how to treat this brew now that i see it's a belgian. it seems difficult to miss the mark for belgian styles (dark, pale, strong dark, strong pale), but i wasn't able to tell this guy was fermented with a belgian yeast strain

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark brown to black with a thick one finger creamy brown head. Small amount of lacing.

S - Chocolate and red fruits, namely: cherries, currents and raspberries. Could afford to be stronger.

T - Chicory, cherries and red grapes with a touch of chocolate and spearamint in the aftertaste. A bit of a medicinal, cough syrup flavor that I could have done without. Very good though.

M - Carbonation makes it a bit harsh, but it is thick and slightly refreshing.

D - Alright, it gets to be a bit over bearing after a while due to the potent flavor. Of what I have tasted, this is my favorite Brewer's Art beer for sure.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nicely poured, with a one finger off-white head that lasted longer than I thought it would. Good amount of lacing. When held up to the light, nothing comes through - very black.

Smell: Has a distinctive Belgian yeast smell, with some chocolate sweetness in the background.

Taste: It might smell like a Belgian, but it tastes like a porter. Big roast character, without being burnt (like the porter I'd had before this one). Appropriately hopped.

Mouthfeel: feels like a porter, moderate body, good carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting beer that seems to straddle style differences. It went very well with the chocolate cherry bread pudding we ordered for dessert. Think of it as a session porter.

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Photo of Higravity
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a belgian dark ale this is dark more a porter or stout but even then the belgian name falls short the yeast they used really fails to produce those typical belgian flavors, maybe it is the roasted aspect of the beer but even that is very bening and this is really more of a porter-esque thing. Anyway it is dark a hell smells clean and a bit roasty. The taste is a touch yeast and porterish, nothing special here, but it still makes for a good drink.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Brewer's Art. Served in a pint glass, this is a dark opaque brown with a good two fingers of coffe colored head, good retention, and excellent lacing. Nose is very faint, a light roast malt and bitter chocolate. Taste is a nice roasty malt with flavors of coffee, vanilla, bitter chocolate, and a slight bitter hop aftertaste. Medium bodied, creamy, with a very fine carbonation level. This is a really great tasting dark ale, almost like a porter, and I'm defintely going to start drinking more of this.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ale for the masses was a surprise for many reasons. I hadn’t had it before, because I generally inhale the Ozzy and whatever seasonal happens to be on tap. I was looking for something different, after having yet another St. Festivus (I’m trying to drink off the rest of the inventory, so that I can see what wonderful seasonal might be next…) and I just wasn’t in the mood for Resurrection or the pale ale.

Unlike most of their brews, it was served in a slightly curved pint glass—like a small English pint—when most are served in the more trappist style.
Looked just like a fine porter. Very dark brown, almost black, with chestnut highlights. It had a dark tan head that left a hint of bubbles on my top lip and excellent lacing in the glass.
It had a very complex aroma, with malt sweetness mixed with a very faint hint of alcohol, esters and spiciness.
Smooth malty flavor, similar to the smell, I couldn’t help but thinking there were some Munich malts in the bunch. The noble hops were there, but just enough to keep the malts from going crazy. It was simply creamy and delicious. The finish was almost sweet, like the Abbey versions. There was just the right amount of carbonation. This is only a 5% version, so there wasn’t any alcohol warmth to speak of.

If they only bottled their fine creations, I could make them a daily session beer. For now on, they have to stay as a $1.75 happy hour favorite. Unfortunately, the dark color will scare off most of the proletarian folks in this town. Saw a few previous comments about this being a stout. I’m fairly sure that the style in general is quite different depending on the characteristics of the individual breweries.

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Photo of marburg
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another decent ale from these guys. Deep black beer with a fluffy brown head. Served in something that looked like more of a pint glass (kind of a small version of this German lager glass that Ayinger makes) than their standard goblet. Make no mistake about it, folks -- it's a stout. I mean, they may have used some Belgian yeast or other ingredients, but this has some big roasted flavors, and it's served like a stout.

Mildly roasted and chocolatey nose with some Earl Grey. Nice chocolatey flavors with a hint of roasted (black patent?) malt -- a legitmate coffee flavor emerges from that. A real easy drinker that's medium bodied with just enough hops to lend balance. Herbal and plant-like, they're just enough. A good effort at a dark session beer, though really, this hardly strikes me as remotely Belgian.

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Photo of Scoats
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewers Arts' "beer for the people" lives up to it's name. It is a wonderful session beer. You have to give Brewers Art credit. For their session beer, they went for a black ale, not something more predictible.

They only make Belgian style beers, so this of course is a "Belgian" Black Ale. Now I can't think of any Belgian black ales to compare it to (wow none at all come to mind), so I can't speak about whether it is or isn't true to style. I can say that is a wonderful beer. Dark, roasty, nicely hoppy and it has Belgian yeast to make things a little interesting, in a way that differenciates it from a schwarzbier (which currently is my favorite style of beer).

My only complaint is that the price is at least 10% to 15% too high for a session beer, as it is priced identical to their triple and double.

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Brewer's Art Proletary Ale from The Brewer's Art
3.93 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
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