RATINGS: 60   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.82/5   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
California Black Beer is a well-balanced American dark lager that emphasizes its grain. It has a slightly roasted character with a slight sweetness and a hint of chocolate malt. Like the bear, it is called black. But if you look close, it’s really brown.

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LtDan (1808) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - OCT 26, 2008
Drinkable, but was looking for more substance, and did not find it. I was looking for some roasting or smokiness and couldn’t really find it. Also tasted very close to their Pomona Queen.

FlacoAlto (4221) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 30, 2008
Bottled August 2008; Sampled September 2008

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost three-finger thick, lightly browned tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber / brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright red hue when held up to the light. The aroma has an interesting toasted nut not, perhaps a touch of cocoa, a light berry note, a hint of butterscotch and a toasted, lightly burnt grain note towards the finish. The appearance, especially, but even the aroma too, seem to fall short of the black, roast influenced beer that I was expecting.

Well carbonated as it has quite the fizzy texture and a fairly light body. My first sip had a noticeable, berry-influenced sweetness to it that becomes much reduced upon subsequent sips. This actually is fairly dry with a toasted, nutty finish and a bit too much of a carbonic bite. As the beer warms up a bit and loses the carbonation, some definite, buttery diacetyl notes start to intrude in the flavor profile. The diacetyl is fairly subtle, but definitely noticeable to someone who is sensitive to it (namely me).

This has a bit of potential, especially as an American Dark Lager, but the flaws and execution are a bit distracting at this point. Dales seems to be going after the craft beer newbie market, which they might be able to do well at.

Purchased: Papago Brewing, Scottsdale AZ

timsilvia32 (449) - from Michigan now in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - SEP 20, 2008
Kind of a brown pour, with a nice off white head. Malt aroma with some fruit, citrus? Some roast malt, little caramel/mocha, metallic, but mostly bitter. Finished pretty dry and clean. Reminded me of some of the dark bier I had in Germany. Straight forward, not all that complex. Didn’t really care for them or this one.

kp (10880) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - AUG 13, 2008
Date: 06/21/2008
Mode: Bottle
Source: Tasting, Cellar Party

Appearance: clear brown with amber edges, creamy beige head,
Aroma: dry malt aroma with a touch of chocolate and dark caramel and a light fruity tartness,
Flavor: dry chocolate and caramel malt flavor, light sweetness balanced by a light tartness, touch of earthyness,

Aroma: 4/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 4/10; Palate: 5/10; Overall: 7/20
Rating: 2.1/5.0
Drinkability: 5/10
Score: *+/4

Bockyhorsey (2638) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 20, 2008
Bomber courtesy of hellbilly. Multibple aromas of coco, coffee and some wheat. Black body held to light red body with good beige head. Sweet cola soda carbinated flavor with a mix of roast and dry coffee blended in. Sweetness lingers on the palate along with some dryness. Decent beer alot going on in this one.

ChainGangGuy (4932) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JUN 26, 2008
Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with almost no head.

Smell: Destroyed dark maltiness with a faroff, worrisome note of tart, sour fruits. Oh boy.

Taste: Some nutty dark malts, but a huge taste of tart, sour, even spoiled fruits. Bleh-inducing from start (tart) to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Simply awful. That sourness squelches the whole deal here.

hellbilly (3306) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - JUN 21, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2008 7 day old bottle... clear medium dark woody brown cola color and a little tan head. grainy, house yeasty aroma with notes of chocolate, metal, wood, fruit/banana? and coffee. flavor is similar... quite bland mix of nuttiness, coffee, chocolate malt and light spiciness on the finish. light to medium body with a soft texture and prickly carbonation. it’s not great but i could easily drink a bunch of this. 6/3/6/3/13/3.1

been drinking a lot of this lately as it is so well priced and suited for the heat... when consumed from the bottle the flavors are enhanced. nut, chocolate and coffee really stand out in almost porter quantities. clean finish keeps me coming back...

nbutler11 (1305) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 14, 2008
Enjoyed this on tap at Papago’s in Scottsdale, and ended up taking home a bomber from their fridge. Elegant pour with a faint taste of hazlenut and banana. Not an ambitious dark lager, but thuroughly enjoyable and something I’d be happy to have waiting for me on tap.

garmonbozia (450) - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - JUN 9, 2008
Bottle from Liwourama. Very interesting beer indeed. I thought the beer had a bit of sourness to it, but it was kinda watery. I didn’t detect chocolate at all like the add says. Very different

rusty (1547) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2008
Pours a mahagony color with a decentl tan head. Aroma of chocolate, nuts, malt and coffee. Taste is chocolate, nuts with a watery body and a strange metallic dirt finish.

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