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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,365 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,365
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 107
Gots: 137 | FT: 10
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:
Available September to March.

(Beer added by: ypsifly on 01-28-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,365 | Reviews: 527 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnWeis
1/5  rDev -75.2%

JohnWeis, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Anthony311
1/5  rDev -75.2%

Anthony311, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of andrewengler
1/5  rDev -75.2%

andrewengler, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of BearsOnAcid
1.53/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Scotty Karate is a dark chocolate liquid with a khaki head. Pretty nice presentation. That's pretty much when the good part ended.

The head fell and I took a sniff. It smelled like alcohol and rubber (yeast autolysis?). I shook up the glass to get a head back and could smell a strong wood/smoke character with some sweet malt and caramel. But it was all dominated by alcohol. As soon as the head fell back down The rubber aroma came back. It's sort of smokey but in an artificial way.

The taste was a bit like the smell. Rubber and alcohol. I let this one sit to warm up before I dumped it out. After a little while I came back and tried it again. The rubber turned into a slightly smokey malt flavor but still lingered in there. Alcohol dominated any sort of flavors coming through.

I just didn't enjoy this beer at all. If I ever cross paths again with this beer I'll re-review it. Seems like it will be easier now that Dark Horse is available in MA.

BearsOnAcid, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of Stinger80OH
2/5  rDev -50.5%

Stinger80OH, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of larsenju
2/5  rDev -50.5%

larsenju, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zgunder
2/5  rDev -50.5%

zgunder, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of alexknuckles
2/5  rDev -50.5%

alexknuckles, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.15/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - pours a murky chocolate brown. A nice little tan head crops up. Some good swirls of lace, not many though. Maintains a very thin cover through most of the bottle sampling.

Aroma - a boozy chocolate smell, some light whiskey/peat supporting it. The result is an almost fruity, hard-Christmas-candy-with-the-chocolate-filling-center kind of smell.

Taste - sweet, quite tart, with a bit of what almost tastes like early stage infection. A nice smoky component in the background is trying to get through. The swallow is too tart, though, and covers it, going to a lemon juice sourness that I don't like. The end is dry, sour, and unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - a bit smooth, well-carbonated, but of no aid.

Drinkability - a few pleasant spots, but the bitter lemony sour part ruins the beer for me. I had to discard probably eight to nine ounces of the 12.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of gfreed
2.2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I know, I know... don't judge a beer by its label. Yet as I reached for this on the shelf at the store I thought, "This thing is definitely going to be over-hopped. Look at the label." Sure enough, for a Scotch ale this thing is over-hopped. The hops aren't very apparent in the aroma, and the slightly smoky malt is the dominant force. But the taste tilts toward citrus and even seaweed. I like nori as much as the next sushi lover, but not in my beer. If you're looking for a good American Scotch ale, you'll do far better with those from Geary or Founders. Leave this one on the shelf.

gfreed, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of enfield249
2.3/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Really pretty dark red. No head, small ring of foam.

S - A little roast, slight toffey.

T - Up front it's not bad at all, some good roastiness, then some alcohol, 'bout what I would expect for a wee heavy. However, the after taste is a wet cabbage. Not so good. Now that I see that this beer is retired, it makes me wonder how long it was at the store. Maybe it's been rereleased and I'm just to the first guy?

M - Not bad, some decent carbonation.

D - Thumbs down. Don't buy this. It may have been good at one point, but it's hard to tell now.

enfield249, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of caustin90
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

caustin90, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of JackRB
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

JackRB, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of johncopter
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

johncopter, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of xipho
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

xipho, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of NvMyBeer
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

NvMyBeer, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of QuadriderMX
2.64/5  rDev -34.7%

QuadriderMX, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of beer2day
2.65/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown and orange pour with 1-finger of darkish cream head. No retention and no lace. Very grainy and thick.

Smell is light caramel malt, a touch of raisin, and a hint of alcohol. All are very light, though. For a 90 shilling, just too light.

Taste is light as well. Get the caramel malt, light peat, and sweet bread malts. But just not enough flavor. Underwhelming.

Feel is better, though. Nice grainy quality that stands up well.

Overall, disappointing. Especially for the price. I like many of their other beers, but this one doesn't make the cut.

beer2day, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of wagenvolks
2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to screach for leaving this one behind for me after a recent tasting.

Somewhat under-impressive appearance, with a thin auburn-ruby body capped by a listless head. The tan bubbles retreat to a thin ring around the edge of the tulip, while the center dissipates quickly. Nose, a little better. Dark Belgian fruits don't really belong in a Scotch Ale, but the notes of raisin, black cherry, fig, and orange peel are pleasing. Toffee and molasses malts make up the backbone, while traces of vanilla and bourbon waft about.

The taste of Scotty Karate struck me as bacon soaked in hop-flavored coffee. Unique, sure...creative, perhaps...but tasty? Not a chance. Charred, beefy malts fight with medicinal phenolics in the finish, flooding an otherwise pleasant chocolatey scotch malt profile. Pine sap bitterness on the end tastes out of place and overly-complex. At least the near 10% ABV is well-hidden. Mouthfeel is muddled and over-carbonated, giving it a thinner body than it should have. Juicy at times, crisp and dry at others. I'm normally a big fan of Dark Horse, but this beer is a hot mess. Avoid.

wagenvolks, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of david131
2.7/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Dark brown in color, almost murky with some floaters drifting about in the thick looking liquid. The head is small and white and settles to a semi-top covering sheet.

S- Well... this smells like booze. Once I got past the nostril burn, I picked up some caramel, cinnamon, and earthy malted milk balls. This would be spectacular if I could get past the alcohol wall.

T- The alcohol is very noticeable at first, and takes some getting used to. The rest of the flavors are carmely, peaty, smoky, chocolaty, and hints of cinnamon to boot. I was really torn with this... The booze is very distracting, but the other flavors are complex and somewhat tasty. It got better as I worked my way through it.

M- A little thin and slightly harsh in the aftertaste. I can't believe for a beer this dark and heavy it can't hide the 9.75%. Overall it is surprisingly smooth though.

D- Damn. I had high hopes for this, but the alcohol is a beast. I don't foresee myself getting this harsh mistress again.

david131, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of fehrminator
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

fehrminator, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of graybayou
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

graybayou, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

2.0 A: Dark brown color. Less than one finger of tan head that falls super quickly and leaves no lacing. Some crap collected at the bottom.

3.5 S: The nose on this is pretty subtle, which I find quite surprising. Anyway, caramel, toastiness, and brown sugar. Light booziness. Not bad, but too subdued to get anything else.

2.5 T: The taste is nearly as soft as the nose. Mild booziness, caramel, toastiness, plum, and brown sugar. Light earthiness. This would be good if it were more intense.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. There's some creaminess in this, but I want some more. Smooth enough.

2.5 D: I expect a lot more from Dark Horse. Somehow they managed to make an almost 10% beer with almost no intensity.

DavoleBomb, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mdwalsh
2.83/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Not a huge head, but that's okay, though really it fades to nothing pretty fast. Tan head. The beer is very cola colored but has some good active carbonation going on. The head is now totally gone.

S: Mildly grainy, but mostly malty sweet. No Alcohol, but really not much of anything. Perhaps it's smoke. Yep, it's a very artificial smokey aroma.

T: The taste is really quite bad. No specific off flavors I can detect, but it's very dry, not sweet at all. I get maybe roasted grain. Maybe. No alcohol, which is good, but something just bad about it. I've now had 4 of these beers on different days months apart and they all had this same taste that I really haven't tasted anywhere else. It's not undrinkable, but it's not likeable and it's not something I want in a scotch ale.

Ok, upon reading some others, I identified the flavor as smoke, but I think it's very poorly executed. I think it's totally artificial tasting and way to strong.

M: Again, dry, it's light and a little sparkling, just not what I want in a Scotch Ale, totally not to style.

D: No thank you.

mdwalsh, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of IntriqKen
2.85/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A nice golden orange mahogany color topped with a very small white head that disappears way too soon.

Aromas are sweet amber malts, brown sugar, lots of dark fruits (plums, prunes, raisins, etc) and a hint of alcohol. More of a peat than a smokey aroma is present.

Taste is very sweet and syrupy dark fruits...almost cloying as it coats the tongue. A little smokey peat tries to come through at the end but gets overpowered with strong alcohol. As it warms and as you drink it and the palette adjusts, more of the smoke flavors come through. Initial cloying sweetness never dissipates, however.

Mouthfeel is cloying syrup.

Aftertaste is slightly smokey and strong alcohol.

IntriqKen, May 26, 2007
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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,365 ratings.