Mangrove Jack’s Mildy Dark – review

While I was on my holiday, Mikey did a brew of Mangrove Jack’s Mildly Dark all on his own.  This was a simple extract kit with a few other things thrown in to make it a dark.  Judging from the recipe, Mikey threw a couple extra malts in here, and, if I remember correctly, Mikey mentioned he had trouble getting everything to ferment.

Because of this, the beer took a little longer than usual to condition in the bottle as well.  We tried it a couple weeks ago and it wasn’t quite ready.  We tried it again over the weekend and it was definitely ready.

mildly darkOn the colour, it was a good dark brown with a bit of red when held up to the light.  Dark, but not murky.  It was almost a brown ale in colour, but I’d consider it over the line to be a “dark” ale.

The smell was great and interesting, with quite a bit in there.  The main things in there were toffee, citrus, and apple.  The interaction of the apple and the citrus was great, and really complimented the toffee smells well.  When I really stuck my nose in there, I also was able to find a little bit of chocolate in there too.

The taste was great and easy.  The beer was quite obviously hopped, but mildly so, with the malt really taking the foreground.  Gladly, the apple came through in the taste as well, which interacted with the malt quite well.  Mixed in among this was a bit of a licorice taste  with a tiny bit of molasses as well.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot at the end to really round out the flavour, which I would have really liked to see; just something to round everything out.  I think if an additional taste hop had been added, a little bit of complexity could have been added in the finish.  The kit that Mikey made didn’t call for any additional hopping, but had he added something mild, it would have been welcome.

I think this beer would go well with a nice hard cheese.  It’s a fairly sweet beer, but not overly so.  A hard, but fairly mild cheese would be a great way to accompany this beer.

– Chas

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8 thoughts on “Mangrove Jack’s Mildy Dark – review

  1. mikey says:

    You got this one on the money, Chas.
    There’s plenty of apple sweetness with some chocolate in there as well. The bitterness is low, and I think it works well for the beer.
    The body really drops away and the beer would be a lot better if there was some steeped grains added.
    I’m also finding the beer a little bit dry. I think it’s part that the body drops away so much and part that the fermentation didn’t really fulfil.

    There’s a bit of a lesson in there for me, use more yeast! The kit was old, which meant old yeast, and that means not as much to ferment the beer. In theory the yeast would of grown and kept going if left longer. I’m not sure. At a minimum I’ll re-hydrate the yeast if I do something like this again. I’ve also bought some yeast nutrient to help similar brews.

    The liquid malt I added to the beer changed a lot. It added more complexity to the beer which was good. It also changed it away from a mild, as the beer took longer to condition.

  2. mattwilmott says:

    Haven’t tried any of these Mangrove Jack beers but I’ve seen them around. Keen to give them a try, might try sobe of the additions suggested here

    • Chas says:

      We’ve only done a couple but they’ve turned out well. I’ve heard that having the wort in the bag is fresher than the can other companies do. The only problem with this is it makes rinsing out the bag a bit of a pain. I don’t know about you but we always rinse the can/bag to get those last bits!

      • mattwilmott says:

        I’ve been brewing using the 15L liquid works lately and they are awesome. Trying to get the last dregs out of a can is annoying and a bag sounds worse. That being said if it turns out half decent I suppose the effort is worth while!

      • mikey says:

        Matt, thanks for the comment.
        Didn’t know about 15 L cans. Where do you get them from?

        The bags from Mangrove Jack’s are a little bit of a pain. We used the same approach as cans, leave some extra hot water in them for five mins or so. This dissolves a lot if the remaining malt.

      • mattwilmott says:

        Usually from the local homebrew shop. They are actually plastic drums rather than cans. All that is required is 5 ltr of cold water 🙂

        Check out one of my later posts there is an image there showing the container they come in

      • mikey says:

        Thanks for that. Will check out your site.
        Cheers!

  3. mikey says:

    Matt, can’t find your site. Your profile goes to http://nixadmindotorg.wordpress.com/.
    You able to send us a link?

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