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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Raspberry AleDark Horse Raspberry Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 15.87%
Wants: 12
Gots: 32 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of david131
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice cloudy, copper colored beer with a thin, splotchy white head.

S- Some honey and clean biscuity malt. Some fruit is apparent, and the raspberry is very subtle.

T- Some honey and an odd grape soda aspect. The raspberry is again very subtle. The malt is very clean. Tasty, but it seems to be lacking in the raspberry department.

M- Crisp and a little dryness on the end. Also, it is a tad on the thin side.

D- A decent fruit beer. Not a lot drawing me to it though.

david131, May 22, 2008
Photo of beachbum1975
2.8/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for this one DrewOSU!

I really like the packaging, raspberries and bees mingling together. Pours a beautiful apricot/ rapsberry color with blonde highlights. Smells like straw and light malts with no noticeable rapsberry. Drinks a light-bodied and higly-carbonated. Light raspberry flavor with a mild wheat backbone flavor. Nice.

Decent fruit session beer, but I wish it had a touch more raspberry flavor.

beachbum1975, May 17, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, pours a hazy amber color with little to no head, no lacing. The aroma is filled with raspberry, grains and wheat. There is some melon in the taste along with raspberry, nicely tart, more grains, stock amber feel to it otherwise. The mouth is full enough, decent carbonation, pretty easy to drink for the odd duck it is.

objectivemonkey, May 10, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
4.03/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy burnt amber color with some floaties. 3/4 of an inch of creamy white head has average retention and leaves some good lacing. Smells faintly of tart raspberries, lemon, straw, and honey. Tastes of honey sweetness followed by some biscuit wheat, then the raspberry presence comes in with a light lemon finish. Medium light in body with good fizzy carbonation, smooth and crisp but a little thin, a nice sweetness combined with some tart and sour notes for a good balance. Not one of my favorites from Dark Horse, but it is easy to drink and refreshing, definitely good to enjoy on one of those hot summer days.

HopDerek, May 07, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
4.3/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange color with one finger of creamy white head that dropped to a spotty thin layer.

Sweet honey smell with a slight fruity edge, but not overpowering. Tastes like an above average pale ale with honey and raspberries. Fruity sweetness is obvious but blends quite well into the picture. Good hop finish.

Creamy smooth medium body.

This is a very drinkable and very well done fruit beer. I am generally a fan of fruit beers but this one is special in that the fruit is well integrated into the overall package. Not overpowering or sticky sweet. Kudos to the folks at Dark Horse for another fine beer.

Tasted on tap at Firkin in Libertyville on 3/29/08. They had just run out of KBS 2 hours prior!

tmitch75, May 03, 2008
Photo of Deuane
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one sitting around for a while and was not sure how fresh it would be...I was pleasantly surprised. While this brew is not as outstanding as Rubaeus from nearby Founders it is a good, straight forward fruit beer. Great for that summertime gathering.

A-Hazy amber hue with a nice medium white foamy head.

S-Sweet with notes of yeast and of course raspberry. Also a twang of sourness too. Nothing outstanding but a good melding of aromas.

T-Sour tartness, then sweet, and a decent smack of fruit. The raspberry is not the star of the brew but goes along for the ride nicely with the wheat malt, yeast flavours and a light hop bite. All in all nicely solid.

M-Medium-light body with pleasant lively carbonation. MAybe a bit on the thin side.

D-This one held up well in my cellar. A totally refreshing and drinkable brew. Nice.

Deuane, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of CortexBomb
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fairly standard hazy golden with a light dusting of white on top. Clings decently when shifted. Pretty solid nose, a little sugary, but mostly just tart raspberry.

Flavour starts off nice and tart with the raspberry, but quickly transitions back to a fairly standard malty beer, surprising caramel and biscuit notes (not usual for the style), a slightly metallic finish (some of this is also present earlier, but only if I look for it). I like the overall package here, that slight off-taste hurts it a bit though.

Mouthfeel, nice, mainly because of the tartness, a shock to the mouth when you first start drinking it. Drinkability, decent but nothing special. I drink a lot of fruit beers, and raspberry is a popular choice. As it goes, it's not a bad take on the style, and I might have it again if I was really in the mood for the style and nothing else was available, but it doesn't differentiate itself.

The bottom line: not as bad as some would make it out to be, but Dark Horse's raspberry ale falters mainly for being so mediocre. Good marks on the nose and mouth, and the flavour has potential if they can just work that slight off-taste out of it.

CortexBomb, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Since I recently tried Great Divide's Wild Raspberry Ale, this seemed like a good opportunity to do a comparative taste test of sorts. While decent, Dark Horse's version comes up short in a few areas. First of all, the appearance is bland. The color--a rich cidery orange--is fine, but the head was thin and barely stuck around for my first sip. The nose is better, full of the expected raspberries with a faint caramel sniff along for the ride. The taste had me wavering between giving this a 3 and a 3.5, but I ultimately settled on the higher score because it was slightly less tart as I drank it, without being overly sweet or enhanced to be so. Not bad flavor, but as with Wild Raspberry, I'd like Dark Horse's version to do more than deliver sweet-tart berry. How about trying some more caramel, or even chocolate, malt to blend with it?

The mouthfeel suffers more because Raspberry Ale is flat halfway through--a cardinal sin, but not a total surprise with the amazing disappearing head that started it off. This also detracts from the drinkability, making what could have been a fairly good beer merely OK. I'd recommend Great Divide's Wild Raspberry over Dark Horse's version. Ultimately I'm not a big fan of fruit beer, and this is I believe the first time Dark Horse has disappointed me. I'd like to think it was the style more than the brewer. But for beer lovers, stick to the other terrific wares that Dark Horse does, which are splendid. This, sadly, is not.

Gehrig, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 2 finger, light tan head.. quickly dissapated. Hazy bronze in color. Lacing is prevalent but not pronounced.

S - Definite berries coming through, mostly raspberry but it smells of a few different berries. Malty sweetness. Deep inhale allows slight flowery hop aromas and yeasty esters to shine through.

T - I actually don't mind this. Pleasant malts throughout the gulp, with a slightly fruity raspberry finish. More beer than fruit. Sweet, but not cloying. Well balanced for a fruit beer.

M - High carbonation with a creamy, light body. Manages to get more syrupy the warmer it gets.

D - Easily sessionable and a great thirst quencher. It's nothing mind boggling, but it's a well-crafted brew.

If anyone can do a good fruit beer, Dark Horse can. I wouldn't have picked this up if it weren't for the review in BA magazine... cheers!

SaucyA, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.4/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of ford9719
Thanks! Light to medium amber in a kolsch glass with a topping of white lasting head. Smell is a nice shot of raspberry and malt. Sweet, but not overly so in the smell. Taste is rather dull with about equal malt and raspberry flavors. Somewhat light bodied with low carbonation. Overall tastes thin and watery with a little raspberry flavor, but not as much in the nose, nor as fresh and full as I'd like. Easy to drink, still.

JDV, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy, deep amber in color, with a massive, dense white head, thick glass-coating lace, and profuse streams of slow-rising carbonation. The lacing leaves impressive tide marks on the glass walls.

Aroma: Strong notes of pungently tart raspberries, caramel, and a mild citrus hop presence.

Taste: Opens with mild raspberry notes, restrained herbal hops underly the raspberries. A slightly toasty malt characteristic is present throughout the taste. Finishes much as it began.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, and full, quite soft to the palate.

Drinkability/notes: Quite pleasant and drinkable, well-suited to warm weather drinking.

Pegasus, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of mynie
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty, cloudy pour. Nice retentive head. Fruit beery looking, pressed berry cider clouds.

Smells very tame. A light zip of yeast and the slightest, watery hint of raspberries. What's there is nice, but it's pretty darn week.

Tastes much firmer, which is a relief. The yeast is strong for a weak beer, very crisp and not at all lambic funky (a good thing since there's few things worse than identity-less fruit beers that try to be lambics). The malt is there but it's as blank as a white sheet, the raspberry is tame but certainly present and not at all alcopoppy, and there's a very nice beery aftertaste.

mynie, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
2.75/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: No info., nice art.

Aroma: Syrupy raspberry and slightly worty.

Appearance: Very cloudy amber/apricot glass holds a white head that laces. A lot of sediment in the bottle which started getting cloudy about three quarters into the pour.

Flavor: A little under attenuated, the beer is a bit over sweet, almost cloying. The fruit is seedy and mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fair fruit beer that didn’t wow me.
Thanks to Pegasus for sharing the bottle.

HardTarget, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed amber hue. Solid crown of white foam above.

Nose is a sweet, yeasty blend of raspberry, wheat, and some sour notes. Nice.

Tart, then sweet, full of fruit, yeast, wheat...raspberry flavor lays rather low. Just enough.

Not much more to say about this one. Refreshing. Quaffable.

feloniousmonk, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy and murky looking. Deep orange/copper body. Thin dirty white head. Lace is minimal. Smells kind of like canned raspberry puree. Quite sweet. Also a little cream soda aroma. Carbonation is quite lively. Very prickly on the tongue. Medium bodied. Soft raspberry quality on the palate. Backed up by a modest biscuity maltiness. Decent beer here. Probably my least favorite beer, of the 10 or so I've tried, from a brewery that I've really come to like over the past year with my sporadic samplings.

Bighuge, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.1/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not a lot to like in this one - this is the mildest fruit beer I've had, which I find appealing (most of them are too sweet for me). However, there really isn't anything else here to key in on; while this is "beer 1st, fruit 2nd" the beer doesn't offer much interesting or especially appealing.

Appearance was a hazy red-orange color. Aroma was mildly fruity but also mildly cerealy. Flavor was more of the same, a mix of very mild fruitiness with a very mild and not-that-interesting cereal-ness. Mouthfeel was unexceptional.

I wouldn't really recommend this beer.

BeerBelcher, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of CoSMoSYS
4.18/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The drink poured a cloudy orange with barely any head, which disappeared rather quickly after the pour, and no lacing at all. There were also a few carbonation bubbles coming up at any given moment.

I smelled this from the bottle and could detect a definite raspberry smell, however when I poured it into the glass, I couldn't put my nose on any one smell except for the crisp raspberry and hops. Maybe my nose isn't that distinguished yet?

The taste of the beer was excellent. Not too sweet or tart. You won't be puckering your lips after a swig. The carbonation in the beer provides that special kick that adds value and you can feel it when you drink. Very easy beer to drink as it is light to medium bodied.

I would definitely recommend this drink to everybody, even the doubters of a good fruit beer.

CoSMoSYS, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of bozebus17
3.98/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with a thin white head that doesn't stick around. There is no lacing to speak of.

Smell is all over the place with wheat, bready malt, and raspberries. Very nice aroma.

Taste has a surprising number of things happening. The beer has a strong wheat backbone that is contrasted nicely with tart raspberries. There is also a hint of lemon zest. The raspberries are not overpowering and don't quite pucker the lips. They are actually just kind of there in the background. Very nicely done.

This beer feels light and crisp on the palate. The high carbonation makes it extremely drinkable and refreshing.

I must say that I was taken aback by this beer. I threw it into a mixed six pack because I hadn't seen it in the store before. I didn't expect much because I generally don't like fruit beers. I must say that this one has changed my stance. This is top shelf stuff. It is tasty, crisp, clean, and refreshing. I will definitely seek this one out next summer. The fruit isn't overpowering like some other beers.

bozebus17, Sep 11, 2007
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.

rhoadsrage, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly reddish-amber color with a nice ring of white head that settles quickly, leaving no lacing. A little opaque, but mostly clear. Nose is mild raspberries, a little bit of hop presence too. Taste is better: it's not an overwhelming raspberry punch like a lot of fruit beers, but better balanced with the malt and hops. Obviously raspberries dominate the flavor, but there's also some breadiness, some light hops (especially as the beer warms), and a touch of caramel malt too. I'd been looking to try this one for a while but didn't really want to buy a whole sixer of it. I'm quite happy to have tried it on-tap; a tasty beer, definitely good for a change from more common beers and beer styles.

soupyman10, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up by Lexx going through Michigan. Thanks!

Pours a cloudy amber, thin white head forms, settles down very fast to a thin ring, no lacing. Smell is bready, fruity, light raspberry, vegetables, bit of caramel. Taste is similar, bread, yeast, vegetables, light raspberry and other fruits in the finish, think this is a bit past its prime as the raspberry has faded out a bit. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Could see this being pretty messy fresh, although still pretty drinkable as it is.

Viggo, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of xav33
2.42/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark Horse Raspberry Ale
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in a goblet.
Unknown brewing, picked 07/07

Poured a golden orange with a medium frothy somewhat diminishing white head.

Smelt of raspberries, bread, grassy hops.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter raspberries and its leaves with light sweet bread followed by a moderate to strong bitter spoiled fruit and dried leaves with more light sweetness.

Palate was light bodied, watery, fizzy and lightly astringent.

Overall, this is the most awkward tasting raspberry beer I've ever had. The finish is striking and unpleasant. The tart raspberry taste is nice, but very subdued. It's like a light pale ale with raspberries. Interesting, intriguing, and innovative, but not inspiring.

xav33, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly certain JeffKrenner sent me this beer.

A: Vibrant apricot color with just the slightest pink hue…could almost be my imagination. Head is fizzy, dropping to almost nothing immediately while scores of bubbles form at the bottom of the glass

S: Raspberry indeed. Somewhere between fresh and perfumy. Also hints of wheat, honey and dried hay.

T: Really light raspberry flavor starts this beer off. A lot like the many fruit beers of the United States, but fortunately this one is lacking that wheat flavor that comes with most. Has a mineral characteristic that persuades me into thinking it has a hard mouthfeel as well. Not just raspberry, perhaps some blueberry as well as strawberry aspects come to mind. Finishes with a honey roundsness that stays long after the swallow. Probably the best part of the beer.

M: Thin and hard with just a bit of carbo sting.

D: Good beer for a hot afternoon. Although its deceivingly sweet after a while and probably couldn’t do many of them.

Westsidethreat, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of BitteBier
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look of this one is attractive--hazy, honey orange in color, with some active carbonation and funky suspension going on. The head, though, is more like soda than beer--noisy, fizzy, and completely gone almost immediately. The nose is cleanly grainy with some fruit that invokes citrus as much as raspberry. Yow...no doubt about the raspberry in the taste, though. It's actually an uncommonly fresh taste for a fruit beer, though it's still stronger than I hope for vis-a-vis the underlying grains. The finish isn't so good, with the less appealing remnants of both the fruit and the malts both lingering. There's enough crispness in this one to cancel out what might be a sweet, clingy mouthfeel. I'm a fan of raspberry, and this is one of the better fruit beers I've had. Even so, one is plenty.

BitteBier, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to phatz for this. I thought I had reviewed it already but evidently, I haven't...
Appears a hazy, light gold with an orange hue and a large, fluffy, white cap that slowly fades out into a mild head of silk foam. Solid streams of large CO2 bubbles quickly rise to the top. Scattered streaks of hearty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of freshly picked red raspberries with an underlying of honey, and wet hay. For the most part, it's a bit uncomplex but this is simply a refreshing aroma that you would like to inhale while waiting in line at Six Flags during the hot, Summer months.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. Not too much to the flavor. Some honey, raspberries, perhaps a touch of fresh bread and cracked grains coming through.
Light bodied, semi-sweet, balanced, light grassy bitterness towards the end of the dry finish. I'm guessing the raspberries were thrown in during secondary with this one. It seems to have bumped up the attenuation a bit more and dried it out a tad more than I would have preferred.
A good thing to do at a place where you have the luxury of force carbonating is to mix in some white sugar after secondary to increase the sweetness after the yeast sucks out all the residuals from the fruit addition...yeast would have to be crashed completely, of course. That's the only thing, IMO, that would/could make this better. Other than that, it's still refreshing.

weeare138, May 17, 2007
Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.