1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

460 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 460
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 50
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 460 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csrbv
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

csrbv, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Knapp85, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of anteater
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

anteater, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. A new beer to me from Dark Horse Brewing Co.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a thick ruddy caramel color; opaque in the glass, with just under a finger of thin tan head that thins to a ring quickly. Looks pretty dark.

S - The herbal spice rack notes come first - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, oregano & ginger. Some smooth vanilla, chocolate malt roast, cream, cocoa powder, licorice / anise, & some rum soaked raisins / dark fruits.

T - Taste is of dark malt roast, cola, licorice / anise, sweet sticky caramel, some vanilla, brown bread, brown sugar, notes of chocolate, and notes of dark fruits like figs and dates.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy, with good carbonation.

Overall, this is a prime example of the ideal winter warmer. Big, rich, and well spiced. I would definitely be interested to see what the barrel aged version of this is like.

Dark Horse 4 Elf ---4/5.

mfnmbvp, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of salinasa
4/5  rDev +5.8%

salinasa, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of skubas86
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

skubas86, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

BubalooBrewMaster, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev +5.8%

mc4z, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of reebtaerG
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz into new Belguim glass

A-pours a brown color with a beige thin head with good lacing

S-aromas of sweet roasted malt, licorice, caramel nutmeg and cinnamon spice

T-the taste is the same as the aromas with a hint of vanilla and brown sugar

M-mouthfeel is well balanced dry up front but with a sweet malt finish

O-overall a great winter warmer I would be interested what the bourbon would taste

reebtaerG, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Drknight
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Drknight, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Brenden
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

4 Elf is very dark brown, nearly (but not quite) as thick and dark as a stout or a strong porter. From the tap, not much head forms; retention is average, and just a little lacing is left on the glass.
It does have a nice complexity and blend of things on the nose: spices are as strong as they could be without being overdone; a skillful hand has been employed. It's also earthy, just a little sweet, and bready. The spices seem to be multiple but not lost when put together. I can distinctly detect cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, and there may be ginger. Some cocoa powder and roasty coffee notes round it out.
While the complexity doesn't come out as fully on the tongue, this beer still has a deep, rich flavor to it. There's a little toffee and brown sugar sweetness to start off before ground coffee and cocoa come in. It's slightly nutty underneath. The spiciness is the main event the whole way through but again, not overdone and well balanced.
The body is medium, and the hard bite of the crispness is consistent. A little dryness kicks in, and it feels like it wants to get smoother as it goes but that kick keeps it hard.

Brenden, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Hillbilly
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Hillbilly, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +5.8%

reitzbrewing, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of andrewjraab
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours dark brown with a khaki head. Nice retention and a good looking lace.

S - Cinnamon spice, yeast, nutmeg, bread.

T - Big burst of spices - ginger, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, egg nog, phenolic. Warming alcohol finishes this one. Mouthfeel is a bit medicinal and acidic.

O - Drinking this on Christmas Eve and it literally warms your soul. Exactly what a Christmas warmer should do.

andrewjraab, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

TheBeerAlmanac, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

MattyG85, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of BUNZILLA
3.25/5  rDev -14%

BUNZILLA, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Jas45678
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Jas45678, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of StoutIrish
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

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

rypkr, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of StubFaceJoe
4/5  rDev +5.8%

StubFaceJoe, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of captainbearcat
3.25/5  rDev -14%

captainbearcat, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of outoffocus
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

outoffocus, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of cwd
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

cwd, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

2dogbrew, Dec 21, 2013
Dark Horse 4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.