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Elevator Dark Horse Lager - Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus

Not Rated.
Elevator Dark Horse LagerElevator Dark Horse Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 119
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 3
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 12-19-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 119
Photo of mdvatab
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as another great extra from cosmonick. (Cheers!)

Aroma: Getting a sweet apple note at the beginning, followed by Honey Nut Cheerios, and then a bit of minty hop in the background.

Appearance: Wow--lots of foam! A pour down the side of the glass quickly results in 4 fingers of light tan head. The foam settles to a very nice two-finger collar, which stays til the very end of the glass, like a milkshake, a cappucino, or a pint of Guinness. Lacing is nice and sudsy. Oh, yeah, and the body of the beer is a dark amber with decent clarity. Fine streams of effervesence are visible through the side of the glass. (The most I've written about a beer's appearance in a while!)

Flavor: Nice, sweet cereal grain, followed by an apple note here as well. A subtle hoppy bitterness provides balance, and stays there through the finish. There's also a very light mineral quality to the beer. Again, overall, the sweetness from the malt is very well-balanced in this one.

Mouthfeel: Crisp carbonation, as one would expect from the clues given by the beer's appearance. The body is medium-light.

Overall: Actually, one of the best dark lagers I've had. EXTREMELY sessionable, but, at the same time, not boring. Would love to get my hands on a 6pk of this!

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured a dark brown with red hues. I can see some carbonation through the dark color. Big frothy head leaves big glass coating lace

S- Floral notes, light chocolate, very clean smelling lager aroma

T- Big sweet milk chocolate, big roasty coffee notes, vanilla, biscuity/cracker flavor, some floral notes, and earthy notes. Really great tasting beer with great balance of flavors.

M-Rich creamy mouthfeel up front and through the middle, high carbonation, finishes dry

O- A very flavorful roasty and sweet lager that drinks like a milk stout/porter/oatmeal stout hybrid. Great creamy mouthfeel and very sessionable. This would be a staple in my fridge if I could get this beer around Cleveland.

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Photo of blakesell
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a wine style tasting glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a dark brown with big red hues. Carbonation is gone iwth no lacing whatsoever. A small spot of bubbles appear on the top of the grog.

Smell- Light roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, some smoke, very balanced. Smells to be quite a passable schwartzbeer. No wonder it got the bronze at the GABF.

Taste- Light and flavorful. Creamy and roasty, wow. Really takes those past unpleasant beers out of my mouth. Same yeast as the previous beers, but clearly a different breed. Very well brewed.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, malty, medium bodied, medium in carbonation, not astringent, not warming, very nice drinking.

Drinkability- Very smooth, will be revisited in the future for certain.

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Photo of Spider889
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had for the first time tonight at Claddagh of all places. I always saw "lager" on the label and just assumed I wouldn't like it.

Came dark. Not exactly black, more the color of weak watery coffee - dark brown and blackish in the center. No head but left minimal lace.

Smelled decent. Malty, slightly bready and lightly toasted.

Taste was great! Reminded me of how much diversity you can still find in a lager, and also steamed up some visions of homebrewing a lager this winter possibly. Nice and robust for the style, dark and roasty, with some spicy/earthy hops on the finish.

Medium bodied for a lager. slightly dry but overall a very smooth and easy drinking beer. I am slowly becoming sold that I need to be paying more attention to Elevator, and next time I see this in stores I'll probably come home with some.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, it's Elevator's first bottled beer (purchased at Blacklick Wine and Spirits). Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with some red tints too. Head retention is average, lacing is very good. Aroma is toasted malt and nuts, with a bit of chocolate and hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, but the hops come out more in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's on the creamy side and has average carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and very easy to drink with a dry finish. Overall I think it's a good, sessionable dark lager (5.3% ABV). I'd definitely pick this up again, it's a good choice and the first bottled selection Elevator is selling in the Columbus area. Recommended.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boy, for a Euro Dark Lager, this had more character than I'd expect - especially in the aroma. Really nice nutty character with a bit of caramel (not sweet) and pushing toast to roast (which will show up again in flavor). Quite a nice aroma for a lager - more robust than most, esp. for a lower alcohol beverage.
Darker color, but holding the deep cooper color and off-white head that settles out quickly. Not bad looking, just not a classic lager.
Flavor not quite as enjoyable as as aroma - but still a rather flavorful lager. My group who shared this guessed that it was fermented at warmer temps based upon the most robust profile of flavors. Many of the same characteristics as the aroma, just more subdued than the former. Especially as it warmed the toast to roast become more of the later than former, but still never at excess or unbalanced.
Closer to an ale feel with a little bigger body and lacking a clear lager cleanliness or crispness.
Still an enjoyable beer with bold flavor unexpected from a lager. Best Euro lager I can remember. :0)
Thanks Chuck.

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Photo of chiefydawg
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber, very clear body with muted but adequate carbonation and a thin, white, short-lived head. Not much lace.

Nice Munichy maltiness up front in the nose, bringing almost a tad of fruit (NOT from the yeast or hops though). Faint German-smelling hop aroma, clean yeast. Wisp of smoke and roast.

Tanned toast, some rich homemade biscuit crust. Hint of dark fruit and burnt caramel. But the hop is more prevalent than expected and imposes itself. Not bitter, but balanced with some earthy, apple peel taste, keeping it malty but in check. Clean lager taste with a touch of refreshing sulfur. Sweet but not cloying at all.

Nice, medium mouthfeel is quite inviting. Quite drinkable and clean-finishing for being malt-based and having low carbonation. This bottle may not survive the review!

Loves me a semi-local Dark Lager, man. Quite a treat the more I think of it. Truthfully reminds me of a darker, well-made Oktoberfest with extra late hope additions.

Note: the beer did not survive this review.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes are from last weekend; this beer serves as my first ever from Elevator.

It's not thick and heavy-looking, but it is dark, edging toward black and stopping at dark brown as some of light peeks through the edges and it shows a little medium brown through the body when held to the light. A creamy tan head sits at just over a finger tall, retains itself well, and leaves a goodly amount of patchy lacing as the beer falls.
The roast has some interesting character on the nose, toasty and lightly charred but with no astringent character of off notes. A bit of raw dark cocoa lays underneath all the way, balanced by a light touch of caramel. Some tangy citrus adds another element to the overall aroma.
There's an underlying grains note that's appropriate for the style while shying away from being the main component. It keeps from getting "steely," as many of the style do. There's a light nuttiness underneath that mingles with the roast and citrus well in the flavor. Again, there here are no off notes to this beer, showing itself to be skillfully brewed. True, the Euro Dark is the weakest style of the dark beers, but this beer is a great take on it.
At first, before I've identified the style, it's from the feel that I definitely notice this isn't an American bruiser of any kind, nor is it in porter or stout territory. It isn't bland, though, and its crispness and moderate carbonation keep it going while it doesn't lack smoothness, so that even as a light to medium-bodied dark lager, it works.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I give this beer more credit than grouping it with the Euro Dark Lager catagory. The beer makes a very nice little German-style Dunkel.

A dark brown beer lands in front of me and takes on a similar appearace as the Porter that I had just before. Less assertive with the cocoa, nuttiness, and smoke, the Dark horse simplifies things with its lagering. No phenolics or fruitiness, the beer has a good medium toastiness with mild earthy notes from European hops. Big on melanoidins, this beer delivers a rich and creamy mouthfeel that is the showcase for this beer. Sweet with toffee to taste but not sweet feeling on the palate. Nuttiness does rise as the beer warms but never competes with Brown Ales or Porters.

This might be the closest to style beer that the Elevator offers... if compared to good Dunkels.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Molten copper with pumpkin accents and plenty of uprushing bubbles. The carbonation destination is two fingers of khaki hued foam that is developing large divots in its upper surface as it slowly shrinks. Thick streamers of lace look good too.

This offering is more properly thought of as an American brown lager. Besides, last time I checked, Columbus is not in Europe. Loads of brown bready malt are a pleasant surprise and instantly earn this pony a good score.

Dark Horse Lager is not short on flavor, which is the first major point in its favor. Sweet and bitter balance is right in the fun zone as well. My EB & DH experience is still on the low end, but it's obvious that these guys know what the hell they're doing.

Flavors include toasted brown bread, steely caramel, cocoa powder and strong iced tea. This must be a fresh bottle because the finish is impressively tight/clean, with a healthy nip of hops. Too bad most Euro dark lagers don't taste this good.

There are no complaints about the mouthfeel either. It's easily big enough and has a well-calibrated combination of creaminess and stinging bubbles. Borderline buzzy to start turns into 'keeps your attention' lively by mid-bottle.

Elevator Dark Horse Lager is solid beer from the gate to the backstretch to the finish line. Even though it uses lager yeast, it's really more of an American brown ale than anything else. Forget being a dark horse, this stuff is a favorite.

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Photo of joepais
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Csmiley for sending this one out to me
Bottle poured into a pint glass produced a finger worth of white head that faded to a good lace. The body of the brew was an interesting reddish brown color.

The aromas were a little roasted and bready yeast, it was very light and subtle. Basically what I look for in a lager when it comes to smell. The flavor was roasted and sweet at the same time. It was crisp and light in the mouth with good carbonation. It was a easy brew to drink and was looking for more when I finished it

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the brewpub. Pours a mostly clear dark brown color with a medium and fluffy beige head that has decent retention. Patchy lacing. Aroma of roasted nuts and malt, with hints of hops. Medium, smooth body with a nice roasted character. Notes of malt, chocolate and nuts along with a decent amount of hops. The finish is dry and roasty with a lingering mild hoppiness. Pretty good all around.

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Photo of rayjay
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another csmiley choice from Black Booty 09.

A very dark copper color, maybe dark brown, but not black (no that there's anything wrong with that). Lots of white foam, some lacing.

Sulfur on the nose giving away it's lager roots. That dominates over all else.

Nice noble hop punch that fills your sinuses, and gives way to a rush of malt sweetness, then finishes somewhat dry with the sweetness and bitterness just barely hanging in there. Clean, robust, balanced, not heavy. Just a simple refreshing session beer.

Above average all around. Nice medium-light mouthfeel that's refreshing and inviting.

Cheers to session beers!

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Photo of zimm421
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a dark brown color with a decent off-white head. The color isn't overly dark and there is some light that comes through.

The nose is pretty good. Good roasted malts, a little yeasty and some hints of chocolate. The taste is similar, not overpowering, and the roasted malts are more prevalent, as well as good hints of chocolate again. There is a nice balance as well with a slight hop bite on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected but it makes it easy drinking and very enjoyable. The carbonation is just right with a slight sting on the palate. Overall, this is an easy drinking, flavorful lager. Things came together pretty well here; another solid offering from Elevator.

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Photo of Freethyhops
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass. no sign of a best by/bottled on date

Bottle thanks to Ryan011235, always nice to get something from a brewery I've never heard of.

Pours a transparent dark amber almost brown color. less than a 1/2 finger of head that dissipates to a then film almost immediately. Not a whole lot on the nose. A hint of toasty sweet bread. The taste is dominated by roasted barley and a bready malt backbone. A little sweetness kicks in before it finishes slight bitter and dry. This beer has the crispness you expect from a lager while providing nice roasted characters. The mouthfeel is quite pleasant, as well. An overall easy drinking and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Wildman
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear very dark amber color and formed a nice foamy light tan head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of malts, breads and lightly of chocolate. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and bread. The body is fairly light and the finish slightly sweet. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of BigDRS
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle has no freshness date.

Color is a deep copper/amber. I get about a finger of tan head. Very little lacing.

Lots of malty character on the nose. There's some coffee, bread, brown sugar, and toffee notes as well.

Taste has a lot of sweetness up front with a bit of a cocoa/chocolate in the finish. This is surprisingly balanced. The cocoa flavor lingers for a while after each sip.

Mouthfeel is good, but not great. This goes down pretty easy, and at just over 5% ABV I could down a few of these in a session no problem.

Overall this is a pretty nice brew. They boast on the label that it won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival and I can see why.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass on 7/28/10

Medium brown color; not quite cola but close. It has nice clarity though; no haziness. One & a half fingers of foam has dropped to a thin layer. Minimal lace.

Simple aroma of toasted bread, earthy hops & musty yeast undertones.

Subtle earthy hop notes hit upfront & give way to a full malt profile. Sporting only a vague sweetness, there are notes of toasted dark bread, a hint of biscuit & even some dark sugars. No frills, but it tastes pretty good.

Leaning towards full bodied. Carbonation seems right around where it should be; not overly fussy. Residuals of toasted malt with a lingering bitterness.

Not too shabby. Dark Horse is straightforward & plays it safe. Certainly nothing wrong with that. Still, with other quality beers available locally (from Elevator & others), this won't end up in any sort of regular rotation.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am going to be making a concerted effort to dive through the pile of things I need to try in the next couple of weeks. So I started out last night with this one. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed on 09/09/2009.
Nice pour here, very dark and nearly completely black in color with the exception of some touches of red around the sides and the bottom of the glass. Nice tan head came up and over the top and settled down after a few minutes, dropping a nice amount odd side glass lace in the process. Aroma was light, lots of caramel malts and bready notes dominate. Warming it brings out light notes of grain as well. Smooth taste here with a medium body that was well carbonated. Nice feel across the tongue with very sweet notes that seem to get stronger as it rolls forward. Almost a peat like touch to it as well at times. Very drinkable as the flavor was not over powering and the light ABV made it go down quite nicely.
Overall a nice little lager I have to say. Not the biggest fan of the style, but I have to admit this kind of worked for me. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day!

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Photo of goblue3509
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with a faint head that gives way to very little lacing. The aroma is nice, a caramel malt with some breadiness and some biscuit present. The taste is of a caramel malt backbone with a nice taste of toast and biscuits. There is also a hint of dark fruits present. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated. It is a little too much going on in the mouth. The drinkability is very good, a nice smooth flavor with a nice taste. There is a nice enough balance to keep you wanting more. The mouthfeel is a little bit distracting though.

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Photo of tjacobs610
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark in color with a reddish hue as well. Very thin head, around 2 inches that is a tannish white color. Not much retention to speak of but it does have decent lacing.

S: Very malty and sweet smelling. Has a citrusy aroma along with a hint of chocolate

T: Has a malty sweetness right away, followed by a chocolate and bitter ending. Has a very balanced taste that also contains hints of bread and caramel

M: Very light and creamy feel, goes down very easy and is also very sessionable. Has a great mix of flavor and carbonation to the point where the carbonation is almost unnoticeable

O:Very good beer overall. It has great color and taste and a fairly good aroma as well. This beer is definitely one that you can drink an entire 6-pack of on a hot summer day

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark chestnut brown with golden amber highlights. Decent creamy beige head and wavy lace.

S- roasty dark malts with hints of coffee and cocoa. There's also a tiny whiff of chocolate mousse and leafy hop aroma.

T- bigger on flavor than aroma. Smooth cocoa and coffee with just the right amount of roasted bitterness. Hop presence is mild to almost absent, but lends an earthy edge in the finish. Notes of soil, wood, and stone and a mild tartness.

MF- medium full body with zesty carbonation. Definite roasted grainy feel on the palate. Wholesome and filling.

D- I didn't expect much from this one, but I'm pleasantly surprised. A tasty flavorful brew that I could definitely drink more than one of.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a pint glass...Pours a pretty ugly watered down coca-cola with a light white head, ok retention and lacing...The aroma is light, almost dead, I can pull a little roasted malt and toffee...The taste is light but refreshing, light roast, caramel, and tofee. Super easy to drink.

This is good dark lager, try it.

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Photo of sleazo
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a chocolate like brown which ranges through the spectrum from dark to milk when viewed against a light. A smallish tan head caps the brew. Retention is poor but the lace is fairly solid.

S_The nose is a nice blend of chocolate and a small dose of vegetal hops.

D_A smooth sweet liquid greets the tongue upon first sip followed by a burst of chocolate and caramel roasted malt. The finish is rather dry and speaks of light hopping. Some hints of hay in the aftertaste. There is also a bit of a metallic element as well that manages to detract from an otherwise tasty beer.

M_A thicker lager with just the right ammount of large bubbled carbonation.

D_The words, smooth and easy drinking come to mind as my glass quickly empties. A mostly clean tasting lager that is pretty tasty overall.

Thanks to csmiley for the opportunity to sample this.

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Photo of Fitwitchik
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

Esthetically pleasing very dark amber/cocoa colour. Tall creamy head that nicely laced down the sides of the glass as the brew was consumed.

The scent flowed of malty caramel. Pleasing but not spectacular

Taste of malty sweetness was subtly nice. Definite caramel & slight chocolate was appealing. Hops finished nicely quiet. Impressive for this usual non lager fan.

Overall a not too shabby dark larger. Actually contemplating another bottle.

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Elevator Dark Horse Lager from Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus
84 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.