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Dark Horse 4 Elf - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse 4 ElfDark Horse 4 Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

459 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 49
Gots: 48 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: granger10 on 11-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hankjrfan84
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Hankjrfan84, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of splax23
5/5  rDev +32.3%

splax23, Nov 14, 2011
5/5  rDev +32.3%

ROBSTARR, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of MarcatGSB
5/5  rDev +32.3%

MarcatGSB, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Torrey3
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Torrey3, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of paxtonthegreat
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily my favorite winter beer ever along with Samichlaus. This strong winter warmer packs in tons of flavors reminiscent of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and allspice. Every winter I frequent dark horse a lot to get my hands on lots of this. Like I said, best winter beer. ever.

paxtonthegreat, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of GordonQuid
4.95/5  rDev +31%
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!

GordonQuid, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of Arcous
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Arcous, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of marv3mania
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

marv3mania, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black into my snifter with about an inch of off white head.

Smell: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Allspice, Vanilla, and Ginger.

Taste: Aforementioned spices along with Chocolate malt. Full bodied with medium carbonation. Alcohol shows up a bit as it warms, I have a hard time believing it's only 9%.

Absolutely amazing and everything I'd want from a Winter Warmer. I wish I could've picked up more of this, it's on par with 3 guys if you ask me. Definitely one of my favorite beers. I hope they keep brewing it.

TheBlackMallard, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of mentor
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Eyedrinkale, ala BIF20. Thanks for the opportunity! Hard pour to get a thin layer of light brown head over a dark brown liquid. Can't see through, even when held to light. Smells wet sweet and of chocolate, ginger, molasses, nutmeg, and perhaps coriander (coriander is a spice I have limited experience with). Very enticing. Taste is equally complex and the flavors bound through numerous transitions. Wow. Starts nutmeg while drawn in the mouth, then a very aromatic ginger as the liquid settles across the tongue. The ginger sting settles, but never quite disappears. The next flavors to dance across my palette are chocolate and a gentle nutty. The nutmeg then re-appears along with a sweeter herb, which I think is coriander (sweet with rounded esters, but still a bit of a woody quality about it) as part of the swallow/aftertaste. The aftertaste is a touch bitter, no maybe sour, consisting of a mix of alcohol hot and ginger yow-za...but, also tastes vanilla and smooth. Also, as I ponder another aftertaste, I taste some orange zest...no white pith, it's pure orange skin. Lots going on here...this beer is a wonderful challenge. Burps are sweet chocolate. Medium body and moderately (and sharply) carbonated. The numerous flavors in this beer 'play nice' with each other and also do not 'talk too loud'. I get a sniff each time I take a sip and I wind up being so intrigued by the smell that I steal another whiff before I pull it away.

Near the end of the glass, I'm getting an overall impression of a complex and woody character that's similar to the burned cask character of some whiskies. The ginger in the beer is like a bit of pixie dust to keep me from thinking this could be an oak-aged product. I think, what really makes this beer, is the chocolate. With searching, I find it from draw to swallow, with varying intensities. It lays a nice backbone that the diffferent spices can whirl away from, but then step to the safety of.

I feel like a sod, having drank this in July. It *really* would be a great sipping beer in front of my fireplace on a dark winter night.

mentor, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of rypkr
4.5/5  rDev +19%

rypkr, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +19%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Marti403
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Marti403, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +19%

thebouch01, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of Fargrow
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Fargrow, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of jz989
4.5/5  rDev +19%

jz989, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of BennyThon
4.5/5  rDev +19%

BennyThon, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of ToddGingerich
4.5/5  rDev +19%

ToddGingerich, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Lukass, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of adamant1912
4.5/5  rDev +19%

adamant1912, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of dgugliuzza
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a large snifter

Opaque brown color that looks pitch black in the glass. Thin tan head with large bubbles spread throughout.

An array of spices delightfully inhibit the nostrils. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are dominant. Nice layer of candy sweet malt. Smells like freshly baked gingerbread cookies.

Just as the smell indicates. The warming spices are delectable and perfectly incorporated. Cinnamon and nutmeg stand out to make this taste like liquid gingerbread. No alcohol burn whatsoever.

Medium-thick and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low, but adequate for the style. Very smooth and easy to drink. I would have never guessed the double digit ABV quantity.

4 Elf is nothing short of outstanding. The most flavorful winter warmer I've had to date. If you like gingerbread cookies, then you will love this beer. It truly tastes and feels like a snowy winter night. Well worth seeking out.

dgugliuzza, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Extrajoker00
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

4 Elf by Tröegs
poured from a 12 oz.bottle into a beer mug

A : deep deep amber/ brown 4.0

S : clove, prune and spice, wonderful 4.5

T : toasted malt, dark fruit, spices 4.5

M :Full bodied but crisp, full flavored 4.25

D : a little heavy for day to day

O: very very good holiday beer 4.5

Great Holiday Beer, Thanks

Extrajoker00, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of aforbes10
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle procured somehow by kkulacki (he got engaged across the state the day this was released, so i have no idea how he got this) and generously sent to me. Pours surprisingly dark with a short brown head. Laces slowly and tightly. Smells magnificent...strong nutmeg and allspice with well-brewed coffee and dark chocolate. Flavor great too, big holiday spiced front (again, nutmeg and allspice, with a hint of hot cinnamon). Spices very strong, but supported well by a chocolate malt body and well balanced but warming alcohol. Full bodied. A bigger than life but extremely enjoyable winter warmer. Thanks again, Konrad!

aforbes10, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of mwa423
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown and murky. Once the yeast hits the glass it quickly turns into the color and clarity of pond water.

S - Strong sweet spice aroma, along with some caramelized malt, this reminds me of a belgian strong dark ale.

T - Wow, heavy spice fills the mouth and is the prominent flavor but bitter and sweet malt is in the aftertaste. Again, reminds me more of a Belgian strong dark ale.

M/D - Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would like but not bad. This is exceptionally drinkable and will be looking for this next winter.

mwa423, Apr 26, 2010
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Dark Horse 4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.