Dark Horse Raspberry Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Raspberry AleDark Horse Raspberry Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

620 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 620
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 15.57%
Wants: 12
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-05-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 620 | Reviews: 233
Reviews by matty:
Photo of matty
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy gold colored beer with a rapidly fading head,looks like apple juice.Aroma is raspberries.Taste is tart raspberries and malt.Definetly not the easiest drinking beer around.Overall kind of bland and boring but by no means terrible.It was nice to try once but I doubt I would ever buy one again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Brass restaurant in Mount Pleasant on tapas night $1.00 off so I gave it a shot,pours a hazy blond with the red raspberry tint.Aromas of fresh raspberry puree and wheaty malt,flavors are not as tart as expected more sweetwith a firm dry malt backbone.Not really a fan of the style but gave it a try not all bad for the style but I wont have it again.

Photo of tectactoe
2.96/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at Pete's Garage, during the Michigan-Syracuse Final Four game of '13. It pours a cloudy copper and amber color with an ever-so-slight, faint pink hue to it. Perhaps I'm imagining this hue because I feel like a raspberry beer should be pink. The soapy white head fizzles quite a bit and reduces to a skin pretty quickly and leaves minimal lacing on the sides.

The aroma is a bit underpowered to say the least. Raspberries haunt the edges, but the middle is made up of merely some light grains and not much else. I guess that puts the raspberry in the forefront, though, which is the silver lining. The raspberries almost smell a bit tart on the nose with a little bit of sweetness to back them up. The tail end has a faint, musky smell to it, most likely from the hops. I wish there was more I could pull from this beer, but there isn't much there at all.

Much like the aroma, the flavor leaves me wanting more. I get some very mildly tart raspberries up front - far from being "sour", as it's almost more of a fractionally astringent tartness that peaks instantly and fades away just as quickly. Unfortunately, the raspberry flavors come off a bit artificial and medicinal, leaving almost a chalky aftertaste. The aroma didn't smell quite so artificial, and it's upsetting to see that the flavor turned out to be that way. Some of the musky hops come out mid-sip along with a light graininess. Thin bodied with a hefty dose of carbonation and a crisp mouth feel.

Eh, definitely not the worst fruit infused beer out there, but miles from being near the top, too. The raspberry isn't as strong nor as pure as it should be. Overall, a little boring and uneventful, and the flavors that ARE taking place, aren't the best around. Might be good for people who are easing into the world of craft beer, but they'll soon be leaving this one behind them.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.57/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice dull honey-colored beer with thin but well-built white head and big splotchy lacing. Nose is fresh beer smell with a floral/ perfumey hint of....seriously...roses. This beer smells like roses. It smells like a girl and I'm about to make out with it.

Mmmm she kisses nice. I'm really impressed with this fruit beer. It has a really sturdy pale malt and honey sweetness that is anything but cloying and the rasberry is so refreshingly restrained. It just sneaks in at the end to add an almost lambic-type sourness. The alcohol plays an interesting role here too. It isn't something you taste or really notice, but you can just tell its in there. Maybe it's in the nose or the mouthfeel. I don't know. Despite everything going on here the beer stays light bodied and creamy on the palate.

I'm not a big fan of most fruit beers but if I was, oh man, this would be the one.

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
2.14/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I would not revisit this.very disappointed.far from other dark horse offerings.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Not all fruit beers are fruit beers. Dark Horse Brewing states that they use "real" fruit, meaning that it is real fruit rather than the essence like many other brewers use. Brazen ruddy orange color shows some haze, nice lift of froth that keeps ample lacing on the glass. Could the haze be from the fruit pectins? Mild raspberry aroma, smells of fresh jam, pie filling or simply pectin in the nose with some biscuity and yeasty notes from the malt. Fluffy moderate body with just enough smoothness to get by. Light bready, biscuity or almost short bread maltiness meets a distant tartness and subtle raspberry flavor. A tad yeasty but clean. Finishes on the dry side, with more mild raspberry and graininess.

So their thought of "beer first, fruit second" is right on target. Don't be turned off if fruit beers are not your thing, you'll be surprised of how well this ale drinks compared to the fake, cloying sweet essence-ladened fruit beers out there.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Dark Horse Raspberry Ale pours into my glass a reddish orange hue with a quarter inch of bubbly white foam on top. Lots of active carbonation. Aromas start off with fresh picked sun ripened raspberry alongside a grainy wheat. A touch of lemon as well, but overall I don't get very much aside from the raspberry off this brew.

First sip brings a light, grainy maltiness that comes across a bit gritty, it's quickly followed by a rush of raspberry flavor that ushers in a nice dose of sweetness with it as well. It flows down with a touch of lemon and a slight sourness...finishing clean, a bit dry and without much fanfare. A somewhat lackluster fruit beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter, with lots of carbonation that rushes across the tongue on the way down. An easy drinkin brew that I could see being good beachside on a hot summer day. Overall though, this one just falls a bit flat for me...nothing to write home about in my book and I don't desire another.

Photo of Duster72
3.29/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very cloudy red-orange with a small head. Aroma is huge raspberries. I was rather surprised at how big the raspberry smell was. Taste follows the aroma with big raspberry with some malts behind it. Mouthfeel was a little on the syrupy side for me. This was too sweet for my preference, although my wife said it's biggest fault was being too easy to drink, so there you go. Not my first choice of beer, but it seems to be good for what it is.

Photo of tigg924
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: hazy, 1 inch head, red/brown in color, low carbonation

Smell: toffee and raspberries

Taste: toffee, raspberries, and some hops

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter, medium bodied and carbonation, dry

Drinkability:An ok fruit beer where the raspberries are tart but not overpowering. Not as good as other Dark Horse beers. I would pass on this.

Photo of 1Adam12
2.87/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours reddish golden. Huge head that lingers. Nice lacing. Smell: dude wheres the raspberry? Just yeasty here. Slightest fruitiness to it, but come on. Same with the taste. Maybe the slightest bit of spritzerish raspberry to it, but once again, come on! Just yeasty. Mouthfeel is decent. Slightly carbonated and creamy. I opened this before I sent it as an extra, and I'm glad I did for fear of embarassment. Just not very good. Not bad, just not good. Nothing like I would expect a dark horse brew to be. Just no raspberry...at all. Avoid this one.

Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a tall glass.

Appearance: Very cloudy, somewhat dark orange with a tint of pink. Foamy cream colored head, with once again a tint of pink.

Smell: Soda-like raspberry, more sweet than tart. That's about it, but pleasing.

Taste: Refreshing raspberry over fairly mild malts that seem to be between a light amber ale and a wheat ale. Maybe a touch of more English-like hops at the end. Very simple, but not overly sweet or tart - nice balance.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body, fairly smooth overall. A little bit of a tingle going on. Slight dryness at the end.

Drinkability: Simple, but tasty and refreshing. For a fruit beer (which I often abhor), it is quite impressive.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours brilliant pinkish amber under a thin, offwhite foam collar.
S: the raspberry on the nose is somewhat muted and matched by grainy malt and a light hop touch.
T: A dry palate with light grains and a balance between the raspberry, malt and hops. M: Medium body and carbonation.
O: The raspberry is not as intense and could use something tart to poke it up a bit.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deeply hazed amber with a nice off white highly carbonated spritzy, yet well formed head. Minimal thin speckled lacing is left behind.

Aromatics contain tart raspberries and a touch of yogurt lactic qualities, and that's pretty much it. No cloying sweetness just a deep sense of fresh fruit arises.

Flavors have earthy raspberry seed and musty powdered yeast interacting with more tart slightly lactic qualities, interesting. No boatloads of sugar subtle sweetness with more fruit flavor that finishes extremely dry especially for a fruit beer. The bees on the label have me confused, I'm not thinking there is any honey in the brew based on taste but the label it may be hidden among the fruit puree.

Body is light with sturdy natural flowing carbonation levels again the dry and tart characteristics linger on the palate and definitely dominate overall feel of the beer.

Drinkability is decent not interesting enough to grab a whole six but definitely worth a try on occasion. Betterr than 99% of the other fruity candy beers that are marketed these days.

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle served in a snifter. Some sediment remained in the bottle despite a full pour.

The body is a red-orange-amber color, topped by a thin and fragile bone-colored head.

Aroma: RASPBERRY! with sweet malts and a suggestion of caramel. Fortunately, the flavor is not near as sweet as the smell, and is outright tart before the finish. A touch of citrus and bitterness from hops too. Admirably good, natural raspberry aroma and flavor.

Medium-light body seems a tad thin; medium-low carbonation and some dryness in the finish.

O: a well done fruit beer.
{lightly revised in August 2013 following a on tap tasting}

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear but a bit dense deep orange body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles and a creamy light tan head. The head fades to a thin film but last for a good bit.

S- The smell of strong fresh sweet raspberries comes through during the pour with a note of club soda and a faint raspberry jam quality.

T- The dry raspberry note blends with a light wheat and dry field corn flavor. There are notes of apple juice, dry powdered drink mix, notes of fresh berries all capped off with a finish of a fruit punch hint. This beer finish pretty clean with no real aftertaste.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight little carbonation.

D- This beer has big raspberries in the nose but they were much softer in the taste. There were lots of other fruit flavors that were not so interesting.

Photo of Brenden
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is hazed, deep burnished brass in color. It's thick and nearly impossible to see though with what looks like a bit of sediment and lots of bubbly activity that never stops. A white head 3 fingers high forms from a less than aggressive pour, taking time to fade down to a thick crown one finger high and eventually a foam that drops spotty lacing.
The aroma is tart raspberry and wheat with an earthy/musty touch. There's not much else.
In the flavor, this one isn't particularly sweet (just a touch). The main event here is a strong tartness that pulls through the whole way and rounds out with a tangy sort of finish. Grains are foremost after the tartness, and there is a dry malt with a light hops presence finishes it out. Underneath it all and more subtle is something lightly herbal and a yeasty note.
Each sip starts out with a bite of crispness that remains through the swallow. This beer's got a light body and is moderately carbonated. It's very dry as well.

Photo of nicnut45
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one pours a cloudy, hazy, reddish brown color. A fingers worth of head that settles into a thin transparent foam.

Smell: I love the raspberry smell you get upfront. It really smells fresh. However there is just something I cant describe in the background that detracts from this. Almost smells like kellogs raspberry cereal.

Taste: The taste is ok. You really get that raspberry essence without all the sweetness. There is just a bit too much bitterness which almost has a souring effect when paired with raspberries. I almost wish there was a bit more sweetness just to counteract this effect.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation a medium light feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: Its a summer beer that goes down easy. Lets face it, its a chick beer. Would ladies drink it? I dont know. I think it is a bit bitter for there taste. But from a guys standpoint, this is easy drinking on sunny afternoon.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Glowing ember in hue, with some rhubarb highlights. (How d'ya like those colors Ricky?) With a one finger lightly pick tinted head of dense cream. The head doesn't last very long, but it does leave a little wet lace on the glass, and a swirl brings that head right back.

S - Smells like and English pale ale with some flower garden fuggle aromas on top of some cream cheese notes from the yeast. This only smells lightly of raspberries, which is perfectly ok with me.

T - This is actually really hoppy initially, with a tart raspberry tang on the midpalate, before fading to a sugary sweet finish. I like this obvious three stage progression of flavors. This is a really complex brew for a fruit beer. The raspberry flavors are not loud and obnoxious like a winecooler, and the flavors taste real...like fuzzy raspberry hairs and all. None of that extract crap here.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth and creamy British style carbonation and a really nice soft and sweet finish.

D - This is a really nice change from all of the crap fruit beers out there. This is how it should be done! Good beer first and foremost, with accents of tasty fruit. I'm impressed.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Glad to see another good brewery distributed in WI.

Pour: hazy apricot-amber, nearly opaque with a half finger of khaki foam that fades quickly to nothing.

Nose: a variety of fruit nectars - apricot, peach, watermelon and raspberry - with a bit of husky malt in the finish.

Taste: sweet on the forepalate - citrus, raspberry juice, apricot nectar - with some caramel malt and sour cracked grain in the finish. A little thin and fading on the tongue.

Feel: thinnish body with a super-fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: it's no Raspberry Tart, but it's not really meant to be. A fairly standard, yet fairly drinkable fruit ale. Though my girlfriend whinced when she tried it.

Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - dark orange with a thin, white cap of foamy head that quickly fades to a thin lacing

S - sweet, tart raspberries with some faint breadiness

T - mildly tart raspberries, some sweetness, some caramel, mild bitter finish

M - very crisp, overcarbonated, light bodied

The overcarbonation here really impacts the overall experience of the beer. The bubbles on the palate confuse the taste buds and cover up some of the flavor. It also makes the flavors that do come through seem fleeting. I think it achieves what it set out to do. It is refreshing, it's fruity without being over the top, and it's light bodied and very easy to drink. Unfortunately, I'm unimpressed. This isn't a beer I'd like to have again.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks like raspberry ice tea. Nice frothy lacing though. Very good.

Smell: VERY faint hint of raspberries. It's just ok.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Clean taste and feel. Lemony citrus with some raspberries in the background. There is a bit of a soapy aftertaste that I'm not crazy about. I guess that's why it tastes clean...Anyway, the mouthfeel is quite enjoyable. Thin, but not too thin, and full of great carbonation.

Drinkability: Refreshing, that's for sure.

Overall: A bit weak on the senses, but this really is a refreshing beer to drink. I would try this again.

Photo of dirtylou
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's, brand new in the Madison Empire

appearance: I really like the label for some reason...beer pours into a great dane imperial pint glass, hazy rose-amber body, light beige head...glowing

smell: smell is mostly raspberry as expected, strong hopping, melon, light malt felt in the background

taste: I wont compare this to NG Rasp Tart because they are entirely different beers...tartness level is moderate, this has a fair amount of malt in the background to keep it from being full blown fruit beer. fresh raspberry does a nice thing with this beer. I enjoy it but it doesnt push any boundaries

mouthfeel: medium body, light tartness

drinkability: pretty good

Photo of ebby82
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber into a pint glass with a nice head.

The aroma is raspberries all the way. Any other aroma is masked by the berries.

The taste is again primarily of raspberries. A tangy, slightly bitter raspberry taste and aftertaste. Tasty.

This is a very tasty fruit beer. Not amazing, but very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden orange with a finger of foamy brite-white head. A thin and wispy retention leaves back some OK looking spotty lacing. The aroma is fresh smelling raspberries with some underlying sweet notes of wheat and a bit of floral hops. Not overly assertive but pleasant enough.

The taste is similar with some (slightly tart) raspberry character and a sticky feeling mix of sweetness and light citrus. Touch of hop bitterness in the back offers balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a prickly carbonation but I'm also getting an underlying heavier syrupy feel underneath.

Straight up raspberry beers aren't quite my thing but this one was decent. Not exactly earth shattering or anything but it drank well and was fairly pleasant.

Photo of Infamous7100
4.02/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy ruby color with about a one finger tan head.
S: Raspberries make themselves known right away, but it's not overwhelming to me like other fruit beers. Also get some bready notes.
T: Naturally, the raspberries are present right away, but what I enjoy most is that they aren't overwhelming. It plays great with the bready flavor of the beer. Nice balance.
M: Medium carbonation and very smooth.
D: Unlike a lot of other fruit beers, this one isn't so sweet to the point where you don't want another. Very clean and refresing. Great grass cutting, summer beer.

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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 620 ratings.