1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,275 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,275
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 93
Gots: 108 | FT: 11
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,275 | Reviews: 522 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good one really, on tap at The Hunt Club. This is about a year aged as an old seasonal. Above average mouthfeel from a creaminess, with really chocolate coming through. A tad of roast, but I was not finding the smoke. Not what I would expect from a scotch, nevertheless pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 14:00:41 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-16-2012 00:33:27 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%

09-01-2012 01:31:09 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up in Michigan over Christmas. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with a bit of a crimson hue. Off-white head starts out fairly high and falls somewhat quickly into a nice cap and collar. Some spotty lacing on the edges of the glass. The nose is pretty sweet with quite a bit of caramel and some dark fruits. A bit of a smoked character there as well. The peated malt really comes through quite a bit more in the taste, overwhelming some of the other characteristics. Some dryness in the finish; almost woody. Slight bitterness. Drinkability is pretty good, though this is a bit too far toward the peaty end of the spectrum for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 02:13:51 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Turbid pumpernickel brown that lightens to blurry orange peel at the borders. A barely audible escape of CO2 on crown cracking made the small ecru lid a foregone conclusion. The foam melts within minutes and leaves the pint glass virtually untouched. Not a good start, though the beer itself looks fine.

The aroma almost gets the quality train back on the tracks. It's caramel malty and smells more earthy than sweet. Some peat smokiness would be nice, but quite a few American wee heavies fall short in that department. Let's see if it opens up and displays a little hidden depth as the beer gains a few degrees.

When it comes to flavor, Scotty Karate delivers in a major way. *This* is what I expected this big American-brewed Scotch ale to taste like. With a bigger body, we could be looking at greatness. Although there isn't an abundance of barrel-aged character, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Dark Horse put SKSA in bourbon barrels for at least a brief time.

Flavors include chocolate, golden toffee, butterscotch, sugared pecans, medium-dark fruit, and a tobacco, tea, and hop leaf bitterness that concludes each mouthful with a gradually tightening, focused flourish. It may be nothing more than an overactive imagination, but a phenolic peaty tanginess and a puff of smoke are present as well.

The mouthfeel tends to settle in over time and bulks up just enough to earn the above score. Surprisingly, the understated carbonation works extremely well. I wouldn't add even one more bubble.

Forget the first two scores. I don't drink beer because of the way it looks or smells. I drink beer because of the way it tastes. Scotty Karate Scottish Ale is the real deal and should be sought out by anyone who loves a good wee heavy. Thanks to bakerslp for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 15:29:00 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy brownish red in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin light tan head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark fruits and sweet malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but isn't as sweet and has complex flavors of dark fruits, raisins, tea and toffee. Although no bitterness is detectable, there's enough hops to prevent this from being sticky and sweet.
M: It feels nearly medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The complex flavors in this beer make it a nice one to sip but it is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 03:00:59 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear light mahogany, with a one finger head that displays good retention and leaves a number of lacing dots on the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Beyond the realm of the typical Wee Heavy, this beer has considerable fruit on the aroma, with berries, nectarine and pineapple front and center; also, the more expected caramel and peat aspects

Taste: Opens with a fruity aspect, with dark dried fruits and caramel flavor; the caramel builds by mid-palate, along with some peaty elements; after the swallow, the flavors mellow and there is a hint of citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly at the top of the Wee Heavy list in my book; adds some nice American elements to the style that make it eminently enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 00:48:05 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

03-19-2012 16:52:04 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep hickory brown with a very cloudy and hazy consistency to it. Not bad overall, I could see some carbonation, barely making it out through the haze. Very nice looking indeed.

deep malty backbone was starting to push through. Lots of sweet notes taking over on this one, with hints of caramel, vanilla and nice earthy grains starting to come to the front. Definitely, some wood somewhere in its history as the aroma of oak was huge on this one. Lots of caramel and vanilla starting to take shape here, really lightning it up and make it that much sweeter. Next up in the lineup was a full on assault of the oak and wood flavors that were coming through earlier. Strong hints of oak and bourbon dominating it here, really giving it a deep flavor and pronounced presence. ever so slightly dry hop finish. Really quite complex and very nice indeed.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 03:37:34 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some toffee and caramel notes. Taste is a mix between some toffee and caramel malt with some quite sweet malt notes with some light dry hops. Body is quite full with some limited filtration and some good carbonation. Well done overall but I would have enjoyed it even more with some peat smoke malt notes.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2008 17:51:35 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

As fine a Scottish Ale as I've ever tried. Strong and steady on all fronts. Sweet and peaty with herbal hop character and a complex malt meaty character. The texture is a bit less syrupy than big malty Scottish Ales, but sweetened more and makes it more drinkable. A little cleaner in the flavor than most, and less dirty or smoky. The 9%+ alcohol is hardly noticed, hidden well. A stern copper / ruby hue with fair coabonation / head retention. Spicy and sweet throughout. Deserving of better scores than most BA's have given.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 20:03:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

03-21-2012 14:13:16 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium brown body with a thin, beige head.

Smell: Rich caramel maltiness with an intensely bready scent, akin to a fresh-baked loaf of multi-grain bread. Notes of dehydrated fruit chunks, some wood, and a lil' peat.

Taste: Dark caramel maltiness, a taste of sweet sugar. Then, you get your face smooshed into that loaf of bread. Slight peat character. Dried apricots and cherries. Medium earthy bitterness. Drying, wood-hinted finish.

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Plenty tasty! I certainly wouldn't hesitate to have another.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 20:34:34 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev -0.5%

03-21-2012 14:31:48 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

03-11-2013 04:26:28 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 11:49:10 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

03-17-2013 23:02:19 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this beer on tap a while ago at the Tap & Table when it was still open. This beer has a very nice looking deep brown color to it with a creamy tan head on top. The lacing wasn't too sticky but left a few lines on the glass. The smell of the beer was sweet and malty, like it should smell for this style. The taste of the beer has a really nice sweetness throughout, it's a very malty brew. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy feeling with some light carbonation. Overall I would enjoy having this one again one day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2011 14:10:20 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Durty Nellie's.

One of my favorite rhyming beer names. It pours a murky black-sienna topped by around a finger or so of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, mandarin oranges, a touch of peat-smoked malt, and red apples. The taste holds notes of cinnamon, cherrywood-smoked honey-baked ham, cocoa, caramel, and a hint of oak. The body is a hefty medium, with a somewhat light moderate carbonation, a slightly chewy feel, and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice scotch ale, all the nicer thanks to the understated smokiness.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2010 15:54:11 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No date. Purchased on 12/31

A - Poured out a brown hue with an orangish tint at the bottom of the glass. It had a small, short lived head that left no lace.

S - It smelled earthy and mossy. A good malty nose, too.

T - It tasted of a strong malt flavor. It was biscuity and had a slight spice kick.

M - It was sharp and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - Don't know when this was retired, but it did lack a little in appearance. I guess I expected a little more overall, too.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 01:48:12 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool label illustration of a crazed hillbilly one-man-band.

Pours a ruddy brown tone into a tulip glass, with deep vermillion highlights under the light. One finger of foam is formed, that subsides in a few minutes. Tiny spots of lace, not much since the glass wasn't completely dry. Stubborn layer of yeast dregs in the bottle.

Slight sweetness in the nose, banana, a little nutty. Reminds me slightly of a Dopplebock after tasting it. Very malty and earthy, toffee, with a nuttiness that comes through again in the first sip. There's a restrained but pleasant hit of smoky peat, that becomes dry in the finish. Alcohol is somewhat hidden for the high ABV.

Slightly sticky and dry in the aftertaste, just ok. Carbonation is a touch high at first, but smoothes out as it sits in the glass for a bit. I've never had more than one at a time, but a hearty drinker sure could.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 01:33:59 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-14-2011 22:33:13 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.5%

10-21-2012 17:12:36 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from brewcrew76, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, bourbon, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and a little boozy up front with sweet flavors of caramel, dark fruit, apples and vanilla. There's a significant alcohol sting that hits from the beginning. The hops presence is mild but brings a little bit of balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is pretty clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, not quite the best Scotch Ale that I've had but it's still a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 03:20:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 03:18:02 | More by Jason
« 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 1,275 ratings.