Our Top Dark Brews for Christmas!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream StoutSo it’s almost that time of year again, and it’s dark and cold outside. All that we have to keep us going throughout the day is the thought of cuddling up in front of the fire… and when we say cuddling up, we mean with our favourite beer of course! This time of the year welcomes plenty of seasonal, darker brews onto the beer scene, so we’ve put together our top dark brews to try in the run up to Christmas!

Proper Black – St. Austell Brewery 6% abv

A “powerfully hopped black India pale ale” which got us pretty excited, as it’s always nice to have a dark brew that looks like a stout, but has more of the characteristics of an IPA!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Deep black, with a slightly reddish glow. This looks exceptionally like a stout, but not quite as dense, with a thin brownish head that reduces very quickly.

 Aroma: Very hoppy and citrusy, with a slightly floral hint of lemongrass.

 Flavour: You would not think that you were drinking a dark brew, as this is very citrusy – although there are still some slightly darker malty characteristics, with a hint of coffee and chocolate in the finish.

Very well-balanced and deceptive at the same time!

Available to purchase here, via their telesales team on 0345 241 1122 and also readily available in selected supermarkets.

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


Binghams Brewery – Vanilla Stout 5.0% abv

Infused with vanilla pods, this CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain – ‘Gold Supreme Champion 2016’ – brew needs no introduction!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Jet black, with the tiniest reddish glow and a beige, thick head that reduces slowly.

Aroma: A cracking mix of coffee and bitter chocolate that is mellowed by a slight vanilla essence.

Flavour: A bold hit of espresso, followed by a hint of dark chocolate and a sweet vanilla finish.

Almost like a crème brûlée coffee-style brew. Very drinkable, with a perfectly balanced set of flavours.

Available to purchase here!

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook and Twitter.


Fownes Brewing Co. – King Korvak’s Saga: Porter 5.4% ABV

From the brewery that uses their beer to tell legendary stories, this brew was the first named West Midlands Champion Porter by CAMRA in 2015 and also followed up to claim the title again in 2017.

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Black, with a slight brownish tinge, and a brown head that reduces quickly.

Aroma: Sweet treacle, toffee and chocolate, with a hint of berry fruit in the background.

Flavour: Rich, smooth chocolate, with a slightly bitter powdered coffee finish.

Well-balanced and very smooth!

Available to buy at the Wineseller (Compton), Bottle Shed (Acocks Green), Stirchley Wines (Stirchley), Connolly’s (Birmingham), Simply Local (Burntwood), Tipplers (Bewdley) & The Crafty Bottle (Lincoln).

For more info, check out their Website, FacebookTwitter & Instagram.


The Five Points Brewing Co. – Brick Field Brown 5.4% abv

This brewery is truly fantastic and they just keep pushing out better and better brews. We can’t wait until the Yeti crew get to head down to Hackney again…!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Hazy brown, with a slightly carbonated but minimal head that reduces and leaves a fair bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: A rustic, oaky, nutty aroma, with a rich underlay of chocolate.

Flavour: Sweet, with a cracking mix of coffee and chocolate, complimented by a slight bitterness and a hint of spice in the finish.

Refreshing, yet warming at the same time.

Available to purchase via EeBria!

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


 Ales of Scilly – T.W.Lawson Porter 4.5% abv

“On passage from Philadelphia to London in 1907, the majestic seven-masted T. W. Lawson foundered off Shag Rock after her cables parted taking her cargo of ninety million litres of paraffin oil and all but two of her crew with her…”

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Dark chestnut and relatively calm, with a few bubbles slowly making their way to the surface.

Aroma: A fab mix of malty fruitcake and cherry Bakewell, with a touch of burnt toffee.

Flavour: A pleasant caramel sweetness, with a slight hint of berry fruit that contrasts perfectly with a bitter finish and dash of smoke.

The perfect accompaniment to Christmas pudding and it’s vegan friendly too! ?

Available to purchase here!

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


 Green’s Dubbel Dark Ale 7.0% abv

Brewed in Belgium from ancient grains, it’s gluten-free too! ?

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Deep, dark black, with a reddish glow and quite carbonated with a thick off-white head.

Aroma: Slightly sour, with a delicate cherry/ fresh berry bouquet.

Flavour: Rich and fruity, with a touch of sweet cherry and marzipan, finished off with a slightly tart, sour tang.

Great brew and incredibly easy to drink for a 7%, Green’s are becoming increasingly more inventive with their gluten-free brews!

Available to purchase here!

For more info, check out their WebsiteFacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


East London Brewery – Vintage Imperial Stout 9.5% ABV

Number 68 of 275 bottles, this brew is VERY special. A 2-year aged, Vintage Imperial Stout that was brewed back in 2015, it’s also suitable for vegetarians and vegans too!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Jet black, very thick and dense, with a very fizzy brown head that fizzles away quickly.

Aroma: Rich plum, warming berry and cherry, with a dash of marzipan and molasses. Exceptionally fruity and, surprisingly, quite citrusy!

Flavour: A fantastic mix of liquorice and bitter coffee, with a sweet dash of treacle.

Very strong and complex, comparable to a fine red wine, this is definitely one for special occasions and would make the perfect after-dinner digestive.

Available to purchase here!

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


Lough Gill Brewery – Rebel Stout Series/ Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout 11% abv

From the first brewery to be located in Sligo Town in over 100 years, the Rebel Stout series was created to prove that there’s more than one stout in Ireland… Rebel Stouts are the dark Irish beer your mother didn’t tell you about.

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Dark, with an exceptionally dense, thick, light brown/ beige head that retains and leaves a beautiful bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: A rich mix of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, followed by a sweet touch of vanilla.

Flavour: This great mix of chocolate and coffee is carried through into the flavour and is met by a dash of bitter liquorice, spice and sweet raisin, creating an epic bitter-sweet balance.

Very well-balanced and exceptionally smooth.

Available from the brewery directly and in selected stores across Ireland.

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


The Grainstore Brewery – Rutland Beast 5.3% abv

The “Rutland Beast is a true animal. Regarded as the ‘Bigger Brother’ of the Rutland Panther, the Beast is rarely spotted around these parts, but is a spectacular sight when seen.”

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Dark ruby red/ copper, with a thick beige head.

Aroma: Sweet, with an essence of cherry, dates and other rich berries. A slight malty underlay and hint of molasses.

Flavour: The sweet rich berry fruit is followed though into the flavour where it is met by a slightly dry, bitter finish.

Well balanced and very easy drinking but at 5.3%, this beast sure has a kick!

Available to purchase here!

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


HEPWORTH & CO BREWERS LTD – Classic Old Ale 4.8% abv

This brew is based around an old Sussex traditional winter brew that can actually be served mulled!

The Beer Yeti Top Dark ale review for Christmas, including Proper Black - St. Austell, Binghams Brewery - Vanilla Stout, Fownes Brewing Co. - King Kovak's Saga Porter, The Five Points Brewing Co. - Brick Field Brown, Ales of Scilly - T.W.Lawson Porter, Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, East London Brewery - Vintage Imperial Stout and Lough Gill Brewery - The Rebel Stout Series #1 - Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout

Appearance: Dark chestnut, with a moderate off-white beige head that retains, leaving a nice bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: Malty, with a dash of dark chocolate and rich red berries.

Flavour: A sweet mix of raisin, molasses, cherry, followed by a bitter hoppy finish.

A brew of fantastic character that is well-balanced and slightly roasted.

For more info, check out their Website, Facebook & Twitter.


So next time, you’re thinking of cosying up in front of the fire, make sure that it’s with one of these crackers!

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