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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.

553 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 15.87%
Wants: 12
Gots: 33 | 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: 553 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.68/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, rusty amber. It was a struggle to get any sort of head on the beer, and it vanished right away.

Smell: Although I would suspect that this would have a heavy aroma of raspberries, this was not the taste. There is a raspberry smell, but it is underwhelming.

Taste: The taste of raspberries is not actually that strong, despite being the clear main taste. The taste is strongest up front, with a tart bitterness coming on at the end.

Mouthfeel: This has a medium body, some crispness, and little carbonation.

Drinkability: Somewhat of a struggle to get through. Even with the sweet raspberries, the tart flavor at the end is just not very enjoyable.

I went after this one because of the other beers Dark Horse has put out, but this one just doesn't make the grade.

KickInTheChalice, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.98/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - pours a cloudy, dirty peach color. A very weak head, what little forms up doesn't hang around long. A bare wisp of bubbles and thin collar are the only indication so far that this beer is carbonated.

Aroma - a weak trace of raspberry on opening, and then it fades to nada.

Taste - starts with a watery, unpleasantly soapy flavor, mixed with a generic raspberry and slightly tart flavor. The fruitiness gets better as it goes, but the other flavors hang around too. No freshness date so I have no idea how old this bottle is - I hope room for improvement exists with a fresher sample. The finish has a light seltzery bitterness/saltiness that is neither here nor there.

Mouthfeel - somewhat thin, crisp, a bit slick.

Drinkability - not a total loss but not one I'd take a chance on again.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of jeremyd365
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This fella poured a darkly and thickly into teh glass and was just raspberries all over from start to finish. The berries were definitely apparent from the smell alone and then upon drinking, it finished with a crisp raspberry bite. I'm not much into the fruity ales, but I would recommend this one to those who are. All in all was well done.

jeremyd365, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light golden color. Not a whole lot of head on the pour. Smell is raspberry of course with some underlying malt as well. There's a good amount of raspberry in the flavor, but it's not overdone. I love Dark Horse Brewing, but this is rather uneventful and thin. I'll stick with their dark beers and IPA's.

FtownThrowDown, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle on recent Michigan beer trip! Pours a hazy orange with nice white head, minimal lacing and mediocre retention. Smell is of some raspberry, some wheat and a bit of biscuity malt. Taste is good, however I found it to be somewhat bland. There was a nice raspberry element to it and a nice malt backbone but other than that it was somewhat lacking. I think something just needed to stand out more, but it didnt. Mouthfeel was great. Very light and somewhat crisp, slightly oily after-feel. Overall a good beer, I am a fan of the fruit beers so I did enjoy this, just wasnt amazing.

bunnyhustle, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of benito
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the more restrained offerings from Dark Horse...their Raspberry Ale pours a hazy copper with a thin head that dissipates to a light ring. Dominant raspberry aromas with light breadiness; there's a big fruity sweetness upfront that ends abruptly mid-tongue and gives way to a dry, 'beery' finish.

They're not kidding when they say 'beer first, fruit second' with this one, but I would have liked a little more lingering fruit presence; that said, the restraint is a nice alternative to some of the more excellent/assertive (ie New Glarus) or cloying (ie Great Divide) raspberry ales. The base beer is also bland and could use a little more flavor: is it an amber? a pale ale? a wheat? Give us somethin' here!

Light body with lots of spritz and a sudden, dry finish. The shift from fruitiness to dryness does take down the drinkability a bit.

Overall: not bad at all--a well-realized and restrained fruit beer that might appeal to folks who think strong fruit beers are overwhelming or running amok. It also shows that Dark Horse doesn't have to hit 10% and the flavor of diesel with all of its offerings...

benito, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a reasonable sort of head that retains and laces respectably

Smell: Smells like fresh raspberries; tart rather than sweet

Taste: On top of a biscuity base, the tart raspberry flavors build from the outset through mid-palate with only the slightest hint of sweetness appearing at mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors start to fade away

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I like the fact that the raspberry flavor stays true to the fruit and that the beer is a neutral palate against which the raspberries get to strut their stuff; however, I also wish that there were a bit more bulk and complexity here; its essentially a chick beer that guys can tolerate

brentk56, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

pmcadamis, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a cloudy, golden-honey color with a smallish off-white head. Melty sheets of lace left behind.

S: Faint toasted malt aroma with a pinch of tart berry. Sort of underwhelmed by this.

T: Pretty much as it smells. Toasted malt, honey, and dry, tart raspberry.

M: Medium bodied. Dry and sort of spicy. Tart fruit threatens to develop during the finish, but never quite makes it.

D: Drinkability is good for something so...meh. A rare "just ok" beer from Dark Horse.

GbVDave, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of happygnome
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pours a hazy darker orange color with about a half inch of head that dissapears quickly with very little lacing
s: raspberries and sweetness deffinatly comes out some hints of citrusy bitterness kind of a tart overall aroma
t: mild taste, raspberries, tartness hints of bitterness
m: medium bodied beer with a little carbonation

overall, this wasnt what i was expecting but it was fairly mild it was ok but not anything that ill seek out

happygnome, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of gmcfarre
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a cloudy yellowish orange color with raspberry colored tints. Head is somewhat small off white head that fades quickly to a thin layer. Looks like some spare yeast fragments are floating in suspension.

S - Scent is of clean raspberries, but not overly sweet. A bit sour, raspberries certainly are the dominant scent here, but it has a good light malt & honey sweet backbone to balance things out.

T - Starts with a good dose of raspberry, honey-like sweetness. Good fruit flavor mid-palate with some smooth grain flavor. Little hop activity. Finish is still slightly sweet and sticky, but not cloying.

M - Mild carbonation with a smooth & medium light body. Slightly sticky aftertaste, but relatively mild and tame.

D - Easy drinking with great fruit flavor. A perfect summer beer choice. Not very complex, but not overly fruity or cloying like most fruit beers.

gmcfarre, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with an orange hue. A quarter-inch head of white dissapated quickly leaving a few whisps on the surface.

Aromatics lead off with some light raspberries and perhaps some citrus underneath.
A hint of honey follows through as well as a wince of cherry.

Light to medium bodied. Crispish with a slight syrup note. Carbonation is on the light side of medium.

Raspberries, tangerine, and light malt start the pallet. A residual honey note follows through.
Alcohol and hopping is minimal, and the beer is clean and fruity.

Finishes with some lingering fruit essence and a hint of tart lemon.

Nothing bad about this one, just nothing outstanding in any aspect. The fruit is not abundant or fresh, and the base beer is average.

brewandbbq, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of Tbn2
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from bottle to pint glass.

A-Murky, Amber brown. White head that settles within the first five minutes and leaves hardly any lacing.

S-You can smell the Raspberry and sweet malts. Not too much as far as hops goes.

T-Raspberries hit you first, but not very hard. Fades to a sweet malt, raspberry mix. Head towards you belly with a good balance of raspberry, sweet and bitter malts. Best part about this beer is usually when I drink fruity beers made from berries, I have a metallic aftertaste. This one doesn't seem to have it this time.

M-A little course but good. Carbonation my be a little high, but I tend to like my beers with less carbonation.

Overall this is another good brew from Dark Horse. If you are trying to break someone into drinking good beer, this one would be a good one to start with. It has a good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Bottoms Up...

Tbn2, May 28, 2008
Photo of drxandy
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz to weizen glass, pours a hazy slightly peachy golden color with a touch of redness, nicely carbonated.

smell of fresh raspberries hits you first, malts compliment nicely

tastes heavily of the raspberries, dry finish, malty, nice texture. Raspberry ales can be hit or miss and Dark Horse's offering is certianly better than a lot of other breweries, but in comparison to founders' variations they're apples and oranges.

mouthfeel is creamy from carbonation, glass was well chosen as it really makes this beer pop, smooth, dry crispness, an easy drinking flavorful raspberry ale.

drxandy, May 27, 2008
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
Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.