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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Dark Horse Raspberry AleDark Horse Raspberry Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

434 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 434
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 15.82%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 434 | Reviews: 213 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERchitect


3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With the raspberries front and center, the beer that is built around the fruit supports the candyish additions, yet struggle to compete with its flavor and strength.

The Raspberry Ale pours an unexpected hazy orange hue and not with the expected redish tint. Thinking that actual raspberries were used in the beer and not colored artificially gives a lot of hope in this fruit beer going forward. The beer builds a creamy and somewhat dainty white head that withstands the session with consistency and ease. Although the beer looks "fruity" it doesn't reveal its secret view from a distant glimpse.

But the aromas sure do- this beer is raspberry through and through. The scent of ripe, fresh picked raspberries calm the olfactories in ways that only raspberries can. A timid support from malt offers a mild grain-derived sweet impression, and light starch while any hop attributes hide behind the pectin of the fruit. Perhaps a spicy note of ginger balances the fruit as much as any other component of the ingredients and likely results from the alcohol and phenols from yeast.

Fruity-rich flavors are certainly fueled by the raspberries, but additional wheat beer-like fruitiness exacerbates the sweetness and fruity notes. A firm and protein-rich flavor and yeasty taste supports the fruit and buffers against the fruit's acidity and the tannin that the fruit may project. Light on hops, the beer remains fruit and malt balanced going well into the finish.

The fuller-than-should-be texture is pushed higher by a lot of unresolved sweetness by both the fruit and from malt. With little balance from hops, and only a slight acidic counterpoint, the beer remains malty until deep into the finish. With little reprieve, the beer is lightly cloying and avoids alcohol warmth and dry malt character.

I rather enjoy the authentic fruit flavors of the beer, but the lack of balance from hops, dryness, or acidity limits its drinkability. For the staunch beer enthusiast, this beer may not cut it, but hey- chicks dig it!

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 04:59:06 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of rlee1390


3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Semi-cloudy orange, one finger head that doesn't last long.

S-Artificial raspberries, and not much else. Not fully artificial but leaning that way.

T-Raspberries that are once again leaning artificial/metallic even. Tad bit of wheat. Semi-sweet but not as sweet as you'd expect from a fruit beer. In a way it is even slightly tart.

M-Light, some carbonation, not that crisp though.

O-Was expecting more, raspberries are yummy and sweet while this beer was leaning artificial and semi-sweet.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 20:26:39 | More by rlee1390
Photo of DCon


3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a 12 FL OZ bottle of this from Donnie's Homespun Pizza in Decatur, IL for $4. Poured from the Bright Red/Green/Black Labeled bottle into a 16oz Stone IPA Pint Glass. Had no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Big sweetness and light raspberries make up this nose. Candied and very seducing.

Appearance- Pours no head at all... Hmm. Carbonation or date issues? No lacing is left either. The body is a dark and deep orange color.

Flavor- Has an upfront sweet flavor and then breaks into an average wheat flavor. Raspberry flavor was dry and well hidden... No hops or bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and has a slight raspberry finish. Better then the flavor!

Overall Impression- A decent fruit beer by Dark Horse but expected much more from these guys! It could have been an outdated brew but who knows without the B.O.D. Average when it comes down to it.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 00:08:05 | More by DCon
Photo of JackieTH


3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-red and slightly hazy with a topping of white foam that fades quickly with no significant lacing.

Smell is lightly tart raspberry, very distinct yet not overpowering, played againt crackery biscuit malt elements. Nice.

Taste is quite similar. Immediate tart raspberry flavor on the tip of the tongue fades into a biscuit-crackery malt. The overall effect is refreshing and tasty. It's neither a raspberry syrup bomb nor cloying. Not even close.

Lightly firm body with strong carbonation.

Overall if your seeking a naturally flavored but...put the beer first..fruit beer, this is what you'd want to try. Pretty good, I'd drink another one even though fruit beers aren't really my balliwick.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 21:57:37 | More by JackieTH
Photo of jsisko01


3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours an orange/copper color with an inch and a half thick, white head that lingers for a couple minutes. Leaves a nice, creamy lacing behind.

Smell - Has a nice raspberry aroma, not overbearing. But that's all I can smell other than grains.

Taste - It has a light tartness. It doesn't really even taste like raspberry to me.. but at least the sweetness isn't overbearing like other fruit ales. I can also taste pale malts, buttery biscuits, and grains. It seems pretty watered down. It has a weird tart-bitterness in the aftertaste also.

Mouthfeel - Light body with high carbonation.

Overall - This beer is ok.. I wouldn't get it again though.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 03:15:25 | More by jsisko01
Photo of Beer_Runner

3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No enjoy by date on the label.
Slowly poured into a standard pint glass.

A: No head formed during the pour. The brew is very cloudy and is a coppery/orange color.

S: The aroma is mild and consists of caramelized malt, a little bready yeast, and just a hint of fruit tartness.

T: The taste follows the aroma. It is a combination of bready yeast and caramelized malt along with a big dose of sharp, tart, raspberry fruitiness.

M: The body is on the heavier side of medium. It has a pleasant amount of carbonation, and is fairly smooth with a clean finish.

O: A good fruit beer. It replaces hops flavor and bitterness with the sharp, tart, and fruity flavors from the raspberries. I would consider this a lambic beer - and one of the better ones. This beer is another beer that will work well when chilled on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 00:25:46 | More by Beer_Runner
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Had this back in April of this year; reviewed from notes. Another ’want’ of mine that started getting distributed to my area. Score! 12oz bottle poured into my Highland pint glass.

Pours a very murky dark amber/gold with light reddish hues. Cloudy beer. Small 1-finger bone white head atop. The nose is interesting. There is some mild tart fruity esters noted, but a sort of hay-like dryness makes up the rest. Grainy nose.

Good body. Faintly syrupy at times, with a bit of a dry finish. Good carbo depth though. My standard for "raspberry" ales is of course NG’s Raspb. Tart, so I expected a wallop of fruit all over this. That, I did not get. What was there instead was a decent beer with all of it malty goodness, grains, light bitterness, and then a decent zip of fruity tartness on the finish. Huh. This wasn’t what I anticipated, but it held its own nonetheless. I like that the fruit character is more muted than in-your-face. Plus, my wife loved it.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 16:29:58 | More by Onenote81
Photo of thecheapies


3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, dirty pink-orange with a long-lasting little soft white cap. Nice lacing, actually. 4.0

Fresh raspberries, slightly caramelized malt sugars, slight tartness. Light hopping with herbal notes. 3.5

Tangy wheat-structured malt backbone with raspberry skins, firm fruit tartness, and some caramel-like malt flavors. Not my bag, but not bad. 3.0

Highly carbonated. Swishy medium body. Ok feel. 3.0

I can't drink this kind of a fruit beer too fast. It's interesting enough, I guess. A regrettable order at the bar. 3.0

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2012 00:53:50 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Shrews

3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours into a nice 1/2 inch head with a light brown color. Little to no rings of head left around the glass as you drink. Head tapers off as you drink.

Can faintly smell the berries. A light smell of hops as well.

Light raspberry taste with slight bitterness on the back of the tongue. The raspberry taste masks the hops and barley. Slightly carbonated which goes well with the raspberry taste. It is a pretty faint taste of raspberry.

Slight carbonation and bubbles mixes well with the light raspberry taste.

The ale sort of tastes like a light nationally branded beer (ex. Bud, Miller, etc) with a faint raspberry taste. Tasteless really, minus the raspberries.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 23:20:27 | More by Shrews
Photo of smakawhat


3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass, sure why not!

Dark dull amber brown, with not much head, a faint off white appearance five to some good rising carbonation from the body. I will say it's better than average, but nothing really grabbing me, I wish I could say more.

Nose grabs next to nothing in fruit character. Faint bitter bile smell, but luckily a nice bready soft biscuity malt comes to the rescue with some soft crackery graham cracker. Raspberry forward on the nose.. no..

Moving along the palate hits, and improvement is a big step up. Giant pie and crusty malt taste and finish with an almost rhubarb and fruit component. Tartness no, but a soft malt bodied crust mixing with a true fruit component.

Overall, gives to a fruit pie component with a lingering crusty finish. First whiffs and impressions though are not that impressive, mixing with an appearance that is less than satisfying. No major complaints, but no raves either here...

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 03:21:37 | More by smakawhat
Photo of TCMike


4.13/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produce a 2 finger white head after pouring into a glass. The color of the beer is a cloudy gold, with a smidgen of pink.
The aroma is a bit week, but of a little bread, and raspberry.
The taste was much better than smell. The raspberry comes through more. No hop bitterness noticeable.
The carbonation is high, and mouth-feel is light, and dry.
This is a good, easy drinking, warmer weather beer. The low alcohol makes it a great summer session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 21:51:53 | More by TCMike
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

2.35/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

been sitting on this one for a while. was in the mood for some fruit juice, but didn't have any...and saw this one. perfecto. poured into a cantillon tasting glass.

a - brew poured orange with a tizzy foamy head that slowly bubbled away. lively champagne like visible carbonation. semi sticky lacing.

s - fresh raspberries. a bit of soda like sweetness. some maltiness and gooey toffee.

t - just like the smell...BURST of raspberries. overly so. an overdose of raspberry gooey thickness. a bit cloying. kind of gross.

m - thick and chewy. the beer itself isn't that great and it makes my mouth not lookin like i'm enjoying myself.

o - overall i was looking for a nice raspberry beer. this was raspberry alright...but kind of gross. too thick and chewy. although i was able to get through a small glass of it, i opted to move onto something else and didn't finish it. this one is not for me. there are plenty of tasty raspberry beers out there, so i don't see why you'd go for this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 01:32:05 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of DavoleBomb


2.6/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

2.5 A: Opaque peach amber color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is lacking and no lacing is left.

2.5 S: Bready with raspberry essence. Doesn't smell bad, but it's simple and the raspberries aren't strong enough to wow me like they do in something like NG Raspberry Tart.

2.5 T: Pretty much like the nose. The raspberries are more than half assed, but barely. Maybe 4/7s assed. Otherwise, simple like watered down juice or something.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Not quite creamy, but something like "frothy."

2.5 D: Not even close to the worst of the fruit beers, but still not good. I doubt my gender is the target buyer for this.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 22:40:25 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of jimmah120


3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with no date

Very cloudy yellow with a red hue. 3 finger head that dissipates quickly. Smells faintly like skunky strawberries. Tastes like an odd mix of malt, hop, and tart raspberry - in that order. Aftertaste is all raspberry. Mouthfeel is light and crisp but a bit astringent.

I like how natural and tangy the raspberry is, but the farm house ale taste doesn't jive well with the fruit. The pervasive fruit separates itself from the more natural beer taste and just doesn't blend. It's still very easy drinking and unique.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 04:11:28 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Jamesthebrit


3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy reddish brown. I thought the red here was nice and subtle and I appreciated that.
S: Super super weak raspberry smell. Otherwise didn't smell like anything, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
T: Again, super subtle on the rasberry taste, and I was expecting more. However, as a ale this had some great execution with a little bitter hops and a little wheaty flavor.
M: Sat very well. No lingering gross flavors and the carbonation was on the money.

Overall I was looking for more raspberrys but it was a pretty good beer regardless.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 15:09:02 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange color with decent head, and some nice lacing. Retention is better than expected.

The aroma is not surprisingly full of raspberries. They lead the way with a more candy like fruitiness. Aside from that, nothing really peeks through.

The taste isn't what I'd classify as all that great or all that bad. It's really quite unoffensive. It makes a bit of sense when DH's heavy beers drink easy, that their light drinks drink easier yet. I do get some raspberry, but it's nowhere near what you'd taste in a lambic. It's also fairly short lived as well.

Underneath that, there is some honey richness though, and a well crafted, albeit light ale. I'm enjoying it while I drink it, but I don't think I'll remember it after it's gone. There's also some nice bready malt to be found as well for a brief bit.

The mouthfeel is Medium light in the body. Without the overaggressive carbonation, I suspect it would be much thinner yet. It has an average weight to it. The finish is slightly dry and mildly sticky.

Overall, I don't expect that I'll pick this one up again, but by no means would I recommend people to pass it by without trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:01:59 | More by BBP
Photo of Aiptasia


3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snuck a few sips from my SWMBO's pint glass while we're sitting here watching Ghost Adventures.

A: Pours a hazy malty peach color with only slight head and a barrista's hint of lacing across the surface.

S: Smells of raspberries and wet hay on the nose.

T: Hints of raspberry, mango and star fruit on the tongue with a biscuit yeast middle. Nice balance on the alcohol with a touch of plum on the aftertaste. Not over fruity, just well balanced.

M: Drinks easily. Very refreshing beer. Minimally carbonated.

O: Very nice crowd pleasing spring festival concert going beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 00:56:27 | More by Aiptasia
Photo of metter98

New York

3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is yellowish amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are strong aromas of raspberries in the nose.
T: The initial taste is filled with pleasant flavors of tart raspberries; however the aftertaste is off and doesn’t leave you longing for another sip. The citrus flavors from the hops and the raspberries don’t seem to pair well together.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Provided you can get past the finish, the beer isn’t that difficult to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 18:30:42 | More by metter98
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cherries and hints of woody notes. Spices of all kind blended in, rich as all hell, this was more of a cherry ale then a stout, but superb. A Rich, tart and yet sweet cherry notes, peppery and loaded with spice. Such complexity,richness, this was indeed exactly what I was looking for. Smooth, light body with a nice carbonation that was great for an ale, but light

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 03:35:33 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

2.8/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden color with a smallish white head that shows marginal retention. Smells of raspberries and faint bready malt. Sweet malty aroma with a distinct tartness that I assume is from the berries. Taste is malty sweet with tart raspberries and a hint of Belgian yeasty esters. Medium body and carbonation level with a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. This one was kind of meh. I wouldn't be surprised if this bottle had been sitting for a while before I purchased it.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 01:15:58 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Dope


3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy, very pale orange pour. Surprisingly bubbly white head. Retention is okay with minimal lacing.

S: Sweet raspberries, and lots of them. A little bread beneath it.

T: Raspberries up front, surprisingly tart. Sweetness kicks in and rounds it out with the malt which tastes pretty wheaty.

M: Fairly thin, nothing notable to it.

O: Honestly not a bad fruit beer. Not fruit soda like a lot of fruit beers. This is more tart and doesn't taste like they just dumped a lot of raspberry syrup into it. Otherwise not bad, just simple and straightforward.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 05:41:24 | More by Dope
Photo of paxtonthegreat


4.5/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite fruit beers. Dark horse uses real michigan raspberries and you can tell in the taste! A very fresh raspberry taste which also tastes like a beer and not just an artificially flavored we made this for you girlfriend kind of thing. Getting this mixed with the black bier is also wonderful.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2011 18:32:44 | More by paxtonthegreat
Photo of kmatlack


3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received his as an extra in a package from a great BA. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my 8oz Double Bastard glass.

A- Pours a foggy orange brown color with a small white color head that comes and goes quickly. Lively carbonation keeps small white blotches of bubbles on the surface.

S- Smells of grains, raspberries, no hop profile. Not alot going on in the aroma department here...

T- This beer is a liquid peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Crazy. A mildly tart raspberry flavor up front, that fades into a bready, grainy flavor. Pretty good.

M- Good mouthfeel, not over carbonated, not flat.

O- A good beer for what it is. I am not huge on the style, but this is worth trying, it was enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 17:35:47 | More by kmatlack
Photo of redblacks75


3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass.

A: A thin white head is noticeable. It dissipates very quickly. A nice reddish-amber body to this one. I will say there is some unpleasant looking sediment noticeable in each bottle. With the aggressive pour on the first one, not the one I'm reviewing it made me apprehensive about the floaties now in my glass, but, it did not effect the beer whatsoever.

S: Raspberry of course, and very mild, grainy malt.

T: The taste of course is raspberry, but, not the sour aspect you might expect. I get more of the sugary aspect of the raspberries.

M: While not unpleasant, for whatever reason, I was hoping for a little bit of a thicker body. This is one of the thinner fruit ales I have had. It has a dry finish I should note.

O: Generally Dark Horse really impresses me, this however is just an average representation of the style from other tastings I've had from this category. I can say I'm glad I've had it. Just not my cup of tea within this style though.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 23:16:16 | More by redblacks75
Photo of schoolboy


4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a fan of creative fruit beers, this one works. It has a beer-like appearance, like any ale. The fruit aroma is obvious but subtle.

The taste is reserved - raspberry but not overly so. There are hops and malt overtones.

This is a fruity one would drink again, though only ifI were in the mood.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 22:35:33 | More by schoolboy
Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.