overall
94
98
style
Brewed by Dark Star
Style: English Strong Ale
Horsham, England

bottling
unknown

on tap
available

Local Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 81   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 234   ABV: 7.8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
ABV varies between 7.4 - 7.8 ABV.
Cask; Sesaonal - Winter. Also available bottled.
Strong, dark roasted flavoured winter ale.

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3.3
Doppelganger (1389) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - FEB 19, 2007
Gravity, Dover BF. Dark rich brown with a small layer of fine creamy off-white. Coffee, dark honey and maple syrup aroma. Palate is sugary and sticky, yet still somehow manages to feel kind of thin. Dark honey sweetness, just enough roast and bitterness to keep from being a total sugar bomb. I can imagine this being better late in the day as a nightcap or something. Even with a little more carbonation. It does improve quite a bit as it warms up, the edge of the sweetness softening and the flavor mellowing. Overall, a very anticipated beer that didn’t quite live up to my hopes.

3.3
rosenbergh (11799) - Tampere, FINLAND - JAN 24, 2011
Cask at the Gallows Bird, Espoo, Finland. XIV Real Ale Festival.
Dark reddish brown colour with small off-white head. Caramel, toffee and lots of dark malt in aroma. Strong vinous flavour with caramel, some bitterness and dark malt. Strong, rich and full.

3.3
mjs (7685) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 30, 2011
(Cask at Gallows Real Ale Festival 2011) The beer poured deep brown with red shading. Head was small. Aroma had soft fruit candies and chocolate. Palate was medium bodied and bit warming. Flavours were malts, sweetness, mildly roastedness and mild bitterness. Aftertaste was malty. Quite ok warming beer.

3.3
Fin (10917) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 2, 2013
Cask, handpump at The Grapes, Sunday 1st December 2013 whilst watching Mabel Gubbins (Morris Rapper side) and their entourage of 6-7 other sides dance in this and other pubs. Dark chestnut brown, with a small film of bubbles across the top. Rich, warming and perfect for the time of year. Fruity, as in Christmas pudding type fruits and very malty. There is a spiciness with this as well and whilst not too harsh the alcohol does show, perhaps served just a tiny bit warm, however I was still just a tad underwhelmed by this, its fine. A6 A4 T7 P3 Ov13 3.3

3.3
The_Osprey (9151) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 3, 2015
Cask at the Harp, Covent Garden. Black, small bubbly tan head. Body is light, smooth, low carbonation. Taste is tangy toffee, plummy, not really bitter at all.

3.2
Theydon_Bois (20632) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - AUG 5, 2012
On cask at the Sussex Arms, Twickenham Green - 28/01/12. Dark brown in colour, verging on black with a little ruby hue around the edges when held to the light, topped with a small white/off white head. On the nose a whiff of chocolate, liqourice and berry fruits. On the palate a complex series of tastes, alcohol, malt, sugars, burnt sugar/malt flavours, faint chocolate notes dried berries, liquorice, maybe other spices thrown in, a little aniseed? Full bodied beer, smooth on the palate. Overall I was a little disappointed by Critical Mass, too much of a ’pure’ alochol flavour in the taste that wasn’t disguised and built into the beer well enough in my opinion!

3.2
minutemat (6063) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 8, 2014
Keg @ Euston Tap. Fairly sweet with caramel and sultanas and an earthy bitter influence. Slick mouthfeel, not bad at all.

3.2
s_hartshorne (2814) - wakefield, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND - JAN 17, 2015
Cask tapped Leeds. Black thin head. Aroma dark fruits malts taste same some sweetness alcohol roasted malts ok bitter finish. Medium body. Decent stuff was expecting more!

3.1
DanielBrown (4546) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - NOV 16, 2004
Hand pulled at the Head of Steam, Euston, in the comapny of chris_o. Sweet coffee aroma. Very smooth cocoa, with a sweet, almost sickly finish. Very drinkable, but quite sweet.

3.1
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 8, 2007
A Mes rate: Gravicask @ Planet Thanet. Black red colour. Chocolate malt aroma with nice alcohol notes and a little coffee. Sadly after what is a very pleasant nose its all down hill from there. Lots of nice stuff in there it just doesnt sit right and the alcohol is just too much. Palate is almost biting probably mainly due to the harsh alcohol. Each time I buy it I say this about it, now it’s finally rated I’ll proabably leave it alone. Turn it off mum I don’t like it.


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