Brewed by Brains
Style: Mild Ale
Cardiff, Wales
Serve in English pint


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 156   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23/5   EST. CALORIES: 123   ABV: 4.1%
Bottled; Regular.

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 it is the biggest selling dark milk in Wales, continually winning awards both nationally and internationally.
Dark is treacle-coloured with a creamy contrasting head and brewed using chocolate malt, providing a clean palate with hints of liquorice and fresh ground coffee.
The intense flavour of Brains Dark goes well with pork and chocolate puddings.

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
I_LUV_BEER (231) - - AUG 7, 2016
Served in a tulip from a 500ml bottle. Pours dark garnet-brown colour with a thick beige head, medium lacing. Aroma is very rich and complex with notes of roasted malts, smoke, dark fruits, molasses, liquorice and prunes. Taste is smoke, prunes, liquorice, molasses and dark fruits. Palate is as expected from a mild: very smooth, thin to medium body with medium carbonation and subtle bitter-sweet finish. Excellent mild with an added bonus of great aroma and taste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
AtronSeige (1512) - Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA - MAR 23, 2015
Aroma: Medium rich chocolate sauce. Medium-light dried fruits. Appearance: Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Small, light-brown head with low retention. Flavour: Medium-high roasty, coffee. Medium-light chocolate. Light grapes. Medium bitterness. Dry finish with lingering roastiness/bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Overall: Great beer. Quite roasty. 500 ml bottle, poured. Thanks Andre! 11A. Mild

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
12HundredBaud (262) - Sausalito, California, USA - FEB 15, 2011
50 cl bottle from a supermarket in Swansea. It pours a murky dark brown (almost black) liquid with tanned-brownish medium head; perfect lacing. Looks very good! The aroma is roasted malts (chocolate malt), with hints of coffee, burnt chocolate, some toffee, a distant fruitiness (blackcurrant) and a surprising fresh herbal touch from the hops. It tastes likewise, but more intense (surprisingly tasty for a 3,9%). It is quite sweet, ending medium bitter, bready and semi dry. Medium-bodied and nicely carbonated, with that Brains nutty touch all throughout. There is also a little watery taste, but does not spoil an excellent brew. Nice session beer! I wasnt expecting that much! Presentation is cool. A must for people visiting Wales.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
shrubber85 (11268) - Greenville, Indiana, USA - AUG 6, 2004
Can - A deep chocolate malt aroma. Nice dark brown color. Coffee malt flavor with only slight chocolate and slight sweetness. Pretty good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BlackHaddock (7092) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 7, 2012
4.10% ABV bottle (500ml), not the 3.50% advertised on here. 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: its dark! Its 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 isnt a dry, bitter beer at all, just a very pleasant ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JKaranka (58) - Cardiff, WALES - MAY 30, 2014
This is great. Different to the cask. This has a thick head and an aroma of dark fruits: prune, dates. Flavour includes a good dash of chocolate, coffee and roast malts. It opens up into dark fruit flavours and some malts. Its a brilliant beer in bottle.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cgarvieuk (23892) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 3, 2007
Dark black in appearance with a thin head, smokey maly nose, and a chocolaty smooth flavour. quite still

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Itzjerm (2762) - Taft, Tennessee, USA - MAY 7, 2013
A very nice mild a bit thin on tongue nice roasted aroma. Sweet but ends carb very enjoyable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
gegwilson (3645) - North Yorkshire, ENGLAND - OCT 9, 2013
Bottle from B&M. Pours very deep ruby wioth good lasting cream head. Quite a fruity aroma. Creamy with lots of coffee and chocolate. Very flavoursome for a low ABV.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
ChadPolenz (1787) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUN 14, 2011
I poured a 500ml bottle into a Victorian stout glass.

Appearance: Almost completely opaque black but hints of underlying ruby red. Forms a large, creamy/frothy dark tan head which has excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Typical pub stout aroma with hints of dairy, candy bar chocolate and toasted malts. Not as strong-smelling as it is tasting.

Taste: For the most part, the palate here is very typical of a non-stylized stout. It begins with a slightly sweet, milky taste and texture which gives way to roasted malt and coffee bitterness. The finish contains a slightly tangy taste of black licorice and tobacco. The aftertaste accentuates these flavors at first, tasting very similar to taking a drag from a cigar (not nearly as intense, though). The dairy flavors and chocolate sweetness re-emerge to make for a slightly dry, but bittersweet aftertaste. While not mind-blowingly delicious, it certainly is pleasurable, and the fact so much flavor is packed into such a small beer is very impressive.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied all around with a milk-like texture and thickness. Seems virtually uncarbonated.

Drinkability: With the mouthfeel of milk, the smoothness of water and the tasty palate of a good stout, Brains Dark is very easy to drink. Im especially impressed so much was derived from only 4.1% ABV. No doubt this is a sessionable beer, although I think some of the flavor components might become cloying after repeated servings.

Overall, an impressive beer for its flavor, complexity and drinkability.

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