Beer Review: Deep Dark – Exale Brewing

Hitting up Stout Sunday this week with a new brewery that isn’t too far from where I live. Exale Brewing is based in East London, near the River Lee. ‘Deep Dark’ is without a doubt a contender for one of the most bizarre sounding beers I’ve seen. It is a stout featuring seaweed, oyster and black pepper with actual crushed oyster shells used in the dry hopping process. In all honesty I picked it up purely for the zany flavour combination but I though it also had the potential to work quite well. It’s a rather big stout as well coming in at 8.6% ABV!

Pours a lovely dark oil like colour with a big tan coloured head. The nose of the beer is surprisingly tame with no distinct notes coming through expect perhaps a light coffee aroma. The body of the beer has a nice classic stout taste of bitter coffee with a smoothness throughout. Unfortunately I cannot really taste any of the adjuncts expect perhaps a light freshness near the finish that might be the seaweed. It also certainly doesn’t taste 8.6% to me, making it more drinkable that anticipated.

A quick note on the can art: The can design on this beer is really lovely. The shiny silver outlined on the chalkboard black works really well. And the drawings of the sea creatures and the underwater scene are gorgeous.

I’m actually a tad disappointed with this beer. Not because the beer is bad, in fact the base stout is pretty good, but because I genuinely found those advertised flavours going missing. I think when you’re presenting flavours that bold they have to make a decent impact on the overall beer experience whether that’s to a persons tastes or not. I’ve had black pepper in a beer before and it’s presence in the beer was unmistakable. Perhaps someone else might get the three flavours, but sadly I do not. As I said, the core base stout is good. Smooth and hides it’s booze very well. While the score I give may seem a little low it’s is mostly due to it not doing what is says on the tin.

Score: 6.5/10

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Additional Information:

  • Hops: Not Available
  • Malt: Not Available
  • IBU: 45
  • ABV: 8.6%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: No
  • Purchase Location: Arch Rivals

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