Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch AleDark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 580
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 114
Gots: 247 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 01-28-2006

Available September to March.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 580
Reviews by kasper:
Photo of kasper
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle compliments of pepsican, likely over a year old but aged in refrigeration.

A: Pours a semi transparent mahogany with ruby accents. A burnt copper head appears oh so briefly though never more than a millimeter or so before fading to a ring and leaving a sticky leg or two on the class.

S: Huge aromas of butterscotch, carmel, banana date nut bread, and some red ripe fruit that I can't put my finger on. One of the most enticing aromas I've picked up from a brew lately -- never had a scotch ale before, actually.

T: Wow, where's the almost 10% ABV? This puppy is smooth as *$)# -- big carmel flavors up front, bitter of bitterness like butterscotch snapps on the end. Not overly complex here, but delicious.

M: Smooth and somewhat slippery. Really low levels of carbonation. Not sure if this was the age on the brew or the intended result, but it doesn't work against the brew like would be common in other cases or styles.

D: Really tasty sipper that goes down twice as smooth as one would think after reading this brews credentials. This beer has opened my eyes to the scotch ale wee heavy style. Looking forward to trying some others.

More User Reviews:
Photo of GOBLIN
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Scotty Karate


Poured into pint glass

A: Reddish brown not quite as dark as other Wee Heavy brew/Scottish Ales.

S: Meh' . . . not much really. Ok, but not inviting

T: Good, typical for style. Not bad at all but not mind blowing either

M: Smooth, like a light scotch ale

O: Enjoyable for sure. Not as flavorful or full bodied as I like in a scotch ale but it did the job on this cold, rainy, dreary Ohio day.

Photo of zimm421
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Appears a dark amber to brown color, with a thin tan head. A thin film was left after the head dissipated, with a ring around the edge. Some lacing is left behind as you drink.

The nose is deeply malty, with tons of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits coming through. It's not overwhelming, but smells wonderful immediately after pouring. The taste follows suit, as expected, with loads of brown sugar and ripe dark fruits coming through. There's also a touch of smoke coming through, and it adds another wonderful level of complexity.

The mouthfeel is full to medium bodied, and sticky, with good levels of carbonation. This beer is very well made, and wonderfully deep. Very enjoyable to drink, and keeps you coming back for more. Even at nearly 10%, the alcohol is hidden, and it's very drinkable.

Photo of Jason
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours off with a slightly syrupy look to it, thin but dense tiny bubble lace puts up a fight to stay alive. Be careful of the chunks of sediment at the bottom. Clear dark chestnut color. Smells of a freshly opened can of brown bread, bread crust and a faint animal feed maltiness. Hint of alcohol way back in the nose. Very creamy with a full body and light smoothness, just enough carbonation to get by and pick the beer up. Happy happy, joy joy ... what a malt bomb this is. Creamy bready malt flavor throughout, not overly sweet with a hint of caramel and bread crust. The is a minute vague fruitiness, all in all its hard to pinpoint which leads to a very clean alcohol and clean palate. Finishes malty sweet. And to think this coming in at 9.75% abv.

Very impressive, the cleanest Scotch Ale I have ever run into and dangerously drinkable.

Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a very noticeable red hue.

Vanilla, caramel, earthy, and dark fruits.

Bready, slightly roasted notes, caramel, vanilla, and fruity esters.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, sticky, smooth.

Overall, this one is up there in my favorites for this style.

Photo of ISmith87
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - 4 - Looks like a scotch ale! Nice copper color that is pretty clear with a tan head that leaves nice lacing. Bottle is really cool.
S - 3.75 - Little bit of peatiness, some bready malts, yeast smell.
T - 4.25 - Nice caramel, peat, bourbon flavors. Brown sugar, bread, cinammon. More of a sweet scotch ale rather than a strong one.
M - 4.25 - Nice feeling beer, medium mouth feel. alc covered completely. Aftertaste sweet bready malts.
O - 4.0 - It's a good beer. Not the best scotch ale or wee heavy out there, but it's good. A good Michigan beer.

Photo of devildogbrewing
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the first scotch ales I ever had. Will be purchasing this again soon!

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So I'm pretty stoked to review this. I've had a few different Dark Horse brews, but never written a review. This is however my first time having Scotty Karate.

12 oz brown bottle. Lovely bottle shape and the label is well.. Interesting. Some maniac who appears to think he's living during the Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock era.. Which isn't a bad thing! By any means. This is a colorful and catchy name, bottle, and label. And I have no doubt the quality is top notch. Funny how the best breweries get the label art right almost every time. This was poured into a stemmed tulip glass. Belgian style tulip.

A - pours a dark murky chestnut color. Brownish amber with sediment floating within. Head is pretty small and thin and the color of a light brown. Head basically vanishes to a tiny ring of lace leaving minimal stick.

S - dark fruit and a whiff of caramel malt up front. Tiny hints of milk chocolate with more dark fruit creeping up. A really nice dark fruity aroma with the alcohol doing its part.

T - more character than the nose. Dark fruit and caramel malt get things rolling with a sweet sugary note splashing the palate. Wow! Very nice. Peat and a touch of smoke highlight the flavor. Really surprised by the notes of peat this ale has. Alcohol isn't overpowering but definitely adds more to the dark fruit notes and a touch of Scotch spice. The smallest note of cocoa hits just before the malty finish.

M - nice texture and almost too easy to drink. Hardly believe its the abv it lists. Smooth and creamy feel with easy going down. Flavorful and enjoyable experience that even light weights can sip. But remember to read the label. It is nearly 10% abv.

O - not my first Dark Horse brew, but a very good one regardless. Well deserving of the first review from this Brewery. I'm actually more stoked I can get Dark Horse stuff in Ohio. One of those good moments discovering Dark Horse. Scotty Karate is a very good Scotch style ale. It has all the right juice to become someone's go to big beer. Very enjoyable and very well crafted. Scotty Karate is a must try and one to go back to every Autumn.

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass a ruddy brown with an orange haze to it a thinner off white head atop.Earth and smoke show thru most in the nose along with some buttery caramel,a good mix of earthiness and peat and sweet caramel and fruit pretty nicely rounded.A good stab at a wee heavy decent complexities but it wont blow you mind.

Photo of don1481
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, reddish brown. Some sediment visible bubbling up and down. Small amount of foam lingers.

Smell: Caramel, malt, bready. A little booziness.

Taste: Boozy. Definitely boozy. But... not in a bad way. Definitely softens up once it warms up a little more. Not as soft as a Skull Splitter, but still... pretty soft.

Mouthfeel: For something just about 10%, it's pretty darn smooth in the mouth. Perhaps too smooth? Oh, heck - no such thing!

Overall: Yes, please. Provided I remember to let it warm up a little more next time!

Photo of RoyalT
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a dingy brown in color with a nice brown-white head that somehow formed in this pool of darkish booze.

Smell – The rich sweets and light alcohol dominate the nose. The sweets are dark, like plums, prunes, and apricot pits. The peat is faint and reminds me of beer aged in whiskey barrels. There’s some noticeable malt in the nose as well.

Taste – The sugars explode at the taste, so prepare yourself for that first sip. The smoky character comes out a bit more at the taste as well, but it’s still not what I would consider strong.

Mouthfeel – This is a medium-bodied ale with a light, raunchy alcohol presence but not stinging.

Drinkability – This is a mouth-watering Scottish explosion that will surprise even those familiar with the style.

Photo of 71ADub
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

[since I found a bottle that was a year old, it may have affected the score.]

A-nice dark copper hue, light tan head dissipates fairly quick, but some residual head clings to glass. Some sediment in pint glass, so I am assuming it was bottle conditioned, which lead to some really nice tiny co2 bubbles.

S-warm, with some hints of roasted malt.

T-good alcoholic warmth up front, finishes with some malty bitterness, then some malt, finally the alcoholic warmth. All nicely balanced.

M-Velvety smooth - nailed it. med. low carbonation

O-I like the fact that the alcohol doesn't try to rape you when you sip this. As I am drinking this with a cold, I would like to re-evaluate this once my cold is gone. But I am super-impressed with it even with my shnozz on the fritz :)

Photo of weatherdog
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield Il served in a 10oz. snifter

It pours a deep cloudy brown with a 1 finger head that lingers throughout most of the drink.

The nose is huge smoked malt and a sweet caramel smell to it. This one is just a malt bomb in the nose.

The taste starts off with a nice malt sweetness, caramel, some bready biscuit character. It then transforms into a ton of smoky flavor at the end; maybe peat smoked malt. It's really nice and smoky and reminds me much more of a nice scotch than anything else I've had. I really enjoyed the smokiness and the hint of alcohol at the end which brought everything together.

The body was medium full and was on the lower side of carbonation. The huge amount of smokiness at the end hampered drinkability and the 10oz. snifter was a perfect size as I think it would start to be a bit much if I it was served as a full pint.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a black cap. Pours into my glass a hazy, opaque brown with ruby highlights. A small light tan head appears and then quickly falls to a ring around the top. Aromas start with caramel malt accented by some figs and raisins. Some brown sugar and a bit of red grape skin. Earthy peat in the back.

First sip brings big caramel and bready malt upfront. It's followed by raisins and a somewhat distinct red grape flavor. Figs, brown sugar and a faint touch of hops. Earthy peat is there in good form. Flows down with a good malt sweetness that doesn't get overpowering. Finishes with a hint of alcohol and somewhat dry astringency.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a subtle carbonation. Big maltiness that goes down smooth at the same time. Pretty easy to drink for a bigger beer. Overall, this just doesn't really wow me like I thought it might, but it's a solid brew overall.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear deep amber/copper with one finger of creamy tan head. Head has pretty good retention, eventually fading to a collar. Some lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt and earthy brown bread, some spice,and a faint raisin aroma. Didn't really get any alcohol aroma from this.

T - Starts with a big rush of sweet caramel and quickly turns quite dry. Very bready, with a nice dense brown bread taste. Some subtle dark fruits and a faint tea-like flavor on the finish.

M - Starts a bit sticky sweet and very creamy. Finishes earthy and dry.

O - One of my favorite Scotch Ales. Very drinkable. Nice combination of initial sweetness eventually yielding to an earthy dryness.

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting label art on the bottle, as pictured. Pours a hazed, dark caramel body with absolutely no head and just a wisp of lacing. Aroma is malty sweet with notes of brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruits. Hints of smoke and floral hops. Medium body with low carbonation. Taste is sweetish malts balanced by a slight floral hops bitterness. Some dark fruits add more sweetness. The alcohol is slightly warming. Has some characteristics of a Belgian dark ale but still an interesting and enjoyable take on the style.

Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pours dark brown, medium khaki head, leaves low nicely developed lacing.

Nose is loaded with maple, caramel, toffee malts and a hint of smoke.

Full flavor scotch ale, with smooth waves of caramel, maple and again toffee. Simply delicious malty goodness. Full of flavor, but not overly sweet. Nicely done. Glad to get to try this one on draft

Photo of tigg924
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, cloudy, reddish-brown in color, sediment is noticable

Smell: earth, hay, cherry, and toffee

Taste: toasted malt, earth, caramel, cherry, and toffee

Mouthfeel: medium/heavy bodied, very sweet with a bitter backbone, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Wow what a great beer from Dark Horse. A nice and complex, semi-fruity, rich, and malty masterpiece. This hits all the high points of Scotch ales. I wish I picked up a four pack of this.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark, turgid mahogany with thin head.

Smell: Toffee, plum, and alcohol is noticeable upfront, with some cherry, peat and spicy English hops. Almost a touch of clove.

Taste: Strong malts that are just barely sweet, with toffee, plum and a nice layer of spiciness from the English hops. Some light peat smokiness, but very light. Slightly cherry-like aftertaste that is a tinge medicinal at first, but improves as it approaches room temperature. As with the aroma, there is almost a light Belgian clove/spice taste, as I have noticed before with very high abv Scotch Ales.

Feel: Full, chewy and smooth body with low carbonation. Slightly warming.

Drinkability: Very dangerous Scotch Ale, as it does not seem to be close to 10% at all. Complex and, blessedly, not too sweet. Just a great Scotch Ale overall.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale came on tap and had a murky, reddish brown/amber colour to it. It had a mild aroma of sweet raisin and dark malts. The taste had an odd balance of scotch and malted porter to it. This gives it the figgy/raisin taste that was detected in the smell. Finished with earthy hops and malt.

Would I buy this beer again? Definitely.

Photo of ironlung
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Alex for the bitchin' extra!

I'm a jiu-jitsu guy so I was thinkin' "this karate shit, I dont know..."

A: Dark brown. Pencil-thin head. No Lace.

S: Nice malt with just a twinge of the bitter hops.

T: Like a red-rocket on crack. I love this beer from top to bottom. Or stem to stern; for you Adam!(you should trade, we need more men of their word out there!) This beer is wet and dry in all the right places. I love it!

M: Nice and clean. Hit&run.

D: Too high for the near 10%. I say throw caution to to the wind and drink a 6er at a time if your lucky enough to get your hands on 'em.

Photo of jondeelee
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Scotty Karate opens to a malty nose that bears instant resemblance to yeasty rising wheat dough, with strong touches of sugar and spice added to the mix. While the bready, doughy aromas are strong, there’s also a thickly sugary base, with molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and a nice arrangement of fruit esters, including fig, black cherry, mandarin orange, berry, apricot, peach, and even touches of raisin. A peppery spice rims the edges, faint but present, set off by hints of peat and wood. Hops add a nice citrusy sweet grapefruit and rosewater layer. The sugariness of the brew is the most present aroma overall, however, oozing forth in sticky goodness, like mixed caramel and toffee poured over bread dough. As a whole, the nose is very nice, being alluring and enticing, and while the sugars are definitely front and center, there’s still enough bitterness and earthy notes to almost balance everything out. A slightly stronger bread presence would have been nice, but even without it, the aromas are very pleasant.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a simultaneously sweet and dark sugary rush, fruit esters such as cherry, orange, apricot, and berry mixing with touches of raisin and fig, and these in a larger pool of bitter molasses, pungent vanilla bean, and sweet caramel and toffee. The war here between dark and sweet sugary notes is lovely, and carried atop a mound of yeasty bread dough, toast crust, and biscuit. Shades of peat and wood add extra texture, joined by a biting peppery crust. The aftertaste is a continuation of the sugar war, with remnants of bread and wood. After a time in this aftertaste, the sugars die off, and the aftertaste takes on a distinctively woody feel, as if biting into pith after eating a toffee bar, and this latter sensation continues for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good Scotch Ale, featuring a wide variety of nicely nuanced flavors. The sugars and breads are very nice in here, though the woody notes do take over a bit too much in the end and somewhat spoil the aftertaste. Still, it’s a decent addition to the style, and worth trying.

Photo of pat61
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle in a thistle glass.
A: Brilliant dark chestnut, 2” tan head that slowly descends producing whore stocking lace.
S: Spice, malt, no hops, dark sugars.
T: Spicy malt palate with hints of cola, alcohol and roast, light smoke and nuts.
M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.
O: An easy to drink Wee Heavy.

Photo of ehammond1
2.93/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade

Dark brown with ruby edges and a thin dark khaki colored head that leaves messy sheets of lacing down the glass.

Sweet and bready aroma with caramel along with some smoke and meat character, interestingly enough.

This doesn't taste particularly good, with lots meat (pork?) and alcohol character, along with sweet malts and a moderate bitterness. Bready as well, but dominated by a strange campfire/meat flavor.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

I don't really care for this one too much.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber with a lot of rising bubbles. Small finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty and roasty malt forward aroma with hints of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Toasted barley malt with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Also some hints of leather, tobacco, and sweet molasses. Fruit hints of apple, fig, and prune. Also some spice hints of cinnamon. Subtle earthy hop scent. A pretty good malty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and roasty malt forward taste with good notes of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Upfront bready toasted malt with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses and brown sugar. Also some notes of cinnamon, tobacco, leather, and peat. Fruit undertones of apple, fig, and prune. Light hop presence. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good take on a Scotch Ale. Good toasty and smokey malt flavors with some nice subtle fruit tones.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.