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Dark Horse 4 Elf - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse 4 ElfDark Horse 4 Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

171 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 171
Hads: 699
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 24.09%
Wants: 53
Gots: 115 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: granger10 on 11-27-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 171 | Hads: 699
Reviews by GordonQuid:
Photo of GordonQuid
4.94/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Ommegang Tulip glass.

Jet black with a one inch creamy head and thick lace.

Smells of black currant, mulling spice, chocolate and debittered black patent malts rolled up in pine needles.

Taste is a creamy blend of chocolate and dark malts with just the right amount of mulling spice and piney hops; creamy and silky smooth. The alcohol is not at all apparent in the taste. BE FORWARNED that this is 11.50%! The bottle does not indicate the ABV. After I quaffed this offering down in a matter of ten minutes (because this stuff is deliscious!) I noticed the buzz was hitting me hard. DAMN! I am in the holiday season now! This reminds me of the 2009 Anchor Steam Merry Christmas Ale but on steroids.... The A-Rod of Christmas Ales!

This is extremely drinkable and satisfying. Complex yet quaffable. If you like holiday offerings than this is Christmas in a bottle. If you can't stand the in-laws buy a four pack of this stuff and their your new best friends.
Slap your Mother-in-law on the ass! Hell yeah! Blame it on the Elf....

An extreme offering by Dark Horse. I love you guys! Big shout out to Marshal Michigan!

Happy Holidaze!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of majorbase2
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a huge foamy off white head. Good retention. Leaves a lumpy, uneven head with spotty lacing.

Aroma is heavy on spices, ginger, molasses, graham cracker, cinnamon, and a hint of caramel. Very pleasant.

Tastes like a porter. Lightly roasted chocolate and nuts. Brown sugar. A small amount of hops. Gingerbread is still there, though not as strong. Very faint cinnamon. A little too heavy on the spice, though. There's really not much going on in the taste, unfortunately. It just kind of lacks character, if that makes sense. A little more hop bitterness than expected here.

Medium bodied. LIttle carbonation. More of a sipper at 8.75%.

Overall, started out with good potential, even after the first sip, but really faltered from there. Still a solid brew, but not DH's best, so don't go out of your way for this one.

 850 characters

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a becker a deep roasted walnut brown with a creamy half finger tan colored head atop,great color and love the creamy head.Winter mulling spice and sweet alcohol in the nose,alot of nutmeg is detected.Lower carbonation with a creamy feel,it slides down easy.Spicy to the hilt on the palate with some cake-like notes,like a CHRISTmas spiced cake,the alcohol sweetness gets bigger as it warms.This a winter sipper,like others have noted, you can't drink to much of it,a full on spicy winter warmer here.

 511 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle

A: Dark brown almost like a really dark tea.

S: a hint of vanilla ,nutmeg,malts and cinnamon.

T:roasted malts,cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: very smooth and lightly carbonated.

O:it's a nice one for these breezy nights.Not my favorite winter warmer but not my least favorite.Worth a try.

 311 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release. Deep murky opaque dark brown pour with a quarter inch of tan foam on top. Aromas start with roasted malts entwined with a bold mix of spices. Clove is upfront with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and holiday bread baking spices. Notes of chocolate and some fruit accents. Reminds me of baking Christmas cookies and of rich spice cakes.

First sip brings smooth semi-sweet roasted malts wrapped in a warm blanket of spices. Clove, nutmeg, ginger and some cinnamon. Tastes like a spiced dark rye bread. Flows down with a bit of sweetness and lots of lingering spice. I can see how some may find it overly spiced but to me it was very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and smooth. The malt body here is well placed and the alcohol is never too much in the flavor. This ends up being quite warming in the end and the mix of spices really work. I personally enjoy the forward clove aspect. A stellar spiced brew from Dark Horse. Paired well with some Carr Valley Menage cheese and fun to drink in the summer. Thanks hoppymeal!

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Photo of MaybeSoMaybeNot
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of alarmclock314
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've bought several 4-packs of this beer and decided to write a review. Pours somewhat opaque brown with a medium-sized tan head which quickly recedes. Some yeast is leftover in the bottom of the bottle, but it doesn't carry into the glass when poured. Smells of malt, clove, and ginger with some allspice, caramel, and mild hops. The taste follows closely with a fantastic combination of malt and spice. I really like how the flavors are bold but not overpowering. Not the thickest mouthfeel, but it's got some creaminess. The alcohol is well hidden. It's great cold and at room temperature. This is a fantastic Winter Warmer. Buy this beer if you like malt, spice, and a little alcohol kick. I find BA reviews to be pretty accurate, but I'm surprised this is rated an 86; it deserves at least a 90.

 811 characters

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Billolick
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle w/o bottling/vintage dating.

Pours dark and murky, slight darker head, leaves fine scattered lace bits.

Dark chocolate nose.

Flavorful. with more chocolate, dark caramel malty notes.

Pleasant and warming winter warmer.

 238 characters

Photo of Guinnsslvr
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tigg924
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Taste is cinnamon, clove, and dark roasted malt. This one hits all of the expected notes in a winter warmer. While I have others I prefer in the style, I certainly would not pass this up.

 189 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Very dark, chocolaty brown with decent light tan head.

Smell: Nutmeg, clove, allspice and an undefinable sweetness.

Taste: Some spice upfront, but a very sweet core of fruit (plum, cherry, berry), chocolate and even light coffee. The spices are evident and lingering on the finish, with nutmeg, clove and allspice. There may be some English-style hops as well, but it could be mainly the spices.

Feel: Medium to full body with moderately low carbonation. Finish is more sharp than truly dry.

Overall: Some Porter/Stout notes with this Spiced Winter Warmer. It actually reminds me of a ramped up Anchor Christmas Ale, which is mostly a good thing, but this beer is not quite as harmonious. Still, this is a good choice for the Holidays.

 803 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. About one finger of tan head that quickly fades into a thin patch. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Some sediment settles around the bottom.

Smell: A toasty, bready, and fairly sweet malt forward aroma with a big presence of winter spices. Toasted and roasted malts with big hints of biscuit, chocolate, toast, sweet caramel, toffee, cream, grains, nuts, and yeast. Big scent of winter spices including hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and ginger. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, and prune. Subtle hints of earthy hops. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a toasty, bready, and fairly sweet malt driven taste with lots of winter spices. Toasted and fairly roasty malts with notes of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, sweet caramel, toffee, cream, yeast, grains, and nuts. Big presence of winter spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and clove. Also some sweet notes of brown sugar and syrup. Dark fruit undertones with notes of raisin, fig, and prune. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and fairly slick and syrupy. Pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a winter warmer. Good spice presence with the sweet dark malt.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of jminch
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of rwilde
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of williamjbauer
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

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Dark Horse 4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.