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

1,314 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,314
Reviews: 524
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 104
Gots: 120 | 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
Ratings: 1,314 | Reviews: 524 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dfillius
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1/2 finger of tan head with poor retention (I'd like better retention) Cloudy crimson brown liquid.
S: Very smoky, cinnamon roll, some belgian spice. Not much aroma is noticeable due to the lack of head, but what is there is nice.
T: Smoke forward, some port in there, a slightly green flavor sneaks in here and therre. Alcohol is very well hidden. A very smoky version of the style. Breathy alcohol. The flavor pairs well with the pureed carrot and celery soup I'm eating.
M: Thick and rich and chewy.
D: Good, I might order another, though I wouldn't buy a four pack.

dfillius, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Reneejane
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was hazy brown with a creamy head. The aroma was roasty with a style-appropriate aroma of alcohol. The flavor is of roasted grain and it finished with a surprising sweetness. There was no hop bitterness, all the bitter was created by the great roasted malt profile. For drinkability, this was a 10% abv, and it was very drinkable, you didn't get a taste of that alcohol that you know and can smell is there.

Reneejane, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of claminat420
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- poured a nice transparent brown with a lil off white two finger head. no bubbles running up the side.

S- sweet malts with a hint of some fruitiness.

T- has a smokey flavor hinted with the sweet malts. never had a scotch ale like this!

M- light bodied which suprises me. just perfect on the carbonation.

D- hard to say. the smokiness at first can kinda get you but after it mellows out.

Overall- I LOVE DARK HORSE!!! if this was founders or dogfish or any other company 4 pack it would be $10+ but it's dark horse AND THEY HOLD IT DOWN!! they truely think of the people. this beer to me is one unique scottish ale. i've had so far arcadia's (who i think that's their best beer), founder's dirty bastard, and dragonmead from warren's scottish ale. if you're a fan of the scottish ale this one is definitely worth a try!

claminat420, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of mhatters
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Devil's Den in Philly

Pours a dark brown with some haze. A thin tan head crests on top.

Dark fruit, sweet malt, some sugar, and then chocolate. A hint of smoke in the end.

The nose and flavor are very simliar - the fruit and sweetness balanced by malr and smoke quite well.

Overall a medium to full bodied beer, a bit oily feel.

The alcohol is more apparent in the end then the start - a good, not great beer, worth having. Hard for me to have more than one in a sitting.

mhatters, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of hughesm4
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is a couple of months old, recieved in a DLD trade and a friend found in the back of the fridge
A. Pours a very dark brown with hardly any head.
S. Great smell, nearly perfect. Extremely sweet and rich.
T. Sweet caramel taste when the beer hits the tongue.
MD. Leaves a rich caramel aftertaste in the mouth for a couple of seconds that abruptly leaves. Goes down extremely smooth for a beer of this ABV. I am disappointed that I was only able to have a third of a bottle.

Great beer that I would recommend to anyone, unless they hate amazing beer.

hughesm4, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of mwa423
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pours a very dark but hazy brown. Head is nearly non-existant.

S - Roasted malt, sweet malt, coffee and chocolate.

T - Rich oak flavors, malty sweetness, slight frutiness, excellent taste, I can't wait to find more of this

M/D - Rich, thick, great drinker that doesn't seem like half the alcohol it does. Wow!

mwa423, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of degerbah
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old DLD trade I found in the back of the fridge. Pours a very dark brown with almost no head at all. Huge sweet malty smell with a burnt caramel quality. The taste is just wonderful. This was a fantastic beer. A huge cramael taste that sits briefly on the tongue and then is gone with almost no aftertaste. Just slightly boozey, but a fantstic taste.

degerbah, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Sammy, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to deliriumfest.

A dark brown-purple beer with little head, Scotty Karate is murky and deep. The aroma is fruity with good malt caramelization. There's warm spicing and a lot of malt. The flavor is strong and sweet, nice for the style. The mouthfeel is smooth. There's a nice alcoholic estery character that aids drinkability, but it's still a strong Scotch Ale and I can't consume too much of any Scotch Ale. Good beer, sweet, spicy sipper.

popery, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Poured a deep reddish-brown and a rigorous pour revealed a decent light tannish colored head with good retention and left a limited but sticky, spotty lacing on the side of the glass. Aromas are a huge malty sweetness containing dark brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Tastes are very similar to the aroma, but more complex than expected. Sweet like candy with notes of dark brown sugar, caramel, toffee. As the ale warms, notes of cherry and plum come through with a somewhat masked hint of citrus. At 9.75% ABV, the alcohol is very well concealed. Mouth-feel is medium bodied and rather syrupy, yet very creamy and smooth. Finishes very sweet as a Wee Heavy should. Overall, very good example of the style and definitely recommendable.

barnzy78, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with a finger of head that dies quickly but leaves a thin coating.

Whoa, I have often describe beers as having a "caramel" maltiness to the nose but this takes it to a whole new level. This smells like straight up caramel. It's like shoving an alcoholic Sugar Daddy up your nostril.

The taste follows fairly well. A nice caramel maltiness, some floral hoppiness. A bit of peanut butter and burnt toast. Pretty good.

The body is on the border of full/medium and the carbonation is at good levels.

For almost 10% alcohol, this drinks amazingly well. Perhaps I was just craving a wee heavy today, I don't know, but damn I am nearly chugging this and I can't stop myself. Great beer overall.

alcstradamus, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 3 Squares in Maple Grove, MN. Served in a pint glass it was dark brown with a couple fingers of tan head. I don't like my scotch ales to dry or heavy, but this beer didn't disappoint. It was smooth a just sweet enough to make for a good after-dinner beer. The flavor was a mix of sweet cherries, strawberries, and date mixed with chocolate candy (not very milky, but sweet). In the background there was just a hint of earthy peat flavor. Overall very nice and drinkable. Seek this out if you dig the style.

tempest, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a very nice copper color, with deep ruby tinting. A very thin head of tan foam appears and dissipates, leaving a minimal layer of bubbles floating on top. Lacing is good, but very slippery.

Big notes of sweet maltiness. Caramel, brown sugar and light traces of vanilla. Mild presence of sweet, dark, cherries. Light hint of leather.

Sadly, this is not as bold as I expected, based on my experience with Dark Horse brews. It's actually rather tame.
Lots of very nice caramel maltiness. A decent presence of spices and a mild touch of hops bring a wonderful amount of balance. Mild notes of dark fruits and a hint of peat smokiness in the finish.

Medium to almost full-bodied. It lacks the creaminess and fullness that I love so much in a Wee Heavy.

This is damn well one easy drinking brew. At 9.75%ABV though, it is not to be trifled with. It will mess you up, bad.

coldmeat23, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 3 Squares. Dark brown color with no head, although I do not judge the head on tap beers. A nice caramel malt aroma and flavor come through for the smell and the taste. The flavor is somewhat sweet, but not overly sweet. Nicely balanced. Some toffee comes through as well. Medium to heavy bodied with low to medium carbonation. This is very drinkable, but watch the alcohol, it sneaks up on you. While I drank this on tap I had no idea the ABV was as high as it is. Overall a nice beer.

hardy008, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra in a recent trade with nflmvp. Thanks a lot Steve! Shared with Trevor (lynx1245).

Appearance: No head, even when swirled. It takes a lot of shaking to produce just a mild, tan halo (which disappears after about three seconds). Body is dark brown with amber highlights around the edges. Shows shades of ruby when held to light.

Smell: Caramel malt, pine, and earth. Leafy hops are definitely apparent, as well as leather and molasses. Alcohol is masked well.

Taste: Woody, molassesy, salty, and mildly piney-hoppy. Not a whole lot going on here. Still good, but definitely nothing special. Trevor got the bottom of the bottle and his serving was especially bland.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, as expected. Oily, thick, full, and dry; again, as expected.

Drinkability: IMHO this was a lame Scotch ale. Scotty Karate proved to be decent in every category, but never anything more.

ThreeWiseMen, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of ironlung
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

ironlung, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a beautiful brown almost black color with a look in the glass that makes me think its reallt thick but coming out of the bottle it didn't look too thick. A tiny head rises out and doesn't last long with no lacing.
S= quite pleasat smelling with sweet malt and a nice toffee touch. Very nice smelling and can be smelled from a couple feet away.
T= great sweet malt and a nice smokey finish. Not too impressive but good for what it is I suppose. Almost a little fruity as well.
M= no caronation really smooth and some what heavy.
D= great! I love scotch ales and this one was pretty nice but nothing spectacular.

jjanega08, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with absolutely no head on a vigorous pour.

Aroma is dark fruit and chocloate. Sweet candy and vanilla with a hit of rum and boozey fruit cake. Chocolate cupcakes and dark cherries make an appearance.

Flavor is of dark roasted malt. Open with a huge hit of dark malt. Malt is sweet and toastey. Middle is peaty and smokey with a generous amount of dark fruit. Finishes with vanilla and oak boozey fruit and danky, earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy. The carbonation is lacking in this beer, but it is there. If it had a better carbonation I would have to score it higher, but the mouthfeel suffers from the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability??? Shit you don't know who your F'in with here. The booze is so well hidden, you could get in MUCH trouble with this beer. Be careful, it's so damn tastey you want to drink it fast, but it WILL bite you in the ass.

wheatyweiss, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tyson for sending this one along
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of off white head that disappears quickly leaving no lace. The brew has a cloudy brown colored body.

The aroma is very sweet, dark fruits and sweet malts hit my nose first. It is then followed by some nice peat and a smoky earthiness. The flavor follows the nose rather closely it is sweet and smoky. There is a good balance in it so one attribute doesn't overpower the other. The feel in my mouth is medium and there is almost no carbonation left in this brew at all. I didn't get to much heat from this either considering the ABV

A rather nicely sippable Wee Heavy I would gladly drink it again Thanks again Tyson

joepais, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Kels for splitting her lone 12 oz. bottle of this with me. A very nice scotch ale and it rivals the one I judge all others by - Robert the Bruce. Very nice, but the ABV is a bit bigger than I expected. Poured from the bottle into a trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown and cloudy - a little like iced tea - with some red coming through when held to the light; 1 finger light tan head that fades quickly to a firm skim on the surface; fair carbonation bubbling throughout.

Smell: Caramel/butterscotch comes through nicely; long boiled sweet smelling malts; a fair hop presence as well is hanging around in there but it's barely noticeable - definitely makes me excited to drink this.

Taste: An amazing sweet caramel and sweet malty burst comes though immediately; there is also a great balance as a subtle bitter hop presence cuts through just ever-so-slightly; a slight alcoholic vapor is present on the breath as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth; lively and the carbonation leaves the palate a little tingly; mouth is left just a little sticky, but the nice alcoholic vapor tries to dry it. Very nice overall.

Drinkability: Pretty high, actually, even considering the higher ABV. Definitely worth drinking a couple in a sitting just to enjoy the great balance presented by the sweet malts and the nice hop presence.

bamadog, May 09, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ozBottle. A muddy dark reddish/brown color with a medium sized slowly fading off-white head, spotty lacing,medium carbonation. Aroma is big and malty,toasty caramel,sweet,smokey dark fruits. Flavor is complex and balanced, earthy,rich malty ,some dark fruit like rasins,dates,a slight spicy hop note,caramel apple,cookies,creamy,smooth mouthfeel,slight warming effect,with the alcohol taste well hidden, VERY balnced, I would call this sessionable but look out Scotty will kick your furkin arss ! Every other drink I was thinking or saying out loud "Damn this is good ! "

Dark Horse rocks, Scotty Karate rocks !

WakeandBake, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of cdViking
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from Alan; thanks man. Consumed on 4/16.

Poured into pint glass, nice dark color, though light tan/off-white head disappears rather quickly. Sweet smell dominated by caramel and malt. Taste is very good, with sweet malt and dark chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired, as it is a little bit on the syrupy side. This is, however, a dangerously drinkable beer that I could consume all night long; the second I finished I wished I had another.

cdViking, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany with large particulates in suspension. A thin head of tan evaporated quickly to reveal a placid surface with zero lacework.

Aromatics lead off with dark caramel, sweet malt, raisins, and a hint of chocolate.
Shades of smoke, toffee, and dark rum follow through.

Medium bodied with a slightly prickly, sticky mouthfeel.

Sweet malt and raisin-infused caramel start the palate. Hints of peat and chocolate follow through. Warming with a vineous hint.

Finishes with lingering malt, warming alcohol, and a hint of char.

Fairly mainstream for a Wee Heavy, and not really outstanding other than it's a bit boozy.

brewandbbq, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of tedpeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Pours amber/brown with a head that quickly subsided to a thin off-white ring around. No lacing.

S - Slightly fruity/sweet with caramel malt.

T - Sweet, malty. Sweet finish.

M - Medium body, smooth.

D - I prefer Robert the Bruce as it's not as sweet.

tedpeer, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle for me purchased at Keg Liquors for me by a friend. Poured into a Bass pint glass.

A: I really like the nice dark brown color that shows a lot of red highlights when held up to the light. The problem is the dead pour that this one has. An aggressive poured resulted in essentially no head at all. What was there was around for seconds before disappearing. Gets an average score based on the nice color.

S: Nice rich caramel malt sweetness. Hints of dark fruit and a nice smoky hint as well. The aroma is like a malt bomb warning signal.

T: The nose did not lie. Huge rich malty flavor with a lingering sweetness that lasts after the finish. The mouth warms up from the alcohol as well. Dark fruity flavors and a smoked dark malts mix together nicely in this one.

M: Medium to full bodied feel. It is nice and smooth. I think I would prefer it if it had some more carbonation and was a little more creamy.

D: Although there is a bit of alcohol warmth, I wouldn't call it boozy at all. It goes down smooth and easy.

GatorBeerNerd, Apr 09, 2009
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,314 ratings.