Category Archives: Dark Ales

Double Cascadian Dark Ale – Four Pines Brewing Co (AUS)

And here was I thinking a Double Cascadian was a complex manoeuvre in the synchronised diving! Turns out it’s a dark ale, a bloody fine one at that.

Image of a bottle of Cascadian Dark Ale in a flower pot
Cascadian Dark Ale – it’s from Cascadia!


Now, I’ve never had a single cascadian before but even if it were only half as good as this Double Cascadian, I’d be queueing up for a sample. Manly-based Four Pines Brewing have come up with another winner in this limited keller door release. There’s rich, dark chocolatey aromas and I was blown away by the flavours. Smokey cocoa, Turkish Delight and black cherries all combine to make a complex, rewarding and surprisingly delicious dark craft ale.

Here, with some vintage Mancunian cascade magic is the Stone Roses with, “Waterfall” ……….




3 Ravens Dark Smoke Beer (AUS)

Could you get a more gothic name for a beer? 3 Ravens ………. dark ……… smoke ………….. it sounds like the lyrics to a Bauhaus song! Of course, then there’s the mention of beer and traditionally, Goths are cider drinkers. I tried my 3 Ravens Smoke Beer in the beer garden of the wonderfully old skool Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, Melbourne, without a goth in sight.

3 Ravens Dark Smoke Beer ... strangely there are 4 ravens on the label?
3 Ravens Dark Smoke Beer … strangely there are 4 ravens on the label?

This is indeed a  dark beer, the colour of antique mahogany, cloudy or you might say, smokey. The aroma and initial taste is (un)surprisingly smokey too. Like a fermented Lap Sang Su Chong tea, once you are over the first sip, the smokiness dies down and the beer becomes ……… interesting. Not quite a session beer but I reckon it’d go well with barbecued ribs or pork sliders. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Here’s the kings of moderation, The Pogues, with “Bottle of Smoke” ……..


VALE DRK – McLaren Vale Beer Company

Vale DRK (no it’s not a typo) is not a valley in the Democratic Republic of Korea, rather an American Dark Larger brewed by the the innovative McLaren Vale Beer Company. The packaging is slick and modern but the taste is somewhat Old World.

VALE DRK ....... AMRCN DRK LGR, made with love and very few vowels
VALE DRK ……. AMRCN DRK LGR, made with love and very few vowels


The clue is in the name, for a lager, it’s very dark! Not impenetrable like a stout, it has reddish tinge to it as the light shines through. On the nose, there’s mainly malt. The taste is clean and crisp with hints of burnt coffee and more roasted malt. Drinking it with food, really brings out the flavour and I think it would go well with spicy food and rich meaty dishes. I had mine with a homemade burger and HP Sauce and it rocked! Persevere with one, ‘y’ll lk’ it

Talking of sauce that rocks, here’s one of the stars of  ye olde SAS Ball, The Drkness with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”……………..

Stoke Dark Ale by The McCashin Family (NZ)

When does a dark ale become a stout? I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking you you. Answers on a postcard please.

The McCashins brew in Nelson, on the South Island of New Zealand using “finest organic hops and premium malt, developed our own bespoke yeast, and sourced 14,000 year-old Paleo water”. The resulting Dark Ale is clean, and fresh tasting . This an easy drinking black beer, not creamy like a stout, but rich and malty with roasted coffee undertones and a clean finish.

Stoke Dark Ale ...... a tall dark stranger will enter your life
Stoke Dark Ale …… this beer could save your life


Dark beers can have surprising health benefits. Scientists have recently discovered that marinating meat in beer before barbecuing can reduce harmful, carcinogenic agents caused by cooking over hot coals. Dark beers have an even greater benefit. Read the full article here: Beer Can Save Your Life

Here’s the awesome Bauhaus with ‘Dark Entries’



Velkopopovicky Kozel Dark Beer (CZH)

That’s easy for you to say, I hear you mutter, Volkopopovicky Kozel Dark beer comes from a Czech brewing heritage that stretches back to the 14th Century. Dark coffee in colour, it is sweet and malty on the nose. I don’t know about the 14th Century, but the taste takes me back to the 1970’s when my mum used to feed us Robeline malt extract to boost our vitamin D.

Velkopopvicky Kozel Dark Beer - easy for you to say ....
Velkopopovicky Kozel Dark Beer – easy for you to say ….

There’s plenty of malt, with a hint of caramel and chocolate covered coffee beans. A little sweet and medicinal for my liking, Kozel is an acquired taste.

Here’s Run DMC vs Jason Nevins ….. czech this out ….

Happy New Beer – Coopers Dark Ale (AUS)

A plastic schooner is never the best way to drink beer but at Woodford, the ambiance more than makes up for it.
A plastic schooner is never the best vessel to drink beer from but at Woodford, the ambiance more than makes up for it.

And so it begins, my New Year’s resolution, a challenge to review one different beer every day throughout 2014. Yes, you could say that I’ve failed already because we’re on day 3 and this my first post. I would argue that it is very unlikely that I was going to be able to post every single day and at least the pressure is now off  ……. imagine my dismay if I’d made it through to day 361 and then missed a day? Phew!

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do so I’ll crack on. My first beer of the year is Coopers Dark Ale. Imbibed in “Bill’s Bar” at the Woodford Folk Festival, to the tune of Karl S Williams‘ soaring vocals, this warm molasses-coloured ale is surprisingly refreshing on a hot New Year’s Day. Served cold, the flavour develops as it warms. Both bitter and sweet at the same time, this umami ale lingers on the palate with undertones of burnt rubber and freshly laid Tarmac, yum! It travels well over newly brushed teeth. An excellent breakfast brew.

Welcome to the blog and Happy New Beer!