Last month when Molson announced Rickard’s Dark as the new addition to the Rickard’s line-up, I was intrigued. Although it’s not nearly my favourite white beer, I enjoy a pint of Rickard’s White here and there. And Rickard’s Red often finds its way onto my table during wing-nights as a commonly accessible red ale. Red also happens to be my girlfriend’s ultimate favourite since it reminds her of being a student and playing beer pong. Needless to say, I was more than willing to try Rickard’s new brew. Plus, the maple syrup idea seemed interesting.
Now that I’ve got a chance to try it, I must say, Rickard’s succeeded in creating another solid brew.
Here are my tasting notes for this one:
The pour: Nice fluffy head that looks quite appetizing. The color looks a lot like maple syrup, not typical of porter. In fact, you probably wouldn’t think porter if you saw it. The head leaves a bit of lacing which is indicative of a good brew.
The nose: Subtle aroma of roasted malt and caramel, hints of maple syrup although very faint. I expected something bolder.
Body and Mouth-feel: Moderate carbonation, smooth and a bit too light. The flavour is nothing complex but very sweet and pleasant. The maple described in the brewer’s notes is there, but very easy to miss. Overall, it’s a balanced taste of roasted malt with some caramel and maple sweetness.
Finish: goes down nice and easy with a sweet caramel finish.
Rickard’s Dark is definitely worth a try, although the opinion on this one will swing. Seasoned craft beer drinkers will probably find that this brew falls short of the complexity offered by your top porter choices, and that isn’t really a surprise. For a more casual beer drinker, this is a solid beer that once reaffirms Rickard’s ability to brew quality ales. While this brew will not be a revelation to anyone, it is very enjoyable and I would say it ties Rickard’s Red for the second place among my Rickard’s favourites (first place is held by Rickard’s White).
I think there is definitely no reason not to try Rickard’s Dark. And if you are intimidated by the complexity of dark ales, this one won’t overwhelm you and it’s a good intro to dark ales.